How I beat my camera shyness

“Would you like to see the final video?” I’m often asked this question by video directors when I serve as an on-camera talent for their productions. And, my answer is always, “nope”.

Despite the fact that I’ve been in hundreds of videos throughout the course of my career, I still don’t love seeing myself on camera. And I know I’m not alone in this. How many times have you shied away from being photographed or interviewed for something simply because you always think you look terrible on camera? We’ve all done it – at family gatherings and professional occasions alike. We picture ourselves looking our absolute worst and completely recoil from the opportunity to do something really brave and worthy…which is to allow others to see us.

One of the most important lessons I learned from a mentor in my earliest days of starting my company was that – as a small business owner – you need to have an extreme desire to be found. You need to be able to put yourself “out there”. I hated learning that lesson because it forced me to negotiate with my fear of looking stupid in front of people I feared would judge me. Physically – there was so much I wanted to hide: my extra pounds, imperfect skin and a crooked smile. And, let’s not even talk about how blundering I thought I sounded when I talked about my business. It was all so overwhelming, and it shut me down in a big way.

Finally getting on camera for my business was scary as hell! But – I had no choice if I was going to be successful. So, I leaned into it – painfully so – until it was second nature for me to turn on a camera and just start recording at any given moment. And that single ability has brought thousands of dollars in income to my business.  

Here’s what I learned along the way:

Your “stage” is anywhere you make it – and it’s all yours. The moment you allow your most authentic self to stand up and be seen, is the very moment you’ve earned the unequivocal right to be heard.

Someone, somewhere needs your voice. Focus on being seen by the people you know who embrace you – imperfections and all. Forget the haters, and simply imagine how your smile and your words can dramatically change someone’s moment, day – or, even life.

Keep moving. It’s not every day that we get to see ourselves on camera, so when we do get the chance, we often picture the worst in our minds…even if it’s the furthest thing from the truth. We can all be our own worst critic. Don’t obsess over every detail of how you look. Do your very best and move on.