Vulnerability Hangover is a great term I learned from Katherine Torrini today after our interview for the Fear-Less Writing Telesummit. “Are you feeling it?” she asked. I was. It’s that spent feeling, that mental fog that rolls in and you feel lost and sleepy. Or at least for. Some of you might be a lot stronger.
Vulnerability is a challenge for me. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m also a rock–I’m who people rely on. I’m who people confide it. I’m the strong one who keeps it together and keeps other people together. To be vulnerable is to be weak. Weak spots are where people can get to you and hurt you. Weak spots are where armies break into the fortress. Vulnerable areas are where you kill something with a shell. Can’t count on a rock who has cracked.
It’s a fear of being judged. I know how some people talk about things I’ve gone through or things I feel. They are not receptive so why would I share with them? You don’t. And when you release something into the world you can’t control people’s reactions. To paraphrase, you don’t know what journey they’re on or where they are on it.
I’ve recently realized it’s also a fear of love and acceptance. I haven’t told my best friend some things because I know she wouldn’t judge me. She would only love and hug me. And for some reason that scares me. As I said, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Still being okay with not being perfect.
Katherine is a Jedi at repurposing Inner Critics, those delightful voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough and compare you to others. I’ve worked with her before so she asking if I could be the demo during the interview–we bring out one of my Inner Critics and talk to them, see what’s going on. It’s a really powerful process. It helped me tremendously when I did it before with her. This process is going to help so many others so of course I”m going to be the demo. I knew it was going to be scary, but the whole summit is about facing fears.
So I struggle to be in the moment because as I’m talking about one Inner Critic another one circles around to remind me this is going out to thousands of people. They’re going to see your inner thoughts, how naive you are. You’re going to lose their trust. But I breathed through it so I could hear and feel my intuition to answer her questions.
The Vulnerability Hangover is swift. Soon as we ended the recording, it hit me like a Mack Truck. She’s asking me questions and my brain is like, “I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.” Words are failing me. What’s a sentence? I think she felt it because she said I could follow-up through email.
I had another interview in an hour so I had to “sober up” pretty quick. Did a lot of breathing. Free wrote. I thanked the audience for their patience and understanding and had some Wasabi almonds.
The risk was worth it. The Inner Critic is on my side and very happy. Some times when rocks crack they reveal the gems that are inside.
Have you ever had a Vulnerability Hangover? Tell me about it in the comments.
Would the real Cora please stand up? I am sensitive to energies. If someone is calm and slow talking, I feel myself slow and calm as well. If someone is psyched and really pumped up, I can complement them. What I noticed while conducting the interviews for my Fear-Less Writing Telesummit was that my energy changed interview to interview.
When I interviewed a world-renowned psychiatrist, we were very serious. What he was talking about was incredible and fascinating and I definitely felt formal. When I talked to a stand up comedienne who is a regular on Prairie Home Companion, we sounded like excited little girls: “Can you believe we’re doing this? Can you believe they let us have phones?” We had such a great time. When I talked with the screenwriter and teacher who helped me understand screenplay structure, I sounded like Tinker Bell.
Everything is energy. As sensitive to energy as I am, I also control my energy. When I change my energy, people respond differently to me. Those were some of my earlier interviews. I realized I had a majority of them to come so I could improve my techniques and energy now. The next interview I decided it was going to be the best interview ever. I prepared myself. I knew I’d be nervous so I centered myself with breathing. I rewrote my opening script and practiced it (what a concept!). Then I was on.
I was focused on that interview–what the expert was saying and how it made me feel. They are hour-long interviews that are being recorded to share. Anytime I felt my energy dip, I would snap back awake. Either I’d think of a song that really gets me going or silently move in my seat.
Everytime I reminded myself I was in control of my energy and controlled, the expert said they had a great time. I’m incredibly grateful and thankful for those kind words. It really feels like success.
Have you ever changed your energy and changed a situation? Leave a comment below.
My first interview of my telesummit , “Fear-Less Writing”, was like off roading. I like off roading. I just like to know I’m going off roading so I can be in the correct vehicle. That day I was pretty sure I was in my Cobalt baja-ing across a wet corn field but trying to make it work.
I started with my favorite expert. I wasn’t planning on starting with her, but that’s how things worked out. She was one of the first I contacted. She was one of the first to respond, “Yes, sounds great.” Every time I listen to her I get unstuck and I wanted that experience for others. After her calls, I’m revved up and turned loose and it feels great. I’m afraid listeners won’t get that from my interview with her.
I got nervous. Even though I practiced my intro and my questions, I still got nervous. I interview people all the time for articles, but I’m not recording them. I kept thinking of the end product– this is something going out to other people to improve their lives. You don’t get to rewrite this. It might as well have been live. Also while I interview people on topics I’m interested in, they’re not my favorites. It’s so surreal to hear that woman’s voice on the other end of the phone and it wasn’t one of her calls you dial in to hear. She was on my show, waiting and wanting to help me. I was having conversation with her. Or I was supposed to.
When I relaxed and focused on the conversation, it dramatically improved. I got panicky because we were half way through our time and i had gone through all the questions. Well, I had her–what else did I want to know? What had I always wanted to ask her?
SHe was very gracious and I think people will enjoy the interview.
Here’s what you can take away from my first telesummit experience:
Even though you’ve practiced, practice one more time. Speak slower than you think you’ll need to. Nerves and adrenaline will speed you up.
Over prepare. Seven questions usually gets you an hour interview because you’ll have follow-up questions to help flesh out their answers. I recommend having at least nine questions, if not ten. You may not get to all of them, but it’s better.
Relax and enjoy. Listen to what they’re saying and what comes up for you. You’re privileged enough to have a person you admire on the phone. If you were having a conversation over lunch, what would you ask them? Get your questions answered. Someone else is probably thinking the same.
Have you ever interviewed someone you admire? How did it go and what did you do? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been proud of myself with my telesummit, “Fear-Less Writing: Empower Your Creative Genius and Unleash It on the World”. I’ve contacted my influences and people I think are great beyond compare. I’ve interviewed several of them already.
I landed my 21st expert today. He’s huge and I’m so excited to interview him. He is the guy to talk to about rewriting, one of my biggest challenges.
A couple of weeks ago I asked my group can I blog about the process? They thought it’d be great. So I wrote notes of blogs and even drafted some. Didn’t post one.
I had all these excuses. I didn’t know which one to lead with. I got too busy and forgot about it. I’ve had this under- the- surface tension, this discomfort I couldn’t put my finger on. I was doing several things, working on the telesummit, going down my list, but I wanted to blog to raise awareness about the telesummit. I hadn’t. I was resisting it.
So here’s what I did:
I wrote a permission slip to myself to be messy and to screw up. I wrote it out more as a contract, “By signing this you understand things will not be perfect, organized, or final.” It felt silly, but it relaxed me.
I free wrote and vented how I was feeling to get it out in the open. Free writing can be like a primal scream for me. Just get everything out, release all that tension and energy. Out, everything out. I’m also able to look at what I’m saying because sometimes it can make perfect sense and seem very logical and real when I say it out load. On paper I’m able to see I’m resisting something because of my fear of being enough or perfect.
Do it. If I put it off more, I won’t do it. I’ll feel it’s too late, why bother? Because it matters. This whole month is going to be challenging. A whole lotta up leveling going on. It’s scary because it’s unknown and we don’t know what’s going to happen with it. So I make a list and go down it. If I need to email someone, I email them. If I need to check time changes and availabilities, I do.
Fear and resistance are trying to keep you safe. Let them know it’s okay and do what you need to do.
What’s something you’ve been resisting and how have you overcome it? Leave a comment below.