In our last +1, we talked about the subtle but significant distinction I made in the lead-up to my first-ever keynote talk. Specifically, I used the tools “Bring it on!” and “I’m excited!” THE MOMENT I felt any doubt or fear or anxiety creeping into my head.
It’s amazing how powerful it was.
Today I want to talk about the morning of my talk and my refusal to look in the mirror. 🤓
The event I’m speaking at is at a beautiful 5-star hotel on the beach in Santa Monica. We have two rooms so Alexandra and the kids can sleep in one room and I can get a good night of sleep in the other room. My talk is on Friday morning. We plan to enjoy the beach the rest of the weekend. (Highlights include: Ferris wheel rides with Emerson and a couple fun trips to Bulletproof Labs with Alexandra!)
I go to bed early (as always) and get up early (as always) and work the AM protocol (as always).
Meditate. Micro-movement. Deep Work. (Then Trail Run then Talk!)
This morning’s Deep Work time is, of course, focused on my final prep for my talk. (I followed the same algorithm I use for my studio 101 classes–basically hand-writing/mindmapping the Top 10 Big Ideas I plan to share.)
Meditation and movement are done. I pull up the chair to my hotel desk and what do I see?
There’s a HUGE mirror on the wall right above the desk.
Now, I’m not a big fan of mirrors in general. And I’m definitely not interested in looking at myself when I’m focused on preparing my talk. The last thing in the world I want to do is elevate my self-consciousness.
Ray Bradbury’s wisdom from a recent Note on The Icarus Deception came to mind: “Don’t think! Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
And, wisdom from one of the leading peak performance experts came to mind as well. In her great book on the science of NOT choking (called Choke), Sian Bielock (pronounced “see-on by-lock”) puts it more bluntly: “Highly self-conscious people are more prone to choke under pressure.” (<- Noted!)
The Dalai Lama’s wisdom is also always present whenever I’m getting ready to teach. He says that before he speaks, he enjoys a cup of tea while focusing on the idea of helping ONE person that day—removing himself from the equation as it’s not about HIM but the person he hopes to inspire. (I love that. Works like magic.)
What do I do?
I grabbed a huge shower towel from the bathroom and draped it over mirror. (Yes, “That’s like me!” Hah.)
Now I can focus on the one person I hope to help today (with the sound of the ocean waves in the background reminding me of just how insignificant I am in the big picture). Self-consciousness turned down.
Let’s reduce our self-consciousness. Here’s a little practice.
Got any mirrors in your life? If you feel so inspired, let’s follow Dan Millman’s advice today. He tells us that when we see a mirror we should admire the FRAME.
Yah. I like that.
Here’s to admiring some beautiful frames today so we can let our essence shine without all of the self-consciousness that tends to get in the way. ☀️