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 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. Learning how to bravely be on camera has literally brought thousands of dollars of income to my business. Here's what I learned along the way...
Not long ago – the morning after I’d given a team workshop for a client – I felt a rising anxiety that something was very wrong. As I poured my coffee, I realized that I hadn’t heard from my client about the success of the workshop. It was driving me a bit mad: Did they not like it? Had it not been successful? Were they disappointed with my performance? I couldn’t shake the feeling all morning…and by 8 a.m., I had an entire conversation in my head about how I needed to fix this “problem” and elicit some positive feedback. I was convinced that I needed to do more. I needed to follow up with a phone call, an email, or a thank you gift. It was then that I realized the “feedback monster” was wiggling its intrusive little self into my thought process and that I needed to seriously chill out for a minute or I could destroy a really important relationship with just a few insecure words.
We live in a world of “likes”- from social media to dining room tables to board room discussions. Everyone is seeking a like, these days. But I challenge this: Anytime you head into a conversation and you’re aiming to get others to like you and, therefore, approve of your perspective, you have already failed before you’ve even uttered a word. Like yourself first and you cannot fail.
Case in point: a woman recently asked me about how to have a difficult conversation with her kids: she is marrying her recent boyfriend and needs to break the news to her adult children. Her tone in asking me was one of nervousness and doubt about how the conversation might go.
I asked her: "What is your goal in telling them?" She stared back for a moment and it became clear that she was seeking their approval of her and her decision. She wasn’t telling them to share her joy or to simply inform. She needed their “okay” to move forward in peace.
We often find ourselves at the cross-section of “I have something important to say.” and “I need you to like me.” It’s a tough spot – because it requires you to get someone to like you before either of you can approve of your choice. If you don’t get the “like” that you’re seeking, you feel insecure, nervous, beggar-ish. And, after this wave of emotions comes a palpable doubt that leads you to question whether or not what you’re saying is right. In this woman’s case, her quest to find approval will inevitably lead her to question, “Am I making the right choice in marrying this man?”
Like yourself first…and change your outcome every time.