I took an introduction to gymnastics class when I was a kid. They held it in the gymnasium at the elementary school I attended. We took turns jumping on the vault (my favorite), we tumbled on the floor mat, and we attempted a few maneuvers on the uneven bars. During my turn on the bars, one of the instructors said (as she was standing directly beside me), “She can’t do it.” The other instructor quickly reprimanded her, but the damage had been done. Her words hurt and discouraged me. Otherwise, it was a mostly forgettable day in the life of my youth. I am not sure if I ever returned to gymnastics, but I would have learned on my own I was not suited to it.
Although this memory has stayed with me, I have no hard feelings about it. The instructor was frustrated and blurted out the first thing that came into her head. Been there and done that. During a class at my church this past Sunday, I gained valuable insight from the upbeat guest speaker, Dr. Julie Bell, about correction. She said, “Tell them what to do, not what not to do.” Wow! How many times have I made this simple mistake with myself, with my children, and with my loved ones? Well-meaning advice and instruction/correction has focused on what not to do, creating a negative mindset.
I wonder how often I have made this mistake with my clients. My passion is helping others look and feel better. By finding ways to improve a client’s image, aligning their external and internal selves, their entire life experiences improvement. By avoiding the what not to dos, my clients will be more relaxed and open to trying new things, and the appointment will feel positive. Thank you, Dr. Julie, for this eye-opening moment. I will keep this in mind with all of my encounters.
“There is always a way to do what you’re doing better. Every day you have to improve your work and try to learn from everything.”—Sergio Rossi
Photo of me by Christina Childress.