Are You In or Out?

Date posted: July 10, 2013

I’m still coming off the high from attending the World Domination Summit last weekend. To spend three days with my tribe left me feeling inspired, excited, curious, and impressed.

Imagine being around like-minded people who don’t balk at any dream or idea you share. Instead, they’re super stoked for you and encourage you to go for it, even taking it as far as challenging you to identify and share your next step to help get or keep you in action.

arenaDuring this powerful summit, I met so many people who are fully “in the arena”, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said (and now, more famously, Brené Brown, a past WDS speaker), as well as those who are heading in. These folks are taking risks and shunning the shoulds, and are willing to get back up when they fall.

They don’t just talk about their dreams and goals, they’re actively working on them – and pretty damn consistently. Their hands are dirty, their brows, sweaty, and their spirit, fired up. And even they came away from this summit with the desire to dig in deeper.

Then there are those who are sitting squarely on the bleachers. They’re taking dozens of workshops a year, signing up for countless online classes, researching the hell out of their dreams, and spending a ton of time planning their path. They might even be judging those who are in the arena.

Sure, research and planning are necessary for almost any project or dream, but they’re also great ways to stay safe. If you find you’re spending excess time on these steps, then you’re not yet in the arena, and you might want to have a look at how willing you really are to step in.

The life you want doesn’t happen in the bleachers. The amazing people I get to work with come to me because they’re on the bleachers and they’re tired of it. They want in.

I tell my clients and students all the time that success is in the action and not the outcome.  Now I see it’s worth taking this concept a step further. Successful action is not the same as any action. Spinning your wheels doing the same things over and over, or spending more time than necessary on any given step is not the same as inspired action.

Pay attention to the steps on your path that you tend to hang out in a little too long and give yourself a time limit to move on. You can easily trick yourself into thinking that hours of research is working on your dreams, when in fact it’s keeping you stuck.

I like to think I’m in the arena, and in many aspects of my life, I am. But the speakers I heard this weekend, along with the people I met, are helping me to see where I’m hanging out on the bleachers, and more importantly, why. The willingness to look at what’s keeping me in the audience is inspired action and gets me walking down those steps toward the magic of the arena.

So where are you? Bleachers or arena? Are you ready to get in there? I love to hear your thoughts about all this. Let’s keep this going in the comments below.

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  1. Great newsletter, I’m definitely heading for the arena!!!

  2. Great post Kerri – love the arena and bleacher metaphor (or analogy) and the visual of the arena you show. Unconsciously, I realized that I used the “arena” metaphor twice this past week – so thanks! Years ago in a group training and educational class at a place I once worked at, we talked about groups of people being in one of two camps, but with many (a third group) called “fence-sitters.” I liken those in the bleachers in your story as the fence sitters – come to watch those who are in the arena and amazed at what they do. Those in the arena are the “world dominators” “adventurers” etc., while everyone else in the world (who did not bother to even come to the arena) are those who are, to use a Medieval analogy, “serfs” working for the Feudal Lords (“the Man” in today’s lexicon). I have always been and will always be “in the arena” no matter how many times I fall, get trampled, get beaten up, etc. It is way too much fun to be in the battle than on the sidelines!

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