The Scared is Scared

I just came across a masterpiece of a video. Filmed by Bianca Giaever, a young filmmaker and soon-to-be college graduate, the video captures the wisdom of 6-year-old Asa.

Bianca begins by asking Asa to tell her a story. His flow of ideas begins with a story about a bear and a mouse going to the pool. The characters realize that their fun is coming to an end because the pool is closing for winter. Then Asa veers off to offer some helpful, philosophical advice about dealing with change.

Bianca tells Asa that she’s a little scared about graduating from college. “Hmm,” Asa replies, thinking. He then offers, “You think of something else until the nervous has gone out of you… When the scared feeling comes into you…” he pauses and then emphatically whispers, “the scared is scared of things you like.” When Asa thinks of a monster, he thinks of pizza. And juice. And an oatmeal cookie shaped like a keyboard. The scary monster can’t compete with the love he has for these delicious treats.

People often hate change. A lot. Leaving something familiar and comfortable is hard. When change is imminent, and even as it unfolds, we often feel a little scared. The next step is unfamiliar and unknown. Yet, that’s so much of what life is about. Leaving our comfort zones for what’s next. Taking a deep breath and, like Asa, allowing optimism and confidence to wash over you. And then thinking of some things you’re moving toward that you like. Perhaps a bite of pizza and a cookie.

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.