I got to be on the radio. And I learned some stuff. Or relearned some stuff; however you want to think about it because these lessons seem to be reoccurring ones. Good stuff about not listening to the voices in your head that tear you down instead of build you up. Good stuff about doing things even when you think there is no way you can. Lessons of which it never hurts to be reminded.
Lesson 1: Say NO to self-doubt. It’s a big, fat liar.
There are tons of things I could say about self-doubt, scriptures I could quote, borrowed wisdom I could relay. But the thing is, no matter how much I get that self-doubt is an irrational thief who steals moments of joy or successes, it also can be the loudest voice in my head.
A couple of weeks ago, when Camden, Tennessee’s WRJB 95.9’s Bobby “Flash” Melton came across our Derby Day At The Dixie article and asked if I would come up for a 30 minute guest spot on his show to talk about the blog, the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center and other things, my stomach did 2 flip-flops. Everyone’s hard work- you guys out there faithfully reading, entering contests, and leaving comments, our guest writers, Amy Washburn Photography, our sponsors- this was like a little victory for all of us! Of course I would do it!
But there was also a part of me that just about died. I had never been in a radio studio, much less done an interview. Live radio? THIRTY minutes?? Are you kidding me?
What if my voice sounded awful? Like Lina Lamont in Singing in the Rain? What if I used bad grammar? (like “I got to be on a radio show”?) What if I started babbling about nothing? What if that your-not-supposed-to-laugh-but-you-are-for-no-apparent-reason thing happened? You know, that one that happens in church or some other really serious place where laughing is completely inappropriate, but your shoulders start shaking and the tears start streaming and there is no turning back; you may as well just get up and leave thing? Or equally mortifying, what if I can’t think of anything to say at all? My go-to life skill to avoid saying stupid stuff is to just be quiet and watch. Not exactly a winning strategy for radio… Couldn’t Flash just talk about the blog for me?
Self-doubt wants to be our constant companion. If listened to, self-doubt robs us of the fullness that our lives have to offer and fills it instead with regrets of things we wished we would have done. In the famous words of my mom, “Stop focusing on yourself so much. No one else is.”
Self-doubt is its own unique brand of selfishness, one that can sneakily have us so bound up that we miss out on all sorts of things. It keeps us from trying new things, laughing with abandon, choosing what we really like, and grabbing at life with both hands. This includes radio interviews in the studio with microphones and dials and meters and hosts and sound engineers who all turn out to be wonderful people you are so glad you met and got to spend time with. No, missing out is definitely not the way life is supposed to be.
Lesson #2: Don’t sell yourself short. You really can do it.
Spoiler alert: I did the radio show, and I loved it. I am actually sitting around with fingers and toes crossed in hopes I get to do it again.
My sweet family recorded the show for me so that I could share it on the blog. I couldn’t wait to get a hold of it! This was going to be good! I could hear how it went! This is what I got: “Is it on??” “Shh! Yes, it’s on!” “Are you sure??” “Yes, I am sure!” Along with a car door closing and someone asking for ibuprofen. Good lord, I was going to have to edit.
Just like being in a radio studio, I had never edited audio files.
I spent hours and hours trying to edit and format these bad boys. I researched and downloaded software (which is a completely horrifying thing– you have no idea the things I’ve gotten stuck on my computer before), watched countless YouTube tutorials, read threads in geeky forums about things I didn’t know existed, wanted to poke my eyeballs, stared at my ceiling, muttered and complained (Sweet Moses what is wrong with me! Why is this so hard??), munched on chocolate, laid prone on the floor, prayed, and basically just clicked around on a bunch of icons with wild abandon until something started happening. Yes, these are my secret computer-ey techniques. But guess what, I can edit sound files now.
It’s been said a million times we never know what we can really do until we honestly put our minds to it and try. And it’s true. There are so many times when it would be easier to just do nothing than to actually try something new or different, than to stick our necks out, than to risk flopping or being wrong, than to take the chance of it being hard. But we are so much more capable than we can even imagine if we just let ourselves be. We really can do it. Whatever it is. We can.
I know my examples in this article are a little silly, but the truths hold true just the same. And I find that I have to fight these battles with both silly and serious things in my life. I hope you enjoy the radio show below. A big thanks to my daughter who made the recordings for me as a surprise!