“Please ask questions. Most likely if you have a question, then someone else does too.”
I’ve heard this plenty of times in classrooms and seminars. And it’s never helped ease my fears and raise my hands. I don’t feel any more comfortable speaking my mind, especially in front of a group of people. The fear of asking a stupid question that makes everyone laugh and think “what a retard” still persists.
Great artists know that to touch the hearts of your audience, you must become a mirror for the rage and pain, triumphs and glory that you experience deep within. These strong emotions are broiling in the stomachs of every person, yet on the outside they have to act (literally) like nothing is wrong.
That help-wishful phrase about others having the same questions might not be helpful, but otherwise it’s a very powerful statement. It means that despite what you are feeling, a lot of other people feel the same way you do. And the deeper you go into yourself and pull all those disgusting bits out of you, the more people feel connected to you.
Anyone can become a mirror for someone else, a powerful mirror that changes and moves people. A mirror that shines brightly the flaws in character that frees others from the shame of their own scars. The people who have shone the brightest in history are those who have somehow embraced their flaws, learned from them, then masterfully transformed those flaws into their greatest triumphs. And then these people dedicate their lives to bringing the same transformation to others in their lives.
So if you have a question, a yearning question deep inside you that you haven’t asked anyone because you’re afraid, afraid that no one else will understand, no one else has asked. Then don’t worry about asking it to others in a classroom or a seminar. Ask it of yourself, and find the answer to it.
And then, if you want, you can become a shining mirror to others by sharing your question. You can be the one in front of the classroom or seminar trying to get people to participate and ask you questions. And you can lead them to find the answer for themselves and help transform their lives. You can become a powerful transformative figure that will etch your signature into the book of human history.