Cale Atkinson's "Off and Away"

I don't have a tremendous amount of natural self-confidence. I'm a natural self-doubter. I am not confident about the way I look; I am not confident when I approach big life-altering decisions, I am not confident in my parenting skills, I am not confident about approaching new life challenges or adventures. I'm just not naturally confident, period.

This sweet illustration in Cale Atkinson's "Off & Away" struck a particular cord for me. The phrase "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this" repeated again and again in this image is so powerful. 

We pulled "Off & Away" off the library shelf last week and have read it every night since. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the message could not be more empowering. In the book, a young girl named Joe who watches her father sail out to sea day after day and wishes for adventure herself, but she allows fear to stop her. Only when her father become's ill does she gain the courage to try. Only when other's need her help is she able to find the confidence to overcome her fear. Once she sets out on her own, she discovers that the things she feared were not so scary after all. By making the choice to put aside her fear, Joe made room for helping others, making friends and grand adventure. 

This children's book provides great reminders to all of us. The more often we dare to step into our fears, the more confident we become the next time we are faced with something fearful. Practicing the discipline of choosing to step outside of our comfort zone can lead to such great, unexpected rewards. Are you limited by fear today? I challenge you to channel your inner "Jo" travel towards your fears and what happens.