As most of you know, I’m currently off the public stage, on a sabbatical (details here). And what a mind-bending, consciousness-expanding, and comfort zone-exploding journey it has been thus far…
Two weeks ago on an around-the-world trip, I flew from Helsinki to JFK, where I was greeted with a sign, “Welcome to the United States.” But I was just passing through and for the first time in my 54 years, I don’t have a home in the country I was born and raised in. And to tell you the truth, that’s a little scary at first.
That and a couple of other situations got me thinking about fear, and when fear is healthy and good for you. So I decided to send you another postcard.
I’ve been coaching an amazingly talented singer to audition for the X Factor television show. He made it through the first round, got to the smaller audition with the producer and got through that. Then he was back in his hotel room with a panic attack, having trouble breathing and he called me.
Here’s what I told him…
Almost every season, on every competition show, there is “the ambulance person.” They have a hard time breathing and can’t sing, or they faint and get rushed to the hospital, or they stay up rehearsing all night then collapse the morning of the finals, or they break their ankle before the dance competition.
The show producers milk it for all the drama they can, and the ambulance person is the focal point of that particular episode. Then they go home, and they are never heard from again…
They’ll probably save the recording, and for the rest of their life will replay it to family and friends, lamenting how they could have made it big – until the bad break came and they were the victim of the sickness/disease/accident/malady. But if you’ve studied the Course in Miracles, you know there are no victims; only volunteers.
Don’t be the ambulance person.
They call the ambulance for the physical ailment. But the condition isn’t physical. It’s mental.
The physical disorder is a self-sabotage reflex, almost invariably created by one of two underlying causes:
1) Worthiness issues
2) Fear of Success
If you have the first one, it’s certain to cause the second one. People are physically striving for success in the conscious world, but subconsciously undermining it, without even knowing they’re doing it. If you suggest they might be holding themselves back, they usually are incredulous at the suggestion, and may attack you for making it. Such is the power of delusion.
And this harmful, defeatist behavior plays out in lots of situations, not just talent competition shows. Here are some real-life examples:
The truth is, we sometimes do need to set the stage, decide the logo, test the price, raise money, or other actions to prepare for success. The problem is when you pass that stage, but you’re still using it as an excuse not to move forward...
Okay, you have to test the price. The only way to do that is to get the offer out and test some prices. So drop the mail piece, send the email, or run the commercial.
Okay, it’s hard to write the great America novel when you have to get the kids ready for school, the phone’s ringing, and you’re worried about the bills. But every great novel, non-fiction book, opera, play, and short story started as a crappy first draft. Get your ass in front of a keyboard and start typing.
Okay, you want the logo to be perfect. The truth is, no one but you and your mother gives a shit about your logo. If you send prospects an offer for a product or service that will solve a problem they have – they will lovingly, joyfully, gratefully throw money at you to get it. Sell something.
Okay, you think you need $500,000 to start your project. That means it can really be bootstrapped for a tenth of that. Invest what you have and mix in your sweat equity, passion and love. That will be enough to get you over the top, or you’ll attract the money along the way. (Or the venture will fail and you'll realize there is something better you should be doing.)
Okay, if Oprah recommended your book it would sell millions of copies and save the rainforest, the whales and the tofu burgers. But Oprah’s never heard of you and you don’t have a connection. So write articles, guest post on blogs, do interviews, contribute to forums, participate in professional associations and build a tribe by offering value.
If you’re getting ready to get ready, you’re really just making excuses to protect yourself from the thing you fear most: Not fear of failure, but fear of success.
If you are a member of any of the world’s organized religions, there’s no doubt you’ve been infected with many issues surrounding self-esteem and worthiness.
If you’re a citizen of a country with a collectivist philosophy (which is most of them), odds are very high you are programmed to feel guilty about your own success.
If you were born and raised in a family of humans, the chances that you’ve been programmed to believe you’re not good enough, don’t deserve success, or that success is for other people is very high.
And when you believe you don’t deserve something, you don’t let yourself attain it. You work for it consciously, but work against it subconsciously. And the subconscious mind always wins.
So how do you know if you’re past the point of getting ready – and now you’re just unknowingly using it as an excuse to sabotage your efforts?
If someone sent you here to read this, that’s your first clue. If you’re reading this thinking someone you know needs to read this, then you’re definitely the one it’s written for!
Get to work. Do something amazing.
Now that still leaves the issue of worthiness. That fact that you’ve probably been programmed to believe that you don’t deserve to accomplish great things, live a prosperous life, and be amazing. I get that.
So I’m here to tell you that you do deserve it. Really.
Everyone is a genius. Including you. We all have different areas in which we express that genius. Some are architects, others are poets. Some are B-Boys, others are scientists. Some are doctors, inventors, entrepreneurs, sculptors, mathematicians, teachers, scoutmasters or preachers. But everybody is amazing.
You are amazing. Be amazing.
And just know that when you do, mediocre minds will fear you. Some may ridicule you. Some will even attack you. They don’t really hate you. They hate themselves because they don’t have the guts to do what you’re doing. So forget about the critics and go for it.
And also know that when you do something amazing, something important, something epic – it’s going to be a little scary. Or a lot. So two very important questions to ask are these:
How big is your fear? How big are you willing to let it become?
If you’re not at least a little scared – you haven’t started a project worthy of you. The bigger the fear you are willing to face – the greater the accomplishment you will ultimately achieve.
Be true to your talents. Be amazing. Be afraid.
P. S. I promised that if you guys spread the word on these postcards, I would continue to post them. So you know the drill…