What would you do in this situation?
It’s late. Turning off the TV to get ready for bed, I squint at the clock while calculating how few hours of sleep I’m going to get.
Popping the door to the garage open to turn off the lights, I see him, but he doesn’t see me. Actually, we’re not sure what he sees. The cataracts covering both eyes of the 15-year-old poodle mix have given him natural drunk goggles for the last half of a decade.
The sweet little guy is enjoying a late-night snack. Because his vision is total shit, I hesitate to turn the lights off in the garage.
It has to be tough for him to navigate up the stairs and through the doggy door to get back inside. And now I’m going to cut the lights and really put this old bastard to the test?
That’s when it hit me.
He’s got this!
He’s lived in the house for 12 years and has made it back inside EVERY night. He doesn’t need to be babied, he needs to be believed in!
Just like my 3 year old who took off her gymnastics leotard and put on her pajamas without any help earlier that night. I asked her if she could get started while I took out the trash. She looked me in the eye and said “I got it, daddy.” At that moment, we both knew she could do it.
Guess what? Your co-workers, spouse, friends, and neighbors aren’t any different. They’re the same as my toddler and geriatric dog.
They're capable! People are capable, little blind dogs are capable, and they just need us to believe in them.
Have faith in people. Give them an opportunity to succeed. Let them struggle and work through things. Empower people and let them overcome difficulties.
When you baby someone, you are stealing their opportunity to take on a challenge.
Your homework this week: Who are you babying? Who can you give more responsibility to? Who can you encourage and empower? Next time you see them struggle, encourage them instead of taking over.
And then you can turn off the lights and snuggle into your warm blankets knowing they’ve got this...until you have to get back up 10 minutes later to help them onto the bed because their pathetic hips and knees are too blown out to make the jump.