I know a lot of kids. I have worked with them as a coach, as a teacher, as the head of a party company and now as a growth mindset leader. The number one thing, I have noticed, that can stop them in their tracks, no matter the age, is FEAR. If you can not see past what scares you, chances are you will run back to safety. Safety is comfortable but unfulfilling. It is human nature to want more for ourselves, to see what is possible, what fulfills us, what is our purpose. As a young kid, these words are obviously not used but the feelings are stirring around inside, calling for more.
When that something you want to do is outside of the comfort zone (what and who we know ourselves to be and what we think we can and can’t do), then fear rears its ugly head. It can actually seem just like a monster and the only recourse is to run away. Unless, you have gained an Inner SuperPower that can take on the monster and defeat it, by moving through and past it.
So, what is this Inner Super Power and how does one get it? Well, different than most things you want these days, it is not on Amazon, not in Target, not even Costco. That’s right, I know, weird. As the name states, it is actually already inside of each and everyone of us and it starts with the proper use of our Imagination. It must be understood here, your imagination is already in full operation all the time, often going wherever it wants and taking you along for the ride.
Before you do something new, you are imagining how it may go. You may imagine it as hard, as you failing, others laughing, feeling bad or, if the power is strong in you already, you may imagine yourself as winning, succeeding, scoring that goal, getting that trophy, making it across the monkey bars, meeting new friends, passing that test, getting that job…It goes on and on.
Whichever way you think, negative or positive, it is imagination at work. It should be noted here that imagination can be directed by memory too. If it is not totally new, just different, maybe more challenging, you may have a memory of the experience and its outcome. This memory, good or bad, negative or positive, fuels the imagination in this new opportunity.
Imagination is either automatic and it controls you or you have gained the awareness and understanding that you can control it (Inner SuperPower). When you are controlling it, you are self directing it towards what you DO want and simultaneously away from what you DON’T want. As the power gets stronger, it becomes more automatic and easily accessible when new challenges come your way. You literally have a SuperPower.
To gain control of the imagination and take it to places you love, where you get what you are after, gain what fulfills you, you must first, have something (or somethings) you are up to, you are going for, and you really want. Making that grade, winning that game, getting that part in the play or recital…whatever it is, it puts up a created target for your imagination to go. It is much like setting a GPS, “Siri, take me to my goal.” In this moment, where you have decided what you want, what you would like to accomplish, it is often the thought of taking action that causes the fear. You see yourself stepping out and slipping and falling flat on your face, everyone is laughing and you swear to never, ever do that again. Yikes.
The self directed imagination can override those made up (yet seemingly very real) automatic thoughts with new, created thoughts that support you. “I am ready” “I can do this” “I know I will learn from it” “I am confident” “I am good enough” and then even more specific to the intended target…”I can score that goal” “I can win that championship” “I will get an A on the test” “I will get the part.”
Imagination is power that can be tapped into any and at all times. When you DO get the result you want, Imagine something even bigger, better for yourself. When you DON’T get the result you want, imagine how you can fill in what was missing and see yourself getting it, or getting closer to it next try. You can even imagine how you may feel, what it would be like if you did not keep trying and that may fuel you to get back at it and go get it.
In Dax to the Max, our book for children 3-8 (but a lesson for all ages including adults), Dax is shown how to use his imagination to get past his own fears. The fear is represented by a bear in a cave whom he encounters through a message he sees in the clouds. The bear is automatically seen as scary, something to be afraid of, but Dax is told, “Just use your imagination, change the situation from scary to exciting, fun…” After a bit of resistance, and the bear getting scarier and scarier, Dax goes for it, seeing it as his only way past the situation before the fear (bear) overtakes him.
In the end (spoiler alert), he indeed does find imagination can change a scary situation into something else, into whatever he imagines it be and, by doing this, it allows him to move forward, to move past it and see what is available on the other side of the fear. As Dax states in the book “SuperPowers are cool”. Yep, Inner SuperPowers, like the power of imagination and knowing how to use it to create what you want and let go of what you don’t want are cool. Dax is right.
Here are some tips for your kids to get their own Inner SuperPowers too (please share with them, you will be their Super Hero):
1) Tell them to think about what they do want for themselves in your lives. Not just cookies and toys (Dax like those too) but accomplishments. Ask: What would you like to be able to do but something about it scares you? Maybe, it’s just the fact that it is new.
2) Imagine themselves doing it. Imagine it as challenging, exciting instead of imagining it as scary or too hard.
3) Change what they imagine (both good and bad are your imagination) so choose the good, it’s more fun that way.
4) Keep imagining and you go for it. They can imagine they are achieving the goal, hitting the target and they can imagine themselves getting back up if they do get knocked down knowing they will get there as long as they don’t let themselves be stopped by a wayward imagination taking control.
I’m glad we met and you can now share with your kids that, with this new awareness of how imagination can beat out fear, they have all they need to use their own imagination to move past what scares them, and get to what fulfills them. They can’t be, won’t be stopped anymore. That’s a really BIG deal!
For more information on Inner SuperPowers, please check out: www.mindzenmotion.com
To order a copy of Dax to the Max, please click here: https://www.mindzenmotion.com/dax-to-the-max
You can book a Live or Virtual reading and/or an interactive signing experience with Scott and Dax and or info on our Power Quests and Power Parties, please go here: https://bit.ly/MZMHello
Scott Feld is a Certified Life Skills Coach for kids and the International Best-Selling Author of Dax to the Max. Scott runs MindZenMotion which includes: Dax to the Max, Power Quests, Power Parties, and Power Speaking geared towards kids, tweens, and teens. The purpose of it all is to help them unlock their own Inner Powers so that each and everyone of them becomes: Un-Mess-With-Able on their way to their dreams. Dax is Scott’s 6 year old son.