You Gotta Own It
I’m currently reading Keith Richards’ new autobiography Life. Good ol’ Keef has provided the world with numerous pearls of wisdom throughout the Stones amazing career and this book is chalk-full of fresh gems. Here’s one I found interesting regarding taking the stage. I’m always curious to know if actors and musicians ever had to overcome any degree of stage fright. Here’s what Keith said on the subject,
“To me the feeling was, let the tiger out the cage. Maybe that’s just another version of butterflies. It could be. But I’ve always felt very comfortable on stage, even if I screw up. It always felt like a dog, this is my turf, piss around it. While I’m here, nothing else can happen. All I can do is screw up. Otherwise, have a good time”.
That may seem a little animalistic to some but I think that is the feeling you need to have whenever fear presents itself. I was nervous talking on the air at first, for example, but I quickly realized I had to tackle that fear head-on (before it could rear it’s ugly head to others). Yeah you can screw up, but almost welcome the chance. Mistakes are part of life. Don’t let them limit you, learn from them and roll from there.
So even if you’re not an alpha dog, when an obstacle is in front of you that you want or need to hurdle, run at it full speed. Prove to that obstacle how powerful you are. You know what I mean, you’re proving yourself to yourself. We’re our worst critics and the only one’s we truly need to prove ourselves to at the end of each day. If you can surprise yourself by accomplishing something even you didn’t think was possible, well my friend you just let a tiger out the cage. So own whatever stage life puts you on. Mark your territory, let everyone know that is your stage for a reason. If you do that, the screw ups seem like part of the show.