Success…That one word probably has a different definition or some variation of it for every person reading this article.
I think it’s pretty safe to say, though, that whatever your definition happens to be, if you were asked if you wanted your kids to grow up to be successful, your quick answer would be, “Of course!”
One of my favorite quotes is from beloved American baseball player Yogi Berra, who said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
Yogi had a knack for mangling his words and rendering some pretty funny quotes.
But the profound thing about most of his sayings is that there’s usually a whole lot of truth in them if you look closely enough.
When it comes to being a dad, or anything else in life, if we don’t know where we’re going, we are most certainly going to end up someplace else
In this whole idea of success and being intentional in our parenting, we have to know “where we’re going,” if we are ever going to know whether we’re getting any closer or perhaps heading in the opposite direction.
How Do You Define Success?
If you travel very often, you know that it’s pretty common today for most of us to pull out our smart phones, GPS, or head to the computer when it’s time to search for directions to our destination
You probably have a favorite map program or app that is your “go to” place for routing your trip.
If you are like me, then you have more than once entered your starting location and your final destination, listened to the pleasant voice on the device giving you turn-by-turn directions, only to find out that the destination you finally arrived at is not where you intended to go.
You have a few choices at that point.
- You can try re-entering in the destination address and listening to the dulcet voice on the device saying, “Recalculating,”
- You can try a different map app and hope for a better outcome,
- You can stop and ask for directions, or
- Just give up and head back home.
One of the greatest joys in life is finding and being with a person who is your best friend. A friend who is your confidant in times of trouble and one that you can share a glance with and know exactly what they are thinking.
You imagine finding this person that you can share your craziest dreams with and know that they understand you. You laugh, you cry, you love.
Most people can spend a life time looking for just such a person.
Sometimes, when we are young, we enter into committed relationships having little to no idea what all of that really means and how to find it.
We are blissfully in love with this person who makes us feel good about ourselves and life in general. It seems like the world could completely stop and it wouldn’t matter as long as we had this special someone right by our side.
But sometimes during that first marriage or serious relationship, we begin to notice irritating things about the other person that was probably there all along. But now that some time has passed, we have more time to notice the things that previously we dismissed as quickly as they came into our awareness.
Anyone who’s ever been a parent, including me, knows that it’s one of the most challenging, even terrifying, jobs a person can ever take on
Yes, being a parent certainly qualifies as a job
Not a particularly invigorating or inspirational word, is it?
Instead, the word conjures up all sorts of other words that may include drudgery, responsibility, thankless toiling and labor.
There’s no doubt that being a parent is a full-time job. But the good news is that mixed in with all of those challenges are also joy, excitement, anticipation, hope and great feelings of fulfillment.
The anticipation of planning for a child, giving birth and beginning the parent journey is one of the most exciting experiences in life. Seeing that newborn baby’s smiles and blissfulness rates right at the top when it comes to feelings of contentment and genuine happiness.
And then it happens…
I think it’s pretty safe to say that back to school time every year evokes a variety of emotions in both kids and parents.
Those emotions can span a wide space from excitement and happiness to utter dread filled with anxiety.
For kids who seem to have always navigated their school world with ease, going back every fall is something they look forward to doing. They feel excited to get back into their schedules and routines, they love meeting new teachers and friends and they have a truck load of confidence based on all of their previous school experiences.
If you’re the parent of that kid, congratulations!
But maybe you’re also the parent of a child or teen that can barely stand the thought of another school year beginning. They begin to dread every day leading up to the opening day of school.
Have you ever found yourself trying really hard to be a better listener when your teenager is talking but rarely feeling like you’ve had success. I’ve discovered that many times, I was making some important listening mistakes and I didn’t even know it.
In a recent article in Psychology Today, 9 Listening Mistakes That Will Damage Your Relationships, author Amy Moran says that listening shouldn’t be a passive activity—it requires active participation.
As a parent, really listening to your teen can get pretty dicey at times.
We actually can make the issue worse by how we listen (or not), and how we choose to show up in our teen’s lives when they need us the most.
You can hone your skills by knowing some of the listening mistakes with your teen you may already be making.
Some people are task oriented, while others are people oriented. Some people are more outgoing and some people are more reserved.
Your personality has a huge impact on how you lead.
There are four types of personality styles, DOMINANT, INSPIRING, SUPPORTIVE, and CAUTIOUS. Every personality style has BOTH strengths and blind spots. Being more aware of your personality style will make you a more effective leader.
Let’s look at these four personality styles a little closer:
People who are both task oriented and outgoing tend to lead from the front. Their attitude is “I’m going, follow me!” They tend to lead DIRECTIVELY. They have a DOMINANT personality style.
People who are both people oriented and outgoing, tend to lead INSPIRATIONALLY. They tend to lead from the middle of the pack. They lead by inspiring others to join them in the adventure! They have an INSPIRING personality style.
People who are both people oriented and more reserved tend to lead SUPPORTIVELY. They lead from behind by encouraging their followers or team to accomplish their goals by encouragement and supportive words. They have a SUPPORTIVE personality style.
People who are both task oriented and more reserved tend to lead CAREFULLY. They lead from the side making sure that everyone is moving along together, on the same page and following the same procedures. They have a CAUTIOUS personality style
So no matter what your personality style is, it is important to remember that everyone can learn and grow to become a more dynamic and effective leader.
“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that there are limits.” – Robert Anthony
Previously, I mentioned the term “Limiting Beliefs”. Fears and worries are the key ingredients that make up our limiting beliefs. While the best way to get rid of those limiting beliefs is to turn to positive thinking and turn them into “Empowering Beliefs”. It’s important that we first think more about exactly what empowering beliefs are and how to successfully incorporate them into our thinking habits.
Author Mikael Olsson, in his book Handbook of Success: How to Make Your Life What You Want It to Be, explains some important things about the concept of empowering beliefs. He shares that there are many empowering beliefs that can enhance your quality of life. You can find them by considering what you would have to believe in order to be, have, or do what you want in life.
We must take our Limiting Beliefs and transform them into Empowering Beliefs.
Here is an example:
Limiting Belief: I am a bad influence on my kids through my own weaknesses.
Empowering Belief: There is no failure, only feedback. What we learn from every experience and every response is only information that tells us whether we are being effective or not.
So what are the five steps of breaking the cycle of Limiting Beliefs?
- Discover Parent Limiting Beliefs
- Change Parent Limiting Beliefs to empowering Beliefs
- Discover Child Limiting Beliefs
- Change Child Limiting Beliefs to empowering Beliefs
- Child empowering Beliefs lead to Thinking Their Way to Lifelong Successes
Once you begin to change your own Limiting Beliefs into Empowering beliefs, you can then work on doing the same with your children. In the end, the outcome you want to achieve, is empowered children who know how to recognize their own limiting beliefs and who possesses the tools to change them to empowering beliefs so they can begin to think their way to lifelong successes!
As parents we all have worries and fears.
Statements of fear and worry often provide important clues to the underlying limiting beliefs that are lurking in our subconscious. Those fears and worries are often symptoms of a faulty belief system that we have as adults and need to challenge.
When I conducted a survey asking parents what their biggest fear was in regards to parenting I received the following results.
64% said Personal Failures as a Parent.
15% said Future Success/Happiness of Child.
13% said Safety and Security of Child.
8% said Negative Outside Influences on Child.
Another question I asked was ‘What do you worry most about as a parent?’. Here were the top responses.
26% said Personal Failures as a Parent.
25% said Future Success/Happiness of Child
As you can see, the answers to both questions are almost identical. In order to overcome these fears and worries that I like to call “Limiting Beliefs”, We have to start by intentionally confronting our beliefs and making assessments about which ones are actually limiting us. by intentionally increasing our awareness of our limiting beliefs and how they impact our parenting, we can begin to break this cycle in the parenting of our children. Then and only then can we as parents begin to see the enormous power in being intentional about challenging our limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering beliefs.