blogging, Building self-confidence, Friday Fixes, Friendship, learning, Wisdom, Wisdom Wednesdays, Writing

Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Believing in Yourself

 “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

                                                                ~Henry Ford

When my daughter was in 6th grade, I was a fortunate to be picked to chaperone her, a handful of students, chosen to participate in a team-building and leadership academy located near Washington, DC.  

Throughout the day, the children were placed in various groups and given mental and physical tasks to complete, having to rely solely on the abilities and instincts of one another.  The final challenge was a 15 foot (4.6 m) smooth, vertical wall that they were assigned to scale in five minutes with only the aid of another student.  Both children had to reach the top of the wall within that time frame. I watched, hopefully, while several groups tried a similar technique of boosting their partner to the top and afterwards attempting climb the un-notched wall to their waiting teammate’s outreached hands.  Their efforts were fruitless.

My daughter was paired with her friend Emma, a girl she had known since babyhood. Neither of them were particularly athletic, or tall; just your average 11 year-olds.  They began much the same as the other groups, with Emma’s feet on top of my daughter’s shoulders. When Emma grasped the top edge of the wall, my daughter grabbed her feet and helped to push her to the top.  With her friend at the pinnacle, my daughter confidently walked about 20 feet away from the wall as Emma secured her legs on the top and reached out. Then, they locked eyes and my daughter began running.  In a moment I’ll never forget, my daughter ran to the wall, scaled two-thirds of it in that same running motion, clasped Emma’s hands, and in one swift motion was pulled to the top, never breaking eye-contact with her friend.  It was one of those millions of times when I wished that I’d been filming her.  Their actions looked superhero-ish and miraculous. It was as if two little girls, for a few brief moments, had been blessed with superhuman powers.

After a myriad of high-fives and congratulations from classmates, my daughter finally reached me.

” That was amazing! How on Earth did you do it?” was my first response.

  “I just knew I could. I saw myself at the top and ran,”  she replied.

Fifteen years have passed since my daughter’s Matrix-like climb.  She’s been through many changes and challenges since then. Life has continually and  generously handed her its share of natural ups and downs.  When things get tough, I never fail to remind her that she’s a wall climber from way back. I tell her that she has the amazing ability to focus and run swiftly past her doubts and fears. The pinnacle is always there for those who believe they can reach itWe all have a little bit of superhero in us–the trick is believing that it’s there!

******When in life have you amazed yourself?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Don’t forget to stay tuned for Friday Fixes, where I’ll be discussing some of the things I’ve learned about building self-confidence through my Lifestyle Education Classes!

24 thoughts on “Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Believing in Yourself”

  1. I remember my first chaperone experience. I walked past the teachers on the bus, to the back of the bus. They all looked at me like I had 2 heads. It was about 1/2 an hour into the bus ride that I realized the wisdom of sitting at the front of the bus. I had a headache from all of the singing and chanting from the kids. Oh my! I have a similar story about one of my boys. He wasn’t/isn’t a great athlete, but he really wanted to pitch in a game. I told him he was going to pitch and before the game started, I went out to the mound and told him not to worry, the worst that could happen is the other team would score 6 runs and the inning would be over. He proceeded to strike out the first 7 batters he faced. He amazed me and taught me a lesson never to underestimate the perseverance of children. 🙂

    1. That’s a great story! You are a very encouraging parent for your child to be able to pair his skill with his confidence and do so well!

      The back of the bus is the worst! The bus fumes always make my head hurt!

  2. That’s a great story. I amazed myself when in the midst of a deep and dark depressive episode (I’ve never taken medication for my bouts of depression/panic attacks/anxiety/agoraphobia) I managed to not only book and arrange a fabulous trip to New York and onward to Harry Potter World in Orlando but I managed to make the trip, anxiety laden, terrified of flying AND what’s more I managed to go on a roller coaster (terrified of them), all because my kids had had a crap year and I thought they deserved something special, I just lifted out of the hell somehow and if I’d not been in the hell I would never have allowed myself to spend that much money or been that spontaneous so thank goodness for hell sometimes.

    1. That’s amazing! If there’s anyone that I would pull myself out of hell for it would be my kids. You were extremely brave, and your children are so lucky to be appreciated by you! I hope the trip showed you that there are demons that are conquerable–and that it ended up with you feeling uplifted and happy. Thank you so much for sharing and visiting! 🙂

      1. It goes down as one of the best family holidays ever, took us a year to pay for but it was a real turning point for us/me, we all needed it in so many ways and it just made me realise that I could still live.

      2. That’s wonderful. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and overspend–after all, life has to have some enjoyment in it! I’m glad it made you appreciate life more! 🙂

  3. I really like this post . We all need to be reminded of the great things we once achieved when we are broken or ready to give up as those memories boost our morale and help us in making another one of those stories . I am a really shy person and usually avoid public speaking or scenarios in which I have to face an audience . Few semester back , I and my friends decided to participate in one of the competitions in which we were asked to make a business plan and present it in front of a group of people . I was really afraid but my friends trusted me to be one of the presenters although we didn’t win the competition but we qualified for the second round that was a big achievement . I did what I was afraid of and didn’t let my friends down . We were our own support and strength .

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! My youngest daughter is also quite shy and public speaking was terrifying to her. As much as you dreaded doing this presentation because of your nerves, I’ll bet you felt high as a kite after it was over! You should be so proud of your accomplishment–the winning in this competition was finding your own bravery and not letting down your friends. You’re so right, remembering the great things we’ve achieved makes us our own best example. You should feel very good about yourself. 🙂

  4. I remember that day with awe. It was the first time I began to think that maybe the best thing I could do for our kids was probably stay the hell out of their way as they strive to achieve things…maybe help out when it is within my powers to help. But one thing is certain: you sure taught them well that they can do whatever they set their minds to!

    1. It’s always good to be surprising every once in a while, isn’t it?! You’re so very right, when we really want something, all we have to do is put our mind to it and we CAN do it! 🙂

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