*Two Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)
Alright alright alright! (Can you hear the sultry voice of Matthew McConaughey in your head saying those words?)
He recently released a memoir entitled Greenlights and is making the publicity rounds. I’ve heard him on several podcasts and TV interviews, and so much of what he says leaves me wondering and thinking about my own life. I heard him share about his struggles and rise to fame. His childhood and family of origin. Finding his wife and creating a family.
One of the things he said that struck me the most is the idea of going into something standing only on one foot.
I can be a control freak. I am type A. I can be rigid. (I like to think of myself as flexible too, but know that I can be pretty rigid at times.) My therapist often tells me not to go to the deep end of the pool because I have a tendency to be all or nothing. I’m either staying safe in the shallow end of the pool or going all in off of the high dive.
When I’m struggling with something, I want an answer or to know how to fix it. Or I want to understand what is right and what is wrong. I can see things as black and white with no gray area in the middle. It’s hard for me to just tread in the middle of the pool of uncertainty in life.
When I heard McConaughey discuss his transition from love-interest in sweet romantic comedies to acting in more dramatic and serious roles, he noted he was ready for the change but also felt insecure or uncertain about how things might play out. He also wondered if he was capable of playing the more challenging roles.
Rather than wait until he felt totally confident to make the jump to more dramatic and difficult roles, his agent suggested he go into the projects only standing on one foot.
Go into the project unbalanced. Unsure. Insecure. Maybe the feeling of uncertainty is where the real magic can happen.
McConaughey said the theory has in fact helped him find real success in these stronger and more challenging roles.
Finding your balance when you’re involved in something challenging or difficult can create a huge shift. It can allow things to evolve that maybe wouldn’t have if you went into something on already steady ground. The uncertainly provides more opportunities for growing and shifting.
I experienced this feeling this week as I learned a new e-learning software program. I spent the first full day in the program as a deer in headlights, totally overwhelmed with where to begin and how to get started. But with my good friend YouTube and a healthy dose of patience, I slowly found my way. And am now so excited about this new skill and about numerous ways it can be integrated into my role and organization.
The experience also reminded me how invigorating it can feel to challenge my brain and force myself to get out of my comfort zone. Like so many people right now, I’ve been struggling with my mental health the past few months and some days I’m simply going through the motions of life. I’m not learning, growing, changing. I’m just getting through.
Being vulnerable enough to create an opportunity to feel unsteady and unsure reminded me that I need these experiences to stay energized. I need these experiences to create joy. I need these experiences to keep moving forward.
So, where can you stand on only one foot today?
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.