During a recent airplane trip, I looked out of my window at roughly ~30,000 feet.
The sky was clear.
I could still see houses, cars, industrial sections, and more. I could even see and handful of tiny planes flying beneath us.
I'm always blown away how much of the earth you can see at one time from an airplane.
I thought about the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people directly beneath me that have no idea who I am, where I am, nor do they care.
It makes you feel quite small when you really let that idea soak in. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
For me, it's a freeing thought.
Now, if you amplify that same feeling of smallness across thousands of cities, multiple states, multiple countries, multiple continents, quite literally billions of people, well now you’ve really made yourself really insignificant.
With that cold hard, small nugget of truth in your mind, compare that to the handful of people you follow on Twitter, or the handful of folks you’re friends with on Facebook.
See that tiny pink dot. That's my representation of your social circle in the midst of exponentially more people.
Think about how much fear you actively or passively deal with coming from that tiny speck.
- being judged
- being made fun of
- letting someone down
- not being good enough
- of doing something wrong
- not being as good as the other girl (or guy)
- looking like you don’t know what you’re doing
- of getting called out by someone prominent in the your industry
And now, the million dollar question.
Who would you be if none of that fear or doubt was holding you back?
What would you do if you didn’t worry about what someone else thought about you?
What project would you spend time on if you weren’t afraid of being judged by it?
What type of person would you be if you were free from fear, doubt and so many of the other negative scripts that cloud your judgement and ultimately your personal progress?
I struggle with this too. In fact, there's a part of me that's afraid you will think this entire post is stupid.
But if I detach, and set the fear aside, I have clarity and realize this is an ideal that’s important to me. One that I want to live by and teach my kids.
Just the other day, my oldest son was anxious about going to school with his new hair style because it was different than what he normally did, even though he really liked it.
I helped him fix his hair with some of my styling clay/paste/gel… whatever it is.
On the way to school he flattened it all out and said he wasn’t ready to do his hair like that. I could sense his anxiety about the whole thing.
This is bigger than a hair style, it’s a worldview.
I want him to know that he shouldn’t let irrational fear drive his decision making.
And I want you to know that too.
There are billions of people who have no opinion of you whatsoever. Focusing on that at a macro scale can help overcome the tiny echo chamber of your own social circle and get you moving in the right direction.