Dealing with the stuff you just can’t do

Ramesh Mayyappan suspending in the air on a rope - he looks like he is sitting.

I can’t climb ropes.

I spent yesterday with a group of people who can – they were shimmying up and down like it was the easiest thing in the world.

I sat and watched them rehearse. Awe mixed with envy.

Do I want to learn to climb ropes so I can be like them? Partly. But like many people I’m not great at admitting what I can’t do. I want to be good – or at least basically competent – at everything. I do feel compelled to try to learn, at least enough to be able to simply climb a rope – to conquer both my fears and my inadequacy.

But do I want to put all that time and the energy into something I don’t have a natural aptitude for? Possibly not.

There was one guy who was phenomenal on the ropes. He looked at home there. He could climb and wrap the rope around his foot and rest – with the confidence I simply use to sit on my sofa. I would never look like that. With all the training, all the support and all the core strength in the world it would never be that easy for me. Do I want to work really hard at something just to be mediocre?

It’s the strengths based approach stuff, isn’t it? Rather than putting effort into stuff you’ll only be ok at, why not put that effort into the stuff you are good at in order to be extraordinary?

I’m going to spend a bit more time today thinking about what I am good at – where I could shine brighter – and try to get the temptation of the ropes to leave my head.

The image is one I took of Ramesh Mayyappan sitting up a rope. He is rehearsing Skewered Snails, one of the Unlimited Commissions featured in PUSH ME, a developing project for The Space.

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