A leadership development resource
from the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.
On the Horizon This Issue:
Mind Over Water
How do you get past those things that keep holding you back?
Keynotes from the Institute
Relief from E-Mail Overload
Mind Over Water
by Andy Kaufman
“Look daddy! Want to see me swim?”
The enthusiastic question comes from my five year old daughter this last weekend, moments before she takes another plunge into the water, showing off her newly found love of swimming.
She bobs up some 5 feet later, with water streaming down the world’s biggest smile, the look of pride beaming like a billboard proclaiming, “Isn’t that the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, Daddy?”
My wife and I appropriately go crazy, sloshing wet high-fives and belting out boisterous “Yahoos!”, as if our favorite sports team just won the championship.
You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal
about a 5 year old swimming?” Let’s face it… Most of us know some
kid who was dunking their head under and flailing on their own at age three
The reason behind this tsunami of pride and joy comes from the fact that this is the same girl who, only a couple months ago, was absolutely terrified of the water.
Truthfully, the problem wasn’t the water. She was happy to dangle her feet
in it. Or let me hold her around the pool. Or, in a burst of courage,
try it on her own—as long as she had her trusty “floaties” (inflatable
bands that go on the upper arms). But start a conversation about swimming
sans floaties (crossing the critical line between head above sea level and
head below) and it was an instant therapy session.
But not now. Something clicked. Something changed in this little princess’ head, reframing swimming from an act of terror to a feat of accomplishment. “This is easy! This is fun!”
“I am a swimmer.”
Can you think of a time when something finally seemed to click for you? When it went from being scary or not possible or overwhelming to a thing of relative ease or even joy and satisfaction?
Do you remember how that felt?
With surprising clarity I remember the transition from training wheels to a two-wheeler. I had been such a wimp.... Riding down the street with my two-wheeling buddies, pretending to be OK being the boy on training wheels. But I wasn’t. And a couple days later they were gone. “Look daddy, I can ride a big boy bike!”
As an adult I easily remember the days when speaking in front of a group of even ten people would so freak me out that I had trouble sleeping the night before. “Do this for a living some day?” Yeah, right.
Well, twelve years later it is not only the focus of my business and career—it’s one of the favorite parts of my job, whether before groups of 10 or 10,000. Who would have thought? Not me!
What’s your story? What made the difference?
Click here to read the follow-on entry in our Leadership in the Real World blog for a chance to tell your story (and learn how to get past those areas that are still being held back).
To your success,
Speaker, Author, Consultant
President, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.
Keynotes from the Institute
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Stay in Touch!
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