3 Lessons from Stand Up Comedy
What would it be like for you to step onto the stage of life without fear, without expectation, with true emotional vulnerability, and top it all off with laughter?
I don't know about you, but I'd sign up for that kind of freedom any day. I met Mae Brayton via a group we'd both joined. The first few minutes I heard her talk, I told myself, "I want to meet her and learn some of her secrets!". And so, a few shorts weeks later, we recorded an episode together. Here are the top three lessons I took away from our conversation.
1. “If you’re not failing on a regular basis, you’re not innovating.”
If you're doing the same thing everyday because it's what you know how to do, you're not innovating and at some point you won't be inspiring or engaging others either. Go do something you haven't done before. Go try something new and see how it lands. And as Mae so beautifully put it, " Once you're willing to fail, it opens so many doors...Once you can become friends with the feeling of failure and the sensation in your body, you are invincible."
2. Do what you do with confidence.
When you allow yourself to fully "show up", it's amazing what kind of magic can meet you in the unexpected. If you put your attention in how unprepared or unknowledgeable you might be on a topic, it makes it awkward for everyone. BUT, if instead you use intentionality in focusing your attention on showing up with confidence, others may just join you in that energy. When you make it real, others might just meet you in that energy and say "hmmm...that's plausible".
3. Your internal story matters more than any other story out there.
The mind is powerful. And the narrative that lives there, well, that's powerful, too! And the best part of it all is that you have the power to transform that. You can be flexible with your “narrative” that you tell yourself and begin to find ways to make the world work for you. You can move forward with your life discoveries and the things you enjoy without letting your circumstances completely hinder you when you stop being afraid of what anyone else says about you or thinks about you. And often times, it's what you think they're thinking that makes the story 10 times worse! You don't have to be afraid of what anyone else says about you. The truth is that they can say and think whatever they wan’t because it's their narrative. Yours is the one you go to sleep with every day. And it's the one you have the power over.
Who knew there was so much freedom in showing up without a plan, letting go of natural fear responses, embracing the emotional vulnerability of the given moment and inviting others into the story being told. Who knew that taking a risk and stepping into the unknown could result in laughter.
Improvement and improv? See anything in common?
Perhaps in order to improve in life, we've got to be willing to do more of what stand up comedians to more - take more risks, be willing to fail, show up with more confidence, and invite others into our story rather than waiting to be invited into theirs.
If today you cared a little less about the outcome, embraced uncertainty along the journey, rode the waves of life more, and vowed to have fun, I'm confident today might just be that much better.
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