The other day, my coach asked me what I’m so afraid of? I hired Rachel a few months ago to help me transform this humble blog of mine into something bigger, something that touches more lives in a meaningful way. She’s observed that I’m really good at getting stuff done yet I’m still playing it super safe. She asked me what risks I’d need to take in order to make it happen?”
Smart question. (Investing in a coach is like investing in a really big mirror.) So I sat down and gave it some thought, and here are the top three risks I came up with.
- Looking like an ass.
- Looking like a big ass.
- Looking like an even bigger ass.
Sometimes, it really is that simple.
We’re afraid of looking like asses. We stay inside our comfort zones and just keep doing what we know we’re good at, over and over and over again — because it feels safe.
As for the stuff we have yet to perfect, we often place that on a shelf where it sits and gathers dust. We know we should take it down, but we can’t. We don’t have time. We’re just so busy doing what we’re so good at.
It’s time to call bullsh*t on your bullsh*t. (If you have none, amazing. Hop on over to another post!)
OK, so maybe you’re not afraid of trying your hand at scrapbooking or baking or Zumba (as long as nobody you know is in the class to witness your moves). But what about those endeavours that might throw a brighter spotlight on you — like writing a book, opening a flower shop, or entering a new relationship after a messy divorce?
Have you compiled a list of reasons why now is not the right time to pursue those?
Maybe the kids are still young. Maybe you’re just too tired. Or maybe the excuses you give yourself are just that; excuses. Maybe the only thing stopping you is fear because you know your endeavour could succeed just as easily as it could flop and that’s pretty darn scary.
I bailed on university because I was afraid of failing.
It breaks my mother’s heart to this day. I was on track to attend a great music college but I sucked at history. Studying music history was mandatory. That scared the crap out of me and so I did what any sane person afraid of looking like an ass would do. I bailed.
I turned out alright in the end. I eventually found my way to a different but equally creative path as a copywriter. Still, I was an avid Fame fan with a soft spot for Bruno. Music school would have been cool.
Would’ve. Could’ve. Should’ve.
That experience I had with music college — I’ve been having that same experience with Viv for Today. I’ve been afraid of jumping in only to discover I’m unable to swim. And so I skirt around the edges, convincing myself I’m there because that’s where the important stuff is, but really I’m just procrastinating out of fear.
Yesterday, this truth hit me smack dab between the eyes.
In episode two of a podcast I’ve just started listening to called The Business of Thinking Big, host Lianne Kim referenced some words of wisdom from life coach and author Brooke Castillo. Brooke advocates ditching A+ aspirations and instead, aspiring to a humble B-.
Why? Because when you aim for an A+, you have to play it safe. There’s no room for error. You need to nail it 100% otherwise you fail. Aim for a B-, however, and you can feel pretty confident that you’re going to succeed. That confidence gives you some wiggle room — room to take risks, play a little, experiment, even ask for some help if you need it.
So it’s official. I’m going to become a B- girl.
I’ve already sprung into action.
Just this morning, I jumped onto Instagram Live. Seriously, I was so petrified, my hands were buzzing with pins and needles. There was nothing A+ about this performance. I started talking and then froze. I felt myself blushing. I checked the camera. The light was working in my favour. I rambled on for 20 minutes. A few friends stopped in to say hello. The whole time this was happening I was thinking, “wow, this is happening!”
And then … it was over.
And I was still alive.
And then you know what happened?
I did it again, but this time on Facebook. (Here’s the living proof.)
All those things I’d been telling myself I needed to do in order to be ready for that moment? They were blatant excuses I’d created because I was afraid of jumping in. But I jumped. And I swam. Doggy paddle. It was messy but I stayed afloat. And damn, my hair looked good!
What are you afraid of?
What’s that one thing you keep telling yourself you really want to do, yet keep putting off until tomorrow? Ask yourself, do you really want to do it? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is yes, take ownership of whatever it is that’s standing between you and ‘it.’ That thing that keeps getting in your way — is it a valid reason or is it an excuse?
If the latter is the answer, keep this in mind:
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” You heard the Dalai Lama. Go get to it!
Viv for today xo
Before you go …
I believe things happen for a reason. You landed on this page because you’re open to becoming a more authentic, fulfilled and self-aware human being. So am I. Let’s do this together. Before you leave, take a moment to sign up for MY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER so we can keep in touch.