You don’t look Jewish?
What’s the matter, I don’t look successful?
That was my opening joke for my old standup comedy routine.
I am funny.
It was about seven years ago, I wanted to try something new, a new hobby, so I decided to try standup comedy.
It was not easy. I remember leaving each show talking to myself, saying that joke didn’t work, that joke was great, and always thinking I could do much better.
Fast forward seven years, and my son’s girlfriend Azaria asked to watch my old tapes from when I was practicing and trying my hand at standup comedy.
As I sat there and watched tape after tape, and I might add, laughed out loud, I thought to myself – wow, I was not that bad after all.
Something about watching the tapes bothered me for the rest of the weekend. Why? I was so hard on myself back then that I didn’t allow myself to see how good I was or the true potential I had. I didn’t allow myself to have fun and just enjoy it.
My comedy was meant to be a hobby. But my competitive side, the side that always wants to be the best at whatever I do, took over and got in the way.
The more I think about the tapes and that time of my life, the more I realize how being self critical is so destructive. It is a joy killer.
We cannot always be the best at everything. We need to learn to simply enjoy the experience.
What does the best mean? Did it mean I had to make it on Saturday Night Live? Could it have meant I performed comedy when I wanted to? Or could it just have meant I did what I set out to do – enjoy comedy as a hobby.
What happened to my perspective? It was caught up in being the best. I had dreams of being on the Last Comic Standing – but gave it up thinking I was not good enough. But the truth is – I was a newbie. I was a beginner. I lost perspective and I was not being kind to myself.
I would always say that my friend Pam was my biggest fan. She never missed a show. But, in reality, now I know my biggest fan needs to be me. My biggest fan needs to stop being so critical. My biggest fan needs to continually grow, learn and try new things and not lose perspective.
Let’s all remember to be our own biggest fans, and remember that we should all continually strive for being the best version of us – whatever that means to us and not to anyone else.
We get to decide, and we get to be our own biggest fans.
Ask yourself; are you your biggest fan?