It’s all too easy to forget about the power that fear has when it comes down to the Art of Do – the space we live in when we choose to make things happen rather than stay safe in the security of believing that if we do nothing, risk will disappear.
A few years ago, a swapped skills with a wonderful artist, John Skinner who, in sharing a lovely sketch from the comedian Eddie Izzard in which Mr Izzard describes the ‘Cycle of Style’ – a loop of fashion that starts with ‘looking like a dickhead’ before gradually moving to ‘average’ before heading around to ‘fashionable’, ‘groovy’ and ‘really hip and groovy’, before nudging back over the line to ‘looking like a dickhead’ – pointing out that the line between being a hero or a zero is micro-thin and anyone pushing the limits risks slipping over the line from time to time.
Here’s something strange: the worst thing that usually happens when we try something new or challenging, and fail, is that we get to look silly for a few days – nothing more, nothing worse. In most workplaces, death doesn’t stalk your mistakes, ready to pounce – it doesn’t need to to, as our fragile egos stop us doing anything new. We worry about the opinions of people who would rather we fail than succeed (else we make them look like losers). Looking silly now again is OK, and most people don’t notice anyway.
So here’s a Little Do. Next time you’re stuck, reflect on Seth Godin’s questions about which of these four areÂ getting in the way:
- You don’t know what to do
- You don’t know how to do it
- You don’t have the authority or the resources to do it
- You’re afraid
As he says, ‘stuck is a state of mind’, and like it or not, we’re in charge of how we think.
via Seths Blog: Which of the four are getting in the way?.