Day 1: Let Yourself Off The Hook
Before I GET GOOD at this, I have to GET USED to this.
Remember this phrase: before I get good at this, I have to get used to this. This applies to everything. So don’t worry about being good. Just pay attention to how the stage feels under your feet. How the microphone feels in your fingers. The way the lights obscure some parts of the crowd and reveal others.
Stick with that image. Imagine that audience of people looking at you, waiting to hear what you’ll say. And know this 100% guaranteed truth about them: they want you to be great.
Right? They want you to be funny, inspiring, eloquent, confident, charming, and memorable. They want you to be the best speech they’ve ever seen. That doesn’t mean they expect you to be. It just means they’re on your side.
And not because they’re great people. Because they don’t want you to crash and burn, because that makes everybody uncomfortable. Far from being some unreachable mass of strangers, they are a roomful of people who want you to be great.
So lower the bar all the way down. Man, that’s just a great way to live.
I want to live that way. I want to lower the bar all the way down, to where I’m proud of myself for anything. “Look at that Colin, you put both shoes on today. Nice! You’re great at being a grown-up!” And I can make that bar even lower. “Colin, you are great at being alive.
You’re a natural. Do you know this? You are killing it at being alive.”
Think how ridiculous that sentence is. I’m killing it at being alive. But the thing is, it’s true. Up to this point, I have been incredibly good at being alive. Maybe someday I’ll stop being good at being alive. But I can tell you this: if you look at my track record, safe to say I’ll be really good at not being alive too.
That’s life with the bar lowered all the way to the floor. It’s funny that despite how doable that seems, most of the time I raise the bar as high as possible and judge myself for not being able to reach it.