About 7 years ago, I started co-hosting a radio show once a month. As painful as it was in the beginning, I would occasionally go back and listen to the shows afterwards. And much to my surprise, I got used to the sound of my voice. Not only did I get used to it, the sound stopped bothering me at all. It kind of became normal.
Fast forward to 2011 - the first time I saw myself on television. YIKES!!! And I thought hearing my voice was bad. Seeing myself was even worse!! I couldn't believe all the crazy facial expressions I made. And how asymmetrical my face was. And once again, I exclaimed to myself in horror, "How can anyone ever look at me when I talk?!? I must drive everyone insane!! I bet my students want to run out of the class screaming with all those weird facial expressions and hand gestures I make!!" When I told a friend of mine how I felt about it, he replied, "Carol, that's just who you are!!" In other words, he didn't think anything about it. And that got me to thinking that maybe I was the only one who ever gave it a second thought.
Fast forward again ... to 2014. I'm now making educational and motivational videos for eHow.com and Inspiyr.com. And even though I've seen myself on television many times, I was still horrified at myself when I watch the videos. That is ... until ... I watched them over.
I know I'm making myself sound like a narcissist. Honestly, I'm anything but a narcissist. But the reason I did it is because I literally could not stop analyzing my face ... even though it was causing me angst. Now I sound like a obsessive-compulisive masochist. But I'm not that either.
Here's the funny thing. After I watched the videos over and over, I no longer cringed. In fact, I eventually thought, "Hey, I don't look or sound so bad. I guess it's no big deal after all."
So that got me to thinking that everyone should do that. Yes, it's weird. I know. Yes, you feel self-absorbed and cheesy (no pun intended). But here are the 4 reasons why I think you should put yourself through the agony of watching yourself on video over and over:
1. You face your fears and self-doubt.
Admit it. You have some fears and self-doubt. Don't we all? If you don't, then congratulations! You have just won the biggest prize in the universe entitled "Perfect Self-Esteem"!! But for the rest of us, we don't like to confront our insecurities. And many of our insecurities are based in how we look. Watching yourself on video forces you to really look at yourself.
2. You get used to it - and your fears and self-doubt start to fade.
After a while, you realize it's not too bad. You stop obsessing. So what if your face is asymmetrical or you have a few wrinkles. Trust me, no one cares about your little "imperfections" nearly as much as you do!
3. You get to see yourself as other people see you.
Since you finally realize that no one is probably judging you nearly as harshly as you're judging yourself, you get to see yourself through other people's eyes. What I mean by that is that you eventually end up taking off your "overly critical glasses" and learn to just relax and chill out about it.
4. You finally make peace with yourself and how you look/sound.
After you watch yourself enough, you come to the place where you kind of shrug your shoulders and wonder why you ever made such a big horrific deal about it. Because really, you can't change how you look or sound. Okay, you can have plastic surgery like Michael Jackson, but who would want to do that? And who has that kind of money anyway? It's much better to just make peace with yourself.
So I hope I have inspired you to watch yourself on video. As cheesy as it may sound (sorry about the pun again), take the challenge. Try it. Even though it might be painful at first, it will be worth it in the long run!!
To start you off, I am sharing one of the videos that helped me. So say "cheese" and make some pretty videos of yourself this week!! :)