You are a sports reporter for a local TV station.
You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you love what you do.
Then, the unexpected happens. You’re asked to cover for the morning weatherman. You have to show up at 3 am and stand in a blizzard, freezing your face off, to tell other people to stay cozy inside.
You could get resentful for being asked to do a job you have no interest in doing.
You could feel that this request to cover the blizzard is punishment. Maybe the boss doesn’t like you? Maybe being asked to cover for the weatherman is a secret message about how they feel about you? Maybe they don’t think you’re doing a good job as the sports reporter?
You could push the resentment and fear down and try to pretend they aren’t there. But when you do that, the fear and resentment will build inside, weighing you down. It’ll change the way you feel and distort the way you act.
How you show up and do the job will suffer.
The fear of not doing well can actually cause you to not do well.
It can cause you to shrink, to take up less space, to show up as less than yourself. You’ll start to feel less than, because you’re actually being less than you.
You can see the elephant in the room. You’re the sports reporter, not the weather reporter. This isn’t your job and you don’t think it’s fair that you’ve been asked to do it. But you don’t want to call it out.
It can be scary to acknowledge what you’re thinking and to voice what you’re feeling. There is a vulnerability in sharing your truth. But your voice isn’t just a tool of vulnerability, it’s also a tool of immense power. By using your voice, you remove the elephant’s foot from your chest, releasing what’s weighing you down.
It doesn’t need to be heavy and painful to mention the elephant.
When you let yourself know you do not own the elephant, your identity separates from your feelings. It allows you to recognize that you are not your feelings. You are not your resentment. You are not your fear. It gives you the space to inspect the feelings you’re experiencing with curiosity and to understand why they’re there.
This identity separation allows you to play with the elephant, and invite others to do the same.This video of the sports reporter turned stand-in weatherman is a great example of playing with the elephant. He’s naming all the things he’s thinking. He’s naming things we’ve all probably thought, but never said.
He’s amused by his thoughts, and he’s inviting others to be amused with him
Instead of showing up frustrated, he’s inspecting the elephant with curiosity. There is power in what he’s doing. He’s not making himself smaller, and fading into the background. He stands out because he’s sharing himself, the absurdity of his situation, and invites you to join him.
Next time you feel the desire to ignore your feelings, remember the sports reporter turned weatherman.
Then, take the elephant’s foot off your chest, and invite it to play.