In Your Language

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Limiting words destroy potential

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Some of the most well meaning people say negative things about others. Some of the phrases imply grace, understanding, excuses for said person. Though many of these instances have no lingering affects; many people are exposed to damaging thoughts that they internalize and own for themselves whether or not they are true.

I've heard my mother say that I was beyond help in writing in English. Although I could conceptualize that she was frustrated at not knowing how to help me, I still clung to the idea that my writing was not good enough and would never improve. What she said was enough for me to write but only in private as if my words were a source of shame. Perhaps that is a reason why I am writing out in the open now and actively promoting my blog. I have a voice and a perspective that has the same validity as anyone else.

I heard a father say while looking at homework that was assigned to his son "Oh that's way over his head. How do they expect him to be able to do that?" The child was in earshot and not surprisingly, the child did not take well to any attempt of the father to help him with the particular assignment. I've heard people say "X simply can't Y." And, where I could agree that person X may have a hard time with Y, but that is a far cry from not being able to do Y. And wouldn't you know, X does not attempt to do Y.

Before I sound really crude and judgmental, let me give you some amazing examples of people who could have been content at not challenging their abilities. Ultimately, they didn't let others decide for them what they were able to do. I saw a young girl, a daughter of a friend of mine, train for and get her Black Belt while going through chemotherapy. I had a co-worker who's daughter has cerebral palsy go to airline school and be at the top of her class. I know another mommy blogger who's son is doing amazing things for the Kingdom of God despite the fact that he was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other challenges.

I don't think there is anything a person can't do without some support. If you turn a challenge into a team goal, tackling it together could be a huge relationship builder. We are made to test our abilities, to challenge ourselves and the world around us, and to learn from those experiences along the way. We should not relegate ourselves to the limiting things other people have bestowed upon our ears. If ever we should play deaf, it is at those times when others doubt us. 

I think we should lovingly challenge all of the doubts people have in us- even our own doubts in ourselves. We were born to want to know what is inside the cabinet, to crawl through that doorway, to climb to higher ground to see the world through new vantage points. No one has to urge a baby to learn to walk. But we can discourage that instinct and drive. But ultimately, we simply should not limit others on things that have not been pursued. We cannot reasonably say we're awful singers if we never learned how to do it correctly; or say we are bad cooks before we've learned the ropes.

So, like the leading image suggests, please stop saying those limiting things to yourself and others. You'd be amazed and how much you/they could prove you wrong. If anything, I urge you to come along beside them in the pursuit of their goal. Suspend your judgement and just experience life unencumbered by predictions. We all have faulty abilities of foretelling the future. Let it be a glorious surprise.

Recently, I've taken on aquaponics as a new challenge. What have you started to do that you've never done before? How is that going? Please share in the comments below! Thank you for reading.

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