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  • Writer's pictureAndi

STEPPINGSTONE




Steppingstones are a way to cross a stream or muddy area that will get us to the other side while keeping us dry. Treading carefully on steppingstones forces us to keep full concentration, hold our core muscles tight and breathe evenly to keep our balance. If we focus too far ahead, we won’t notice the next stone and will likely wobble and fall off. Alternatively, if we place too much emphasis on each step and our minds tell us we are going to fall, we certainly will fall.


Should we fall, we will get wet, and we would climb back onto the path and continue forward. Once we have experienced getting wet, we will no longer be afraid to fall. The anticipation of falling is the cause for fear, not the actual falling. If we cross without falling, we still hold on to the fear for the next time, but if we fall and climbed back up, the fear is released, and we will not be fearful about falling again.


Every week as I write my blog a childhood memory seems to creep up. It’s strange because I only select my blog topic the moment I sit down to write it. It takes about 5 minutes for the topic to come to me. I am just remembering that my friend lived next to a beautiful natural open area in a forest we called the “Glen”. There was a shallow river that ran through it, and we would walk on the dry rocks above the water catching tadpoles. We loved this activity! On one of our river walks, I was reaching for a tadpole, and I slipped off the rock and landed fully clothed in the river. After laughing, I realized I had bitten my bottom lip, so we went back to her house for dry clothes and first aid. I also realized that it wasn’t so bad to fall. We continued our tadpole capture for many more years after and always laughed about me sitting in the river fully clothed. This was a literal falling off steppingstones.


On a less literal note, our experiences are the steppingstones getting us to where we need to be in life. Failing and falling is a steppingstone toward success and often a faster path to success. Putting ourselves in a situation where we may fail is scary, but it’s also incredibly exciting what can happen if we succeed. For the past few years, I was safely treading on steppingstones back and forth across the same river until I gave myself permission to fall so that I would release the fear and be able to move forward.


For Parents: We hover around our children with our own fear of letting them fail. The result is that they will remain fearful of failure and stay in the safe zone which is often below their potential. A fun indoor game to play with children is to put pillows around your living room or down a hallway and see if you and your child can tread on them without falling off. Besides having fun, you can speak to them starting at young ages that falling means they have a choice to just sit there or climb back up and continue on. For older children, it’s OK to let them experience discomfort so they can find out what needs to change to make it better. Have them bring you the solution if they are old enough to problem solve, they often have a much better answer than our “fix”.


In life if we play it too safe without failing, we will always hold the fear of the fall. Society has taught us that falling and failing is bad, but Parent Do Overs is here to reiterate that failure is a steppingstone to success, and we need to shift our mindset for our own inner child especially if we want to help our children in the future.


If this blog resonates with you, I can help you navigate your steppingstones with a Do Over which might include a gentle nudge from me to help you fall, but I will catch you and we will release the fear together so you can finally feel free.



A great quote by J.K. Rowling which sums it all up.


"It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." ― J.K. Rowling



~Andi









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