I was attending the graduation reception for the Sheriff’s Institute for Ethical Leadership Development (SHIELD). The program is a seven-month mid-management leadership course established by Sheriff Greg Hamilton of Travis County Sheriff’s Office in 2013 that I’ve had the privilege to serve as an instructor in since its inception.
The gathering was held at the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 racetrack here in Austin. The group was taken to the observation tower overlooking the field, reaching 251 feet above the field. Up and down in the elevator without a hitch. Ok, it was 102 degrees, but it’s summer in Texas, so that’s pretty much normal.
We made it back to the reception room for drinks and dinner in short order. My wife and I met some of the participants in the program and had some laughs. It was a great time.
Then the speeches began. The first one was brief and then I was invited up to say a few words. The invitation had been extended several days earlier so I knew it was coming.
I began my comments and in mid-stream I was going to say something about Travis County, except the sound that came out of my mouth was “Ta-.” There was no mistaking that my brain was just then intending to say “Tarrant County” for some reason. And everyone knew it.
There was an outburst of laughter, and one or two people mentioned it at the podium after me.
But you know what happened on Thursday night? Nothing.
No one got up and left. I didn’t lose my job. My wife didn’t leave me. I wasn’t embarrassed. It was a funny moment, I played along, and then continued my remarks.
Nothing happened on Thursday night.
What is it that you thought you wanted to do or get or be in 2015 that you haven’t acted on yet?
What’s stopping you?
Frequently, it’s the anticipation of the moment of a mistake or embarrassment that keeps you from going forward, isn’t it?
You focus on the possibility of mistakes and imagine the worst-case scenario. You blow it all out of proportion in your mind. Then, you stay in your comfort zone because that’s where things are known, predictable, and, well, comfortable.
What is it that you would try this week if you knew that “nothing would happen”?
Get the Nerve!