You know how people always say, "Practice makes perfect"? I think in my world the phrase is actually, "Habit makes able."
I'm not one of those people who is really all that confident in what they do. It usually appears as though I am, but deep down I'm not. When every Friday rolls around I let out a sigh of relief and am amazed that I found five more things to tell you all about, and that you all showed up to read it. Seriously. And my brain inevitably begins thinking, "Oh crap, what am I going to talk about next week?" Now, here's where the contradiction comes in: I almost instantly shrug my shoulders and know that in a crunch, I'll come up with something.
I don't start out with or end with confidence in my abilities, but I always dive in head first assuming it will turn out fine.
I'm weird. I know.
I started thinking about this the week my laptop fizzled out on me. The salesman [who lied] said a new one would be here by the end of that week, so I figured I'd just take a few days off the blog and pick back up when the computer was delivered. Of course, when I discovered that it would be closer to a month than a week, I started borrowing laptops and diving back in head first. But in those few days that I wasn't writing, when I got out of my habit of thinking like a daily blogger, I started to lose my mojo. My thoughts immediately went to wondering how long I could keep things interesting, wondering if I really had that much to say, wondering if I had any idea how to do what I had been doing.
Then I sat down at a borrowed laptop and started rambling on as usual, at which point I literally rolled my eyes at myself and wondered why my brain instantly goes to self-doubt. But now I know... I was out of the habit, and habit makes me able.
The habit that makes me able to do most things, I've discovered, is the habit of saying yes to people who need something... usually because I want to be helpful or make them happy. I will have absolutely NO IDEA how to do what they're asking, mind you, but I say yes anyway and dive in head first.
When we were in high school, I was staying overnight with my friends Katie and Sue Ann at Katie's house. At some point during the night Sue Ann had decided that she wanted to get her hair cut into a bob [they were all the rage back then]. She had long hair that went halfway down her back, but Katie and I looked at each other and decided that it couldn't really be all that complicated. She held the pieces of hair and I used the scissors, and Sue Ann went home the next day with a whole new look. We weren't confident... Katie and I had momentary looks of terror on our faces that, thankfully, Sue Ann couldn't see. But she wanted it done, so we dove in head first.
Thank heavens I got into the habit of cutting hair that way, because it's the only way mine gets cut now! :)
I didn't know how to cantor a Mass, until I went to college and my Aunt Janella was frantic because the singer hadn't shown up for the first Wednesday night liturgy. I said sure... I could sing the Mass a cappella. What was I thinking?!?!?!? I didn't know I could design a Christmas photo card until a friend needed to find a cheaper way to send them out. I never imagined I'd be doodling for a living, until a few of you kept asking me to make them for you. When my friend Susie asked me if I could make a birthday invitation of Diego for her son I said sure... it would be easy. And then had the good sense to ask, "Who's Diego?"
I didn't do those things because I have a huge reserve of self confidence. I did those things because I'm in the habit of saying yes. I am able to blog everyday because I'm in the habit of it working. More than anything, I'm in the habit of believing if I just continue to step out in faith, that God will put what I need in front of me. That He'll line my path with the abilities and confidence that I'm lacking.
"I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings.”
~ William Sloane Coffin
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