I’ve read Michelle Obama’s autobiography “Becoming”. It’s a fascinating book, it’s her life story and talks about how she’s overcome adversity to get to where she is. I have no doubt her and Barack will continue to achieve amazing things for the rest of their lives.
What came out for me really strongly is that she was without a doubt living a life that had the potential to not grow, not to achieve anything or worst-case scenario to end up going down the wrong track.
She made the decision not to. Her parents instilled in her through their whole being and everything they did that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. They put stuff aside, things they wanted to do in order to ensure their kids had every opportunity to achieve what they wanted to do. There was no pressure from her parents to go on and do certain things, it was about enjoying what you’re doing and grabbing or taking every opportunity that you can.
The book finishes when they leave the Whitehouse and how hard they found it handing it over to someone they don’t like or agree with. She talks throughout the book about that fear of failure. How it was so much greater because they are black, therefore you have to fight that much harder to get to what you want.
She was very much aware the whole time that she was being scrutinised more than a white woman would be normally. Woman are scrutinised a lot more than men anyway, what they wear, what they look like, what their hair’s like and so on. Men can just put a suit on every day and no one cares.
Fear of failing
It got me thinking about how easy it is for us to be so aware of everyone around us. Their thoughts, beliefs and potential criticism. It could stop us living our lives to the full potential. Or, it could stop us from achieving everything that we capable of.
I think that is really the case for our children because if we choose not to give them every opportunity, they can’t achieve their potential. I’m not saying that’s an active choice but I think sometimes we can make choices based on our own fears and worries about what may or may not happen.
What people might say or not say, what might upset our child or not upset our child, what they might be capable of doing or what we think they might not be capable of doing. Sometimes we’re right because we know when our kids are in a better place and able to do more and other days they’re not.
Getting out of our comfort zone
We also have a responsibility to help them grow, learn and develop but also help them recognise; well actually today I’m too wobbly and I can’t do that but tomorrow I might be ok to give that a try. To give them that sense of inner belief, security, love and ability to achieve what they want to achieve.
Yes, some of our children will have limitations because of their needs. It doesn’t mean they can’t achieve what they want to achieve. I think we’re seeing so much more now of people with additional needs achieving huge amounts. When the doors are open to them and we don’t hold back on those doors as parents.
For me there’s something powerful about allowing our kids to grow and develop. Yes, using a bit of our own intuition and thinking they’re going to struggle with it a bit today – I’m going to have to really be there for them today. Other days saying do you know what I think they could do more today, let’s push it a little bit and see what they can do.
We grow when we are outside our comfort zone, that’s the same for us as adults. We have to push ourselves to grow, learn and develop. When we do that we see huge shifts in our lives, what we are capable of, what we believe, what we can achieve, our thought processes – everything!
We discussed this topic in my Facebook group. If you aren’t already a member, come and join the community – it’s free! https://www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingNVR/