We are told to be ourselves from an early age but years of self-awareness can be a hard wall to break through
As someone who has always been behind some sort of proverbial camera rather than in front, the prospect of ‘humanising’ a project, business or brand – (ie. putting your mouth where your money is) is something I’ve largely avoided.
My own self-perception tells me I have a monotone voice great for putting people to sleep, paired with an inability to string a sentence together in an eloquent fashion. Generally not a great recipe for talking on camera. So why am I?
Our image of ourselves is always biased one way or another
There are the peacocks – those who breathe confidence out to the world, seemingly unnerved in any given situation, with a fluid, slick, polished delivery, where self-doubt doesn’t even figure.
Then there are the analysts – those of us who will examine a potential scenario so intricately that no action seems like a better option than any. They can hide behind a constructed narrative, words, images, statistics, never needing to bare their soul or show their face.
But there comes a time when we either change, adapt and grow in confidence or we plateau and stagnate in the pond of broken dreams. Not a pond I want to find myself in personally – too many weeds sucking all the oxygen.
No oxygen = no life. An analogy too far perhaps but you get the point.
While we hide in the shadows of our projects, we are willing them to fail before we’ve even started. We’re not willing to put our name on it in case of failure, which will inevitably come if we believe it will. You’ve gotta love a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But if we face the world, literally, there is a connection to be made that is potentially more powerful than another generic website or a faceless logo.
I was talking to a friend about how his image might be perceived on social media. He is incredibly experienced in his field, with a respectable social following and truly is a lovely human being. His personality is approachable which is probably why many high level brands and celebrities want to work with him. But he never records video of himself talking about the things he knows about.
He suffers from the same thing many of us do – imposter syndrome and self-doubt. He hides his real talent and wealth of knowledge behind other content, recommending brands and products when he should be peeling back the layers of his own personality.
I suggested to him I thought he should talk more about his own expertise on camera in a relevant context. Then I looked back at myself.
I’m still hiding behind a sentence, a paragraph, an image, a blog post.
So I recorded a one-take video. No fuss, no fancy camera setup. Just a handheld iPhone, reverse camera, natural light, internal microphone. It was up in 30 minutes, posted on Facebook on a Friday at 5pm.
This is how easy it is. The barriers I put up over the years came down in 30 minutes.
It’s not about that video, or how many people see it, but it’s about taking that first step.
It has been liberating. Now there’s no going back.