Kids amaze me. I know they are supposed to, but they really do. One of my jobs is to raise awesome human beings and teach them the ways of the world. What amazes me is they often teach me more life lessons than I could ever teach them.
My youngest daughter decided last year that she “wanted to try wrestling.” She is nine years old, so this is the perfect time to try things out and figure out what you like and what you’re good at. I took her to a high school wrestling match last year so she could watch and start to learn. We mentioned to a couple of people that she was interested. Sure enough, fast-forward a few months and a note comes home from school about the local wrestling club. When she started, there were four or five girls participating in the club. After a couple of weeks, she was the only one left.
Of course, the boys “fight” over who DOESN’T have to wrestle my daughter in practice and of course, there have been girls poking fun at her. However, she stuck it out. She thinks it is great that she could be a trailblazer and be the first state placer in this sport from our school. One thing I’ve taught my daughters is, “You are going to deal with jerks your entire life . . . so you might as well start now.” There are always going to be jerks, whether it be at the grade school playground or at work.
Last weekend was her first wrestling match. Yep, you guessed it: she was pinned twice. When we left and we were having a “post mortem” discussion, she said she had fun and learned a lot. Regardless of all of that, I’m just insanely proud of her for trying. Will she be the “first state placer at our school”? Only time will tell. I can assure you that she will do everything she can to learn from last weekend and continue to improve.
You know what? I was 40 years old when I started my business, 45 when I ran a half-marathon, 46 when I did a triathlon and 47 when I got the nerve to run in the “old lady track meet” in town. I’m sure I looked like the biggest dork (it doesn’t take much), but a.) I succeeded in embarrassing my teenage daughter and b.) I met some amazing women in the process. How awesome is it that my daughter is this brave at the age of nine?
My friend Matt Deutsch posted this on LinkedIn the other day: “Fear is as much the enemy of your professional life as it is of your personal life. If you’re afraid to take chances and pursue opportunities and instead opt to maintain the status quo, then you’ll stunt your own growth. Yes, change is scary. Yes, it’s nice to be comfortable where you are right now. But the only way to grow and to do things that are truly extraordinary is to push yourself out of the comfort zone and not allow fear to rule your decisions.”
What is it that inner voice has been calling you to do that you have been too scared to take the plunge? OR scared of what others might think? Are you scared of “failing”? There are tons of business examples out there of “failures” that were retooled and then turned into something great (the Apple Newton comes to mind).
Change is scary but you “never learn to swim unless you jump in the water.”
If you need inspiration to take the plunge, here are some great quotes that I found:
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” —Michael Jordan
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas A. Edison