Philosophy Tuesday

It took me a while at ILM to realize my imposter complex would show up which would be about 70% of the way through every single build at ILM.  I thought someone would come up and tap me on the shoulder and tell me to go home because clearly I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was there for about a year and a half before I realized that this was happening on every build.  And thus, after that, once it showed up I’d be like, “right, this is part of the process”.  It’s no fun, but… One of the hard parts about having a brain, is that you can know how it works, and it doesn’t help.  You can know you’re going to have this negative response to a thing and even knowing that doesn’t really assist you in getting out of that sooner.  But it does help in terms of lowering the stakes.

Because before I knew when I would have that dip I’d be looking for what is wrong.

Adam Savage

This is a great observation/share, and I especially love two big things in this quote.  First, that I have that VERY SAME concern about someone tapping me on the shoulder.  Like this time years ago when I was at a huge dance thing.  While I was out there in the midst of everyone, enjoying the awesome tunes being created and dancing away, my inner voice kept warning that someone was going to come up to me and say “Stop!  What the heck are you doing?  Ugh, get out of here!”

Sure, intellectually I “knew” that was highly unlikely someone would do that, but that concern still hung around… which leads to the second thing I love which is how the quote begins to describe how we can be mindful about it and, more importantly, simply just be with it.  Yes, there might be some transformational work to be done that will maybe have it go away, but either way it’s not necessarily a problem that it’s there.  We can just be present to it, like “oh, hey, there’s that thing.”  We can even expect it and bring humour to the situation: “About time you showed up!”

When we stop resisting it, that “it” loses its grip.  (Remember that resistance equals persistence.)  The phrase “lowering the stakes” is also a very apt description.  “Thank you for sharing,” we can say to our inner voice, “and I’m going to go and do it anyway.”

Which is what I did that night all those years ago.  I let that concern be just that – a concern – and didn’t become it.  Instead, I got into the groove and danced with (mostly) abandon into the night.

(The humorous coda to this story is that a year later, in nearly the same place, I was once again dancing away, this time with full abandon, as that concern had indeed lost its grip and wasn’t there at all.  And then… someone did come up to me and said, “Stop!”  Uh oh…

But they continued:  “I just wanted to say that your mixing of dancing with kung fu is f’n amazing!”  “Really?”  “Yeah, not too many people would recognize it, but I do and it’s totally awesome!”

And with that gave me a high five and danced off into the crowd.)