Tossing the Focus of Fear

The other day, my middle child came to me and expressed her interest in trying out for the cheerleading squad for the upcoming football season. Just to give you a little background, she is a 16-year-old teenager who just moved to this school and is one of the “new kids”.   At her prior school, she had three years of cheerleading and the fourth year she tried out, she didn’t make it; and it devastated her.

I’m going to admit that I am surprised that she signed up to try out.  This is a way bigger school and a little more intimidating, but when that sign-up sheet was posted, she chose to give it another try.

For the past two weeks, I have been outside watching her stretch, jump, kick and practice cheers and sidelines.  One day, she came to me and said two words that can defeat the strongest person’s ability to accomplish anything…”I’m scared”.  She was reconsidering her decision to try out and cross her name off the list. 

Fear.  Such a strong emotion with very little substance most of the time.  My advice to her was to replace the “I’m scared I won’t make the squad” thoughts with “what if I do make the squad” thoughts.  It took a while, but soon that negativity went out the window and the positive demeanor took over.  You see, if you focus on the fear there is no way you can see a positive outcome.  Don’t look around at who you feel may be your competition.  Look at yourself and do your best, because your best is the only thing you can offer.  However, your best is unable to shine if fear takes over and looms its negative, dark cloud in the way.

Tryouts are this weekend.  Is my daughter nervous?  Of course she is.  Is she fearful?  No.  There is no doubt in my mind that she will do the best she can.  If the outcome isn’t what she is hoping for, then rest assured, it will not be because fear stood in the way of her attempt to try. 

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