This weekend I got to watch Koelle Simpson communicate with horses. She is, in every sense of the word, a master of this art.
Sometimes it seemed like all she had to do was flick her pinky and raise her eyebrow, and the horse would take off running….even when it was way across the field and didn’t seem to be looking at her.
To contrast: the first few times I went horse whispering, I whacked my rope against my legs frantically, waved my arms, stomped my foot, did everything I could to get the horse to move….and it just stared at me.
Like, oh look, the human is agitated. How adorable. I am thinking about grass now.
It takes a TON of energy to do new things.
A lot of our consciousness gets taken up trying to figure out what’s going on, and then freaking out about it.
The very first audition where they looked at me and just shook their heads, I was devastated. (In a former life, I was a professional actor.) It took me many days to recover from the ordeal. Apparently they didn’t like my hair.
Not only was I offended and humiliated, I also told myself a series of horrifying ‘truths’– that this meant that I would never get work, I was a fool for trying, and everyone was probably laughing at me and my horrible, horrible hair.
A good coach might have been able to realize that those ‘truths’ were just shitty stories. Painful narratives. Limiting beliefs. Mind crack. Bullshit. Call ’em what you want.
But you know what helped more than anything with the auditions? Even more than examining these stories? Going on a lot more auditions.
The next 200 auditions taught me in a visceral, powerful, tangible way that a) auditioning was a total crapshoot, and b) rejection was not only not fatal, it didn’t even have to hurt very much.
The simple human living of this experience was way more powerful than anything even the wisest guru could have said to me.
Nothing can replace the learning process of going out and trying something new. Can a good coach or therapist or teacher or buddy help you? Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. And if you’re considering a proposition where the stakes are high, like having a baby, starting a business, making a big career shift, or considering your first pair of Louboutins, I definitely suggest that you work on your internal clarity before, during, and after those cosmic events.
But sometimes we just have to try something. And then we have to totally bomb at it.
And then we have to recover, and wallow, and pick ourselves up, and maybe eat a bunch of chocolate, and examine the result.
I recommend that you start with the smallest experiment you can find, like ordering the new croissant at the bakery. Or posting something on that blog you haven’t told anyone about yet (ahem, the yurt’s for you, dear). Or watching someone else’s kid for a weekend. Give yourself a good safe place in which to try out the new thing.
So where in your life are you sitting on the bench?
Where are you waiting to figure it out before you take action?
Would it help if you knew that it would get easier?
I’ve never taught a harder class than the first one I ever taught. I’ve never had a tougher client than my very first one (not because she was difficult, but because I was scared out of my gourd.) I’m banking on the fact that no book will be harder than this first one, and if you think differently, I don’t want to know about it.
Nothing is harder than being a beginner. And nothing will get you there faster.
Go try something today. Something little, something thrilling.
Me, I’m going sledding again. Maybe I won’t whack my tailbone quite so hard today.
P.S. I know for many of you, like for me, the thing that scares and thrills you the most has to do with writing. This is for you: A Virtual Yurt for Rapscallion Wordslingers. We start Tuesday.