While I was excited to be on live TV, a million fears preceded the morning: What if I say something stupid? What if I ramble and sound like a fool?
And the other thoughts:
- I’m pasty and white. My hair looks gross and I don’t have time to style it.
- TV makes you look bigger. I’ve put on extra weight after the holidays and my wardrobe of leggings and tunics is not what you’re supposed to wear.
I anguished over the interview questions I sent in ahead of time, spending hours thinking about which questions were the right ones to have asked. I practiced the answers multiple times, only to be discouraged at how stupid I sounded.
I had one (1) pair of pants that appropriately fit. And I’d been coughing for a week, resulting post-4-baby-body leaks. Every. Single. Time.
You get the picture.
In the experience of it all, here are 10 lessons learned:
1. There’s a time and place to listen to your fears. The lingering fears mentioned above were filtered through deciding what I needed to address and what I needed to let go. The stage-fright fears prompted me to do the work required to be as well prepared as possible. That kind of fear is good fear when it propels you to do the work needed behind the scenes.
2. It feels good to be comfortable with yourself. Honestly, a few years ago I would have
stressed freaked out over the gained weight. Self-loathing would have filled my mind. While I wasn’t thrilled with the dead of winter physique, I was more concerned about feeling confident in the clothing I wore, not fixating on “if only I were skinnier, prettier, etc).
For one whom had an eating disorder for a large portion of my life, that’s huge.
3. You can over-think things. I spent hours looking over the prepared questions to send in ahead of time (interviewers really don’t read your book, just in case you wondered). I phoned a friend who helped me. In the end, I could have edited them just a little bit more. There’s a place in any situation where you need to say, “enough,” and just turn it over to God.
4. There’s a time to reach out to others. As my fears increased and started dominating my psyche, I realized handling fears and anxiety on your own is a harder, more lonely road. So I emailed a few prayer warriors and partners of this ministry, in addition to my own family, to have them pray for me and with me. God doesn’t intend us to handle everything alone. Reaching out is important.
5. There’s balance in work, faith, and trust. I did the work needed in order to be ready. I needed faith and trust in the rest. There’s peace in that balance. No matter what the situation, when you’ve done the best you can to prepare, peace and confidence comes in handing it to the Lord, putting your offer of good effort in His hands. And trusting Him for the results.
6. There’s peace in trusting God with your insecurities. The negative internal dialog was real for a few days. Putting clothes on which are too tight or show extra padding doesn’t build your esteem. Daily practices of listening to the Holy Spirit pays off when you need it the most–like when negative thought patterns bombard you. His words and peace infiltrated my thoughts when my flesh said the opposite.
7. It’s okay to rest. When you put a lot into something, it takes something out of you. Self-care is important to rest mentally and physically after a big event, activity, or milestone.
8. God works immeasurably more than you ask or imagine when you do #5. The interview went well–I felt comfortable and they even did a second interview. I didn’t freak out when I watched myself afterwards (don’t we all hate to watch ourselves on video?). That’s God’s peace that passes all understanding when we fully release things to Him.
9. Makeup guys do great work with foundation.
10. God cares about the little things. My cough seceded for a few hours. And I didn’t pee my pants on stage.
Taking a risk is exciting and scary, no matter what it is. When doors open, fears and insecurities can cripple you from walking through them. That’s where the enemy wants you. Crippled and ineffective.
But submitting your body, mind, spirit and work to Him brings peace, security, and confidence only the Living God can bring.
Where do you need courage today?