Sunday, March 09, 2008

First time blues

I was playing with my daughter yesterday and I asked her to sing a new nursery rhyme with me and she told me "I cannot do it papa because it is difficult". Two phrases in that sentence caught my attention "cannot do it" and "difficult". Which made me wonder, when is it in life do we learn to say that we cannot do things because it is difficult.

There are so many things that I remember finding difficult to do and wanting to give up but I had the right support system around me that persisted with me to continue trying or the circumstance at that point of time forced me to learn it. I was then able to overcome the initial hardships to be able to enjoy it now.

One example is driving the car. I always had this fear to drive on Indian roads but the circumstance of needing a car with a blossoming family forced me to learn to drive and take the car out. It was very hard initially but I enjoy driving now.

The earliest memory that I have of something that I found difficult was to ride the bicycle. Even though I had a cycle when I was about 7 or 8 I never rode it for nearly 3 years till one day my friends persisted with me and ran around me and cheered and lifted me up each time I fell down. It was in the course of one morning I learnt to ride the cycle and after that I used to enjoy taking long cycle rides out into the country side.

I have realized that like this there are a lot of things that seem so hard to do the first time we try it out and want to give up and I think the reasons for that are
  • The fear of the unknown - you never know what lies around the bend
  • The fear of getting hurt - physically and/or emotionally
  • The intimidation of the learning that needs to be done to accomplish the task
  • The fear of failure
  • The fear that one is not equipped either mentally or physically to handle the task
There is always a point where these fears build up before you have to execute the action that is causing these fears and the key is that once you make the decision to start doing something you have to give it your all and in time you will realize if the fears are real or they are illusionary and you can very quickly decide if you want to continue or not.

If you are in a position of leadership it will be very important to provide the support system and the encouragement to people that need it. So as you can see it works both ways when you are a leader or a guide - you need the encouragement and the support and you also need to give it to others for it is when you overcome these fears that you reap the rewards of the action.


Sonali said...

Very true.

In fact, my first bicycle ride was also something that I wanted to do for long but couldn't as I badly hurt myself the umpteenth time earlier and was sceptical about giving it a try (learning to paddle) again. But the strong desire to rule the road with the cycle soon overtook the fear and then one day...voila...I could ride without any support.

Fears are just mental monsters...something that we create over time in our minds, thinking that we are not capable of the action. The first step requires courage at the most but once the initial step is taken, the going is much easier. Only, you require the guts to follow your dreams and should have the utmost faith in your deeds. In this regard, I would like to quote this popular saying: "If you doubt, don't choose; if you choose, don't doubt". So, once you have chosen the path against all odds depending on your vision and mission, stick to it and the fruits of labor will follow soon.

Vidhyashankar K said...

the only way to get over your fear is to take it head-on. nothing else works. the more u try and circumvent it, the harder it is.

Even if your fears are real, it only takes that first experience to get over it. after that you know what's coming.

Like in college ragging, my fear of getting hit was only till the first time i got hit. after that, i knew it was just temporary pain. either ways, the experience of overcoming fear makes u stronger.

Kelvy said...

Its absolutely true.

We always fear and wonder what life has in store for us.And ya most of us need the encouragement and push to help us to do many things.
I have to say that even to date i am scared to do many things and just say its difficult, but wen i do get that encouragemnt only i make and effort to overcome my fears.

Manjula said...

The one fear that overtakes all the mentioned fears is "The fear of being ridiculed " and this stops most of us from doing or trying new things.

You do what you are

In the 2001 movie Along came a spider, there is an interesting quote by Morgan Freeman where he says "You do what you are" and the...