When my children were younger, I used to read fairytales to them all the time. Hands down, my favorite one was Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
You know why? Because there is a very valuable lesson within the story. Goldilocks shows up at the three bears’ house when they are conveniently out. But they’ve left freshly cooked porridge on the table. Apparently Goldilocks is hungry so she gives the first bowl a try. Yikes! It’s too hot. She moves on to the next bowl but it’s too cold. Fortunately the third bowl tastes just right to her, so Goldilocks eats it all up. Exploring the house further, she has the same experience with three chairs. The first one she chooses is too hard. The second one is too soft. Last one? Well, that’s just right.
But Goldilocks doesn’t stop there. Feeling tired, she decides to take a nap and has to try three times before she chooses the right bed for her taste.
Seems pretty simple, right? But the message I draw from this story is quite profound. I mean, Goldilocks keeps making bad choices, right? What is wrong with her? Why are there so many mistakes in her life? Shouldn’t she be able to make better decisions?
Well, Goldilocks doesn’t see it that way. She simply uses trial and error to see what feels best suited to her. She doesn’t see her choices as errors. She tries something and if it doesn’t feel right to her, she simply moves on. No self-doubt. No beating herself up. No drama.
Does that sound like your life? Or are you constantly criticizing yourself when you make a choice that doesn’t turn out as you expected?
And how does a fairytale apply to Media anyway? Well, what if you make a decision to do a radio interview and afterwards realize it wasn’t the right show for your audience? Or you get quoted in a newspaper article only to see that you were so comfortable chatting with the writer that you over shared information? In other words, you made choices that ultimately weren’t a good fit for you.
When that happens, take a lesson from Goldilocks. Treat it as helpful information and try something else until you get to the point where something feels right to you. Self-judgment will not move you forward. Trying new things will. So channel your inner Goldilocks and allow yourself some judgment-free trial and error. And don’t be surprised if it changes your story for the better.
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