This summer I added something else surprising on my, “I’ll never do this list.” Never say never!

On top of being a private investigator, I also agreed to open myself up to verbal attack from comedians Penn & Teller. Have you watched their show? They are brutal to their guests.

And as someone who is still getting over being teased as kid, I was not looking forward to reliving that experience.

Yet, fear does something crazy to me. It eggs me on. And somewhere between scared out of my mind and fearless, I end up doing something scary just to see if I can. (Believe me when I saw that I’m not an adrenaline junkie or someone who lives on the edge.)

But every time I take that chance, the gift I get is greater than the fear I experienced.

And that’s the reason why I decided to join a friend on Penn & Teller about Affirmations.

The Unrealness of Reality TV

One thing I learned from the process is that reality TV is not very real at all.

I hate to spoil it for you. But lot of what you’ll see (if you check out the video below) was staged. While the teacher, Jaqui Duvall, is a real teacher who teaches Affirmations, she is also a life coach and a friend. She asked me to be a “student” in a staged class and I happily obliged. Besides giving me a behind the scenes look to what it takes to transform ordinary life into Hollywood, it taught me a great lesson on facing my fears.

Facing My Fear

Everyone came to the taping this summer for very different reasons. I came because I wanted to face my fears. And though I may never be an actress or television show, it taught me a great lesson: No matter how scared out of my mind I felt, or how awkward or nervous I was, I still survived.

  • Just like I did in my high school play.
  • Or when I gave my first presentation as a executive for United Way.
  • Or when I decided to take that job as a private investigator.
  • Or worked as a junior high school counselor.

Every one of those opportunities made my heart pound, my throat dry and my stomach ache. Maybe it’s not so good for the body long-term, but in the short-term facing our fears does something magical. It stretches our comfort zone, gives us fuel for the next big fire and it reminds us about how much more we can do than we think we can.

In the end, I do it not just because it may be good for my career, but because it’s worth it for my growth as a soul.

As children, we’re always taking risks. We go from rolling around to crawling and then crawling to walking. It’s a pretty scary feat for a little kid. Yet, to grow, we need to take risks otherwise we’d spend our whole lives rolling around on the ground instead of walking.

It’s the same for us as adults. We’ve lost our vulnerabilities, our physical and mental limitations that we had as children, but as adults we are more afraid about life than ever.

Maybe this is one situation where we need to relearn what we’ve forgotten as kids.

The next time you have the opportunity, remember how fearless you were as a child, and use that to tackle something that’s scaring you. If you can do that, you’ll be more courageous when another scary magical thing comes along.

In the meantime, you can check out my Penn & Teller 5 minutes of fame video below. {I’m about 9 minutes and 37 seconds in.}

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