Overcoming the Overwhelming

Overcoming the Overwhelming

I’ve been super busy over the last few weeks, trying to get everything together for my first ever panel discussion at something that isn’t gaming related — Podcast Movement 2017.

Yep. I’m heading to Anaheim, a place I know all too well thanks to Blizzcon, but I’ll be doing something very different. I won’t be talking about video games with my friends. I’ll be talking about podcasting to a completely new audience for me. And if you’re in the area, I invite you to come on down and support me! And if it helps, I believe you can still use the code PAT50 to save $50 off the ticket price.

While I’m really excited to be going, there’s that little voice in the back of my head that’s giving me anxiety and letting in all the bad stuff that’s makes me lose my focus. Have you ever felt that way?

Today, I finally put my finger on it. This happens to me whenever I face something in life with EMOTIONAL RISK for the first time. There’s a chance this could be humiliating… after all, I’m not the most knowledgeable guy out there of all things podcasting. Sure, I know a lot about podcasting. But I could stumble over giving someone the right advice for them, or make a fool out of myself by… not looking the right way, not connecting with people, reverting to my introverted ways.

There are lots of ways to fail, and this time I’ll be in front of actual people while I’m on stage!

I want to CRUSH IT in California, but I’ve got to find a way to transform doubt into confidence. I need to take all of that negativity and – through some sort of alchemy – change it into a positive force to help keep me going all weekend long.

This thought brought me back to all of those “firsts” in my life. How did I overcome feelings of inadequacy and trepidation before? How can I do it again? How can I prepare myself for SUCCESS instead of trying to mitigate failure?

So I went online for help. Because that’s where geeks like me can find answers!

I found that there are two ways to look at overcoming fear. Both might help me. And if you’re ever feeling anxiety over starting something new (like a podcast), hopefully these will help you too.

The “Reflective” Method:

  1. Indulge in self-reflection and positive self-talk. In other words, be honest with yourself as you identify the root of your fear, then come up with an empowering statement to overcome it. I think of Al Franken’s character, Stuart Smalley, with his daily affirmation. “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and gosh darn it… people like me!”
  2. Weigh your options. Make a pros and cons list of why you should pursue your passions despite your fear, and what might happen if you choose to maintain the status quo.
  3. Act. I’m reminded of Yoda in this moment. “Do or do not. There is no try.”

The “Competitive Spirit” Method:

  1. Focus on your mission. What have you set out to do? Why are you willing to put yourself in (emotional) danger? What is your goal? Determining the reward may be enough to help you overcome the risk.
  2. Focus on your team. Who can you trust to help you achieve your goals? Who can you turn to for love, inspiration, and advice? That support may be enough to buoy your spirit as you engage.
  3. Focus on winning. See the success you want in your imagination. As Chevy Chase put it in Caddyshack, “Be the ball.” Imagine what winning looks and feels like. Envision every face you’ll see, every obstacle you’ll face, and the moves you’ll need to make in order to stand victorious at the end.



I haven’t determined which of these methods I’ll use. Maybe both! But I feel so much better just writing about them now. I can feel the tide changing. My doubts are starting to fuel my excitement.

To quote another famous literary character, The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”