More lessons from my 9 year old childcare kiddo.
He was anxious about presenting his recitation in class today. The worry was present in his body and he said to me, "Ms. Shel, what if I fail? What if I get a big fat ZERO. That's an F Ms. Shel. I got a C on my last recitation and if I have to stop and start again three times I will get an F."
I could see his pain and he just couldn't let go of the worry of failing. So we practiced and practiced and one part of the recitation he continued to doubt himself. I told him, "buddy, you've got this! You've been practicing for weeks. You are someone who always works hard, doing your homework and studying. I am not worried about you." And I shared with him all my struggles when I was in school. I asked him if he thought I was smart. (His sister said no......she's so funny yet not very helpful when I'm trying to teach him a lesson). He said "yes Ms. Shel, you are smart and you love to read. You are really good at reading, it's your best subject." I smiled as I shared that I was the girl who got D's in school and even an F on my final English project my senior year of high school. That trying your best doesn't always mean you will get an A, but knowing that you are someone willing to learn from those mistakes and growing, learning, and getting better at the things we are learning is what makes us human.
He recited it to me again and this time he felt more confident and he got all the way through it beautifully.
Often times we as adults fear failure so much that we don't even try. We attach our identity to failing a task with the thought, "I must be a failure." It is not true and not helpful to think of ourselves this way. To tie our identity to what we can and can not do is never a good way to desire ourselves.
So many times in my adult life I'd go back over the old story of my childhood D's and that darn one F and make it mean that I couldn't learn new things? I'm typing on my computer and did you know that for years I told myself that I was just not smart enough to figure out how to use a computer?
I turned a digit around in accounting 2 class my junior year of high school and for the life of me couldn't find my accounting error for a project I was working on. My aunt Sherri who was an accountant couldn't even find my error. I felt like a complete idiot. I was thankful that my accounting teacher had a lot of kindness and helped me discover the error before I turned the project in.
My brain loves to offer evidence from my past to support not wanting to try something out of fear that I will make a mistake. But that is the beauty of mistakes, I get to learn from them. I'm still learning, the mistakes will still continue because I am human. We make them. They don't have to define us.
I work hard at no longer defining myself by what I can or can not do. I am a lot more willing to make mistakes with out beating myself up for them. Being willing helps me to tap into my belief system and work on my thoughts about who I am and what I'm capable of. Which is a lot more than I used to be willing to discover because the fear of failure, of not being perfect can really mess up our goals in life.
For those of you who say, "I just can't lose weight, I've tried and failed over and over," I offer to you that by learning to work on discovering why those thoughts exist in the first place can help you change direction and really become the person who can lose weight. Or maybe you are someone who is afraid to change careers, heal a broken relationship or finally let go of overwhelm and live a calmer, more peaceful life. Life Coaching is a wonderful way to work with a coach who will help you see that allowing mistakes is just a part of being human and deciding to work on your thoughts can make the greatest impact for change in your life.
I'd love to help you. Send me an email and let's work together to discover how mistakes are no big deal and other amazing tools to help you overcome the areas in life that no longer need to be a struggle but amazing lessons in being a human.