Growing Up On Stage
Growing up, we had a stage in the corner of our basement. It was nothing but ply-wood that sat 6 inches off the ground with a few lights on the ceiling that shinned down on it. Six inches from carpet to ply-wood was all it took to transform me and my siblings into artists, dancers, musicians, poets, comedians—anything we wanted.
A few days ago, I thought about the stage and thanked my parents for giving us kids a platform, quite literally, to create and perform anytime, any day. It was a place of giving and creating and something that has manifested its way strongly into all of our lives.
I Call This: Dropping The Mic
Let go of your stage fright and step up. Don't think about this part—It will almost never feel comfortable, so expect that and lean into it.
Similar to my power of starting post, the power of stepping up is just the same. As a child, it was an easy six inches onto the magic plywood. Today stepping up may be in a relationship, a client call, an interview and all the other great stuff life can throw at you.
Once you've stepped up, (kudos by the way–a lot of people let fear get in the way, so don't take your courage for granted) you have to show up. Show up for the people who are on stage with you and the people that are here to watch you.
My Dad always says, "show up for them, be gracious and listen." I could be picking up groceries and he'll still say it. Everyone deserves to be shown up for.
For me, showing up means being prepared, being present, listening to the room and taking away any ego before I walk in the door. I laugh at myself maybe more than I should and I mess up more than you know. Every one has heard at some point, "no-one will know you messed up if you just mess up confidently." This has never failed me.
You have people's attention, you've shown up powerfully and now you get to share. This is the best part people!!
I always let my nerves manifest into excitement because excitement is contagious. Instead of, "I hope they like this, I don't know if this is right" I change the conversation to, "I'm so excited to tell people about this!!!!" You are bringing your perspective, your insight, your creative idea to the table—be confident in that.
Then drop the mic.