What it’s like being judged on camera

A year ago, I started making videos on youtube.

A friend of mine, as soon as she heard about it asked, “Don’t you feel self-conscious when you’re talking to yourself in front of a camera in public?”

Of course I do. Talking to a camera in public is probably one of the more self-conscious things you could ever do. Every word you say, every action you take feels like it’s under watch, being scrutinized by the dozens of people just waiting to laugh at you, at your mistakes.

Ever give a public speech in front of a hundred people? Being on camera is worse; it feels like thousands.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve felt too embarrassed to continue. It took months of continuous cringe-worthy filming before I finally started to feel slightly more natural filming myself in public.

Throughout the whole process, there was one piece of advice that really stuck out in my mind that kept me going:

“People without the script will never know the mistakes you make. Keep calm and carry on.”

This was advice a professor had once bestowed upon me during a public speaking course in college. The idea, the concept behind the advice is that, even if you mess up at anytime during your speech, as long as you don’t show it, the audience won’t know.

It’s solid advice that’s helped me tremendously in my public speaking days, and now that I’m shooting videos, it’s helped again.

The advice is worthwhile; sometimes it’s important to realize that a lot of the fears you have, may it be a fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of looking bad — these fears often exist only within your mind. People don’t actually care.

Have you noticed whenever there’s a traffic accident on the opposite highway lane? Drivers will slow their cars down to watch even if it has nothing to do with them. People are just curious by nature; we like to observe things outside of the norm of everyday life simply because it’s interesting. There’s no judging, no scrutiny, no sarcasm. What we see, we treat it for what it is: a passing moment that we’ll have most likely forgotten before the day has even passed.

It might feel like you’re under scrutiny, but it’s not the case. It’s just that what you’re doing happens to be interesting, which is a good thing because if what you were doing was boring, then what would have been the point of doing it in the first place?

Fear is normal, we all have them. We don’t get to choose our fears, but we do get to choose what we make of those fears. As Doc Zantamata phrases perfectly, “Don’t let the fear of what could happen make nothing happen.”

It is when you finally learn that your fears are all in your mind that your real life begins. — Brian Tracy

About the author

Jon Lee

I travel the world in search of lessons worth sharing. Addicted to culture shock and transparency. Currently working on heeyy and duuck.

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