Making The Adventure Bigger Than The Fear


My Chihuahuas have snuck in another life lesson.

My most recent lesson came from the little girl..."EMi." 

EMi has a tremendous fear of any new day because the first thing on the morning agenda for her is to be taken outside for potty time. But instead of being happy about going outside, she would rather hide under the bed. To her, the "monsters" are 100% smaller under there. There are no big, menacing German Shepherds under the bed to scare the "Chihuahua" out of her.   

Of course, it takes tons of coaxing on my part to get EMi out from under the bed. I have to lie down on the floor and do that "dog talk" thing hoping to convince her that there will be no scary BIG dogs outside today. She has always believed me, and eventually she comes out...but not before the minute hand on the clock has taken at least five full laps.

But something in her world changed, and NOW she excitedly darts out from under the bed on her own accord...without my coaxing.

It's the sounds associated with me picking up my backpack.

In training for future long hikes and to keep my body used to carrying 20 pounds on my back, most mornings I do a 6:30 a.m. 45-minute "hike" with an everyday book backpack. A month ago, I thought it would be a good idea to give the dogs more exercise, and I included them on the walk.

They have come to love our joint morning "hikes." A lot. In fact, EMi has now decided that the mornings represent an exciting and awesome adventure not to be missed. Although she still runs to hide under the bed in the morning initially, she comes darting out as soon as she hears the backpack zippers. Then...excitedly...she starts ripping around the room as fast as she can go...100% unwilling to get left behind for the morning's soon-to-be adventure.  

Yes...we are still going outside to do the potty thing. And yes, there are still big dogs lurking outside; that hasn't changed. But what has changed is her perception of the whole morning-outside experience. She has evidently concluded that the potential adventure of our hike together is far more awesome than the once existing horrible-scary-big dog-filled fear she used to have.

Making the adventure bigger than the fear.

Interesting idea.

Thank you, EMi.


By Shawn Anderson
Speaker, Author, & Unlimited Thinker

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Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826