Hard Truths

First, let me just say hello… it’s nice to be back!

Now, today’s topic…

I have some trouble being honest.  Not about the big things… but those little white lies spring easily to my lips:  “Yes, lamb for dinner would be great.”  “No, that hair cut isn’t a disaster.”  “Sure, I’m very happy to help out with that project.”  You get the idea…

In the last few days, I’ve forced myself to be honest about a couple deeply personal issues and I thought I’d share them in case they help any one else feel better about saying those difficult words: the truth.

As those of you who are on Facebook with me know (and to the rest of you, friend me on Facebook!), I started coaching diving recently.  I don’t go very often due to the fact that I really like being married and I’m afraid that would change if I were out of the house every evening (not earning money).  Therefore, I know when I’m there, I am just helping out where there’s a need.  Somehow, though, I fell in to taking over a particular class.  At first, I was just sticking around during the class because I wanted to keep coaching.  But when the instructor was no longer available, I found myself in charge.

However, as my enthusiasm for Saturday mornings began to wane, I had to ask myself what was going on.  The answer was a surprise and made me admit an uncomfortable truth about myself: I don’t like to be “in charge.”

Why is this an uncomfortable truth?  I feel like it says something fundamental about me – that I’m not a leader, for instance.  Everyone likes to think of themselves as a leader.  This isn’t to imply I’m a follower; I just don’t really fit neatly into a group.  I’m more comfortable in the role of independent contractor or consultant.

I first noticed this about myself in my social life.  I feel dreadfully uncomfortable having to make decisions for anyone besides myself about even the most mundane questions – where shall we eat? What movie shall we watch?  I always have an opinion, but I hate to feel like I’m imposing it on any one else.  Maybe I’m afraid of making other people unhappy; I can deal with my own disappointments but hate to be responsible for others.  This trait certainly hindered my development in the corporate world.  I couldn’t stand up with confidence and say, “This is what we’re doing.”

So, why should this bother me with eight pre-pubescent divers?  I suppose the short answer is, it shouldn’t; which is why I was so embarrassed to tell the HC (head coach) I didn’t want to run the session.  Part of the problem for me is that beginners’ repertoires are limited and I seem to lack the necessary creativity to make their lessons interesting.  With advanced divers, it’s easy: they come in and run through drills and all their dives.  But with beginners, they stare up at you with their little faces after they done their front jumps and back jumps, their bright eyes wondering what exciting thing they’ll be asked to do next… and there’s me, with no good ideas.

Most people are probably clamoring for more autonomy and control.  Yet, I sounded, to my mind, rather pathetic as I begged off.  I was nervous about 1) losing the HC’s respect and 2) frustrating him by making him feel he had to take on even more responsibility.  Both ideas make me feel lousy.  But, the more knotted my stomach at the thought of the class, the more I felt I had to say something.  So say something I did.

As it turns out, at just this point as I was writing the blog, the HC called me to discuss.  He was actually nervous to talk to me about an unrelated subject for which I felt he had no reason to be uncomfortable… and the subject that I was so reticent to discuss was, for him, no big deal!

It’s amazing (she says, wryly) how accommodating and supportive people can be when they understand where you’re coming from.  And it never ceases to surprise me how the things we feel awkward about are far worse in our own minds than they are in actuality.  Ah, communication, what a useful tool you are.

The second thing has to do with a very significant decision I’ve made about my book.  But, as it’s after 5:00 and my little boy is waiting for me at nursery school, I’ll have to write about it and the ramifications of truth-telling on Monday.  Tune in!!!



Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Are you KIDDING me with that cliffhanger??

    • haha…. you were the inspiration for the realization – it shouldn’t be a cliff hanger to you! But you’re sweet…

  2. Fantastic. So true, usually it’s the anticipation of confrontation that is worse than the event.

    • Anticipation, indeed… Back to the fact that it is an utter waste of time to make up stories and practice conversations in our mind! (and thank you!)


    • That’s so sweet! I’ve been reading (and sharing) your work so feel very close to you! Thank you! 🙂

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