Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.
Who doesn’t like a superhero?
I have a pretty bad habit of stepping in for others. Justice is one of my top values, after all.
But this frequently gets translated into wanting to take care of the people around me. What many don’t realize is that by taking care of others, we remove their opportunities for growth.
This impulse or desire to take care of others is partially the reason why I became a psychologist. But in much of my work, I realize that stepping in doesn’t actually help my clients.
I can’t actually do the growth for them.
That’s the whole point of growth. They have to struggle. They have to step outside of their comfort zone and feel the discomfort.
That’s what makes the journey meaningful.
Not taking care of the person in front of me also means that I don’t guide or lead them in any way. They have to decide for themselves what it is that they want. To proclaim for themselves what’s important to them, and what is theirs to claim.
I simply help open their perspective a little wider – in all directions. I provide strategies and tools once they’ve determined what it is that they want.
Are you guilty of this? On either end? Perhaps you want to help others, because your ability to empathize is off the charts.
Or maybe you’d like for someone to step in for you, and it’s much easier to be rescued. Either way, you’re robbing someone of their opportunity to expand. And (if you’re lucky,) the universe has a funny way of making sure that you really pay attention to that opportunity next time it presents itself to you – usually in the form of a much more difficult struggle to learn that same lesson.
Pay attention. Learn when you need to. Let others learn their lessons when they have the opportunity to.
No need to play a superhero.
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.