Of Labels and Expectations

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Tonight we went over our chapter 6 questions, which also marks the halfway point through our book, Do Hard Things. Then we watched the first half of session 2 of the Do Hard Things video conference.

Alex began to unpack for us the 7 reasons why we fail to do hard things. What’s more difficult…a four-year-old carrying ten pounds or an 18-year-old carrying one-hundred pounds? Is it harder for a baby to learn how to walk than it is for a teenager to master algebra? Is potty training more difficult for toddlers than young adults learning to control their anger, speak in front of a crowd, say no to peer pressure? NO!

All of our lives we have had to do hard things and overcome obstacles. Yet it seems that, as we get older, expectations are lessened for us. Let me explain. What if a toddler said, “I’m just not getting the hang of this whole potty-training thing. Toiletting is just not for me so I’m just gonna skip it and stay in diapers.”? Could you imagine parents telling their five-year-old, “Tying shoes is just too hard for you. It’s ok. We’ll tie them for you and when we aren’t around, you can just wear your Velcro strap shoes.”? NO! We don’t say those things to toddlers or let them use those excuses to not reach certain milestones because we expect them to learn to potty train and tie their shoes and talk and walk. But somewhere along the way towards being a young adult, we lower those expectations. “It’s ok that you aren’t passing Algebra 2. You’re not really a math brain sort of person and besides, you won’t need it for what you want to be when you grow up anyway.” “You don’t have to speak in front of people. You’re shy. It’s just how/who you are.”

It’s time to stop lowering expectations for our teens and for ourselves. God doesn’t expect mediocrity from us. He expects us to work at whatever we work at as though we were working for the Lord, giving 100% and beyond. He uses situations and circumstances to push us past our limits because He wants us to grow and stretch beyond our comfort zones. He knows what we are capable of. He doesn’t put labels and limitations on us and we should not put them on ourselves.