Lean In

man in red crew neck sweatshirt photography

I’ve often advised people to “lean in”, to “eat that frog”, and to focus on addressing the thing that is most troubling them. Whether a conflict, a fear, or something else, leaning into it is far more effective at addressing the concern than is leaning away. I found myself offering this feedback more frequently lately, and found an opportunity to apply the feedback myself as well, to get over a fear. At this point I truly realised the ripple effect overcoming a fear can have, and how it opens ones eyes even more than anticipated.

For the longest time, I’ve had an irrational anxiety around drills. More so using the drill, and the potential damage it can cause if used incorrectly than the drill itself. What if I drill the wrong hole in the wrong place? What if I cause more damage along the way, and can’t repair the damage properly? What will my partner, family, and friends think of my feeble attempts at DIY? These are the thoughts running through my head, which I’d not even begun to observe until confronted with this recently, where I decided rather to lean in.

We had an old light fitting in our courtyard which hasn’t been working for months. We wanted to replace it with a new one before the winter sets in. We went to the lighting store together, decided on a fitting, and purchased 3 (there are 3 light fittings we want to replace, over time). I decided that the fitting which isn’t working is low risk enough that if I mess up the job, at least it wasn’t working anyways, and we’ve got an electrician coming over to do some other work soon, so he can help fix what I mess up. Of course, this isn’t exactly the confidence boost I needed, but it gave me enough of a push to get out of my irrational thinking.

I got ready, studied the light fitting, planned out the work, and proceeded to remove the old light fitting. Once that was done, it was time to drill! Two new holes required. Oh boy. I measured up, got the exact points where the holes should be, and prepped an old drill we have, as it had a drill bit already in place.

click click. Nothing. The drill doesn’t work!

All of that energy. All of that build up. For nothing!

No. Pick yourself up. Push on. We went to the hardware store, picked up 3 different bits of different sizes (when in Rome, right?), and headed home. We have an impact drill which was gifted to us a few years ago. Needless to say, this drill is far superior, yet of course the word “impact” in the title doesn’t inspire confidence when one thinks of potentially causing damage.

I measured up how deep the hole should be, marked it with tape, and fitted the bit. Now, the moment of truth. Drill placed against the wall, I slowly pulled the trigger. One hole. Phew, that wasn’t too bad. Placed the drill again. Next hole. Pulled the trigger. Phew, all done.

I proceeded to fit the light fitting, with much relief that the trilling part was done.

A few hours later, ideas rushed to my mind of projects I’ve wanted to do around the house, yet have been blocking myself on because of needing to drill holes. What was once an irrational fear or causing damage is now a world of possibility with projects which we’ll continue to benefit from for years to come.

When facing fear, uncertainly, or conflict, lean in rather than leaning away. You’ll likely find there is something far more beneficial and impactful to you that awaits on the other side of that fear.

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