It’s my first podcast of the day.
I’m in the zone. Asking what I think are great questions and having the guest open themselves like a book. Then it happens.
I try not to notice, but I can’t help but see it. And the more I fixate on it, the worse it gets.
What is it? My neck.
Whenever I’m talking in front of people, in a heated discussion, or doing a podcast, my neck (and face) gets red.
I believe it’s from anxiety (the fight or flight response). Unfortunately, I don’t do anything to cause it or have much control over ending it.
It just happens. And it sucks.
Thankfully, most people (at least on the podcast) don’t notice it and get a laugh out of it after when I tell them. But, in person, it’s hard to hide.
My coworker knows when it happens and tries to alleviate it for me by redirecting the conversation. I appreciate her dearly for that.
But over the years, it’s gotten only slightly better. I used to get it worse, but sadly, I still get it.
So, how am I trying to overcome it?
By leaning into it.
I am doing more podcasts where I will inevitably feel the anxiety and attempt to breathe through it.
I say yes to every chance I get to speak in front of others (i.e., giving the eulogy for my grandma at her funeral).
I accept it, realize I have no control over it, and move on.
This is very different from how I used to deal with it. My old way of addressing it was avoidance.
I would strive never to speak in public and would typically shy away from conversations with people.
It limited my life. I was unable to live fully and freely. Not anymore.
Maybe your neck doesn’t get red as a tomato when you’re nervous.
But I’m willing to bet something in your life is holding you back. Some fear or doubt you have that clouds your actions.
What are you doing to get through it? Trust me; avoidance is not a good strategy.
Instead, lean into the pain. Enjoy it. And eventually, you will be able to live with whatever your red neck is.
At least that’s what I’m trying to do.
🧠 + ❤️ // JO