What My 11-Month Old Can Teach You About Achieving Success

How many times have you set out to do something, and when it doesn’t work out after the 1st or 2nd attempt, you decide that you’re not good at it, you’ll never learn how to do it, or it’s not for you?

I often hear a story similar to this from women just before I start coaching with them. Some examples include:

  • “I posted my online dating profile 2 weeks ago, and while I’ve emailed with a couple of guys, I still haven’t met someone I’d like to go on a date with. The online dating thing will never work for me!”
  • “I followed up with this prospect client, but they never responded to me. I guess they aren’t interested in my service or product.”
  • “I want to write a memoir, but have spent a month and can’t get through the draft of the first chapter. Maybe I’m not meant to write about my adventures!”

In each of these instances, the individual has given up hope or enthusiasm for something they really, REALLY want, just because they didn’t achieve it in full right away. Instead of viewing their attempt exactly as it is: simply, one attempt that did not work out, they create a story about themselves: I will never meet someone to date; This client will never be interested in my services; I’ll never be able to write this book.

The truth is, it’s your story that will prevent you from accomplishing the things you want to accomplish in life – not your abilities, or even your circumstances!

I learn this and re-learn this every time, just by observing my 11-month old daughter, Penina. As most babies do, Penina has a zest and curiosity for life, and wants to do and try everything. However, it is a rare instance that she accomplishes her goal on her first attempt.

I’ll give you an example: last week, Penina was figuring out how to sit herself on a new stool that was given to her. I watched as she moved her little legs up and down, putting one arm here or experimenting with another arm there. Just as she was about to achieve success, Penina lost her balance, fell over and hit her chin. I raced over to make sure she was okay. She was bleeding a little bit and cried for a moment. And then she did the most amazing thing: she crawled out of my arms and directly back to her stool to complete what she had set out to do.

Penina was able to persist and complete her goal because she didn’t judge herself for not achieving full success at her first attempt. In fact, I would guess that the challenge is what made it more interesting for her!

Think about any baby you know – chances are they didn’t walk or talk or feed themselves on their first try. But they didn’t let that get in their way! They kept tapping into their curiosity and working at it and working at it and tweaking their strategy (and maybe got support and help from parents and others) until they achieved success.

And, of course, as adults we know that each one of their attempts was part of their process of achieving success – each attempt, they learned something new about accomplishing what they wanted to accomplish.

A major step towards success and satisfaction is to be able to let your passion, enthusiasm and interest for your project or goal be bigger and more powerful than any story you create about your small-ness or your inability.

How many ideas, opportunities, relationships or projects have you allowed to pass you by because you chose to use your not achieving success on your first attempt as evidence that you weren’t able or meant to do it?

Today, I invite you to be inspired by my 11-month old daughter and look at your goals with fresh, new eyes. Tap into your curiosity and passion and go for it!

Your Soulful Coaching Call to Action!

Get in touch with your passion and your curiosity for your project or goal

Measure your progress– Even if you don’t fully complete your goal on your first go-around, take note of what you have accomplished andwhat you have learned for the next time around

Let go of your self judgment or self-criticism when you notice that your “story” is holding you back from persisting

Seek out support when you intuitively feel it would be easier to accomplish your goal with someone else offering suggestions, accountability, or just plain old company!

Are you ready to finally complete your goal or project with success and joy? If so, email me at jsl@joannalindenbaum.com for a complimentary, private Intuition Activation session. I created this special Soulful Coaching experience as a way for you to get very clear on exactly what you want and exactly what’s standing in your way so that you don’t have to feel stuck anymore!

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  1. Great post, Joanna. I wonder what it is that drives babies to persist, and at what point/why we start to lose this amazing drive. Babies don’t have to tell themselves to keep trying, they just do it instinctively. How can we recapture that instinct?