How many times do we hear this from our kids, friends, and even strangers.
It always makes me stop for a second.
Our youngest son Will was well-named. He had an indestructible, unchangeable will. So much so that we often called him Won’t.
There’s a problem with that attitude, though. It won’t let anything in or maybe out. It’s a rigid mindset that may give some the illusion of control, but it also stops you from discovering the potential of a BIG YES.
Our growth depends on us saying yes.
“Yes, I’ll give that a try. Yes, I’m not familiar with it, but I could probably learn how. Yes, it makes me a little uncomfortable, but I’m glad to take a shot at it.”
Saying yes, when coupled with encouragement, becomes a growth opportunity for everyone. For the encourager who suggests something new as well as the other, who is being invited out of the comfort zone.
Encouragement is circular in nature. You get back far more than you ever feel you give.
It is so far beyond a pat on the back. At its most powerful, it’s an invitation to recognize something inside you or someone else that may scare you in its potential to take you on a new road.
At times like this, you can remember you are not a Hobbit whose family steered away from adventures (with the exception of Belladonna Took, a suspicious relative of the main character)
We can never stop change, but we can stop our growth by saying we won’t change.
If we do this, we risk being left behind by all of those who answer to the call to adventure, to explore what is possible, what ripples and a life well-lived can produce impact.
When we stop, others keep moving and sometimes leave us behind. That means never knowing what we missed.
“This is the way I am” isn’t written in stone. It could be written as kids do in sand, with the potential of trying on different ways and sometimes erasing the words until it feels so right that we choose that path and learn to walk it, practicing our style in every step.