Having a fearless mindset serves children well in all they do–not only in schoolwork and extracurricular activities–but also in leading a fulfilling and purposeful life.
Parents nurture their kids to grow up to be a well rounded, confident, and successful adults—able to face whatever comes his or her way. But when fear takes them over, what can you do to help them? Keep the following in mind as you begin helping the children in your life develop a fearless mindset.
Children mimic the behaviors they see in their parents, so one of the most effective ways you will teach your child to be fearless is to lead by example. When you show your willingness to try something new it will serve as a powerful lesson for your little one. If you want them to be fearless, make sure they see you stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Help your child gain experience by providing opportunities to stretch their limits. Encourage your son or daughter to try a new sport or something in the arts—painting, dance or an instrument, for example. The hope in encouraging a new activity is that he or she will grow in confidence, discover more of what they are capable of, and become more willing to try future activities.
It’s beneficial to realize others have fears too, and having someone to go through things with can make it less terrifying. Julie McFarland, Director of Academy of Dance Arts shares, “We have found that looking for similar characteristics in those who are hesitant, pairing them up with a friend, and helping them know they are not alone in the challenge allows the more introverted students to engage more effectively.” For example, Julie tells the story of a little girl who wouldn’t even allow her photograph to be taken for fear of the spotlight. “After a few years of dance, this bold person was not only participating, but she wanted us to choreograph a solo for her, which she took to a competition and won top honors.”
When helping a child develop a fearless mindset, recognize they will gain more from fixing their own mess-ups than having someone stepped in and fixed it for them. Life is a delightful, messy experiment filled with new discoveries. When your child makes mistakes, help them use creative thinking and problem solving skills to overcome the hurdle set before them.
Finding ways to jump in where opportunities present themselves is the way your child will learn what they can do, right now. Forget perfection, and create a new mantra for your family; be fearless.