Face your Fear and Kick it Out of the Way
When I woke up last Sunday the farthest thing from my mind was spending a week in NYC. I was spending the weekend in Dallas with my family, getting ready to spend the day by the pool. And then I checked my email.
I had an email from one of the producers of Fox and Friends, which happens to be the top rated morning show in the country, asking me if I could do a segment on cooling summer foods, an article that I had written for Fox Health News the week before. My initial reaction was HOW COOL! they want ME to be on television! too bad Fox and Friends is filmed in NYC and I’m in Dallas, and it’s tomorrow on Live television. I handed my iphone over to my husband to share how cool it was and his immediate reaction was to get on a plane and go.
And then fear came knocking on my door. I thought there’s NO way I can do that, my first time on television on LIVE TV? On the most popular morning show? no way. I just couldn’t, I’d choke, I’d forget my own name, I’d probably throw-up on camera. And then the years and years of eating disorders that I have buried came right back up and told me that I haven’t gotten back to pre-pregnancy weight and that I’m too fat to be on TV. Who wants to watch a fatty on television? I have no business even considering it. While all these thoughts were racing through my mind I started breaking out in a cold sweat and the thought of how great of an opportunity this was just kept coming back. I thought about all the times my eating disorder demons have kept me from doing something I really wanted to do because I didn’t think I looked good enough, I thought about missed chances because I didn’t think I was good enough. I thought about looking back on this moment and regretting not having done it. I thought about life giving you opportunities, opening amazing doors that may close forever if you don’t walk through them. There was NO way I was going to let fear get the best of me this time. Absolutely not.
Next came logisitics, how was I going to get there, it was already 11am and I was in Dallas. I’d have to go back to Fort Worth to pack. My husband and Annabelle would need to come with me because leaving Annabelle behind wasn’t even an option and I needed Andrew to be my rock and talk me through my cold feet. I had to bring my own food to the Fox studios and I had to be there by 8am the next day, how on earth would I buy and prep food that looked halfway decent in time? My whole family jumped in to help, we were all making phone calls and sending emails trying to make things happen. And it did. By 5pm we were on a flight to Charlotte and then on a flight to NYC. We got to the hotel well after midnight and I had a car coming to pick me up at 6:30am to take me to Le Cirque where I’d meet the Chef de Cuisine who would come with me and prep amazing dishes for me to showcase.
Somehow I managed to sleep for a few hours and have a cup of coffee in the morning. I was afraid to have anything else because I didn’t want my nerves to get the best of me. I got my hair and makeup done and went straight outside to film. When the cameras started rolling I thought they were doing the teaser before the commercial break but it was my segment. I didn’t even have enough time to realize what was going on, I just had to start talking. I’m sure I looked nervous but once I started talking I didn’t feel as nervous as I thought I would. It felt easy and it was over before I covered all the material I wanted to cover. It was over and I was still alive. I didn’t throw-up, I didn’t forget my name, I may not have been looking at the right place at the right time and I am not a fan of the angle I got filmed from but I survived. And having done that I don’t think I’d be nervous next time. I think it would just feel like having a conversation with someone about something that I’m passionate about. Next time I won’t even have to second guess myself, I’ll just grab the bull by the horns and go.
Since it was a live show I don’t have a link for it, but if you’re curious and want to watch it (I have yet to watch it) here’s a link to the after show which is actually a bit longer than the live version which did give me a bit more time to stumble since I wasn’t expecting it.
The moral of the story? We’ve all heard the saying “Face your fear and do it anyways” and some of us believe that it’s so much easier said than done. But it’s actually not that scary, you just have to run right through the door. If you stop and think chances are you’ll back out. Don’t stop. Don’t think. Fear is nothing more than temporary uncomfortableness and once you put your first foot through the door the rest will just come. And even if you do throw up on yourself you can look back and be proud that you took a chance to do something fantastic. I’ll never have to look back on that day and regret it. I quieted some of the demons of my past and now that I know I can conquer those demons there’s really no reason for them to come back and haunt me. It doesn’t matter how big or small the fact of the matter is that fear doesn’t care how inconsequential the decision may be, fear can be paralyzing and the only way to shut it up is to embrace it and say ‘yeah I’m afraid but who cares, I’m going to do it anyways and I’m going to kick some butt while I do it’.