one are you?
tin man or scarecrow
lion, the tin man or the scarecrow ... which one are you? Really,
no kidding. Think about it for a minute.
Are you like the scarecrow, finding ways to avoid
taking risks by thinking you're not smart enough or educated enough?
Maybe, like the tin man, you've become jaded by life and have shut
down your heart to your dream. If you're sneering right now and
thinking dreams don't come true, the tin man in you is alive and
well. Or are you the lion scared of the spooks that lurk
around every corner?
There may be modifications and variations to these
descriptions, but over the last few months I've been taking a steady
look at some of the common challenges my clients face as they shape
their visions and bring them to life.
First is what I call the Scarecrow Syndrome. It goes
like this: A client comes in excited about starting a business or
launching a new life venture. Before they have a chance to fully
imagine what they want to do, they say, "I think I need to
go back to school" or "I need to get more training."
I recently asked a client with a double master's:
There was a long pause. "Because I don't know
enough." Pause. "For what?" I asked. "Well,"
(very long pause), "there are people who have a lot more knowledge
Yes. This is true. And you may need more training.
But I recently found out that only 27 percent of all adult Americans
have a secondary education degree. Wow blows that theory!
So, now that we've defined the scarecrow, let's dig a bit deeper
Welcome Tin Man Tendency.
As Dorothy releases him from his self-corrosion, the
tin man confides, "I've held this axe up for ages, when about
a year ago it rusted in place." After years of doing what we
think is expected of us, we can suddenly become estranged from our
heart and paralyzed by life.
Once emotions return, they can seem overwhelming and
unsettling. The tendency can be to get lost in our emotions and
feel helpless. It's neither fun nor pretty. And yet, our fears and
doubts can be a comfort to swirl within at times far more
tangible than that nebulous idea in the enchanted land of fantasy.
And that, dear friends, is where the Lion's Lair can
trap us in our fear. It's at times like this that nothing seems
more elusive than courage.
When every ounce of sensible thinking says, "What
the heck are you doing? Who do you think you are, wanting that?"
When family and coworkers ask, "Why don't you just get a job?"
courage fades and fear takes over.
That's when we start fighting life. We think we're
doing all the right steps and taking all the right actions. But
if we don't couple the courage and wisdom to be true to our vision,
the outcome will never be truly fulfilling.
What makes these characters so memorable in all their
uncertain stumbles and bumbles? Their passion truly did exceed their
uncertainty. Their determination was far greater than their fears.
They were driven by a vision that was more powerful than any single
action. And they took things step by step as they traveled that
yellow brick road through all its many haunts.
As for me? I'm a lion with a dose of tin man.
one of Carolyn's series on creatives. And look for more in coming