But what if I look stupid?
That’s the question we ask ourselves a lot, isn’t it? At a certain age we become aware and afraid of looking stupid.
My three-year-old son, Henry, hasn’t gotten there yet. He has zero fear of looking stupid because he doesn’t know yet that he’s supposed to. As a result he freely walks around the house naked while singing songs about vegetable soup and Iron Man. Or not care about having his dinner all over his face. He also doesn’t know that it’s embarrassing to be completely honest and vulnerable. So he’ll go on and on about how much he loves eating Lucky Charms with me in the morning. Humiliating.
At some point he’ll enter into the prison we adults freely stay in. That place of fear that keeps us from trying / saying / learning new things. We are so consumed, it seems, with not looking stupid that we have no space to ask ourselves a better question.
What if I stopped caring so much about looking stupid?
In this week’s podcast we talked about that very thing. We interviewed two of the producers from the new movie Hope Bridge. David Eaton shared his inspiring journey of faith and creativity to get his movie made. At every step of the way he could’ve stopped and accepted the reality that he might look stupid for doing something he didn’t know how to do. But instead he kept stepping, and now the film will make its world premiere and start conversations all over the country.
A magical combination of genuine faith and healthy ignorance trumped his fear. Speaking from personal experience, I think that’s one of the secrets to making stuff happen.
I’d rather look stupid trying if it’s something I genuinely believe in and that I’m just ignorant enough to not know all the challenges I’m going to face. Not trying is far more humiliating than trying in my humble opinion.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Jimmy G.