February 19

No Regrets

There was a woman in one of my classes a few years ago who, within minutes of being asked to do a simple color exercise, sat in the back of the class weeping. She was overwhelmed and felt incompetent to the task at hand. She is not unusual. I watch people psych themselves out on a regular basis. She began to explain to me how she didn’t go to art school and she didn’t think of herself as a creative person and on and on. After she finished talking I asked her to mentally take all of those negative thoughts and place them on the chair outside our class, “because those thoughts won’t be useful today in here.” I joked that she’s welcome to pick up all of those negative thoughts on her way out but that she needed to mentally bundle them all up and ask them to wait outside, “because we have work to do if you want to learn.” I told her calmly.

I’ve learned that most of us just need to decide if we want to cling to the fear of “I can’t do it! I’m too afraid to try so I’m just going to paralyze myself because I can’t deal with the possibility of failure.” OR we have to bundle all of those negative conversations and ask them to wait in the hall. Just to be clear, we’re talking about non-life threatening challenges. We’re not talking about whether or not you should marry someone or give birth. We’re talking about things we want to do but are afraid we’ll fail.

I have my own shares of risks I face in our business, parenting and other life choices. I’m not going to gamble the mortgage on a stock tip but I’m always reminded of the regrets of the dying. The biggest regret is that they didn’t take more chances and they didn’t try new things. I don’t know about you but I’m done with the negativity peanut gallery that used to reside in my head. I’m kickin’ it to the curb. How about you?