Recently I wrote about how one of my favorite videographers threw my script in the trash while we were filming.
In the can.
“Scripts are for gurus,” he said, “and everyone hates gurus.”
I thought he was kidding.
“Um, so what do we do now that we don’t have a plan?”, I said.
“We have a plan,” he replied. “We just don’t have a script.”
As you might expect, the feedback on this move was celebratory.
“Omg I love that guy.”
“The BEST stuff comes when you speak from the heart.”
“You’ve got this!”
Sounds great and all, but here’s how the story ends.
Shortly after our shoot I got a call from the videographer who broke the news I’d been fearing all along.
“Sorry Emily, I looked at the footage and we don’t have anything.”
Turns out, I can ad-lib on stage just fine but put a camera in my face and evidentially no amount of editing will do.
That was three months ago and from then until now I’ve spent a fair amount of time telling myself I’m “not good” on video and that I shouldn’t use it at all.
Thankfully, the practice of mindfulness has allowed me to cultivate an alternative voice, one that doesn’t allow the pity party to go on too long.
This is the inner champion we all have by the way, but it speaks at such a low volume that it’s easily overpowered by the inner critic.
What kept popping up in my mind during this time was a quote that’s often attributed to Albert Einstein:
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
By playing outside my natural strength zone, I’d been a fish trying to climb a tree.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try new things (obviously), it only means that you won’t always be great at things you really, really want to be great at.
Sometimes it’s just that simple.
The good news is once you fully let go of what isn’t a fit, you create space for what is.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago on the set of a (new) video shoot when I happily told a (different) videographer that I not only wanted to use scripts…I wanted to use the biggest, gnarliest, most tricked-out teleprompter he could find.
Just owning what I do well and what I don’t, which is to say owning my yes and my no.
Because while I agree that the “best stuff comes from the heart”, the truth is that releasing my limitation is what allowed me to empower my strength.
That’s called taking your power back.
It’s not that you forget about climbing the tree completely.
You just know that even if you don’t, you’ll always swim fine.