Fear. When you think about that word I think we all have something different we think of. Some have a fear of snakes or spiders. Others may fear the thought of losing someone or dying alone. And in the education system we have fears too.
The fear of failure is one. We work in a system where someone is always judging us. They watch our classroom management, our understanding of the standards, our interactions with our students, our interactions with our peers, our curriculum planning and more. We all handle fear in different ways too.
Some of us do what is minimally expected without getting in trouble so that we can coast by and make things easier on ourselves and limit the possibility of failure. Some of our are so controlled by our fear that it can stop us in our tracks and make us perform worse than we could have imagined. Some of us are good at facing our fears and we tackle each one as they come.
The thing to realize is that all of us has fears in our professional careers. But what we can't ever do is let that fear control us and the decisions we make.
We have to not only find ways within ourselves to face our fears BUT we also have to continually lean on those around us to help us face our fears.
I think about the things I've faced, and am still facing in my career. There have been countless times where I convinced myself that I could fix it on my own. That I could face it on my own. And every time I come back to the realization that we weren't meant to do this alone.
And yes it's scary asking someone for help or even allowing them to see that I'm not strong enough to do it on my own. But time and time again, when I allow those walls of insecurity to come down, I find that there's someone on the other side who connects with my fear, or understands it, or is willing to help me through it because they care.
Fear can control us if we let it. But what we have to remember is that we're all growing. We're all facing struggles and battles and our own insecurities. Some of us are really good at sharing those, while others aren't. But when fear begins to creep into our lives. When it begins to cause us to stumble or lose our breath, or doubt our gifts and abilities, that is just the moment where we find our people and lean on them to remind us.
And if you're struggling finding your people, reach out to those online. We're all in this together and if you can't find someone who can help you, maybe we can. Or maybe we can help you find that person. The only true weakness is when we don't seek out the compassion and help of others.
My friend, Brad Montague (who also just happened to create Kid President) filmed this beautiful story about facing his own fear. I love it so much and share it everywhere. Could be great to share with your students too. The world is a scary place. Share anyway.