It was the most bizarre thing.
An hour before he was riffing on stage like he owned it.
But now he was frozen like a deer, following the GOAT around.
This part of the show was unscripted and Rogan was unprepared.
Standing up there next to Dave Chappelle he looked like a tired kid at Disneyland needing to be carried.
He was out of lines, but worse, he was out of confidence.
While Chappelle, who’d just delivered a crushing set, was on fire, in his zone, freestyling, lighting up the stadium.
Seeing the whites of his eyes
It was pretty awkward, I have to say.
I felt so much for the guy.
He’s obviously a highly accomplished performer.
An hour earlier he’d captivated the huge crowd, but now he was pottering around unable to even blurt out a line, let alone a funny one.
It was difficult to watch, and from our front row seats a little too close for comfort.
You could see the bulging whites of his eyes.
Feel the trepidation in his body along with the awkward silence his words were supposed to fill.
Watching his frozen body, I could “hear” the gears stuck in his head.
A gift and a curse of my decades of training is you read minds.
Now, I’m not saying you can “actually” read what people are thinking.
But watching someone’s body pretty much tells you everything that you need to know.
See, when Joe was riffing so powerfully on stage, he was walking tall, effortlessly flowing from one line to the next.
But now he was just stumbling behind Chappelle.
Awkwardly standing a few feet away, like an insecure guy trying to get close to a woman at a bar.
A first sign insecurity was setting in was watching his left hand crawling down to his trouser pocket finding a place to hide.
Also his body had gone rigid, freezing his non-verbal communications like rigor mortis.
But of course it was his lack of verbal communications—his inability to actually say anything—that was the most obvious sign he’d lost that essential confidence.
Happens to all of us
I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of examples of this type of situation in my lifetime.
Times in business, where you feel more timid than empowered.
Like say moments in a meeting where you can assert yourself, but you hang back.
Or times in my personal life such as meeting men or women in a social setting.
Even in hobbies lacking the confidence to put your best foot forward.
Perhaps you’ve had moments like this too?
Maybe like me you’ve had plenty of these moments!?
And the ONLY relevant question to me is what you do with them.
Use them to get better
One thing you saw from Chappelle on stage was mastery.
I never watch comedy, but I most certainly enjoy watching any pro playing on the edge of their skill.
And that’s what you saw from Chappelle.
An absolute master, he kept picking up the ball Joe was dropping, and driving it further.
In lots of ways he tried to encourage Rogan, and with great compassion even did an entire bit building up how incredible he is.
But Joe remained frozen, looking for an exit.
He was out of scripted materials, whereas Chappelle was using the 15,000+ people audience to experiment with new materials.
There was zero insecurity about what worked, what didn’t, if anything Chappelle looked like a man having fun amusing himself.
Whereas Rogan standing up there with this GOAT of comedy looked like he was afraid to get it wrong.
When this was his shot to get it right.
Mastery is masters continuously improving
Joe is a master of entertaining.
He’s been doing standup for decades.
Has hosted TV shows.
Done live commentary on the UFC for decades.
On his podcast, he has 3+ hour live conversations with people.
For sure he has the capabilities to crush this.
So, what was the “mechanism” that froze him up on stage?
Was he intimidated by being on stage with Chappelle? Unlikely?
By a huge audience? Unlikely?
By Geoff Blades in the front row 🙂
See, it’s unclear that there was any “stimulus” that “should” have led him to freeze.
But you can never know where someone is REALLY at.
ONLY in this case to observe where he can keep improving.
Has this happened to you?
Perhaps you’ve had moments like this where you froze up in some way?
It’s all good, right?
There are countless examples like Rogan, where you see it happens to the very best.
And the ONLY relevant question in my book is—
What do you do about it?
Have you found ways to solve this for yourself?
Or are there still moments that lead you to lose confidence like this?
What I’ve discovered over decades doing this type of change for myself and for others is…
That each one of these moments is your chance to change something for the better.
In the moment, or right after it happens, it can be much easier to change this “pattern” for good.
Or even years later the same “underlying cause” can still hold you back.
And in a worst case like Rogan, destroy your performance.
Doing the work to catapult yourself
Fact is, this can be an incredibly good experience for Joe Rogan.
It reveals a hole in his game that he can now see and change.
If you’re someone like Joe constantly challenging yourself to play bigger on the world stage…
Then like the Peter Principle, you’re going to have moments where you reach your current level of capabilities.
At these points you get to choose—
Do you just fob it off like it happens to everyone?
Or do you upgrade yourself?
So that not only does it never happen again, but you use it to catapult yourself to another level.