“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” -Hunter S. Thompson
Trying new things has been a major key to my success in life and my music career.
Trying things is rather scary for me. It always requires you to put yourself out there, be vulnerable, be open to the critics, and often fail.
For many people, one failure is enough to make them retract, shrink, and go back to whats comfortable and predictable. One comment from someone we respect or from a loved one can make us never want to try things again. That feeling of disappointment can create a wall in our minds to never allow us to go after the things we really want to try.
I’ve been labeled a social outgoing person my whole life. We have the term “extrovert” for this now. I need to be honest in that, it’s hard. It’s difficult to be social and outgoing even for an extrovert. It is difficult to try new things, experiment, fail, put yourself out there over and over again, letting people in, sharing your story over and over again, it can be exhausting. I do get life from being around people but it still is hard to try new things, work with new clients, try new business approaches and the list goes on.
The majority of my fear with trying new things comes from a fear of what others may think of me. That really is what it boils down to. When I moved to Nashville to “try” music as a career, I was extremely excited but also had a lurking voice around every corner that whispered all the “what if” scenarios of how I could easily fail. A cycling dialogue of how my parents would view me, friends, past co-workers, wife and even the God I believe in. For the majority of the voices, they were all self created. Very few people have ever said things to my face or via email that were as mean as anything I have created in my head, yet on some level I was still projecting those negative things onto the very ones who love me the most. This is not fair to them nor myself.
It’s a strange thing. A person who overall loves you and has been there for you most your life, yet you still in your head fear what they may think if you try something new, change, become honest. Living a life that is guided by fear is unacceptable. It’s not a life at all really. It’s selling yourself short. It also is not reality. People will always judge, critic, disappoint, but people are also capable of far greater love, encouragement, joy, and success. I quickly forget those thing when I begin to think about trying new things. We are forgetful people.
I have a running list of business ideas in a notebook. I have business ideas from when I was in high school and college. I have started about four other businesses outside of my music career that have either failed or the timing is just not right yet. Each one I start has had plenty of pushback and reasons to fail but I never let that stop me from trying.
Trying is rather freeing. It kind of allows you to be yourself. We all have things in our very nature that we desire to do. Not all of these things are life giving but overall they come from a place that wants to explore, learn, be free, grow, and succeed in life. It’s easy to get caught up in whatever everyone else is doing. It’s easy to think “surely I can’t start a business, make a movie, give a speech, learn to hip hop dance, become a good father”…. and the list goes on. But trying those things out is what life is about.
I have enjoyed the wisdom from Hunter S. Thompson lately. He has this lovely quote. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
I love that image. This isn’t a YOLO or seize the day blog but I do think that we often shrink away from what we really want to try in life. I want to live a life that is full of trying things.
What I have learned is that the more I try things the easier it gets. Not always in the sense that I don’t always get butterflies in new situations, but in that it starts to lose its intensity. The feelings and thoughts begin to get less intense as I remind myself of all the times I have succeed. As I remind myself of all the people that do love me. I see these thoughts and feelings for what they are, my own insecurity or excitement manifesting itself in my body and mind. This is normal, I am always gracious with myself when I notice these things. I do not allow them to dictate my actions. This has been a large journey and battle.
When I tell people these things, they often view it as easy or that I am just wired to fly by the seat of my pants and try things. I did not become this way by chance or genetics. I became this way because I know that trusting and trying is one of the only ways to figure out what your really wired to do. I had no idea I would be great at Mastering. It came from years of choices, paths, and trying things that lead me here. I had no idea I could write a blog. I was terrible in school at english and writing. But I told myself to just try it. Now writing is something I look forward to. Two years ago I would have told you I hated writing, now I find joy in it. I have zero training in writing or blogging. I just began one day because I felt like I had something to share. It’s scary to put yourself out there every week, but the one thing I have learned is that people are so, so, so kind and affirming.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has messaged me or commented that they enjoy the blog. It’s a privilege that you would take time to read my words. I want you to know that these blogs came from me trying something way out of my comfort zone. This is not something that is easy, but it is something that is life giving to myself and others.
I want to encourage you all to try things this week. It doesn’t have to be life altering. It could be as simple as trying to cook a new dish, writing a new song, just taking a new route home from work. When we try new things our world expands, our minds expand, and we are then capable of experiencing even more joy and life. Do it for yourself, and you will see quickly how much it naturally benefits others. Try new things, become more yourself this week.