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Last night I had a blast! I went out with a friend who's shared pieces of my life with me for nearing two decades. We had a couple beers and talked over the loud music while munching on peanuts. We talked about the old days when we were young and hanging out in front of coffee shops; him playing the guitar and me singing various tunes from Concrete Blonde and Tori Amos (among others). We had fun. The "performance" aspect of that rarely bothered me then, but now... oh, now... performing in front of people is absolutely terrifying to me.
I don't mean to sound conceited here, but I can sing. I do alright, anyway, pretty sure I'll never win a Grammy, but I'm ok with that. I'm happy with my current shower and car performances. And my audience is pretty darned cute too!
Last night, while we were munching on peanuts, the Karaoke started. And this friend, remembering the old days, convinced me to get up there and sing. Christmas is right around the corner, and his birthday just after, with one performance I could kill two birds, he says. So, I submit my card. They call my name. And I stand up there shaking so hard that I'm pretty sure I'm going to shake apart right there on the stage. But I sang. I sang the best I could. And I'm pretty sure I bombed (that no-Grammy thing is pretty much set in stone now).
As I walked off stage shaking and defeated, a strange thing happened... I felt different, better, new. Don't get me wrong I still didn't see any award-winning performances in my future. BUT.... I had done something that scared the hell outta me. I had done it mediocre-ly, but I had done it. I had faced a fear and survived. And it ocurred to me; its through these moments that we spend outside of our Comfort-Zone that we grow the most. Yet we fight it so hard; we fight tooth and nail, sacrificing things that are important to us, just to stay in this Zone when all it takes is putting yourself out there, shaking things up a little, and diving in to the unknown.
What can you do to shake things up a bit?