The term "big shoes to fill" is one that I despise. I have such a adverse reaction to it I want to tell the person who says it zip it and zip it good.
That has been said to me before. When I started a new job (this was in my early twenties) and was told that I have big shoes to fill I was very nervous and intimidated. I felt as if the owners of the company were going to compare me to my predecessor, my work would never be good enough and I would be placed under the scrutinized magnifying glass each time I walked through the doors. After awhile I fell into my own groove and did things my way.
Some years later when I was leaving a different company my boss said the exact same thing to the woman who was filling my position. I immediately corrected her. There were no big shoes to fill, there were just my size seven and a half and I was taking them with me. She would have her own shoes, create her own path and style.
I read an email today from one of our homeschool groups. We have a new coordinator and in the email the president of the homeschool group states "She is taking this position over from *Jane Doe* who has left some big shoes to fill." I am sure that made the new coordinator feel all warm and fuzzy (um, no).
My thumbs wanted to tap out a response but I didn't. I did however, privately email the new coordinator. Believe it or not that term is a bum backwards compliment. It makes a person feel icky inside. I am not about filling anyone's shoes. Because those who say it are the ones who say "Jane Doe didn't do it like that." or "Maybe you should ask Jane Doe how she did it." Ugh! Been there, done that. Drives me wonky!
Before you speak that term think about what you are saying "You will do but you won't be good enough." Whether it's in the workplace or a homeschool group, that lack of confidence stings.
I say, kick those big shoes to the curb and know that your fabulous peep-toe heels or awesomely comfy flip-flops will rock beeker socks (my son made that up, you know, the Muppet beeker, he rocks and if he wore socks, they would rock, they would meeping rock!) Sorry, I digress...
The short of it is this
Do it your way.
Form your own path.
You'll do great in your own shoes.
Until next time
Keep it real peeps!