As I am restarting this blog after a two-year hiatus, I can only share the little anxiety that kept me from starting again – all the wrong reasons, honestly, from “what will people think?” to “it sure looks inconsistent”. Well truth is, it looks inconsistent because it was. And it was inconsistent for a clear reason, which is that every thing said outside of my former practice has to be vetted by managing partners, and I could not resolve to go through the hurdle every single day or even week. So I kept blogging, but on my moleskine and my post-its. Beyond the anecdote, this anxiety is an interesting topic to start again with.
When I was much younger, I remember I had this anxiety about “the first kiss”. Now, that may not have been a big thing for you; but it was for me, at least before it happened. And in practice, this ridiculous fear had quite dramatic consequences. Indeed, it created a totally unnecessary pressure when I was a young, then not so young teenager. And the longer it lasted the bigger the fear grew. Then it happened totally naturally, one day I was not thinking about it… Only to be replaced by another apprehension, which I will leave to your own imagination. If this story is obviously personal and mundane, I can see how it relates to many clients and colleagues fears of doing things for the first time, or doing things for the first time “differently”.
It is interesting to see that fear of “not-being-perfect-the first-time” is both pervasive and very destructive. It is a “meme” that one should try to eradicate as early as possible in one’s life, in one’s children’s lives, and in one’s clients lives. There are many reasons for that. The most obvious one is that you will likely not be perfect the first time. You will probably not be perfect by the 100th time, so you should start getting comfortable with the idea of screwing up… The most important one is that if you give in to the fear, you not only push the inescapable, but also the learning, and all the benefits that come with it.
In the end, there is only one answer to fear, or anxiety, or even mild discomfort. And this response is action. I love this quote that says:
“If you are afraid of something, that is probably the next thing you need to do.”
On that note, welcome back to this blog, which will touch on all the topics dear to my heart: self-creation and discovery, self-improvement, coaching and mentoring, strategy, transformation, agile, groupthink, visualization, facilitation, workshops, innovative consulting practices, etc. Fear? Gone.