A few months ago I stood on a high school auditorium stage and announced that when I was in high school, I was too scared to go into the cafeteria because of all the students that would be staring at me. I briefly realized that I was standing in front of twice as many students (which is pretty awesome) but I knew that I’d been just as scared speaking on that stage as I was ten years ago in the cafeteria. Only this time I’d been ready for my fear. Maybe it helped that the stage was lit and the audience sat in the dark so I couldn’t really see their faces. Maybe it helped that I was older than the students I was speaking to and that gave me confidence. Deep down, however, I knew that it was easy because I could leave that high school minutes after I spoke, never having to witness the reaction to my words.
But, I did it. I looked my fear in the face and said, “SO WHAT.” So everyone hates me? Fine, let everyone hate me. If that’s how the world sees me, what do I have to lose? Sure, someone could boo me at my next presentation, they could yell to get off the stage and throw tomatoes at me. But have I ever seen anyone actually throw a tomato at someone else outside of cartoons? No. I’ve actually never heard anyone yell “boo!” at someone unless it was a joke. With those two thoughts I stand up to my fear and knock it down a few steps. It is still there and will still keep yelling at me: Someone could shoot you!!! I say, yeah or I could be handed an Academy Award for my performance!” I remember that absolutely anything is possible, including the possibility of people liking what I say.
You know in that movie, The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent has his coin that he flips in the air? He constantly uses it to make decisions, but he has a secret that is later revealed: it’s actually a trick coin. It has two heads instead of one head and one tail, so each time he wants things to turn out in his favour, he calls heads. His trademark line is that “You make your own luck.”
Later he drops his motto and we all know how his character changes, but that coin thing really worked for him when he kept it up. I believe that we make our own luck. It doesn’t magically erase the bad luck but we have to believe in the very real possibility that things will turn out in our favour.
How do you make your own luck? Consider what thoughts you have around something you do well at. Maybe you know that you’re good at playing hockey, so you feel confident in shooting the puck. You don’t know if you will score each time you shoot, but that small amount of confidence you have makes it easier to take the shot. Where else could you apply confidence, if only to tell yourself that there’s a fifty per cent chance of doing well instead of badly? Things have to turn out well some of the time or else the whole world would be extinguished. If you place bets on yourself instead of against yourself, you just might come out with a big win.
Yeah, that last line there is really cheesy. You might throw a tomato at me but I’m still going to leave it.