My younger brother and I were constantly competing growing up. One example of this healthy sibling rivalry was learning to ride bicycles without our training wheels. Bicycles were equated to freedom in our young minds (and they still are for me!). In addition, there was the matter of bragging rights for the first one to ditch their training wheels. I badly wanted to be the first one to taste complete freedom, riding without training wheels. I was terrified of falling. My brother won this battle of the training wheels because I feared falling and failure. He openly embraced the risks – busted lip, skinned knees and multiple bruises – and fearlessly accomplished his goal.
This seemingly simple story represents areas of our life every day. Many of us are afraid to remove our training wheels. We fear failure to the point it hinders our ability to go after our dreams or achieve our goals. It isn’t healthy or realistic to solely engage in endeavors we know will lead to a guaranteed positive outcome. I tell my students and clients that being comfortable with something often means being uncomfortable at first. That feeling of being uncomfortable is transformation and growth. Take away the training wheels – they may inhibit your ability to truly experience something as simple as riding a bike or far more important things, such as trusting, loving, or taking a risk to be more happy in your life.
I don’t want to go through life with training wheels on. It’s okay to fall. Wounds heal and lessons are learned. Apply this outlook to your journey in this life. Be well and be okay with the mistakes you may make. Far more successes are the result of mistakes and failure than most of us realize. Shelve your training wheels – let yourself find balance, perhaps fall, get back up and forge onward.
On a very personal note, my brother will become a father for the first time *this week* (FIRST TIME AUNT in the house!). I’m elated for his new role and know he’s going to face it fearlessly and be an amazing father to his beautiful baby girl.
What areas in your life can you “kick off” your training wheels?
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