Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad. He teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. When we look at the grand accomplishments of other people it may feel like we will never be capable of achieving the same thing. This is partly because our present lifestyle may be so much different than the other highly accomplished person. It is difficult to imagine living life in their shoes. In order to illustrate this concept a little better, let me share with you my experiences of having a new baby in our home – what I felt years ago before we had our son, and how I feel now after six months has passed. And by the way … these same tips can be applied to any other situation in our lives – whether it is going on a date for the first time, or pushing yourself to take a bungee jump plunge from the top of a crane.
1. Love crushes fear
Years ago I was a single guy, and having a baby in my life would have been very intimidating. I didn’t know anything about babies, nor did I want to have one. Now things have changed completely. My wife and I have a son and love him very much. This unconditional love makes every difficult situation so much easier to deal with that arises with our son. In fact, love will melt your fears away – no matter what happens; it makes handling most situations in life much easier.
Motivation makes handling an unknown situation easier. For example, if I wasn’t motivated to calm down our son when he cries, feed him when he is hungry or change his diapers, I would have a terrible time being a parent. Frankly, if I wasn’t motivated to do these required acts of parenthood I would be overcome by the pressure. But since I’m motivated to give my best to my son, I can carry on and keep helping him as he grows day by day. If you enter a situation without any motivation or inner-drive to be your best, it is going to be a rough ride for you. You will end up questioning your investment in the situation, start making excuses, and look for ways to procrastinate. In some cases the lack of motivation can make you want to quit whatever it is you are doing. On the contrary, a properly motivated person can enter those unknown and scary situations, and turn them into inspiring experiences to help them grow.
3. Knowledge and preparation
One reason why we have prejudices and fear is because of our lack of knowledge and understanding. Even if we have some knowledge, it may be based on what we have heard others say – not what we have actually experienced ourselves. Here is an example. My wife and I heard so many “true” horror stories about having a baby before our son was born that we were almost overwhelmed with the thought of having a child. Fortunately, we wanted to find out more about these matters ourselves. We put in the effort to learn about having a baby and giving birth and came across reassuring information. While we learned a lot about these topics, it also served another purpose for us: we had prepared for the new experience as well as we could and it made the whole “baby experience” much smoother. As we learned and educated ourselves our fears diminished. Whenever you are trying to diminish prejudices and fears, find out more about the topic you are worried about experiencing. In many cases this makes the unknown easier to accept.
4. Experience it
The best ways to totally remove fears and uncertainties is to experience the situation firsthand. No matter what others have said, no matter what you have read about it – it means nothing until you have gone through the situation yourself. When it comes to babies, almost every moment brings something new for parents to learn. At the same time we know that once we have experienced and gone through the situation ourselves, we are so much better prepared for the next time a similar situation occurs in the future. Don’t believe all the stories you hear – just experience it for yourself. Cut the chain of uncertainty by encountering your own experience.
5. Others are doing it too
You are not alone. There are other people dealing with the same situation you are, and this can be a very comforting realization. You may ask yourself: “How are they handling the situation?” or, “If they can handle it, why can’t I handle it too?” This just proves the point that most of the time uncertainty and fear is inside our heads. In our situation, we knew that there were quite a few people (friends, relatives, etc…) who had babies and had been getting along in their lives just fine. There was no doubt that we could handle the situation ourselves too. Take a look around and find other people who are experiencing what you are about to experience. Ask them how they are able to manage the situation and you will soon realize that you can handle it too. It is very unlikely you are the first and only person dealing with your uncertainty. As soon as you go through the experience yourself, you will be wondering why you were so afraid in the first place! You may even decide you are capable of much, much more. What about you: Have you felt your fear towards the unknown melt away as soon as you experienced the situation yourself? What are you holding back from because you’re afraid of the uncertainty? This is a guest post by Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad. He teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.