Last weekend, my wife Brittany and I knocked something off our bucket list and performed live improv. We have taken two classes with the Jacksonville improv organization, Mad Cowford. At the end of level 2, you get to perform live.
I’ve done a lot of entertaining in my life through comedy and music, but I was really nervous. Improv is different. You’re never really prepared with improv. You are getting suggestions from the crowd and building a scene with your fellow players.
I’m happy to say we had a great time, and I think the audience did, too.
It’s scary trying any sort of new thing. Our improv teacher told us something that stuck with me the very last night of class.
“You have to have at least a little level of arrogance to do this. You have to walk out onto the stage and know you are supposed to be there. You have to own it or the audience will pick up on your fear immediately.”
As a lifelong Christian, my gut reaction to hearing I need to be arrogant was, “Whoa. No. That’s pride. God resists the proud. Who are you, a pharisee? YOU WHITE-WASHED WALL!”
But as I quickly got past my knee-jerk, over-spiritual reaction, I thought he made a lot of sense.
You do have to own whatever you’re doing. You have to know you have some shred of talent or why else are you attempting to do it? Jesus was humble, but he also knew he was a good speaker, because he spoke a lot.
Maybe arrogance is the wrong word for it, but I guess you could call it confidence.
If you’re like me, your insecurities are with you every day. It’s a battle against who I think I am, who I think others think I am, and who God is telling me I am. And all that really matters is who God says we are.
I was brushing my teeth yesterday and had the thought, “You still don’t consider yourself a writer, do you?”
The truth is, I don’t.
I’ve written a book, but I don’t consider myself a writer because no one is pounding on my door begging me to come speak. I’m not a NYT best selling author, with that little nugget of accomplishment written into my Twitter bio. I’m not successful in the eyes of publishers.
But does that mean I can’t call myself a writer? That’s pretty stupid of me to hold myself to that level of success before I can call myself a writer. Can you only be called a plumber if you’re winning Golden Plunger awards?
God-fearing Humility is great. False Humility is see-through. And I think there is a third kind of humility, which I will call Fearful Humility.
Fearful Humility is the humility I am fighting against. I’m too afraid to call myself a writer because that would mean I’m not successful in someone else’s eyes. It’s easier to not claim the title of writer.
But who does God see me as? I think he wants me to write, even if no one is reading it. David wrote the Psalms and read them to his sheep. He didn’t have 40,000 blog subscribers. And I’m so glad he wrote them even when no one was reading.
What are your desires and gifts? Are you hiding behind Fearful Humility? Who do you think you are? Who do you think others think you are? Who does God say you are?
A little bit of
arrogance confidence can go a long way. Step out into some weird, scary, new things.