I'm eternally grateful to be walking through life with a husband that is incredibly self aware and tapped in.
I was in a coaching session this week and reminded of a story of my daughter when she was younger. She has always been a person who likes to sit on the sidelines and take things in. This is her way of navigating the world.
When she was really young, we would try to encourage her to jump into the fray - and others would as well. We all behaved as if she was missing out on something if she wasn't participating the same way everyone else was. When she would refuse, or try to hide behind me and my husband, we would tell people she was shy. As we began to tell people that more and more, she began to embrace that story as her own and live the part even more.
We were perpetuating a cycle. Until one night my husband declared that we were the ones that needed to change. The power of our words and thoughts were creating a story that my daughter was accepting as her own truth. A truth she just might believe and carry with her throughout her life. Unless we stopped. So, we did - and so did she. She eventually found the words to let people know that was fine and happy right where she was. We were all then able to accept that this is simply who she is, instead of seeing her action (or inaction) as a personality trait that we needed to fix or change.
This story was such an incredible reminder for me that it isn't my role in life to change anyone. Instead, I need to accept that everyone is right where they need to be. When we give ourselves and others the freedom to fully accept and own our space, we find expansion and growth.