Don’t play small. When we’re in an office setting or other formal area, it is easy to play small, to hold back, to shirk, to not give your all, to not tell others exactly what it is you want. For whatever reason, some folks play small in offices as to not let their giant ambitions out of the bag. So, they hold back who they really are and what they’re really all about and it ends up hurting them. If you fake playing someone else other than who you are and who you really want to be, you wind up as the fake someone else. That, and you confuse the hell out of yourself and others as well. You’re doing this just so that you might not hurt others’ feelings? Why play that game? Be proud of your ambitions. Tell others. Yes, they might laugh or chuckle at your lofty goals. But so what? What do they have they’re aiming for? Where do they see themselves going? Do they even know what it is they want? Do they have clarity? Don’t play small. Play up. Play with people better than you.
This is especially true in our closest relationships. Talk about your dreams and goals with those closest to you. Share where you see yourself going. Social sharing helps us cement our vision of where we see ourselves going, especially when we’re surrounded with like-minded friends and colleagues who share in our values and goals. When we’re surrounded by people who are aligned with what we want, there’s nothing that can stop us.
We like and admire the truly ambitious among us. The people who envision a compelling future and get to work making it happen. We root for them. We admire their drive. Some of us wish we had that same drive and clarity and purpose. These are attractive qualities that draw people in, especially those who lack a clear vision for what they want and where they’re going. What could have a stronger pull on someone who doesn’t know where they going to meet someone who knows with absolute certainty where they’re going and what they want? Nothing sells like 100% confidence and absolute certainty. It is all about the three 10s as Jordan Belfort teaches.
We don’t know what we’re truly capable of. We don’t know what our true potential is. These statements should shock and surprise you because they’re true for all of us. They should also cause you to wonder. How much time have you spent in wonder lately? Contemplating potential? When was the last time you really pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone? How far did you go? What did it feel like? Was it supremely uncomfortable? Right before you did it, did you think you could do it? How much courage did you have to draw on to actually execute it? Were you really proud of yourself right after you performed the action? Did you think you could do it again immediately? Did you do it again?
Note the contrast between the feelings immediately before you took the action you really feared and the feelings immediately after you did the thing. You went from feeling raw fear to a feeling of conquering and overcoming it within perhaps a few seconds. That was all it took: action in spite of the fear. Movement. Deciding I’m going to do this and I don’t care what happens. It is, as seasoned comics say, not giving a shit in the best possible way. You’re going to push through the set no matter how awful it is for you up there on stage.
Moments of wonder exist on the other side of fear.
Moments of wonder are rare. They typically spring up when we draw upon the courage to take on a long-held fear of ours. Maybe you finally decided to go and talk to the girl. Maybe you stepped outside of your comfort zone and decided to lead a group. Perhaps it was when you said yes to the speaking engagement and you have little speaking experience in front of groups. Maybe it was being emcee for a fundraiser. Maybe it was putting your minimum viable product in front of your target market when you’re not proud of it at all and are, in fact, embarrassed by it. But you still did it anyway. Moments of wonder exist on the other side of fear. In order to see them and experience them, we have to break through the fear first.
Overcoming long-held fears.
In The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss writes about overcoming a long-held fear of swimming. Even though he grew up on Long Island, he was never a swimmer. Just didn’t do it. He was scared of the water. Then, one day, through coaching and through a bet with a friend, he overcame his fear of the water and conquered it. He says he immediately engaged and glowed with wonder thereafter, contemplating what else he was capable of. What better question is there of us than, If I can do this, what else am I capable of? We don’t know, and it is up to us to find out.
What is required to be of service here?
Brendon coaches his executives and high performers to not even think about your comfort zone when determining what is next. Instead, he recommends to take a look around and ask, “What is required to be of service here?” and then go and do that. Comfort zone be damned because it isn’t even relevant. Gotta give the presentation on a product no one knows anything about? Take it on. Need someone to be on video for the product launch? Fire up the cameras, turn on the lights, hit record, and go. Need a good lead magnet for a target market but don’t have a good one? Find out what this market best responds to and go create something like that. Don’t think you’re creative as creativity has always been outside your comfort zone? Go and try to create anyway. If you try a few times and truly suck at it and keep getting in your own way, ask for help. Remember: leaders constantly ask for help in where they’re going. No one says you have to do this alone.