Mar 042015


“Before I can fly, I’ve gotta __________”

How are you going to fill in that blank???  And what’s up with the ugly little bird?

I took this picture back when we lived in northern New Hampshire.  I’d been watching a mother bird feed her little ones. Eventually, it was time for them to fly.

Only this little baby wasn’t convinced.  I’ll never know whether he didn’t WANT to fly or he wasn’t physically ready.  It probably doesn’t matter.  Somebody else had a goal for him and he didn’t achieve it.

Well… actually….  That’s not 100% accurate.  When Momma Bird insisted, he and his sibs “flew” — straight  to the ground. Thud!

[Tweet “He & his sibs “flew” — straight to the ground.“]

Eventually, the others managed to redirect their flight skills.  They made it to the top of the garden fence.  And then higher up, onto a tree.  And up to the roof of the barn. Flying.  Kinda.

Except for this one.  He was on the ground, going nowhere fast. And he was not at all happy about it.

Can you relate?  I know I can.  I have (at least once in my life) managed to make myself miserable by comparing my insides to what I saw others doing.  Or, worse still, trying to reach goals I didn’t set.  I can’t think of a better way to stay grounded stuck on the ground than to pursue somebody else’s goals.

[Tweet “There’s no better way to stay stuck than striving for goals you didn’t set.“]

Both flying and goal achievement are a combination of science and art. Some critters don’t fly because they lack the necessary equipment.  Others haven’t developed enough strength and coordination or mastered the timing. It’s not all that different from the way humans grow into our various roles.

Whether you’re a writer, visual artist, salesperson or parent… living up to our potential requires a combination of science (skills, tools and information) and art (choosing the right combination and making them a part of what you do).  And, as much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, there’s no magic bullet.

When it comes to getting unstuck there’s no ‘one size fits all.’ What are your favorite strategies when flying looks impossible?


Feeling stuck because your #InnerCritic is saying “you can’t”?  Check out my new book The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head now available on Amazon.

 Posted by  Happiness  Add comments

  15 Responses to “Flying Means Getting Off the Ground”

  1. As I read this, I kept thinking that the baby bird was born to fly. It wasn’t just his mama’s goal for him, it was his destiny. He couldn’t choose to be a cat or a dog or a walrus – he was a bird, and birds fly. Wonderful post, Andrea. It raises such powerful questions for me of how we fill our destinies, what if we don’t feel ready, what if we aren’t ready? If we are birds, somehow we must, as Deb Colman says, above, keep flapping our wings until we take to the sky! xo, Reba

  2. Beautifully stated, thanks for this lovely moment of not giving up and to just keep going; because one day one will soar.

  3. Love this post! I remember watching baby birds learn to fly from my apartment porch years ago. Thank you for the memory. I can’t wait to share it with my kids when we all get home tonight. Really good lessons here.

  4. Love this post Andrea! I agree with you…there is NO magic bullet. You need to make a plan, work on it everyday, do the work, and then allow the universe to hand it to you. I like my Big visions….as motivators to stay on track 🙂

  5. Thank you for reminding me about the importance of setting goals <3 You're right! I've been feeling stuck lately myself, and it's time vision and keep my eye on those beautiful dreams of mine! 🙂

  6. I love this, Andrea! (And I love your header/cover photo, too!) This was a great article for me today as I contemplate my to do list and balance it with a weekend of connecting with people in my life who matter. Sometimes it’s hard to fly because of all we are carrying/balancing. One of the things that does help me, though, is to flap my wings, even if I’m still on the ground. The practice and preparation of just getting started doing SOMETHING often helps me. Thanks for an enjoyable read!

  7. Loved this post Andrea. ‘setting goals is both a science and an art’. You need the right tools combined with realistic expectations and lots of passion and learning. X

  8. Ah yes, goals! Not only is there not “one size fits all” — for me there’s also not “do it the same way, at the same level of effort, every time.”

    I’ve learned to lower the bar, to do what I can in a moment, to meet myself where I’m at, and for that to be okay. Sometimes I accomplish tons, fast. Sometimes I plod along. “Conditions of enoughness,” as Jen Louden taught me. A healing concept.


    • Thanks, Sue. I love the expression “conditions of enoughness.” (Once in a while, I’m able to satisfy my inner perfectionist by telling her to “let good enough be good enough.”)

  9. Here Here! I agree that there is no “magic bullet.” I teach and practice the following: Set your intention, do your part and trust the process.

  10. To be true to myself, my goals are the only ones I’m willing to entertain. That doesn’t mean that if someone took me “under their wing” to nurture me and help me mature into something more than what I am, I would resist. I love the fact that I’ve had mentors and role models who have believed in me and helped shape my path! Thanks for the thoughtful post. 🙂

    • That’s a great addition, Sheila… The *way* we accept and integrate what our mentors and role models have to offer is part of what makes those relationships special.

Care to share? Hearing from you makes my day!

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