This is the eighth in a series of posts in which I share thoughts on a book that has inspired me over the years.
In his book Worry (which I will include in a future edition of Books that Inspire Me), Dr. Edward Hallowell wrote that the greatest learning disability of all is not a fancy medical condition like dyslexia or ADD. It is simple fear. Fear of asking questions makes one stupid because they do not hear answers. Fear of trying makes on stupid because they do not learn from experience.
Even worse, as Bayles & Orland show in this book, fear can prevent you from being authentic.
Excessive worry about what other people think of you (OPO – other people’s opinions) prevents you from doing the work that makes you authentic, that allows you to be the person you were meant to be by doing your own work.
Giving in to your own negative self-talk and self-confining beliefs prevents you from doing your best because you doubt your own abilities and you doubt whether you even deserve to enjoy the rewards of having done your best work.
In their book, Bayles & Orland describe an experiment in which art students were divided into two groups. The first group was told to make as many pots as they possibly could during the allotted time. The second group was told to make the very best pots they could during the allotted time.
In every case, the group that had been told to make the most pots also made the best pots. Moving quickly and without expectation of perfection freed them from inhibition. They were able to experiment and learn from experience.
In my presentation on Becoming the Lion in Your Mirror, I ask this question: What would you do if every job paid the same and had the same social status?
What would you do if you stopped listening to the malignant echo of negative self-talk that prevents you from moving out of your comfort zone and take the risks you need to be your authentic best self and achieve your most meaningful goals? If you stopped worrying about what other people might think of you and instead cared only about what you think of yourself?
Action is the hacksaw that cuts through the prison bars of fear. So go ahead. Start making pots. Concentrate on making the most pots and you will eventually find that you are making the best pots.
Do your best work. Do your own work.
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