Earlier this week I interviewed a legend.

I’ve listened to his podcast for years, read some of his books, took a few of his creative courses, and saw him speak a few years ago… so when he extended the invitation recently, on his podcast, to reach out to him for an interview, I jumped on it! How could I not? 

Of course it was scary. And because the reason for the interview was to promote his latest book, that meant I had to read the book, take notes, then organize the notes, then set up a time for a Zoom call… all of it my main goal for the first part of January 2024. Happy to say Mission Accomplished! Now it’s a matter of splintering the interview to create valuable content for you, the reader… keep an eye out in February for that content! 

So. All of the above is good news. And something for me to celebrate… but I’m here today to tell you about the harder shit that came along with it. The stuff that twists a knife in your gut and makes you grow.

It can be hard to put ourselves out there.

But I forced myself to reach out this legend for an interview because I knew it was the right next move for me and it pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Of course I was nervous. Of course it was difficult because it was my first interview via Zoom and with someone I respect and adore. I had notes, yet I was doing my best to “not try too hard.” I wanted to be in the flow. Needless to say, I came away from the experience with a new respect for people who interview others and make it look easy on a consistent basis.

I felt good when the call ended. I’d done a good job.

B-

Which isn’t bad considering it was my first time interviewing someone I respect and adore, live.

But the next day was a lot harder…

It’s interesting because I’m the only adult here in the house this week, which gives me space to really live in my own energy and observe what’s moving in and out of my mind.

And in moved the negative self talk…

“You came across airheaded when you said that, you’re technical finesse was amateur, you shouldn’t have worn your glasses— they made your eyes look too big…”

But yesterday, for the first time, I was able to take a step back, as the negative self talk began to come into my mind, and I was able to observe it while feeling the pain from it.

I went for a walk, feeling the pain, and realized, yes, this is why it’s been hard for me to put myself out there. Because underlying, there’s been a voice in me that hasn’t had my own back. Because, while growing up, I wasn’t given a lot of support when I expressed different ways of seeing things. An unfortunate learned behavior.

Part of coming into our own is laying aside what’s held us back and continuing on our paths.

I haven’t let my past hold me back for quite awhile now. I’ve been writing and expressing things the way I see them. But yet, sometimes not without flighty, pestering thoughts over how I’ll be perceived, as much as I try to let that go. The bottom line here is, would I rather have artificial love, being someone I’m not, or real love, from myself and those who know the real me?

So yesterday, my growth was in observing the negative self talk but not believing it. Negative self talk, the culprit that’s held me back, and, instead of believing those thoughts, I had the chance to observe them and pick new ones:

“I’m proud of myself. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I am here for me always. I have my own back. This was another step in my evolution…”

Really put it into practice, not just writing about it or reading it on the page.

By the time my head hit the pillow last night, I had my own back again. And today I’ll write the things I can improve on for next time, with constructive self-love energy.

I went through the valley of negative thoughts and came through it without abandoning myself! Finally!

That’s why we step out of our comfort zones. Because afterward, it may be difficult to work through the negative self talk, but it’s in stepping back from it, not accepting it, and seeing how it’s held us back in the past, that it then becomes just a CONCEPT— something we can categorize as negative thoughts that aren’t true, and we can dismiss them, wrap our arms around ourselves, and say, “Good job!”

Yesterday I re-listened (for the third time) to this episode with guest Tracee Ellis Ross on We Can Do Hard Things, as a way of being there for myself. Truly healing. That’s why it’s today’s resource.

You can also find this podcast on Spotify or here.

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