Think of All the Ways You’ve Tried to Feel Important
Consider this: You’re Important without Trying
There’s something you have that makes you valuable that’s been overlooked for far too long. The easiest way to explain it might be to tell you about a day I had with my son Evan not long ago.
Struggling and Alone
I’ve written about the struggles I’ve had with my youngest son a few times. When he was younger it was difficult to relate to him in a way that was positive and made him feel valuable. My situation was challenging, and instead of getting support from family, I found myself on my own.
I was trying to do my best all while feeling:
- Unsupported and alone.
- Constantly failing, unable to control the situation.
- Worthless as a parent and a person.
In the middle of all the frustration and loneliness, I discovered something that really made a huge difference in his life, and it made me feel more valuable and in control of my own life.
A Positive Day
Relating with Evan after his mother and I divorced really challenged my abilities to parent. For a variety of reasons things were really difficult not only between us, but for him in general. The way he was dealing with people was not working at all: on one hand he felt a sense of entitlement, but on the other he was so fragile.
Walking that tightrope was challenging, particularly as I strived to lead him toward a better way to manage his emotions. What’s more, it just seemed there were very few days where I didn’t feel all alone to fail time and again in a situation that seemed out of my control.
But there was one particular time we were just having a good day. It was a strong bright spot in the middle of a lot of tough days. On this day there was nothing that put a wedge between us or triggered the usual alerts in my brain that something was going wrong. It was all good.
Something that made it even better was that we were riding our bikes. This was only his second time on his own and he was doing splendidly. He really looked forward to this ride which thrilled me; it could be an active pastime for him to enjoy.
The Steep Turn Downhill
We finished for the day and we headed home, only instead of turning into the driveway, he kept going. I was thrilled he was enjoying himself, and I wanted to encourage him so I went with him. We kept going on the loop around the house.
About halfway around the loop as I rode about 30 feet ahead of him, I heard a fearful exclamation, then a crash. I turned around to see the bike on the ground and heard Evan yell a distinct and singular “Ouch!” Then the pain finally hit and the tears started to fall along with a few loud screams of anguish.
I went to check on him, comfort him, console him. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I saw a child, prone to anger, keeping it all in check and just trying to deal with the pain. Then, as I checked on him, the situation got the best of him and he exclaimed, “Just leave the bike there! I’m never riding it again!”
The Fear Was now Mine
Fear started to overtake me. I was concerned for Evan; his bruises seemed painful yet ready to heal, but his heart wasn’t as prepared.
I worried that he wasn’t going to let me give him the comfort that he needed and he would hold me at bay. I worried that his anger was going to rob him of the joy and freedom of riding. I worried that if he didn’t get back on that horse, he would fear it for a long time to come. I knew I needed to find a way to get him to ride and get past this.
I also knew that I needed to grab hold of my fear too and not let it misdirect me. I needed to be supportive and understanding, yet still creative and quick-thinking. The stakes were high.
So I Swore At Him
As I sat listening to Evan, comforting him, and calmly looking for the opening to make this a better experience, I found it. As he relayed the story of what happened, he was still sobbing a little, talking angrily about how he was sliding across the pavement without the bike.
The memory, in his mind, was vivid. As he recalled it, he slid for about 10 feet on his butt – no bike, no nothing – just his butt and the pavement. The reality was nowhere near as grand, but his feelings were real.
That’s when I saw the opening. I saw the way to change his view. I knew this may be a once in a lifetime situation where I needed to add some frosting to really sell the whole thing, so I did something I just don’t do with my kids – I swore.
“You slid across the pavement for 10 feet without your bike – just your behind?” I asked, crouching slightly in front of him. He nodded through tears. I scooted a little closer and crouched a little lower to be right at eye level. I looked to the right and the left as if I were about to say something I didn’t want anyone else to hear. Then I said clearly and boldly, but still a little reserved as if I were telling a secret, “that sounds bad ass!”
This May Be The Quietest He’s Ever Been
At that moment, Evan said nothing. He didn’t blink. It was clear I had his full attention. So I reiterated: “You slid across the pavement for 10 feet without your bike – just your behind?” He nodded silently, his crying paused and his eyes trained on me. So I once again said, “yeah, that’s really bad ass!”
A smile cracked. The clouds broke. There was sunshine in his eyes and the growing excitement spilled out of his mouth “Yeah, it kind of was.”
“Yeah it was!” I exclaimed.
He could no longer contain it. His face was covered in pride. He now realized he had something much better than a boring old bike ride: he had a story to tell. To him he would have been worse off if he just rode right home, because now he had something worth more than gold – an amazing memory, story, and feeling of self-worth.
For weeks he kept referencing his “Bad A story” with a gleam in his eye and joy in his voice. He told me of the kids he has regaled with his story. It has become a cherished memory. That moment was something that turned defeat into triumph.
Evan found out something that day: perfection isn’t what makes life fun. It’s not the usual that makes us valuable. Part of wowful living is to understand how valuable and capable we are no matter what life throws our way.
Bob Ross, beloved painter and host of the show The Joy of Painting understood this. Not only would he show you in real time how to fix a paint stroke you didn’t mean to make, he dedicated specific shows to what he called “happy accidents”.
What we saw as a smudge became a bush. That accidental swipe became a tree. What started out as something we didn’t plan has the potential to make our canvas unique and more exciting than we had planned.
Dealing with Negative Self-Esteem
One of the most challenging things they neglect to tell you about in Adult School is how incapable you can feel at any given moment in time. You can do everything right and get it wrong.
Perhaps the reason we don’t hear that is because, what we consider wrong often isn’t wrong. We are human and make mistakes. No one enjoys being around someone perfect; it makes them feel inferior. We like people who are like us: fallible and flawed.
The more we enjoy our happy accidents and believe in solutions in the midst of problems, the more we enjoy the wowful living life has for us.
Confident in Your Value and Ability
You are innately valuable and capable of amazing things. We all feel incapable at times, worthless, and unable to make things happen. That doesn’t mean it’s true.
The purpose of Wowful Living is to remind you of who you are so you can you live life:
- Confident in your abilities to make your life amazing.
- Proud of who you are and what you have accomplished.
- Reassured, knowing that you have got this.
- Understood and respected as you help others live a more wowful life too.
You are amazing, capable, and brimming with success. It’s not that you need to change to make your dreams a reality, it’s that you need to tap into who you really are to make your life all it should be.
I’ve Been There
As someone who’s spent way too much time focused on the wrong things watching my life pass me by, I know what it’s like to feel like nothing is working and it’s all up to me. That feeling becomes magnified when you feel like you’re winging it and you don’t know where to go next.
I used to sit on the couch dreaming of success. When I first started working toward a brighter future many years ago, I struggled. After all, it was just me. I would work and work in my basement sometimes until 4 in the morning only to have to get up by 7 to be at work the next day. Although I was excited about what I was creating, I was doing it alone.
I wasn’t an instant success and the people close to me didn’t get what I was trying to achieve. Sadly, they didn’t get me at all. But I kept going. I kept moving forward, and eventually things started to change.
I ended up creating a product that sold internationally in nearly 20 countries on 6 continents. I spoke hundreds of times at universities and Fortune 500 company campuses to large crowds and even crowds of thousands over video in several locations nationally and internationally.
I’ve developed software, products, and workshops to help people be at their best, confident in their abilities, valued for their insights, and respected by those they interact with daily.
I want the same for you.
Uncovering your Amazing
It’s time to uncover the amazing person you are. It’s time to find your strength, purpose, and value. It’s time to fill your life with Wowful Living.
You’re here because you know there’s something special you bring to the world. You want to make a difference, and yet you haven’t found exactly how to do it.
I’ve been there. I know how that feels, and I know how to uncover the truth about who you are and what you can do.
Imagine people turning to you to seek your solution to a problem. Imagine being confident in your purpose and direction. Imagine those close to you being inspired by you and encouraged to live their best lives.
Imagine Wowful Living.
Make Your Life Wowful
You already have the things required to make your life wowful, you simply need a little clarity. Let me help.
Wowful Living is about providing that clarity through encouragement, inspiration, insights, and hope. I share new ideas weekly to motivate and challenge you. It’s time to feel as confident and valuable as you are.
Make the most of your experience by being one of our members. You will be the first notified of new content, exclusive updates for members only, and information on other tools we provide like AweVenture, an app for creating custom scavenger hunts to enjoy active experiences with family, or our upcoming Zombie Goals app to make building positive habits a game.
Best of all, becoming a member is absolutely free! And, if you sign up now, you will receive a free eBook which includes some of the best stories from Wowful Living curated specifically for building better relationships.
Are you ready to make your mark on the world? Are you ready to feel confident in what you can do and valued for who you are?
Are you ready for Wowful Living?
How Much Does This Cost?
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What Do I Get?
As a member you will be the first to be notified of new, exciting content to help you live a more wowful life. I will share encouragement and insights for you to enjoy how valuable you are and allow you to take control of your life.
What Else Do I Get?
Members will get exclusive updates for members only and will be the first to hear about new products we offer that can help them find success. Additionally, those who sign up receive a free eBook which includes some of the best stories from Wowful Living curated specifically for building better relationships.
Do I Get Anything Else?
If you sign up now, you will also get a promo code for AweVenture to enjoy a fantastic scavenger hunt adventure at a member’s only discount. Additionally, you will receive a promo code for a free in game item in Zombie Goals, our upcoming app that makes building positive habits a game.