As we go through our business life we play many parts. Sometimes we are the student or apprentice, learning a new technique. Sometimes we are the negotiator, working to resolve a sticky issue between parties. Other times we are the confident, decisive decisionmaker or the brilliant, creative innovator. And other times we are the self-doubting coward saying, "Oh, I couldn't do that." It is the coward in us that I am going to discuss today.
That is the twinge of fear that shows up when we have to go outside our normal day-to-day experience and try something we have never done before. It manifests itself if we have to speak in front of a room of strangers or lead a team attempting a new method, or taking on a new responsibility.
Yet we see actors take on widely divergent projects constantly. They inhabit the lives of their characters seemingly with facile grace (as seen from the viewer's side of the silver screen).
They go from being believable playing the part of one person to another, changing personalities, ages, accents, voices, mannerisms and body language.
Maybe, in order to successfully take on something new, we have to put on the persona of actors to overcome the challenge of a new experience. Can I become an actor who is playing the part of me? How would Brad Pitt play the part of Larry Galler taking on the challenge of negotiating a lease or deciding with confidence the new "save the world" strategy? Can I play the part of Brad Pitt playing the part of Larry Galler?
If I can talk myself into playing the part of the actor playing the part of me, it might be a whole lot easier than taking on that new project and hiding the occasional self-doubting coward in myself. It might make it easy to look and act natural in that part and, once I feel natural in my new role doing it, I can be confident of taking on other new roles... and maybe you can also.