I did a really hard thing last week. The experience and emotions leading up to this thing are, in my opinion, worth sharing because every single one of us does hard stuff and talking about the emotions, experience and the takeaway is empowering.
Striking up conversation, breaking the ice and engaging in meaningful debate are things I do not shy away from. Meeting people and talking does not make me nervous, at all. In fact, I enjoy it.
Sure, there are topics I enjoy discussing more than others, such as entrepreneurship, women’s issues, eco-friendly fashion and the impact of the textile industry on our planet. Discussing a new recipe, protein powder or skin care product can also get me talking.
If all of this is true, then why did I completely freak out about my first podcast interview?
Seriously, I didn’t even recognize myself in the days and hours leading up to being interviewed by David Shriner-Cahn, creator of the “Going Solo” and “Smashing the Plateau” podcasts. My business coach, Maki Moussavi, suggested the issue was my ease in talking about design, t-shirts, the environment, how women really do rule the world and just about anything else versus talking about ME.
To tell my story would involve touting my creative, entrepreneurial, energetic, risk-taking, adaptive nature along with owning the missteps along the way. Openly bragging is not my jam but sharing the learning curves of my life and career has never been a problem. Especially if I thought it could encourage or empower someone else. I’m all about authenticity and being ‘unapologetically me’— So what the heck is my problem?
Well, this interview is recorded and will be available on the internet and potentially, many people will hear it. What will they think!? Will they judge my choices or worse, not see me as successful?! I’m going to be ‘out there’ and this creates accountability! My over-achieving self typically welcomes accountability. But this felt different.
The podcast is audio only, but David and I could see each other during the interview. The Perfectionist showed up, right on time. The Perfectionist had to clean and rearranged the office, do the hair, put on make-up and fret about the outfit (which was ultimately a white turtleneck – so fancy). My thoughts were outlined, printed and placed where I could see them, next to a glass of water, at the ready for any signs of cottonmouth. It was almost time...
I checked my Garmin watch and my heartrate was 123. Good grief, I’m sitting in a chair.
We jumped on the call a little early. Small talk and David’s calm demeanor certainly helped, but once we started recording, I felt my brain racing ahead of my mouth. Convinced I was creating word salad, I took a deep breath and declared (out loud) that I was nervous. Thankfully they edit.
By the end of the interview, I had relaxed and the words were flowing, sort of.
Once the “recording” light was turned off a feeling of relief washed over me and I’m certain my voice returned to my usual upbeat, casual tone and cadence. When the call was over I couldn’t decide if I wanted a glass of bourbon or to go for a run. Ultimately, I chose to sit quietly and reflect on the experience and do some journaling.
Why was I so afraid?
In preparation for the interview, I had listened to a few of the “Going Solo” and “Smashing the Plateau” podcasts. Each of David’s guests left the corporate setting, some by choice and others due to downsizing or restructuring and some were polished speakers and presenters (think TedTalk) with impressive resumes.
I believe the old stories of “Not Enough” and “What If?” resurfaced in my head. Those stories are old and suck. All of us have those old stories and they keep us from learning and experiencing new things at the speed of LIFE.
Where was my super-cool, “new” story? I’d done the work with my biz coach to realize my true “new” story and damn it, why wasn’t it there for me?!
I started journaling about how old habits die hard but soon realized my true “new” story WAS there for me! That’s why I was on the podcast in the first place! AND my “new” story is precisely why I didn’t cancel the interview out of fear but rather chose to face the fears, be uncomfortable, try something new and give it my best.
Success looks different on each of us and success isn’t always shiny, polished and perfect.
Illustration by: Me : )