Making An Attempt

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I keep thinking that, had I known ahead of time that I’d have to do most of the work involved with making my Guinness World Record attempt by myself, that I would have done a better job. I would have taken on each facet of the attempt head on from the beginning, instead of thinking someone else was taking care of certain aspects, and then having to scramble late in the game when I found out that wasn’t the case. I feel like I accomplished a lot, and ultimately the attempt itself was successful, but I’ve always been kind of disappointed in myself for not trying harder to make the event more of what I’d envisioned in the beginning. I’m still – more than a year later – trying to get the footage posted online, and the fact that I’m having to use the back-up footage with it’s crappy sound quality is a constant source of frustration and regret. Just – for example.

I go back over it all in my head, and make vague plans for “next time”, how I’ll do it bigger and better, and basically blow myself away with my ingenuity and creativity.

There is, of course, another possible outcome to finding out that I am doing something alone. It’s possible that I just won’t do it at all.

That’s where constant nagging self-doubt comes into play. When I didn’t know I’d have to do something alone, but was too stubborn to admit defeat, I can usually accomplish what I set out to do, or at least a stripped-down yet still acceptable version of it. If I know ahead of time that it’s all me, though, then the stubbornness doesn’t have a chance to kick in. Because I don’t set my mind to it yet.

Retrospect tells me I could have done something on my own, but looking ahead – it’s not that I see failure, exactly. It’s more like I don’t see anything at all.

Which is weird, because if we take my amazing idea for a themed bar as an example, I’ve been thinking up the steps to take to make it happen, how it will run, and how it will keep drawing customers. But all of it, in my head, involves a team. Even though the whole thing just exists in my head – and my head alone – it comes with an imaginary team of individuals who help along the way. One of those I-couldn’t-have-done-it-without-you things. Only I haven’t done it. I haven’t done anything but think about it. And even my thinking about it involves other people. Just not the thoughts of, nor input from, other people. Haha

So, I guess my thing is this: I can conceive of things without help, I can retroactively see how to have done it without help, yet I can’t seem to translate that into any sort of sense that I can actually do anything without help.

Or maybe I just don’t want to. Who wants to do everything alone, really? Also, I have trouble delegating, because it’s often easier for me to just do something than to explain to someone else how to do it…though that may be a product of my work environment for the past 15 years, now that I think about it. But maybe despite all that, I still long for a team to take part in my vision, and to share in its outcome with me. To make the seed of an idea in my head grow into something we can all be proud of, together.

It’s like my head wants to work as a team, but I can’t make my reality translate that desire into a functional outcome. It’s a push-me, pull-you battle inside me, all the time. I really want to do something – and then remind myself that I can’t. I start and stop a project internally, and nothing ever actually happens outside of my brain. And that’s ridiculous.

I’m a strong believer in balance, in trying to find balance in my daily life. Though, on a physical level, I have terrible balance. And I’m afraid of heights. I can’t even walk across a bridge in a video game without falling off. It’s humiliating yet hilarious.

Anyway, maybe there’s a balance to be sought here, too. Maybe there’s a way for me to take the first step or two on my own, and use that progress (assuming I make any…let’s call it the initial manifestation of my personal think-tank, the physical outline of my idea, instead of ‘progress’) to begin putting my dream team together. Even if it just leads to a brainstorming session with a couple of people, which opens up other ideas and questions to add to the list, that still has to be better than brainstorming with myself, doesn’t it?

And then those actual people might take a more vested interest in the whole project, because they will be involved from the beginning. Of course, everyone was involved from the beginning of the Guinness attempt, but at the same time, once we’d had an initial meeting about it, everyone kind of went their own ways, and we didn’t reconvene until it was way too late. I assumed things were happening, but I should have checked in more often just to keep everyone on point. You live, you learn. And I really did learn a lot. So hopefully if and when I do something like that again, I’ll be far better equipped to make it a success.

First, though, I might have to dip my toe into the waters of this themed bar idea.

Just in case.

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