So far, I haven’t shared much other than food posts, although I intended to include posts on other things. Today however, I want to share a story about one of my 4 year old patients and the insight moment it brought me. I think you’ll find an opportunity for application, regardless of your profession.
Part of my job as a medical provider with the local public health department is screening exams/well child visits for kids. These types of visits are performed on babies (as early as their first check up after they are released from the hospital, usually 7-14 days old), children, and adolescents all the way up to 18 years (or until they are no longer covered under Medicaid for screenings). They come in for check-ups and shots every few months for the first 2 years of life, then yearly after as part of preventative medical care. In addition to doing a head-to-toe physical exam, hearing and vision tests, labs, etc., we screen for milestone delays which are specific to the age of the child.
Some time back, I saw a 4 year old for his well child check. Milestone evaluation for this age group includes things like, can the child sing a song, do they know the difference between “make believe” and reality, do they understand the function of common household appliances, can they draw a person with at least 3 body parts, etc. Some of these things I simply ask the parent/relative about, others I ask the child to demonstrate.
During this encounter, I asked the child if he could draw me a person. He said no. Sometimes kids are shy about doing this part, so I asked his Grandmother if he could. She basically said no, but explained that they really hadn’t tried. This surprised me a bit. Coloring is such an easy inexpensive way to entertain kids! I digress… Anyway, knowing he was in K4, I thought perhaps he may have tried at school before and she didn’t know. So I tried testing by performance, rather than finding out from obtaining a history.
I handed him my pen and asked him to try drawing a person on the back of my paper. After several attempts and “I can’t” replies, I tried a different approach.
“Can you draw me a circle?”
At first, he again said “no,” but after a moment of contemplation and much to my surprise, he finally used the pen and drew a circle.
“Great! Now, how about adding a line here?” I marked with my finger where to put the line and he did. I continued this process, and four lines later, he had drawn a pretty decent stick person.
I took the opportunity to encourage him. “Just because you’ve never done something before, doesn’t mean you can’t. You can always try.” It was a quick lesson, but potentially a very big one.
What a teachable moment. Not just for him, but for us all. Hopefully it will have made as much of an impact on him as it did me.
There are so many things I wish I was better at. I feel I should be further along than I am, should be more proficient, or at the very least, be more efficient.
I started my blog over 3 years ago after a few co-workers suggested it (and because it seemed like a good method to share content others were asking me about). My intent was to include useful information regarding positive change strategies. In addition to nutrition and fitness information, this was something my co-workers/friends at the time asked me about often. My present co-workers, friends, and family continue to seek my opinion on these topics. Why? Because everyone struggles on some level with maintaining consistency of focus and consistency in taking action in the areas of life that involve discipline. Thus, most people (unless they are entirely apathetic) are hungry for real, legitimate, applicable information that will yield progress and lasting results.
It is easy to look at others, compare, and get down about where we fall short. It is human tendency to avoid failure. We don’t try because of the risk of failure and because of the potential for embarrassment along with it. What I want to make sure we don’t miss here is that there is something more humiliating than failure. That is this: facing the truth that we allow fear to keep us from taking steps toward our deepest aspirations.
Realizing you’ve made a mistake (and being willing to admit that) it isn’t the end of the world. In reality it is beneficial…it is valuable. It helps us gain comfort in “risks.” It affords us an opportunity to inspire others to also try new things.
As Jill Coleman says, “The better you get at discomfort, the better you get.” (Read the full article/quote source here).
Because the truth is, you have to move outside of your comfort zone to experience growth. The most successful people in the world recognize that you “fail your way to success.”
If you made it this far through my ramblings, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.
1/ Is there something you are waiting to take action on? If you are honest with yourself about why you are waiting, is it a legitimate reason?
2/ Has there been a time that you laid ego aside and took action? What was the outcome?