‘Wow look at me!’ CRASH!

Dear Self,

I’m not very good at juggling.

I’ve been teaching this workshop lately where I use learning how to juggle as a way to learn about how we learn.

I enjoy using something I’m not particularly good at as it gives me space to demonstrate the principles I am talking about.

Yesterday I picked up the juggling balls (which I never do) and juggled and I was really good. I had this control over the balls, I was throwing and catching, I was standing in one spot evenly balanced on my feet…it was awesome.

It was juggling beautifully and then suddenly I had this feeling of “Wow, look at me I can juggle!”. The moment I thought that it all fell to pieces.

I felt like a child who has just learnt to ride a bike for the first time and then looks up to see if Mum or Dad is watching then rides straight into a tree.

The same thing has been happening of late with playing the piano and singing. I’ve occasionally had this feeling that I can play, sing and interpret the song I’m singing, the moment I feel like this is happening I suddenly see myself succeeding and it all falls apart.

What’s going on is a sudden shift of attention from the task at hand to a desire to be seen doing the task at hand well. I figure this is one of the steps along the pathway to success. I have no idea what the next step is after this one, I’m a bit frightened that I will always get stuck here.

When I am juggling or playing the piano and I am on my own and this happens I can be quite amused about it all, it’s almost fun to watch it happen and to play with different ways of responding.

When the things I am doing are public…that feels like a whole new level of stuff to manage!

Life feels a lot like juggling at the moment.

I’m doing lots of new creative things that I am occasionally having success with and I am experiencing a bit of this feeling. Enjoying the experience of it working…but a little nervous about keeping the balls in the air whilst I enjoy this feeling.

I guess I just have to accept the balls might fall and people might watch that happen and I then have the choice to pick them up and throw them in the air again…or not.

If I’m prepared to fail in front of people am I also prepared to succeed?

Luke

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