Thursday, October 2, 2014

Overcoming a fear

I have a fear.

Okay, that's a lie. I have a bunch of fears, some are silly, unrealistic, and some are truly scary. This one fear I have is fairly common across the....nation? Globe? Universe? I'm not sure, but I legit fear speaking in front of camera, strangers, one person, fifty. That whole public speaking thing, it's not for me. I've accepted that fate years ago when I received poor marks on all reports you had to share in front of the class.

The fear is real people. I clam up, feel sick, anxiety attacks left and right....it's a nightmare.

In July, after A Message of Flowers was featured in my local newspaper, I was asked to do an interview with Amy Kehm, host of Good Day PA. If you have not heard of it, it's a program through abc27, Harrisburg Pennsylvania news station. Amy informed me that it would be a LIVE in studio interview.

I was shocked, scared, excited, and nervous. So what do I do? What do I say? Absolutely nothing. I sat on this news and didn't tell a soul for roughly two weeks. Then I discussed the pros and cons with my husband. He encouraged me to go through with the interview, telling me that I'd be just fine and he would make sure to be there with me for support. I, of course, argued that I'd make animal noises instead of actual words. He laughed and told me I was being ridiculous.

This continued for about a week.

At that point, I finally emailed Amy back. I agreed to do the show, and after the date was set, then I had to work on my questions.

I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. Then I, you guessed it, practiced some more. I called two of my step kid's mom and asked her for help with an answer, because for the life of me, I could not find words to answer a SIMPLE question about my own book. Because, I was terrifiednervouspanickedsickafraid everything! LOL. Then, I called my sister and went over my answers. I took a teensy video of myself on my phone every day for weeks. Then I practiced the questions while recording myself....I was still scaredanxiouschickensick in denial over the whole thing.

I'll admit, I probably worried some friends and family members with my "vague-booking" because I was so not ready to announce it to the world....ermm, my world. I told a few select people and that was about it.

A few days before the interview, I was contacted about a scheduling error and asked to either move the interview or pretape it. I chose to pretape because I felt I needed to do this or I'd never do it. I was already counting all the ways I could get out of doing it at that point.

Finally the morning of the interview, I announced it on my personal page. I felt almost relieved after I told my friends and family. Not because of what they said, but because I finally let them in. That's something I have a problem with I'm emotional about something. No matter the topic, I hold most of it in and only share with certain people.

(my selfie in the lobby)

I am so grateful to my husband for encouraging me to do this interview. It was enlightening in a sense. I know I can count on myself.
My support system built of family and friends, that day I was grateful to have everyone I have.

(my husband's bird's eye view of the interview)

I was so scared. It was like someone asked me to sit in a tank filled with spiders. I was jittery, jumpy, nauseous, scared, and I could hardly breathe. Amy asked when I was ready, and I finally said I was, even though I felt like bursting out in tears and running away. I agreed.

 (Photo Credit: Staff at Good Day PA/abc27)

By the end of the interview, I was so close to my normal it wasn't funny. Did I remember what I answered? Nope. Not a word of it. But what I remember is how amazing and caring the staff is. Amy and her team that was there, were so nice to this scared chicken author. If I was thinking, I probably would've hugged them. I was and am so grateful they were such positive and supportive people. I will be going back and doing another interview.

You can find the interview HERE

You can tell how nervous I was in the video, and if you've read my books, you might catch my blunder. (Also, I'm aware there's a typo on their part. They listed Plucked as my upcoming novel, it's actually Pucked) I still find the interview surreal, I can't believe I did it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this experience all with you. Hopefully, you'll do what scares you too.

"That thing that scares you the most, that makes you say, 'I don't know if I can do it, I'm scared.' Run towards it because it's so amazing on the other side." - Sherri Shepherd

I'm still a chicken, but I know I can do anything I put my mind to.

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