Apr 10, 2020
There used to be a time when
people who were camera shy could mostly avoid being in photos or on
video. For better or worse...those days are long gone. A lot of us
hate seeing ourselves on camera, and today I’m going to talk about
why. Our brains are actually programmed to hate seeing ourselves on
camera because of specific biases. I’m going to talk about those
biases, how they affect our brain, and give some tips to overcome
In a world of selfies,
Instastories and YouTube…it’s hard to not be on camera these days.
With the coronavirus pandemic (which I covered in episode 91), the
world has been flocking to Zoom, which before the end of February
had already added more active users than in all of 2019. In the
coronavirus episode, I touched on why the brain is wired to react
the way it does during a novel and frightening situation like this,
and why we all feel inclined to hoard lots of supplies like toilet
paper even when we know that is a bit irrational.
Today’s episode gets into
concepts like familiarity bias, confirmation bias, and comparisons
that are working to make our brains hate seeing and hearing
ourselves from the outside looking in. I talk about what we see and
hear and what others see and hear. I explain how these biases
affect us. I also share my own experiences with these biases, and
share seven tips you can use to convince your brain that being on
camera, audio, and video isn’t that bad after all.
- [04:32] Not too long ago, any of us who wanted
to could pretty much avoid cameras – either video or
- [08:13] I get it. AND I want to help everyone
understand some of the things going on in all our brains that make
us less than excited about seeing ourselves on video (or listening
to our own voices on a recording) to make it a little easier to do
that next one.
- [08:23] There are a couple of mind tricks
conspiring against seeing yourself on camera, including
confirmation bias, familiarity bias, and the comparison effect
(essentially relativity), and the focusing illusion.
- [08:55] FAMILIARITY BIAS This is one of those
things that is so obvious when you hear it, but not something that
people are usually connecting the dots on themselves.
- [09:19] We see everyone head on, and they see
us head-on. The only way we see ourselves is a reflection in the
mirror. We actually see the opposite of what everyone else
- [10:23] This is why our familiarity bias kicks
in when we see our image in a photo, and we think that something is
- [10:56] Studies have actually shown people two
images – head on and mirror image – to see what people preferred,
and it confirmed that friends and partners…everyone else, prefers
the “straight on” image of us, and we all prefer our mirror
- [11:13] People could never explain why they
didn’t like one and why they preferred the mirror image. The
conscious can’t explain it…but the subconscious knows what it is
used to looking at.
- [11:47] Until you train your brain to see your
“real face” more, it will not be familiar and it will feel off.
This means putting in the effort to be in more pictures and on
video and watching yourself.
- [12:11] Some smart systems like Zoom actually
let you choose if you want to be looking at and recording your
“real” face or your “mirror image.”
- (Bonus side note not in the episode - I did a
run through of a training using GoToMeeting the day after recording
this and saw myself in NOT mirror image for the first time in a
while...my brain’s immediate reaction was that it was
awful! But I was able to use the tips from the
episode to get past it and not make it awkward.)
- [12:42] Help train your brain to get used to
the good stuff of the true you. Our brains dial in WAY too closely
on things when we are thinking about them.
- [13:22] You will be focusing on yourself in a
way no one else does. So you have two options. First: train
yourself to watch the general image and try not to narrow in on one
- [14:21] The second option is to know that the
focusing illusion will still be happening because your brain is
wired to focus on stuff. Focusing on the good stuff will make you
happier and smile more.
- [15:26] Zoom also has a “touch up my
appearance” option that gives you a smoothed out look and can be
the edge you need to feel more comfortable.
- [16:50] We actually hear ourselves differently
than everyone else, because our voices are reverberating around
inside our heads while we speak. Your perception of yourself is
- [18:26] CONFIRMATION BIAS Familiarity bias
combines with confirmation bias to really reinforce the bad stuff
deeper into your brain.
- [19:26] We remember the feedback that aligns
with our self esteem more than we remember anything that doesn’t
align with it.
- [20:42] Your subconscious is making 99% of the
decisions and evaluating tons of information every second to screen
out what fits its rules and what doesn’t.
- [22:24] You need to embrace the new positive
just make it plausible enough that your brain will believe
- [23:39] COMPARISON EFFECT for our purposes this
is essentially relativity.
- [23:56] The context (the environment you were
just in) will impact the way your brain perceives the next
- [26:14] If video is important to your business,
invest in making yourself look as good as possible. This will
benefit your personal brand and make it easier to see yourself.
Here are those 7 tips:
- [29:51] #1 Try to focus on good stuff you like
about yourself instead of the stuff that makes you
- [30:02] #2 People are programmed to like you
more when they see you the way they are used to seeing you. People
- [30:34] #3 Reframe your focus to a
- [30:50] #4 Be okay with mess ups. They will
- [31:49] #5 Imagine the audience is laughing at
the right spots and loving every minute.
- [33:21] #6 Decide to get over it. Find positive
things to focus on and see yourself better.
- [34:33] #7 Do as much video as you can as often
- [35:13] It's time for a new challenge. I’ll be
going live every day between now, April 10 and May 15 when episode
100 goes out. Will you join me? Find me on social and use
Thanks for listening. Don’t
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