As humans’ we are capable of so much if the belief, courage, commitment, curioisity and dedication is there. We can be great at what we choose, we can be an influential leader, we can make a difference, we can make an impact, we can break bad habits and we can achieve our goals if we believe we can. Sometimes it takes a child to demonstrate that this is really true.
I met a little girl when I was in my clients office recently. She was eight. She was on school holidays and came in to visit Dad’s work. What initially struck me about her was her beautiful manners and confidence. She bounced in, said hello to everyone, including me who she had never met before, and held conversations with the team. She was just a delight. But what really impressed and inspired me was what I found out when we were eating lunch.
This eight year old girl was telling me how she organised an event for the charity ‘Girls Night Out’ last year and had 150 people attend. She’d also raised a significant amount of money. I was super impressed and asked if her whole school attended but she quickly told me this was not for her school friends, this was for grown up girls. Silly me! To get 150 to an event is a massive achievement in anyone’s book! I wanted to know more! I wanted to know how she did this. And when I asked her the question she said in a very matter of fact way ‘I just asked people to help me, I ask everyone I know’. Of course she did!
She then went on to tell me that she will be organising something this year for ‘Ride for Lily’ but couldn’t do an event until about November because she’s off on a trip to Greece, bless her! When I asked her why she liked to do these things she simply said she wants to help. She hears about these things and wants to lend a helping hand. I think we have a budding Angelina Jolie or Daniel Flynn on our hands. This girl has such a beautiful soul and is thinking about contribution at such a young age. I was super inspired!
What’s the message in this story?
It’s a really powerful one and a reminder of what we are all capable of if we believe we can and reach out to our network. We can do anything if we set our minds to it, ignore the apparent obstacles and stop buying into what other people say we can’t do. This eight year old sets her sights on something and just does it. She involves everyone she knows, age is not a barrier and she has no appreciation of who to ask and who not. And is there such a thing? She calls on everyone she knows and asks the question. There is no obstacle here there are only solutions. It’s the childlike curiosity of ‘how can I do this?’. Why not?
Why not indeed because if it’s not you then who?
This little girl hasn’t yet bought into what people tell her she can’t do, or what she’s not capable of or what she’s not good at. And I hope she never does. We need more of her in our world across all ages. It seems to be a right of passage into adulthood that we take on other people beliefs and opinions and stories and make them our own to our detriment. What a parent said, what a teacher said, what a boss said, what a kid in high school said. By doing this we lose the confidence to be who we truly are and do what we are capable of.
I remember my English teach told me I would fail Year 12 because I was a ‘bad’ at English (sometimes yes!) and my writing was poor. My confidence took a huge dive and my parents decided to get me a Tutor to help me through. Which he did and I ended up being asked to contribute a story I wrote, by my English teacher, into a competition towards the end of the school year. I didn’t just to spite her but I carried the belief that I was bad a writing through most of my life. I certainly had to overcome this when I started my business and blogs were part of my agenda. The fact was I wasn’t bas at English, my English teacher just didn’t like me because I wasn’t the most ideal student and I sneakily ate twisties in her class so she chose to put me down and I believed her! My mother suggested I send her a copy of my book which I would if I could find her!
What are you holding yourself back from doing in your life, business or leadership simply because someone said you can’t? It could be time to think more like an eight year old and just make it happen.