A couple of weeks ago at work, I had a crisis. I was asked to do something that I felt I truly could not do. I wasn't capable of this task. It was out of my realm of training and experience. It was something I had not ever done before, and something I had said "I can't" to in the past.
This time, however, I was not given the option of saying "I can't." It was something that had to happen, in whatever way I could make it happen. It was so hard to take the step and try. I was close to tears one day, afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it, afraid that I was going to let the whole team down, afraid that my fear was going to put me out of a job. I knew I had to bite the bullet and just do it.
I had to sketch.
Sounds real scary, doesn't it?
You see, when I was in college and was taking the one drawing class required for my major, I had a teacher who erased one of my drawings and redid it, while not even looking at the girl who's profile I had been drawing. I was so upset I was shaking mad. And right then and there was planted a seed of "I can't draw."
I'm not the kind of person to blame each of my failings on some event in the past that scarred me. I know there is more to my fears than that one incident with that one teacher. There is that in me that resists trying harder, attempting new and challenging things and overcoming hurdles that seem too high.
It's largely pride…this fear of failure. I don't want to be humiliated by what I cannot do, so I continue to do the things I know I can do.
But lately, I have not been allowed to just keep on plodding at the same level. I am being stretched, forced outside of the safe, successful boundaries I have lived within for so long.
I'm glad I've been stretched. Because, you see, I have learned that I can sketch. It may not be as good as many others can, and I have a long way to go before I can look at a scene or an object and get all the perspectives correct, but I can do it. I can do what needs to be done for this process. I can do the thing I truly thought I could not do.
Now what else am I claiming I can't do? How about you?