In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s all too easy to get caught in the drama and make excuses.
We’re all trapped in a worldwide fear factory of epic proportions. We’re seeing businesses collapsing, loved ones falling ill, reports of people dying, and the media doing its level best to spin us into a frenzy.
So now, more than ever, we need to watch our buts!
No, not watch our butts – or even wash our butts (though that’s important too!); I’m talking about our ‘buts’ – the amount of times we use that B-word to get ourselves out of something we don’t want to do – or we’re nervous about actioning.
With a very real threat of recession looming large, now is not the time to hunker down and disappear. Now – particularly for those of us who run businesses – is a time to stand tall and proud, find our courage and carry on.
Better still? Now’s the time to carry on AND inspire, support and motivate as many people as possible along the way.
KEEP IT REAL
We all need to be being sensible too. This Covid-19 threat is very real and, though it’s important to maintain perspective, we need to be listening to the official advice, maintaining social distancing, staying indoors where we can and avoiding spreading coronavirus as much as possible.
That means many of us are indoors, which means we can get on with all kinds of tasks and ideas we might have been putting off… which is where the buts come in!
Let me give you a for instance… I’ve been planning to do more video and run more online events for forever and a day, and I always had eleventy-twelve reasons not to.
‘BUT that means I’ll have to do my hair and make-up and put my branded gear on.’
‘BUT the dogs might bark when I’m recording.’
‘BUT my mom might try to call when I’m in the middle of a broadcast.’
‘BUT that means I’ll have to bring my A-game, and I’m so tired.’
‘BUT I want to give all my energy to my clients today – I’ll be too distracted if I start doing some video content.’
‘BUT I haven’t spent much time with my family today – I really should do video another time and spend time with them.’
Etc, etc. All of which is, of course, BS!
The coronavirus has obliterated excuses for us. Unless, of course, you’ve been personally affected by the illness and can’t get out of bed, or you’re busy caring for a stricken loved one, most of those ‘busyness’ excuses have disappeared overnight.
Gotta say, I’m more busy now than I was before – and that’s precisely because I’ve eliminated my ‘buts’.
All those excuses I gave myself to avoid creating extra, free content for my tribe, my community, went out of the window the second news of the pandemic hitting my country got real. I very quickly shifted gear and went into service mode. I’ve been able to support hundreds of people AND created some bloody good content as a result – even if I do say so myself.
I did come up against another ‘but’ this past week though.
For some time, I’d been planning to launch a new online chat series, interviewing celebrities about mental health and how to stay positive in the face of adversity. After all, whatever you might think of celebrity culture, we can sure learn a thing or two from them when it comes to trolls, online bullying and being constantly slapped down by the mainstream media.
When you and I have downtime, we can deal with our stresses and sorrows in private; imagine trying to cope under constant public scrutiny and with long distance lenses aiming at your windows!
We were weeks away from filming and I already had my first few celebrity guests lined up, and then C-19 hit!
I could have thrown in the towel.
I could have quit.
Instead, I recognised that people needed a lift now, more than ever, and started asking my guests if they’d be prepared to move over to Zoom interviews, so we could start the show off ahead of schedule.
I HAD BIG BUTS AND I CANNOT LIE
You bet I had big buts coming up!
‘BUT it won’t be the same – you’ll lose that human connection.’
‘BUT the quality won’t be as good.’
‘BUT what about the internet connection – it’ll be even worse with everyone trying to get online at once.’
I closed down my buts one by one.
Video is the closest we have to human connection outside of the people we live with right now.
Quality? So what. Get that show on the road and serve people however you can!
Connectivity? Sure, wifi keeps dropping, so I ordered in an extra long lead and plugged straight into the router.
My first guest was supermodel turned TV personality and business woman, Caprice Bourret. We actually recorded the show last Thursday evening, and you bet those buts came up again.
‘BUT it’s CAPRICE, Taz – she’s a model – she looks amazing! You’re gonna look really dull and dowdy, even with your pink hair!’
‘BUT you’re due to go on air and you’ve forgotten to charge your studio lighting! The room’ll be too dark – you’ll look even worse!’
‘BUT you haven’t been a journalist or interviewed a celebrity for YEARS! What if you’ve lost your touch?’
Etc, etc, etc.
I closed all of those buts down too. It was just me, talking about mental health with another human being – someone I’d met before and knew to be lovely. Yes, the room was a bit darker than I would have liked, but so what? Was I really going to postpone over that when Caprice had been good enough to give her time so freely? No way! Was she a model? Yeah. She’s totally glam and gorgeous. That’s kinda her job. I look okay, thanks very much – and anyway, it’s not really about me, it’s about the MESSAGE and helping people.
KEEP YOUR BUTS IN CHECK
If we’re not careful, our buts can trip us up and stop us making progress – we need to keep them in check.
As I write, that first episode is due to premiere later this evening, and I can promise you those buts are creeping up again. ‘BUT what if nobody watches it?’ or, worse still, ‘BUT what if people don’t like it?’
To hell with the buts. No more. I am not allowing my own insecurities, that whiny inner voice, or groundless fears stop me from doing something positive.
Whether those buts are stopping you from painting your hallway, clearing the spare room, planning that new project, launching a virtual community venture, raising funds for charity, spending more time with your family or building your business, it’s time to get them in check.
My challenge to you for the coming weeks? Stop allowing your buts to rule your life, people! Get your butt in gear and get your buts in check!
Until next time,