A Lesson from LEGO
How do you make something less scary?
Sometimes the answer is to make it more familiar.
Erik Ullerlund Staehr, a LEGO employee, clearly understood that.
He wanted to make it less scary for kids who needed MRI scans completed.
So he suggested that LEGO build models of MRI scanners and distribute them to hospitals so that staff could use them to help kids requiring the scans become more familiar with what happens during a routine MRI scan.
Which, he must have known, would ultimately help to make those kids less afraid.
And so the MRI model shown below is currently being built by LEGO employees around the world to distribute to their local hospitals.
How can you be afraid of something that looks like that, right?
More knowledge won't always help make something less frightening.
I can know everything there is to know about an elephant in musth, but that knowledge won't make the experience of a giant horny elephant charging at you any less terrifying. (Trust me on that one...)
But more often than not, our fear stems from a fear of the unknown.
And once you learn about the thing that's making you afraid, the fear goes away.
Scared of an MRI machine? Let's show you the machine in a more friendly, playful setting.
Scared of dogs? Let's find a canine expert and ask if they'll introduce you to their furry friend, slowly and in a controlled environment.
Scared of having to give a big, important presentation? Start by making smaller, less important presentations in a safe environment, such as at a Toastmasters meeting.
Scared of your new assignment at work? Find people who've successfully completed similar work and ask them for their advice.
You get the idea.
LEGO might be primarily for kids, but this LEGO lesson applies to all of us.