Back To The Drawing Board

As they say in French, ‘Retour à la case depart.’ Back to square one. As in starting over - from scratch. Go back and think it through again. Was it because your first idea wasn’t good enough? New enough? When you first sat down to come up with that idea you more than likely put it all out there. Gave it all you had. This was in fact THE solution to the problem. Or so you thought. Possibly even spending hours putting it down on paper. Getting it just right. Maybe even thought you nailed it. And then, to your surprise and probable disappointment, you discover - via someone else’s opinion of your idea - that your ladder was up against the wrong wall. This solution was in fact all wrong. Not what he/she/they were looking for. Not a failure. Just not right. Not what they were thinking. But how often do we really get it right the first time? Are your first ideas the ones you just need to get out of your system? To clear your head of the obvious only to dig deeper and find the real gold? Do epiphanies count? Maybe the customer isn’t always right. Maybe, just maybe, when you get that feeling that you know it’s just right, you need to trust your intuition. Go with your gut. Believe in yourself and your ideas.                              

As crazy as it sounds, I once took a motivational class that concluded with a genuine fire walk experience. The night of the challenge, everyone in the class was asked to write their fear on a piece of paper. Collectively, as we circled the bonfire that would later provide the hot coals for our pathway, we all threw our fears into the fire. When it came time to do the actual fire walk, we all lined up single-file to take our turn. Some chickened out, others ahead of me went straight down the path with ease. When it was my turn, energy racing inside me, adrenaline pumped, I took that fire walk like it was a stroll in the park. Upon completing the task, I jumped for joy with a thrill of accomplishment! Couldn’t believe I actually did it!                                                        

When all the others had completed the experience, the Master Instructor asked, ‘Who wants to go AGAIN?’ And without hesitation - I joined the now much shorter line of over-achievers and second-guessers. I couldn’t believe how easy it was that first time. I needed to do it again to prove to myself alone that I really had done it right. Well, you guessed it - that second time - I got burned. Nothing serious, just a little blister from an ember on my heel. A not-so-friendly reminder that I should’ve left well enough alone. That piece of paper that I threw into the fire - I wrote “SUCCESS” on it. I had a Fear of Success. I didn’t trust myself that I really could do something right the first time. That sometimes that first idea IS a good idea. It’s only when I doubt myself and my ability, and go back and do it again - against my better judgement - that I get burned. Like a concomitant - I learned my lesson well.

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