I think I've got this nailed!
A few years back I decided to test myself, to see how courageous I was. I asked myself,
'What is something I have always wanted to do, but too scared to try'? It was a no brainer... stand-up comedy.
What's on your list?
With no thought, I entered Australia's largest amateur open mic comedy competition. No experience required so I confidently came out on stage swinging like I had something, thinking I can do this! And I bombed... it was ugly.
I've presented a gazillion public talks in my zoo career; it is exactly the same thing. Oh boy, I was wrong! I found myself holding a mic, looking into a bright spotlight surrounded by infinite darkness, just praying for the silence to be broken with laughter.
I went blank! My flight defense system shut down my ability to think and what was maybe 20 seconds of silence felt like 2 minutes. It was finally broken by crowd members reminding me what I was saying before I comedically died on that stage.
I managed to string a few sentences together, finished my 5 minutes and walked off to applause. I actually felt pretty good, not because I bombed but because I actually made myself do something completely out of my comfort zone. I briefly poked my head out of the comfort bubble I had been living in for decades, and it felt like I was breathing in rare oxygen. Like I had opened the door to a whole new side of me I had yet to explore.
To 'bomb' in comedy is a rite of passage. It is something you have to experience, and I believe we all experience when we start something new. I remind myself regularly when starting on a new path that 'the Fool precedes the Master'. Or in our modern-day social media world... 'everyone starts with ZERO followers'. I know the 'Fool' is such an important part of my character as it is the sub personality that has the naive confidence to climb Mt Stupid! With no preparation, no fear of judgment or failure.
The Dunning - Kruger Effect really does nail my repeating trend when trying to make significant life changes or pivots.
I have come to learn this is how I grow and turn on new parts as a unique individual. It is necessary to step out of my comfort zone, challenge my abilities, and fail. This is how to learn, to discover who it is you could potentially be, get positive emotions and achieve personal fulfilment.
With every change in life, I'm going in with some new awareness.
I must be a fool to start! Get up there on Mt Stupid and be seen to be doing something different, take a look around and take in a deep breath of self-discovery.
There will be a 'Valley of Despair' or Turnback moment. But don't quit now. To quit means it is over. How bad do you want this in your life? How necessary is this change?
Over time I will work it out.
Trust the process.
Keep moving forward.
My stand-up has slightly improved.