I’ve been taking a pottery class at a local studio, and the other day, three classes in, I had only managed to throw one pot that had survived the whole process of being shaped without completely falling apart. And even then, as I was trying to trim the bottom of the the little vase I had made, I poked a big whole in it (pot instantly became flower pot).
In my head, I declared at that moment “well, I guess I wasn’t destined to make pots – I’m definitely not a potter.”
A few minutes later, as I was throwing yet another hunk of clay down on the wheel, I asked the teacher for help.
It actually turned our that I was being too gentle with the clay, that I wasn’t (ah-hem – thanks Sheryl Sandberg) “leaning in” (quite literally) to it hard enough.
Once I figured that out, I was able to make two very nice little bowls. And all of a sudden I was what I had declared just a few minutes ago that I wasn’t.
A nice little reminder that we are often too quick to raise the flag of defeat.