In my last post I wrote about the little guy who got spooked by the scratch of a Velcro strap, and thinking he had been bitten by a crab, totally melted. <If you missed it you can read that post here.>
We’ve all been there. But for most of us, our challenge is not in addressing those sudden fears but the ones that stay around, hang with us, permeate our thinking and simply become a way of life. These are the fears that make us feel stuck and prevent us from making decisions and moving forward with our hopes, goals and dreams.
I always find comfort in the shared human experience. What do I mean by that? What does that have to do with fear? Am I happy other people are fearful? Absolutely not! My work is about helping people move away from – or perhaps a better way to say it – to take action in spite of their fears!
What I am saying is that if I know and see others deal with the same thing I do, then I am reminded that this is part of being human and I find strength and encouragement in that. I remember that I am not alone and that everyone deals with some of the same fear-based thoughts and feelings.
I regularly read and hear comments both from famous and not famous people that reinforce this idea.
Here is an example:
Jefferson Mays is a veteran Broadway and Tony award-winning actor. But he writes that his longevity and successes don’t make stepping out on stage every night any easier. “It’s akin to leaping out the door of an airplane without your parachute. I’ve been acting for what – a quarter of a century? – but I still have butterflies in my stomach.”
Reminder: Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Producer Jordan Roth, owner and operator of five Broadway theaters that has produced multiple hits says he knows the anguish of seeing a show he loves fail to connect. “When your love and the audiences love don’t match, it can be really painful – for everybody.” But that doesn’t stop him from waking up the next day and preparing for that next big opening night.
Reminder: Reframe your idea of “failure” and keep going.
You may remember David Byrne from the Talking Heads, and at age 64 he continues to be a prolific creator, writing books and off-Broadway musicals among other things. “I get a lot of ‘Whoa, no’ when I pitch my ideas. But someone eventually says yes.”
Reminder: There’s a time to listen and a time to ignore other’s opinions. (the trick is knowing when – but that’s another post!)
And perhaps my favorite comment comes from Tom Brady, “I have to work my butt off all week and work really hard to get to the game feeling confident with what I am trying to accomplish and get down the field to score some points. “
Really? He can make his game look so easy!
Reminder: There is no substitute for dedication and effort.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite shared human experience story? Please post it in the comments below.
Are you trying to take action in spite of your fears?