Tuesday, July 13, 2010

British Summer?

I'm not sure whether it's pigeon-grey sky that has been looming overhead since this morning, or the fact that my dissertation is ever-further from completion, but I feel stuck in a rut today. I went to do a climbing course today because, frankly, my rock climbing skills aren't where they should be. Especially when it comes to belaying. So I went with Karen and Kate (my regular gym-buddies) to the course today, and whilst climbing the walls, I was struck by a thought I hadn't had since the last time I climbed.

I realise it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that climbing is like life, and I'm certainly not experienced in either one nearly enough to make grand determinations, but it does seem that in both instances, trusting yourself comes into play. In climbing it's trusting your feet to propel you towards your next hold. Without that trust, you over-reach and eventually fall back to earth--sometimes without a rope to catch your fall. So far as I can tell, life seems to be the same way, though instead of feet, the metaphor can be extended to your background and skills.

So much of what we do is predicated on true confidence, and if I'm honest, it's something I've never been great at. Sure, I can project a self-assured stance when I need to, and yes, it often turns out that the projection was the reality, but there's still that fear. I suppose it's something everyone has in the back of their head (I hope). That fear that you'll be found out. That you're not as smart as everyone thinks you are. That it's really all smoke and mirrors. But then, you don't fail. You aren't found out. And you move on to the next hold without crashing back down. So yes, the skills are there, but starting with a base of confidence makes the maneuver all the easier. If you trust your feet from the beginning, you can plan your next move, rather than worrying that you're always on the brink of failing and falling.

OK, enough with the convoluted metaphor. I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that I need to work on trusting myself more so I can look to the future rather than constantly look back and my past and over-analyse my missteps. Just accept that I'm standing where I am now because of where I've been, and that the only way to progress is to just stand up and do it--something that I've constantly struggled with. Whether it's talking to someone in a bar or at a networking event, asking for a date, even starting a friendship, it's always easy in retrospect. You realise that it wasn't a life-changing event, just another step.

I realise I'm in a good position now. I'm not tied down. I have a good resume, supportive friends, and a few bucks in the bank. Things could be worse. I guess the thing is to just start taking those steps so I can move forward, trusting my feet a little more, and looking to the next opportunity, rather than analysing my missteps.


  1. No worries. I'll be there to catch you ;)

  2. Stop "belaying" your dissertation. Bah! But really folks...I enjoyed that post. Boffo, wise older brother.