While at the park this weekend with my two year old daughter, a little boy a few years older than her asked to play with her in the sandbox. They played together for about 15 minutes. Periodically his father would tell him to quit doing certain things that all the other kids were doing. Soon his mother chimed in and told him not to lay in the sand. I didn’t think much of their instructions, and soon the young boy wondered off to play elsewhere.
As we were getting ready to leave the park, I noticed the same boy grasping the next to last rung on the monkey bars. He was trying with all his might to reach the very last bar.
Standing right beside him was his father. “You can’t do it,” he kept repeating to his son. “I know you can’t do it.”
The boy continued hanging on, and with each passing second and “encourage-less” word from his father, the determination on the young boy’s face slowly wilted away. My heart sank as I watched the boy fall to the ground. I can still hear the words his dad told him ringing in my ears as he hit the ground. In a tough love voice he proudly proclaimed to his son …
“I KNEW YOU COULDN’T DO IT.”
And with those words, they left the park.
I’ve pondered that moment at least a hundred times over the last few days. Not because it was a father and a son, but because it is a situation that symbolizes why people so often fail at things.
The world is full of people who will tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams. Prove them wrong and achieve them anyway.
One of my lifelong favorite quotes came for motivational speaker Arthur L. Andrews. While giving the keynote address to our sophomore HOBY Class, he said, “If you don’t want people to rain on your parade…don’t let them know what street it is coming down.”
One of the greatest keys to my success in life has been finding positive people and mentors who are willing to share their success paths with me. Along the way I’ve had many friends and colleagues often tell me in some form or fashion that I shouldn’t pursue the dream or goal. Their laundry lists of reasons they recommended I not move forward was (and is) typically rooted in their own insecurities or selfishness. Sometimes their reasons stem from the belief that if I don’t try, the won’t see me disappointed.
The one thing I’ve realized is for each 10 people who tell you that you can’t, there’s someone else out there waiting to mentor you and show you exactly how you can!
As a mom, I try to be conscious of the words I use with my own daughter. I hope she will learn that the world will be full of people who tell her she can’t … but her tenacity, attitude, and perseverance will allow her to CAN on anyway.
Life, business, relationships, anything that you really want to do well in is within your grasp. Surround yourself with people who believe in your vision as much as you do. Then CAN on.
And when you see a little boy hanging on to a monkey bar with all his might, trying to make the last swing … cheer him on from across the playground. If he falls, take a moment to let him know it’s okay. Practice and failures are what make us grow, and growing and learning are the best parts about each new path we embark down.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tina Bell is the founder of Mended Marketing. She developed her marketing experience serving a variety of industries, mostly in smaller sized companies, where she was hired to build their marketing programs. These experiences provided her the opportunity to wear many hats and learn multiple facets of marketing. She spent over six years in medical marketing, helping build an urgent care business from two urgent care clinics to over 13 clinics in four states. In addition to being well versed in copywriting, grassroots and community marketing initiatives, Tina is a sought after speaker and regularly presents educational webinars. She was ranked the top speaker at the Urgent Care Association of America Conference and spearheaded the development of an online medical training newsletter before she left that industry to start her own marketing firm.