Thursday, February 23, 2017

Podcasting With Anxiety

Podcasting With Anxiety | Anakin And His Angel

Near the end of 2015, I was asked a question I never thought I would be asked before, "Would you be a guest on our podcast?". I was suddenly filled with excitement but anxiety followed closely behind and my mind took me to an interesting place with many questions, some of which included: "What questions will they ask?", "How long will it be?", "What if I don't know what to say?", "What if people think I'm boring?", "What if I don't sound as intellectual as everyone else?". I really didn't know what to expect other than I'd be talking Star Wars with some new friends. And that was part of the issue...

If you're unfamiliar with anxiety, you should know that it is different for everyone. There are numerous triggers and symptoms that individuals experience and even when you do your very best to fight it using various natural methods or even medication, it can sometimes be very crippling. One of my triggers is the fear of the unknown. When I was asked to be a guest on the podcast it did sound fun to me, but I was extremely nervous and debated several times about whether I should back out or not (FYI, I did follow through with it!). To be completely honest, there was one time I backed out on the day of the recording because I felt I wasn't given the right materials to be prepared for what was to be discussed on the episode. That, combined with everything else that went on inside my head, influenced me to make that decision. I look back now and I still feel terrible about it because I know I let them down, but I also believe it was the right choice for me because I knew I couldn't do it considering the physical and mental state I was in.

However, that didn't stop me from saying "Yes!" when I was asked to make more guest appearances on other podcasts after that. I knew that I needed to go about it a different way and let the people I was working with know about my anxiety and that in order for me to succeed, I needed some idea of what the episode would look like to prepare myself for the recording. Though I think even if I didn't have anxiety, I would still appreciate a rundown of the episode considering what an organizational freak I am. Anyhow, talking about my anxiety has always been difficult but I also know that I can't expect anyone to try to understand me unless I inform them of how I feel and what is going on inside my head. If I had not discussed it with these other podcasters, then I would have set myself up for failure once again with no chance at all at feeling more at ease.

Fast-forward to a year and a half later and I'm now a Co-Host on the Star Wars podcast Force Cult. WHAT!? Although this week will only be my third time as a Co-Host, it's been an exciting new adventure! I have looked forward to each week as we are a podcast with a new show every Sunday on the MakingStarWars.net Podcast Network. Yes, each week I have experienced a little anxiety because this is still new for me. I worry I won't be good enough, that I'm not fully prepared, that I'll say something stupid, or draw a blank. But I have really been enjoying it and it also helps that I am working with three individuals who love Star Wars just as much as I do and are very kind and supportive. Though one or two of them might just be finding out about my anxiety by reading this post, I already know that they accept me 100% for who I am.

So, why am I sharing with you my journey in experiencing the podcasting world? Because sometimes when we think change can't happen, it can. I don't know what the future holds for me in this area of my life (as Master Yoda says, "Always in motion is the future.") but what I can say is that I'm proud of the choices that I have made that have led me here and even if things don't work out for me in the future, I CAN say that I did it and that by broadening my horizons, I felt accomplished and thrilled over the fact that I allowed myself a new experience.

If you're a newer reader here, please be sure to check out my first post where I opened up about anxiety, The Force Awakens & Anxiety.

On a different note, if you previously refrained from listening to Force Cult due to the vulgarity, you might be interested in knowing that the podcast now has a different vibe. Give it a chance! We are currently going through each of the films and coming together to discuss our thoughts starting with the Prequel films.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED ME, SUPPORTED ME, AND BELIEVED IN ME! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

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