For this challenge, I interviewed Nat Sharpe, a really unique dude who completed #30DaysOfDiscomfort with me.
Concerned about my abilities, the night before I journaled:
Tomorrow I’m doing the podcast challenge. I’m so nervous. I fear that I’m going to get in my head. I fear I’ll be nervous during the podcast. I have to remember, the stakes are low because I don’t even have to post it. I’m in control. But I still feel nervous.
I’m nervous I’ll say something stupid
I’m nervous I’ll look pitiful, nervous, infantile. I fear I’ll be boring. I fear I’ll try too hard to be interesting.
But it’s an opportunity to learn. Iteration. Start. Be bad! Iterate! Practice!
I have no sense of where to improve. I can’t. I have nothing to improve on. This will merely be an opportunity to get something to improve on. My first attempt at a podcast.
I have to remember to think about Nat. Maybe he’s nervous too?
I need to make him feel comfortable. That idea is new to me. Make people around me comfortable? How?
The next morning, my fear dissipated. But I was still unsure what to expect.
So I decided to hack the experience. I wanted to create a system where I could not fail.
My Infallible System: Failure Bingo
If I create a podcast– regardless of the quality– it’s a success. My first attempt is not going to be amazing. I’m not skilled yet.
My goal should be to make a podcast, not a great podcast. Mistakes, nervousness, fumbles are all permitted. This is the time to mess up in order to learn. When else can I learn from my terrible novice mistakes? On episode 200? No!– Now! This is the best time to fuck up!
So I made it a goal to mess up.
One by one, I wrote out my fears.
My “goal” was to check off every feared-mistake by the end of the podcast.
This way, if I check off every item, I win the paper game– and I accomplish my goal of facing my fears. But, if I don’t check off every mistake I feared, I win the game of not messing everything up.
It’s a win win!
Reframing my failures as “goals” changed my relationship to the mistakes. As a result, I drastically reduced my fear of failing, minimizing my nerves.
I call this trick Failure Bingo.
In the end, I really enjoyed the podcast. Could I improve? Without a doubt. But I’m ok with having a process. It’s ok to be a fool! We can only grow wise if we let ourselves begin as fools.
Special thanks to Nat Sharpe for being an amazing guest. I hope to have him on again in the future.