Another great business inspiration blog post from Tanei.
My daughter just finished swim practice. She was dry and happy to see me. “How was swim team?” I asked her.
“Not fun,” she said. And her face changed. “They were doing things that were too hard for me.”
My daughter is a capable swimmer, so hearing that it was “too hard” did not make sense. I pressed on to find out that she was dry because the game they were playing made her scared and feel like she couldn’t breathe. So, she stopped participating. I pressed some more. She had started crying and told the coach that the activity was “too hard for her.” Then she sat out.
We talked about communicating her needs more clearly. It’s not that the game was too hard. It was that she was nervous and felt uncomfortable in this new arena and she didn’t even know what questions to ask her coach that could improve the situation. We’ve all been there, right? You might be in that place right now. And that is why this story is relevant. Often, as we look at the tasks ahead of us, we feel like we can’t breathe, like we’re the new kid in a new field (cause we actually are), and that everyone around us was somehow better prepared. This frustration often leads to us climbing out of the pool and letting the others go ahead without us.
I am gonna tell you the same thing I told my daughter:
“I am proud of you for trying something new.”
I understand how that feels a little pedantic. But over and over again, my soul is lifted as I see men and women and children around me testing the waters. Trying something new means overcoming obstacles you didn’t know existed and utilizing your current skills to gain new skills. People, that is amazing! Your drive to try new things is inspiring the next generation to try new things...keep going!
“Now, what can you do to make it better next time?”
We will not go from not knowing what questions to ask to being at the top overnight. Some of the attempts at success will inevitably fail. When working towards new heights, you will be required to make small improvements in hopes of achieving goals more effectively and more efficiently. A good way to do that is to be reflective on past experiences and slightly adjust the process for the next round. Writing things down helps me to be reflective. It gives me a chance to relive an experience and glean new insights for my next attempt.
When first starting a business venture, the challenge feels scary but the newness keeps tasks interesting. At some point, the challenges will feel a bit overwhelming and the newness fades, this is when some will exit the pool and dry off. This is my invitation to you to stay in the pool and keep swimming. Even if you are only able to doggie paddle right now, you’re an inspiration to those who can only tread enough to stay alive. Keep your eye on those who are ahead of you, know that if they’re any good they are still asking themselves what they can do better, too.