What are you not doing because you’re afraid you’ll be deemed a fool?
I have news; we’re all fools at one time or another. It’s part of the human condition. Embrace it. That’s a heck of a lot better than nurturing some idealized version of yourself, scrambling to protect it, and agonizing when you fall short.
Maybe you asked a girl out, and she said no. Or fell at a party. Or tried to kiss your best friend, and he rebuffed you. Perhaps while laughing at work, you accidentally farted. Maybe only two people showed up for your improv show.
You have a profoundly deep and layered life, but if you drop your burrito bowl at Chipotle today, there’ll be a couple of people on earth who’ll only ever know you as Chipotle-burrito-dropper. And this bothers us, why?
I know, I know . . .
I know why it bothers us. The need for social acceptance is tangled up with survival instincts and deeply rooted. But it’s time to weed the garden. We have the power to select new modes of thinking that will yield different outcomes. Isn’t that the reason for reason?
When our inclinations work against us, when they cause us undue suffering, when they are based on false premises that keep us smaller than we long to be, it’s time for a change.
Let’s be frank. Or rather, Frankenstein.
Other people’s perceptions of you are cognitive hot messes. In their minds, a Frankenstein version of you ambles about, constructed from parts that are not entirely yours—among your perceivable traits, you’ll find their preconceived notions about said traits, feelings for a college classmate of theirs they think you look like, leftover ideas about themselves/their dreams/their mothers/Ryan Gosling that they project on you for, well . . . reasons.
You know this to be true because you’ve been plodding away in your lab for years, shocking Frankenstein versions of them alive.
And we all know what happens in these dimly lit labs—how quickly we construct, how easily things get out of proportion. I mean, the cornerstone of the Frankenstein you created for Bob in accounting is that he never cleans out his office fridge shelf. Surely, there are larger things in Bob’s life.
It’s time to fully recognize the fault in our Frankensteins.
It’ ll lessen the weight of what others think of us, of what we think of them. It’ll highlight the limits of perception. It’ll weaken the power of the word “fool.”
There’s great freedom in knowing we shouldn’t hold esteem in such high esteem. So, be free. Fail like no one’s watching, fall like you’ve never been hurt, and fart like no one’s listening.
That’s how the quote goes, right?
Or am I just a fool . . .
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