I had a friend over the other day to help me hang curtain rods. It's not rocket science, but it involves tools, a ladder, a level, and a little bit of elbow grease. It's not necessarily a two-person job, but I don't love ladders, and it's a lot simpler to have someone on the ground to hand things up and pass things back and forth. We were about an hour into the project when she commented "I don't think I'd ever try this myself" and told me she'd just hire this out. She also asked how old I was when I learned to use these things, assuming it must have been some skill I had acquired as a very young child.
Truth be told, I have no clue when i learned to do this -- and I think the first time I tried hanging curtain rods was less than 3 years ago in my daughter's room, but that was the only time. This got me thinking - what is it about some people that makes them think they can tackle anything (whether they're right or wrong) and makes other people think they can't?
I have another friend - L - who is the most unafraid person I've ever met when it comes to house projects. Re-wire under-counter lights? Check. Replace all the inside components of a toilet? Check. She's my inspiration - and is a great one to ask "is this something you think I could do?" (For reference, if she says to outsource something, it's probably wildly out of my wheelhouse.) My middle sister is a close runner-up in this category -- she'll tackle anything.
The next thought was about men and women and their roles here. I know many more men who are project-confident and many more women who quickly assume something is beyond their skillset. Both are often wrong.
Where do you fall on this continuum?