Each and every one of us has at some moment in our lives been very afraid of doing something. Maybe yours was diving off the diving board, giving your book report in front of the class, perhaps it was your first recital, all of us have experienced those butterflies just before the “spotlight” was on us. Then there are those who seem to pull the spotlight themselves and those who stand there and knock it out of the park with seemingly little effort. What’s the difference?
One of my favorite shows to record and watch later is: Inside The Actor’s Studio. Recently there was a wonderful exchange with Hugh Jackman. About an hour and 50 minutes into the program he said something profound: “….everyone should take acting class; when you are frozen in fear, you must reach down inside yourself and become more, stretch and do not let the emotions on the surface determine what you are going to do…” and then he said this: “…after all you’ve already done the most fearful part and that is to decide to be an actor!” As the recording continued, I was no longer present in the room. My gaze drifted toward a big picture window where I could see a valley of gleaming lights. Each light represented a home where people lived and there were thousands of lights. It then struck me that each of us is like the actor struck with fear of what the thousands of lights there in the valley might think of us as those who are “on stage” in our own lives, about to give a presentation, strike out on our own, put ourselves out there and our greatest fear is being judged.
BUT wait! We have already conquered the biggest critic of all, ourselves! We have already decided in our minds that we want to do whatever it is we feel passionate about and that negates all fear, because deep inside ourselves we know we have something of value to offer those in the twinkling lights there in the valley and they need what we have. We have already proven ourselves to our greatest critic!
We are all actors in our own production of our lives. We are the leading ladies and the leading men. Your performance is being perfected each time you appear on stage (and for most of us that is everyday). We are honing our skills, our performance, our ability to articulate and give the performance of a lifetime in our to get that order, that client, that sale, that goal we have been aiming for for the last two quarters.
Fear is the polish you have and your performance is the buffing cloth that shines you up and you will give a stellar performance.
You have already conquered the biggest fear and that is to “decide” you have something!