Most of the time when I ask a question out loud, I have been pondering it in my heart and mind for quite sometime. When I am finally ready to ask a question I have usually formed thoughts and opinions already and need someone else’s perspective to challenge what I’m thinking. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage on my part to even ask the question, because as many others have discovered, our questions are not always met with the gentle answer were needing.
Yesterday, I dared to ask a question and the answers I received were fantastic. Before we dive into the question, here is a little back ground on the question. I have been studying leadership, watching and listening to those around me who I consider to be great leaders. They have proven themselves in character, with their families and in business. Who you see in each setting is truly who they are, not fluctuating from one situation to another.
I wanted to let you in on the conversation and help you here the wonderful dialogue I heard. I am hoping you gain insight and encouragement from the conversation.
Question: My whole life I have seen people around me and they seem to be able to understand and grasp the world around them quicker than I can. They also seem confident because they have a quicker understanding. I completely understand my outside perspective, rather than knowing the persons inside perspective. So, my question is do they/you jump in with both feet and try regardless of if you know what you’re doing or not? Do you take the shot to see if you can make the shot? Then if you belly flop you assess the flop, shrug it off and decide whether to attempt it again? I have always admired this freedom I see others having and I want to make a conscious effort to live similarly, Robin style.
Here is the dialogue from the discussion:
Brad Kramer – “That is really only your perspective. I’ve learned in life that we all have our own strengths, weaknesses, talents, and things to offer the world. As an introvert, when I was younger and being shy and introverted made me feel very inferior and intimidated, I made a conscious effort to push my boundaries, and in doing so, came to realize in life that we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Others may seem to understand and navigate the world better. Others seem to be smarter. Have the better life. Etc. But in reality, everyone has their shortcomings. I have learned to, and love to, just jump in with both feet, loving risks, and sometimes bellyflopping. Thoreau said the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Feeling intimidated and outgunned is normal in life. It’s what we do with those feelings that defines who we are.”
Jay Doppelhammer – “I think what you are seeing when people are jumping in with both feet is the end result. You don’t see the possible back and forth weighing of decisions. Every one has a different perspective of the world, even two people on the inside May have a different philosophy on what is going on. Even when both of those people are not wrong. As far as belly flopping, you are a parent, you have probably belly flopped a time or two, but you kept right on going. People belly flop at many things and keep on going. That’s how you learn for the next time. If all else, trust you gut. It’s usually not wrong.”
Brad Kramer, “He is absolutely right!”
Sarah Innis, “Yes, this, exactly Jay!”
Sue Mielke Wiersma – So you see, you are able to jump in where you feel invested and motivated to do so. I doubt you had all the kinks ironed out before you started to teach. Yet you did it. And I bet it looked like it was with confidence to those who were on the outside looking in!
Robin Russell – “Thank you to everyone who responded. It has given me tremendous insight into others lives when I see them confidently going forward. Making sure I am encouraging those around me and giving myself large doses of grace. It also gives me large doses of compassion for those around me. Celebrating what feels like small moments to me, but looks like huge accomplishments to someone else. Thanks for the great perspective. If anyone else wants to still chime in, please do so, I’d love to hear more thoughts on this. Thanks again everyone!”
Myles Hup – “I jump into new things always with a backup plan that is guaranteed to work. Like a fall back job or something. It might not work as well as what I intended to do by jumping in, but nevertheless it does work and doesn’t leave me with nothing. It’s good to have a backup plan and be wise with all your ducks in a row before jumping in. But don’t let that discourage you from jumping in. Just be ready when you do with a plan that gives you another escape route option if it fails. You can fail at things 100 times before you find your success. Don’t let 1 possible failure break you flat out with nothing. I’ve jumped into things with a plan of success to be made within a year just to fail at it and work 2 years at my back up plan just to get back on my feat. It’s a sacrifice all self made entrepreneurs must be willing to put forth seeking success.”
Robin Russell – Excellent answer, Myles Hup. Go for plan A, but be ready with a plan b and don’t be surprised if you need to go to plan B. Great food for thought.
Apple Russell – “I like that part about large doses of grace.”
Here are a few of my takeaways from the conversation. First – others are watching my life and thinking I’m brave and wondering how I have confidence to tackle my life. Second – keep taking chances, but be prepared with a plan B and it is completely ok for plan A to not work out and to go with plan B. Know when to let go of plan A. Third – Encourage those around me, those who are wading through this confusing place we call earth, be extra kind, extra loving and allow people to fail. To be ready to help pick people up after they have failed. To sit down and cheer over the success of trying and then help them back up.
Trying is hard enough in the first, people do not need any more negativity, they need my support. I don’t really know what this looks like going forward. But, I’m excited to figure it out and from my discussion yesterday, I have a great village, full of wisdom to help me out!
Who’s ready to celebrate failure as much and as well as we celebrate success! Cheers!