There’s currently a fashion for those skills-based TV competition shows to create a children’s equivalent. I’ve always been doubtful about the suitability of putting children through that kind of public stress. However have to admit that over time have started watching two of the shows: “Project Runway Jr.” and “Kids Baking Championship.” Was watching the second one last week when it occurred to me to consider the idea from another vantage point: what creates a child talented enough and strong enough to apply for one of those competitions.
Full disclosure: I have never met any of the participants, but based on my background in psychology and life experience have hypothesized three preconditions:
- The children have a strong interest and some talent in an area; and are supported by a key adult(s) emotionally and financially1.
- As the children developed their interest they receive the type of constructive criticism that fosters continuous improvement.
- The children have parents/guardians who were strong enough to allow the child to risk failure and disappointment2.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have these preconditions met within their own family. Some find it in a teacher or coach or in a community. Though even when it’s found outside the family the parent or guardian has to be brought on-board in terms of the 3rd precondition3.
The truth is we never outgrow the need for a support structure in our lives. However feels like adults are supposed to be the supporters, not the supportees. In reality, no matter what your age, people still need connections with those who support their dreams. Everyone still needs connections who support our quests for continuous improvement; be they professional or personal.
Again some people can find the support they need in their families or community. Others get it from a boss, a mentor or a professional organization. But as we grow this type of support structure seems to become rarer and rarer. Harder to find; but no less necessary
Even if you are one of the lucky ones, the people in your life may not be able to support you in making the changes you want to make; either professionally and/or personally. One way to get the support is from a well-run Mastermind. A Mastermind is powerful, coach-lead group made up of a small team of like-minded people who meet regularly to share wisdom, support and to provide accountability for the goals each person sets to achieve.
It’s not the only way. But it’s a great way to invest in yourself and your future. And one which can truly accelerate your pace. You are worth it.
Now go out there and find the support you need. It’s out there.
[Note: I am still doubtful about children’s competition shows. But this has more to do with the young participants’ experiences being used to make lots of money for corporations, not the competitions themselves. If a competition were entirely private then I’d say without hesitation let a child challenge themselves if they want.]
1 Even a novice cook needs ingredients and equipment above the norm.
2 To my mind the opposite of the tiger mom is the parent who, having never achieved their own dream, tries to shield their child from experiencing any disappointment.
3 Though the word ‘indifferent’ might equally replace the word ‘strong’ in some cases. But I don’t like to go there.