What a Chicken Taught Me About Myself

By: Christine Clifton

When was the last time you learned something new about yourself?
For me, it's almost every day. A little thing or two, here and there.

But a big thing happened recently. You see, I’m no cook. Being single most of my life — and not really having a keen interest to learn how to cook — I primarily make simple meals.

This past summer, a friend offered to teach me to cook a whole chicken. I readily took her up on her offer. I like to be shown things, by a live person, when I’m learning something new. Well, we set up a day that got rescheduled — and got rescheduled again….. and again. So, the chicken went into the freezer.

Recently, a different friend and I decided to cook a meal together and I offered for us to have that chicken. She offered to help me and I readily said yes. Yay, I had the guidance I wanted!

As I was compiling my shopping list, I looked up a recipe for baked whole chicken so I would know what to buy. Mind you, this was the *first* time I looked at a recipe myself.

Imagine my surprise when the only things in the recipe were butter, garlic, rosemary, onions, and celery — and then to stick the chicken in the oven for a couple hours! I had designed in my head that cooking a whole chicken had to be very involved — SO beyond my experience and capabilities…….. NOT!

I texted my friend that I would take care of the chicken. She messaged me a couple pointers and, come Christmas day, I felt as ready as I’d ever be to make that chicken. Once I got it in the oven, I already felt victorious — and my creative mind started working even more. I pulled together some other creative things for our meal: baked brie with honey and walnuts, sweet potatoes with walnuts and brown sugar, asparagus with sautéed onions, and broccoli slaw with garlic dressing.

Once I showed myself I could do the chicken, I felt empowered to do even more.
And guess what?!
The meal was delicious!

Guess what else?!
A few days later, I made homemade chicken soup from the leftover chicken. I pulled up a simple recipe, then I asked my friends to give me some tips, and then I tossed a bunch of yummy stuff in with the chicken and broth……
Guess what?!
The soup was delicious!

My story about the chicken is an analogy for feeling motivated in life: sometimes, when we don’t know how, or we don’t know what’s involved, we just don’t take that first step.

Once you get the support, guidance — or recipe! — to get started, you then begin to gain the self-confidence you need to keep going and to try more new things:

“If you always do what you’ve always done,
you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
- Henry Ford

How we do anything is how we do everything. This experience showed me what stops me — and not just in the kitchen. More accurately, it showed me what I allow to stop me, because we are always in a position to choose. I saw a few places in my life and work where I was allowing ‘not knowing’ to stop me.

So, I created a few initial steps that I could take to start moving again — and identified the resources that I needed. Because I do like to be guided, I found someone to help in in one area that I had little knowledge. Now, I’m off and running!

Come on. It's time for your to take that step:

Happy stepping!

Christine Clifton helps business women Say what they need to Say, so they can Get where they want to Go, and Earn what they’re Worth. She’s the founder of Mindful Business Matters and the Author of “Your Spirit at Work: Bring more of You through what you Do so your vision comes True.”

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