Over the past two months, I have been developing my first online course. After years of ghostwriting educational content for other coaches, it’s time for me to get in front of the camera. Which makes me very uncomfortable. One of the reasons I enjoy writing so much is because I don’t have to be physically visible in the work that I do. It feels safe and while I care about the writing I create, I am able to separate myself from it enough that criticism is heard but not felt.
Despite the fact that being in front of the camera makes me uncomfortable, I know that it’s important that I do it. For one thing, representation matters. There aren’t a ton of queer women in the personal finance space and every new face allows us all to take up a bit more room. Creating video content is also deeply humanizing. Seeing folx who don’t play into patriarchal beauty and gender norms gives us more permission to show up however we present.
Then there’s the fact that video content leaves me nowhere to hide. Which is why I am determined to integrate it more regularly into my professional and creative work. With nowhere to hide, I have no other option but to show up fully and unapologetically. I must take ownership of my work and my words in new and more vulnerable ways. Fortunately, my desire to connect to the humans I want to serve usurps any discomfort with being in front of the camera that I feel.
Being uncomfortable is part of being a creative. So many of us turn to art as a way to interpret and find belonging in a world where we feel out of place. Out of necessity, we learn to appreciate and work with the fringes of the human experience; through our art we illuminate what is difficult, paradoxical, and strange. It is in this place of discomfort that we’re able to keep ourselves and others awake and curious about what’s happening around us and inside of us.
Discomfort can also be a useful teacher. It can stretch us in beneficial ways and reveal new edges and unseen areas that are asking for creative development. And while making yourself more visible in your creative work can be scary, the fear you’re feeling has the potential to be translated into clarity, fuel, and conviction. In this way, doing the uncomfortable work of not hiding is an essential part of you accessing your full creative potential.
So, what uncomfortable actions will help you move forward?