\ Let it Rip! | Christina Brandt

Christina Brandt

Thursday, July 25th, 2024 | Making "What's Next?" What Matters ™

Let it Rip!

Word of the Year #3 is…drumroll, please…BALLS!  Yup, as in “balls to the wall.” Here’s the conversation that went on in my head when deciding to write about this: 

Voice #1:  Can I say that?  Will I alienate my audience?
Voice #2:  Yes, you can, and yes, you might.  And if the audience isn’t interested in you speaking your truth, they’re not your audience.

There you have it.  Being truthful and authentic is so important that saying a word/phrase that may offend is a (perceived) risk I’m willing to take.  Something told me, though, that the phrase might have a far more innocent meaning.  It turns out I was right.
According to Urban Dictionary “balls to the wall” was “originally a military term for pushing maximum G-Forces in a jet fighter aircraft, as in pushing the ball of a throttle as high up as it will go (virtually touching the wall of the dashboard).

So what we’re really talking about here is letting it rip.  Now that that’s settled, what’s the significance of the phrase for us?

Essential Self vs. Social Self – For some readers, this is a review.  Skip this and come back in three paragraphs.  For the rest of you, here’s a brief explanation: Martha Beck coined the term “Essential Self ” (ES, for short) to describe the part of you that’s innate.  It wouldn’t matter if you were born in Timbuktu or Topeka, to rich or poor parents.  It’s the part of you that knows exactly what you’re here to do, what makes you happy, and what feels right deep in your bones.  My ES spoke as Voice #2 above.

Your Social Self (or SS) is very much a product of Timbuktu/Topeka, rich/poor, education, parenting, religion, kindergarten, frat house, chess club and any other societal influences.  It’s the part of you that knows how to navigate/fit into society.  My SS spoke as Voice #1.

Metaphorically speaking, your ES knows the direction in which to go, and the SS buys the insurance, gets the license and drives the car.  Both “selves” are important for our survival.  We run into problems, however, when the SS plays too dominant a role in our lives.  I spend a lot of my coaching time helping people re-balance their E/S mix.

What Does “Balls to the Wall” Look Like? When I think “balls,” I think of my essential nature, delighting in this earthly experience, being loving and honest, and having one helluva good time.  I wanted it in my List O’ Words this year to remind myself not to get caught up in what others think, say or do.  When I give my ES the space she needs to c’mon out and play, life gets interesting, fun and far more abundant than when I worry about what others are up to.  Some examples:

My ES told me to go to Africa, twice.  My SS worried about the money, but arranged flights after remembering the existence of a stash of frequent flyer miles.  Result:  fabulous, life-altering experiences.

My ES told me to run a workshop with a “girl in a tutu” photo (see my Events page) in its marketing materials, while my SS briefly wondered whether it tied into my branding message.  She was overruled.  Result:  a photo that makes me laugh and captures the playful feeling of the workshop.

My ES insisted I play hooky and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with a friend whilst wearing a cowboy hat.  My SS stayed home after realizing that cowboy hats in NYC aren’t all that weird.  Result:  not a single stare, and some seriously great ideas for future workshops were developed while walking and talking on a gorgeous day.
Cowgirl Goes to Brooklyn (2)
When was the last time your Essential Self was given the attention it deserved?  C’mon, let it rip!

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