I accompanied my sister as she drove her twins to school this morning. Today was special, as they were about to leave on a 4-day trip to an outward bound centre somewhere in the Midlands. When we arrived, I was immediately struck by the difference in their approach to prospect of going away for a few days -
My niece said “No need to accompany me in, thanks – I’ll just go in from here!”, full of confidence and excitement at the prospect of having fun with her friends.
My nephew said to my sister “I wish you could come with me, Mum. I wish I didn’t feel like this!” My heart went out to him. The problem was that last year’s school trip, with a different school, different kids and no close friends, at a different venue, had been a stressful and distressing ordeal for him. And like most of us, the memories he carried from that trip were setting off pangs of anxiety like lightbulbs flashing on a Christmas tree. He felt thoroughly sick at the prospect of parting company with his mum and facing his ordeal alone.
But the thing that inspires me so much about my nephew is that, although he was scared and although he knew he had a choice whether to go this year or not, he chose to go anyway, realising at the tender age of 12, that this year will be different.
And I’m sure that this year will be different for him – that he will have so much fun with his new friends and throw himself into whatever challenges his teachers give him, so that when he comes back home, he will be feel highly satisfied with himself and be glad that he chose to go.
Isn’t that often the way? We’re offered opportunities, challenges and sometimes downright shocks, that push us right outside of our comfort zone. It’s so tempting to say “Uh oh – no, I’m not going there!” Or “Help! Get me out of here!!” Only to discover after a while, that we are capable of so much more than we realise and even that we are enjoying ourselves.
Just the other day, I joined the Women’s Group in Team Take Massive Action and my sponsor gave me a challenge – it’s called the 90-day video challenge, designed to get newcomers to the Empower Network like me, started with using video. Hopefully, by the end of the 90 days, we will all feel very much more confident about making our own videos.
But for now, I can honestly say that it’s not coming naturally to me but I’m doing it anyway because the practice is so good for me. Here’s my 3rd video, if you care to see what I mean, which is a quirky take on the same theme of today’s post. And you’ll see just how much I need this 90-day challenge!