Recently, when thinking about speaking at open mic events, a realization came to me: I’ve never followed a script. Whenever I’ve recorded shorts to advertise a Breaking Walls podcast episode, whenever I’ve gotten on stage at an improv show (currently only once, but I’m excited to start going regularly!), or when I recorded a State of the WallBreakers address last February, I’ve always had bullet points in my head and tried to connect the dots as I went. Truthfully, we don’t need a script. I’ve seen people get on stage and need to follow a script. If they forget a part of what they memorized they’ll quickly begin to sweat and stammer, but the audience has no idea what the person on stage thought he or she needed to say. The only person who knows our inner thoughts is ourselves. Don’t use a script. Have bullets in your head and connect the dots as you go. This way, we never need to worry about what something needs to be. It builds as it’s supposed to because we’re building it brick by brick. That’s exactly the way life should be. All we have to do is put our best intentions forward, while keeping our expectations only to next steps, and connect the dots as we go.
For most of my life, being present was the most difficult thing for me. I was always looking ahead towards things I wanted, or looking back at things I missed and felt nostalgic for. The problem with that way of living is neither the past nor the future is a time that we’re currently in. NOW is the only time. That’s it. There’s no arguing that point. Now is the only time we are living in. Strict expectations of what the present or the future needs to be only serves to make us narrow-minded and unhappy. Often, even when whatever expectation we had is exactly what we wanted it to be, it somehow isn’t up to snuff because we’ve spent so much time building it up to ourselves that the actual thing becomes a let down. It’s the exact opposite of facing a fear.
We all need to become vulnerable. I know some of you reading this are rolling your eyes in a “that’s easy for you to say” kind of way. It’s easier than we think. Remember that first time we rode a bike? Weren’t we all scared before? Wasn’t it so much fun after we learned how to? Remember all of our first kisses? Weren’t we scared to death leading up to the moment it happened, and then after it happened it was exhilarating? That was us being vulnerable! Life is a series of risks and rewards. When we take a risk, we get rewarded not just because we attained something, but because we learned how to. What throws off our ability to be vulnerable are expectations. Expectations give us insecurities. When we lose our expectations we allow ourselves to see life one step at a time with clarity. The next step is usually pretty clear. There’s no way we can know what ten steps down the road will hold for us because we have nine steps to get to first.
Getting on stage with no script is very important to me. I want to be able to walk into any situation, in front of any amount of people, and be able to connect with the individuals in the room. That’s confidence you can’t buy, but it sure is priceless. No matter whether we consider ourselves introverts or extroverts (really we’re just people), we’re all searching for connection in life. If we’re insecure we can’t connect because we’re always looking inward. We’ll miss the signs because we’ll be too worried about how we were perceived by others as those signs were happening. None of us can find a modicum of sustained inner peace and happiness in life without being willing to put ourselves out there, and we can’t put ourselves out there without being present. That’s not my opinion; That’s a fact. If you’re disputing me it’s just because you’re avoiding the truth. How can you find the courage to be vulnerable if you’ve been struggling with it? Try Meditating.
The mind will put up any number of road blocks to avoid the thing it fears most. When we meditate we quiet our mind and gradually remove those road blocks. We don’t need to be spiritual or religious to meditate. It will help instill the self-confidence to become present in order to find our passions. Once we’re present, vulnerability is easy because it’s just life right at this moment. Meditation also helps us to become gentle with ourselves. You know that old adage “we’re our own harshest critic?” Well, if that’s the case, we suck. Don’t be hard on yourself, be gentle with yourself. It’ll help make all of us happier. Who likes to get beat up all the time? Sure, we learn things from getting beat up sometimes, but getting beat up all the time just gets us beat down instead. When we’re more gentle with ourselves it makes it easier for us to look at situations for what they are and not as a matter of life or death. That’s another form of living in the moment.
A year ago I began to meditate as a means to quiet my mind. It worked wonderfully. Doing so opened doors inside of myself that allowed me to open up to the world in ways I had previously been afraid to. It helped me to take things one step at a time, to give myself time to breathe and process everything around me, to lose a fear of failure, and to build a happier future by being present. When I meditate each night I take an honest look at my day and think about the next day’s tasks at hand. I’m not being hard on myself, but I’m not bullshitting myself either. We need to place ourselves in positions to be as successful as possible, and that starts with inner honesty. I try to limit the daily tasks I want to complete to no more than four or five, this way they’re easily attainable. By keeping things simple being vulnerable doesn’t seem very vulnerable at all, it just seems like tomorrow.
I’m currently as open as I’ve ever been in my entire life and that’s a good thing. Ask me what the future for The WallBreakers holds and I’ll tell you what it is today. Why? How can I know what the future holds? I have to be in the present first. Lina and I are building our partnership and friendship as we go. We’re also building this community as we go. Her and I spent six months planning this new community, so I don’t mean to sound as though we’re just winging it because we’re not. Preparation is very important, and part of preparation is being able to roll with things as they come along. We have a strong monthly content plan put into place. February’s big event is Valentine’s Day. It makes perfect sense that in order to love, we must be vulnerable. It’s a great monthly topic to begin the new community with. I have no set script for The WallBreakers, but I do have overarching bullet points that I’d like to connect. This is going to be so much fun. Now is a wonderful time.
Welcome to the new WallBreakers!