The One Where I Accidentally Ended up on a Podcast

Prologue

I had just finished being a guest on my first podcast ever: My JavaScript Story #082. My nerves were pretty shot and my voice was still shaking even after I got off the call. And even though part of me was utterly terrified that the episode was going to be terrible, it was exhilarating to be able to check that off my dev bucket list.

  • ✅ Be a guest on a dev podcast
  • ⬜️ Create a repo that earns over 1,000 stars
  • ⬜️ Get asked to be a keynote speaker at a conference
  • ⬜️ And many more...

After we had wrapped up recording, Charles had mentioned that I should sign up for a slot on the new podcast: Views on Vue. And for those that haven't followed me for long, I have been doing a lot of work with the Vue.js community and it did seem like the perfect fit. So in the midst of the excitement, I went ahead and signed up for a slot at 2:30PM in October.

Woot! I'm going to be on two podcasts before the end of the year? Sweet.

A Few Weeks Later

As I'm checking my email, I see a reminder from DevChatTV that my session is coming up in a couple of weeks and I should be ready with a topic and such. And even though this should not have been a huge surprise to me, all of a sudden I start panicking. For some reason I was under the impression that the topic would already be decided and I'd contribute the best I could as a guest panelist. But whoa, I have to choose the topic and lead the episode?

Octopus running away

At this point, my inner self-doubt demon is going full force:

  • "But I'm not an expert at anything!"
  • "How could I stand on equal ground with these panelist I look up to and respect?"
  • "What if I say something stupid and the whole community shuns me after?!"

So I rationalized to myself that I simply wasn't ready and would schedule another slot when I felt I was "more qualified." With that, I declined the calendar invite and moved on with my work at the time.

The Day of Reckoning

It is Wednesday morning and my schedule is looking pretty clear. I'm thinking it'll be a quiet day where I can focus and get some work done. And for those that don't know me, I'm pretty diligent about my calendar and use it as my single source of truth for plans. So you can imagine my shock when I receive the following email at 1:41PM.

Hi Benjamin-

All of us except for John Papa are at Framework Summit in Park City, Utah. We may join a few minutes late and will all be recording from one computer. We'll see how it goes. I ask that you be a little patient while we join the call.

Cat hiding

Remember now. The call was originally scheduled for 2:30PM, so I have less than hour to prepare for a call that I thought I cancelled out of sheer fear. And I would be lying if I said that I did not consider simply replying to the email informing them that I had cancelled.

However, at this point, the rational side of brain realized the following:

  • Multiple people had set aside time on this day, so cancelling would be a jerk move
  • Even though there wasn't much time, there was still time to prepare
  • Any doubts I was having were evidence of imposter syndrome and I needed to get over myself

And believe it or not, with less than an hour to go, I got ready and we ended up recording View on Vues #037: Vuex, VuePress, and Nuxt with Benjamin Hong!

Aftermath

While it was absolutely terrifying in the moment, I am actually really grateful that the cancellation never went through. And it's not because I got to record an episode on "View on Vues," but because it shocked me out of my self-doubts. More importantly, it was yet another reminder of how things are almost always worse in your head than in reality.

And so if you ever find yourself doubting whether you deserve to be on a podcast, remember this story and know that you absolutely deserve to be on a podcast too. Because at the end of the day, podcasts are about a group of people getting together to chat about a topic they're passionate about. As long as you're interested in the topic being discussed, that's all you need.

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