Do One Thing a Day That Scares You
Up until my first year of college I was a very shy and timid little girl. Shocker, I know. I fell in love with photography and have always been fascinated with the female body. As I practiced photography I slowly became the designated picture-taker for my girlfriends in college, my family, and surprise, surprise, my lovely readers (that’s you!). Since I suffered from low self esteem and a lack of confidence for many years; I felt I was able to express myself and deliver my craft through photography and wordy creativity. Putting me in front of a camera is something I avoid at all costs; shockingly, I hate attention and having a large group stare just at me makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I was once conned into birthday karaoke, and will one day share with you the story of hives and Nena. …and the 8 shots of Jager that followed closely behind.
The Fear: I suffer from severe camera shyness and aside from yoga I fear what will happen if I express myself with my human body.
I was asked to be in a promotional shoot for a film coming out this year. Naturally, my first thought was “Uhm no, I am not a model, nor will I ever be one. I take pictures; I am not in them…unless you want some white girl puckering her lips like it’s Myspace circa 2006.” Well, if this were what happened, I would have no story, and this would be the worst blog post ever.
So alas, SOMEHOW, I found myself agreeing to this self-humiliation. You know that feeling of immediate regret you got after letting your sister cut your hair, or eating that extra piece of cheese when you know your body can’t handle dairy… well that is exactly how I felt. It was like “Alright, I have nothing else to do … Fuuuuuuuck, why did I just agree to this?!” …I spend the next 20 hours complaining about my inability to look sexy and ask every model and beautiful person I work with for a personal tutorial about smiling- with my eyes.
I’m a comedian; I use humor as defense mechanism. If I’m uncomfortable, I make fun of myself. That’s just what I do. So when this shoot was described to me as sunshine girl meets puck bunny, I responded with uncontrollable laughter. Great, not only will I be in front of a camera, but now I will be expected to act sexy in front of that thing I already hate. Asking me to act sexy is like asking Frankenstein to not be green; it’s just not going to happen. I’m not even really sexy in bed… Like, hopefully I am, but I’m not going out of my way to act any different than my usual quirky self.
At this point, the anxiety from my decision is starting to set in. I begin to realize what I have signed myself up for. I’m googling ridiculous terminology like, puck bunny and smize, and how to appear sexy when you’re a complete idiot… I learn two things; there are people out there that suggest practicing poses for a half hour a day in a mirror, and that I look like an asshole when I attempt this. Aborting mission, moving on to a huge glass of wine and a soak in my tub.
It’s photo shoot day, I prepare my face with natural makeup as per request and pack my oh-so-tiny boogie shorts. I take a double shot of tequila before I leave the house. After having a makeup artist cake on the most eyeliner I have ever seen in my entire life I am ready to go. Pins, clips and elastics are used to make me appear to have a small slender body in an oversized hockey jersey. I begin to panic on the inside. Slow, deep breaths. See, yoga really is a tool for life. Luckily for me, and I guess the producers, I am very comfortable in heels. So comfortable in fact, I appear to know what I am doing. After asking the photographer for tips and for some extra direction we finally get me doing what works. I am told to work with the fact I am cute and playful. I learn that I light up when I smile. It is incredible to learn things about yourself through the eyes of an artist. After 25 minutes of teaching me how to stand like a lady, tilt my head, and work my Julia Roberts size mouth, the shoot is over and to my surprise, a success. “They’re really going to like you.” He says to me, “You’re adorable, and now you know…” Adorable is sexy right? Riiight…
You have no idea how good it felt to conquer this type of fear! Not only did I make myself step far outside my comfort zone, but I also learned some great tips, and met some pretty rad people. I have gained another small dose of confidence, pushing me closer to break out of my shell. I am now excited about my website shoot and am able to think creativity, as opposed to having it blocked from my mind. Being confident in your own skin and loving who you are as a person is not a learned trait, it is one that is developed with practice.
So here is my challenge to you:
Do something today that scares you, do something that gives you anxiety just thinking about it. You may feel like throwing up, and you may actually throw up. As long as you have good aim, it doesn’t matter. Do something so out of character that it creates a wow factor and shocks those around you. Why not? Stepping out of your comfort zone is the key to guiding women and many others into a world of self confidence. When you choose to walk through what scares you, you begin walking through what is stopping you from getting or going where you really want to be. By walking through the fear you are then in effect breaking the spell that binds you. It could change the course of your life; you could learn a great lesson. Often what you fear the most is exactly what you should be taking a closer look at. No one got anywhere awesome by acting normal or going with the flow my friend.
So go, go do it now! Learn by my example and conquer that fear, whatever it may be.
This is my terrified face!
Hello, I am a typical Canadian Stereotype…