I Took the Some Nerve Challenge

By Estelle Sobel Erasmus

At Book party for Some Nerve by Patty Chang Anker
Me and Patty at her book launch party for Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave

There are so many reasons why I adore Patty Chang Anker.

Reason #1:  She was my wise, very prepared buddy (she gave me the idea to tape myself during practice) and meditation partner when we were castmates in the 2012 New York City production of Listen to Your Mother.Listen to Your Mother

Me and Patty are book ends in this picture of the 2012 Listen to Your Mother New York City cast, where we first met.

Reason #2: Patty is the author of  the life-changing book, SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave, which has been featured in O Magazine, Marie Claire, Parents, Better Homes & Gardens, USA Today, and Psychology Today. Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) calls SOME NERVE “a compelling story of everyday courage, one that is sure to help and inspire countless others.”One woman’s quest to conquer her fears and embrace life—and to inspire others to do the same

Here’s a little synopsis: Patty grew up eager to please and afraid to fail. But, mainly to set a good example for her adopted daughters, she decided at the ripe old age of thirty-nine to stop being a chicken and to start taking charge of her life–and her fears. Interwoven between in her tales of triumph over her fears of the water (starting with boogie boarding and progressing to surfing) and teaching one of her daughters to ride a bike, Patty shares people’s experiences of dealing with fear of driving, heights, flying, public speaking and more, and in the process finds her mission is to help others feel the true power in becoming brave.

Reason #3: In her public speaking section, Patty has the sweetness to mention me by name in reference to our bonding Listen to Your Mother experience-pages 132 and 133 to be precise.

Reason #4: She is a long-time Mothers & More supporter (I’m board president) and put the organization in her acknowledgments in her book. She is also doing a webinar for the group (members only) on January 15th, where she will offer concrete techniques for handling fear and share inspiring stories of ordinary moms who have changed their lives, their families and their communities by getting some nerve. If you want to register, join Mothers & More here.

Reason #5: She was raised by Chinese immigrants and her mother’s favorite phrase was xiao xin or “be careful, small heart.” She has clearly moved past that early identification.

Reason #6: She names her cars. Her gray Honda is called Storm, and her mini-SUV that Storm replaced was called Clifford The Big Red Car.  We call our family car J.B. short for James Bronze, because the car is bronze, sophisticated…and fast.

Reason #7: She refers to the Greek Chorus of Perpetual Doubt throughout the book. Don’t we all have one of those? I know, I do.

Reason #8: I won the grand prize for her Twitter party by guessing eight fears covered in the book (water, clutter, public speaking, biking, driving, surfing, death and heights). Here are my spoils. A backpack (not pictured), her book, gloves, water bottle, swim goggles, a photo frame and more.


Grand prize at twitter party

Reason #9: Patty is one of the most real people I know. She’s soft spoken but packs a big wallop of wisdom in her sentences.

Reason #10: I took the Some Nerve Challenge which for me was video blogging (or vblogging). Although I’ve done lots of television and radio I had not yet tried my hand at videos. This was for several reasons: for TV I had professional hair and makeup, and optimum lighting. Lighting is so important.

Well, here is my first attempt. What do you think?


Thanks to Sandy of MomLife TV for taking this video, and thanks for Patty for giving me the courage to attempt something new.

I’m going to keep doing them, like the one I also did here.

Please join Patty in the #SomeNerveChallenge. You can contact her at her website. You can also see her TEDx talk here.

Me and Patty

What’s your Some Nerve challenge?

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55 thoughts on “I Took the Some Nerve Challenge”

  1. Hi Estelle,
    I too am a LTYM alumnae! Baltimore 2015. That took some nerve. Thanks for the post. I finally have time to poke your site around and love your sense of humor. Great post! I am on your email list and look forward to what you have to share. Have an amazing hot summer week!

  2. I will have to watch your vlog later since we’re headed to homework-land and then Girl Scouts … but I am excited to hear your voice and connect your sound to your person.

    I absolutely need to take a some nerve challenge. I’m excited to read Patty’s book!

  3. You did a great job on the VLOG. I’ve wanted to do them for about three years so I guess it’s my nerve challenge too!

    Thanks for the inspiration; I’ll let you know when I get it done.

  4. This is fantastic! I hadn’t heard of this yet, and I’m now inspired to get the book! Finding my own courage at this stage of life is something I am tackling…slowly… I love this concept!

  5. Great Job on your first video blog! And thank you for the encouragement to face our fears and move on with life. The most interesting people I know are those willing to be courageous and keep moving, even when things are scary. I do my best to be that way but ALWAYS appreciate the encouragement! Thanks again! ~Kathy

  6. I love this and could really use some bravery in my life. I feel like I miss out on a lot due to being scared!

  7. This sounds like such an inspirational book. Thanks for sharing. We all could use that extra motivation and inspiration. Way to go at undertaking this challenge-great job!

  8. Ladies! I am so excited that so many of you are now thinking about your own #SomeNerve Challenges. Please declare them and tag me (@PattyChangAnker on all platforms) so I can cheer you on, and submit your stories for Facing Forty Upside Down (http://pattychanganker.com/category/facing-forty-upside-down/) – who knows who YOU will inspire along the way? And if your book group picks SOME NERVE I am happy to phone/Skype in and talk about fear and courage with you and your friends 🙂 Thank you Estelle, for stepping up and spreading the spirit of Some Nerve!

  9. I need to take the nerve challenge! I am not crazy about making videos myself. That is something I would do, and work on public speaking.

  10. You are so adorable and you have a lot to say, so how could you possibly go wrong by vlogging? Great job!

    I can’t wait to read the book, meet Patty,and take the challenge. I have gotten more fears as I’ve gotten older. I thought it would be the opposite, but there you have it.

    By the way, if I get picked to speak at BlogHer, I’ll be the one with the large size Kaopectate in my purse.

  11. I can’t wait to read Patty’s book. I have fears that I would like to get rid of for once and for all. Good for you for going out on a limb to do the vlog. You did great!

  12. Challenges are great.

    For some of us everyday is a challenge. I have an invisible disability that wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 50’s. Then I moved from Manhattan (which owns my heart) and bought and renovated, not with my own hands, a house in coastal South Carolina. I’m from Long Island so this wasn’t like going home. Nor do I have relatives here–just some old friends
    I suppose many would see that as a challenge. To me it was getting on with life.

    Being brave has so many shadings and meanings

  13. I took Patty’s challenge too and it was life-changing! Can’t wait to meet her in person, and am so glad you did your first video blog (I did, too, thanks to her!) because it’s awesome — just like you! xo

  14. WOW! What an amazing testimony about women and our relationships! I absolutely love this and think you are both very blessed to have such an amazing relationship. We need more of this in the world – helping one another and just sharing life.

  15. Video blogging is an area in which I struggle — okay, not so much struggle, I’m just afraid of doing it. I feel like there will be so many people watching it that will pick up on any hint or nervousness or a mispronunciation. I need to take the Some Nerve challenge for sure!

  16. Oddly enough, I literally JUST had a conversation with my friend about an hour ago regarding naming cars. I didn’t name mine (although I did name my GPS) and she thought it was so weird that I didn’t. I told her that I thought it was a little weird that she did, so we were even 🙂

  17. Great job Estelle! 🙂 I need this book. I’m terrified of water, can’t swim a lick, although everyone in my family can. I’ve put it on my wish list, for next round of book purchases!

  18. I think I may be one of the only people in the world who have NOT named their car! Video blogging can be a frightening thing. I know I could never personally do it. I get too nervous speaking in front of the camera. You did a great job though! Better than I could have 🙂 the nerves will go away in time.

  19. What a great friendship you’ve developed.

    Being brave is difficult. I took on the challenge of learning to swim as part of a Happiness Project; I was terrified of the water. Conquering our fears, one by one, make us braver in all aspects of our lives, at least in my experience.

    Hah! We name our cars too. My Audi is Pia (short for Pain in the A**). And we have The Brick (Honda CRV that drives like, well, a brick) and Cream Puff (cute cream colored VW bug) in our driveway too.

  20. I actually recently decided that I am not going to live in fear anymore, I have let it hold me back in so many ways. From the mention of your 8 fears you guessed book covered I have over half of them, so needless to say I am a scaredy cat and I’m not that adventurous. I plan to conquer certain fears however I am not saying I am going to start riding roller coasters or swimming. But who knows.

  21. What a special and inspiring lady! It takes a lot to conquer fears, and I find that the older I get the less hesitant I become…until I kick myself and do a lot of self-talk, and then perhaps work up some courage.

  22. I found I have always regretted the things I didn’t say or do versus the things I did. It’s sad to think there are times I missed out simply because I couldn’t be brave.

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