With the thought, “I’m going to make it. One day I’m going to be somebody,” the Raymond kid enters a talent show at Brainerd High School, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This kid is a middle school student competing amongst high schoolers.
Before the kid steps foot on the stage, his hands start to sweat. His heart rate pulsates like the heart of a rabbit. He’s haunted by these devastating thoughts:
What if they don’t like me?
What if I’m not good enough?
What if I hit a flat note?
As the little Raymond boy takes the stage, he escapes getting booed, but the first thing out of his mouth is a flat note.
Usher Raymond IV goes on to be an 8-time Grammy Award-winning performer.
A couple months back, I took an online course with Usher, on performance. It’s the best $90 bucks I’ve spent in a long time.
In his Online Masterclass, Usher talks about how he got in his head about the fact that he was a middle school student performing with high school aged students (this lead to the first note out of his mouth being a flat note). Usher says, “When you’re in your head your dead.” But that’s not the real takeaway I learned from Usher. What I learned was even more powerful, and that was how to be vulnerable.
You see, vulnerability is what got little Usher Raymond to the stage in the first place. If he wasn’t afraid to take the risk of getting booed, he’d a never step foot on the stage.
I’ve created a formula to get things done and achieve huge success using vulnerability as the foundation. Check it out:
The 5 Steps
- Be Vulnerable:
“The most important part of being fearless is being vulnerable.” – Usher
Being vulnerable helps you take action. Take risks. The mere fact that you’ve given yourself permission to be vulnerable helps you let your guard down.
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable also helps to keep from overthinking things because you’re now not worried about what other people are going to think. Ahh, the power of vulnerability. Vulnerability allows you to throw yourself out there and do the thing.
Vulnerability is going out on the skinny part of the branch and having faith that you’re going to be ok if the branch breaks or not. It’s the key ingredient if you’re ever to become fearless.
The more vulnerable you are, the more experience you’ll gain. You become vulnerable by giving yourself permission, letting yourself know it’s ok. You’re vulnerable so you can get things done.
Give yourself permission to be vulnerable; this will help pull you out of any fear.
- Trust Your Gut: Giving yourself permission to be vulnerable, doesn’t mean you have permission to be stupid. Trust your gut. If your gut tells you something is a bad idea, it’s probably a bad idea.
Gut feelings are there for a reason. Listen to your gut. Act on your gut. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable will help you act on your gut feelings.
- Don’t Be A Perfectionist: You’ll never get there being a perfectionist. Perfectionism leads to analysis paralysis. Waiting until everything is perfect leads you to not getting anything done at all.
Escape the thought of having to do things perfectly. Instead, employee the philosophy, “Good enough is done and done is awesome!”
98% good enough is better than 100% perfectionism.
Vulnerability will be the key to letting go of perfectionism.
- Learn As You Go: “Everything you perceive as a flaw becomes valuable in time.” – Usher
Allow yourself to find out what works, what doesn’t and why by embracing your failures along the way. Listen, you’re going to screw up, it’s ok as long as you learn from it.
If you go in with the attitude, “If I screw this up, I’m going to learn from my mistakes,” you’ll be way ahead of the game.
Give yourself permission to fail. You won’t ever learn if you’re not, (as you may have guessed) vulnerable first.
If you don’t make a mistake you won’t learn a correction.
- Meditate: Yes, I know, I felt weird at the thought of meditation too. For this formula to work, you’ll need to visualize on a consistent basis, these 5 steps.
You aren’t what you eat; you’re what you think. If you believe these five steps will help you, you’ll need to instill them in your heart as a belief. To instill as a belief, you must remind yourself of your beliefs over and over again until the belief becomes a habit. Meditation will help you do just that.
Insight Timer is a meditation app I use that you can get for free. I carve out ten minutes in the morning strictly for meditation. Sometimes I meditate in silence and sometimes I use the Insight Timer app on my phone. Those ten minutes help set the course for my day and get things done.
Just Do It
No school that I know of teaches vulnerability. I think this is a shame.
Take the stage. Get out there and do something today. And be vulnerable.
Mike D. Slover