Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Exposure Point

I remember my 22nd Birthday, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself. The year before my friends had thrown me a massive bash and this year the day seemed to come and go. I went out to dinner with a few friends. We were joined by a person I hadn't met before. I explained to him my self-imposed birthday lull and that the day was no big deal. To which he replied, "nonsense, it's your birthday, let's have some fun". I was expecting him to join in my dismay but he flipped my ridiculous behavior into a reason to check myself. He was so quick and confident in his reply, as if he knew that this stranger was looking for a reason to mope, he wouldn't allow it. I instantly felt shameful for acting like such a wimp and honored the need to enjoy life.

This guy recognized my vulnerability and self doubt. He could have easily turned a cheek and let me wallow in pity. He knew I was capable of more, without even knowing me. This seemingly insignificant moment in time stuck with me. I appreciated the optimism and the validation. I was disappointed that I allowed myself to fall into the habit of weakness. Not because it's bad to expose vulnerability but because a birthday is not something to waste it on.

That's the trick! To know when your doubt is overwhelming your need for help. Exposing your humanity is much different than revealing your insecurity. We all need help but making uncertainty into a 'Daddy Complex' only depletes our existence.

I would ask you, dear readers, to be aware of the exposure point in others. To see in them their strength and to help them remember it.
Putting yourself out there always comes along with self doubt. The outgoing people have tried and been applauded more than they have been boo-ed. I would never blame anyone for giving up stand up comedy if they had been shamefully boo-ed off stage. I would understand the introverted nature of a person who had gathered the courage to give a speech only to be laughed at.

It is incumbent upon us as audience members to encourage the performers.

You will ask...."is it fair for me to tell someone they are good at something if they are not"?

Response: YES!

Let them have it. Allow them to build their confidence. Everyone discovers their own truth at some point. We don't need to tell them they can't before they have a chance to try.

Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave

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