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Oh Crap! It’s too late to turn back!

16 Apr Posted by in Motivational Speaker | 1 comment

(Sorry Mom for saying “crap”)

It seems like my career is a series of leaps into the unknown – leaps I chose to make. It is so warm and cozy in this comfort zone – why can’t I stay here for at least a second and enjoy knowing what I’m doing? But, no. I have to raise the bar on myself. Create something different. Jump higher. Dream all over again.

And now I find myself in that scary and lonely place, once again, between the initial excitement of a new idea, and the dream coming true. That place where you realize you can’t go back from here. Where all the vision and passion you once had has fizzled into this giant ball of FEAR. And suddenly your idea doesn’t sound so good anymore. And that little beast jumps on your shoulder and starts reminding you of all the reasons this might not work – and how bad it will be if it doesn’t.

I always hit a moment like this, and that awareness from experience, has taught me to push on in spite of it. But today I want to share this moment with you – just in case you are standing in that place for the first time, and you are scared to death to jump. I am going to tell you what I do to talk myself off the ledge – or rather push myself off the ledge – in the hopes that it’s just what you needed. And, if not, maybe you will share with it someone who does need to hear it.

  1. I remind myself that this is normal – that I go through this EVERY time. You know what’s happening. Ignore the feeling. I tell myself.
  2. I prepare even more. While preparation doesn’t remove all the risk, it removes a lot of it. And so I double up on preparation, and spend even more time looking at this dream from all angles.
  3. I find someone to encourage me. Usually I try to find someone who already knows about this dream – someone who was excited the first time around – to avoid the chance I’ll meet someone who agrees that it’s a dumb idea. I want someone to tell me to jump anyway. I’ve already decided to do it – the time for decision is over. This is the time to find someone to remind me that this is great. Sometimes I will even coach this person by saying, “I need you to tell me this is going to be great. In this one case, I don’t want your honest feedback. I just need your encouragement. Tell me I can do this.” And then I believe them when they do.
  4. I play the what if this fails game – sometimes known as at the very least. This is where I actually walk through what would happen if this doesn’t work. The absolute worst case scenario I can imagine. I face it in my head – decide that it’s not so bad – and move forward. And then I say to myself, “Well, at the very least it will turn out like this, and that will be okay too.” This game is a little trickier to understand, so let me give you an example. Let’s say I’m going to do a show where I play my canjo (my new instrument made from a string and one can). I can’t sing. And I can barely play the canjo. And saying it out loud sounds really really stupid. But I still want to do it. So I say to myself, “Well, Kelly, at the very least you’ll have one really stupid moment in your show where the audience thinks you look like an idiot for playing a stupid instrument. And they will love everything but that moment.”  And I realize that I can handle that, because then I say to myself, “But….if it works…it could be really really super cool. And just might be the coolest part of your show. And you won’t know until you try.” And so I try. Which I did, by the way, and I’m pretty sure the audience thought it was stupid. And guess what? I don’t care. I’m assuming that’s what they thought. And even if I’m assuming right, I’m going to try it again. Because I think it’s worth a second shot. And my canjo skills are rapidly improving.
  5. And then I MOVE despite my fear. By the time I reach this step I’m still just as afraid as I was at step number one. But I do it anyway. Move. Taking my fear with me. Only now I am in control of it. And so I let it go and think about something else. I have decided to do this, and do it I shall!

So this is me now moving forward. Carrying this fear with me in my bedazzled confidence purse. I’m sure it will have some more to say about all this. It usually does when the dream is really big. I just won’t listen. What about you? Will you jump with me? If you are at that lonely place between the dream’s birth and the dream’s reality – and you’re feeling the fear – take these words I have shared today to heart. The one thing I have learned in every case, was that the jump was worth it, no matter where you land. I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Your wacky motivational speaker who hopes you don’t mind that I said “crap.”

Kelly   (PS  Please share this if you think it will help a friend.)


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  1. Angela Brooks-Osborne04-16-12

    I have a song I listen to during these moments. “Risk” by Paul Brandt. Listen and maybe it can help you through this phase. It helped me through my last one. I don’t regret the jump from the cliff at all! Enjoy! Your Canadian friend :)

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