Today was the first main stage event day of the World Domination Summit. There were so many speakers on so many inspirational topics that it was impossible to answer the question, Which was your favorite? The topic of fighting fear came up quite a bit, and of course that's the big one. Fear holds more people back from more things than anything else ever could.
I got into a conversation with a new friend about irrational fears. I shared my realization that I'm afraid of all the wrong things. I'm not afraid of spiders, dogs, snakes, jumping over fire, running a marathon, backpacking into the woods, traveling alone, being seen naked, going to the dentist, getting bit by a fire ant, climbing a rope, getting muddy, or a bunch of other common fears. I've been transforming my fear of public speaking into enthusiasm very quickly. On the other hand, I'm afraid of glamming up my appearance. As I shared, my friend responded that he was afraid of...shaving his head! He had been considering it because his hairline is receding (or so he claims), but was afraid to do it.
Hearing someone else's fear is often very funny. It's funny because until that moment, we've seen this person as completely competent and self-assured, and now we realize, Hey, every single one of us is paralyzed into inaction by something silly! It's also funny when it's something we don't fear ourselves. I've met people who were afraid of: balloons, moths, werewolves, and birds, of all things. People are often afraid of my parrot Noelle, which, to anyone who knows her, is patently absurd. Anyway, it seemed comical to fear shaving one's head, because hair grows back. I said, "What's the worst that could happen? You wouldn't like it, and three months later it would grow back." My husband chimed in, "Three weeks. In three weeks you'd just have a buzz cut." We collectively decided that he should ask a man who did shave his head regularly to tell him what it was like. You know, like what kind of razor did he use? Did he still use shampoo, or Turtle Wax?
We did a written exercise during the event. There was a picture of a circle representing your comfort zone. The exercise was to write something in the circle that you're comfortable doing, and then to write something outside the circle that scares you but that could be good for you. (Obviously, you should be afraid of things like taking love for granted, making life difficult for Future Self, or eating high fructose corn syrup). I wrote 'typing' and 'hair styling.' HEY! I'm making myself vulnerable here. Quit laughing!
Then I saw that my husband had written 'engineering' and 'blogging.' I laughed. "For me those would be opposite." He laughed, too, at the irony of it. Being expected to work as an engineer would be very intimidating for many people. I'm not sure he even realized at first that he had nothing to fear about blogging, because he happens to share a bed at night with someone who would happily walk him through the process. I told him during the break that I'd help him with anything he wanted. I'd even take dictation for him while he worked on his topic list. In five minutes we were able to determine what he wanted to call it, how often he would post, and a couple of people he would ask to guest post.
This is the great thing about collaboration. No matter the endeavor, parts of it will be easy, parts of it will be emotionally challenging, and parts of it will be mentally challenging or confusing. I'm convinced that we'll easily do anything that we 1. WANT to do and 2. KNOW HOW to do. What we often ascribe to lack of willpower or motivation, I ascribe to lack of enough ideas to figure out an approach. For instance, I'd happily go to live in Sevilla, Spain for a while, and I know my husband feels the same way, but at the moment we don't know how we would manage it. We know it's possible, we just don't know how it's possible for us any time in the near event horizon. On the other hand, if we did know how to do it but didn't feel the time was right, we'd wait, because we didn't want it. With the example of the incipient blog, my husband has the desire, and he can proceed without know-how, because he has a willing collaborator. He'll quickly know at least as much as I do, learning by doing. I pointed out to him all the ways he has helped me with various things, so he wouldn't feel like it was too much for him to ask.
Helping people is one of the greatest pleasures in life, and that's a hard fact of psychology. It is known.
An idea popped into my head, and it built throughout the day. I planned to host my own meet-up on Monday afternoon. I had the name of the meet-up, the location, my outfit, the verbiage for the app, and a list of exercises. By the end of the day, I was FIRED UP about this meet-up! I was just settling in to write up the submission, when I saw: a new meet-up. At the same time. About essentially the identical topic. This was equal parts disappointing and hilarious. Either I am tuned into the cosmic network, or my manifesting ray was turned on full force! I wasn't sure whether to be jealous or just to let myself be lazy and watch someone else do all the work. My idea could easily turn into a larger-scale project, which I may execute when I'm finished with my current gig. At worst, I'll learn something from someone else's presentation. At best, I'll be a great value-add who can validate the material.
This is what's become of my public speaking resolution this year. I've gone from a state of fear, dread, and inner turmoil to a state of anticipation and excitement. I now have the desire to be able to speak at a public event such as this. That's the fascinating thing about fear: greater knowledge makes the fear far less frightening. Sometimes it even starts to be appealing.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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