It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I ask my therapy clients to go to hard places and to talk about difficult topics during their therapy sessions. This often leads to them having vulnerable conversations and interactions with people in their lives outside of the safety of therapy. They often look fear in the face and do the hard things anyway. The big challenges. The life goals. Little by little, day-by-day, even with setbacks, they are making progress towards the life they’ve always envisioned for themselves, their family, etc.
Towards the end of 2018, I realized that I’d met all of my professional goals that year except one, to make Facebook live videos. Sure, I’d seen plenty of family members, friends and colleagues use this avenue, but something about being on live video was totally terrifying for me (and I get the irony here as I see all my clients via online video counseling ). But, I ask them to do difficult things to improve their own lives, and I wanted to do the same in my own life.
So, me being me, I took a class in December on Facebook lives and how to do them “right.” What did I learn? That I needed to learn by doing. So, once a week for 12-weeks (after some daily “practice” sessions), I put myself out there via Facebook lives. Here’s what I learned:
- I was just as terrified the first time I pressed the live button and stared into the green video light on my computer while the 3-2-1 countdown started, as I was on my last day of this challenge.
- I made myself rewatch my videos, and even kept them up on my Facebook page afterwards. The rewarching process was sometimes harder than the actual video recording itself.
- I say “um” A LOT, even when I’m making a conscious effort not to!
- Most people were supportive and left nice comments for me on my video feeds, but a few people in my life judged me for having imperfect videos. They were also usually people who’ve never done a Facebook live in their life. No points with them for taking action and trying, only for perfection (which I kind of think is next to impossible in a Facebook live!).
- I never knew quite where to look without a client on the other side of the screen. From my class I knew it was the green light, but that never felt natural to me.
- Does anyone feel comfortable talking to themselves about a topic? I sure didn’t! But, whenever someone would sign on that they were watching the live streaming of my video, it would totally throw me for a loop!
- I make some pretty weird facial expressions, especially when I’m nervous.
- People actually watched and shared (!) my videos, especially ones entitled “BIG NEWS” (No, I wasn’t pregnant! It was for the launch of my second book and another for becoming one of five therapists in Texas with the new Perinatal Mental Health Certification).
- Starting out, I was scared, but still somehow had a lot to say, and often had a hard time shutting up and ending the video.
- Over time I realized that shorter videos were definitely better for all of us!
- I never looked happy, even when I made a concerted effort to smile more. (Maybe my not really wanting to be on Facebook live video to begin with came through with flying colors?).
- I’m beyond happy that this little experiment is over and done with and I never again have to do another Facebook live video for as long as I live, unless I somehow miss them and want to continue them- ha, ha!
So, there you have it! I’m glad I followed through, faced my fears and took this challenge. I learned a lot about myself in the process, especially that live video is not one of my strengths, and that’s okay. This process also reiterated my love for writing and that writing (versus video) is where I prefer to spend my free time.
I’ll see you soon on Facebook; it will just be in the form of blog posts and quotations!