I saw the dumbest baby the other day. It had to be at least 6 months old & it wasn’t walking, talking or potty-trained. It’s basically screwed. No way it’s on track to be reading by 18 months.
I felt bad for its poor parents. What do you even do in that situation? Berate it until it performs better? Give up on it and have a new one?
Or maybe recognize that no one would ever say any of this.
So why am I? Because I see (and do) things like this on a daily basis.
I see it when people 6 months into recovery judge themselves for not having their lives together yet.
I do it when I judge myself for not having my act together with the business I started 6 months ago.
And, as easy as it is to say, “we should stop doing that & be kinder to ourselves,” I think that’s the worst kind of advice. Mostly because it sets us up for more self-indictment. “Oh, so I should just stop doing this? Hmm, well I told myself to stop and it didn’t happen, so guess that’s another thing I’ve failed at.”
Here’s what does work for me: drawing parallels.
It’d be weird if a 6 month-old was walking, talking & potty-trained. Similarly, it’d be weird if someone had their life together 6 months into recovery. And, as much as I struggle with this one, it’d be weird if I had my act together 6 months into starting a business.
And let’s take it a step further: can you imagine how much damage you’d be inflicting on a 6 month-old baby if you actually thought it was a dumb because it wasn’t walking, talking or potty-trained yet? If you called it a no-good, worthless failure? If you decided that it was going to be one for the rest of its life and treated it accordingly?
Not pretty, huh? The therapy bills alone…
So how about we stop inflicting the same damage upon ourselves? Let’s stop setting unreasonable expectations. Let’s acknowledge where we are in our journey & recognize that time takes time.
Will the baby eventually walk, talk and be potty-trained? Yep. Will the recoveree eventually have their life together? Probably. Will I eventually have my entrepreneurial act together? Fingers crossed.
All in due time.