My uncle does a fantastic Grover impersonation. As a child, who was an avid reader, it made his reading of the Sesame Street book, The Monster at the End of this Book all the more memorable.
I work with teens and young adults and help them to realize their potential. I used to be confused by adults who said they wanted more or who desired to change, but who never started, never did, never changed, or who meet the resistance and ran the other direction. The other day though, I was reminded of why that happens. I presented a friend with an idea that I thought would help her move into doing the work she says she loves, while creating a passive stream of income for herself. When I explained the idea to her, she told me every reason why it wouldn’t work for her and why she couldn’t do it before I even finished explaining it. It’s of course possible that she didn’t think it was a good idea or just didn’t want to do it. But, after years of helping others, here’s what I’ve learned:
When you’re presented with an opportunity and you respond with justifications and excuses instead of thinking it over or starting the work, you aren’t ready, you don’t want it, or you are afraid.
You know the poem, “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson (sometimes incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela), that has the line… “It is our own light that frightens us”. If you’ve never read The Monster at the End of this Book (spoiler alert), on the last page you discover that the monster Grover is afraid of throughout the entire book is himself. That’s what the childhood book reminds me of in scared adults. The very thing they’re afraid of, the reason they won’t blog, they won’t sing, that they quit every business they start, or they justify things so much that they start to believe them, is because they’re scared of themselves. Yea, there may be a slight fear of failure, fear of success, fear of ridicule, etc. But, I believe that the reason most people are afraid to turn the page, to work through the resistance, or to become an expert or achieve mastery level of something is because they are afraid, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Fear is a smokescreen.
Are you are the monster at the end of your story?