I recently saw Harry Styles perform in concert, and something he said struck me.
Toward the end of the concert and in between songs, he called out a family leaving their seats to exit the venue. He said, with a laugh, “I’m not finished. Back to the seats.”
The crowd roared in approval.
“Trying to beat the traffic are we? Unbelievable… Been training my entire life for this and you want to save 20 minutes on the ride home. Unbelievable.”
It was an entertaining, but also powerful moment because I saw it as a reminder that sometimes we deserve to stand in our own spotlights, to own our moments, to stay on the stage until we’re finished, and remind others that they may regret not giving us their full attention.
Obviously, you can stand up for yourself without being self-righteous about it. In Harry’s case, he good-humoredly told them to get back in their seats to listen to the remaining few songs he was about to perform. They sheepishly (and on the jumbotron!) complied and quickly scooted back to their seats between screaming, feather boa-covered fans.
The rest of Styles’ performance was, in a word, epic. And I think it’s safe to say that it ended up being a night that one family will probably never forget, and not because of the traffic on the way home.
What have you been training your whole life for?
Who’s been a spectator and decided that your life’s performance wasn’t their priority?
How has that impacted your choice to keep performing? Did someone else’s choice cause you to play quieter? Did someone else’s choice cause you to stop playing all together?
I can think of plenty of times in my own professional career where I made meaning of someone else’s “exit” from my “moment”.
You don’t get to choose who’s going to walk out of your performance, but you do get to choose how you respond.
Keep playing. All out.
After all, you’ve been training your whole life for this.