Another Hurdle Overcome

It never fails to amaze me – the power of self-limiting beliefs.

When I was at school, my art teacher harshly criticised my (admittedly poor) painting skills in front of the whole class. From that point, I was convinced I was useless at art and I didn’t even attempt it.

But at some point in my mid-twenties, I started accepting that I actually have quite a creative streak in me. It’s just that I’d been telling myself I wasn’t creative for years.

Another (false) thing I believed from a very early age was that I was useless at any practical tasks – anything that required my hands. I gave up trying with woodworking or anything close to it, far preferring to stick to more academic and cerebral subjects like I.T.

As an adult, I’ve gradually overturned those (false) self-limiting beliefs about my practical abilities. It’s taken a long time, but my confidence at tackling DIY jobs has steadily increased.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much an amateur. And my skill level isn’t very high. But I feel proud of myself for having the courage to tackle jobs which are way out of my comfort zone.

My DIY Accomplishments

In the last decade, I’ve:

  • tiled our kitchen;
  • painted the walls and ceiling in almost every room of the house;
  • oiled our wooden worktops to a beautiful shine;
  • used a circular saw to cut wood;
  • repaired our hole-ridden driveway with fresh concrete;
  • varnished our wooden staircase;
  • replaced the silicone sealant in our shower;
  • become comfortable using builder’s caulk, wood filler and polyfilla;
  • used a big noisy (rented) belt sander on the original floorboards in our lounge.
  • repaired a tricky leaky tap in the kitchen which had rusted solid inside and refused to budge

In the last few weeks, I’ve taught myself how to repair the plaster ceiling in our master bedroom after I accidentally poked my finger through it when our roof was leaking. The repair job isn’t perfect, but the ceiling does look better than ever before (it’s a very old house).

I’ve always been a bit scared of power tools. But recently I bought myself a “random orbital sander” and have been busy sanding every uneven surface in the house.

The Final Fear…

But there was one power tool which I still had an irrational fear of… the drill.

There have been plenty of odd jobs around our house which have been piling up over the years because I was too scared to use a drill. We even got a handyman in once just to mount a key rack in our kitchen, which required a grand total of two drill holes and about 5 minutes work.

Last week, I finally popped my drilling cherry.

I hesitantly drilled into the walls, hoping I didn’t encounter any electrical wires. Then I confidently tapped rawl plugs into the newly-drilled holes and wall-mounted surround sound speakers in our lounge.

They look and sound great, if I do say so myself.

In the last decade I’d say I’ve gone from being completely useless at DIY to actually being a moderately competent amateur.

It makes me feel proud of myself. And my wife is pretty pleased with the home improvements too.

What about you? What fears have you overcome in your own life?

P.S. Big thanks to my Dad – he’s been super supportive and helped me with many DIY tasks. He even bought me my first ever toolbag a few years ago, which is now full to the brim with various DIY tools. Love you, Dad!


I’m Obsessed with DIY!

I’ve been quiet for a few days and regular readers may be wondering if everything’s OK.

Yes, it is, absolutely… I’ve just been obsessed with various DIY and home maintenance tasks recently! (I know, I need to get a life, right?!)

I’ve been getting huge enjoyment from sanding, filling, painting, varnishing and general tidying.

One of the mini-projects I’ve been working on is my home PC, AKA…

The Bollinger BattleStation™

Below the desk is still a work in progress – there’s some more cable tidying required. But overall I’m really proud of this so far. It used to be much messier!

I’ve been doing quite a few other projects too, but I’m not going to share any details or pictures here… my wife is away for the week and I want it to be a nice surprise for her when she gets back.

Send me into orbit

I’ve even bought myself a “random orbital sander”. I had no idea what one of those was until a few days ago.

Basically it sands things in a round pattern (hence “orbital”) – and much faster than by hand. It’s my new favourite tool – I’ve been sanding everything in sight.

(Note to self: You really are a sad, lonely man.)