A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a training event in Beverly Hills. Since my sister lives in LA I jumped at the opportunity to spend a week with her! My sister works in television and through a friend was able to score us VIP tickets to a Dancing with the Stars taping. It was awesome! When we got to our seats we learned that not only were we in the front row but we were directly next to the stairs that every star walks up after their routine. Beyond cool!
My family got to see us multiple times on national television, I had a great view of the one and only Bruce Willis (not that I was staring or anything) and I even got to shake the hand of Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank! Considering I am much more of a “business success” fan than a “Hollywood” fan, this was the ultimate for me. I shook the hand of a Shark!
All this was good and great and I will remember it forever. BUT, the best moment for me was just before each routine started. Just before the cameras rolled. During commercial breaks the grips (I think I got that term right??) are super effectively breaking down the last dance and setting up the new one. This was Disney night so there was a LOT to do in a very very short period of time. While this was happening the dance couples were getting set. As they were getting set I noticed that each time the person who looked the most nervous was the professional dancer. Certainly the stars looked nervous but this was more of a giddy nervous excitement for most of them. The professionals on the other hand looked legitimately nervous. Derek Hough before his routine had his head pointed down and was bouncing with what appeared to be…nerves! Then there were the professionals who entertained right after the commercial breaks. Just before the cameras rolled I could see their faces and gestures as if they were saying, “Dear Lord I hope I don’t f@#K this up.”
The reality is this. Too often many of us watch professionals on television or in roles of high performance and we ASSUME that they have got it all figured out and they know exactly what they are doing. We dream of the day when we can feel as cool, calm, and collected as they are when we do our thing. We think someday we will “feel ready” for the next level up.
Wanna know the truth? That day will never come! You will NEVER feel cool, calm, and collected while doing something that you deeply care about and have a passion for. If you do not have nerves or anxieties before performing at a high level then you’re not performing high enough. You need to raise the stakes! Take this assumption out of your life and start living life Outside The Zone!
When I tell people, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” this doesn’t mean you should go jump out of a plane or live in a dirt hut for 3 months. If that’s what you’re passionate about then great. But if not, then find that thing you are most passionate about and push yourself to succeed and perform beyond a level that feels comfortable to you. If you play basketball and you shot 10 for 20 last game, shoot 30 shots next game! If you’re in sales and you made 100 calls last week and that really stretched you, make 150 next week! Or perhaps it’s not the number of calls that intimidates you but it’s the title of the person you’re calling. I know I prefer to chat with Student Activities professionals or athletic coaches because I used to serve in those roles at one point in time. Those sales calls don’t intimidate me or make me nervous. But if I have to call a Dean of Students or an Athletic Director, now all of a sudden I feel inadequate. I get intimidated and I get nervous. So how do I respond? I call them! And I learn that it’s not so bad and many times can be really great. That’s living life Outside The Zone. Find that thing in life that energizes you and that you have a knack for. Identify the level at which you feel comfortable playing at. And take it just one level higher. Feel the nerves and keep moving.
So our Tweet for the week is this. “If you want to Dance with the Stars #DontBe Nervous.” It is not that easy but it really is that simple.
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