Most of us go through life with the intent of making sure we don’t embarrass ourselves – we strive to get to a place where we can show up in life with dignity and decorum – we want to avoid mockery – i.e. we don’t want to look like a complete idiot.
But if we truly want to feel confident – feel comfortable in our own skin – then telling ourselves that we’re wonderful and finding ways to boost our ego is not exactly the right way to go about it. There’s actually another way. And that is to find a way to accept the truth of our own human nature – that we are all at times foolish, ridiculousness idiots.
Let’s face it, all of us have been idiots in life at some time. We’ve screwed up, we’ve fallen off our bikes, tripped on a banana peel, we’ve been caught with spinach in our teeth; been tongue-tied, and we’ve been a fool for love.
Just knowing that every single one of us has acted like an idiot, should give us the freedom to try things out; to take a risk, to give things a go. But what do we idiots do instead? We take our failures and screw-ups so personally; we secretly suffer from the shame of it all; and then we give ourselves the label: I’m an inept imposter.
In the same way that we know and accept that each of us poops every day – yes, even the beautiful and sophisticated people - can you imagine if we saw our failures and screwups as the acceptable norm for everyone? Imagine if we took the sting out of being a ridiculous idiot?
Did you know that Jennifer Lopez still thinks she’s not good enough at performing? And that Maya Angelou who has written tons of books, was always worried that she would be found out? And the talented Jodie Foster thought her Oscar win was a mistake. Just see how ridiculous they were! But for all of their folly, they still got on with their goals and dreams.
I like knowing this. I like knowing that I’m not the only one who thinks this way about myself. I like knowing that every single person on the planet – even the ones who have done brilliant work – still fall into this trap. That’s how silly we all are.
If failure was the acceptable norm we’d ask for the raise anyway; ask someone out on a date; tell the truth to someone; apply for that job we think we’re not going to get. Our whole world would open up into this huge playground of possibilities.
So, go ahead and be silly. Show the world how ridiculous you are. The world loves a holy fool.