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  • Writer's pictureEmil Tiedemann

50x50 Challenge #48: Conquer a fear

One of the true signs of growth, in my opinion, is facing one of your fears. "If you don't overcome your fears, you will never move from where you are," according to the blog Gloveworx. "You will never develop a growth mindset and become a person of action, change, and success. Instead, you will remain stuck in the same situation."

For me, that fear was speaking in front of a large crowd of people, which happens to be one of the most common fears in the world. In fact, the fear of speaking in public even has its own name: Glossophobia.

I know that doing live television isn't exactly the same thing as speaking in public, in that you don't actually get to see the audience, it's still terrifying. It's not only that it's live and that you're reaching thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people, but it's also that you're just out there so exposed, and that footage is there for good! A.k.a. TERRIFYING!

It most likely all comes down to confidence, or lack thereof. Mediocre self-esteem mixed with a dash of imposter syndrome and then sprinkled with anxiety and self-doubt, is NOT built for live television. Or television, period.

But that's the whole reason why this was important, because I wanted to face those fears, to tell myself that none of that stuff should ever be enough to hold me back from anything I want, and from embracing opportunities that come my way. I needed to show myself that I could push past the fear and that I had the ability to grow.

For the record, I have been interviewed previously for newspapers and the radio, and I've done a few podcasts over the years, but none of those are quite like appearing on live television, let's be real. I had even been asked to appear on the local TV news for the first time back in 2016 (to talk about a blog post of mine) and actually said yes, before cowardly backing out.

During October 27-28, 2020, I finally bit the bullet and agreed to my first live TV interviews, when CTV, CityTV, and CBC (can't find link) all asked to speak to me about a petition I had created in order to have a downtown arena in Edmonton named after Joey Moss, a hometown hero who had passed away the day prior.

Although these were back-to-back-to-back live TV interviews (in addition to some radio and print coverage), and I could say I finally faced one of my fears (yes, there are plenty of others!), the pandemic offered a kind of security blanket for me at the same time. That's because I was at least able to do these terrifying interviews via Zoom from the comfort of my own home.

Now that I was practically a pro, I less reluctantly said "yes" the next time I was asked to appear on the local news during a live segment. It happened again on January 8, 2022, when Global News' Lisa MacGregor interviewed me about my latest book project, The Ultimate Edmonton Trivia Book. And although it was slightly easier this time around, it was still not easy.

Lisa MacGregor and I talking about my new book on Global News (Jan. 2022)

When it came time to promote my NEXT book project, The Ultimate Alberta Bucket List, I upped the ante. Not only did I reach out to Lisa this time, but I scheduled a live, IN-STUDIO TV interview! Yikes!! The segment aired live on an early Saturday morning on December 31, 2022...the perfect way to cap off a wonderful year.

Although I'm not sure the fear of doing live television will likely never fully go away, it has gotten easier for me. Not that I plan on doing a lot of live TV, or any kind of TV for that matter, but if the opportunity arises, it's nice to know that I can now push past the irrational voices inside my head insisting I run for the hills, and say, "Absolutely!"


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