What do we typically do when a baby takes their first step? We don’t say, “It’s about time. Why aren’t you running yet?” We don’t criticize how wobbly it was. Or how little distance was covered. No, we clap, we laugh. And we gently and joyfully encourage more.
And what do we do when we take our first steps in learning a new skill or attempting something new? We analyze and criticize. We reprimand ourselves for not having done it sooner and for not doing it perfectly yet. Think about that baby again. Which of the reactions is more likely to make it keep trying?
We pretend that being hard on ourselves is holding a higher standard. But if you really take a look at the things you’ve attempted in your life. Did it really lead to a perfectly executed result? Or did it lead to you feeling like a failure and a loser? And retreating to your version of comfort and avoidance like shopping or sitting on the couch watching old re-runs of Friends?
Next time you find yourself criticizing your less than perfect efforts picture a yourself as a child. He or she has is proudly sharing the results of their efforts. What do they most need and want right now?
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