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"I saw a bear," she sniffled between tears and pointed down path. "There's a bear down there."
Now, to teenage boys looking for adventure, thought of catching a bear was, well, almost unbearable. Without saying anything, I ran back to tent to look for anything even remotely useful to bear-catching. The best I could do was a fishing pole and an old Army blanket. I raced back to where Michelle and Shane were waiting. "Okay," I said, "show us where this bear is."
We walked, slowly but every so stoicly down road to where bear was waiting.
The narrow path curved and angled up. Shane and I stepped carefully, attuned to every sound. Just at top of hill Michelle whispered, "THERE!" and pointed to a thicket of blackberry bushes.
Shane and I peered into thicket. Something was in there, that's for sure, but we couldn't tell what. We were not, however, going to go through all of this without having *some* story to talk about so we quickly formulated a plan: Shane would take fishing rod and I would take blanket. We'd approach from two different sides of bear quickly, to surprise him, and I'd cover bear with blanket and Shane would beat poor animal down.
It sounded good. And it worked. Yes, our little plan worked. We had captured our prey!
Unfortunately, our prey turned out to be a gnarled old tree stump that, we had to admit, looked like a small bear when viewed from just right spot along path. Of course, we gave my poor sister endless grief for being afraid of a "little old stump."
We didn't catch a bear that day but we still took something from that adventure. We took lesson that much of what we fear doen't really exist, and if it does exist, it's probably worse in our imagination than in reality. We learned that instead of running scared just tackle your fears head-on and you can overcome them. And we still have a great bear-hunting story to tell.
Jim Allen is a professional life & business coach. For more ideas, subscribe to his free bi-weekly ezine, THE BIG IDEA, by sending a blank email to: SubscribeGA@CoachJim.com