If someone else has done it…

I am not sure when Dad and I have a specific conversation on this, nor do I remember this being a “sit-down” educational moment.  This week’s Dad Series is more about what Dad taught me by example – and how he treated me.

I can remember when Dad and I bought my first car – it was a 1981 Ford Mustang, fast back!  Now, before you get all excited about the “Ford Mustang” comment, this was in the years where they sacrificed all beauty and design for a high production vehicle.  In other words, it wasn’t pretty!

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Plus we purchased it from a salvage yard 🙂

Anyways, I paid a whopping $250 for the car when I was 12 years old and it was going to be a project car for my dad and I to work on.  I remember just going out there and sitting behind the wheel, smelling the car smell (not new car smell, the old sitting out car smell – but it was sooooo cool to me).  I remember popping the hood and feeling so proud to have my first car… but it didn’t run.

If I remember correctly there were a few things wrong with it – keeping it from being a good car.

  • 1 – Power Steering pump was not working
  • 2 – Alternator was bad
  • 3 – I have no idea what else, but I remember dad and I going to junk yards and looking for parts that we could pull for the mustang.

I know a LOT more about cars now, but here are some things that I NEVER felt. 

  • I never felt like it was too hard. 
  • I never felt like I didn’t have enough skill to fix the car. 
  • I never felt like I should leave the project to somebody else, someone who knew more than me. 

Now, this was not because I had a super confident personality, it was because I had a dad who had super confidence in me.

Yesterday we were cleaning the porch from the mud bath it was given when 4 feet of water was pouring all over it (from our friend hurricane Harvey) when Zion came up to me and asked if he could run the pressure washer.

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Sure son, just do it like this.

Well, sure enough I start seeing the paint coming off and him holding it too close to the wood, and not turning it the most efficient way, and… I could go on and on about the wrong ways that Zion was pressure washing the porch.  And then I heard it.

I heard it in my own voice.

I neglected to put super-confidence in Zion.  I started correcting him, I asked him for the pressure washer wand back so that I could get more done…

And then it hit me – I DIDN’T deserve the super confidence dad put in me.

  1. I didn’t know how to change an alternator!
  2. I didn’t know how to troubleshoot a car and the vacuum lines (that was the other problem I forgot earlier).
  3. I didn’t even know how to drive a car!!!

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But Dad CHOSE to put confidence IN ME.

  • I stopped the critiquing, and went in to encouraging mode
  • I stopped correcting, and went into coaching mode (letting him figure out the mistakes).

The truth is, I believe that Zion is much more capable at his age than I was – yet I wasn’t giving him the room to become super confident.

And I wasn’t giving him the room to never have an obstacle too great, and never have a mountain too tall.

See dad taught me something that has made my life the way that it is.  Dad told me in words and in actions –
Ben, if someone else has done it, you can do it.

So Zion, I pass the same thing on to you

If someone else has done it, you can do it!

And…

We have our project car!

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