Taking risks, expanding your comfort zone, doing things that challenge you in any way, whether they are creative or just in life, is a practice.
In the last post, I was preparing for my first ever stand up comedy set in a class that I was taking. You can see the post & video from shortly before I went on stage here: Taking Risks & Trying New Things #1
I was super nervous when I made the video because my body was preparing to be on stage. A stress response is natural when you are taking any kind of risks.
You will most likely find yourself in a fight or flight stress response.
My brain was telling me that I was going to die, which of course was not accurate, but stress response was a signal that I was doing something outside of my comfort zone which to the body-mind feels DANGEROUS!
An important aspect of the practice of taking risks is knowing and being prepared for the stress response to happen. And in the last post I talked about how to shift from saying, “I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared to I’m excited and scared.”
The truth was, I was both excited AND scared.
But if I just focused on being scared, it would have been much harder to get on stage to perform. So the great news is that I did my first stand up comedy set = WINNING!
I also know that when I take big public creative risks that include performance my inner critic shows up afterwards to jump me in the parking lot to tell me what I did wrong = ugh!
I set myself up for success by making plans to spend time with a friend afterward in order to regulate my nervous system, come back down to a normal heart rate and my body-mind could restore its balance.
Then I focused the aspects of my set that I really liked and only two things that I want to make better for next time.
Taking risks is it’s a practice, the more you do it, the easier it is and also know that your body mind is going to feel stressed.
- How do you navigate the stress cycle when taking risks?
- How do you set yourself up for success?
- How do you focus on what went well?
- How do you just focus on 1-2 things that you can improve next time?
It’s easy to let the inner critic get outta control and nitpick every single thing that wasn’t perfect, which would then make you less likely to take a creative risk in the future.
Remember that when you are learning to walk? Ok, maybe not but play along for a minute…
Your parents or caregivers didn’t say to you, “Oh my God. You fell on your butt, What a loser! You’re never gonna do it, you’re never gonna walk.” (If they did send them this post.) No, they were ecstatic, excited, elated and encouraged every single step.
So the same is true for you and taking risks in your life, especially if you are taking public and creative risks.
Make a plan for how you can support yourself. Write down ideas for how you can ask for help from your friends or family members.
Asking for help can be as simple as, “hey, would you spend time with me after my event, speech, I press publish? I could use support to regulate my nervous system and celebrate my success. This would include saying encouraging things to me while my system gets back to normal. Then help be decide the most important tips for I’d like to do better for next time. WOuld you be willing to do this for me?”
What’s your next creative risk? How will you set yourself up for success with self-care afterward?
Please Comment, Share, Like and ask questions in the comments.