I once read about a study that said people are actually more afraid of the unfamiliar than they are of pain! Think about it – Isn’t that crazy? The fear of doing something new was more terrifying than inflicting harm or allowing harm to be inflicted upon oneself. It explains a lot, why people stay in bad situations, bad partnerships, bad jobs, or bad neighborhoods. It’s the very essence of a good brainwashing.
Many find it easier to say they want something (a better life, higher quality relationships, to earn more money, to start a company) than to actually do anything about it. That’s why people often complain about work at home, and about home at work – They’re chicken! Bok bok bokok!
Fine, that was immature… but somewhat amusing? Okay, but really though, it blows my mind when I think about where we all began – as children and as babies, wanting, running, grabbing, full of adventure and bravado, purposely seeking out unchartered terrain. When did we get so guarded, so stationary? When did learning and trying become so frightful?
This is of particular significance for anyone fancying themselves a boss or master of their own destiny for that matter. There’s a saying in theater that a script can be “dead on the page.” In other words, not until the play is read, enjoyed, contemplated, and enacted in the bodies of actors does the story come to life. And it’s the same for any plan or blueprint: dead on the page, devoid of meaning and power, until it is activated and followed through.
Businessman, Mark Suster, believes entrepreneurs are made of these four letters: JFDI. Just F***ing Do It. He tells a great story of having to break the bad news to an aspiring startup founder, You are not a real entrepreneur because all you do is talk. And how did this guy take it? To heart. He finally got to work, raised his own money, developed a prototype, and by the time he met some investors, everybody wanted in! The before and after difference? Major! That’s the power of JFDI.
Often times, our fear of “failure” is unjustified and imaginary. If we take baby steps as we did when we were actual babies, we can reasonably move the ball forward without losing anything!
In 2010, I applied for 12 jobs and didn’t get one (true story). Did things get worse as a result of the rejection? No, things stayed the same. I didn’t have a job. And then, I didn’t have a job. Last spring, I invited a college career adviser to consider my workshop for her students and didn’t get the gig (another true story). Did something bad happen? Did things get worse? No, they just stayed the same. I wasn’t teaching there, and then, I still wasn’t teaching there. Just last month, I applied for an artists exchange program and didn’t get in (also true). Was it bad? Was there damage? No, I wasn’t in the program before I applied and I wasn’t in the program after. Nothing got awful or dangerous. When efforts don’t pan out, often times, life just goes back to the usual. And is the usual manageable? Sure it is!
Let’s seriously look at this together. Fact: What you perceive as losing or failing is mostly low-risk. And what about what you stand to gain by giving your ideas a go? The world! YOU STAND. TO GAIN. THE WORLD. Putting myself out there, I’ve gotten a paid-for trip to the Philippines for an educational program, I’ve scored well-paying acting gigs, I’ve given professional development workshops at several colleges and organizations, and I’ve started my own lil consulting business, among lots of other great wins! Those things wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t Just F***ing Do It.
I invite you now to join the call to REJECT REJECTION!
I, ______________, hereby declare to give my all: to my ideas, to helping people, and to enjoying life. I shamelessly seek high quality relationships and conversations. I honor my intellectual curiosity and I use google to learn new skills (not just to watch this week’s viral videos). I am inspired by leaders in the field and I aspire to accomplish my dreams with grace.
Feel free to use the comment space below to make your declaration to reject rejection!
Watch this video to enjoy further inspiration and to hear from yet another boss. I must say though, I wouldn’t tell you to just up and quit your job. Fortunately, I myself didn’t have to. As I mentioned above, I already didn’t have one! Still, the message is unambiguous and definitely worth noting. JFDI!
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