Most children know how to punch fear in the throat. When we’re 5, we handle fear like a ninja. As we get older, we forget these skills and start letting fear push us around. Today we’re going to look at 10 lessons from a five-year-old so that you can punch fear in the throat now. Click below to listen to the complete episode for the lessons.
Real self-confidence is not a lack of fear. It’s acknowledging the fear and trusting yourself anyway.
10 Lessons from a 5-Year Old to Punch Fear in the Throat:
- Stop Saying Yes When…
- Be Fearless
- Ask for Help
- Believe You Can Be…
- No Means…
- Keep Breathing Life Into Your Dreams
- Forget Past Mistakes
- Be Mad Today, Get Over it Tomorrow
- Stick Up For Yourself
Lesson Number 1: Stop saying yes when you really mean no.
The trouble with saying yes when you mean no is it creates bitterness inside you. If you make a habit of saying yes despite your true feelings, the message you are sending yourself is that what other people want matters more than what you want.
So save yourself stress and mayhem and say no when you really mean no. Do you know any children who say yes when they mean no? Kids are real comfortable saying no, aren’t they? So the first thing you do to punch fear in the throat is say no, when you really mean no.
Lesson Number 2: Be Fearless.
I can remember envying other children who just seemed to be so fearless, because I wasn’t like that. I felt so different and at the time I didn’t realize the magic that was in my differences. I just wanted to be like everybody else.
But if you look at your average five-year-old, they are fearless. They’ll climb on anything, jump off anything, dive into anything because it never occurs to them that there’s going to be a bad result. Now I’m not talking about being dangerous or risky, but I am talking about walking fearlessly towards things that you want with abandon instead of walking towards them weighed down with reservations and doubts. So punch fear in the throat if there is something that you really want.
Lesson Number 3: Ask for Help.
Children don’t stop and second-guess themselves before they ask for help. They don’t waste time wondering if people will think they’re weak or silly or lazy, or anything else foolish. They will turn to whoever is close and ask for help.
Getting help for something that you’re struggling with helps build your skills and confidence because while they’re helping you with the thing that you’re not good at, you can spend more time sharpening your innate skills. Admitting you need help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, and it’s a supremely confident posture.
Lesson Number 4: Believe You Can Be Anything.
This is my favorite throat punching lesson. Believe you can be anything. If you ask a five-year-old what they want to be when they grow up you could hear anything and everything. And they mean it! Ask them what they want to be when they grow up and you might hear, ‘I want to be the first fireman-ballerina-spaceman’.
As we get older we start to focus more on limitations, and we start to think of all the reasons why we can’t do something. Let’s stop that and grab hold of a little bit of our inner five-year-old and start believing we can be anything that we want to be.
If you keep dreaming and living small, you’ll start to believe that’s all you can handle. That is a lie. ~ Allegra Sinclair
Lesson Number 5: Stretch Yourself.
If you make your dreams and goals really small to try to keep yourself safe you will increase your fears. An unfortunate truth is that you will start to think you can’t do anything bigger after a while. You will convince yourself that small stuff is all you can handle. That is a lie.
The fact that you dream about bigger means bigger is in you. So stretch yourself and do something that you think you might not be able to do. One of two things is going to happen. You’re going to shock the pudding out of yourself and do the big thing. Or maybe you don’t make it all the way to your goal, but you’ll get so much further than you thought you would and then the next time you can go even further.
Lesson Number 6: Learn No Means Nothing.
Kids never believe that no actually means no. There are so many stories of people who were told no, but they persevered. Like Michael Jordan, Mary Kay Ash, and Steve Jobs. There’s something that you wanted to do, but someone told you no, so you didn’t do it.
Today I challenge you to decide that their no meant nothing and do it anyway. Go for it anyway. Be whatever you want to be anyway. I don’t know what your ‘no’ was, but keep asking until you hear yes. Ask yourself! And give yourself the right answer. It’s a lot easier to punch fear in the throat when you don’t believe that no means no.
Lesson Number 7: Keep Breathing Life Into Your Dreams.
A five year old who wants to build a treehouse won’t have nails, wood, string, a plan, or a diagram. But they keep thinking about it, and they keep talking about it, and they keep working towards it, and they water that idea until it grows into a flower. They keep breathing life into their dream until it’s bigger than their fears.
Wow! What could we do if we stopped lettings our fears stop us from doing things that we know we can do? How many people could be impact if we punched fear in the throat and did the darn thang?! It The very thought gives me goose bumps.
Lesson Number 8: Forget Your Past Mistakes.
I have an excellent memory, and I love that about me, but I also don’t love it because I can easily remember things that make me cringe. Like things I said that I regret. Or the times I have danced in public and wished I hadn’t. (Mythbuster: Not all black people can dance.)
Five-year-olds will make a mistake today and tomorrow it’s completely forgotten. Don’t you love that? It’s like every day they approach life with the same fresh energy and enthusiasm that they did the first time. It’s like the mistake didn’t happen. I want to be more like that five-year-old and leave mistakes in the past.
Lesson Number 9: Be Mad Today, Then Let It Go.
If something happens that gets you all up in your feelings, it’s ok. Feel ALL of those feelings. Today. Be mad today, but then let it go.
Have you ever seen how 5-year-olds deal with trouble in relationships? If they have a fight, in that moment, they don’t like the person and they’re not talking to them for the whole day. But then guess what happens on the next day? They get up and run to that person’s house, and they start playing like nothing happened. Because they let it go.
Lesson Number 10: Stick Up For Yourself.
The final lesson so that you can go out and punch fear in the throat now is to stick up for yourself. I have a coaching client who says he won’t be a jerk and he won’t allow jerks to be around him. #awesomesauce (He told me I could share his wisdom.)
Whether the bully is coming from inside your own head or from someone else, stick up for yourself when you feel like you’re being mistreated. Why let that live with you when you can address it? And you get to decide how you want to deal with it.
What we pay attention to grows. This is true in flower gardens, and it’s true in our lives. So how are you watering your dreams? How are you sticking up for yourself? How are you asking for help? How are you stretching yourself?
If you give your dreams your attention and focus, then they can grow bigger and overshadow your fears. You can’t focus on fear and faith at the same time. Focus on your dreams because while you’re focusing on them you can’t be focusing on negative things.
Tweet-Worthy:When you say yes, when you mean no, you are telling yourself that what you want doesn't matter. ~ Allegra SinclairClick To Tweet I remember envying other kids who seemed fearless because I wasn't. I knew I was different. Back then I didn't realize the magic of being different, I wanted to be like everybody else. ~ Allegra Sinclair Click To Tweet Try this--walk towards things that you want with abandon instead of walking towards them weighed down with reservations and doubts. Be fearless if it's something that you really want. ~ Allegra SinclairClick To Tweet Get so comfortable with who you are and what skills you bring that you know asking for help isn't a sign of weakness; it's a supremely confident posture. ~ AllegraSinclairClick To Tweet If you keep dreaming and living small, you'll start to believe that's all you can handle. That is a lie. ~ Allegra SinclairClick To Tweet