Podcast

Episode 71 – Heather Land, Comedian and Viral Sensation

Most people know Heather Land from her viral and hilarious “I Ain’t Doin’ It” videos. But what may surprise you is Heather’s journey and her decision to be bold in the midst of a crazy upheaval in her life.

Today, Heather and Jessica get deep into what it’s like becoming famous, life after home school, and the aftermath of addiction.

TRANSCRIPT

Jessica: Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Going Scared podcast. This is your host Jessica Honegger, founder of the socially impact fashion brand Noonday Collection. Are you ready for honest and vulnerable conversations that will inspire you towards action? Join me here every week for conversations on living lives of purpose by leaving comfort and going scared.

Today, I am sitting down with our guest, Heather Land. I discovered Heather’s hilarious video series titled I Ain’t Doin It on Instagram this summer. And I immediately sat down, with my kids, and binged on all of them. They’re also on YouTube, Facebook … In the video series, she pokes fun at everything from group texting to making fun of the people that take too long to order in front of us in the drive thrus. And then she wraps up each series saying something like “I would rather bathe in tobacco spit than be added to another group text,” in her amazing Southern accent.

You guys, can we just make laughter a part of our daily habits? I mean, self-care, we talk a lot about silence and meditation, which by the way I’ve got a podcast coming out on that, and it’s something I’m radically committed to—my time alone and solitude in silence with God is saving my life right now. But you know what else? Laughter. We’ve got to laugh, and sometimes I’m just poking around trying to find something to make me laugh—well, listen. She will do the job for you. But, as you’re also going to learn today, she’s not afraid to talk about the harder things in life like addiction and divorce. I’m excited for you guys to dive on into this conversation.

And by the way, if you enjoy this conversation at all, would you go leave a review on iTunes? If you just go and leave a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, just tell me a little bit about what Going Scared has meant to you. More people will find it, more people will hear about it, and more people will get to participate in conversations like this one. So, were you that kid that always had to sit right by the teacher’s desk for the entire year?

Heather Land: Southern Girl Gone Funny

Heather: Everybody asks me that, if I was a class clown, and the answer is no. Now, I did not make like uber excellent grades because I didn’t really care, but I was very social. I had a lot of friends, but I was really sweet, and I loved to please people. And so, I never tried to rock the boat too much. I tried to be respectful of my teachers and so yeah, I think I was too conscientious to get myself into too much hot water. So yeah, it was a little bit opposite. I was more, a little more introverted growing up.

Jessica: OK. OK. OK. And I know, and we’re gonna talk about this, but your whole series, I Ain’t Doing It, became a phenomenon and now you’ve written a book and my kids and I just binged on I Ain’t Doing It. One day we just went to your Instagram account and just watched every single one. And I’m like texting all my friends and they are just so good and, Oh, my gosh, if we all just took time everyday to laugh, I mean, that’s the gift of what you have to give. Laughter should be right up there with brushing your teeth, you know? And, I mean, I can get through some days without having laughed. So just, I’m an Instagram girl. I know that you started on Snapchat, right? And then have Facebook too, but I found you via Instagram. So, wherever you are, go follow Heather Land right now. And it’s so good. It’s so funny. But so, you grew up as more of a rule follower. Do you think some of that, did you kind of grow up, obviously you grew up in this South. What was sort of your idea of what a woman should be?

Heather: Yeah. So, I don’t necessarily think it’s just the South that bred this into me. I think it was also family dynamic and religious dynamic and a lot of things. But women were definitely played the lesser role. I grew up playing with dolls and I just … all I ever wanted to do was grow up and marry a preacher, which I did. And I’m divorced. And so that didn’t go well. But I think we grow up with this ideal of what womanhood is supposed to look like, and I think it has become more, or at least when I was growing up, it was more of a modern-day version of the old days, right? All the commercials and movies that depicted women with their aprons on and in the kitchen and barefoot and pregnant. And I think that was sort of … yeah, that was a little bit of my ideal. I have since quite evolved, and you don’t have enough time in this podcast to hear all my comments about it, but that was definitely on my radar. Just want to grow up, be a wife learn how to cook and take care of babies. And that’s the way every woman around me was. Yeah. That’s all I knew.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s just the South that bred this into me. I think it was also family dynamic and religious dynamic and a lot of things. But women were definitely played the lesser role.” Heather Land

Jessica: Yeah. See, I didn’t grow up wanting that, but all the women around me, that’s what they were. And so, when I began to want other things, I didn’t know how to do that. And so, I don’t really think I found my career, my calling, my purpose until my late 30s, which is when I started Noonday Collection. And I know you are relatively new and stepping into being this performing comedian. Has there been any looking back and thinking, “Gosh, if I …” I know Sheryl Sandberg, I think it’s Sheryl Sandberg has this quote where she says, “We can’t become what we don’t see.” Do you think if you had had someone to see, would you have become differently?

Heather: Please don’t let me forget what you just asked me because I wanna say this first. Speaking of your Noonday Collection, I just wanna thank you for all the beautiful jewelry that you sent me, and I wanted to let you know that ordered the … I think it’s the terrazzo, the earring set, just this morning, and I’m just obsessed, and I just wanna thank you and tell you how much I love it and appreciate it. But to answer your question, I’m on track here. Of course, if I think I had a different example, would I chosen a different path along the way? Of course. Absolutely. I think that’s probably true for all of us. And let me just kind of back up and say that I wasn’t raised on some commune, like it wasn’t like uber weird growing up, women did have jobs. It wasn’t like … not everybody ironed their husbands underwear.

Embracing Hard Times as Learning Times

It wasn’t quite like that. But yes, I do think that there was a bend toward you grow up, you let a man take care of you, you’re the weaker of the two sexes. And of course, if I had a different dynamic that would have, yeah, my viewpoint would not be as such or would not have been as such. And I also think, you know, if I could be really candid here I grew up with addiction in my home, and I think that really threw my whole dynamic off of just people and relationships and even who I was. I was raised to be an enabler and to be codependent and I had to really work out of a lot of that. But the truth is I’m so grateful for it at this point in my life because were it not for that, there’s no way I’d be funny. I’ve had to use comedy so that I don’t end up in a fetal position. So, I’m really grateful for kind of the way I was brought up because I think it’s played into who I am now. Yeah.

Jessica: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I don’t normally look back and with regret, I’m just, I’m a Seven on Enneagram. It’s like, all forward moving, forward thinking. But I have wondered like, OK, if I had had like a CEO of a business or someone or even that business was this option for impact, I wonder if I could have found this earlier. Because, I think if I have any regrets, which I don’t, I’m not somebody who lives with regrets. This is a weird thing, this whole new side I’m showing on this podcast. But I have wondered like, could I have found this a little bit earlier in my life.

Heather: But the thing is about that, if you would have found it earlier, you might not … your viewpoint would be different. The way you manage would be different, the way you love people would be different. So, I dare say you may have started earlier, but you may not be internally where you are now.

Jessica: That’s so true.

Heather: You know? So, I think you have to just like really embrace that time as learning time and not as wasted space, because you’re where you are because of what you’ve been through. So, yeah. You’re right. No regrets, you know.

“I think you have to just like really embrace [hard] time as learning time and not as wasted space, because you’re where you are because of what you’ve been through.” Heather Land

Jessica: How do you think that has influenced your, just your material that you’re able to share now?

Heather: Yeah. Well, if you wanna know that the truth, this podcast and that comment that I just made is really the first time I’ve ever publicly said that I was raised in addiction. I talk about it in my second book. I just turned in the manuscript last week. And so I talk about it there, but I told you I was a people-pleaser growing up, and I really have just now, maybe in the past decade and it’s been a slow decade where this is concerned, but I’ve just now started really living my life for me and my family, my kids and trying to be more concerned with my own heart and my own life because that’s all I can really control, you know? So, I think I’ve finally gotten to a point where … I’ve never wanted to shame anyone. I still don’t, it’s not in my heart to do. But this is a part of my story, and it’s a huge part of my story and not a lot of people know it. So, my hope is really that in the coming months or years, whether it’s through my writing or my comedy, that I can really laugh about it.

Not that … addiction is no laughing matter for sure, but I’ve got some stories that are hilarious, and I’ve got some things that have come out of it that are funny. And I also hope that it can be just an encouragement to anybody else who’s grown up in it or is dealing with it currently, that, you know what, it is not pretty. And it is formidable. I mean, it makes us who we are. But that’s also a beautiful thing, you know? And so, I’m just hoping to really shed light on maybe the good parts of living that life. Yeah. So, you’re my guinea pig here. I didn’t know I was gonna say that, but here we are. Keep it in. Don’t edit it out.

Vulnerability Is Relatability

Jessica: Let’s actually talk about that, because your first book really comes from I Ain’t Doing It, and just, you’re hilarium and just making fun of life and sort of these everyday things that we can relate to. So, what’s been the process of this second book, and especially while you’re in the middle of launching a book and being out on tour and now you’re kind of opening up some closets? What’s that been like to perform and then go home and deal with some rough stuff that takes a lot of courage to deal with?

Heather: Right. You know, and that’s such a … gosh, it’s such an onion to peel that question, but it’s a lot. Yeah. I mean, just, I think that’s probably what’s pushing me to not live in the dark with it anymore because I’m just going, “I can’t manage all this. Who can live under this pressure?” You know, I have to just … yeah, I’m writing a book. I’ve got kids to raise. I’m trying to write a standup set. I can’t be concerned.

Jessica: Giving energy to my past.

Heather: Yeah. Right. Well, it’s just not even to my past, it’s to my present, but it’s not mine to weed through anymore. I have my own … I have little people that are counting on me. So, I’m having to refocus. But a writing book two, I mean, I had to have help on this one. My goodness. I just, my brain was so spent. I’ve got a very close friend that’s been helping me with the process. But even book number two … it still follows that same vein of I Ain’t Doing It, the chapters read kind of as standalone essays with some inspiration. Book two is similar, obviously still silly and funny. But I just felt like my readers needed one more really just comedic book on their shelf. They needed a volume two of that. So yeah, it’s still similar in nature. But like I said, I think that moving forward, yeah, I think … here’s the truth. I say this all the time on tour, but people really … when you start talking about your life, they don’t really care about your rainbows and unicorns, right? They don’t wanna hear how everything’s awesome. They wanna hear how they can relate to you. And so, I feel like I can’t take this platform in vain. I have to do something good with it. And so, I feel like for the reader who is really wanting to know more, yeah. I think moving forward, I’m gonna give it to them. So yeah, I appreciate the encouragement. I think if it doesn’t go well, we’ll revisit this convo, but I think that’s the way to go.
“When you start talking about your life, they don’t really care about your rainbows and unicorns, right? They don’t wanna hear how everything’s awesome. They wanna hear how they can relate to you. And so, I feel like I can’t take this platform in vain. I have to do something good with it.” Heather Land

Jessica: It will though. That is the guarantee. Here’s the thing. There is a formula for wholeness, and it’s vulnerability when met with empathy equals wholeness. And so, I think as artists, when we are vulnerable, our people meet that with empathy because they’re like, “Oh my gosh. Me too.” You know?

“There is a formula for wholeness, and it’s vulnerability when met with empathy equals wholeness. And so, I think as artists, when we are vulnerable, our people meet that with empathy.” Jessica Honegger

Heather: And oh my gosh. She’s real, she’s a human. They wanna see that.

Jessica: Yes. And then we all get to experience healing in that moment. And then you’ve been courageous and being able to share your story, and that brings someone out because it requires energy to hold back our stories. And, I understand you’re probably not holding it back with those intimate with you in your life, but as a public person there is a whole other level of then expressing vulnerability on a public level that I think can be just as healing as expressing it in that intimate level as long, as you’re expressing it on the intimate level too. I think it’s challenging if a public person is being vulnerable on stage, but then doesn’t have any real-life people. You seem like a real-life people kind of person.

Heather: Absolutely. I can’t really live any other way. That’s why kind of keep it in the shadows. It’s really hard for me, once again, not to be shameful, but like you said, telling your story, it’s not shameful. That’s not the intent, right? And it’s all about the heart. So yeah. Yes, to everything you just said. It’s a huge encouragement to me, which I didn’t jump on here to necessarily take that away, but I’m very grateful to. But you’re right. I wanna stand on the stage and be able to … I’m a storyteller. That’s what my show is. It’s me making real situations, hilarious, laughing at myself, at people I’ve dated, at shameful situations. My goal is not to laugh at anybody else’s shameful situation, but I do wanna take the hard things of life and let people know, “Hey, it’s OK. You’re not gonna die in this hole, you know? Let’s make it light. Let’s walk through it together. Let’s get through it.” Yeah. That’s the goal. So yes. Speaking out of real-life experience. It’s what it’s about.

Storytelling, Stand-up, and “I Ain’t Doin It”

Jessica: It is. It is. OK. So, I wanna know what prompted you to post your first video? Like, was it like you dropped your kids off at school, you pulled over to the side, and you whipped it out, or was it like you had a little bit in your mind that you’d been contemplating for a couple months and you finally just did it? Tell me the story behind I Ain’t Doing It.

Heather: It’s so dumb. So, I have a few equally ridiculous friends. Quite a few actually, but a few in particular that, you know, we would send … So, my kids Snapchat, right? And I’m like, let’s just see what this Snapchat is all about.

Jessica: How old are your kids again?

Heather: My son’s 16, my daughter’s 12.

Jessica: OK. OK. Yep.

Heather: Seventh grade and 11th grade. So, I got on Snapchat and just found the ugliest, dumbest filter I could find, and was just making these stupid videos, sending them to friends, just a couple of good friends, like on a group text, which I hate group texts, but whatever. So, they were just like, “You’re a moron, but these are hilarious. Please post them on social media.” At the time I was single, so I was like, “Heck no. I’m single. I don’t wanna be that way forever. This is not the way you want to throw yourself out there with the filter face.” But finally on a dare, I just put one up, and yeah, people started watching it and saying, “Oh, we love your, “I ain’t doing it” video.” And Jessica, I did not even know that I said, “I ain’t doing it.” It was the most unintentional thing I’ve ever done. But they said, “Hey, can you make more “I ain’t doing it” videos?” And so that’s where the shtick came from. But it was never something that I set out to do, but I think it resonates because we all get annoyed and frustrated and we all have those friends that we either send the videos to or we make the comments to. Mine just happened to be on social media, and I think they’ve become a voice for people who wanna say the same thing but maybe don’t feel like they have the guts, right? So, yeah, it just caught on, and here we are on your podcast.

“But it was never something that I set out to do, but I think it resonates because we all get annoyed and frustrated and we all have those friends that we either send the videos to or we make the comments to. Mine just happened to be on social media, and I think they’ve become a voice for people who wanna say the same thing but maybe don’t feel like they have the guts.” Heather Land

Jessica: So, were you doing standup before this or is this what’s launched your career and to stand-up?

Heather: Oh, no, no. This is what sent me in that direction. So, I was a worship leader for about 20 years. So, standing up in front of people was never a strain for me. I mean, I have definitely had my nervous moments, but I’m a people person. I absolutely love getting to know people. So that was a good introduction into comedy. But I was doing refinancing. I had gone through the divorce. I had a really good friend who gave me a job to help me get stable, and I was just sitting at my desk refinancing when this thing went crazy and people were just coming out of the woodwork emailing, messaging, wanting me to come and do comedy. And I’m just, I was telling a friend of mine, “I don’t do comedy.” And she’s like, ”Well then, you can just keep working at your desk job, which is not what you ultimately want to be doing.” Even though it was a wonderful place. But yeah, so I just had to make that choice. Do I wanna give it a go and do stand-up and, you know, my friend encouraged me like, “Hey, all you’re doing is what you’re doing now. You’re just being yourself. You’re just doing it with a microphone in your hand.” I was like, “OK.”

Jessica: And what year was this?

Heather: This was well, September, 2017 was when the fan page went up, and then my first comedy set was in October at a church of a friend of mine, and I cried my eyes out when it was over.

Jessica: Oh my gosh. Yeah. You’re going from sitting there having just finished a divorce, refinancing, probably in the middle of just recovering from a very hard process. And now you are writing comedic writing and then performing it for the first time. What was your process to go from like, doing a little Snapchat video to then actually having to do a show and keep people laughing?

Heather: Well, when you were just saying it, I literally had knots in my stomach, thinking, “Yeah. I don’t remember that.” It was horrible.

Jessica: That sounds awful. That sounds horrible.

Heather: That sounds terrible. Who would have to do that? Yeah, I had a really good friend who just sat down with me, and she was like, “OK. You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna comb over these videos. And you wrote them.” She said, ”You wrote them. So, let’s pull out funny bits and write more about these ridiculous subjects.” And so that’s what we did. And I went from barely being able to speak for 10 minutes to a two-hour comedy set to where I’m having to say, ”Hey, can you ask this venue if we can go just a little bit longer?” It’s just been quite the unfolding, and even as I’m saying it just yeah, still don’t really know how, but it’s just been very divine, I think, and the path that I was supposed to take. And the great thing about it is I kinda had nothing to do with it. I was just forced into it and had to make a choice. And I kind of prefer it that way. I know that it wasn’t self-made really. People think it was, but it wasn’t. There are much higher powers out there who had something in mind for me. And I’m grateful.

“I kinda had nothing to do with it. I was just forced into it and had to make a choice. And I kind of prefer it that way. I know that it wasn’t self-made really. People think it was, but it wasn’t. There are much higher powers out there who had something in mind for me. And I’m grateful.” Heather Land on getting into stand-up comedy.

Jessica: OK. So, let’s talk about some I Ain’t Doing It. So, this week, we have about 60 employees at our Noonday Collection office, about 95% women, and then I would say about, I don’t know, 20% to 30% of those, maybe 30%, more are working moms. So, it is back to school. OK. We’ve gotten, all the kids are at different schools starting different times, we are like having to punt meetings. We’re like, “No. I have to go to like the ice cream social. I’ve gotta go to this like meet the teacher, no, now I have to go to this pep rally and oh I have to go to the meet-the-moms thing.” And we’re all coming back into the office like, “OK, sorry I’m late. I just had to do this school thing,” and we’re all like hating it, that moment of when you walk … So my moment this week was like walking into the gym, and it’s the pep rally and I am so un-involved in my kids’ school. This time last year, I was launching a book, the time of year before that, writing a book. The time before that, we didn’t have half the employees we have now, so I was like in the weeds with the business, right. So, I have more margin this fall for school. And so, I even put on my calendar, I’m like doing a lot of school pickups this year. And I even showed up at the kids’ school this week and a teacher said, the school, the teacher said, ”You’re here.”

Heather: You’re alive. You do exist.

Back to School I Ain’t Doin Its

Jessica: You here. You came. I was like, “Are you like already trying to shame me? Like, come on.” But anyway. And so, we’re all lamenting about these things that we do as moms that we all kind of hate, but if we all hate them, but we still do them … So, let’s talk about some of your “I ain’t doing it.” What are some of those things that you just don’t do when it comes to back to school?

Heather: Oh gosh. Well, first of all, I really love your honesty about your lack of involvement. I think that that’s the key, is being able to say, “You know what? I’m not bringing cupcakes. Sign me up for napkins. That’s my limit this week.” I think that for me, I have to know my limits, and my limits are … they stop when I send you on the bus. That’s where I’m at this year. We went from homeschooling the past two years to now school, and I’m giving myself a lot of grace. I’m just like, “I gonna get you on the bus, I’m gonna get you home, I’m gonna feed you. I’m gonna put money in that lunch account if I remember. And that’s maybe the best I can do. I’m gonna check your grades online because I actually figured out how to do that.”

But as far as anything else goes at, just have to really know my boundaries and my limits because here’s the truth. My kids are fine. They don’t need that from me. It doesn’t make me less of a mom or better of a mom if I’m more involved or less involved. So the only reason, if I’m being honest, that I would really be uber involved is number one, if I loved it, which I don’t, and number two, so I could appear to have it all together in front of this school and the other moms. Also, don’t care about that. So, I’ve had to just really get honest and say, “It’s OK that I don’t like to be a room mom. It’s OK that I don’t wanna go on a field trip anymore. It’s OK.” I know what kind of mom I am, and I just think that our schools are full of moms who are trying to prove it, and we don’t have to do that. You got a couple of people to prove it to, and it’s the ones getting off the bus in the afternoons, right? I feel like if we’re doing the work at home, you know? My kids …  I just don’t think they’re gonna grow up scarred if I didn’t remember to send their lunch one day, whatever. I just … they’re gonna make it, right? So, I think we have to get in that space as moms.

Jessica: I’m curious … your journey … because if you went from homeschooling … what was the narrative of homeschooling? I would think it’s very different than the narrative you just said now, which is like, I don’t have anything to prove? What sort of helped you to get to that I don’t have anything to prove mentality?

Heather: I think I got there by trying to prove. I think I got to that point because I hit a limit where I was just trying to be all things to all people, and I couldn’t do it anymore. So, you know, also let me just tell you. Homeschool in my house … Oh, good grief. I can’t even really go into it because I’ve made it a comedy bit. OK? It’s a joke. I’m serious. I was the worst homeschool mom in the history of homeschool moms.

“I think I got there by trying to prove. I think I got to that point because I hit a limit where I was just trying to be all things to all people, and I couldn’t do it anymore.” Heather Land

Jessica: So, what does that look like? What does it look like to like to be the worst?

Heather: It looks like, what grade are you in even? Have you done work? Yeah. Have you been working three months?

Jessica: My kids? Oh, to your kids.

Heather: To my kids. I’m just like, “What’s going on? Do you work? Because I’m doing dishes and writing. So where are you at with your life?” That’s when you know it’s time to let somebody else take the wheel. I love teachers. I’m just like, “Whatever you wanna do. Whatever. It’s fine. It’s fine. Just can you take the weight? Can you take the weight off of me?” Yeah, I think I just got to a point where I realized my boundaries and my limits as a human, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. They went to tutorials for awhile. That worked for a little bit, and then they kind of, then it didn’t, and then we did online and that worked for a while and then it didn’t. And it’s just moment by moment, season by season. What works for one family at one time doesn’t work for another. So just kind of navigating it.

Going Scared Through Real Life

Jessica: So, this is, I mean, this has happened quick. I mean, I have to admit, even Noonday got onto like Inc.’s fastest growing company in the nation. So that was a few years ago. But I remember kind of the insanity of that … suddenly you are, yeah, like this is what I’m doing. I mean, so I can really relate to your story, but you’re at the very beginning. I’m nine years in. What are you wanting for the next couple of years?

Heather: That’s a great question. I think if I could give a really annoying vague answer, it would be my biggest goal … It’s the truth though. I just wanna continue connecting with people. That’s what I love about the road. I love being with people. I draw so much energy from it from encouraging them and then receiving the encouragement back. So that’s big goals. That’s the over the top … That’s everything I want. As far as the small things … like I said, I really hope I can really dig deep and write that third book about real life and just kind of what’s happened. I definitely wanna stay on the road. I love doing stand-up. It’s wonderful. I would love to do a podcast myself and see if that’s something that flies. Yeah. And I want to somehow manage a life in there as well, which so far, I’m able to do. So, it’s going pretty well. Yeah, I just wanna keep doing what I’m doing until I don’t wanna keep doing it. So, I don’t know when that day comes. Is that going to be 10 years, 5 years? I don’t know. But I know that I’m loving where I’m at and just wanna keep up plugging along.

“I just wanna continue connecting with people. That’s what I love about the road. I love being with people. I draw so much energy from it from encouraging them and then receiving the encouragement back” Heather Land on goals going forward.

Jessica: That’s good. That’s good. So how would you say you’re going scared right now? When you think back to that moment of doing that first comedic stand-up, and you just wanted to throw up, and you cried afterwards … Have some of those things gotten easier? And then what are the things that are still causing you to want to throw up?

Heather: I think the normal fears of being a business owner are, and that those make me want to throw up, like am I gonna make it. Those things, I’ve kind of switched gears from stand-up making me want to throw up to just kind of real life making me nervous. But as far as standup goes, I think the way I’ve got to the point of being able to enjoy it is I just had to drink a healthy dose of getting over myself. That’s probably been the biggest thing. I just have had to say, “You know what? It’s OK. If they laugh, they laugh. If they don’t, they don’t.” You gotta know who you are when you get on that stage, and you have to remember that all you’re doing is standing on the stage, having a cup of coffee with some friends. And that has really helped me be more relaxed on the platform and helped me enjoy it. Just not self-deprecating, definitely self-deprecating on the stage, but when I get off the stage, just leaving it there and going, “You know what? It’s OK. Either that bombed or gosh, that was probably the best that I’ve ever done.” I have those nights all the time. I think holding it loosely is the key, remembering why I’m there. Yeah. And so, I think the nausea … it ebbs and flows into other areas, and now I’m just hoping my son can pass French. That makes me nauseous. Things like that. Yeah. Once we master one thing, then we move on to worrying about the next, right?

Jessica: It’s true. But that’s what’s so important, I think, about getting outside your comfort zone, which you never would have been where you are today if you wouldn’t have gotten on that stage in spite of your fear. And I think we all, were our worst critic. I recorded … I forgot that I had a voice memo at a talk I gave a couple of months ago, and I hadn’t spent a ton of time prepping for it, and I was just kinda like, “I’m gonna record myself. I’m gonna see how I sound on this thing.” Right. And I found it yesterday on my voice memo, and I remembered the time doing a little joke, and I remember thinking, “Well, that didn’t land.” I didn’t hear one laugh. And then I was listening to the voice memo yesterday and people were dying of laughter. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I remembered it differently.” And it’s just interesting how we tend to remember things more in the negative light a lot of times. And so I think that’s such a good practice is someone who does get on stage or in any way is a performer, an artist, you put yourself out there, and ultimately you can influence an outcome, but you can’t control it. And so, I think there has to be that, but it’s that riding the wave. Our job is to learn our skill and practice and get that six pack that’s gonna keep us up. But we are not the power, right? The wave is the power.

Heather: Right. Well, and I think another important piece of that puzzle is, you know, we’re so quick to latch onto that one negative comment and not even look at the 200 good ones, right? And I think that’s important, to recognize which voices you’re gonna give power to. That’s been a huge just lesson for me is, there might be a few people that tell me I’m stupid and you need to get off the internet. But there’s 200 people that say, Thanks for getting me through, you know, cancer or the death of my family member,” or whatever. And I think those voices, obviously, are more important.

Jessica: I really loved that question that she challenged us to at the end. What voices are you going to give power to? The thing is we get to choose. We get to choose who’s in our feeds, we get to choose what mom is going to make us feel like lesser than a mom this year. Something I’ve been teaching my kids, and they’ve been throwing this right back at me, is this old Chuck Swindoll quote, and it says that 5% of life is what happens to you, and 95% of life is how you respond to it. And, oh, this summer when my kids were like “I’m so annoyed. You’re annoying me. You’re annoying me.” And I would say, “No, what they’re doing is not annoying. You are choosing to react to that, you are choosing to be annoyed by them.” And they’ve been using that medicine on me. But as we’re going into this school year, it’s so easy to go into that “prove yourself” mode, and what do you want this teacher to think and that, or you mom at the school drop-off, or you don’t show up for that meeting. What if you just decide what voices you want to give power to this year? And then write those down. And what voices do you not want to give power to?

I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation. If you did, go on, leave a review. I’m not trying to beat the dead horse, but it really does help this podcast, especially as we have relaunched our new series. I deeply appreciate you spending time with me today. I love being in your earbuds … whatever you might be doing at this moment.

Our wonderful music for today’s show is by my good friend Ellie Holcomb. Going Scared is produced by Eddie Kaufholz, and I’m Jessica Honegger. Until next time, let’s take each other by the hand and keep going scared.