When I’m feeding my baby Penelope, sometimes she likes to grab the spoon and feed herself. Anyone who’s ever witnessed a baby feed herself knows that more food ends up on her face, in her hair, and on the floor than in her mouth.
It’s way more tidy and efficient when I just spoon food into her mouth and collect the bits that get on her face with my spoon in between bites. After the meal all she needs is a quick wipe with a wet cloth, and she’s all clean again.
After she feeds herself, though, I pretty much have to hose her down. It’s not efficient at all. In fact, it’s a production.
So a lot of days I dodge her chubby little, dimpled hands with my spoon and get the food straight from the bowl into her mouth. I just don’t want to deal with the mess.
The thing is, though, if I never give her the spoon to feed herself, how’s she going to eventually figure out how to get the 90% of sweet potatoes that currently end up on her cheeks, chin, forehead, ears, and head into her mouth instead, where they belong?
And I’ll have to feed her forever.
So even though it takes longer and it’s way messier, I’m going to start giving her the spoon more often (not every time because mama doesn’t have time for 3+ baths a day).
I’m also handing the proverbial spoon off to the emerging leaders in our network marketing business more. I’m giving them the chance to do things I’ve always just done myself because I already know how and I don’t feel like taking the time to train someone else.
Are my presentations tighter, more polished, and more efficient? Yes. (Well, actually, sometimes theirs are better!)
But if I never hand someone else the microphone, they’ll never learn to present. And I’ll have to do it forever. They’ll never feel empowered, and I’ll never feel free.
If I keep holding Penelope back from feeding herself and our team back from stepping into leadership, I’m communicating two things:
1. There’s something wrong with the messy slowness of learning to do something for the first time.
2. I don’t trust you.
Given that neither of those things is true in the least, I better get my grip off that spoon and that microphone, quick.
I want P to know that I love her and that she’s okay no matter how much sweet potato she has on her face and how little made it into her mouth.
I want our team to know that you don’t have to be perfect to become successful. You simply have to be willing to take action and improve little by little over time.
Letting go of control so that other people can learn is way messier and way slower than doing those things yourself. But it’s way more effective than being the one who has to do everything in the long run.
Hand something over to someone else. Relax if doesn’t get done perfectly. And enjoy the freedom that comes when they eventually nail it and you’re free to do something else.
OVER TO YOU:
Do you find it hard to let other people do things because you think you’ll do it better? What’s one area of your life where you could hand the control over to someone else to give you more freedom? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
P.S. Did you miss my chat yesterday The Truth About Your Belly Fat & Bank Account – A Conversation with Kate Northrup & Sarah Jenks? You can still get a copy of the recording by clicking here!
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