Deb Sofield


One small crack does not mean that you are broken

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One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.

Today I want to shout out a cheer to some of you for sticking with it and getting the hard work done or just accomplishing a goal that you set, and now, friend, you’re basking in the glow of a good job well done. My theme today is a quote from Linda Poindexter who said, “One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” 

That is impressive! You and I know a lot of folks who, when put to the test, tripped and didn’t get back up again, or they decided that if it can’t be perfect they’ll just stop… or, worse yet, some don’t even try. That doesn’t make any sense, when in reality trying is what we’re after.

We’ve become a harsh society where expectations sometimes are so out of whack with reality that we lose the joy of small accomplishments. You’ll see this with your kids sometimes–perhaps they are on the track team or the swim team and they didn’t quite make the cut and, instead of realizing that their time was 2 seconds better than last week, they moan and groan and threaten to quit. Instead of understanding 2 seconds this week will be 4 seconds next and only getting better with practice to one day win, we let them focus on this week’s failure and not the progress of the season. If that’s happening, you need to be the adult and let them know that progress is the best path forward and you’ll cheer them on until they reach their goal.

I think that in the grand scheme of life we’d all do well to lighten up on each other and, instead of always pointing out mistakes, maybe we should compliment each other for jobs large and small done well, and not just for others, but for yourself, too.

How about you? Are you being realistic in your goals and are you recognizing your accomplishments? I hope so! And if you might have fallen down this week, no worries. Pick yourself back up and let’s try again. You might have cracked…but you’re not broken, and that in itself is a positive. So let’s be real about what we can and can’t do; let’s do our best, and then rest in our success.

It takes a strong person to be mindful of small successes. Some people easily overlook their progress, because on the outside it doesn’t seem so big, but, listen, if it matters to you, then it matters to those of us who love you, as we cheer you on to your best self.

I really love the thought for today, One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.

I’m not sure what tests you are going through these days, but I want to encourage you to find your true north–your center, your plumb line–and hold it together, even when it feels like it is slipping from your grasp.

And please don’t think that your past is a predictor of your future; in many cases it is not, because you’ve walked that path and found it wasn’t for you, so don’t worry about what could happen again and focus on what will happen, as you set your course and chart your direction for success.

Now this comes full circle when you know in the depth of your heart, soul and mind that you didn’t fall apart, and here you are today—stronger, better, wiser. Find joy in your success today. Celebrate your “not falling apart”.

I have a number of dear friends who have gone through the pain of divorce and yet have maintained the steady, calm, loving rhythm of running a household full of kids without outwardly giving in to the anger, hurt and frustration of the divorce. Of course it was not easy, but they survived that one small crack and quickly realized that they are not broken but, goodness knows, they were put to the test and didn’t fall apart. And one day their children will rise up and call them blessed, no doubt in my mind. So find the reassurance of success, even in a cracked world.

Now I am always concerned when people want to tell me the same story over and over again about a past failure. It feels like they are focusing on the crack, instead of being thankful, grateful or relieved that they didn’t break.

I spoke about that last week in the article by Lori Deschine who said, “You’ve got to stop telling the story of your fracture. It may seem like another way to understand what happened, or maybe it feels helpful to hear someone say you didn’t do anything wrong and you don’t deserve to hurt. In all reality this just keeps you stuck right where you are: living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you. No amount of reassurance will change what happened. You can’t find happiness by holding on to a painful story, trying to place it in a new, brighter light. You can only find happiness when you let it go and make room for something better. You don’t need another person’s permission to let go and feel okay.”

Why? Because you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.

Now, since you know what it is like to crack and not break, how can you be an encouragement to someone else? Let me ask, are you in a place where you can say a kind word or do a good deed to someone who is struggling–emotionally, financially or physically?

Ah, friend, if you were to add up all your friends who are hurting, you’d run out of fingers and toes, so what can you do? And do you mind if I ask you to do it sooner rather than later…like this weekend?

Just sending a note or making call or showing up to help would mean the world to a person who needs you.

And, by the way, even if no one was there for you, will you be there for someone else? I love the Anne Frank quote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” And the theologian and philosopher, Albert Schweitzer said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

Whether it is helping the elderly neighbor by putting her newspaper closer to her front door, or being a rock star neighbor and mowing someone’s yard who just couldn’t get it done this week due to unforeseen circumstances or simply paying it forward at a drive through, do it to show that there is still a little humanity in the world.

You know what I think is impressive? When I meet people who I know have gone through some hard times, but they don’t dwell on it–in fact, they never mention it–but they tell me about the things they do for others that, frankly, mean more to the person who was provided for. And, remember, it doesn’t have to be the big things, (although that is always nice) but the consistent small things many of you do.

If you’ve ever delivered for Meals on Wheels or worked at your local soup kitchen or food bank, you will have a completely new view on life and be utterly grateful for your station in life at this time. Most of us have no idea how many get by with so little, and yet they live next door to us or to our parents. Neighborhoods change and people come and go, but the needs grow with age, and if you and I can be of help in any small way, we’ll have done our part in this spinning orbit.

You are a survivor! The fact is, in your life you’ve seen that One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.

Now, last week I admit I was a little hard on you for making sadness and discouragement such a big part of your life, so instead of me hammering you today for not living up to your full potential, I’m going to put my megaphone down and say, “Well done. Good job! Keep up the good work. I’m proud of you.”

And I’m especially proud of you who have been put the test; but you didn’t fall apart.

Steve Maraboli is famous for saying, “This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way…!” And I hope you do, too, friend, and always remember that, One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.


Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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