by Rory Gardiner | Featured Contributor
Fear holds us back from pursuing things that others find effortless. I am not referring to the safety, security and general well being of our families. I am referring to attempting new challenges, or overcoming phobias that may be holding back from reaching our true potential.
When running my businesses, I have always excelled at the development and general day to day operations. Where I lacked was the front end sales. I was always afraid to put myself out there for fear of rejection. This needed to change for further growth.
I was at a comedy club one night and saw a poster for a stand up competition. I’ve always wanted to try it in the past, but always chickened out. What could be more terrifying then getting up in front of a room full of people and trying to make them laugh? Nothing! If I could get through this, then sales would be a walk in the park.
Accountability –To assure myself that I wouldn’t back down, I signed up immediately. Now I was obligated now to sit down, write material, and perform on my selected date. Had it been just another open mic, I could have easily just “wussed out” and fled the scene. The competition was terrifying, but I actually did much better than I thought. My first time doing comedy, I made it to the semi-finals. I have done stand up several times since. I incorporate humor into my concerts, and it is a great creative outlet for my personal opinions.
Failure is a Learning Curve – I have had the occasional night of crickets and blank stares when trying out new material, and it is not fun. However, I am still breathing today, and those nights just taught me what I needed to work on to improve, and has given me thicker skin as a result. My level of confidence in sales, and in my personal life has multiplied greatly.
Overcoming Fear – Sometimes in order to overcome fear, we must throw ourselves right into lion’s den. Dating experts say, once you overcome the fear of rejection, you become super human with confidence, and your odds of success vastly increase. They recommend walking into a bar, and intentionally getting rejected by every potential candidate. A few of these sessions and you’re bulletproof. I chose the comedy route instead.
No Skills? So What! – Skills mean nothing when it comes to passion. If singing is what you’re passionate about, but can’t hit a note, then don’t let that stop you. You may never get past the karaoke machine, but as long as you’re content, that’s all that matters. Do what you WANT to do, not what you CAN do. Just because your education or current skill set revolves around crunching numbers, has nothing to do with why you can’t starting a side project creating something with your hands. The world is your playground.
You’ll Regret It – When looking back 30 years from now, are you going to regret the things you did? Most of the time we regret the things we didn’t do. I will no longer miss an opportunity to try something new. If there is something I want to test out, I will make time to do it. At that point, I can determine whether it’s something I want to pursue or not. You can’t make an honest decision unless you’ve tried it out. How can you say you hate brussels sprouts if you’ve never tried them?
Happiness is in the pursuit, not always the end goal. Enjoy your journey.
You’ve heard Rory’s music on television shows and commercials airing daily throughout North America. Two country albums out of Nashville, as well as children’s album(Parent’s Choice Award & International Song writing Competition). Available on iTunes.
Author of “Break Free: The Road Map for Building a Healthy Lifestyle & Breaking Bad Habits.” Using humor, parable and motivation, Rory outlines how the right small changes in a busy lifestyle can have a dramatic effect on how you look and feel.
They say if you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. Click HERE for free music, and Rock star lifestyle design tips.