The other day I went to a play and right before it started, the director came out to tell the audience that one of the main players had damaged his vocal chords so his role would be played by the understudy. The understudy would be carrying a script to be sure he got his lines right. This play was a musical, so the understudy not only had to get the blocking and characterization and lines right, he had to sing everything right, too.
The understudy was phenomenal. He had the whole house in a spell. He was riveting. He showed up with everything he had and then some, He got a standing ovation.
What if we could do that in our lives and business? What if we could really bring it like this actor did, knowing that a full house was waiting for us. He didn’t hold back. He didn’t apologize for himself. He didn’t skulk around like he wasn’t supposed to be there. He didn’t say he wasn’t ready. No, He FULLY SHOWED UP and he WOWED us.
What if YOU did that?
You know people (maybe you?) who have been playing the same role their whole life, right? The people-pleaser. The apologizer. The self-sabotager. The one who makes excuses. The one who’s always late. The one who gets overwhelmed and creates a lot of drama for everybody else. The procrastinator. The avoider.
I could go on and on because we all play all these roles and it gets exhausting, right? And it’s boring, right? And we get hurt, right? What if we could just DROP all that pretense and put our understudies on stage?
We’d go out there and totally bring it. Sing it to the rooftops. Dance like the whole world was watching. We’d give everything we had in our hearts to give and more because we were so THRILLED to be finally sharing our talents with those who were waiting for us.
We all have inner understudies and they are waiting patiently to be seen and heard. If your inner critic, your inner procrastinator, your inner drama queen is ready to hand over the mic and take a night off, then I’d say you’re ready to let the understudy come on stage and shine. Is your inner procrastinator putting up a bunch of road blocks – telling you things like you need more time, you are not ready, you don’t know enough yet, you need one more credential, one more dress rehearsal, one more week to tweak?
On the stage of life, YOU put yourself out there. Ready or not. Are you one of those people who is spending your precious time getting ready to get ready to BE READY? Just curious. I used to do that. I have another name for that behavior when I catch myself doing it now: I call it hiding in the wings. I liked it in the wings. I liked being invisible. I liked the excuse that it wasn’t my time, because that kept me safe.
But you know what? If you spend your whole like playing it safe, you never really let yourself PLAY FULL ON.
If you could play the role of YOU the way YOU wanted to BE YOU, how would you act? How would you move? How would people respond to you? How would you wow the world with your talent? Your gifts? Your vision? Your charismatic presence? Who would you be if you let yourself BE FULLY YOU?
Your understudy has been waiting in the wings to come on stage and shine. The world is waiting. Break a leg!