In today’s socially engaging world, it seems everyone has the energy to take on just about anything. Most of your popular Twitch and YouTubers seem to have the energy to burn. But what happens if you have a lack of energy when using these platforms?
Can it hinder your success, or is it merely that you’re targeting a specific audience?
This is a problem that has plagued me for quite some time. I am constantly tired and just don’t feel like I put enough “umph” behind the video content I produce.
However, there may be more going on than just having the appearance of a rug on Valium.
Why a Lack of Energy is a Problem
For the most part, humans are empathetic. This means we feed off each other’s emotions in a social setting. Some people are more empathic than others, but most humans share this trait.
If you’re depressed or sad, it affects those who are watching or reading the content. Then they become depressed or sad as well. It’s how movies can draw emotions out of the audience.
I know I cry every time I watch All Dogs Go to Heaven.
If I can boost my energy level, I probably would have better retention during videos. The problem is, I don’t want to be hyperactive like a squirrel on coke.
Personally, I find these overacting, screaming and jumping personalities completely annoying. Then again, I’m 42 and probably not their target audience.
But, I would like to get more out of the experience and make people feel good when watching me.
Lack of Energy, or Too Professional?
One thing my friend pointed out to me this morning is perhaps I am being “too professional” when on camera. After all, I am a bit of a perfectionist. And the littlest things trigger my OCDs.
For instance, I will fixate on problems such as poor lighting or bad sound quality to the point of it making me depressed. In fact, there are several videos I’d love to delete because they don’t meet my own expectations.
This is also why I throw away a lot of my stories and novels.
In reality, I am far more interactive and entertaining in person. At least, that’s what I hear anyway. So, what happens when I sit in front of the camera?
Why does my mentality switch to the point of being a bland IKEA manual?
Perhaps I am being quite a bit more “professional” than I need. Even when I started writing for Textbroker in 2012, the editors claimed I was too “clinical” in my writing.
This meant that I lacked personality and used difficult-to-read terminology. In other words, my content was like reading a medical textbook.
Writing is Different than Being on Camera
When I’m writing a piece of content today, it’s easier to emphasize or inspire emotion. I can take my time, think out the piece and then create something that is more personable.
But when I’m on camera, it’s like I need to exude professionalism. I want people to take me seriously as I am sharing how to do something and need to prove I know what I’m talking about.
After all, I’ve seen a lot of people on YouTube and Twitch who seem to just talk out their ass.
However, now I think I am buttoning myself down too much. Or, maybe I am just simply tired because of my overall health.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what causes me to have a lack of energy when filming on YouTube or on Twitch.
Feeding Off of Others
Another thing my friend pointed out is how I am a different person when others are involved. It’s like I feed off of them and do a much better job of relaxing.
Though, a lot of that clinical aspect still bleeds through as I reel myself in before I get “too wild.”
In the real world, I have a mouth like a drunken sailor and a fairly dark sense of humor. Perhaps I am afraid no one will watch if I let some of that out during a video or live stream?
But then that brings me to my own saying of, “You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time.” Not only that, but if people don’t like who I am on camera, then they’re not my target audience.
Then again, maybe I am reading too much into all of this and perhaps my lack of energy is more associated with a lack of sleep.
See, I am doing it again. The perfectionist part of me wants to find a definitive answer or I will fixate on the issue for weeks.
What Can I Do to Boost My Energy Level on Camera?
Because the energy level plays into engaging an audience, this is a problem I would love to fix. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to go about boosting my energy.
I did some research on energy levels this morning and came across quite a few similar articles. It looks like each one is just a variation of another. But, perhaps I can glean some information that is helpful.
Let’s take a look at seven of these points…
1. Reduce Stress Levels?
This one might be hard to do for me. I am constantly under quite a bit of stress, whether it’s work-related or personal. This is especially true given having the worst month of my entire life recently.
I work too hard for my clients to make sure everything they have is correct and timely. The thing is, not everyone demands such dedication to the point of burn-out.
Maybe if I stop pushing so hard and realize I don’t have as much demand on my abilities as I think, I can relax when it comes to work-related stress.
I don’t need to immediately conquer every hill.
The personal stress is something else, though. I’m not sure how to reduce it other than doing what I can to keep myself from cracking.
Yep, I think I should meditate more.
2. Exercise More Often?
I try to put in a solid 30 minutes every morning worth of exercise. I play the Xbox Kinect until I work up one hell of a sweat. One game in particular skyrockets my heart rate to 190 bpm!
And I have found that regular morning sweat-outs help me focus and power through the earlier hours of work. But then by the time I am ready to go on camera, usually sometime after lunch, my lack of energy kicks in.
Perhaps I can go back to working out before lunch to get the blood flowing before going on camera. I would have to give myself enough time, though. Otherwise, I’ll be a sweaty mess when doing videos.
3. Improve My Sleeping Patterns?
One thing I know I have an issue with is my sleep patterns. According to various studies, I need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. In most cases, I’m lucky to hit 6.5.
My problem is that I know how to combat this part of my lifestyle. I need to be in bed by 9:30…which is rarely the case. There are many nights when I’ll toss and turn for nearly two hours before finally falling asleep.
I have Sleepy Time Tea, which usually puts me down fairly well. I know I should be drinking it, but by the time I remember, it’s already 10 at night. And if I drink it that late, I am groggy as hell the next morning.
4. Drink More Water?
Here is another aspect with which I know I have a problem. I know I don’t drink enough water. Well, aside from coffee…but apparently, that isn’t good enough.
According to the many studies and websites I’ve read, a lack of water promotes fatigue.
It’s not like I am averse to drinking water. For the most part, I simply forget. Even though I have a 32oz water bottle sitting next to me all day long, I’ll still forget to drink it.
If I can get into the habit of drinking a full cup of water with each cup of coffee, I bet I’d be more than hydrated.
5. Snack on Bananas?
According to one website I read, bananas are supposed to promote energy. One of the things the website highlights is how bananas provide tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin so it “puts a smile on your face.”
I eat bananas literally every day, and I still have a lack of energy. So, I would have to call this one debunked in my case.
However, I did come across something interesting when researching tryptophan and fatigue.
6. Reduce Carb Intake?
So, according to Scientific America, the tryptophan in turkey at Thanksgiving doesn’t promote fatigue. In fact, there is little tryptophan to really make a difference in the popular holiday meal.
The sleepiness which comes after Thanksgiving is probably more related to the carb-rich desserts.
This goes along with a lot of other websites and studies I’ve come across.
The body will use up carbs rather quickly. Then, you’ll experience an energy crash once the glycogen is used up.
The thing is, though, I don’t eat a lot of carbs before going on camera. In fact, most of my carbs come in the afternoon from dinner and snacks. So, I’m not convinced my carb intake is promoting my lack of energy on camera.
I simply don’t eat that many carbs from the moment I wake up to the moment I hit the record button.
7. Loosen Up More?
In reality, being more open and less anal about the content may make the biggest difference in my lack of energy while on Twitch or YouTube.
Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure how to go about doing this.
I mean, I enjoy making videos. It’s really a lot of fun. But perhaps I’m not making it as fun as it should be.
Another possibility is that I’m being far too hard on myself, like usual, and not really opening myself up like I should. And that’s the real kicker…I don’t know how to do that.
A Lack of Energy on Camera Does Hinder Success
So after writing and re-reading this blog post, I don’t know if I’m any closer to understanding my lack of energy on camera. I suppose there are a couple of things I am going to try, though.
I guess the bottom line is am I willing to put in the effort to actually try to fix my problem.