The 365 Commitment

Overcome Fear with RIPs

If you find yourself in fear of having a conversation with important people in your life, then consider sending off a few RIPs. Before I explain what a RIP is, let me explain what I mean by fear. Fear of judgment, fear of rejection, fear of reprisal in someway by someone that you respect such as a leader, a boss, a parent, or someone who has some control over you is very common. I would daresay that everyone has this anxiety. We lose sleep over the thought that someone might judge you in some way because of something you said or the way that you acted. That is what I mean by fear. It causes stress and anxiety – to the point of being paralyzed by inaction.

I realized earlier this morning that I also have this fear, but I am desensitized to this fear. The reason is that I frequently engage in the process of sending out RIPs. What is a RIP? It stands for REALLY IMPORTANT PERSON. If you have a hard time sending a note to your boss, try to send a note to someone like Elon Musk or Robert Plant. These maybe really important people to you for one reason or another. Send a note to a senator, a congress person, or even better the CEO of some company that you would like to work for. Perhaps the CEO of a dream company that would be your dream job. Send him or her a note! Find their mailing address to their office, send them a letter, mark it PRIVATE at the top (that always works). Find them on linked-in, and send them a message! Hit them up by any means available to you. However, draft them an inspiring message, something really witty, or just flat out ask them for consideration.

Do not get any ideas here. You will most likely get rejected…a lot. Ignored mostly, but some flat our rejections. The flat our rejections are great, because you actually elicited a response! Scarlet Johansson politely declined an invitation to my birthday party. Rats. Hey, but she did reply! That is something! Who knows maybe one of these days you will say something to someone that will get you a positive response. A lunch meeting with Gustavo Dudamei – woohoo! You never know what humans will react to and respond to. Why not try?

You see after you send hundreds of RIPs to people you have really no hope of getting anything from, you will be surprised how much easier it becomes to talk to others. You will realize that we are all just people, living out our existence the best way that we know how. You will realize that most people actually want to help. I went on a campaign to ask a bunch of top behavioral science research theorists for an interview. I wanted to learn more. Many ignored me, but most responded. Some polite declines, but surprisingly most of them agreed! It was not that hard. I learned a lot and I am better for it.

The better you get at sending RIPs the better you get at talking to anyone in a higher social status than you. An email to your boss is nothing after you just got done drafting a message to Donald Trump this morning. Feeling discouraged about talking your boss? Is she hard to read, hard to communicate with? Try Queen Elizabeth II. Now what the heck to you say to her? Get past that and you can send a note to anyone.

Guy Reams

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