What I Learned From Showing Up on Facebook Live Every Day for 30 Days
Developing courage is hard, but with clear rules you can build it in small steps
Two and a half years ago, I made a courageous decision that changed my life. I decided to make a Facebook-live video, every morning for 30 days. I know what you’re thinking: yuck! Facebook Live? Why?
Most people cringe at the thought of making a video of themselves, let alone a live video. Why would I subject myself to that? Well:
- I wanted to experience courage every day.
- I wanted to share messages with people in my life who might be more receptive to this type of encouragement than a personal outreach.
- I wanted to increase confidence in my ability to record live videos.
This is what I learned from following through on this challenge.
Courage Sucks, but We All Want More of It
Psychologist Benjamin Hardy defines courage as “ an intentional behavior toward a worthy goal involving risk.”
Most people admire courage in others but don’t like to experience it themselves. — Dan Sullivan
There’s no way round it: courage sucks.
It’s the feeling that comes after you’ve committed to something bigger than what you’ve done in the past, and now you have to follow through.
It comes with a combination of self-doubt, worry, and fear — when you feel like an idiot for committing to something that you’ll most likely fail in.
In spite of the risk involved, you follow through. That is courage.
Commitments that require courage lead to exponential growth. They will accelerate your ability to gain new capabilities.
Following through on those commitments leads to a higher level of confidence and empowerment. Little by little, every day, you’ll become more courageous.
Here’s my daily process to help you take those baby steps.
Each morning I had to re-commit to this goal. Leaving the house every day with my cell phone in hand was my way of committing to recording the live video.
Every day it took a huge amount of courage to press the record button. What if people thought this video was stupid? What if no one saw it? What if I put my foot in my mouth?
The first day was the worst, but to my surprise it didn’t get much more comfortable. It took courage to press “record” every single day.
Take three deep breaths.
Press the button.
With each recording I could feel my skills growing. It brought to mind other skills that I was already good at and reminded me that I enjoyed doing this type of thing — talking off the cuff about things that were important to me. In a way I was giving myself a pep-talk for the rest of the day.
I limited each video to 5 minutes, and each time as the video closed I felt an enormous boost of confidence. My smile was bigger, my steps were lighter, and I was ready to take on new challenges throughout the day. Mission accomplished.
After a while I started to get positive feedback from my peers. Some were struggling with depression and these videos gave them the confidence to face their life that day. My friends in South America started demanding that I re-do the videos in Spanish, and my reach grew more than I anticipated.
Non-negotiable Rules to Ensure Success
While doing these videos I made several rules for myself — things I needed to do to follow through.
- I put my phone on airplane mode and only checked my messages once a day — I knew that negative feedback would throw off my momentum.
- I made a point to limit each video to three to five minutes. I knew I could be courageous for three minutes.
- One take, no do-overs. After all, I was going for prolific, not perfect.
- Finally, I resolved never to go back and watch those videos. A little quirky, but I wasn’t about to submit myself to that!
Next time you make a commitment that you know requires courage, I recommend that you set up a few non-negotiables. Because I stuck to my non-negotiables, the courage required was manageable.
Big Commitment Big Courage, Small Commitment Small Courage
I made a small commitment that I could keep every day because I wanted a mindset change. I wanted to get comfortable with experiencing three minutes of courage every day.
I was building habits, not hurtling Everest.
Increasing your courage is a powerful recipe for growth. But wanting to do to so too quickly can cripple your progress and make you less likely to commit next time.
Instead of trying to tackle a huge challenge and failing, set yourself a small goal and commit to seeing it through every day, as I did with my live video challenge.
Remember: big commitments require lots of courage, but small steps only take a little push each day.