No matter the sport, I failed with gusto during my school years. I managed to wallop myself in the face playing volleyball, softball made me wince, the most long suffering perfectionist I know gave up on me being a basketball player in just one afternoon, and the list goes on. In short, I stunk.
As an adult, I gave karate a hearty try thinking, “It can’t be any worse than the rest of my dismal resume of athletic attempts. Besides, if I fail at this too, I can always tye-dye the pajama looking get up, so that is my silver lining.” True to form, I messed up big time at my first opportunity to perform solo in front of a full room despite hours of extra practice. With tears of embarrassment still dripping onto my standard issue student uniform, our instructor, Mr. Rountree, addressed the class saying, “I am proud because that took guts and she didn’t quit.” To my further amazement, he continued by addressing me, “Your best is always good enough”…and I believed him.
That brief but powerful statement changed a lot for me. It is now my honor to take pride in my students and there is something to be proud of in each of them. Try beginning a sincere statement with “I am proud of you for…” and see what happens.
Originally published April 1, 2013
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