What’s Your Bête Noir?

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Wrestling with those “beasts of the dark”…

We all have our “bête noir” and mine is Technology, which in this day and age is not the best one to have. You cannot move without some sort of technology “butting into your life”. Your mobile phone does not stop ringing so do you answer it or leave it? I find a ringing phone difficult to ignore but you often have no idea who it is, whether it is an emergency, a friend wanting to chat or business. It compels you to answer it “just in case…” And how frustrating is it when you are busy to find that the call was someone who just wanted to chat? That compelling ringing phone destroying your presence. Well done those who can ignore it!

But I am not alone. Just the other day we saw pictures on the news of Benedict Cumberbatch pleading with his audience to stop filming and taking photos of his performance of Hamlet in the West End. The actors have worked hard for many months to provide the best experience for the audience only to have it marred by flashing cameras and red lights, destroying the illusion for both actors and the rest of the audience.

It’s difficult to answer questions when a recording camera is pointing at you, so flashing lights must be very distracting.

But I digress. Technology makes my heart sink. Now don’t get me wrong I can use it, I often do – in fact, I am right now whilst writing this article for you. I have a website which I built myself – yes, I did – it is possible to overcome the challenge but it was tough and I was very pleased when it was completed. I also experienced a great feeling of success. Although I do admit that I had some help. My website is messy at the moment as it is having a summer upgrade. I do alter some things but not very often – and you know why!

However, some months ago a client said to me that she thought I should write a blog because of the way I talked and wrote. Well, I was amazed, but thrilled as I love to write. In fact, whenever I can catch a few moments in the evening or weekend, I am writing fiction and I love it. How do I write? With pad and pen! Yes, it is the only way that my creativity is any good. I always have a pad and pen nearby and write longhand and then, when I have time, I type it up.

So back to the blog. The best place for the blog would be with my website, I decided, but could I work out how to set it up? I watched videos, talked to people, a good friend came round and “popped” it onto my website – but I still couldn’t finish it off and set it up as I wanted. Okay, I’ll be honest – he did that in January! That’s how bad it is. I am just about to take it to the next level although my daughter-in-law did provide a lot of help when she was here the other weekend. I just have to do the final touches.

Breakthrough came today. I realised that nothing would happen until I finished everything off. It is only with technology that I procrastinate and, to make it worse, I get annoyed with myself for not getting on with it and taking control. Why does this happen? Because I am convinced that I will mess it up and not be able to put it back to the way I want it.

You would think that something like this would only happen if I had actually “messed” something up but I haven’t. I’m just scared I will and then won’t be able to fix it and I will lose something valuable. How can it take eight months to not get a blog up and running?

I can race a yacht the wrong way round the world, trek with bears and cougars, open a “thought to be impossible” dog-sled trail to the northernmost tip of Europe but putting a simple blog onto my website scares me silly.

I am happiest when I am talking to someone, on the phone but preferably face-to-face – that is my best way of connecting with anyone and so much more enjoyable.

I am sure that everyone has their own bête noir. It frustrates me that I cannot overcome it.

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About Author

Rona Cant

Rona Cant is an explorer, international speaker and author. Once an unexceptional, middle-aged single parent she became a round-the-world yachtswoman by competing in the BT Global Challenge Round the World Yacht Race (the toughest yacht race in the world). For the last 10 years she has been putting together programmes on leadership and teamwork, and motivating businesses and individuals to get out of their comfort zone and reach their potential based on the lessons learnt on her expeditions. Her second book, Snow, Sleds & Silence – the Story of the Nordkapp Expedition describes the ups and downs of her epic adventure on this trail, which lead her to establish Arctic Leadership Challenges which offers experiential training inside the Arctic Circle for individuals and teams.

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