Have you ever had a random 4-year old boy cheering you on as you attempted the monkey bars at the playground? No? Well, I have. This happened to me, recently:
While at the park with my husband, I decided to see if I could successfully swing on the monkey bars. As I climbed up the ladder to make my attempt, I already had it in my head that I couldn’t do it. In fact, as I stood at the top of the ladder, ready to swing, I said aloud, “I can’t do it!”. I didn’t realize I had an audience. That was until a boy, who looked to be about 4-years old, shouted at me, “Yes, you can do it!"
Oh. I guess I have to try now. I put out my arm, grabbed the first bar and…just kind of hung there. The little boy continued with his chant, "You can do it!"
I panicked for a moment and then dropped to the ground, defeated. As we were leaving the playground, the little boy ran toward us. I thought he was going to say, “Bye.”Instead, he looked directly at me and said, "You CAN do it!" Once in the car, the entire scenario that had just played out made me think. In fact, I couldn't shake it.
You see, sometimes, we get into our own heads and think (before even trying) that we can’t do something. Heaven forbid, what if we try and we fail? That is exactly what had happened to me. I felt bad. I didn't want to feel bad. I felt defeated. I did not want to feel defeated.
I knew I had to try again. As we made our way home, we passed another playground.
I asked my husband to stop. I made my way to the monkey bars. This time, they seemed a bit higher to me.
Doubt crossed my mind, again. However, I was not going to let that stop me. Not this time.
I reached out my hand and grabbed the first bar. Rather than reaching and grabbing the same bar, and dangling, I did what you are supposed to do on monkey bars; I swung. And...
I fell on my butt.
My husband laughed.
But, you know what? That’s okay!
The important thing is, I tried. I tried because that little boy believed in me. More importantly, he helped me believe in myself.
Sure, the worst thing that could happen, did. I fell. No big deal. I didn't break any bones. I was never in any real danger. I got up. I will be trying the monkey bars again. In fact, I’ll continue to try until I succeed. Sometimes in business, you are going to be faced with doing things you are scared of doing. Self-doubt will creep in. It’s human nature. When that doubt does creep in; remember my story about the monkey bars. Then, challenge yourself to try. Just try. If your butt (or more likely, ego) gets bruised: that's okay!
Do your best and know that someone, somewhere does believe in you. If not the little 4-year old boy at the playground, perhaps a younger version of yourself; that child that had no fear and could swing on the monkey bars all day long.