“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb
What’s better than a warm, fluffy stack of pancakes topped with a little pad of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup? Seriously, it’s my favorite way to kick off a Saturday morning (and sometimes dinner). But, every time I whip up my batter, prepare my griddle, and ladle on the first pancake, it never fails – the first pancake always sucks! It’s sometimes half-cooked or a weird color compared to the rest of the batch. Why is that? Well, it’s because the first pancake is the warm-up for your pan.
To nerd out for just a second, when you heat your pan and brush butter on top, it plugs up the porous parts of your pan to create a smooth foundation. Then we suddenly change its temperature by pouring on cold pancake batter. Naturally, the pan needs a second to adjust to this change and therefore you get an odd pancake. It’s still edible, it’d just the only pancake in your stack that will look different. This entire process got me thinking a little beyond pancakes, though. Like how this cooking process was more of a metaphor for how to start working towards your dreams. Hear me out!
As a food blogger with million-and-one ideas constantly racking my mind, I know how frustrating, intimidating, and fearful it can be to go after what you want. We play out the “what if” scenarios. Tell ourselves we’re not good enough. Or make ourselves believe that now is not the right time. Let’s set up some expectations right now: you’re first endeavor might not go well. You might not be good at your craft right now. And today may not have been the best timing. BUT, can I just say it again? The first pancake always sucks! How can we possibly demand ourselves to be perfect on our very first try? If we go into each dream with this perfectionist mindset, then we’ve already failed because nothing will ever be good enough for us.
Here are a few takeaways from making pancakes that I hope inspire you to get started and moving in the direction of what you want out of life.
Don’t skip the warm-up.
Like I mentioned earlier, I greased up my griddle and poured on cold pancake batter which resulted in a weird pancake. I could have looked at that pancake and told myself my recipe sucked and quit making pancakes forever. But, the first pancake is just a warm-up for better pancakes to come. Similar to the first pancake, there is a LOT you can learn during the first phase of working towards your dreams. You can see what works and what doesn’t. You can find out if you like how you’re approaching your dream and make changes accordingly.
The warm-up is your planning process and chance to refine what you want to see. It’s also the best way to start without feeling like you’re in too deep. Don’t stay complacent (or pancake-less) for too long because the only “what if” you will find yourself sadly asking one day is “what if I had met my dream and succeeded?“
It gets better over time.
Eventually, that first pancake becomes the foundation for your beautiful stack of pancakes. And you can finally start enjoying all the work you’ve put in! Now that you have actually started, you get the fun of making things even better! I can adjust my heat level, I can see if my pancakes need more sugar, or, better yet, I can start playing with different flavors. The good thing about making pancakes is that I’ve got a whole bowl of batter to go and I can keep trying until I get it right. The key is that I’ve finally put myself in a situation that actually allows me to work towards what I want.
There’s always room for pancakes.
Finally, and this is the one that I think stops us the most, there is always room for your dreams. You may see someone making the same pancakes, but your way of making them is still valid and unique. What I mean is don’t sell yourself short(stack)! You’ve got just as much originality and spark to offer this world. You deserve to share your gifts with the world and you’re allowed to take up as much space as you need to to let everyone experience it.
I hope you enjoyed this new #SoundsFamiliar story! Did this story spark a thought for you? Share it with me on instagram @thefamiliarkitchen or leave a comment below! And, I’d love to know if you have ideas for future topics that you want me to share.
P.S. If this story has you craving pancakes now, check out my recipe for Cardamom Pancakes with Butter Chai Syrup!