Yesterday was my dad’s birthday, and it struck me that for all I’ve spoken plenty about my mum on this blog before, he’s someone I really haven’t talked about too much here.
That’s a bit of a surprise actually, because the two of us are pretty damned close; I’m a lot like my dad and I often think about the fact that he’s the person who first introduced me to topics like past lives and spiritualism… Not to mention the fact that when I first started my counselling training many years ago, he was on the desk next to me.
And my dad is possibly also the person I quote most regularly within my client sessions, thanks to the very random but effective pearls of wisdom he’s shared with me over the years.
So in honour of his birthday, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite dad-isms that I often hear coming out of my own mouth when I speak with clients…
How do you eat an elephant?
Possibly my very favourite of my dad’s sayings it this one. Anytime I have ever ranted to him about how much I have to do, how big a job ahead of me, or generally not knowing where to start he says this:
“Ceryn, remember: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Of course, as I say every time I use this one, no one is suggesting here that we actually eat an elephant… But it’s a hell of a reminder that no task is insurmountable once you break it down into smaller chunks.
Better to arrive late in this life than early in the next
There’s a running joke in my family about the idea of Rowntree time – that we are pretty much always late. I mean, as the vast majority of my clients will tell you that’s not the case but, you know, it’s also something that we take in our stride.
After all, if it comes to a choice between arriving ten minutes late or driving so fast that you end up in an accident, if taking the safe route to walk somewhere means that you miss the very start of it, or if you haven’t eaten anything all day and have to decide between passing out or starting something a couple of minutes after you’d planned? We all know the right answer here, right?
Like my dad says – when the choice is either to arrive a little late in this life, or to put yourself in the kind of position that might risk you arriving earlier into the next one? Well that’s a quote that’s given me more than a little perspective on plenty of busy or stressful days in the past…
Bullshit baffles brains
This one is a bit of a doubler, because it often gets substituted for the slightly less snappy “you slide further on bullshit than you do on gravel.”
The moral of both of those stories? That no matter how much of an imposter you might feel, or how under-qualified you think you are compared to everyone else in the room; the key is always to believe in yourself.
Partly because the likelihood is that you’re actually way more qualified than you actually realise. But equally, no one else can ever tell what’s actually going on in your head.
So as long as you’re talking the talk and appearing outwardly confident? Well then you can absolutely be the most influential person in the room!