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Fearful Piano Teacher: Do It Anyway

May 31, 2018

The horse's name was Lulu. 

 

I was young, like 4 years old, and my brother was even younger.  My Dad had taken the two of us out to a friend's farm and after some time exploring, we were invited to go for a ride on Lulu.  Just me and my little brother. 

 

It was going to be nice and safe, the owner holding Lulu by the leash (oh, wait, that's called a harness I think!).  Anyway, there my little brother and I were, perched on Lulu's back, delighted to be riding a real live horse! 

 

Only there was a little detail the owner hadn't mentioned . . . Lulu was pregnant.

 

So, two squirmy little kids get up on her already aching back (poor Lulu, I can relate!) and after a moment or two, Lulu decided she was done.  So, she did the only thing a pregnant mommy horse can do to get two little kids off her back. 

 

She bucked. 

 

And my brother and I went flying.

 

Now, if you are following the story, you know there are two adults in this picture and two kids.  One adult is holding Lulu, and that leaves one adult to try to catch two flying little kids.  The math didn't look good.

 

And as every parent who has multiple kids knows, when Lulu the pregnant horse bucks off TWO little kids in different directions, you must catch the littlest one.  (I think that's in a parenting manual somewhere).

 

The start of my flying trapeze career began as I was flying through the air off of Lulu's back.  The end of my flying trapeze career came as I promptly landed HARD on the ground somewhere in the middle of that pasture. 

 

Tears, crying, scrapes, a bruise or two.  Apologies from Lulu's owner, concern from my Dad.  It wasn't that bad, but boy was I terrified of Lulu (and pretty much every animal with four legs) right after that.

 

So, my Dad, after cuddles and band-aids, did exactly what a good dad did:  he made me get back on the horse. 

 

Huh?

 

Yep, even to this day, I can hardly believe he was able to do that.  Now as a parent myself, I can picture myself gathering my little chicks (one of which now towers over me by 3 inches), and hustling them to the car to help calm them down. 

 

Not my dad. 

 

You see, he could see the fear in me.  He knew that if I didn't get on that horse RIGHT THEN, I probably never would. 

 

And, he even told me that -- he looked at me, and in a no nonsense voice, told me to get back on that horse and I needed to do it afraid.  Do it anyway.   You're scared, but so what?  It just means you're about to try something.  Do it anyway.

 

 So, with the owner's help and with Lulu's watchful eyes, we approached her and tried again.  Apparently Lulu was fine with just one squirming kid because, lo and behold, she didn't buck.  In fact, she walked around and I had the ride of my life. 

 

Now that experience was almost forty years ago for me, but I still can remember that feeling -- that feeling of doing it scared.  Of getting back on that horse even though I was fearful.  And how great it felt to actually really do it. 

 

Here is my question for you Piano Teacher:   What in your business do you need to do even though you're scared? 

 

Figure out social media?  Raise your prices?  Clean up your bookkeeping?  Start deliberate marketing?  Have that tough conversation with that client?  Start offering lessons for adults?  Start offering lesson for preschoolers?

 

If there is something you know you need to do, but have been stalling, I invite you to ask yourself why?  I'm betting that it is because there is an element of fear.

 

The fear doesn't mean that you are going to fail or mess it up though.  It just means you are doing something new for you or hard for you. 

 

So, dear Piano Teacher friend, think about that thing you are fearful of and do it anyway.  Just start.  Just climb up into the saddle and go for it.  You'll be glad you did. 

 

 

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