Embrace the Ridiculous
The term “life coach,” on it’s own is kind of a silly or ridiculous sounding term or job. It takes a while for a seemingly absurd term like that to roll off your tongue when people ask what you do (and a complicated conversation almost always ensues if you're talking to one who has not been initiated into the coaching world).
Fittingly, almost every idea that has come out of the field of personal development has been seen as ridiculous (though some of them are now completely normal).
Can you imagine 50 years ago telling a Don Draperesque CEO to keep a gratitude journal every day? Now it’s not uncommon for high powered individuals to seek every edge – whether that be hypnosis, Tony Robbins’ seminars, ice-cold showers every morning, or any other number of “ridiculous” things.
Recently, I got to attend Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within Virtual experience, and I was reminded at just how ridiculous this field can be. After all, you’ve got tens of thousands of people dancing for hours a day in front of their computer monitors in between motivational speeches, strategy sessions, and small groups where you share your feelings, fears, and goals with complete strangers who might not even speak the same language.
Growing up I was not the type of person who would ever voluntarily sign up for an experience like that. Heck, I didn’t even want to dance at my school dances because I was too scared of looking “uncool.” I probably wasn’t a good dancer and thus didn’t want to look ridiculous. Sorry to all my high school girlfriends, by the way. My fear robbed us all of a lot of fun experiences.
But I realized something by day 3 of the online conference – almost all the magic in change comes from the ridiculous moments in life – those brief moments where you let go so that you can grow and connect to the world in a different way.
For me, it took having kids to really turn a corner. Their whole world is ridiculous. They live in a world of pretend, make-believe, and imagination. Yelling and dancing at a moment’s notice are commonplace if not totally expected. This is why people generally enjoy being around children. If you want to connect with children, you have to open up a part of yourself that you closed off to stay safe or to stay “cool” in the eyes of your peers – a key decision you made long ago that might not to be rethought if you’re going to make it to the next level of your life now.
As a challenge, I want you to embrace something ridiculous today. Maybe there was an idea in a book you read that sounded hokey or corny that you discarded without trying. Maybe it was one that you couldn’t try at the time, but meant to get back to later but never did. Or if you’re lacking inspiration, just do this:
Practice creating your favorite emotion. Maybe something like joy or exuberance or feeling 10 feet tall. Play with your physiology. What would you be doing with your body if you wanted to feel joy? Don’t go small. Go big! Put on a Calvin Harris song and dance. Make a powerful move with your body and yell with power. Get up in your office and walk around your office with purpose and intention like you know exactly where you are going and what you are put on this Earth for. Don’t just intellectually follow along. Actually get up and engage your body. The more ridiculous the better.
The truth is, the people who live amazing lives are always ridiculous. Whether that be a ridiculous obsession with achievement where they fully embrace their mission. Or maybe a ridiculous faith where a Saint gives up all their earthly possessions and lives in the streets or as a monk to go deeper in their relationship with God – a “normal” routine will get you normal results. It won’t get you amazing achievement.
You will know you are ready for the next level in your life when you’re ready to really step out of your comfort box and do something that seems totally and utterly ridiculous. For my clients and I, the motto for the week continues to be “embrace the ridiculous.” I urge you to live the same way for a while and see where it takes you.
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