What if we are more likely to win than to lose?
I was with some fellow moms this morning, Coke in hand, talking about how crazy fatigued I feel. (I realize I should be drinking something like kombucha, but I had one bad experience with the gelatinous blob, and it’s been hard to pick one up since then.)
We talked about how badly we want our kids to succeed in life at things that really matter, but we’re often afraid that they might not. We talked about pressures to put them in certain activities that might give them a leg up or even get them a scholarship to college one day. We talked about how we have days that we feel like we’re failing, in every possible way.
Our kids were splashing in a pool nearby, completely oblivious to all the intense demands of their tiny little lives. And then it occurred to me.
What if we are very likely to succeed in life despite unavoidable mistakes?
Here’s what I mean. I am currently treating my life as if I’m on a perpetual balance beam, and one step in the wrong direction will result in complete failure. Disqualification. A 2 from the Russian judge. My kids fail homeschool, and we all end up living under a tree.
What if I am actually living on the equivalent of a wide open plain, a place that is full of different options that will work, sidesteps that will lead to the right outcomes, and possibilities that are likely to result in success? What if I am more likely to win in life than to lose?
I’m sorry to say my natural bent is toward the negative. It started as a young child, when I wrote my first song that contained the lyrics, “I’ve been so bad, Lord it makes me sad.” That song was a huge hit in my bedroom. But as an adult my fears have often kept me up at night. What a loss of my precious time and energy. How can I ever expect to thrive under the heavy weight of negative what-ifs? I’ve given myself no room for hope.
I’m not downplaying hard times or suggesting that positive thinking will make everything in life happy and shiny. We have some monumental challenges in our home. However, my kids are walking around breathing and stuff. They survived crib bumpers and un-cut grapes. My husband and I have overcome many obstacles and still like each other. Yet I stay busy lamenting the challenge, the growth edges, and the future. I am focused on the 2 percent and not all of the things that are going right.
What if I woke up each morning and focused on ALL of the good?
I am reimagining that conversation by the pool. “Yah, I am just rocking this mom thing. My kids are going to really be wonderful human beings.” It’s kind of sad how weird that would sound.
Instead of having to try my very hardest to not fail as a mom or teacher or wife, I plan on seeing myself as very likely to succeed. I’m turning my negative what-if’s into positive ones. What if everything works out? What a difference that could make in my soul, in my sleep, in my approach to the inevitable ups and downs of life.
If you also battle fear or negativity in your mind, I would love to hear what has worked for you to overcome it.