Freeze, Fail or Persevere
There are so many reasons why we may not hit goals. Sometimes, it’s the ones that are right in front of our face that we seem to not pay attention to.
My goal-missing problem was two-fold.
1. I had a lack of confidence in my skills and abilities to take on a huge goal.
2. I didn’t have any follow through.
I had ideas but had no idea where to start or would avoid the work it took to be consistent to develop the necessary skills.
I was motivated to do bigger things in life, but I would freeze when it came down to actually taking the steps to get closer to my goal. I would take a step back and stay to myself, ”Well my skill set is nowhere near everyone else on this path. I’ll never be good enough to really make this happen and succeed at this.” I would either move onto the next thing or I would fill my day up with busy work hoping I was moving toward my goal.
For example, I was part of a start-up online radio station. I would email potential companies about advertising. I didn’t focus on how it would benefit them and sell to their pain points. I also didn’t follow up as well as I could have.
I failed at it. And my failure turned into a limiting belief I developed about me and success. The limiting belief sounded like this: “I can’t be a leader of a company much less start one. I am not good enough for this.”
I would take a few steps and then mildly freak out that I didn’t have what it took to jump in with the big guys.
Here is a perfect example: I wanted to get into stunt work for movies a while back. So I signed up with a tumbling gym to work out and get to know my body in air. I would drive up to Los Angeles to train at a retired stuntman’s backyard with a bunch of other stunt people. I was developing my skill, but I was no where near the skill level that everyone else had. I did a few small stunt gigs, but felt like I would never be as good as them. The frustration started to seep in and I began to focus on everyone else’s “highlight reel” - big mistake.
Growing up in a small town I was used to being the bigger fish, not the biggest, but not itty bitty. I was now itty bitty! I felt that no matter what I did it wasn’t the right step. I got a few gigs and then I had this specific gig. I was told I would be doing a simple high fall from the second story into an air bag. Well, I got there and they wanted me to jump off the sofa backwards, clearing the back of the sofa and the railing then landing correctly in the bag without over shooting and landing on my neck. I was terrified and even more scared to embarrass the stunt coordinator who hired me.
It came time to do that stunt and after a few fake outs I did it! I was so stoked and proud of myself. I didn’t land perfectly but I was alive and moving. The fill in stunt guy who was there gave me awesome support encouragement even after I didn’t land perfectly. The whole drive home I was telling myself it was okay that it wasn’t perfect, I thought I was hired for a simple back fall which turned out to be a lot more involved.
The next day I got a call from the actual stunt coordinator. He said something to the effect of good job, heard you did the stunt, but next time when someone asks if you can do something you don’t tell them you can when you can’t. I was sick to my stomach. I was so heartbroken that he was shaming me in a way.
I’d like to say I went on to become this top dog stunt woman who wins awards, but I was scared away. His comment scared me away and got under my super thin skin. It just reaffirmed my “not good enough” way of thinking. I never wanted to let anyone down like that again. So I let my budding skills go to waste and hold me back from pursuing a totally rad stunt career.
Luckily, it worked out as I found my place as a speaker and coach for young professionals. It taught me that even though there will be unfulfilled challenges and sickening thoughts of letting people down, I know that no matter what, if I really want to do something I am going to hone my skill, grab the bull by the horns and et’r done! We all have to start from somewhere, the best of the best have to start from a small place.