This week, I was deeply moved by a podcast interview with Kevin Allison, creator and host of RISK!, a story-centered program, live performance and podcast series where regular people and celebrities alike “tell the stories they never thought they’d dare to share.”
In short, RISK! gives people a venue for putting themselves out there, heart and soul.
Toward the end of the podcast, Kevin was asked if he ever received negative feedback about the show – and it turns out that a lot of the feedback Kevin gets is related to his style as a host.
KEVIN ALLISON: People write in and say things like, “Love the show and I can’t stand the host. He’s so over the top goofy, he’s so annoyingly friendly … I wish I could listen to all of RISK! except for the hosting segments.” … They’ll say really mean things about me, and, initially, it devastated me. But more and more, it’s becoming water off my back. More and more, I’m realizing, no, that is why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because, of course, I’m not for everybody. Of course, people are going to find me annoying, etc. And they may even be right that I overdo it sometimes … but if I allow that voice to censor me and keep me from pushing through and being myself, that’s just beside the whole point of [RISK!].
What I love so much about what Kevin shared is that navigating general doubt in ourselves and working through the voices in our own heads, is hard enough. Add to the mix truly hurtful comments about who we’re showing up as/who we are personally and, well, our saboteur management often needs to skyrocket to a whole new level.
Because if we can stay committed to our authentic selves, even in the face of the most horrible feedback, we have the chance to experience a gain that’s monumentally greater than the few extra fans or positive critiques we might receive by trying to fit into someone’s else’s idea of who we need to be.
In those moments, we have to recognize that what’s on the line is not so much our success creatively, but our very souls.