June 2, 2021

Let yourself fall backward into your own arms


My client, an insurance organization, once hired me to write and deliver a training video for their members on the topic of goal setting.

Building the curriculum was challenging and enjoyable. Delivering the program at their production studio was intense and exhausting. But the biggest challenge was when they streamed my video live to their community.

Because that meant I had to watch it live. Blech. Is there anything worse than having to watch yourself speak on camera?

Part of me had been dreading this moment for months. In fact, the critical voice inside my head, which has been highly vocal over the years while watching hundreds of my own speeches, films, interviews and other recorded projects, started chiming in.

You’re going to look fat and ugly. Your words are going to sound flimsy and made up. And nobody in the audience is going to take you seriously.

In fact, I thought about not watching the video at all. Best way to block a punch is to not be there, right?

The resistance, arriving in the form of panic, was coming on strong. But my client insisted that I watch it, and since they were paying me well, it made sense to suck it up and look at myself on the screen.

What happened next was delightfully surprising.

The video looked good. Really good. Not only the production value of the training module itself, but me, as the host of this program, looked good. And that’s when that other voice in my head chimed in.

Look at you. Look at you. You are handsome, intelligent, articulate, funny, inspiring and credible. All those years of sitting in your office, talking to a camera for hours with nobody around, actually paid off. This is extremely well executed, you earned every dollar they paid you, and this client is going to hire you again in the future because of this. Go celebrate!

I immediately went and bragged about it to a colleague of mind, and he reflected something back to me:

The pride coursing through my veins wasn’t about the video itself. That was just the artifact of something bigger. The fact that I love myself. The fact that I trust myself. The fact that I know who I am and know how to use my gifts to deliver value to anyone, anywhere.

Don’t you just love it when life gifts you a moment as a reminder of how far you’ve come? Don’t you just love it when you suddenly realize how much you’ve grown?

Sure helps put the panic in perspective.

What will happen when you let yourself fall backward into your own arms?

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