Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stomping Foot... Sticking Out Lower Lip...

I give up. As of late, I have been trying something new with very limited success. Every time I make a little progress, I basically get my hopes quashed when I compare myself to others - others who are more experienced, with better equipment, smarter, more naturally gifted...

This is exactly how I was as a child. I rarely stuck with anything that required work because I could not handle being less than THE BEST after just one practice. *I* wanted to be the prodigy. *I* wanted to wow my coach. *I* wanted to be the shoe-in for a win. *I* wanted to be the go-to when they just simply needed the best person for the job.

Swim team. Softball. Flute. Academics. Piano. Cheerleading. Photography. Teaching. I sucked at it all.

No, strike that. I didn't suck at all of it. I just wasn't the best one. And for some reason, that has stuck with me all these years. WHY IS THAT??? I still have an emotional block when I can't succeed at a pace pre-determined by me. Whether or not that pace is realistic is of no concern. What matters is whether or not I'm progressing by leaps and bounds and accomplishing things to show for it.

First place ribbons. Trophies. Accolades. First Chair. Awards. Recognition. I always fell short. (Okay, honestly, I did get first chair flute once - when I picked an especially tricky song and challenged the cocky first-place-private-lesson-taking Geri. Our band teacher taught me how to play it really well, and I slammed her. I was first chair for a whole three days. I didn't even care moving back down. The victory was so sweet.)

I should be a role-model for my children of how to accentuate our strengths and not dwell upon our weaknesses. But really? I pout when I don't do well. I'm embarassed when I fall short of perfections. I don't like to be teased, even sweetly or innocently, when I've failed to be the cream of the crop.

So, I know I've got a whole bucket-load of solutions on my hands here: accept my natural limitations and move on. Give up on my goal. Keep pressing on to get better and choose to be blind to my limitations. Poke fun at myself and beat everyone else to the punch. Find some new activity to lock my attention onto.

So, when something you really want to do - and do well - keeps eluding you despite your best efforts, what do you do??


Wendy said...

My husband doesn't want anyone else in the world to wash his socks.

My kids don't want anyone else in the world to be their mom.

I make a contribution to my friends that they couldn't get exactly like me anywhere else.

What I write isn't the biggest or best or most popular... but if one thing I write makes a difference to someone else at some point...

Then I'm alright with it.

No one else can be me. That's a heady proposition.

Jennifer said...

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming...

You get the idea. You aren't beat until you give up.

Swizz said...

I am the same darn way. If I can't be GREAT at it, then why do it?

Blogging has changed that, a little bit, for me. I thought at first I wanted to be the BEST and have huge numbers and followers and have hundreds of comments.

Now I'm fairly content to have a handful of followers and a few people who comment and just have a forum where I can say what I want when I want.

It does feel yucky not getting it perfect the first try or two, though, doesn't it?


There is one person out here in blogland that will never tease or poke fun at you and his name is The Old Geezer. When I went back and forth with you on "The Comment"
post I soon realized this young woman from Texas is no one to mess with. You remind me of my mother, who by the way, was born and raised on a farm in Texas. When she was alive her favorite bumper sticker was "Don't Mess With Texas". I have the utmost respect for you and would venture to say that you are a very good example to your children.

I really don't know how to answer your question because I've never been a goal setter or been anything but average at my attempts to accomplish something I thought was important at the time. When I failed I just figured it wasn't Gods will and moved on.

God bless you and have a
Great Palm Sunday


Anna See said...

i usually pout and give up. flattering, huh?

Emily said...

I actually don't have any advice for you...but I see some good advice in the comments! Especially that first one...that was good.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I prefer to set my own standards wherein I am unquestionably the best. Because it has already been I'm always right. The end :)

I'm sure you are far & away better at many things than I am; I just won't specify out loud. heh

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Forgot the word 'established' because of my iLover being feisty. Not my error because? I am right and The Best. ;)

Bear and Bones Mama said...

I just keep going with it. I pout a bit in teh beginning, make excuses. I realize I'll never be the fastest or the best, but I just keep on going. I realized the best person to compete against was me - just a little bit better next time, or maybe the time after that, or, well, maybe that was just my PR. it's all good. Remember: everything will work out exactly as it should :-)