Yesterday I filmed a short book review about Nassim Nicholas Taleb on his book, Skin in the Game. Although it may look like I create the footage in the one go, usually it involves a lot of stops and starts where I wait until I get into some conversational flow in front of the camera in order to continue.
At the same time, I’m doing a 30 Day Learning Challenge using Twitter as the platform where I respond in the target language I’m learning (French) to a daily question.
In both instances, it requires me to talk in front of a camera. One to present a review about what lessons I learned from a book; the other in a foreign language that I’m learning.
In both instances, the irony is not lost on me that I’m putting myself ‘out there’ and making myself vulnerable in the sense that I may offend someone (even the authors of the books I’m reviewing) or causing some ear ache to a native French speaker.
However, upon reflection, I considered what I do with these videos.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I watch my videos. I watch them after I have posted them, and I watch them some time later afterwards. Sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes they make me cringe (well, a lot of the times, they make me cringe).
However, they also bring me some insight into my characteristics. They are a way I learn about myself.
When you see yourself reflected back at you, when you really listen to your own words, when you have a deeper meaning as to why you presented something in the manner that you did (because only you would know what was happening behind the scenes when you made that video), you learn a lot about yourself.
It made me realise that the videos I have collected over the years are reflections of continual and consistent adjustments and improvements made along the way about the following:
- Presenting myself and my character (the ‘WYSIWYG’ approach)
- Presenting an argument or a discussion point
- Explaining or demonstrating how to do something
Re-watching videos also enables me to ‘self-critique’ and evaluate my own performance and improve on it. I’m continually self-monitoring.
How tiring eh?
Yesterday, while doing Taleb’s book review, I had shot the entire video and watched it a few times. I was quite surprised at what I found myself doing.
I had inverted my statements to make an argument!
That is, I approached the subject matter from a negative view and then inverted it to make a point of how it was NOT like that. Who knows why I said it in this manner?
Maybe, like some slick advertising executive, I wanted to make an impact? I wanted to make it memorable?
This struck me as really odd and wondered if I do this, in general, for normal situations at work and home.
Do I present the negative first and then flip my argument?
If so, how does this present to other people who listen to me and who may think, “Oh no, she doesn’t like XYZ….oh hang on, she does!”
Does this make people confused with my messages?
So I edited out these negative statements from the video but then, frustrated with myself, I simply re-shot the book review instead to see if I could improve on it.
Guess what? I did it again!
Why was I speaking like this?
This made me think of those assignments we had in school about self-critiquing our work.
To critique and evaluate our own work is a method of self-reflection for personal learning and growth. It allows us to continually reconfigure our behaviours and create some form of identity – and one the changes and morphs over time.
I’ll be exploring more about self-reflection because it seems to be something I do a lot myself and I do it naturally. I catch myself self-monitoring all the time; then reflecting what was said; done and how it could be improved upon the next time.
I wonder if this is something others do as a matter of course or whether it has to be recommended by another party say, a therapist, an educator or some such?