I recently developed a passion for photography, and after taking more than a few blurry shots, I decided to invest in a tripod.
It was a grand little tripod, it seemed to be kinda short, and even though my 50 year old creaky knees were complaining as I contorted myself into the unusual positions required to get those amazing shots from a lower perspective, I was quite content to bide my time until I would invest in a higher one.
All this changed one day when I went out for a photo shoot with a friend Mary, from our local photography club. Mary hadn’t got a tripod of her own with her, and I offered her a loan of mine, so that she could get a close up of some interesting flora without camera shake.
‘Doesn’t it go any higher?’ she asked, ‘My back wouldn’t be able for this’, she said. She vowed she would get a taller one, and mentally so did I.
The following week we met again, Mary was proudly sporting her new tripod. We spent an hour and a half taking pictures, she with her taller one and me with shorty. As we made our way back towards the car, I noticed her folding up her tripod and clicking it in place, and that was when I discovered that my tripod was exactly the same as hers. ‘Oh look Mary’ I said, unclicking the catch as a long tripod leg was released from its prison, ‘We have the same tripod, and I never knew!’ I couldn’t stop laughing as I unclicked all the catches excitedly to reveal a tall tripod!
Now how many of us are like this tripod? We go through our lives not really knowing what we can do until we observe someone else doing something. For me in my life experience, the catch that needed to be discovered and opened was a belief. I believed I couldn’t. It really was that simple, all my life, I said repeatedly to everything, ‘I can’t’. Two very simple words that made my life a misery. But back in 2009, I decided to take the‘t’ off the word can’t. I then wrote I CAN, on some bits of post it notes, and put them everywhere. Every time my little mind said ‘I can’t’, I would find a post it, to remind me of what I wanted to achieve.
It’s amazing what a difference dropping a letter makes. Suddenly I was filled with fear, if I could do everything that I always said I would do, but had been using the excuse of ‘I can’t’, now I was accountable for myself. Now I would have to do those things, no more excuses. It was a revelation, albeit a scary one. This also gave me an opportunity though, to go past the fear that I had, and see that yes I could now do things, that I couldn’t before, but did I really want to do them? Aha… what a moment of freedom that was. It was then that I started to enjoy my life, as I decided to focus on the things I did really want to do, and then to put some effort into finding out how to do them, and to practice often so as to gain confidence. It was then I discovered my hidden ability and you can too… but only if you want to.