“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.” -Judy Blume
For years, the idea of opening a successful non-profit always existed in my mind. However, every time I considered it further I found myself frozen in fear. I did not know how to direct my thoughts, fear was influencing my decisions and often time answering my questions. Fear caused me to say no to many opportunities when presented that could have shaped and formed the non-profit I have today. Those chances I watched go by time and time again were me waiting to pick the challenge very carefully. As a colleague of mine recently stated, those are “can’t-a-saurus” ideas we place in our heads.
Fear can sometimes cause someone to not only lack the ability to move forward but can also limit one’s ability to stop and reflect while taking a step back. To be frozen does no good for anyone, especially kids… If we as adults are conscious of what fear does to us, think about what it does to kids. This is the group of young adults that will find a life-changing cure for cancer, expand our global market and more importantly make decisions for us when we are older and unable to take care of ourselves. The research shows that society sends messages to kids nine out of ten times that an idea, thought or action won’t work rather than will work. But yet, in our conscious brain we know that we only fail by not trying. We know that failure to take a risk is the only way to lose.
As we launched Chance to Soar last week, I was reminded of the joy that comes with innovation. It is an exuberant feeling that you want to just bottle up and allow pieces out from time to time. As philosopher Mark Nepo stated, “the point of an experience is not to escape life but to live it.” A human moment is very expensive but a child’s one is priceless. Chance to Soar is built on the mission that every student should be given not one but many chances. As the old Japanese proverb states, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” Collectively, join me in ensuring we say “yes” to student’s dreams, thoughts and actions. Be a dream maker not a dream catcher for children!