Mark Kelly
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How Making YouTube Videos Helped Me Over ...

How Making YouTube Videos Helped Me Overcome My Introverted Nature

Sep 27, 2023

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be making YouTube videos focusing on technology and productivity, leading me to connect with people worldwide, I would have probably looked at you with slight bemusement and disbelief.

You see, I'm an introvert. And what this means is that lengthy social interactions can drain me emotionally and mentally, especially with strangers.

However, despite what I've just written, being an introvert has never stopped me from engaging with people or expressing myself. You may even be surprised to learn that I've always loved acting, and in fact, all through my childhood and teen years, all I ever wanted to do was act. TV, movies, or being on the stage, I didn't care so long as I was a working actor!

But alas, this was not to be (can I say yet?), at least not professionally. You may be more surprised to learn that instead of going on to win an Oscar, I found myself eventually leading a church after becoming a Christian in my late twenties. I became part of local church leadership in the mid-2000s and pastored the same church directly from the start of the 2010s.

Strangely, you might think, this is where I got my first taste of video editing and uploading to YouTube. I used the platform to post sermons, community messages, and other church-related content. In doing this, I discovered immense satisfaction in the video editing process. Editing a video, I think, is like piecing together a puzzle, each clip and cut helping to convey a message.

However, my understanding of YouTube was, let's say, "functional." I knew how to upload and share videos, but analytics, thumbnails, and audience engagement were foreign territories. There is a vast difference between using YouTube as a tool for a community and using it as a canvas for your personal creativity, where these tools are vital in helping you craft videos that people want to watch, share and comment on.

So that's a very potted history of what led me to where I am now - An online content creator hoping to make part of my living from YouTube.

I've found that making videos has helped me - an introvert - step out of my comfort zone. You might even say that YouTube has become a new stage for my lifelong love of acting, editing, and ... connecting with people. 

The final part of that sentence might surprise you, but read on.

The Introvert Who Loves The Stage

Contrary to popular belief, being introverted doesn't mean you're shy or socially awkward. I've always enjoyed the company of others and even thrived in roles that required public speaking (preaching on a Sunday) and performance (acting on stage).

Being an introvert is just a different way of interacting with the world. How I'm wired doesn't mean I don't love people or appreciate being part of a crowd. In fact, I'm consistently being told that one of my innate skills is asking great questions and helping people engage with one another.

My introverted nature simply means I value my alone time to recharge and reflect, and I might need to be excused from the party as it's just getting started (you should ask my wife about this; it can be a point of frustration for us both ... she's an extrovert!).

The YouTube Epiphany

So, how does one go from wanting to leave a room if there are too many people in it to opening yourself up to billions of people via the Internet?

It was while in my church-leading role, as I was posting online regularly on behalf of the church, that I realised that YouTube could be more than just a place for sermons; it could be a place where I could combine my love for acting, my knack for video editing, and my passion for topics like tech, communication, and productivity. I realised I could take my skills and interests to create something uniquely me.

As I considered, over many months, starting my own YouTube channel, it became more apparent that this was the perfect platform for me to express myself. It offered a unique blend of solitude and social interaction. I could work on my videos alone, perfect every detail and then share them with an audience without the immediate social pressures of face-to-face interactions.

The First Step is the Hardest

Posting the first video from my channel with my name above the door, so to speak, wasn't easy, and that first video was far from perfect, But hitting that "Publish" button was liberating. I had put a piece of myself out into the world, and surprisingly, the online world didn't massively bite back. Indeed, it welcomed me with open arms. Sure, there were, and still are, some mean comments posted, but overall, the first positive comments started trickling in. Each one like a shot of adrenaline, pushing me to create more.

The Unveiling of My Creative Self

As I continued making videos, something incredible happened. I started to notice that my creative nature, which had been somewhat stifled for so long, was getting a chance to breathe. Each video became a canvas for my ideas, whether deep-diving into a tech topic or reviewing the latest gadget.

The more I created, the more I wanted to create.

The Unexpected Social Perks

Ironically, making YouTube videos has also improved my social skills. As I've said, I enjoy social interactions despite my desire to stay home alone. But the community that is slowly forming around my channel is special and presents an example of the best of people who overwhelmingly want you to succeed, even if it has the possibly selfish edge that they want you to keep creating content they can consume!

The comments, discussions, collaborations, and conversations with other content creators add a layer of richness to an online experience I would never have anticipated. It's like having an ever-expanding circle of friends who share my interests.

What Was I Saying About Being An Introvert?

So here I am, an introvert who found his voice and an online community through YouTube and, more expansively, into other social media platforms. Indeed, my foray into YouTube has also helped me find my long-lost love of writing. I've discovered that online content creation knows no bounds, and it's okay to set sail on the sea of creativity, visiting different islands of skills and talents.

Sharing something of myself online is an ongoing transformative journey. One that has allowed me to express my creative side and helped my personal development.

If you're an introvert, you might be sitting on a treasure trove of ideas the world needs to see. I encourage you to take the plunge. Go forth and create and publish. You might find that side of yourself that's been waiting to be unleashed!

And remember, in the wise words of someone far more eloquent than me, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself ... and maybe bad Wi-Fi when you're about to hit publish."

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