Friday, 25 February 2011

Confidence and comfort-zones

If you met me (well, some of you have!) you would probably put me down as a fairly confident person - which I am, up to a point. But there are always issues which lurk in my subconscious, and which would tend to push my panic button.

Whilst I am happy to drive long distances, I'm not at my happiest driving on motorways, and joining a busy motorway - especially the M25 - requires me to take my fears and shove them in a mental cupboard before I can cope with it. Driving on the M6 around Manchester's not too much fun either. I once had a panic attack as I joined the M25 as I had got myself so worked up, and believe me, it is not an experience I would want to repeat. However, once I have actually "done the deed", my confidence levels soar. When I got back from driving up to Aberdeenshire and back for an Archaeological Dig, I had so much confidence that I volunteered to collect my m-in-law from Essex, and coped admirably with the dreaded M25.

How easy it is, however, to persuade yourself that you really CANNOT do something - can't deal with a new piece of equipment - in fact, this post has been prompted by a new follower of mine, the Village Queen over at Butterhill Dreaming, who had been putting off using a new gizmo and when she finally got around to it, wished she'd not left it so long as it saved her so much time and effort!

When your confidence takes a knock or when a family member makes pointed remarks about your inability to programme a recording on Sky, or even use the DVD player (you know who you are!!) then you begin to believe this propoganda! Now and then I force myself to get out of my comfort zone - and though it is a trite and over-used expression it is very apt - and sometimes I surprise myself that I CAN actually manage. I'm not the prisoner I sometimes think I am!

- all the same, the next time I climb to the top of a church or castle tower, I don't think I will persuade myself to look DOWN without feeling giddy!


  1. I agree, for years I had my husband download my digital photos to my computer because I was afraid I'd mess it up, and when I finally did it I felt so foolish because it's so easy.
    As for driving on major roads, around small towns I'm ok, but around big cities, never! And when we're in England I never drive! Ever!

  2. Oh yes, BB, I know that feeling well. And the burst of good feeling when you have conquered the dragon is almost worth the angst of thinking about it.

  3. I'm also facing my fears - I'm finally learning to drive.
    (Think I'll give the M25 a miss though)

  4. I totally understand...each time I accomplish something that Mike would have done, I feel very strong and confident...but leading up to that accomplishing...dread.

  5. I had to drive into Birmingham recently - never been there before, and the "destructions" we downloaded from the internet were not at all useful, saying 2nd turning when it was actually the third etc. Fortunately I had my daughter with me, so between us we read signs and got there. Having said that, it took 3 circuits of one roundabout before we got the right sign! I wasn't going to miss that Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition for ANYTHING!

  6. Your dear " Family Member" may be able to use the latest technology, but would he have the confidence to ride a full-of-beans Arabian horse, like you did every day of your life for years? Remember all that you can do with horses BB. They trust you to know what you are doing. Sometimes I think they are better judges of our characters than our menfolk are!

    I do think it is good to keep pushing personal boundaries, as you did on the road to Birmingham. My personal bugbear is flying. After a very nasty landing some years ago, it would take a lot to get me up in a plane again :-(

  7. I have plenty of confidence about doing some things, driving all over the country and on motorways isn't a problem(unless there's snow of course, then I don't even drive to the corner shop!) but I have no confidence at all when it comes to technology. I have a nasty suspicion that this may be down to laziness and lack of interest rather than lack of confidence though!

  8. This post and the responses rather comfort me. I do know that some of the bugbears that keep me awake at night are more manageable when I actually tackle them. I also know that in some cases confidence could translate into presumtion--as in not being wise for me to drive in city settings--I lose such wits as I have, no sense of direction.
    The tech-y stuff frustrates me also--I can't leave it alone, keep trying to make PC programs "work"--sometimes it takes a competant person actually showing me how to do something before it becomes clear.