Digging burrows was the favourite pastime of the Green family of gophers. They spent as much time as possible digging deep and narrow tunnels where they could comfortably relax during their downtime.
Grayson was the youngest member of the Green family, but he always shied away from burrowing. He was always nervous that whenever he did build a tunnel, his siblings would tease him about how shallow and tiny it was.
Grayson’s mum noticed her son hiding in the background while the other kids were digging and decided to talk with him.
“Grayson, honey,” she said, “How about joining me and your Papa while we dig our burrows?”
“Aw, Mama, I just don’t know if I have what it takes to be a gopher!” he remarked. “My paws are so tiny and my claws are so short. I can’t possibly dig as impressively as the older kids!”
Mama Green realised that Grayson was comparing his abilities to his siblings’, and offered a word of encouragement. “Grayson, my darling, only you know what’s good enough for yourself. Never mind what anybody else is doing. You have what it takes to dig a burrow that’s perfect for you, regardless of what anybody else says!”
With that word from Mama Green, Grayson felt encouraged, and reminded himself that as long as the burrow was deep and wide enough for his tiny body to fit, it’d be perfect!
He spent the next few hours happily digging away, knowing that he had the ability to make the burrow his own. When he was done, he shouted, “Mama, look! Look at this burrow that I dug all by myself! And it’s just perfect for me!” Mama Green felt pride in her son’s self-confidence and gave him the tightest hug.
“I knew you could do it, son! All it takes is just a little self-belief!”
You won’t know what you’re capable of until you first believe you can do it.
Grayson spent much of his young life watching what his older siblings were doing and comparing himself to them. Each time he did that, he would come up disappointed because he was unable to do many of the things they did.
In Grayson’s mind, doing things the way they did was the only way to achieve the happiness and success that they achieved.
The downside to that approach to life is the possibility of being stuck in the same place for a very long time. Grayson’s self-doubt when he compared himself to his siblings prevented him from trying to dig his own burrow.
The same is true in life for us. We allow others to set the bar for “the ideal accomplishment.” When we fall short, we lose our self-confidence.
Having self-belief is the first step in breaking away from the mould that others have set for you. Only you know what works well for you, so set your own bar and work towards reaching it. That is the true formula for success and accomplishment.
The other person’s shoe rarely fits because your feet are a different size and shape. Declare who you are! Find your own shoes that fit your size and ability.
The best way to avoid disappointment is to avoid the standards that others set and focus on setting your own. Think about what makes you truly happy and start on the journey to achieving that. The people on the outside are incapable of taking your joy away when you hit the mark.
When you know what you want, you start to believe in your ability to achieve it. The next step is to start walking towards your goal with confidence and resolve.
- How do I know when a goal that I set is truly attainable?
- What are some factors that cause me to doubt my own abilities?