I made a video for you a couple weeks ago. It kind of stinks a lil bit.
The INTENTION behind it doesn't stink and even the IDEAS within it are non-stinky. But the delivery and the technical aspects of the recording? STANK.
You might notice that I'm helplessly long-winded, I miscommunicate a couple of points (especially the first one) and from the looks of how I shot this you might think I don't know a thing or three about light and shadows.
Also. I love that I have big teeth but the angle of the camera here makes it appear as if my face is about 30% teeth, when really it is only 29% teeth.
Do you see what I'm doing here?
I'm burning the grass.
Legend has it that when Napoleon was once losing a battle, he retreated his troops through their own land, burning their OWN grass in their OWN fields as they retreated.
They did that to starve the advancing enemy. So the enemy would not have any food or water to fuel them as they advanced back towards Napoleon's troops. And Napoleon would be able to see the enemy coming.
No grass, no food, no power, no hiding. Burning the grass.
A sales manager once taught me that sometimes you have to burn your own grass. Mention shortcomings of your own product before the competitor can try to use those shortcomings against you. Stay one step ahead of the competition so you can cut 'em out at the knees.
...Le sigh again.
We hu-mans do this all the time. But less in regards to our PRODUCTS and more in regards to our SELVES.
We speak badly about ourselves so as to disempower anybody who might try to speak badly about us.
As in: "Oh, you want to say I'm long-winded? That my video lighting is amateur? Nope. Can't say that. I already said it. Point disqualified. Whatchya got now, suckaaaaahs???"
I protect myself from attack.
Let me be the one to come out and say that this "burning the grass" strategy of self-protection? IT is what sucks. We think that people are out to criticize us but in the end, the one who is most actively criticizing us is ourselves.
And our subconscious minds BELIEVE the things we tell ourselves, so it becomes self-fulfilling.
And the only opinion of us that really matters is our own.
So as soon as we burn the grass, we lose.
A couple days ago I stumbled upon a link to an article I had contributed to another website a year ago. So I read it. And I proceeded to want to vom-dot-com.
I was HORRIFIED. As in: itchy-sweat-I-wonder-who-I-can-pay-to-remove-this-from-the-interwebs horrified. Burn-the-servers horrified.
"What was I thinking??" I wondered. "Why would I make myself so vulnerable in discussing such PERSONAL topics on the INTERNET? How am I so AUDACIOUS as to think anybody would WANT to read my drivel??"
Then I got to the bottom of the post. Many people had written to say that the post was HELPING them. Shifting their perspectives. They THANKED me for my vulnerability. The post has been tweeted 2,432 times.
Not one criticism.
Which gets me thinking. I'm thinking today about internal Resistance, with a capital "R" to recognize the foe for the powerful opponent that it is.
In spiritual communities, Resistance is the equivalent of Christianity's Devil. It's the negative force in the world that tries to stop good things from happening.
But it's an INVISIBLE force. People don't even see it coming.
Stephen Pressfield teaches that Resistance kicks in at its strongest right before we're about to do something good (which usually involves being vulnerable.) That's when it whispers in our ear that we are not good enough, strong enough, ready enough.
That's when it convinces us to stay small.
If there is one thing I cannot stand in life it is anybody telling me I am not good enough to do something. I'll be damned in every sense of the expression if I ever let somebody stop ME from doing what it is I plan to do.
Resistance can go to hell.
So today, I am posting this video. It may not be the best video any of us have ever seen, but it's a major victory over Resistance.
And that is good enough for me.
(Please note that I especially miscommunicated the advice Nick and my Dad relayed. It sounded much more positive coming from them. Oh well.)
People and things I mention in the video, for reference:
- Nick Papa's East Beach Oyster Farm
- Nikki Groom
- Dave Ursillo
- My Podcast with Jacob Sokol
- Emily Leahy
- My thoughts on chills and teary eyes.
Want to chime in with some thoughts? I always love to hear from you.