It took me hours to make a 10 minute video. It wasn’t just that I thought the video had to be perfect, not to mention my timing, delivery, and the words that came out of my voice all had to be perfect. I also thought *I* had to be perfect.
I was self-conscious about my acne scars, my pimples, the dark circles under my eyes, my unruly eyebrows. I could go on.
I don’t even wear makeup in “real life,” so whenever I did videos I would have to spend at least an hour watching YouTube videos on how to put on makeup. I wasted hours, HOURS, putting on makeup when I hate putting on makeup.
I also spent far too long picking out the outfit I should wear. I would choose one. Nope, not professional enough, I would think. I would pick another one. Nope, too professional.
I started avoiding doing videos. Spending 3 hours on a 20 minute video just wasn’t a good enough return on investment.
Selfies were a similar story. I would have to pick the right outfit, and pick the right corner of the house where the mess couldn’t be seen. I would take 30 images, and discard most because it looked like I had a double chin. And another bunch of them because my smile wasn’t quite right. And I sure couldn’t use that one because my teeth looked even more yellow than usual. After 10 minutes or more, I would just choose the the least cringy selfie.
And then I realized something. I was the one who was most bothered by my insecurities. Most people didn’t care and probably didn’t notice!
When you meet someone for the first time do you just stare at their acne scars? Or their unplucked eyebrows? I’m guessing not. If you’re anything like me you’re too preoccupied trying to memorize that person’s name.
There’s a phrase in psychology called The Spotlight Effect which means everyone is primarily concerned with themselves. We all think there is a spotlight hanging over our own head, that everyone is paying close attention to what we do and say and, how we look.
Except that’s not true. People don’t have time to obsess about the way you look because they’re obsessing about the way they look!
You have gifts and skills and knowledge that the world needs. Acne scars, or whatever is holding you back from making videos and taking selfies, can’t take away that fact.
I have pimples, dark circles under my eyes, and yellow teeth. Sure, someone may notice them. But if they’re too distracted by those things to listen to the knowledge I have to share, that’s their loss.
I actually used to live down the block from someone who didn’t have a nose. Sure, it was a little distracting to talk to her at first, but she owned her uniqueness.
Ok, I’m going to be harsh here, but if you want to show up on camera but aren’t because of your acne scars (or you don’t have a nose) then it’s not your acne scars that are holding you back, you’re holding yourself back. Sure, human beings judge, but that means *everyone* is being judged to some extent. You can let that fact control your actions, or you can show up and help the people who aren’t judgy assholes.
And of course, you don’t have to show up on camera either! There are so other ways you can show up online without showing your face – like only doing videos with voiceover, or sticking to text-based marketing like blogs and Twitter, and of course there’s so much you can post on Instagram besides selfies.
Whatever path you choose, I hope you do so with empowerment, and the knowledge that you are enough.