What I learned from attending the show “ Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
The chicken-hearted girl who bit the bullet
Two weeks ago, I attended the Turkish version of “ Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” I didn’t get THE million, but I learned a million things.
I want to share just five things with you.
- It’s your decisions that make things happen or not.
I always believed that to achieve something or to fulfill my dreams, the circumstances had to be perfect or any miraculous coincidence would make it come true. How wrong I was.
I always dreamed about being on the show, but even if I knew how I would get there, I waited.
I’m not exactly sure what I was waiting for, but retrospectively, I think it was the right time or the time I was prepared or feel ready enough to participate in a quiz show.
Things developed so quickly in the last two weeks, I hadn’t had enough time to ruminate about or overthink it.
And that’s when I realized that there is no perfect time or circumstance for your goals or dreams. If you want something, YOU decide if it’s going to happen or not. You can’t control everything; some things might develop out of your control.
But it’s the decision YOU make HOW you react to certain obstacles or feel discouraged about them or you just move on.
2. The longer I remained in discomfort, the bigger I grew personally.
When my husband registered me for the show, I told him I wouldn’t go even if I was elected.
But then came the phone call: “ Congratulations! You’re accepted for the first interview.”
I put the phone down and couldn’t believe I was elected. Bazillion thoughts rushed through my mind. Yes, it was a dream of mine since I was a teenager, but I thought this would never happen.
Two other calls followed and after two congratulations later, I heard this sentence: “ You’re accepted for the actual show. Please come on Sunday afternoon to the recordings.”
Followed by instructions of choosing the Phone-a-Friend lifeline and the dress code.
You know this feeling when suddenly, you get a phone call and they tell you that someone you knew very well or loved has died. It’s the same feeling.
I felt disorientated. Who am I? What is happening? What did they tell me?
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t withdraw this time. Not again, I promised myself.
There I was in no-man’s-land; however, when I got through all of the stages and the unknown, I felt a shift in my mindset.
The more I remained in discomfort and the unknown, the more I felt less scared and in some strange way good about myself.
I can’t tell you how many times I told the people who knew I was attending the show, I wouldn’t go. How many times I just wanted to run away.
Fight or flight? ‘Fight’ wasn’t an option, I thought.
Even on recording day, I wished some bomb would go off on set, so the show had to be postponed or canceled. Epic scenarios, I tell you!
But I kept it going. And boy, what a feeling it was just to keep it going for someone like me.
The realization that I’m capable of more than I thought. Wow, that was an epiphany!
3. Courage makes dreams come true
People who know me, know that I’m chicken-hearted.
Courage was something I lost years ago and with this loss, regret after regret accumulated. I can genuinely say that it became a habit to regret because I was too scared of making the wrong decisions or going out of my comfort zone.
I have an identical twin sister and when people didn’t know who was who on pictures, they always had one reference point: The one who’s crying is Hatice!
Wow, what a fancy reference point.
The host of the show, Kenan Imirzalıoğlu, (who is, by the way, one of the most popular actors in Turkey) asked me how I decided to take part, I said:
“ All my life, I was always the one in my family who was scared of everything and everyone. This year I’m ready to bite the bullet.”
I was absolutely out of my comfort zone. I was totally in the unknown, which is one of the scariest things if you don’t know what to expect.
I mean how many people did I know who’ve been a contestant on a TV show?!
I was scared as hell. I went through interviews with producers and directors.
God, I felt like I was in a dream. Surreal!
Nevertheless, I was insanely proud of myself because I pushed through, I didn’t withdraw.
And even if I didn’t become a millionaire, I felt extremely energized and happy.
4. You finish something as you began
I dismissed stress as something that would cover you in a kind of fog paralyzing your abilities to do something.
Before the actual recordings, we had to do rehearsals. I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I was. As I sat in the chair in the studio of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and had to rehearse introducing myself and using the lifelines. I confused everything; I nearly forgot my name and everyone in the group tried to comfort me and told me I should relax.
You know the situation when someone says you should calm down and you feel even more agitated?!
Oh hello, this was me. Ready to have a severe nervous breakdown!
I felt like I’m about to have the biggest and most exquisite embarrassment of my life.
Before I got to the stage, the producer said one sentence which was like a game-changer for me :
“ Before you go out, smile. Because you finish something as you began.”
Strangely enough, when it was my turn, I was still very excited for sure, but the more I was in that stressful and scary situation, the more I relaxed. I got myself together and had one of my best experiences ever.
5. Success isn’t winning; it’s the willingness to try.
I once wrote an article about success. The reason why I wrote the article was my post-natal depression. Since then, I’m a strong believer in success as something very subjective.
At that time, I felt it at as a big success to get out of bed, because it was something I was scared of. Taking a shower or driving the car was a big achievement.
It’s been years since my depression but after attending the show, I believe it more than ever. I didn’t become a millionaire which would be seen by many people as a success, but I still feel insanely successful. The reason?
Because I dared to try, fulfilled my teenage dream, and made myself and my family proud.
Honestly, I didn’t get the money I was hoping for, but I wasn’t even sad about it at all. Not the money, but the support and the positive feedback of family, friends, and strangers were priceless.
People who genuinely cheered for me, called me or wrote to me telling me how proud and thrilled they were to see me on TV and admired my courage to take part.
Of course, nowadays, it’s not a big deal to be on TV; I mean when I think of all the trash reality shows out there and all the morons who do silly stuff to be on TV, it still was something special for me and my family.
This might sound cliché but all the sincere messages and support made me feel like I had won the million.
Even if my bank account isn’t, my heart is full.
Thanks for reading. :-)