Any time we hear it coming from our boys, my husband and I tell them that it’s not that they “can’t” do something, they just might need a little help with it. They can do anything.
So when I heard G getting frustrated as he was practicing his guitar the other day, I went up to talk with him. He was on the second floor, and I was just downstairs in my office. I could hear him say to himself, “I can’t do this.” He was downright frustrated.
I told him I couldn’t help him with what he was trying to do because I don’t know how to play guitar. I pointed out to him what his guitar teacher told him just a few weeks ago. That he has passed the point of learning how to play guitar. He’s now a guitar player. Now it’s a matter of practicing and perfecting.
We’re way too hard on ourselves. We want perfection. We want to be the best. We want things to be easy.
Sometimes, we forget all that we’ve accomplished to get where we are today.
G is going to be 7 in a week. To be able to play guitar at 6 is quite an accomplishment. It’s not an easy instrument to play. He’s got a great teacher who even let him play a song with his band at a coffee house.
How many other kids in his class can say they played guitar with a band in a coffee house? That’s pretty cool. And, he kept right up with them.
Yes, G has a ways to go with his guitar playing. But he’s just getting started. He’s only been taking lessons for about a year and a half.
Playing guitar well, like most endeavors, takes practice. It can be frustrating at times. But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
I encouraged G to take a break from what he was having trouble with and go back to it later. When he did, he took a different approach. A couple days later, he declared “I did it!” All he needed to do was try the technique without a pick. That’s it.
“See,” I told him. “You can do it.”
Don’t forget to give yourself some credit. Though you might not realize it, another person would love to have the ability to do that thing you’re already really good at.