Do you remember how proud children are when they manage to do something without help for the first time? And how they go through times of wanting to do everything by themselves, even if they’re too small, and their aim is way too big?
This post is a praise of that quality.
– And yes, it makes sense to know when to ask for help, it can be honorable and a sign of clarity and courage to give up etc. But, in the spirit of taking life as an adventure, I want to tempt you to look at the other side today:
Just like children, it makes us happy and excited to manage to do something by ourselves. No matter if that’s making a decision, building something, or trying out a new activity – it feels great when we do it. There is the excitement of doing something new, and it is powerful to be solely responsible for a thing we do.
And, of course, it is more frightening. So much so that simple fear often makes us avoid doing things by ourselves.
– Many of us exclude some domains from their lives, assuming that they are just not for them – I can decide that I am not interested in music, art, traveling or sports, and then choose my life’s path leaving aside the experiences that I could have had looking into these worlds.
– Similarly, and more limitingly, we often conclude that we are not good at something and then stop doing it completely, or even trying: For some people, this is true regarding practical chores and repairs, for others it’s taking care of people and their emotional issues, and for yet others, it may be looking into science or politics, because they think that they cannot form a qualified opinion on these matters.
Of course, we all have different interests and talents and it is completely fine not to be interested in everything, and to leave some things for other people to do who are better at them. My point is not that we should be good at everything, or that we must practice everything and become completely self-reliant.
BUT: It is such fun trying yourself out at things!
Start trying, even with very simple things, and you’ll have fun immediately. Make little decisions on your own that you would usually discuss with your family. Build some furniture from IKEA and enjoy that you did instead of waiting for someone else who’s better at it. Google your computer problem and try out a solution you find – even if it doesn’t work and you still have to call the friend who always helps you, it will feel different.
Some things that you consciously chose not to go into may have been a source of pain in the past – e. g. a teacher humiliating you in front of the class for singing “badly”. If you want, you can reclaim these things! You can be light about it – no need to prove anything to anybody, and you don’t want to repeat a bad experience. So you don’t go for the noisy karaoke night with all your colleagues from work – sing in the shower, or just play with your voice, say things in different tones, imitate people if you like that, make silly noises that are fun to feel in your throat and mouth… Enjoy.
Try to do that little repair, talk to strangers instead of googling the information you need, take a new path, try a sport you’ve always wanted to try, finally learn how to knit. There are so many ways of expanding your possibilities and making your world bigger.
You just have to do it.