Get On Camera Challenge

Day 1

 
 

Exercise

Here's the truth: you're not afraid of the camera. 

It's a little device with a glass eye, there's nothing scary about it. What you're afraid of is what you think will happen if you make a video and put it out there. You're afraid of how that will make you feel.

Ultimately, everything we do comes down to how we feel, and everything we feel comes down to how we think.

We can't change our behaviour until we change how we think about something. You may have tried to get on camera before, but it's just not stuck. Or maybe you're going on camera but hate every second of it. Either way, the thoughts you're having are blocking you from fully showing up, relaxed and confident, so we need to identify what those are before we can start clearing them away.

Sometimes it's easier to work backwards so:

1: Start by identifying what exactly it is that you're feeling when you think about or go on camera - naming something goes a long way towards diminishing it's power over you (old school woo woo perhaps, but still true). Take five minutes to think about what you're actually feeling, let yourself really dwell in it.

2: And then trace it back to the thoughts you're having that's causing the feeling. You're telling yourself something, or rather your brain is thinking something you've probably not even been conscious of before, and it's those thoughts and stories that are causing the block. It's probably not even plain fear, it's fear of another emotion.

For example, my block stemmed from fear of humiliation and embarrassment. Those were the emotions I was so afraid of feeling that I didn't want to put myself in a position where I could potentially end up feeling them. I avoided any situation where those two emotions were a possibility, pretty much to extremes.

The camera by itself can't humiliate or embarrass me, it's an inanimate object. But it became the focal point for that fear of those emotions, turning into this big terrifying thing in my mind that I had to avoid at all costs.

That fear of those emotions was being caused by the story I was telling myself that people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say because I was ugly and irrelevant. It's a story I've been telling myself since I was a kid, because I was the smart one and not the pretty one, because I felt unlovable. Sometimes, we can take something and twist it into something much bigger and uglier, and it's really easy to do that when we're young. Often, we don't even realise we're doing it at all.

I had no idea I thought this until I worked to overcome my fear of going on camera. The way our brains work is that they go on thinking things, making up stories, and we don't consciously realise it. Our brain is basically a dick, because it's designed to keep us safe. It may sound weird, but fear keeps us safe.

It's only by uncovering the stories our brain's been telling us that we can take back control and start changing how we think about things. To really get to the cause of the block you'll need to take a step back and pay attention to what your brain is saying without your permission, this isn't a time to beat yourself up or get swept away by the emotion you're feeling. Try to watch what your brain's doing, without judgement, just as a curious bystander.