One of the greatest life gifts my parents gave me was the dialogue throughout my childhood that I could be or do anything I wanted. They were so convincing that I believed them. The conversations weren’t comprised entirely of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, but were instead always very matter of fact. If I wanted to do something, there wasn’t doubt that it could be done. My parents encouraged me to research it, figure out how to make it happen, and then do it.
Later in life I learned that not all families are so supportive and that my own was probably more the exception than the rule. It was only after realizing that did I become more purposeful and aware of what I was teaching my own daughter.
I don’t want to just give lip service to my daughter on the matter. I want to show her that she can determine what she wants and go after it. I’m not going to blow sunshine and give her the unrealistic expectation that it will always work out, but I want her to recognize the value in trying, and that whether she succeeds or fails, she’s better off for trying.
Who do I want her to be? I want her to be confident in who she is and courageous in what she believes. I want her to be kind and considerate. I want her to be fearless. I want her to take calculated risks and be brave enough to go after what she wants in life. I want her to be able to pick herself up and try again when she fails.
My daughter with my mom, who taught me that I could be and do anything I wanted.
So, how do I teach her these things? I have to be these things. I have to show her how to be fearless and how to be brave enough to go after what I want and try again even if I don’t succeed the first time. I have to be the person I want her to grow up to be. Even when I’m tired or discouraged or just don’t want to care anymore because it’s too overwhelming. It means I have to purposefully plan and do in my life and not just let life happen to me. It means that in being a good role model for my daughter, I have to put forth the effort to live my best life in a way that’s true and authentic. In the end and throughout, we will both be better for it.
About Shanna Goodman
Shanna Goodman is a writer, reader, dreamer (and doer), mom, blogger, marketing professional, and all time klutz. She recently pushed herself out of her comfort zone by vowing to do one new thing a month and lived to tell about it in the book Dignity is a Renewable Resource, available now on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and WindowSeatBooks.com.
Read about the book at:
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