My wife and I journeyed to North Louisville (er, Southern Indiana) for a friend’s surprise 50th birthday party over the weekend. The space was absolutely beautiful- tucked away in a quaint little neighborhood in the knobs, with views of Louisville that were stunning. We tend to bring our daughter, who is 4, to a lot of events that we attend because we want to expose her to life and we want to include her in things. She is, after all, a big part of our life. I don’t like to only do ‘kid’ things with kids- I think putting them in adult situations is good for their growth and allows them to see how to act in different scenarios.
So at this party, there was a pool that some other kids were swimming in and we came prepared with her bathing suit and floaties so she could enjoy the day. There was this water slide that was a bit bigger than she has ever done and she wanted to go down it, but she was nervous to get started. She climbed to the top of the ladder and started to get excited, upset, scared. If you’ve ever seen a child wrestle with a decision to do something that could be fun, it’s neat to see their thought processes and how they justify things. So my wife and I gave her a bit of a pep talk and some words of encouragement. And she asked to hold my hand to start sliding down. And then something really cool happened…
She started building her confidence up with positive self-talk. It was a small moment, but I was so happy to witness it and catch it on video. And it made me think- how often do we, as adults, give ourselves pep talks throughout the day? Surely the challenges that we have to overcome are different than sliding down a waterslide, but nervousness and self-doubt are things that we all face. And the language that we use with ourselves makes such a difference in how we respond and how we push through those moments.
I know that I was inspired by my daughter to build myself up when I’m faced with those internal voices that try to push me down. And I hope that you can find some inspiration in her tiny voice as well. Remember- you are capable of so much more than you think.