Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Confident Are You, Really...

Picture this.

You're in a car park and you've finally found a parking spot. You decide you're going to reverse park into it this time. But just when you're about to do the maneuver, another car turns the corner and waits. Obviously you're in its way and it waits. You feel the headlights on you. You feel the driver's restless eyes on you. You feel the other car's engine revving up as it watches you and waits for you to get on with it. What do you do?

You might find yourself cursing silently. Feel a few sweat beads run down your forehead. You might actually try to park the car but then the pressure just gets too much and you drive off in a huff in search for another parking spot. You catch a glimpse in the rear view mirror of the other car, the one that was waiting for you, gracefully back into your spot in reverse. And you curse again.

Or you might persist, against all odds, come what may, you will park in that spot if it's the last thing you ever do. You're not about to back out now. True, your skills are not up to scratch. Despite this you ignore the piercing or glaring eyes of the driver and make excuses for the numerous maneuvers that you are having to make before you finally park the darn thing. You even ignore the immediate aftermath: the screeching of the tyres of an angry and restless driver whose time you managed to waste. Inconsiderate, you think. After all, you would've waited all the same.

Or you might absolutely relish the challenge that you're being presented with. The opportunity to show off your perfect driving skills. Watch and learn, you think to yourself, as you gracefully reverse perfectly into the spot. In fact, the trickier the spot the better the challenge. You think of how you can smoothly reverse with the least number of maneuvers and the whole experience becomes all the more pleasant for you. Nevermind the screeching tyres of the other car in the aftermath. That's just plain rude, you think to yourself, drive off with envy, oh yeah!

Analogously, we tend to react to the challenges presented to us in a similar manner. I found myself in the latter category of drivers this morning, relishing the chance to show off my driving skills in the parking lot. Years of experience gave me the confidence and allowed me to excel in that specific skill. I knew I could do it and I even enjoyed doing it. I wasn't contemplating it or even waiting for it. But when the situation presented itself to me all of a sudden, I could do it subconsciously. In my mind's eye I was already a winner, always alert and always prepared to use a skill that has become second nature to me.

Yet I must admit that when faced with other challenges on a daily basis, I tend to fall into the second, if not the first category. So why is that, I asked myself. Is it because I am faced with something new? Is because I haven't built the confidence yet, still unsure of whether I could do it or not? Is because I am unprepared? It might be a combination of factors but it made me consider what is it that makes us excel in certain situations but not others.

I contemplated the ways we tend to react to the challenges of life. A source of brief enlightenment, I realise that this could be a means for me to work towards and strive to be that confident driver in the third category in other aspects of life. Maybe by trying to attain that level of confidence, I can then become the competent driver of my own life.

No comments:

Post a Comment