We all have obstacles to getting out of our comfort zone – read Juan’s inspiring story

Lynn O'Dowd GoGaGa News

“You can’t start a fire without a spark.
This gun’s for hire,
even if we’re just dancin’ in the dark

–Dancing in the Dark, Bruce Springsteen/E Street Band

When I have new songs that I’m adding to my keynote address, I like to practice them in front of a live audience at a pub open mic session to see how well I actually know the song (or how much more I need to practice!).

Last week at an open mic, not only did I perform two new songs for my keynote, I unexpectedly made a new friend, Juan who made an everlasting impression on me. Sitting at the bar with our guitars and a cold drink, we were chatting before the music started and I found out he’s a Systems App Engineer, has played guitar for quite some time, enjoys participating at various music open mic venues, and loves a good cigar. When he went up to play his guitar and sing, he unfolded a white cane out of his back pocket —he was also legally blind.

Where some might have considered blindness as an obstacle, Juan has the “can do” attitude. And in his performance, he knocked Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark, out of the park!

Later, I asked him about his unusual song choices – one Dolly Parton song and one Bruce Springsteen song. He said he enjoys trying out different types of music styles and getting creative with his performances. Trying new things opens doors to new possibilities, new ways of looking at things, and helps you get out of the same ole, same ole. 

I admitted to Juan that after working all day, it can be hard to get up the gumption to come out to an open mic by myself, get up on stage, and emotionally express myself through music.  Do you ever feel like these lyrics:

I ain’t nothin’ but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself


Juan’s response was, “Why sit at home when you can get out and meet up with folks with similar interests, do what you love, listen to great music, and have a bite to eat?”

Lately, Juan has been trying out open mic standup comedy to stretch himself. He takes stepping out of his comfort zone to a whole new level. What an inspiration he is to me!

Who can be an inspiration to you to live your life to the fullest, have more fun, and grow into your greatest potential? As I say in my keynote, “When you do something you didn’t think you could do, whether it be in your work, or a passion outside of your work, there is this feeling of empowerment, enjoyment, fulfillment, and fun—and you bring that feeling into every part of your business and your life.”

Maybe it’s time to light the spark in your life, do something you enjoy, and be more open to the new, like Juan. Take a listen: https://bit.ly/2Q23Hax

About Lynn
After not singing for 35 years – in a moment of madness – I answered an ad to be a singer in a Rock’n’Roll band… and got the gig. I share my story about how stepping out of my comfort zone and getting a little outrageous has changed my life.

I want everyone I reach to experience the same transformation through the “GoGaGaTM” process I’ve developed to help attendees Unleash their “Inner Superstar” and realize that it’s never too late to bust through their fears to perform at levels they never thought possible. My talk takes people from “I can’t” to “I can” in 45 to 60 minutes – with my special brand of entertainment with a message. Click here to download my speaker one-sheet, and book me for your next event.