By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
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.
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.
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.
What’s your Some Nerve challenge?
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