Confidence or Trust? It All Depends Who’s Driving

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is starting off nicely.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to ride on a yo-yo? I guess it’s a lot like a rollercoaster, but without some of the thrills. One moment you’re up, the next you’re headed back down again, the whole time hoping that string doesn’t finally break. And every time you look, it’s getting a little more frayed. I guess that’s the reason I never took up bungee jumping.

That seems to be the way life goes sometimes. One moment you’re on top of the world, and then you’re headed right back down again. Some days it’s like a leisurely drive through the country, one gentle hill after the next. Other times, it’s more like being pushed out of an airplane. At times like that, one thought races through your mind – who packed my parachute?

There are reasons most avid skydivers learn early how to pack their own parachute. For one thing, it’s a lot cheaper if you do it yourself. But I think the even greater motivation is knowing that when you’re free-falling toward the earth at 15,000 feet, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. You want to know it was done right.

Imagine going into surgery and seeing a “how-to” video on an overhead TV. You look at the surgeon and he excitedly says, “I’m so excited – this is my first time doing this by myself!” That’s when you find out how quickly you can run with an IV pole attached to your arm. Yet, for every surgeon out there, one of those patients was their first, a fact I’m sure those patients never knew.

Now, packing your own parachute is one thing. Somebody shows you how, you practice a few times under supervision, and then you do it by yourself. And you’re all in – the moment you step out the door of that plane, your life can change in an instant. That’s what I call commitment. The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. And it’s all on you. No one else to blame.

Thankfully, we never get the chance to try the same thing with open-heart surgery. I’m pretty sure there are laws against that. Even in something as straightforward as defending yourself in court, there’s an old saying that attorneys love to throw around – anyone who acts as his own attorney in court has a fool for a client. Sometimes, you’ve just got too much skin in the game.

The secret is knowing the difference – what can you do for yourself, and what should you trust to somebody with a lot more experience? Now, personally, I would put packing a parachute that I plan to strap on my own back into that second category. But then, my wife trusts me to replace the brakes on her car. She just doesn’t like the pile of “spare” parts left over at the end.

The difference between confidence and trust is who’s doing the work and who’s got the most to lose. You can have confidence in your ability to solve a problem, but when you hand that problem to somebody else, it’s a matter of trust. And maybe just a little bit of hope. Trust takes confidence. Hope is pretty much a leap of faith. Kind of like jumping with the first parachute you ever packed.

There are things in life we should leave to others. Open-heart surgery would be at the top of the list. Other things we can do for ourselves. But somewhere in the middle lie those things you either trust to somebody else or have the confidence to tackle on your own. And sometimes, it’s a mix of the two. You hand it off to somebody else, but watch like a hawk in case you have to step in and take over.

When it comes to your career, a business venture, managing your financial portfolio, or any of a dozen other things, you may have to put a certain amount of trust in other people. But at the end of the day, you’re the one with the most to lose and you have to take personal responsibility for the end result. Blaming somebody else may feel good, but it doesn’t change the bottom line a bit.

We all place a certain amount of trust in other people, whether it’s on the job, around the house, or in traffic with a bunch of people you’ve never met. You trust that person beside you to stay in their own lane. But unless a trip to the hospital sounds like an exciting way to end the day, you still have to take responsibility for avoiding disaster. And that means more than just staying in your own lane.

Life is nice when you’re cruising along on top of the world, but never forget somebody or something is holding you up. Put your trust in those people and things, but be ready to take over if the situation changes. Plan ahead, and you’ll have the confidence to tackle anything that comes along.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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