That picture was taken at Ken MacArthur’s JV Alert LIVE Event last July in Denver. I was not one of the scheduled speakers. I was just an attendee.
But in the course of the event it leaked out that, among other things I was a professional juggler who also teaches people how to juggle as part of risk taking, team building, pattern interruption and just about any other personal development goal you can think of.
So when there was some extra time at the end of the event, Ken asked what people would like to do.
And of course a few pointed to the bald guy in the third row and said…
“We wanna learn how to juggle!”
So I got up and did my thing. It seemed to go pretty well. Joel Comm offered himself up as a guinea pig, and I got invited to train the next month at the event in Philadelphia.
Both of those were fun, and I made some great friendships and connections.
But in terms of “being afraid,” it was no big deal. I’ve done similar performances hundreds of times, for groups as large as a thousand people.
And even though some influential people in my space were part of it, I consider my skills and my consciousness to be up there with them…at least in that area.
So again…no biggie.
Don’t misunderstand…there are many people who know things I don’t know, do things I don’t do, understand things I don’t understand. There’s a lot to learn…always.
And that brings me to the point of this note.
A Facebook post from today…
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
Most won’t honestly ask or answer that question. They’ll deflect their failure or mediocrity onto some outside circumstance.
I know…I did it for years. It’s still present in my life….just like everyone else.
For some it’s the fear of failure.
But for most it’s the fear of SUCCESS. For being willing to own your competence, your ability to do more…and to manage it.
And to feel worthy of receiving more.
More respect (from yourself and others).
You won’t get good stuff if you don’t figure out what you’re afraid of. You’ll just be one of the smug critics who take pot shots from the sidelines at the people who are actually doing it.
(And yes, that includes pot shots at politicians you think are stupid and corrupt. So why aren’t YOU running for office?)
If you want to figure out what you’re afraid of, start by doing what you’re good at, then push the envelope little by little.
Or in one giant swooping move.
Your fear will show up…and you’ll be positioned to laugh at it, make peace with it and set it aside.
I was able to do my thing in Denver, and in Philadelphia…and lots of other places…because the pain of not trying was worse than the pain of possible failure.
And that happened because I did the work to make it so I wasn’t satisfied with mediocrity.
* With not making enough money.
* With not having the self-respect of feeling personal growth.
* With not being the kind of role model I wanted to be for my family and my students.
Those were worse than the possibility of flubbing my presentation or dropping the juggling equipment on stage.
(Which by the way…I still do from time to time. How can I ask people to take risks if I’m not willing to do it myself?)
But for most people failure is more comfortable than success.
Not the failure of screwing up on stage.
Not the failure of of losing money.
Those failures are paralyzing and terrorizing to most people.
I’m talking about the failure of blind conformity.
Of doing what everyone else does and thinking how everyone else thinks because it’s “safe.”
That is failure, because you are denying yourself the gift of your own humanity…and you’re it denying to the people who love you and want what’s best for you.
The thing that scares the crap out of most of us is SUCCESS.
Of moving into a place we don’t understand. Where the rules are different, and you seem to have more responsibility…
To yourself, and to other people.
Yes, you usually do make more money. And even that feels like a burden.
And the biggest reason…
You don’t have a personal narrative of success, prosperity and abundance.
Narrative: The Story You Tell Yourself, About Yourself.
You don’t feel worthy of the success, so you default to failure.
Sounds ugly, huh?
Want a way out…so that you get to experience the fear of both failure and success?
But you see them as an adventure, not something to be avoided?
1. Do What You Already Know How To Do. (I heard this from Diane many times, but it’s also something I’ve been teaching on my own.) People who are active tend to stay active. People who watch other people do tend to stay observers.
2. Do More. Do more of what you already know, or do things you kinda, sorta know, but not all the way.
3. Repurpose Failure. Messing up and making mistakes are signs that you’re in activity and growth…the opposite of stagnation. And since we’re human, we know how to learn from our mistakes.
4. Repurpose Criticism. Those who ridicule you are always pointing a mirror back to their own unwillingness to get out of their own comfort zone. They aren’t bad people. They just don’t hear the call of growth, adventure and achievement that you do. Is that who you’re working to please?
5. (The big one) Learn To Receive. Most of us have an easy time being generous. Giving comes naturally. I love giving. We have a much harder time being willing to accept from others. Praise, honor and (wait for it) money from other people. Once you get good at holding your hand out and letting people fill it – from a place of trading value for value – you’re on the way!
There’s a lot of stuff we can do. And knowing we can do it…and knowing we are called to do it makes failure much less spooky than it is now. And it makes success that much more fun!
Because you are worth experiencing your own success!
CLICK HERE to start the journey.