Great article. Powerful analogy. While reading the article, I could totally picture learning to kitesurf, and being a woman, I didn’t have any problem using the word FEAR. :) “Shy” is about being uncomfortable meeting people. But it’s often hard for men to admit having some fear or being afraid, especially fear of being embarrassed which is often what happens when you know you’re going to do a spectacular face plant in front of others. Most of us aren’t fond of public humiliation, even if it’s only in our own heads. And the fear movie we play out in our minds often is enough to stop us, not only from trying new things, but jumping into them wholeheartedly.
And before you accuse me of being sexist, which I’m not, in my psychotherapy practice, I’ve learned to use the word “concern” or “concerns” instead of “fear” or “fears” with men because the male client will often deny the feeling of fear. When I restate the exact same sentence and swap words, the man will admit to something he denied a minute before.
Back to kitesurfing…I’d probably have some other fears about kitesurfing— am I strong enough, what if I lose control? And yes, I’d probably play it safe and have the slower learning curve unless I was coached about that natural tendency with regards to kitesurfing and about how to overcome it. But I also know that determination plays a large part in success, so I’d probably get there eventually using the safe route — I usually do.
However, I’m all for an accelerated learning curve, so I’m going to remember the kitesurfing analogy and use it in the future. Thanks for that, Tristan!