Suzie Humphreys Can Do That, and So Can You

Suzie Humphreys Can Do That, and So Can You

In the five years that I’ve been coaching women, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that our culture tends to exaggerate–even fetishize–fear. Even more, we mis-label fear (“Oh crap, that truck is headed right for us!”) when it’s actually discomfort (“Oh crap, I really don’t want to ask for a raise”). Really, “fear” is no excuse when you fail to take care of business.

And fear is no excuse when you’re called to take a risk in service of creating a larger life. No risk, no growth, no change, no Do-Over! No risk, and you’re a rut-digger.

Yesterday I finally heard legendary speaker Suzie Humphreys give her talk, “I Can Do That.” She’s one of those indomitable Texan women, and her story is a hoot and a holler. And she makes plain that fear is not an option. Whether her boss is asking if she knows how to write a newsletter, or run a beauty pageant, or give a helicopter traffic report, her reply is swift and unequivocal: “I can do that!”

So I was thrilled when she answered a question about feeling the fear after the exhilaration. “I don’t feel it,” she replied. Girlfriend is getting it done, not worrying about what she’ll look like. She says she learned self-efficacy (forget “self-esteem,” what’s important is the sense that you can figure it out and get it done) as a latchkey kid. “I began negotiating the adult world at a very early age.”

After the exhilaration, Suzie bypasses the fear. She gets right down to making it happen. “How hard is it?” she exclaims. “You go get a copy of the old form, sit there long enough and somethin’ ‘ll come to you.” The trouble comes, she reminded us, when you get up too soon.

0 Responses to Suzie Humphreys Can Do That, and So Can You

  1. Pam November 5, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    “I can do that” also was the signature phrase in the movie “Bill.” Mickey Rooney played the role of a man with mental retardation.Talk about an indomitable spirit!

    I couldn’t find anything on UTube about “Bill”, but here is a clip from the sequel.
    http://tinyurl.com/28zkujk

  2. Ann Daly November 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Thanks, Pam! I vaguely remembering loving that movie. I’m gonna Netflix it to re-view it.

  3. Tami July 12, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I love reading that Suzie Humphreys credits self-efficacy to being a latchkey kid – something I completely relate to. How refreshing to read about a positive by-product of having a working mom!

  4. Ann Daly July 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I understand, Tami. We need more positive stories about the kids of working moms.