The lighting, the angle, the pose—being the subject of a picture is an art. In today’s world, where nearly everything is digitally documented (especially on social media), being camera shy isn’t just a personal hiccup—it’s a social faux pas.
There is a way, however, to unlock a screen presence that mirrors your off-camera charisma. It boils down to your confidence, according to Jimmy Naraine, an award-winning educator and trainer of Mindvalley’s Course Pro Quest.
“If you don’t have that inner confidence, if you don’t believe in yourself,” he says, “there will be all of those limiting beliefs that will end up holding you back inevitably.”
Learning to overcome camera shyness helps transform those beliefs, shifting them from hesitation to assurance. And with newfound confidence, every “Say cheese!” becomes your cue to effortlessly command the spotlight.
Why the Camera Makes You Nervous
If you’re familiar with America’s Next Top Model, you’re probably aware that striking a pose is far from natural. Stretch your neck out like this, stick your foot out like that… It’s like doing the hokey-pokey—and all, ironically, for the sake of “looking natural.”
It’s no wonder the meaning of “camera shyness” equates to feelings of discomfort or anxiety when being photographed or recorded on video. That’s not all, though.
The widely-cited Dove survey reports that 77% of women feel this way. What’s more, when it comes to posing for or sharing a picture, 62% feel it gives them more anxiety than public speaking.
But that begs the question: Why do they feel this way?
It seems that camera shyness phobia is closely linked to self-consciousness, as one study noted. This research, focusing on students in online classes, identified that their apprehension in front of the lens often stems from social and personal factors, leading to feelings of nervousness and distraction.
“You have your insecurities, self-doubts,” says Jimmy. “But whenever you push your fears, especially the really big ones, something amazing happens, right? Something amazing happens on the other side.”
3 Things You Can Do to Transform Your Camera Shyness into Magnetic Charisma, According to Jimmy Naraine
Grasping how to get over camera shyness can be the key to going from camera apprehension to camera-ready confidence. Jimmy’s got some great tips for your self-esteem.
1. Turn fear into excitement
“Take all of that anxiety, all of that fear, and turn it into excitement,” Jimmy advises. He explains that the anxiety and nervousness we feel are not much different from the sensations of excitement.
By reinterpreting these feelings as excitement, you can harness that energy for various fear-related situations—public speaking, networking events, and, of course, camera shyness. And so, what was once a source of dread becomes a thrilling opportunity.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Oftentimes, we only see the polished, idealized versions of others. We tend to ignore their struggles and vulnerabilities.
“When you compare yourself to other people, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of underestimating yourself and overestimating other people,” Jimmy says. However, by recognizing and accepting that everyone, including those you admire, has flaws and faces challenges, you can foster greater self-compassion and authenticity. Improving your social skills involves acknowledging these universal human experiences, which also adds a relatable and genuine aspect to your on-screen persona.”
He also encourages you to embrace your unique qualities and experiences. This understanding adds a relatable and genuine aspect to your on-screen persona.
3. Overcome toxic perfectionism
Toxic perfectionism often manifests as a crippling fear of judgment, leading to social anxiety and performance anxiety. It stifles creativity and authentic expression, impacting not only your on-camera presence but also your social skills.
Jimmy explains that this relentless pursuit of flawlessness creates a mismatch between aspirations and reality. You’re never satisfied; you always feel unprepared and not good enough.
This unyielding standard sets an impossible bar, magnifying minor imperfections into failures and paralyzing you on camera. Embracing imperfection and recognizing each misstep as a learning opportunity can help you not be socially awkward on screen.
5 Profound Benefits of Enhancing Your Authentic On-Camera Persona
You may feel that, naturally, you are shy and that you’re an introvert. However, it doesn’t take an extrovert to be in front of the lens.
Jimmy, an introvert himself, says, “I still need time for myself, but I can handle a lot of situations now.” And in opening up in that way, he knows there are benefits to not being camera shy.
Here’s what you can gain from doing the same:
- Enhanced self-confidence. Regularly facing the camera boosts your self-esteem, impacting your confidence in all life areas.
- Broader reach and impact. Confidently sharing your message and personality allows you to connect with audiences globally.
- Improved communication skills. Skills developed for on-camera interactions, like clear articulation and storytelling, enhance your personal and professional communication.
- Increased opportunities. Growing comfort and skill in front of the lens can open doors to new collaborations, speaking engagements, and career advancements.
- Personal brand enhancement. Showcasing an authentic on-camera persona significantly elevates your personal brand, raising your profile in your field or industry.
Every click of the lens becomes an opportunity to showcase your authentic self. And this can have a lasting impact far beyond the digital realm.
Camera Ready, World Steady
A whole new world opens when you’re no longer camera-shy. You exude charm and confidence. And you no longer dread the moments when the clickety-clicks are on you (nor do you dread posting them on your socials).
If you want to learn to be more savvy in front of the camera and elevate your social media game, the Mindvalley Social Media Mastery program is the perfect place to start.
You will learn from the digital world’s best—that includes Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily, John Lee, Brendan Kane, Vishen, Iman Oubou, Jimmy Naraine, Marisha Lakhiani, and Mr. Grateful.
As Jimmy says, “You could decide: I’ll never take any challenge; I’ll just do my thing… And yes, you will be comfortable, but you will be missing out on so many different things.”
Just be sure to not miss out on this. Welcome in.