What can you learn about business and life from potty training?
More than you might expect!
Upon writing this, I have just completed five intensive days of being a full-time mommy so that I could potty train my child. Up to this point, we have tried a few different things and we’ve made several attempts that just didn’t stick, so I set aside five full days to focus exclusively on “Ditching the Diapers!”
After we finished (pretty darn successfully, I might add), I reflected on what I got out of the experience and I realized that the truths I learned very much apply to business and life. So, this week I am sharing them with you!
Here are Tara’s 12 Truths about Potty Training and Life:
Truth #1: Do Your Research and Have a Strategic Plan
This was huge! When we first started, people gave me all kinds of advice that just didn’t work for us. So, I did some research, found out where I was philosophically aligned, and made a plan that felt in alignment with my son.
Truth #2: Making a Courageous Leap into Something New Can be Scary
A lot of fear came up for me. I had so much anticipation around what could go wrong. And, as I prepped my son, Connor, I realized that although he was excited, he also had some trepidation as well.
Truth #3: See Your Fear as a Signpost Pointing You in the Right Direction
Usually, the things in life that scare us the most are the ones that are really worth doing.
Truth #4: We Often Don’t Feel Ready when in Fact, All Indicators Show that We Are
I read many books on potty training to find out whether my son was “ready”. Turns out that he had all the indicators listed in the various books that show that the child is ready. Part of this is about looking for the evidence to support that you are ready—because you likely are!
Truth #5: It will only be Harder the Longer You Wait
When you feel called, that’s the time to act. The longer you sit on something, the more your saboteurs can move in and create resistance, which will make your process harder.
Truth #6: We Thrive on Structure and Ground Rules
…Even if we resist them initially. I have a huge value around freedom, so I tend to resist structure myself, but without the structure I created for this process, it wouldn’t have gone well. The structure created safety and boundaries that made the process more ease-ful.
Truth #7: When We Try New Things, We Will Fail
Did you learn to walk the first time you tried? No! Because failure is just part of the process. So, accept that you will fail, maybe a few times, when trying something new. Remember it is only truly failure if we don’t learn from it.
Truth #8: Saboteurs will Have Many Things to Say about Our Failures
Have a plan to handle the saboteurs when they show up, because they will. When my saboteurs show up, I tell myself that it means I’m up to big things and that I’m likely on the right track! If they take the wheel, I get curious, take a breath and get connected to the kernel of truth they represent, and let go of the rest.
Truth #9: A Strong Support System will Make All the Difference
Eric and I and our beloved nanny, Karen, were totally aligned in how we planned to support Connor so potty training would be a good experience for all of us. When Connor had his inevitable meltdowns, we supported him and believed in him which allowed him to recover more easily.
Truth #10: Learn from Your Failures
When we can embrace failure and reflect upon it, we often will get new insight and wisdom that will aid us in our journey. In this process, there were many Mommy-failures, Connor-failures and Daddy-failures. All of them were minor, thankfully, and all of them were learning opportunities.
Truth #11: Be Anchored in Your Vision
When you are anchored, you won’t give up or lose focus when things go awry. I had to continually work at remaining anchored.
Truth #12: Celebrate Each and Every Win!
Making a point to celebrate every win builds our excitement and desire to keep going (read more about celebration HERE [LINK: Previous Post]). And hey, a glass of wine at the end of a hard day is a well-deserved and very much appreciated reward and celebration, too (at least for me!)
I bet you didn’t realize that Potty Training and Business were so similar, eh?
Tara Butler Floch