Stand Up. Face Your Fears.

The Peruvian department store chain Saga Falabella created a powerful ad awhile back, dealing with one’s need for change.  It was brilliant storytelling, in that it both highlighted how brave it is (on a personal level) to embrace change and encouraged (in a roundabout way) its customers to look for change in their stores.  At least that’s what I read into it.  I could be wrong.  I’ve included the video below, so you can see for yourself.

Change is a day-to-day thing for a child, and I can only hope that Liliana will continue to want to learn and explore.  Much of a child’s adaptability seems to dim as a child ages.  Maybe he or she simply learns that one must conform to get the most praise.  After all, teachers and other adults have to maintain order and ritual, and what’s the easiest way to do that?   By coaxing any wayward wanderers back into the flock.

It’s my dream that my daughter be headstrong, independent, and vocal.  It’s my dream that she not shy away from new adventures.  It’s my dream that she grapples with fear and brings it to its knees.

Dan and I took Liliana to Paris in January of this year, and while we were there, we happened upon an ice skating rink in front of the Hotel de Ville.  We exclaimed that she should try ice skating.

“Look at all the kids!” I exclaimed.

She thought a bit before she said, “You know, Mom, I’m not sure I’m big enough to skate.  I think I might fall.”

And guess what I said?  “Oh honey, you’ll most certainly fall.  I was on my bum most of the time when I learned to skate.  You fall, and you try again.  You practice, practice, practice!  That’s how you learn.”

“Okay,” she said reluctantly.

I’m happy to report she had a blast, and as we were leaving, she said, “That’s all I have to do.  Practice, practice, practice!”  That’s my girl!

Fear is normal.  Fear is always present.  It’s something that must be conquered…on a daily basis.  Haven’t you ever been in a situation in which you dreaded whatever it is you had to do, but you did it, and in the end, you realized it wasn’t as bad as you had thought?

We adults get so comfortable in our safely zoned lives.  We hesitate to try new things, because we might fail.  We dream little dreams, because we’re too afraid we won’t attain the big ones.  We don’t stand up for ourselves, because we’re too afraid the other person might leave us.  We don’t do our best, because heck, we’re on a salary paycheck, aren’t we?

Here’s what I say: Don’t you want to grab life by the throat?  Gobble down everything there is to know, to do?  If not, why not?  And if so, are you doing it?


  1. kristi
    Mar 03, 2011

    i want my kids to be this way too, but i don’t do such a great job of encouraging it in them. i have always been afraid to try new things, and i think it’s because i don’t want to fail at doing them. so i end up saying “i can’t.” i don’t remember how many times my mom would say “if i hear the word CAN’T one. more. time…” 🙂

    kids sense our hedging, or at least mine do, so this is a good reminder to try to encourage them to practice practice practice and not give up before they even start.

    • Elissa
      Mar 03, 2011

      I know, change is never easy…why is that? LOL.

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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