“Silenzio Bruno!” If you’ve seen the Disney movie “Luca” you know exactly what this means. Luca and his new friend Alberto start to race down a dangerous hill on a home made Vespa (yes it’s as rickety as it sounds). Luca is scared, and the doubt in his head is given the name Bruno. Alberto shouts to his friend “silenzio Bruno!” and drowns out Luca’s doubt.
Sometimes we all need an Alberto shouting over the voice of our Bruno… our doubt. This can be family, friends, colleagues, coaches, and even customers. Having that supportive community can lift our commitment, spirit, and psyche. These people help us create a feeling and belief that yes, we can do this.
But eventually, there comes a time when you need to be the one who believes in yourself, your talent, your skill, and your preparation—that you are ready to perform and perform well—that you can trust yourself. So let me share with you a firsthand experience, a lesson I learned about the value of trusting yourself.
The year was 1907…
Ok, the year was in the early 1990’s but I stood on stage as Wilhelm Brenner telling his story about immigrating from Switzerland to America with his family in 1907. Eventually entering the United States through Ellis Island. I rehearsed the show, and became more comfortable with the character and stories, but I had my doubts.
My first show was booked, and I would soon find out if I could bring this story to life. I arrived at the local methodist church, met the head of the women’s club who hired me, and started to set up for the performance. Then, I started to overthink the show, and my confidence began to waver. What if I forgot my lines, got lost, or forgot the order of the stories? Then brilliance struck.
I made cue cards for myself! Years before I had done this for Ralph Emery when I wrote for a popular TV show, and it seemed like a brilliant idea for my first performance. I found paper and markers, placed the cards in the first pew, and set myself up for success. When I took the stage I introduced myself to the 60 ladies in attendance and then got into character—which meant that I took off my glasses. Thats right; I wear glasses but my character, Wilhelm does not. All of my notes were written out and I couldn’t read a single one! So I panicked.
But I only panicked for a minute. Then I laughed at myself thinking “how dumb can you be?” That night the show went off without a hitch. I told my doubt to be quiet, just like our favorit sea monster Luca.
Luca learned a valuable lesson; that he can can say “silenzio Bruno” and doesn’t need Alberto or anyone else to overcome his doubt, and trust himself. My experience reminded me that I can trust myself and I can trust my process. And that’s the lesson; that you can and you must trust in yourself.