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Do the best with what you know

July 11, 2022

“Do the best you can with what you know. Then when you know better do better.” Maya Angelou

I am learning Microsoft Project and my brain is stuck in ‘you are too stupid to learn something new.’ Growing up the message of my dumbness, stupidity and inability to become someone was engrained early on in life and has stuck with me until today. I turned 63 yesterday and as I was trying to comprehend the program, and yet that same childhood message created a mental block in me. I had to step away from it, rethink my own messaging and will start it again today. Being aware of my own upbringing and the mental blocks it has created makes the know better and do better.

I recently had a conversation with a mom and her teenager. Mom talked about the limitations the teen had, the things that she was not good, the barriers she was facing…. And while I agree those barriers exist, they don’t define this young person. I saw T in action and was amazed at her heart, her creativity, her out of the box thinking, her beautiful smile and the way she interacts with others…. None of the labels that were put on her were present. She already learned to know better and do better.

I spoke at Worknet last week, watching people in the fifties and sixties applying for jobs, it was not the place they wanted to be in life and yet, here they were. We talked about barriers, but we also talked about life experiences, resilience, and the uniqueness of each of their personalities and what they have to bring to the table. Living with an awareness of their labels and being able to do what they already know will make them do better.

What we say to a person can make them or break them. Messaging is so important and starts early on in life. We all live into what is expected of us. A compliment, or an encouraging word can make our day and we can get things done and feel good about ourselves, but one reprimand, one negative statement can totally derail us.

The messages we give to our children, the messages we give to our spouses, our work teams, all have a ripple effect.

We live in a world where we love to have opinions, love to criticize and put labels on people, and sometimes people should already know better and do better, but we all have our issues, our own childhood messages, our own blocks and that sometimes makes moving forward difficult.

BUT, we do what we can, and then when we know better we do better.

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