OK – you’re probably thinking, “Beth, really!? The finger?!? Seriously?? That’s so not… YOU!”
I blame this one on my friend, Leif. He’s my partner-in-crime for our “Improv for Introverts” workshop. This blog’s title was one of several possible tag lines we had brainstormed for the workshop. Rather than decide on the tag ourselves, we offered up a variety of ideas for feedback from our first workshop victims participants. My secret hope was that people would laugh at, but never vote for, that tag line.
Of course, being unpredictable introverts with a healthy sense of humor, “Give Your Fear the Finger” was the clear winner.
Even with the group’s blessing, I felt definite resistance. Leif asked me “what’s your story around that?” Darn these coachy people, asking such pointed questions!!
I didn’t have to think about it very long or hard. The answer is quite simple: my “good girl” buttons are pushed by that tag line. The buttons that say “Don’t offend!” “Don’t surprise!” “You must worry about what other people think!!”
Which is, ironically, the very reason I decided to stretch into learning improv in the first place.
Improv is about thinking on your feet, being real and being OK with not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s about accepting surprises and not worrying about what other people might think. For participants in our workshop, they found “personal power and authority”… “we’re all playing a role”… “I’m creative, silly, and able to let go and play”… “more confidence”… “letting down guard = playing = creativity = fun = being true self.”
So, if I let down my guard and play a little, my true self might emerge? This sometimes buttoned-up goody-goody part of me isn’t really my whole story? You mean, there may be a part of me that is – gasp!! – daring? Spontaneous? Unattached to being “good” or saying the “right” thing??
Ready, willing and able to give my fear the finger?!?!??
Yes, it’s true. She’s lurking within me. She’s peeking out from behind the heavy curtain I’ve hidden her behind. And I credit the workshop, my fellow introverts and partnering with extroverted Leif with helping her come out of hiding. Over time, she may become a Psyche-Artist-in-Residence, shaking up the other main characters (such as Goody-Goody) when they get too serious. I think I’ll name her Bad Ass…. and she is ALL. THAT. (and a bag of chips!)
PS: If you want to join me on the improv road to unscripted fear and accelerated failure, Leif and I are hosting another Improv for Introverts (free!) workshop on June 17. There’s also a full-day (10a-4p) offering on June 24; learn more at www.sparksocialmedia.com/events/improv-for-introverts-1
To consider: What part of yourself wants to be expressed more fully? What would it look like if you picked out a long-standing fear, acknowledged it, then said “Take that!” and defied it?
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