Guest Blog Post: Sara Beth Wald
I said YES: An introvert’s stumble into podcast guesting
Wow, you guys. In all these years of laying myself bare in my writing, this is seriously the most publicly naked I have ever felt.
It just so happens that I am expanding my business during a pandemic podcast explosion, when enterprising entrepreneurs are hopping on the airwaves to inform and entertain all of us stuck at home with endless hours of free time.
So, it makes sense that as my business grows, I’ve been invited to speak on some podcasts. And my response to this is…
Just for context, this is not a scream of excitement, which is “EEEEEEEEEE!”
Nor is it “BAHHHHHHH!” which is a cry of frustration, or “AWWWW,” which is given in response to overwhelming cuteness.
“AHHHHHHHHH!” is a scream of abject terror.
My first inclination when I was approached to appear as a podcast guest was to crawl under the covers and stay there until everyone forgot I was alive.
Writing is my safe haven. It is both my freedom and the wall I hide behind. Speaking, though… that’s a scary, scary place, full of brain farts and horrifying awkward silence.
Just to clarify, I don’t just mean public speaking.
I am talking about all speaking. The act of opening my face and letting sound come out to anyone other than those with whom I am very well acquainted is deeply and infinitely terrifying to me.
I am also painfully aware that we live in a time where success is based on a person’s ability to be available to others in multiple formats. If I was going to make a serious run of this whole entrepreneur thing, I was going to have to come out from behind the keyboard.
Sometime in the midst of 2020, it dawned on me that everything I wanted in life was on the other side of YES.
I already claimed the word Integrity for 2021. But another word I’ve been working on is YES.
YES to being uncomfortable.
YES to risking failure.
YES to falling flat on my face.
And so, it was with a great deal of anxiety and true, utter panic that I decided to crawl out from under the rock that is my cozy little home office.
It is with shaking hands and sweating pits that I introduce to you, my first podcast appearance…
I am someone who believes everything happens for a reason. And this podcast, with this host, at this time, only serves to confirm that belief.
The Holistic Glen Podcast
Glenna James is a holistic health coach, clinical herbalist, blogger, and podcaster. Before I met Glenna, I thought I had this whole Be Real thing nailed down. But she takes it to a whole other level.
Glenna is someone who Brené Brown would describe as being “in the arena.” She puts herself and her gifts out there for the world, in all their raw and unfiltered glory. You guys, she is so brave. I absolutely could not do what she’s doing.
From the get-go, Glenna made the conscious decision to have real, unfiltered conversations with her guests. She does no editing of her recordings. She leaves in all the “ums” and awkward silences, her own as well as her guests.
Her gentleness and graciousness as a host feels both inspiring and safe.
Somehow, despite all my oratorical shortcomings, Glenna managed to pull from me the core foundation upon which I build all my work.
We talked about imposter syndrome – what it is, and how to overcome it.
We talked about the importance of forging healthy, authentic connections.
We talked about the need to see others as collaborators rather than competition.
We talked about accountability, boundaries, and grace.
We talked about how our imperfections and vulnerabilities connect us.
Everything we discussed, Glenna is living, and inviting all of us to join her on the journey. She is a collaborator, an authentic, healthy connection to vulnerability and grace.
The subject of imposter syndrome and female empowerment is one I am intimately familiar with, both professionally and personally. I have literally written thousands of pages on this subject over the past decade, just off the top of my head.
But talking about it out loud, that’s a whole other ball of wax.
My side of the conversation is rife with hesitations, dead air, the sound of paper rustling as I flip through my four pages of carefully detailed notes, a random reference to classic Saturday Night Live, and – ironically – apologies.
My apologies are perhaps the most painful for me to listen to, especially since the topic of female empowerment calls for confidence and sass, a “sorry, not sorry” can-do spirit.
Yet there I am, saying, “Sorry, my brain…” while I struggle to find the words – and the section in my notes – searching for the right answer.
I could have ended up as guest on my first podcast with someone who would have edited out half of what I said, or even perhaps decided after realizing I was a novice not to run our interview at all.
My cowering social anxiety would have told me that was for the best.
But Glenna didn’t do that. Not only did she leave the interview intact, in all it’s raw, imperfect glory, but she thanked me, welcomed me with continued connection, and let the gold nuggets of who I really am shine through for all the world to see.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity, not only to appear on Glenna’s podcast, but to know Glenna as a person. Life has a funny way of bringing people together in the unlikeliest of ways.
In this case, true connection was made between two people who live thousands of miles apart, who found commonality in the shared experience of self-doubt, and the courage to overcome it.
I only had one first chance to speak my journey out loud.
I can think of no better platform than The Holistic Glen podcast.
I recorded a second podcast just one day after visiting with Glenna. In fact, I was invited just days after I said YES to appearing on The Holistic Glen.
Had I not had that first experience, given that first YES, I would not have had the courage to give the second.
Glenna provided a safe place to rest my first YES. I will never forget it, or her, and I will always be grateful.
The Holistic Glen podcast is full of insightful, raw, real conversations with a wide range of inspiring people on everything from mental health and wellness to green living. I encourage you to check it out.
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