I admit that the title seems quite trivial but it will be worth reading as it will open your mind to a new way of looking at your own life.
Why would I be obsessing over buttoning a shirt button? Afterall, I could devote more time and effort to teach the latest and greatest technologies in educating, advancing and motivating my audience to further their success. But, I choose to look beyond the surface of what we take for granted.
Here it goes: for the past 6 years I have buttoned my son’s shirts for him. After each changing, when he learned how to use the restroom, when he had to get ready to go school, when he needed to change when he played outside and got dirty and muddy. I pushed those pesky buttons through the holes that, I swear, the shirt manufacturers intentionally made so small that not only a child but the parents would not be able to push through!
In all these years, I would verbally tell my son what I was doing. And as he learned to speak he would repeat it with me …..”and now I button up your shirt like this… see?” he would say it was a fact, a law of nature, a never changing cosmic occurrence. Accepted, never questioned and always there like clockwork!
A week ago, out of habit I started to help him button his shirt where suddenly he, in a confident voice, said to me: ” Dad, I am doing it by myself now!” One can imagine the joy of a parent, a teacher or a coach when the person whom they have been teaching says to them “I got this, you need not teach me anymore!” I was ecstatic.
When I analyzed this seemingly simple exchange I realized that reinforcement of an idea, a task or goal alone does not bring it into fruition. The willingness of the person and the time it takes for one to acquire the confidence and skill brings about that change.
As a father, I was teaching a skill and at each step I would take away a step or intentionally(sometimes unintentionally) forget a step but my son was there each step of the way reminding me to get it right. Sometimes he would try to take over from me and fail, get frustrated even throw a tantrum but he always looked up and asked for help. Until he realized that he can do it. And do it better and faster than I. Most importantly, he felt confident in accomplishing such a simple task.
It is about self confidence, isn’t it? It is about having a specific goal that does not change yet acquiring experience along the way by making correct strides, sometimes mistakes, yet never internalizing the steps backwards as personal and more as events to learn from. Along the way, also learning to ask for help and guidance and realizing that this is a sign of strength not weakness. In synergy life expands and thrives.
With each mini success, self confidence is boosted while the focus always stays on the end result. Even if it means buttoning a shirt, or starting a new business, going for higher education or asking for a promotion in one’s career.
I hope this has been informative and inspiring despite its simplicity.
As always to your health and success in all your dreams and thoughts,
Kaveh N. Adel, D.D.S. Personal Development and Life Coach
P.E.R.S.E.K.A. Personal Education Restoring Self Empowerment through Knowledge and Action