Put Down Your Clever & Pick Up Your Ordinary

Posted by  GeoffBrown —February 1, 2010
Filed in Uncategorized

I have read and written much about the fear of failure and criticism lately. Viv McWaters has also been exploring the concept ‘Putting Down your Clever & Picking up your Ordinary” (see below). Here’s another way of looking at it. Seth Godin’s talk called ‘Quieting the Lizard Brain‘. I have some first cut reflections below the video …

Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99% on Vimeo.

“What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship,” says bestselling author Seth Godin, arguing that we must quiet our fearful “lizard brains” to avoid sabotaging projects just before we finally finish them.”

The first reflection is the fact the these 2 images show up in my own slideshow presentations more than any other …

fail444456 fear of not being good enough

I see this all the time in myself and in others – and many I point it out to are not even prepared to admit it. In myself I see it here at my own blog. I get writer’s block. Why? Mostly because I care too much about what ‘other people’ will think. The process feels like this:

I see/learn something new that grabs my attention … I decide to share it on my blog … I start writing and thinking aloud … then I self edit and start trying to be clever … sometimes my idea/learning is condemned to the draft folder and never sees the light of day! It never gets ‘shipped’.

In Viv’s post ‘Letting Go of the Hero‘, she touches upon the improv theatre principle: putting down your clever and picking up your ordinary. It relates nicely to Seth’s message. Here is an explanation from David Robinson of The Circle Project.

“The way to really be present and powerful with yourself is to put down the idea that you need to be right, that you need to be brilliant, that you need to BE anything, AND in fact what you need to do is to pick up your ordinary, because the thing you have labeled as ordinary IS what makes you special, it’s your most powerful, most potent gift, it’s where your talents are, and yet it is ordinary to you. You think everybody has it. You deny the very thing that is your most potent gift. So this is all about not investing in the Hero so we can let go of the Anti-Hero. Letting go of ‘good enough’ so that ‘not good enough’ has no power.”

I think this mindset of ‘letting go’ and ‘being average’ is critical.When Seth talks about ‘shipping’ your product/idea/thing, part of it is about letting go of the the fear of criticism and fear. Let’s stop sabotaging our ideas and products and ship/share more of them! How … put down your clever & pick up your ordinary!


ps. stay tuned to Viv’s and Johnnie Moore’s blog because they will be doing a podcast on this with David Robisnon soon.

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