OH, ROWE, YOU DI’INT!
I done just got told by the Dirty Jobs guy.
I was listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast, (fan-freaking-tastic), and at the end of Tim and Mike’s 2 hour + chat session, which is worth every minute of your time, Mike handed me my ass.
And it sounded like this:
“Advice is that thing you ask for when you secretly know the answer and wish you didn’t.”
I was on my morning walk when I heard it, stopped dead in my tracks, made a noise like a puking bear, then said aloud, “Straight up, mother f*cker.”
Because Mike Rowe called me right out on my B.S. of being eternally in “prep mode”.
Admittedly, I’ve been trying to hide it. Making really good excuses like referring to myself as curious, a life-long learner, a seeker, etc… as I binge-watch/listen to brainy, sexy, difference-maker royalty like Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Ryan Holiday, Chase Jarvis, Martha Beck, (and sooooo many more) and scam myself into thinking I’m working toward greatness, waiting for JUST the right moment to strike in the direction of my next big thing, when the truth is, I am 100% ready, and in full possession of the knowledge and answers I seek.
I JUST NEED TO DO THAT SHIT!
I’ve been on the information-gathering-track for two years now. 2 years! I have a Mental Muscle Masters Degree, for Bob Proctor’s sake.
So what is it, as Mike says, I already know, but wish I didn’t know?
Am I afraid of hard work? B*itch, I was a teen mom who, by the ripe old age of 25, owned a home and had my daughter in private school. Clearly, I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves.
Am I not creative enough? I managed to buy said house and put said kid in said school by landing an Advertising Copywriter gig in the most unconventional way. (Not THAT way. Besides, that’s the oldest trick in the book.) I served up awesome content on a shit platter, but, gratefully, my boss only cared about the content. So I’m definitely resourceful and have a smidge of talent.
Am I resisting being exposed? HAHAHAHAHA! “Look at me!” Is my middle name. It’s actually “Ann” but I think that might be an acronym for Attention Needed Now. Yeah. That’s not it.
Maybe it’s the skeletons I’m trying to hide? Like my teen pregnancy, divorce, booze issue…well, check discretion off the list.
I know! I’m avoiding success! Hmmmmm…that seems dumb, but worth a peek. The amazing Marie Forleo actually became ill after experiencing what she termed an “upper limit problem”, when, after a huge bump in her business, she took to her bed…for weeks…with a mystery illness, that she eventually discovered was the freaked-out-flu brought on by fabulosity. (My words.) Essentially she got sick on success. Even though she was already successful. But this was a new, ENORMOUS level of success that she was utterly unprepared for. I suppose this could be my problem. I wish it were. But I think what’s vexing me might be more simple.
I’m afraid to fail.
Because, until now, I really haven’t failed. Oh, I’ve had bad days. I’ve had slumps. I’ve wanted to tell advertising to suck my d*ck right off then go work at REI. But, for the most part, I’ve figured out how to make this work…and work pretty well. So I stay where I know how to kill it. Where everybody loves me. Where it’s safe. Ugh. That hurt to write. I literally felt it in my body. My face contorted, my abs tightened, my throat swelled, and I sharted. (Kidding about the last part. I just like to say provocative things.) But I think I’m on to something.
Now, although I’m slightly bored with where I kill it. Not in a want-to-break-up-with-it way, but in a have-new-interests-and-skills-I-want-to-explore way, I can’t seem to take the necessary steps to begin business spelunking elsewhere.
So why could I “dare greatly” as Brene Brown would say, in my 20’s, yet my modern self is a chicken shit? That’s easy. If I failed in my 20’s, I could have blamed it on youth, inexperience, caring more about my hair than my hustle. If I fail now, I have way more to be ashamed about. I’m older. I’m wiser. I’m a professional. I have a reputation. Others have expectations.
Ohhhhh, I think we just stumbled upon something.
Others. O-thers. Who are these others?
Not my husband, or my siblings, or my parents, or my kids. Not the people whose opinions actually matter. Not the people who, regardless of how badly I screw up, would never take their love away. Sure, they’ll point and laugh, but they won’t abandon me. I’m talking about everyone else. Everyone who is no one to me.
I guess what I’m saying is, this is all your fault. You, who I don’t like that way. I’m sure you’re perfectly lovely, I just don’t really give a crap what you think. And I mean that in the best way. I’m just saying you can’t hurt me. You are nameless, faceless, not-my-people, people. You are rubber and I am glue and whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you. Boyee!
Okay, time to try some new shit. And if you hate it, then we are exactly where we were before. Nowhere! Oh my gosh, I love that about us. We’re nothing to each other!
Hey! You should try some new shit too, and if I hate it, well, f*ck me!
Wow. I am so glad we had this talk. I don’t feel any closer to you, just emancipated from your judgment.
Same for you?
Man, breakthroughs are amazing, aren’t they? And slightly painful. Because, of course, all this you-bashing is really about me. I’m the one with the “others” problem. I’m the one in charge of letting others’ opinions bother me or not. I’m the one covered in muck. But now that I know, I can hop in the shower and get to work.
Thanks, Mike Rowe. This was a seriously Dirty Job, and only you could do it.