*** YES THE FOLLOWING POST IS LONG AND YES YOU SHOULD READ THIS WHOLE THING IF YOU EVER GET SCARED ABOUT BEING VISIBLE AND SHARING YOUR WORK ***
I just sat down at my gate at the San Francisco Airport waiting for my flight to LA to spend 24 hours there before coming right back to SF for a TV appearance.
While sitting at my gate, I see this absolutely adorable woman sitting 15 feet from me with a small stack of books – “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho prominently displayed on top of the pile. That’s us in the selfie above 🙂
Without a second thought, I reached into my bag for a copy of Prison Break (I carry at least two with me at all times), walked over to her and said, “I could spot The Alchemist from a mile away and since I can tell you have incredible taste in books, I’d love to gift you one more that you may enjoy!”
She flashed the sweetest smile in the world and was absolutely astounded at my, seemingly small, gesture.
Her name is Azniv and she invited me to sit down.
She told me that she was about to embark on a 26-hour flight back to Armenia, where she is from, to visit family for a few weeks.
She told me how ridiculously proud she is of her daughter who works at Stanford in the Neuroscience Lab.
She told me how she didn’t know a word of English when she came here and struggled to find the word “chills” to describe what she felt when receiving my book.
(We both got a laugh out of that one, as her first try was something that sounded like “burns”.)
She told me it would be her birthday on her final flight from Qatar to Armenia.
She told me that she had no idea why she chose this particular ticket to fly home but that upon meeting me and having our conversation, she knew why.
We took a selfie (on her phone and mine of course), chatted a bit more, I gave her a big hug and went back to my seat.
I can still see her and it looks like Prison Break has unseated The Alchemist as her current read.
AND this story has absolutely nothing to do with the sweet interaction I had with this lovely woman…
It has to do with how a few years ago, this conversation would have never taken place.
Because a few years ago, my EGO would have been screaming so loud about my worthiness, how my gift would be received, if I’d be rejected, if I’d stumble on my words and not make sense, if I’d be seen as creepy, that I would have played out all of those scenarios from my seat and not moved an inch.
This one may seem like an easy choice to share my particular “GIFT” in this situation because it is a literal, physical, tangible one, right?
Maybe…or maybe that’s just a Simple Fundamental Misunderstanding (or SFM as I call it in Prison Break) that somehow a physical book is NOT “WHO YOU ARE” but that your message, your services, your insights, your voice and your offer to share them IS “WHO YOU ARE”.
Maybe its only the STORY that it is EASY to separate YOU from a book but IMPOSSIBLE to separate YOU from your GIFT, that makes any of this difficult.
What if it was all easy?
What if all the struggle and stress around being VISIBLE were only due to an IDENTITY crisis (that is, the crisis that comes from believing that your IDENTITY and your WORK are somehow the same).
Milk and cereal can occupy the same space in a bowl, but no one would ever mistake one for the other!
So what’s the difference for me now?
Why was I able to so easily approach Azniv and give her my book?
Is it because I am fearless? God no!
Is it because my EGO – aka my Baby Assassin – no longer shares his opinion from inside my head? Um, NO!
(…sorry, it took me a minute to write “Um, NO!” because that little bastard in my mind was telling me how self-serving this whole story sounds in the moment, how long it is getting and wondering whether you are saying “get to the point already”…what a darling he is…)
It is simply because I now practice in every moment (except the moments I don’t) being PLAY-FULL with my nervous, heavy or stressful thoughts.
When I am FULL of PLAY, I see that I exist as a MESSENGER apart from my MESSAGE and only then can my gift FULLY be SHARED.
When I am FULL of PLAY, visibility is the way I can be of deepest service to the world – whether it is in directly what I share or in setting an example for others that visibility is NOT terminal.
When I am FULL of PLAY, my biggest points of resistance, fear and procrastination become something I welcome, love and feel compassion for and THAT has been the quickest route to them letting go of me (instead of me forcing myself to let go of them).
When I am FULL of EGO on the other hand, my GIFT doesn’t stand a chance and nobody gets served.
Where have you been called to be VISIBLE – either personally or professionally – that feels a bit anxious, mildly stressful or paralyzingly terrifying?
What is ONE THING you can do TODAY to finally BE SEEN – even 5% more than you currently have been?
Let us know in the comments below!
There is one catch though…don’t do it for you.
This isn’t about YOU overcoming YOUR fears of being VISIBLE or YOU stepping into YOUR power…
This is for the thousands…hundreds of thousands…millions of Azniv’s in the world who are looking for something to bring them a little closer to peace, to joy, to happiness, to fulfillment, to health, to wealth, to PFUN, to play…
So for God’s sake, don’t do it for you – that’s a recipe to stay stuck, small and struggling…do it for them.
You will get access to very limited and hugely discounted Founding Member pricing (that will not be offered anywhere else but to the people on that list) and uber-valuable bonuses!
Sending you lots of love, tons of fun, and the reminder that, in each and every moment, you have limitless access to your own BADASS Creativity and Self-Leadership!
Lots of love,
Jason “JG” Goldberg