We recently took a weekend get-away to a snowy mountaintop winter wonderland. We skied, snowshoed and took in the incredible scenery. While there I was getting some coaching of my own. It was powerful and effective coaching and at one point upon really getting to the heart of a particular matter my coach said “Alright Fletcher, I hear what you are saying but it doesn’t sound like you believe it. It doesn’t sound like you have certainty and confidence around it. I want you to get it in your body and proclaim it to the world. I want you to go out on the balcony and shout it to the snow capped mountains.”
UGH!!! I froze up. Why can’t I just believe it in my head. Why do I have to go big with it and do something that feels so vulnerable, silly, embarrassing, and risky? Why do I have to put myself in a position to get REJECTED? Oh, there it was again. Worrying what other people would say, think, how they would respond. Oh man, Now I knew I had to do it and she (my coach) knew that I knew I had to do it.
All my reasoning kicked in. It’s literally zero degrees outside. I am in my robe with nothing on beneath it and barefoot. I could do it later. Besides it’s early morning, what if I wake someone up with my proclamation to the world? Yep, my mind was racing to find excuses to keep me safe, keep me from getting rejected, keep me in survival mode. Remember, rejection feels like death. Fortunately She didn’t listen to my excuses and insisted I take it on. It wasn’t a dare. I knew I needed to do it as part of the rejection experiment. So I did. I opened up the sliding glass door and yelled to the silent valley and the mountain tops above it that who I am is the possibility of transformation. I did it… and nothing happened. I wasn’t struck by lightening, no avalanche, I didn’t die. So… I did it again, with more enthusiasm, and then again. Hey this felt good. 🙂 In fact I yelled 4 or 5 more times to the mountains and then decided to go back in my room. Just as I turned to go I heard a sliding glass door open from one of the other units and began their own yelling. “OK” they shouted, “We get it already!”
Ha! This was perfect. The sting of rejection/embarrassment from being vulnerable and taking a risk. Brene Brown calls it a vulnerability hangover. This was perfect because I got to experience rejection and not dying. This is part of the experiment and while it was challenging and scary I came through it. The crazy thing is that when I describe it, it seems so silly, so little,and not challenging. However when I am in it, it feels larger than life, scary and threatening. Well… I am the stronger for it. A very memorable RE!