Recently, I received a call from a widow, who was calling about Suddenly Solo 1…..she needed my help.
After speaking for a few minutes, it became apparent, that she was embarrassed to ask for help, because she thought she would look foolish.
Believing we look foolish….when does this start? Certainly, when we were infants, we did all kinds of crazy stuff, got messy, looked messy, had diaper malfunctions but who cared? It may be past my mental recall now, but I doubted whether I gave a tinker’s damn about how I looked to anyone early on.
So, what is the answer…maybe when we start school, and we are worried about looking foolish to our friends, teachers, parents or whoever we think is looking at us and making judgments? Over the years, we perfect the art of avoiding looking foolish…. looking like a jerk, acting like a jerk, and now the word changes from looking goofy, to the more sophisticated word, embarrassment. It now runs our life.
I saw that my new client finally recognized that her embarrassment to look foolish, naïve, without a clue, as they say, was preventing her from learning the new tasks, that her deceased husband used to do.
New skills require some practice, but they come. New tasks, such as paying bills, understanding a budget, knowing what needs to be done now and in the future, are simply learned skills that don’t look embarrassing, in fact that are to be admired. Every miscue, just generates a “do over”. Every fumble is in effect, a “mulligan”.
The change that I witnessed over the next several weeks of working with her became dramatic. She had renewed self confidence that no one was looking at her to see her fail or look dumb…. they were admiring her for learning the skills after trial and error, and that this was ok….she was ok.
Maybe I should take my own advice and ask for directions the next time I’m lost…. it’s not looking foolish, it’s simply getting to my appointment on time, without inadvertently leaving the state…..but that story is for another time.
Take it for what it is, it’s just as I see it.