When you are approaching something you have never done before, how do you feel about the task you have ahead of you?
You might feel daunted but excited. You might be terrified that you aren’t going to be able to do it. You might worry you will look foolish and fail, or you may be excited at the thought of the challenge.
We all deal with new situations differently. Our reactions will be based on all sorts of very personal factors, including our previous experience of such situations, personal resilience, tolerance for the unknown and more.
We base our feelings for the new project on what we think we know, and on previous experiences.
I have just finished an epic project with my son Marcus. For the last 2 years we have been reading the Harry Potter series together. We started when the great Alan Rickman died and I felt compelled to watch Harry Potter!
I was only going to read the first couple of books to Marcus because he was only 6 when we started, and I thought the later ones would be too advanced, frightening and demand too much emotional maturity from him.
I was wrong. He has grown with and into the books beautifully, and his own reading, language use, imagination and intellect has blossomed from the experience.
I have learned a great deal about the benefits of stepping outside what you think is possible. Had I stuck with my initial idea that at just 6 or 7 year old Marcus wouldn’t enjoy, understand or cope with the later books, we would have missed out on so much enjoyment and shared time, and he would have missed out on many opportunities for literary adventure, and growth.
When I decided to continue with the series, I trusted that he would understand enough to follow the story, that I could fill in any gaps in his understanding, and that he would be able to return to the books in future and get more from them.
Each book that we read together deepened his understanding of the characters, the language used, the complex ideas and the world of Harry Potter, and, although he is now only 8, he really grew into the books.
If you are at the start of a project of any sort, and are feeling fearful that you won’t enjoy, cope or succeed, just work out what is the first step you need to take, and focus on that. You can’t take more than one step at a time, so don’t worry about the rest for now. At each step you can look back and see the gap between where you were and where you are growing. By the time you have taken a few steps, you will be amazed at how far you have come. Each new step reinforces how capable you are of taking the next step!
Share in the comments and tell me of a time when you thought you weren’t going to succeed, but you did it anyway, and you rocked it! I’d love to share in the celebration with you!