I hate training wheels. I hate the whole premise of them. What’s their purpose? A kid is supposed to ride around with the wheels so they don’t fall down. Eventually they learn to ride on the main wheels with out needing the training wheels, but what happens when you take them off? The kid is scared and begs you to keep them on, so you do. What did you teach the kid? You taught him to stay “safe”, avoid risk, and to be timid. You taught him that he’s not good enough to ride a bike without training wheels.
The alternative is to gut it out and spend a few hours teaching your kid to ride a bike. Sure, they’ll probably fall down a few times, but they’re not going to get seriously hurt. You’re there to keep them out of real harm, encourage them, and instill confidence. A couple hours later you have a kid who is thrilled he can ride a bike. He learned that with a bit of work he can learn a new skill, he can overcome adversity, and the risk was worth it.
This is where I admire kids who skateboard. I know many people look at them as slackers, but it takes a lot of perseverance and dedication to get up after falling over and over again when learning a trick. These guys and girls literally bleed for their sport and the feeling of freedom they get from skating.
Who do you want to be? Someone who can adapt to adversity and who’s confident in your abilities, or someone who lives in fear of the unknown? None of us wants trouble, but trouble comes into every life, so isn’t it best to be able to deal with it when it comes?
Don’t fall for the training wheel trap. Get out there and try new things. Learn something new, take a chance, fall down and get up again. You’ll be amazed at what you can do when you take a chance and persevere.
Learn a new skill to help your career, bike to work, learn a new language, learn to garden, learn how to get fit, learn to skate – do something!
What have you done without training wheels? What skills have you learned, what achievements have you accomplished that you thought were beyond your ability? Leave a comment or chat with me on Twitter. I’d love to hear about and celebrate your successes.