I did my first live Q&A last night and loved it.
But I almost didn’t show up. I hit the “dreaded low”.
For the longest time, I backed out of events if I felt a slight dread at the thought of them. It didn’t matter whether they were social or professional events. If I had a rough sleepless night or got into an argument with my family, my whole day would be derailed, and I’d end up skipping the so-called event I had promised I’d attend.
I had all the best excuses lined up for myself:
- There’s going to be another one, no biggie
- I’m going to be in a terrible mood and ruin the night
- I’d rather take care of myself right now, it’s important
- It’s ok if I end up missing out on something, I won’t know
Let me just add that this train of thought seeped into other areas of my life. I backed out of countless gym classes. I skipped writing scheduled content. Canceled doctor appointments.
I’d happily accept all these invitations, feeling inspired at the moment to socialize and do something other than my regular routine, only to end up dreading them the closer the date approached. The “dreaded low”.
But then at some point, I pushed through a few “dreaded” moments and became accountable for my YES’s. And what I found was that every single time I dreaded an event, but still went to it, I came out of it changed, excited, and full of life.
If you’ve ever made it to the gym at 6 am, you’ll know that it’s practically impossible to wake up, but once you walk out of it, you feel like a million bucks.
This same phenomenon occurs in every area of your life (mostly). The mental effort it takes to get going is so strong that it literally holds us back, but the moment we forge ahead, the benefits gained are enormous.
So, here’s what happened yesterday.
The night before the Q&A, my toddler decided he didn’t want to sleep for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Being pregnant, I’m already NOT sleeping as it is. Fantastic. Couple a bad night with a two-hour daily commute to work and the result is a disaster. Not only that but because of the different timezones, the session was going live at 8 pm my time. Technically, my bedtime.
Cue the DREAD.
Here were some of my excuses:
- There are so many speakers, they won’t know I’m missing
- I probably won’t even get a chance to talk
- No one will show up for it
- I’ll just show up to the next one
- I’m too tired to speak intelligently
But I’ve been training myself in the last couple of years to dismiss all of my excuses.
While I still go through them, I now visualize all the positive outcomes of an event.
For last night, this is what I told myself:
- I’m going to practice being on camera
- I’ll get to connect with like-minded introverts
- I can use this as promotional material
- I don’t have to speak if I don’t want to
And let me tell you, I was blown away at what a great time I had!
I answered the questions that were directed at me, but I also jumped in several times to add my own perspective to the discussion. I monitored myself to see how I felt and how I responded throughout the whole session and learned a lot about myself.
Afterward, I got several e-mails from people explaining how much they enjoyed listening to my answers. It made my heart sing.
And to think that I almost backed out and moment of dread win.
This is why I want to challenge you to push through your own dread next time you have the opportunity so that you can experience the high. Because I promise, the chances are there will be a high.
You just need to get through the “dreaded low”.