A Lesson in Facing My Fear Monger

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing via the phone one of my favorite bloggers–Tara Sophia Mohr.  I am hoping to post the interview sometime next week.  Not only once the interview fabulous, but the lessons learned prior to it were priceless. So I decided to share them here today.

I had asked Tara to do the interview for the Work Happier Spotlight feature on my blog, a few weeks ago.  I  confess e-mailing someone I don’t know is scary–but since I asked all of you to do it in the informational interview blog post I thought I could do it too. However, Tara, challenged me a bit and asked me if I would be willing to do a phone interview rather then the standard ‘I e-mail her questions, she writes the answer’.  I admit, I have never done a phone interview before that has been recorded and then published to my site.   While I love technology you can’t always count on it so it can be a bit scary.  But I agreed, with a full heart and lots of excitement I decided to embrace my lack of knowledge and branch out into the world of audio.

I sent her my questions before hand organized my thoughts and I was ready.  And then Monday morning rolls around–if I am completely honest it started Sunday evening–I started obsessing about all the things that COULD go wrong, my fear monger went a little crazy and I pretty much flipped out.  By Monday morning I was a mess–just a stressed out mess.  On my way to the gym I just kept telling myself once it is 2pm you can relax, you can relax at 2pm–only 4 more hours to go.  And then I caught myself and I realized, I wasn’t dreading this phone call.  In reality I was looking forward to it.  I was excited to talk to Tara, hear what she had to say and share my own bits of wisdom.  Yet, my first reaction was to start the count down to when it would be over.  Hands down I think one of the hardest things as a human being is to hold both–to hold 2 opposite things at the same time, to hold my fear and my excitement, to hold my nervousness and my exhilaration.  Too often we want to make it all black and white, turn the either/or into an absolute.

Right then and there I had a little talk with my fear monger.  I asked her to come out and be seen and to share what she was scared about.  Once I gave her a voice, her fears were pretty minimal.  Basically I was afraid I would look stupid, say something totally off beat and look like a fool.  When I took the time to let her voice be heard, I was able to hear that there really wasn’t that much to be afraid about.  Too often we let the fear monger’s voice fill our heads with a dull rhythmic tone not really paying any attention to it but giving it way too much power in the process.

So I thanked my little girl (my fear monger is a little girl) for trying to help and told her you know i have had a lot of education, done a lot of reading and been around the block a few times I was confident my 38 year old self could handle it.  And poof she was gone–I admit, she tried to come back a few times but when I heard her voice starting up softly in the background I placed my hands over my heart and quietly said, “I’ve got this one” and she quieted back down.  It is those rituals that allow us to move forward, face our fears, do the things that scare us, and allow ourselves to grow.  When we don’t make these physical and mental shifts we get stuck doing what we have always done and getting what we always get.

Fortunately the phone call went wonderfully–it was by no means perfect, I hung up on Tara within the first 5 minutes, someone came to the door in the middle of our conversation and we didn’t cover all of the topics.  BUT we made connection, we had a great conversation, we laughed and I faced a fear.  Both my little girl and I hung up feeling very happy.

Thanks to Trace Meek for the cool phone photo.