On Tuesday I was heading to an Arlington Connections meeting.
I didn’t want to go, I dread networking functions even if I’m good at them.
I was following the directions I had written down but something didn’t jibe. So I went around the block to try coming at the intersection again, thinking perhaps I’d missed a sign. Well, Northern Virginia doesn’t believe in providing the opportunity to go around the block. I swear no street is in a straight line around here. A street can hop from a north/south street to an east/west street just at the moment I think I have my directions figured out.
Point being: I was lost.
I couldn’t read the directional thingie on my mirror because of the glare of the sun I profess to love so much.
I was tensing up.
I had made a commitment to myself that I’d get to this event come hell or high water, so I needed to keep going until I found the restaurant where it was being held.
Then high waters came in the form of a panicked phone call from my daughter-in-law. “Is there any way you can pick up Ellie from pre-school? Neither Aaron or I can make it on time.”
Was this a message from the Universe that I’m not supposed to network?
Two illegal u-turns and one pounding my fist on the steering wheel later (because going from being lost to finding the pre-school is not easy); then an illegal maneuver that could have cost me at least $2 million dollars in fines and an immediate loss of my driver’s license, I made it to pre-school before it closed.
Note: The taxi driver connection to your future is coming. Short stories aren’t my strong suit.
Now I text my daughter-in-law that I have Ellie and – I’m typing this with a puffed up chest – I’m taking her to the networking meeting with me.
But, natch, on the way I got lost again. I have geographic dyslexia.
Now I’m tensing up even more – shoulders are up to my ears. Not only am I going to be very late for the function, Ellie’s mother is meeting us there to take her home and she’s already found the place. At this rate, Ellie may never see her mother again.
Bold action is required.
I’m sitting at a red light behind a taxi driver. He has to know where the boulevard is I’m looking for.
I put on my flashers; tell Ellie I’ll be right back and start to sprint to the taxi driver’s open window.
The light turns green. Horns honk. I run back to my car – still lost.
But luck, the Universe, God, Allah, Shiva, and Buddha must have been on my side. Right past the light the taxi driver had a pick-up! He’d pulled over and put his flashers on. I pulled directly behind him and leaped out of my car once again.
I arrived at his window and he said ” Sorry I didn’t see you soon enough at the light. I had to drive.”
What? He stopped just to help me?
Those are the moments that restore your faith in people.
Now I’m glowing with gratitude as I ask him how I get to Clarendon Boulevard.
“You’re on it.”
Double-What? My head spins ( but not, thankfully like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist ) to find a street sign. There it was CLARENDON BOULEVARD.
The taxi driver pointed out to me what I couldn’t see on my own.
I was blinded by a misguided belief that I was lost.
Everyone Needs Help Seeing Things
Sometimes we need help seeing where we are; what we’ve already accomplished; our strengths and skills.
That’s why I believe in using strength and perception assessments and various templates in my work. Often you need another person – your own personal taxi driver – to tell you you’re not lost and point out where (what) you are.
As prior clients will tell you, you’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself.
Armed with the confidence that comes from knowing where you are, it’s easy to move forward toward the destination you desire.
I’d love to be one of your taxi drivers. For details on my upcoming 6 week teleseminar series that starts April 27th, click here. You’ll be glad you did.