Do you remember this much-publicized event with Nancy Kerrigan from January 6, 1994? It was devastating, after all her hard work. 

My friend, Denise Litteral Burtner, brought this topic up in her Facebook comment this morning. She focused on her Kerrigan’s response.

She wrote, “As annoying as I have found that ‘Why, whyyyy, whyyyyy,’ I have found myself identifying with it more than a few times over the years. I have even coined a phrase in my life, “Oh I’m just having a Nancy Kerrigan moment.”

Life is hard. Whyyyyyyyy?
It’s snowing again. Whyyyyyy?
I step on the scales. Whyyyyyyy?
Not enough money, too many expenses. Whyyyyyyy?
Unfair or unjust criticism , hours cut at work, health issues, broken relationships… Why? Why? Why?

It’s annoying isn’t it? I know. I hear it and annoy myself. Life whacks all of us, some more than others.

We all at one time or another find ourselves crumpled on the floor questioning if we will ever get up again.

I came across a quote from G.K. Chesterson, ‘How much happier you would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos.’

Perhaps that is what is happening when we find ourselves in a crumpled heap of self pity? A higher God has smashed my cosmos and is getting ready to do the impossible if I will only stop whining reach up and take his hand.”

I wasn’t even sure I understood the quote by Chesterson. I wouldn’t be happier if God smashed my small cosmos! I do enough smashing on my own.

But then, her reflection caught me–what if God were smashing my cosmos and getting ready to do the impossible if I would only stop whining to reach up and take His hand. 

Sometimes my hearing loss frustrates and discourages me. Have you been there? 

I  am a perfectionist that cannot begin to reach my own idea of success.

God provides these wonderful opportunities to share my share my story.  And what do I do?
I blow it!

– I have difficulty accessing Skype; I have to use my phone and cope with crackling.
– I interrupt myself when I speak!
– I laugh a lot (well, that’s all the time, that’s just my personality) but is it irritating in an interview?
– I only hear part of the question. I guess at the other half.

When I listened back to my interview I found that my voice is like a rifle, it goes fast -ratatatattat! Short moment to reload, then the next round-ratatatatattat!  And my target is off! It indiscriminately hits on a few words and it misses the bigger goal. 

I long for a smooth, calm, well-modulated tone that makes conversation seemless and shows that I have some education. Or that I can at least follow a conversation!

Do you ever get that desperate feeling you will never be what you could be because of factors out-of-your control? 

I sent a message to my writing coach, dismayed at my flawed interview. I asked her, “How could God use me like this?”

Really, what I was thinking was … how could God expect me to shine for Him when I am hidden behind the cloud of self-doubt caused by hearing that skips indiscriminately over words and sends imperfect messages to my brain?

It’s difficult, friends!

And that’s what happens when I choose to magnify / distort  my failures and ignore my overriding successes–when I ignore the positive feedback and focus on the minutia that has gone wrong.

That’s what happened today.  The little niggling voice deep down inside me focused on the instances when I didn’t hear perfectly, when I wasn’t smooth, when I spoke a little too long, when it seemed I took us on a tangent.

The Accuser said I would never be a good or inspirational speaker. I might as well give up now.

My writing coach reminded me that God puts us in specific situations “to build our trust in Him, to help others and to glorify Him.”

How can I glorify Him when I can’t hear the question properly?

I hear a quiet voice speak to my defensive rebuttal inside.  When you’re not shining, I’m shining through you.

I am  working on that trust, God, I truly am.  Are you getting me ready to do something amazing in my life?

Maybe there is something to be said for enthusiasm and laughter. God gives us one life. Just moments! Friends, when we are overwhelmed, let’s choose to be positive and swap out our doubt with confidence–and a balanced look between our disappointments and successes.  

A college professor friend who teaches freshmen Speech asked me what my goal was.

“To share my story,  to teach, encourage others and put them at ease on this topic. Oh yeah, and entertain them, too.”

“You did all that. I liked it.  I was listening to your  content and how you presented yourself. You were engaging and energetic. You communicated yourself well. What’s the problem?”

My problem? I thought for a moment.

I guess I’m confusing professionalism with I perfectionism. I guess you can be professional without being perfect. 

Life is filled with variables and it’s how we react to those variables that matter.

Nancy’s initial response was to  wail, “Whyyyyyyy?” That’s often our first response, especially when we are disappointed in the outcome of our professional goals. Our pride is hurt. When our circumstances are out of our control, we have to adapt quickly. (I should be a master adapter by now and ready to take on an apprentice!)

Later,  we have to decide if we are truly facing a crisis or distorting our response and giving in to self-pity.

In my case, I often start out reflecting in disaster mode but thankfully, God quickly points me to people who help me put things in a more balanced perspective!

If I want to impact other people’s lives and encourage those with vision and hearing loss, I have to be real and come clean with the problems I face and yet choose not give in to doubt or get ruffled. Giving interviews is teaching me how to be look at various aspects of myself, both the things I can and can’t change.

I’m ready to increase my trust in God, and to reach out and take His hand and invite him to do something exciting and wonderful in my life. Or at least take me to the next step.

Well, maybe He’s doing that already. 🙂

Do any of you have suggestions or feedback for me in future interviews? I’d especially like input from others with hearing loss as well as other speakers and anyone else who has input!

You have just read, Coping With Hearing Loss and Professionalism,” by Amy L. Bovaird. © Copyright February 21, 2015. If you gained insight from it, leave a comment, like and share it. Thanks!

Coping With Hearing Loss and Professionalism
Spread the love

11 thoughts on “Coping With Hearing Loss and Professionalism

  • February 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    When I click on the link to the interview, it says Page Not Found, so I’ll concentrate on the post itself.
    You have a marvelous ability to laugh at yourself, which disarms the reader and draws them in to receive your message. None of us are perfect. I’m certainly not perfect! I think you are telling your story, at least with your writing, just fine. So, if you blew an interview, it simply means you will have gained in experience and will do better next time. (P.S. the one time I ever did an interview, for a fellow blogger’s radio show, I thought I talked way too fast, too.)

  • February 22, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Hi Alana,
    Thanks for letting me know about the link. It works in everything but embedded in my blog post so I removed it.
    Thank you. I’m feeling much better now. This morning when I first played it back, I was like “Ugh!” You are so right. There are always aspects to improve on an interview. I also found out about a resource with captioning on the phone for phone interviews!
    Thanks again!

  • February 22, 2015 at 3:42 am

    It’s a blessing to know that God points you to people who help you put things in perspective! His perfect love is sufficient. (I’m not good at being interviewed. I tend to start laughing. Definitely an area I need more practice in.)
    Keep that smile on your face; He is doing a great work in you and through you. 🙂

  • February 22, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Amy, I continually learn from you. That’s important to me, because my mom already has hearing loss and is now struggling with vision loss. Like you in reverse. Your posts help me find more compassion and consider what she’s going through. Thank you!

  • February 22, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Yes, it is a blessing for sure! I’m so happy He doesn’t let me dwell in my valleys. And He does that for each of us. Thank YOU for your encouragement!
    PS Your crepes sound delicious!

  • February 22, 2015 at 7:27 am

    You are so welcome!
    Can you PM me your address? I can send your mother some Tip Cards that might make things a little easier for her.
    Actually, I will have some FREE downloadable tips in the coming week. Maybe check my website for them. I am sure they will help your mother.

  • February 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I believe that the hardest trials are given to those God loves the best. How else would we strengthen?

  • February 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    How wonderful to hear from you this morning, Francene!
    How are you doing? How is your husband? What book are you working on now?
    No, God loves us all equally. But He knows what we can stand. And He pushes us to grow and, as you say, to strengthen us. Thank you so much for your empathy! Today I feel better and I am sure that I will improve. Also, I discovered a new captioning telephone and if I can save up the money, I will buy it. 😀
    Thank you for being part of my world!

  • February 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I’m hearing impaired too, as you know, and when I called into the show I had a difficult time hearing as well. In these types of interviews, is it possible for the host to give you a copy of the questions in advance? That way, even if you couldn’t hear the entire question, you could pick up on key words and phrases that might help you know what the entire question is. I still think you did a fabulous job with the interview.

    We’re not perfect but His strength is made PERFECT in our weakness.


  • March 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    What an inspiration, Amy! I have been diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I have asked God why he takes my voice away at times, only to hear him say “You can still talk at times. I have not taken your voice. With treatment it will return”. Trusting in our Lord is so difficult at times. I think we have these doubts and struggles because he wants us to rely on him with everything. Thank you for your words o f encouragement.

  • March 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Oh, Linda, that’s right!
    We have to trust in Him. And it is difficult because the struggles are there but He is growing us in ways to use us. That’s what I learned today with Dr. Stanley, “In The Midst of A Trial” He’s interested in conforming us to be more like His Son. I’m trying to move forward in confidence. I’ll definitely be praying for you!

Leave a Reply