3 Simple Reminders to Embrace Change
Lucas, my six year old son just learned how to ride his two wheeler and is having the time of his life exploring his new found freedom. He wants to take his bike everywhere and that includes school.
I feel thankful for his desire to not only get more physical activity but also to ditch taking the bus and go it “old school”, having said that, there’s a decent amount of uphill on his way to school. And with his single gear bike (mom and dad are re-thinking this bike choice) he’s off his bike walking it up the gentle slope to school about 50% of the way.
His pace challenges my own. For as much as I am thankful for his determination it butts up against my need for faster progress and pace. As a new entrepreneur this strong inner drive of mine is being really challenged and some days, just plain beaten down as I face my own mountain of tasks and a pace that reminds me I’m at the kindergarten end of a whole lot of learning.
This is what the kid taught me this morning about me and how I might choose to approach change, whether it’s taking on the challenge of setting up your new business or learning any new mini-muscle or skill:
Pace matters. I wanted to go, go, go. My son rode part way, got off and walked his bike when he was worn down by the hill and repeated this cycle at least half a dozen times. He also stopped and asked for his water bottle a few times (What? A water break on your 15 minute ride to school?) Ironically, he got to the same destination – school – in just a little less time than his older brother and his friends.
Self-talk matters. My messages to Lucas were “let’s go” and “you’re going to be late” and “we need to keep moving Lucas”. Thankfully he was oblivious to my well-intentioned forceful messaging and tuned into his own set of words learned from school like “I am resilient” and “I can do this”. He also had a different attention to the task at hand including a good dose of just plain being in the moment.
Support matters. I want my kids to live in reality, and feel the hard of learning sometimes and that means letting them do things own their own to grow their resilience. So asking Lucas this morning if I could wear his back pack and take the load off as he mastered all the learning and effort of the bike ride to school felt like it lacked some integrity (for me anyway). As soon as Lucas had a chance to ride without it he had more energy for the task at hand and more joy for the learning. It was still a challenging bike ride even without the backpack.
This learning became available as I settled into my own frustration about what it’s like to try and do something new. My frustration with him was mirroring back to me how frustrated I am with myself. Lucas offered up to me a handful of compassionate reminders about what is needed to learn and make progress in what matters to us.
Because guess what? My own arduous ride with Lucas (I’d like to say these lessons were already well available to my heart and mind), was followed by a delicious down hill solo ride, interspersed with bursts of power where I felt my own sense of capability. As the cool spring air brushed over my cheeks and knuckles I realized that it’s pace, compassionate self talk and reaching out for help that can make all the difference in learning and mastery.