Kaleidoscope 12/40: The double dog dare

Kaleidoscope 12/40: The double dog dare
I'm not sure DALL-E knows what a double dog dare is...

Hey there,

Remember the thrill of the double-dog dare? That heart-pounding moment where you stood on the precipice of doing something... utterly ridiculous?

Or the aliveness you felt at the simple spin of a bottle that gave everyone permission to do something that they would be too awkward and afraid to do without.

Young people are pretty good at creating structures that enable them to take risks... but as adults, we tend to stay in our comfort zones.

We often avoid even the potential of looking foolish, ridiculous or stupid. We shut ourselves down to avoid those feelings, even when no one else knows. But...

What might be possible if I were willing to look foolish?

I've found, a whole lot more than you might think.

This isn't about throwing caution to the wind; it's about understanding the types of risks we face: physical, social, and emotional.

Physical risks are often clear-cut – touching a flame could burn.

But social and emotional risks? They're not as bad as they seem.

The fear of embarrassment, rejection, or heartbreak can feel dangerous, but, in truth, they aren't.

What does that even mean?

Social risks break the conventions of groups of people — like asking a deep question when everyone is talking about the weather... or hitting the dance floor when no one else is. You risk being ostracized by the group.

Emotional risks put yourself out there, emotionally. Its being the first person to say I love you or raising your hand to ask a question. You risk being rejected or put down.

Both are about avoiding embarrassment, shame and ridicule — about looking foolish.

But, most of the best things in life come from social and emotional risks.

I took a risk being the one to ask my now husband out.

Years later, we took a risk being the first ones to hit a dance floor at a wedding — and were asked to sit down by the bride! hahaha After that, we were the life of the party.

So many people are looking for a permission slip — our risk to start the dance party became their permission slip!

Every important relationship thrives on risk — on your willingness to go deep and be your unfettered self in front of another.

Every act of learning requires risk — when you're growing, you don't know if you're doing it right, doing it fast enough or if you're about to do something really, really dumb.

And every act of creativity is a risk — not knowing how it will be received.

Risks are uncomfortable — but its possible to become more comfortable with the discomfort.

That's why I ask the 'dumb' questions, speak in the foreign language, even when I know its terrible and do my best to put ideas out there, consistently, even when (especially when) I'm not sure how they will be received.

As I look to 2024, I want to continue to give myself permission. To take a conversation to a vulnerable place. To share an idea that might just be idiotic (or brilliant). And to be the first one on the dance floor.

I double dog dare you,