For all my talk of courage and vulnerability, there is one thing I've been putting off for YEARS because of how terrifically uncomfortable it makes me, and that is stepping in front of a camera and talking directly into it.
Because, in spite of being pretty comfortable on stage and video chat;
It's remarkable how quickly that ease evaporates when it's just you, squaring off with an unblinking mechanical eye.
When the final video airs, will it contain all the outtakes; the times I cursed a passing car or plane; the times I had to take my jacket off and moan, because it was 85 degrees in the house with the lights on?
... Probably not.
In fact, it will be AMAZING if ANY of this footage ever sees the light of day.
Because the story I am tempted to tell myself -- without yet having seen anything -- is that the day was a gigantic waste of time and effort because I definitely looked and sounded like a total corporate robot and so WE SHOULD JUST FORGET THE WHOLE THING and let all that professional footage languish on a hard drive in a locked drawer forever, where it belongs.
Which is ironic, because if I were my client;
I would ask myself to consider whether I would ever THINK of saying something so mean to a friend.
And the answer is always no -- of course not!
When someone we love holds out a story of self-doubt and criticism, we promptly rummage around in the evidence chest to show her every conceivable reason she has to forgive and believe in herself. And we're damn convincing, aren't we?
Why is it, then, that we so rarely do this for ourselves*?
With this in mind, a full week before the shoot was scheduled -- aware that it was far from life-or-death, even though it felt that way -- I intentionally chose a different story to default to, whenever I wanted to quit.
"You're being very brave right now, just by showing up and standing here and saying words. All you have to do is finish. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be complete."
And that's how I got through the entire day.
There's no doubt that another pep talk will be necessary before I can even LOOK at the footage... Never mind pressing the big blue "UPLOAD" button....
But, you know, one step at a time.
Imagine: How much more would YOU be capable of, if you routinely cheered yourself on, with the same amount of unfaltering love and loyalty that you show your friends?
This week, I hope you give yourself this gift.
I think -- if we all did -- we might dare to live just a little bit bigger than we've been able to in the past.