When I was a kid, and when I attempted to do anything, my parents would compare me to someone who was a master in that field. They had the best intentions when they compared my painting attempt with Picasso, or my writing attempt with Dostoyevsky, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
When you say to your child that she is a little Mozart, the first time she sits down to play piano, you are telling her she is not enough and that the best she could do is to be a little someone. And that’s something nobody wants to hear and nobody needs to be little or big. They are just as well the way they are.
Nowadays, when I’m a father, and when I hear my, or my wife’s, parents comparing my daughter with Picasso, Mozart or anybody else, I simply cut it down at its roots and I say – No, she isn’t. She is what she is, because she’s enough and she will always be enough.
After that I would get some strange looks or comments like – We only want to encourage her.
I tried to explain what they are actually doing, but they simply don’t listen. They think that I’m not right, and that my pain that was caused by them isn’t real, that I’m overprotective of my child, and that I’m falsely accusing them of doing harm.
Then I gave up. I stopped correcting them and instead I say these words to my daughter – No matter what anybody else says, you are enough. Don’t you ever forget this.
And I hope she won’t.
The real question here is – How do I convince myself that I am enough? I always try to be someone else, do things like someone else, follow someone else’s path, reach somebody else’s success… and never do things my own way.
Yes, we are here to learn from each other, but we are here to contribute as well, and to contribute truly, we need to share the world through our own lens and not through the lens of someone we admire.
How does one do that? How does one gain confidence and convince themselves that they are enough?
I guess that’s something each of us has to find out on our own. Because, if we are truly enough, there is nobody else that needs to tell us that. It’s enough to hear it from ourselves.