Parallel Parking

When I took my driver’s test I didn’t do the parallel parking part.  I told the instructor to just fail me on that, because I hadn’t ever done it, and not to worry, because I wouldn’t be doing any parallel parking.

Luckily, there isn’t a lot of cause to parallel park here in Texas – and when there is, the parking spots are generous – they are built for SUVs and big Pickup Trucks (at least in the parts of San Antonio I hang out in).

I don’t know when I learned to parallel park, or when I first did it.  Today it seems odd to me that I had a problem with it (it was the only thing I had points taken from on the entire driver’s test).

I just wasn’t ready to parallel park.  I knew my limitations.  I deferred that task because it wasn’t something I was good at, or something I really needed at the time.  Or something I had experience with.

Knowing your limitations is probably the most valuable thing you can learn about yourself.  If you know your limitations, and are honest,  then you will rarely disappoint (either your bosses, employees, customers – or yourself!). 

But in the same way you need to know your limitations you especially need to understand where you can just spread your wings and fly – and trust that you will remain aloft.  There are times in life to be cautious and careful.  And there are times you just need to trust that you know your limitations, and as unfamiliar as the current task may seem – as impossible as you see it, it doesn’t really fit into any of your known limitations.  It;’s time to try something completely new to you.

This is the “Why Not?” moment.  This is when you decide to put yourself out there – all the way out there.  You don’t care if you can’t parallel park because there are a lot of things you can do – and even more things you haven’t tried that you can probably do.  Things that are worth trying to do.

This is when you leave the familiar and enter into the uncomfortable.

In my experience part of this is knowing that you can’t parallel park, and that’s ok.  If you know how to find someone that can parallel park then you have removed a limitation (and created a job!).

Know what you are good at, and what you aren’t.  Bring in the right people to help you with what you aren’t good at.  Spend your energy on what you are good at.