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Does your child ever hold back or hesitate?

Onegaishimasu Parents,

Watching the students perform kata in this weekend's gradings and graduations was a great reminder for me of how important it is for us to continuously push our comfort zones, and introduce ourselves to situations that scare us a little, or make us uncomfortable. When asked, each and every student said they were nervous or scared performing in front of the instructors and parents. That was music to my ears!!! In my mind I was pumping my fist saying YES!!! We have all experienced it before. Our mouths goes dry, our palms sweat a little, our legs feel week, and we get that pit in our stomachs…. but why???? Its fear!! Here's something you will hear me say a lot to your children.......Every time we face our fears.... WE GET STRONGER. But.....Every time we back away from the fear…OUR FEAR gets stronger.

I believe a big part of being successful comes from learning to seek out situations that are challenging, because we know they are major growth opportunities for our children, and ourselves. Personal growth physically, mentally, and spiritually doesn’t come from doing easy things, it comes from doing the things that are difficult. From pushing our comfort zones!! Do you want to become more disciplined, or teach your child discipline??? Just find a bunch of things you don't like doing and start doing them.....regularly!!

Were you shy as a child? Are you still a little shy now? I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had a mom or dad say to me "Sensei, My child is not shy….once he/she gets to know you, or the people he’s with, he is not shy at all!” I have to just smile and nod because this is what shyness is…. that initial reaction, fear, or holding back!

We see so many shy children today. Is it more prevalent in today’s world? I think both pushing kids too hard too young (making them perfectionists) and “over-parenting” (helicopter parents) may be contributing factors. Oh and by the way.....Being a perfectionist is just another fear.....A fear of failure!!!

Working with children with shyness is near and dear to my heart – We see the negative effects of being shy every day, and I did not realize just how debilitating this could be, and how negatively it impacts our children and ourselves until a few years ago.

The good news for parents and children????

We can identify how it manifests itself, and get to the root of the problem..

Being shy is nothing more than a self-limiting factor (fear).

It could be fear of success (I know that sounds off.. but this is common), fear of failure, fear of not living up to someone’s expectations, fear of making mistakes…etc etc the list goes on and on. Besides a fear of meeting people, or trying new things, here is what else being shy does.......It causes people to live in the “grey zone”!

The grey zone is that place in the middle. You know it......wanting to lay low, not stick out, stay safe, not take any risks. You become trapped in a box and never really realize it. Instead of excelling, we become average and fit in. If you want to know the truth just replace the word “mediocre” for the word average. Being mediocre drives me absolutely crazy!

So even if you have a seemingly successful and high achieving child, is shyness keeping them in that safe “grey zone”? That grey zone of “this is good enough” and I do not want to extend any further so I stay safe. Just imagine if you could free them from that powerful invisible box.

Even high achievers are affected by shyness. If you have a young child you could significantly change the course of their life now.

So, do you see the signs of shyness in your child?

Meeting people, separation anxiety, shying away from hard or new things, giving up or quitting too easily, inability to speak up or raise their hand? Taking the safer easier way? Living in the GREY ZONE?!

Okay so what can you do as a parent?

The way to get your child out of their box is to form a simple powerful “habit”. This is the habit of constantly confronting and conquering/powering through their fears because that is all shyness is a form of fear.

Remember the key to your child’s success in overcoming their shyness……every time you encounter a fear and power through it YOU get stronger but……….every time you hesitate, hold back or s