A toddler learning to walk will fail constantly.
He’ll fall on his face.
He’ll run into walls and furniture.
He’ll hurt himself in the process.
But he keeps on trying until he finally learns.
So the example of a toddler learning to walk always comes up in discussions about staying motivated to learn new things in adulthood.
“You should be like the toddler! The toddler doesn’t give up! The toddler keeps trying and fails his way to success!” people love to say.
Problem is, there are two key things missing from the toddler example in the lives of most adults:
- Everybody around the toddler is already walking.
- Everybody is cheering him on and encouraging him to keep trying.
Basically, he’s surrounded by cheerleaders who keep him motivated to achieve something that they’ve all achieved themselves.
And it’s rarely like that in adulthood.
Unless you have the most supportive family, friends and coworkers imaginable, at some point in your life you’re going to want to learn to do something that everybody else isn’t doing, and that they aren’t going to encourage you to do either.
You’re going to want to venture into the unknown and accomplish something new, all on your own.
And you’ll have far fewer cheerleaders.
You might even have pessimistic people who are so terrified of change that they’ll do whatever they can to prevent the people around them from improving themselves and learning new things.
So the advice to be like a toddler learning to walk isn’t wrong…
It’s just incomplete.
You’re also going to need the other two things the toddler has.
You’ll need to find people that already have what you want, so you can stay inspired by their success to get there yourself.
And you’ll need to learn to be your own cheerleader. You’ll need to develop the emotional habit of congratulating yourself on your small successes, and encouraging yourself to get up and try again every time you fall down.
If you need help developing that habit, my Unstoppable Determination session can get you there fast.