In life, we sometimes have to go through disappointment to come out successful on the other side.
My daughter danced her very first solo on stage today. She was breathtakingly beautiful. Her grace amazes me and to be fearless up on that stage…well, let’s just say she didn’t get that from me. I’m quite certain that I didn’t take one single breath from her first step on the stage until she ran off smiling. She was fantastic.
And during the awards, she earned a high gold, which for you non-dance moms, means she did great! She was all smiles until the “special” awards were announced. With each cheer as another person won an award or reached the top ten, I saw her face fall farther and farther down. She was devastated not to be recognized or hit the top ten of solos.
But, (and here’s the lesson, so pay attention!) this was her FIRST solo. She’s been dancing on the stage for years, but never alone. She’s never had to rely on herself and no one else. She’s always been able to move and work as a team, leaning on the strengths of others as they lean on the grace of her. This wasn’t after years of hard work. It wasn’t even after hours and hours and hours of practice. This was the first of it’s kind for her.
There are people in this world who seem to have it all. They get the top prize every time without really putting a lot of work into what they earn. There are those who just effortlessly sail through and still have it all. But, that’s not what really happens for most of us. The dancers that I know that did get the awards put in hours and hours and hours of work each week. They have been dancing solos on the stage for more than a couple years. They devote their life to dance and it shows.
My daughter loves to dance, but she also loves her clarinet and she loves to use her own voice to make beautiful music. She likes to spend time with her friends and sometimes she just wants to be a kid. She can’t spend the same hours in the studio and still do the other things she loves. For her to be happy, she needs to be well rounded, spend time with her family, AND dance with her team, too.
We talked about the experience this afternoon after she had some time to think about the day. And I asked her what would happen if every time she went after a goal, she hit it on the first try. Do you ever ask yourself that question? What would happen if you hit EVERY goal you set out to reach on the very first try. Would you keep trying? Or would you expect that everything would be handed to you for the rest of your life? Do you know people like this? I’m guessing you do. And I’m guessing you know what happens when you stop trying. The world won’t just keep handing out gold medals forever when you don’t put in the effort. In fact, sometimes even when you DO put in the effort you might not hit your goal right on the head. And that’s ok.
Every time you go for it. Every time you fall just a little short of your goal. Every time you learn from your mistake. That’s when you become a better person.
So what if you didn’t make it into the top ten. So what if you fell down when you were trying to run. So WHAT if you didn’t eat perfect yesterday or today. Learn from it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, hold your head high and remind yourself of the wins that you DID get.
Maybe you still got recognized as doing a fantasic job. Maybe you still finished the race. Maybe you still had 2 weeks of good nutrition in the bag before you fell off the wagon over the weekend. That’s life. The good comes with the bad and we learn from it. And it makes us better people in the end.
What have YOU been trying hard to achieve? What can YOU do to keep going? And better yet…what can YOU do to encourage others that are on the same journey as you.
I know that I would rather be a well-rounded person that is great at failing forward than someone who reached my goal yesterday only to stop in my tracks and never learn how to move forward again.
(And P.S. Although you won’t ever see me dancing on a stage alone…you just might see me giving a pep talk or a motivational speech. My dancer went upstairs with a smile on her face pausing just long enough to kiss me on the cheek and tell me I’m the best rock star pep-talk mom. And that’s failing forward long enough to earn everything I needed to make my day complete.)