I have an amazing daughter. Her name is Holland. Holland has been singing since the age of three. Not professionally mind you, just singing because she LOVES it ❤ I remember a particular day when I picked her up from preschool and her teacher enthusiastically announced, “Holland doesn’t just talk to us, she sings.” When informing the teacher that she was going to get her backpack, she did it in a song instead of plain ole words. Singing has always been a part of her.
As she has gotten older singing has evolved into an intense passion. She has spent several years in voice lessons to strengthen and refine her gift, and she has put herself out there to perform for others. Over the last few years, she has participated in three auditions for The Voice and X-Factor and auditioned for a theatre conservatory as well. One of the qualities I love most about my daughter is her capacity for perspective. Although she works hard and goes after what she loves, she has been able to maintain such a good balance of not letting audition outcomes define her or her concept of success.
Auditions have been such a great time of connecting and experiencing new things for both of us. Three-quarters of the fun is the time spent waiting, having great conversation, meeting new people, and the sheer anticipation of it all. But to be honest, we would not be able to enjoy ANY of it if the ultimate goal was her making the show. We would be so wrapped up in that one specific objective being the end-all, that we would miss out on everything else that encompasses the whole experience. I would love to say that when she first began putting herself out there and auditioning we already had this perspective, but we didn’t. At least, I didn’t. I thought the best thing ever would be for her to get on the show. I still had a kink in my think.
I would also love to claim that this kink has only obstructed my thinking in this one area, but it hasn’t. As that knot is slowly beginning to break loose and unwind, I can see several areas of my life where it has prevented me from embracing things with a healthier perspective. There are so many arbitrary ways that I have defined success and anticipated outcomes. There have been countless days wasted with unnecessary weeping and the crushing pains of disappointment because I didn’t hit what I perceived as the mark. I have convinced myself that I have failed, when all along, it wasn’t truly about that elusive “thing” (whatever it was) way out there. It was the process that mattered then and it is the process that matters now.
When I keep my mind keenly focused and locked tight on what I view as the ultimate goal (that job, that relationship, that win) I shrink my capacity to see the big picture and grow. In my attempt to improve my life, I damage it. Steal from it. Pillage it. Dwarf it. All I can do is keep my eyes on what was not, missing entirely the what is unfolding before me and happening all around me. In essence, I hand my life away. When this happens I need to reevaluate the situation and ask myself a few questions:
- What was it exactly that I was expecting from this situation?
- How did I use my own mind to help create this expectation? (It’s all in your imagination…)
- How can I look at this from a different angle?
- How can I use this experience to make movement forward and enrich my life?
- What can I take from this experience to help others?
Knots are made to hold and secure things, but knots can also be undone. Sometimes, we simply need to quit pulling on their ends and reinforcing their grip. Other times, we need to tear that bad boy apart. For me, making a commitment to slow down and embrace the entire process of life’s situations as they unfold would be a great start. Changing my perspective and viewing the journey of the goal as a more coveted prize than the goal itself should loosen this knot nicely. How do plan on undoing the kink in your think? Share below ❤️