The other day I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast and he had Jamie Foxx on as a guest. I’ve always been a fan of Jamie because well…it’s Jamie Foxx. What can’t that dude do?
However, what really blew me away was when he shared how he got into music. He used to throw these huge parties for people like P Diddy which led him to linking up with rising artists like Jay-Z and The Neptunes.
This then led to him building a studio in the back of his house and artists had to perform any time they were new and visiting.
One day some kid with a backpack on came in and killed his session. He then proceeded to tell Jamie he had the perfect song for him to sing on. This surprised Jamie because he never saw himself in that light before.
This kid was Kanye West and the song was Slow Jamz in 2004.
Jamie thought the song was a bust, but 6–8 weeks later it was the #1 song in the country.
Following this song, Jamie blew up in the rap and R&B scene.
He goes on record stating, “When your opportunity comes, if you prepare for it, now you can jump into it and grab it.”
Jamie was unknowingly preparing himself for that opportunity with Kanye by:
It’s so simple, prepare for your opportunities, but I feel many opportunities don’t come without getting out of your comfort zone.
I used to be the type of person who played it safe and refused to get uncomfortable.
I’ve found over the past 3–4 year, doing things that scared the shit out of me usually led to life changing opportunities.
When I got those opportunities, I prepared my ass off so I could deliver.
How Jamie Foxx got into music reminds me how I got into public speaking.
A few years ago I wanted to share ideas and encouragement but I never saw myself as a writer. Yet, I got uncomfortable and started blogging not knowing what would come of it.
About a year into weekly blogging, my good friend Diane Gibbs offered me my first speaking gig because I mentioned on a phone call months earlier that I wanted to try it someday.
To be 100% honest, when she asked me, every bone in my body wanted to tell her no because I was terrified. This wasn’t your typical group of 15–20 people like back in school speech class. This was a Keynote at a conference of about 100–150 people in a state where I’ve never been before.
However, I wanted to be a speaker and that’s exactly what I became.
I prepared my ass off and crushed that opportunity which changed my life. It has since led me to speak at conferences like Creative South, Crop and WMC Fest.
Little did I know that writing and sharing ideas through blogging was leading me to the next stage of my life in speaking. Wild enough this brought me to podcasting.
All of these things that made me uncomfortable radically changed who I was as a person and the creative path I’ve been chasing.
Looking back on life, playing it safe never made me worthwhile. I felt invisible instead of feeling alive.
I think this is how a thrill seeker functions, they need to constantly be doing something insane like sky diving to feel alive. Well finding comfort in discomfort lets me feel alive and evolve to the version of Scotty I'm supposed to become..
Getting uncomfortable has opened the flood gates of opportunity for Perspective-Collective, but it’s up to me to be prepared for those moments so I can crush them.
When I get those “Hell Yes” opportunities I mentioned back in Episode 38, I pretend like they will never come again and that this is my one shot.
It's taught me to never half ass anything and to pour all my soul and energy into nailing that shot.
Even if things don’t turn out the way you expect it, you can be proud that you:
As you finish out this week, I want to challenge you to try something I learned from writer / influencer Jon Acuff: when you find yourself saying “I want to,” swap it for “I’m going to” instead.
You want to start drawing, blogging, photography or writing but it makes you feel uncomfortable?
Change your thinking to I’m going to start drawing, blogging, photography or writing because it makes me feel uncomfortable.
Your mindset slowly begins to change with a simple swap of words.
Following the discomfort nudges you toward the creative you're supposed to become.
Challenging your fears present and prepare you for the opportunities that can change your life.
Find comfort in discomfort and prepare for your opportunities.
"Your identity is not in what you do, therefore fail often, fail freely, learn and experiment. And take your successes in each of those failures because there is one." This is the kind of encouragement Alicja Colon (yes, like the fragrance) brings to the table.
Not only is she an epic photographer / paper crafter extraordinaire, but I think her strongest traits come in prioritizing what’s most important to her in life like family, friends and guiding other creatives.
Alicja works her magic in Savannah, GA and is also the Commerical Photographer at Focus Labs who build thoughtful identities and experiences to elevate and empower organizations.
She brings timeless advice to this episode and this is the deepest conversation this podcast has delivered to date.
We go in depth about:
How many times in life have you talked yourself out of something?
How many times has that inner critic convinced you, “there’s no way you can do that, it’s impossible.”
I spent the majority of my life letting my inner critic drag me down.
It’s taken a long time for me to get to the point where I can object and stand up for myself.
Why not me?
Why can’t I be a successful artist / designer in my tiny corner of Iowa?
Why can’t I become a professional podcaster or a traveling keynote speaker?
Why not me?
On those days where I’m convinced, it just feels like I’m going in the right direction.
There are some days you’re just feeling it like the universe is this divine source of creative intuition and it’s nudging you along the path you’re supposed to follow.
I’m pretty sure this is how Kobe was feeling the day he dropped 81 points on the Raptors (I’m a huge Laker fan if you didn’t know).
On most days, however, it doesn’t come so easy.
My mind automatically defaults to doubt so it takes A LOT of effort and A LOT of repetitive self-talk to convince myself it’s possible.
I shit you not I will stare intensely at the inner critic in the mirror and repeat to myself, “Why not me?” until I'm convinced…or until I creep myself the fuck out.
Self-talk is important, good self-talk I should say because we are already pros at the negative self-talk.
Try it sometime even if it feels weird.
Why not you?
Why can’t you make these things happen in your life?
Why can’t you be happy building something you love?
If it’s something you’re good at and it’s something you’re passionate about, it’s not impossible…but it’s also not easy.
My coach, Rick Willis. during football at Wartburg College used to drill it into our heads that, "If it was easy, everyone would do it."
This sounds so cliche but it's completely relevant to practically every aspect of life.
Because it requires effort, many people are hesitant to pursue whatever "it" is for them. It’s much easier to let that inner critic run every minute of your life and passively exist or complain about the circumstances that supposedly hold you back.
From my experiences of letting the inner critic be in the driver seat, I personally feel you pay the cost of living with regret.
So I want to challenge you to challenge yourself.
When you want to do something and that inner critic injects doubt into your mind, talk to yourself…preferably in your own head if you’re around other people.
Repeat to yourself, “why not me?” and mean it.
Say it to yourself as many times as necessary until you start believing it.
Once you start believing it, act on it.
The mind is a powerful machine and it can either be your ally or your enemy.
After letting my inner critic kick my ass for well over 23 years, not mention the past 4 years of dealing with anxiety, I’ve learned one valuable thing:Having the proper mindset and some type of belief in yourself or your abilities can get you to practically anywhere you want to be in life.
Having the proper mindset and some type of belief in yourself or your abilities can get you to practically anywhere you want to be in life.
When I started convincing myself that I could become a great artist in the middle of bum fuck Iowa, everything changed.
When I decided I’m going to try and make a name for myself through blogging, teaching, speaking and podcasting, everything changed.
None of this would’ve happened if I wasn’t challenging that inner critic with reaffirming self-talk.
I had to change my way of thinking.
I had to change my perspective.
For things to change, you have to change. It’s all in your mind.
You are more capable then you will ever realize and you have a lot more going for you than you think.
Why not you?
Why not now?