And how to look at it safely
Sometimes my youngest son has problems falling asleep. He keeps getting out of bed to check in with me, he’s too warm, too cold, wants to listen to a story, comes up with some great ideas that he wants to start realising straight away etc etc. Yesterday was no excuse and after a good 1,5 hour I went in to talk with him. I asked him if he had any extra problem that he was thinking of that couldn’t make him sleep, and it turns out he had. He was worried there was a monster under his bed. When I asked if he had checked it out he just looked at me as if I was just a bit too stupid, then calmly said you cannot do that. Looking in under the bed, a few centimetres from a monster would just be foolhardy and amazingly naïve. I then told him I had a trick I used to do myself (and still actually do every now and then but that I didn’t tell him). I get a good view under the bed, BUT FROM FAR. I stand as far away as I can in the room, then get down on all four to check to danger out. That way nothing could take me, hurt me or attack without some kind of safety distance.
Whatever problem I might encounter, taking a few steps back to look at it from a distance gives me a safety buffer and the possibility to see things in another way.
This technique seemed to calm the boy down and he fell asleep shortly after. But just a little while later I was myself in bed and couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about seeing problems and risks and realised that what I just told my son was in fact a great knowledge. Whatever problem I might encounter, taking a few steps back to look at it from a distance gives me a safety buffer and the possibility to see things in another way. If I try to look at a business risk or a personal failure from a distance the impact it might have on my life might not be as harmful as I first thought. So, let’s face all possible threats with the monster in mind, take a few steps back, and then see if it’s actually as bad as we first thought. It could be that the monster is tiny, fluffy and just eats ants.