Very often the stories you tell yourself keep you stuck in suck.
TOO MANY PEOPLE GOT THERE FIRST
Here’s one that’s likely to stop you in your tracks: “There are too many people doing __________ (fill in the blank) already.” You tell yourself this and then make up a story about how you’ll get lost in the vast crowds of people doing the same __________ (fill in the blank) that you want to do.
Maybe you tell yourself, “Nothing I can do will really make me stand out in this crowd,” and then, after surveying all the competition, maybe you allow yourself to be intimidated. Maybe you ask yourself, “Why even try?”
THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD
Remember the Good Mom Litany? Do this, don’t do that….”If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?” If you’re running the “too-many-people-are-already-doing-it” story in your head, it could be you took that Litany to heart a little too much.
In this funny YouTube video published by joeschoi, comedienne Anita Renfroe condenses what a good Mom says in 24 hours into 2 minutes and 55 seconds in “The Mom Song,” sung to the William Tell Overture.
That litany, like all the other Mom (and Big Person) admonitions, was supposed to get you to stop and think before you did something irrevocably damaging – physically, mentally or socially — to your little self.
It was supposed to keep you safe and unhurt when she or some other Big Person couldn’t be around to watch over you and protect you. Maybe you heard it so much that now it just pops up all on its own every time you want to try something new or do something different.
In order to get your head turned around when the Litany is running through your head, you will probably need to do another Un-Seeing Exercise….
CHANNEL YOUR INNER IMMORTAL
The best way to turn this situation around is to channel your Inner 12-Year-Old.
- Remember when you still thought you were Immortal?
- Remember when you thought you could do anything?
- Remember when you wanted to try something just because you wanted to see what happens next?
- Remember when you were too dumb to know what the Smart Thing was?
Here are some counterpoint thoughts you might want to roll around in your head that will encourage that 12-Year Old to step on out:
- Just because somebody else…or even many somebody elses are doing it does not mean that you can’t too.
- Nobody is you. You will bring your own gifts, your own skills, your own sensibilities to this thing you do. (Just make sure you do the thing the best way you know how.)
This YouTube video, “Too Many People Already Do What I Do” was published by Sean McCabe, a young entrepreneur who is the founder of seanwes, a brand that mashes together making art (in this case, hand-lettering) and creating a successful, audience-driven business.
In the video, Sean deconstructs and refutes the too-many-people story. He points out that in this vast interconnected world of ours, we are exposed to the best of the best on a daily basis. We often populate our daily feeds with all the minds we appreciate.
He also points out that it’s quite likely that when you are checking out all of the makers you admire and against whom you measure yourself, you are probably only seeing a tiny fraction of the 7 billion-plus humans on the planet.
The tiny fraction of the world’s population that is grabbing your attention are the ones who are doing things and making awesomeness. If you’re looking to become one of that number, then you’re going to be one of the relatively few.
Most of the rest of the people on the planet are more likely to be spectators, audience, or customers….people who are waiting for you to share your own gift. That is a very cool thought, huh?
Imbue what you do with your own meaning and start building and sharing your __________ (fill in the blank) your own way. Listen and respond to the feedback from your audience and persist in sharing what you do.
REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR MESSAGE SIMPLE
Steve Jobs once said, “This is a very complicated world. It is a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us…And so, we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”
Keep your message about your __________ (fill in the blank) focused. Keep your message simple. There is incredible power and freedom in simplicity.
Think. What’s the ONE thing you want people to know about you?
If you can distill your message down to one simple phrase that’s aligned to your values then that one phrase will help you maintain your conviction. With that one phrase you can carry on through the whole obstacle course you may encounter and finish what you start.
Showing up is what counts. Doing what you do the best way you know how is what counts. Maintaining your effort tenaciously (McCabe suggests showing up every day for at least two years) until you’ve made your dream real is what counts.
The rest is just parsley.
Here’s a poem:
ANOTHER FOOL, ANOTHER FOLLY
I am a Maker.
(You are one too.)
The choices and decisions I make
Determine and define the life I live.
They make a springboard or a pit
As I run and tumble and leap,
Cartwheeling across this stage
We call the World,
Dancing like God’s Own Fool.
I do have to remind myself:
It is only another performance,
Only another folly,
Just another chance to make
Someone else smile or frown or weep,
A chance to grow,
A chance to make Beauty,
A chance to touch the Mystery.
And I have to think:
It is not such a bad thing,
This dancing like a Fool.
by Netta Kanoho
Header photo credit: Great Reno Balloon Race by Ken Lund via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]
Thanks for your visit. I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts….