Be Bold, Make Mistakes, Repeat.

Dear Readers,

Today is International Women’s Day- YAY WOMEN! There is so much that we can do and there is no limit to what we can try so I say, tell them to try it all.

Reshma Saujani is the founder of  “Girls Who Code” and gave a powerful Ted talk a few years ago about teaching our girls bravery, not perfection. She tells a few stories about how she attempted running for office and failed at it in a very public way.

I have to say I think this is easier said than done, and I absolutely know it’s possible.

In the early days of my academic career, I spent a lot of time telling myself I was not good at math and even made the joke “Numbers and I have a fractious relationship” but all joking aside, this was something that definitely held me back in more ways than one.

Thankfully, I had a college professor who finally opened my eyes to the fun and excitement of mathematics but I often wonder what would have happened if I had told myself a different story. Certainly I plan to encourage my daughter to try things that are hard to and to keep trying especially when it’s hard and as hard as it is to watch, encourage her to dare greatly.

My issue is that I always want to be wonderful at the start of anything that I do, and that simply isn’t possible, since you have no idea how to do something you have never done, so you should be prepared to not be great at the start.

When I did my first 5 K in 2014, I definitely wasn’t wonderful- I had good friends to support me when I did that first walk/run and it was not great, but it was a starting line and definitely not a finish, but it did lead to a recent running success.

But it got me thinking, even as a runner, which I definitely am a runner.

Even after multiple races and workouts, I still feel a little like an impostor when I put on the shoes and the headband and get running on the track or treadmill, like any second someone is going to come along and say, oh, you don’t know about mileage and sprints and other running things (maybe I just haven’t learned them yet?) so you aren’t really a runner. It’s pretty easy to surmise that one might feel this way about other roles in life. Perhaps Motherhood?

As I type this, my child is asleep and peaceful, any second she could wake back up (Please Vivienne, stay asleep) and I will be faced with the choice, do I go get her? Do I let her cry it out?  Despite the fact that I have already fought this battle a few months back and opted to let her “cry it out” the choice is always there when the situation presents itself. The back of my brain maliciously whispers,, “A real mother would know what to do”,

I am stopped by this and the guilt starts up and then I remember, I have a tool to help defuse that bomb. I simply have to refute that fear-based statement with truth.

I am a real mother. I don’t always know what to do. I know what feels right to me, and her reaction helps me know if it was the right move or the wrong one. It’s a lot of troubleshooting and instinct, as my mother of choice told me during those first days in the hospital.

My pediatrician says she apologizes to her kids when she makes mistakes and then went on to say that she does make mistakes and it’s important for our kids to know that. So if a medical professional who went to school for years and years and has been practicing on other kids for years and still screws up with her kids, what makes me think I am so different? I found that to be a bit of a relief and thought it might be for you as well.

I am sure I am not alone, which is one of the main reasons I decided to write about this today.



Think About It….

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