When I first started this blog, I had a mild panic every time I hit the publish button. Will this be the time that I embarrass myself and offend all of my followers?
As time progressed, I learnt to take a deep breath, adjust how I was being, and hit send. I accept that not everyone will like my blog posts. I also accept that my reflections will never have a chance of helping anyone if I don’t post them. Now when I hit the publish button, I feel at peace, without fear and anxiety.
Recently, when I started to think that it was time to look at producing video content for my leadership blog, that all-too-familiar feeling returned. It was the feeling of grasshoppers in the bottom of my stomach, tightness in the chest and shoulders, and sunken shoulders and torso. Hello, anxiety.
I was curious. I had been putting my thoughts out on the internet for people to read for months. Why did I suddenly feel anxious about producing some short videos for my blogs?
As I listened to the stories that I was telling myself, I realised that blogging feels to me as though there is a level of anonymity. On my blog, I have really only exposed my thoughts and feelings. People don’t necessarily know who belongs to those thoughts and feelings.
Publishing a video felt as though I was handing over everything about me for others to judge. All of a sudden, there would be a face, a voice, and a way of being to associate with my thoughts and words. My speaking and video efforts would be on display for everyone to judge. This felt like the ultimate in putting myself out there electronically.
The Deanne who started this journey 4.5 years ago would have become overwhelmed by the anxiety and given up. The Deanne who started this blog 8-10 months ago would have found reasons to put off producing video content for an undefined amount of time (and did!). The Deanne of today paused, welcomed the anxiety, and then started to work on a plan.
I assessed that the story I was telling myself was that by creating video content, I was opening myself up to judgement. This seemed odd when I thought about it, because the thoughts and opinions that I would be sharing via video would be no different to the thoughts and opinions that I was sharing on my blog. There must be something else behind this story.
So, what was really concerning me?
I generally feel as though I have to be very well prepared to speak in public. I can write prolifically because I have time to ponder and perfect my thoughts. Public speaking however, feels as though it requires hours of planning. It was then that I realised: Producing a video was, to me, public speaking.
That was my ah-ha moment.
I am passionate about finding ways of managing the challenges of daily life. If I was talking to a friend, a colleague, or even a complete stranger about my latest reflections on dealing with life, it would probably be difficult for me to stop talking, because my passion would have me becoming caught up in the reflection and the conversation. What if, rather than thinking of a video as public speaking, I treated the video camera like a friend or a colleague and had a conversation with it? My body felt peaceful as I visualised this.
Feeling comfortable with these new stories, I then looked at my emotional space. I chose to operate from curiosity and wonder for my first video, and I spent some time thinking about the body that would assist me in being in this emotional space.
When I was ready, I set off to record my first video. I gave myself permission to have as many takes as possible. I also promised to be kind to myself if the video was not usable, and I told myself that it was ok for the end product to not be perfect.
The video was a short one. It took a number of takes. It wasn’t perfect, and there are a couple of errors that I still cringe at. However, I decided to embrace the imperfections and publish it (see below). This wasn’t about being perfect. This was about overcoming a hurdle that had prevented me from creating video content for nearly 12 months, and embracing my efforts.
And that felt rather awesome.
Points to Ponder…
- What would you like to do that you have been putting off?
- How might changing the stories that you have attached to that situation help you?
- What emotional spaces might help?
- What body posture would be helpful?
As a leadership and life coach, I am available for coaching and facilitation, either locally in Canberra or remotely as appropriate. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.
Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash
4 thoughts on “Do you Fear Putting Yourself out there?”
Wow, wow, wow! I love your video, you did great, very natural! I look forward to watching more! I like that you published it even if you weren’t 100% happy with it as we will always find fault in what we do. But honestly, I enjoyed it!
I do love your posts and you are right to think that by posting them you will help others as you will be. It is always hard to push ourselves to do things like videos as you do feel more exposed and vulnerable and are no longer just words but a real live person!
Take each video as they come and continue to march forward and any mistakes just show us that you are human.
I have totally been putting off re-launching my business, I think I am just worried incase I am not going to be great, or no-one will come and also a bit of, it’s hard working full time and then doing part time on top of that. But I am feeling more motivated this week so just trying to be brave :-). xx
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Thank you so much for your very kind feedback! I am feeling inspired to produce more videos now, partly because I think I can give more in less time. I take a lot of time to write a blog post. A video seems to be a a nice compromise – a way to produce hopefully useful content while maximising time. Also, I don’t yet have a lighting kit so I have declared that my videos will be produced outside on sunny days as a part of a nice walk, and am looking forward to that. I want to master the art of camera positioning – I can’t see the screen while videoing and I do the videos alone, so some more practice required in getting the angle of the camera just right.
I can relate to your feelings about your re-launch. Sometimes I wonder whether you and I are living the same life with our businesses, because you often say what I am thinking about my own experience! A question that I have found helpful is “What is the worst case scenario if this doesn’t take off?” I too, am working full time while trying to kick off my business and this question usually leads me to feeling grateful that, if it fails, I still have an income.
Something that has taken me a while to get used to is that, in the world of wellness and coaching is that we may never know whether we have had an impact on others. It comes down to whether others feel they have gained a benefit from the work that I do. There may be no way of knowing this. I know some very successful coaches whose approach I may assess to have not had a massive impact on me. I also know some very beginner coaches whose efforts have helped me to turn various parts of life around. The latter group may be less inclined to think of themselves as “great”, yet it is possible that I assess them to have had the bigger impact on me personally.
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Good idea doing the video on sunny days. I guess it’s all about practice!
That’s what I say, haha we are very similar, I do think that, if all goes wrong, I’ve still got my day job!
Measuring Impact is something I’ve not really thought of, but true, we may not know our impact.
Lots to think over 😀 x
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For me, measuring impact is not useful for me to think about. When I first started this journey, however, it did my head in that impact was something that may never be visible and so it was something that I found myself having to come to terms with and accept.
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