Looking Ridiculous

Creative Commons License photo credit: Stephen Cochran

I attended the Get Motivated all-day seminar at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines about a month ago. Great day, enjoyed listening to the speakers, got a free lunch, came home with a migraine. (Too many people, loud sounds and flashy lights.) But a fun day.

At one point in the day they announced they were going to give away a Disney vacation as a door prize. Rather than draw for a winner, they had a “dance-off” with people pulled from the audience. One gentleman, Alan, had the most hilarious dance style-arms flailing and jumping from side to side. It was positively ridiculous, but you could tell he was having a great time. His enthusiasm and willingness to get up on stage made me clap the loudest for him.

I have a real problem with looking ridiculous. Not that I look ridiculous on a regular basis. (I hope.)

Instead, it’s that I might look ridiculous to someone else and I don’t want that. REALLY don’t want that. Could properly be called a dread of looking ridiculous, I suppose.

I couldn’t get up on that stage and dance like Alan did. I could, but I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t get up and dance like any of the contestants, even if I could dance as well as some of them. I have no self-confidence in my dancing skills. If I didn’t look ridiculous, I would certainly still feel ridiculous.

It got me thinking about what makes people willing to get up and do whatever, despite how it may look. Passion about an idea or a topic is one of the things that will drive people to those extremes. You’re too passionate about what you’re doing to care that you look ridiculous to other people.

Susan Boyle is another good example. She’s the UK lady who went on Britain’s Got Talent and shocked the audience and judges with her singing ability. A middle-aged lady, not fashionably dressed or made up… when she came out on stage you could see the derision on the faces of the audience. Everyone thought she was ridiculous to even get up on the stage, let alone sing. They were laughing at her. Until she opened her mouth and started to sing. Then she got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Did she care that she got laughed at? That the crowd thought her ridiculous to try? No. She loved to sing and wanted her chance to show them that she could sing. Her passion gave her the courage to step out on that stage.

Do I have anything in my life that I am that passionate about?

Do you?