I passed my driving test! First attempt too. When I reversed the car into the parking space at the end of my test I was almost sick with dread and shame. I dreaded being told “You seem like a nice person but you and driving? Yea not a good mix. You failed – but that’s a good thing as the world is now a safer place. All the best with being a passenger!” And I was full of shame because here I am a mature somewhat intelligent woman in my 40’s only learning to drive now. Particularly in North America where most people learn in their teens.
I switched off the engine of the car. I had no idea what to say or if I should remain silent and wait for the dreaded news that I was a hazard on the road. He looked down at the form he had been taking notes on and said “Well, I have to tell you… you passed, congratulations”. Seriously, I was so stunned I didn’t even get excited. I looked at him as if he insane and said “Are you sure?” Apparently it was true. We shook hands and he hopped out of the car. I saw my driving instructor was making his way over to me. I opened the car door and fell flat on the ground – my legs had turned to jelly! I had to laugh then.
I mention this because it made me think about fear and why I had put off learning to drive so long. Well, I knew why. I had been in a few minor car crashes in my youth and also lost a favorite teacher at school because she was killed tragically in a car crash. And the subconscious conclusion I had come to then was that cars are like tanks and they kill people and animals. And this belief stayed with me my whole life!
Recently I started with a couple of new clients who remarked that they had put off calling me because they were too embarrassed or too frightened or waiting till they felt more positive about things. It’s very common for people to say to me “I know this is easy, I should be able to do it”. Why do we fear asking for help with the basic things in life? Because they are basic and somehow we make the conclusion that if something is basic then it should be easy and not require any help.
I find that men feel less unease in asking for help with their home office or home than women do. As women feel we should have this “keeping house” down pat. But our offices, our jobs, our lives and our homes are more complex now than they were for our parents. Doesn’t mean that life wasn’t harder for our parents but the boundaries of the different roles they played in their lives were clearer. Sunny Bates explains it so well in this video post.
Sunny Bates on Linchpins, Passion and Fear from Seth Godin on Vimeo.
Putting off asking for help because of a belief system that says you should be able to do this on you own is limiting. It limits you from having the environment you need to thrive and relax in and it limits you in that it avoids growth and change occurring. Life always welcomes forward action.
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