completing my facebook challenge

I completed my Facebook authenticity challenge by recording my first live video! The challenge has enabled me to overcome fears and to break through some long-held limitations. Here’s what I learned in 44 days:

It’s amazing how quickly you get used to being outside of your comfort zone. When I began the challenge on September 18, the idea of talking about my own limiting beliefs direct to camera and posting the video to my Facebook feed was enough to make me break out sweating. It felt as though was taking a huge personal risk, with the possibility of a very public failure.

The failure would be to change something about my life, which I’d claimed I wanted to do. Would I actually be able to achieve what I’d set myself? In the first video, I announced that I wanted to make ten videos, even one speaking German, and that I was also going to film outside where passers-by could watch me struggling! How insane was this?

Yet something extraordinary happens when you make a commitment and choose accountability partners (in this case, anyone who watched that first video became my accountability partner) – you begin to focus in on your goal and to access the necessary resources to achieve whatever you committed to.

Almost immediately, I experienced a rush of new energy and ideas: places outside where I could film; topics I wanted to challenge myself to speak about; people who I was going to ask to give me feedback. And I started to ask myself profound questions about what I was really afraid of, and why.

After I’d finished the first couple of videos, what had been unthinkable quickly became routine. I hand-wrote scripts, improvised on the content of those scripts, and sat in cafés doing the editing. I discovered that the whole process could be completed during an afternoon. I even managed to post videos I wasn’t entirely happy with, to forgive myself for poor lighting or sound or bad face days and just to keep moving forward.

I discovered how liberating it is to talk openly about things you have difficulty with. Usually I’m not great at sharing my insecurities, but the key, I guess, was changing my focus. Instead of thinking about how awkward I might feel, or how ridiculous people might find me, I was occupied with how I could say what I wanted to say in less than ten minutes, with as few takes as possible to make the editing easier.

There were some disappointments. Some contacts I asked for feedback did not bother to respond, and apparently people rarely share on Facebook (why?). I discovered that I am acutely sensitive to feeling rejected, but I owned up to that and kept moving forwards. So I have trust issues; other people do too. What was amazing for me was to feel exposed and insecure and just to keep on doing what I had set out to do, noticing how new confidence rolled in to replace the insecurity.  I am more resilient than I thought.

Overall, I busted through long-held limitations and ended up in a completely new space that I’m still exploring. I seem to have shifted a lot of my beliefs. I enjoy making videos, I think the results I’ve achieved are more than okay, I can deal with criticism and rejection and I don’t even mind if people like me or not. Plus I have a lot more to say and cannot now think of reasons why I shouldn’t say it. I don’t even hate Facebook any more.

This seems to me an acceptable result from a 44-day challenge. 🙂 So I am going to keep on making videos and posting them to my new Facebook page.

Stay tuned to see what I am going to come up with next.