February 28, 2022
EMBRACE THE SUCK
Easier said than done. I know. Recently I was talking to a dear friend and coworker of mine. She is always so kind and interested in how Beauty Binder is coming along and hearing about whatever else I have going on. So the other day, we got to chatting about my new Oscars gig and how the preparation was going.
To fill you in, recently I was asked to close-caption the Academy Awards. And while the timing could not have been worse, it has always been my dream to one day be at the Oscars. So I couldn’t help but think that this was a gift from the universe. And who was I to turn the opportunity down? So I agreed to be on a team of three reporters writing for the live Oscar broadcast.
As part of my practice and preparation for the show, I thought it might be a good idea to “write” the SAG awards. The Screen Actors Guild Awards is a precursor to the Oscars and usually a pretty good indication of who will be taking the Oscars home. And it would just be good practice.
So, Sunday night I sat down to write the show. At one point, there were three actors talking at the same time, and I had no judge there to say, Hey, stop! You’re killing my reporter!” The actors mentioned names of producers, partners, and even their children, which I had no idea how to spell or if I had even heard the names correctly. I knew I was way in over my head, and my first instinct was to just get myself out of this mess. My actual thought was, “Really, Stormy. You don’t need this pressure right now. You have way too much going on. Just tell her you made a mistake. You can’t do it.”
And I could have done that. I would have been justified. I really did have a lot going on. I really did have four kids at home and a product I was literally launching at the same time, a full-time job, and everything else I had piled on my plate. Or, I could just resolve myself to doing the best job I could. I could make word lists and briefs. I could commit to practicing for at least a half hour each day. And I could remind myself what it was like to struggle with something new and expect the discomfort. I could make the conscious decision to welcome the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and just do the damn thing. And that is what I decided to do.
What occurred to me was how hard it was for me to struggle at this thing I had been so good at. After being a reporter for 22 years, there is a certain confidence that comes with the job, and having been in the same court for almost 15 years, I was pretty sure I could do my job blindfolded…or at least fake my way through, if needed. And I liked it that way. Reporting is my wheelhouse, my comfort zone. It is predictable and stable, and I count on it. But that wasn’t how it all started. Reporting was difficult. I worked hard. I made sacrifices. And I failed a lot along the way.
As for this entrepreneurial endeavor, I am getting used to the “suck” again. When it comes to working on Beauty Binder, every step is so new to me, I am almost growing accustomed to failing. I know that failure is the currency to my dreams, and I know that failing won’t kill me. .
So I will keep going. And I will ask myself every now and then, Why are you doing this to yourself? You already have a good job. And I will remind myself that it is okay to be afraid. And it is okay to suck at something new. And I will continue to take the next step even though I am scared and unsure.
And I will learn to embrace the suck.
“Failure is Success in progress.” Albert Einstein