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Former television host Nancy Regan scores a hit by 'Showing Up'

The former 15-year face of local television's 'Live at 5' crafts a bestseller that is one part memoir and one part self-help guide, aimed at overcoming fear and perfectionism
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Nancy Regan, author of 'From Showing Off to Showing Up'

A former Halifax television host has found herself with a prestigious new job title — bestselling author.

With her debut book, From Showing Off to Showing Up: An Imposter’s Journey from Perfect to Present, Nancy Regan has skyrocketed into the top ten on both the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail’s Canadian non-fiction bestsellers lists.

“The beautiful twist is that even people who are picking up the book to read it for curiosity’s sake because they watched me on TV,” says Regan about the reaction since launching the memoir, “Many of them are having an unexpected reaction to what’s in the book and my own journey, and seeing themselves in parts of my story, and that’s really gratifying.”

An intimate and deeply personal memoir that aims to address her battle and the concept of imposter syndrome, perfectionism and fears of public speaking, From Showing Off to Showing Up relates how the veteran television personality created the illusion of “having it all together because she didn’t want anyone to know how close she was to falling apart.”

“It was meant to be about the fear of public speaking," says Regan about the original intent of the book. "In the end, it’s really about my own journey with fear, and the need that I felt for so long for wearing a mask in the world to show everybody how okay I was — (but) I’m really done with that now.”

For those who recall Regan as the popular host of television's Live at 5 — where she became part of many Halifax residents' dinner-time routine for 15 years — the news that she carried so much uncertainly will come as a bit of a revelation.

After all, Regan always appeared poised and professional on television — even as she interviewed the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Madonna and Harrison Ford, or appeared on stage in productions at the Neptune Theatre, or on television shows like the Trailer Park Boys and Haven.

“I say at the beginning of the book that most people probably had it harder than I did,” notes Regan, adding that even when she began tackling the book, she struggled to reason whether her story was worth telling.

“I came to the conclusion that it is because I led a privileged life and still struggled with all of these things, that it is valuable in a way because if I can feel this way, then imagine what people who have walked a much harder path than I, or people who have been bullied and belittled, faced racism and faced the unthinkable (feel).”

As Regan outlines in the book, she may have seemed on solid ground professionally, but she concealed fear, insecurity and issues of self-doubt for decades until she found a way to overcome such personal struggles.

“For the longest time I thought it was just me that felt that way,” insists Regan, who has since turned her experience around to help others as a presentation coach and mentor. “I am so heartened by the response that I am getting from the book — (and) particularly women, and some very successful professional women who are coming back to me and saying, ‘oh my gosh, I thought I was alone.’”

A blend of memoir and self-help guide, From Showing Off to Showing Up has certainly struck a chord with readers. As Regan shared, one particular reader recently messaged her on social media that the book resonated in a deep, meaningful way.

“If I were to describe the feeling of reading this book, it’s like I just took a long walk arm-in-arm with you as we walked through a beautiful garden,” the message states. “Every authentic twist and turn of the garden path is rooted and anchored by truth, vulnerability and awareness.”

“That was really the most beautiful feedback to get,” adds Regan proudly. “I really want people to understand — and I think it comes across in the way the book is written — that I am not someone who has it all figured out. I am a seeker rather than a teacher.”

For more information on From Showing Off to Showing Up, visit the book's website.



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