I was sitting outside now, thinking about what I wanted to write this Juicy Tuesday.
Over the past few days I’ve been helping participants on the Screw Work Let’s Play 30 Day Challenge to get their project ideas ready to start bringing them to life on 1st October, this Saturday. The whole idea is that they spend 30 days doing a project that has them doing something they love, something they’ve been wanting to try for years, but have been finding excuses to not do. On the 1st October they will gather up all those excuses, all those fears and JUST DO IT.
The projects that come out of this are always amazing, but for me, it’s not just about seeing ideas come to life, it’s seeing the people that are doing it come to life that gives it the tingle factor for me.
While I help them get clear on what project will have them buzzing and coming to life, my main job is to listen out for when their project is really coming from the heart. I listen out for the excitement mixed with fear. If it’s not there, then it’s usually a sign that they’re hiding. Keeping something quiet. Not speaking their truth. Killing off the dream that really wants to come out.
Because we all do it. We keep many of our deepest desires hidden and locked up. We don’t allow them out to play.
And up popped my prompt for today’s Juicy Tuesday: What dream are you keeping hidden and locked up? What are you not allowing out to play? What dream are you refusing to give life to?
And then I made a huge mistake. I turned the question in on myself. Well I had to. I can’t just sit here expecting everyone else to do it while I sit snuggled up in my comfort zone.
So I asked myself that same question. What dream am I keeping hidden and locked up? What am I not allowing out to play? What am I killing off that my heart longs for? Where am I pushing away in the direction I really long to go in?
The answer is always the same. It always has been the same. For years and years and years. It pops up every time.
I remember myself as a child painting wild abstract paintings and loving it. What people might think of it didn’t even enter into the equation. I just loved the feel of it. And on the rare occasions where I’ve let myself do it as an adult, when I’ve not cared how it turns out and just got lost in it, I have an experience of being in love. And that is no exaggeration. It literally feels like I’m in love.
You’d think I’d be painting 24/7 with that kind of a buzz.
But no. Last time I painted or drew was…err…
Plain and simple, something about it terrifies me. I can wax lyrical about it being a fear of failure, perfectionism yadda yadda yadda.
But wrapping myself up in why I do it is just another sneaky way of delaying DOING IT.
Then quick as a flash before that sluggish fear had a chance to catch up with me and pull on the breaks, I had a brain wave. ‘I know’, I thought with delight ‘to celebrate the end of the 30 Day Challenge, I will buy myself a canvas and paints and I’ll do that thing that I’ve been denying myself for years. And I’ll declare it to the Juicy Tuesday crew and then at the end of November I’ll show what I’ve done. yes!’
And before the fear had taken it’s grip, I’d shaken on it. Done. No going back on it now.
And then the fear came thundering in, guns blazing. Furious at what I’d gone and done.
Idiot, I thought. Actually I thought far worse than that, but let’s just say it was ‘idiot’.
But even as I stomped back inside, slammed the door, ‘accidentally’ bashed my laptop against the wall and spilt tea on the floor as the anger bubbled up. I knew I had to do it.
My heart isn’t as stupid as I pretend. She knows how to get my ego on board. She can play it at it’s own game. The fear of losing my pride, appearing a coward for not doing this is, it turns out, greater than the fear of actually doing it. I know the power of commitment and the power of declaring that commitment to people I don’t want to lose face to. One fear blazes a trail through the other.
And those that know me and know how I’ve been denying myself of doing this for years I know will be grinning from ear to ear * hi Connie, how ya doing? *
And so here is my commitment (and yes, I’m doing this through gritted teeth): On the 1st November I will pick up that paint brush and I will paint, with excitement and fear sitting side by side and on 30th November, with my heart in my throat, I’ll send a picture of my painting and I’ll probably want to die.
And this is what 200 people are going through right now, as we approach the start of the 30 Day Challenge. They have thrown down the gauntlet and are daring to pull out that thing they’ve been longing to do, but have kept locked up and hidden. On the 30th October they’ll take a gulp and share it with the world. So yes, many of them are nervous and panicking. I would be. I will be, when it’s my turn.
God I’m already regretting this post ; )
But you have a choice. Kill the dream or live the dream.
So, what’s your dream? Go on, I dare you, whip it out and lay it down here before the fear sees what you’re doing and declare a date and something to deliver on that date. Something that will celebrate you pulling out a dream that has been locked up and letting it out into the world to play.