There are some things I absolutely knew I would NOT do in my life. Astronaut. Brain Surgeon, Professional Race Car Driver. Radio Talk Show Host. Y’know…some things are just beyond a person’s scope of imagination…it’s not remotely possible, with skills I would never, ever have. Being these wasn’t gonna happen for me.
Except one is. Tomorrow I’m gonna be a radio talk show host.
Now, to be clear, I’m on co-sharing duties, and doing it for exactly two Fridays while the regular talk show host, Dahlia Kurtz, is on vacation. So…it’s not like I’m changing professions…but still. Something that wasn’t even remotely on my bucket list of things to try is something I’m gonna do tomorrow. YIKES!!!!
Still shaking my head on it.
Hard to believe they asked me. See, I’m not a person who could ever be a radio talk show host. I’ve never even had the guts to call into a radio show. I just couldn’t. Y’know how sometimes we know things about ourselves…we just know these things to be true, and we live out of them?
We stick ourselves into boxes of a smaller size because we determine who we are in a way that limits us. We tell ourselves stories about who we are and we live out of those stories. Sometimes those stories we tell ourselves make our stories too small.
After CJOB680 asked me to co-host these two shows, I found myself forced to re-examine why I “couldn’t” be a talk show host. There were two main reasons:
- I lose the ability to speak in full sentences when a microphone is put in front of my face. I know this. I have experienced it for years. I freeze and start to stammer and hesitate. My sentences don’t make sense–at least to my ears. I can spend days second guessing how I got it only half right and “shoulda/coulda/woulda” myself half to death. Over recent months, I’ve gotten past this, thanx to folks like Dahlia Kurtz and Dana Foster. I know that I’m far from perfect, but when I go in front of CJOB’s guys microphone, I trust myself that Dahlia and I are gonna do OK. That folks…is a minor miracle (that was hard fought with months of day-of-show anxiety, and reminding myself of all the things I coach clients on to do terrifying things.
- With the first gradually debunked over the last year and a half, one very real one persisted. I can’t be a radio talk show host because I am not cool. I’m not. Not at all. I know this. How do I know this, you ask. I’ll tell you–I know you’re eager to know. I asked myself how I knew this…and the answer came from a faraway place deep inside me very quickly: I started wearing glasses in kindergarten. I was the only kid with spectacles in my class. While other kids were still cute, I was not. While other kids grew up into beautiful young woman, I remained bespectacled and therefore not in the cool group. The cool kids in my school were athletic. I was on the teams, but only because essentially everybody that tried out made it…I didn’t play much…I wasn’t cool. Then it became increasingly clear that I was an introvert…and so I would be off in the corner at a party getting to know one or two people in really interesting conversations, while the cool extroverts were in the centre of the room regaling the crowd with their wit and wisdom. I stereotyped myself Only cool people are radio talk show hosts, right? So I couldn’t be one.
I was sure I would have a sore throat that day (weeks away). I might be too busy. I might have to clip my fingernails or water the plants. But I have this rule that I’m not to say “no” because of fear...and I knew that everything I could come up with was only a flimsy and fear-covering excuse, not a valid reason to say no.
I work with folks who come into my office with no excuses, no hiding–they talk about the things they’ve always kept silent. I have a front row seat to the courage of my clients…how can I live any different?
So I said yes.
I told Dahlia I wanted to make her proud. And sweet, dear friend and wonderful person that she is, she responded:
Look. You already make me proud. That’s why I chose you to do it.
I heard someone say once somewhere that encouragement is fuel for the soul. Dahlia’s words were very much for me that day, and these days leading up to tomorrow–the day I become a co-host of a radio show.
So…here’s the deal. I’m sticking my neck out. I’m writing about this adventure I’ve signed up for before I’ve gone on the adventure. I have no idea how it is gonna go. I may fall flat on my face…and my first row living will look disastrous.
But here’s the other deal. Dahlia, who works in radio full time (so theoretically she knows what she’s talking about) says I’m ready.
And I know, no matter what:
- I go home to a family who loves and cares about me.
- I’ll still be Carolyn.
- I’ll still have clients who do good work with me.
- I’ll still have my friends who know me and love me.
- I’m still gonna operate from a place of worthiness because I know that no single two hour span of life defines me.
So often, when people talk about exiting things things, they talk about them in retrospect, when they have triumphed. I want to proclaim, right here and right now, that I have triumphed in saying “yes” to something I find terrifying and that I feel unqualified for. I think life is best lived when the triumph isn’t in winning, but in showing up and letting ourselves be seen. Being brave is the triumph.
The triumph is not in the outcome, but in the Yes.
The yes to new experiences, to being stretched, to learning something new, to trying on something I’ve never done before.
What sort of “yes” are you being challenged to? And how much do you live in the front row of your life?
Front row living can be humbling…those ladies have their undergarments showing in ways those third row ladies do not! But I wanna go through life feeling like the front row ladies, even if that means I get humbled sometimes.
Yikes! I’m talking myself into this by writing in this blog. I’m still scared, but I’m gonna do it. Tune in tomorrow on CJOB680 at 1:00 to listen in to Carolyn Bergen and Dr. Syras filling in for Dahlia Kurtze from 1-3 pm!