Five Common Fears When Starting A YouTube Channel…

Five Common Fears When Starting a YouTube Channel Bold

Okay, so I still sound a teeny bit like a vintage steamroller – hence the lack of video this week – but that doesn’t mean I can’t blog about YouTube, right ladies? 😉

Actually I’ve been meaning to have a chatter about this topic for quite a few weeks now & today seems like the perfect opportunity to get started… so as most of you know, a few months ago I took a leap of faith in setting up my YouTube channel. Of course for some lively little beings out there this may seem a ridiculously easy thing to do but if you’re anything like me (a natural born worrier with more insecurities than you know what to do with) it ain’t an easy task at all. Nope, not one bit. However after biting the bullet, you lovely lot (along with my own friends & family) have been nothing but darn right supportive – in fact you’ve made it virtually pain free. Yet now the ball is rolling, I’m always amazed at how many others admit how much they would LOVE to set up their own channel but are just too frightened to take the plunge. Totally understandable, it’s a scary thing for many of us to embark upon but it would seem the same five excuses are brought up once too often… I reckon it’s time we tackled them together 😉



Show me a human being who claims they’re not in the slightest bit concerned about being judged by others & I’ll show you a fibber. We all get the sweats about what others think or assume but more than likely it’ll be ourselves conjuring up the negative assumptions whilst others are just pretty darn impressed that you have the swingers to get out there and make a go of it. Do you honestly think the likes of Zoe Suggs & other huuuuge You-Tubers didn’t (or don’t) have the same hang-ups or anxieties? If we all let our minds run riot about worrying what others would think we’d probably never leave the house… c’mon, YOLO people!



I’m pretty sure none of us were pre-programmed when we entered the world with the knowledge of how to create a ten minute video and upload it onto the internet – so calm down, you’re in very sympathetic company 😉 I for one am huuuuugely terrified of technology but thankfully there’s a whole tonne of easy peasy tutorials that talk you right through the fundamentals regardless of what device you’ll be using – pc, Mac, tablet etc. It’s all there right at your finger tips & it couldn’t be more simple. If you struggle with reading a tutorial then look one up on YouTube itself, you’ll find a whole community of super helpful folk out there who dedicate their entire channels to helping the likes of you & me get started!



Wow, hold up! Are you launching a Television network or starting your own YouTube channel? Sure your favourite video stars may have their bedrooms kitted out with ring lamps, tripods & expensive DSLR’s gallore but how do you think they started? Just look up some of their first clips & you’ll more than likely see a very different set up to the one they have now. You don’t need to empty the contents of your bank account by any means – natural lighting, a camera phone & a computer is your 3 basic ingredients to get started. If you’d like to invest down the line (once you’re in the swing of things) then by all means go for it, but for now just get yourself out there. Practice makes perfect & you’re wasting precious time!



Negativity in your self-belief is a massive confidence killer. However lets look at this from a different angle for a moment… if you’re expecting the rest of the world to love you for being utterly perfect then stop and think about the HUGE expectation YOU are putting on YOUR shoulders – no one else. Yes, we all have things we really dislike about ourselves whether it be shape, size, skin, voice – the list goes on. But you know what the awesome thing is? What you consider flaws makes the rest of us want to know you even more! Being able to relate to someone who’s not perfect is much more fun than sitting listening to someone who thinks they are. Take these gorgeous bunch of awesome YouTubers as an example:

Em my pale skin

Meet Em, from the channel My Pale Skin. This gal is adored by thousands for her ability to help encourage so many others who suffer from acne problems. Don’t get me wrong she’s had her fair share of negativity but knowing that she’s inspiring & helping so many others is undoubtedly what’s keeping Em creating the amazing videos she loves sharing with all of her *almost* 200’000 followers.


lizzie velasquez

This is Lizzie Velasaquez, she’s one of those people who just literally fill up a room (or computer screen) with her infectious personality. Even with battling her incredibly rare & physically affective illness she just oozes positivity, motivation, encouragement & fun. Most of all she’s adored by over 350K loyal subscribers worldwide – me being one of them!



Finally this is Bunny. Yes *thee* one and only Grav3yard Girl. Although Bunny doesn’t battle acne issues like Em or have a rare illness like Lizzie; Bunny still shares one common attribute – she’s embraced for being herself. Her ability to chatter away in front of a camera with (more than often) a make-up free face, sipping on iced Tea & making the rest of us chortle at her shenanigans is just utterly addictive. People adore her because she’s relatable, not because she’s perfect.

Are we seeing a pattern here peeps? Being imperfect is the new perfect gals 😉



There’s that pesky word again ‘perfect’ it should be held accountable for causing 90% of the self-belief issues we battle. Starting off on YouTube (like anything new) is a learning curve, we’re all on it, we’re all here to get better at it *fingers firmly crossed* but without actually DOING it we’ll never give ourselves the chance to practice getting better. Always remember YOU control whatever YOU put out there. Just because you’ve rambled for 10 minutes at your iPhone doesn’t mean you have to upload it. If it isn’t right, delete & start again – just don’t get too obsessed with it being ‘perfect’… most of us much prefer to watch someone we can relate to rather than someone who we can’t!

There you have it, my suggestions on tackling five of the most common excuses to keeping  you from starting your very own own YouTube channel. You’ve nothing to lose, just a heap of subscribers to gain. So dust off those insecurities and get filming.

Do you have a YouTube channel you’d like us to check out & subscribe to? If so, do feel free to leave the link in the comments below so we can take a quick peek 🙂 Otherwise do say a quick hello if you’ve stopped by for a read!

Don’t forget you can also check out my channel by clicking on this handy-dandy little link below:

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature

I’m A Plus Size… So What?

Bag over head

For few the last few weeks Emma has been pleading politely asking for a mummy/daughter trip to the local swimming pool. Now for those of you who know me, you’ll be well aware there’s two awkward issues with this scenario…

1: I’ve got all the wrong curves in all the wrong places.

2: I have the morale of a prize winning Turkey come December.

Therefore the thought of waddling around a public pool area encased in lyrca doesn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm – instead it inflates me with fear. However as Steve’s swimming style is more akin to ‘graceless-sinking’, it was pretty obvious that it was time for me to ‘wo-man up’ as any fun-loving & responsible parent would do *groan*

The irony of it is, swimming’s (without a shadow of a doubt) my favourite form of exercise. Just looking at a bright blue pool makes me want to strip down to my undies and jump right in. In fact two years ago I lost almost 5 stone by swimming three times a week. I was dedicated, focused and more active than I’d been in years. However before you start typing enthusiastic comments of congratulations, I’ve *ashamedly* put every single ounce back on again *bangs head against wall*

It’s not that my food intake needs completely readjusting – quite the opposite in fact. I eat (relatively) healthy:  no processed foods whatsoever, lots of fresh veg, fruit… okay, maybe the occasional sweet & savoury treat. It’s the lack of exercise and activity that’s been the culprit for my expanding derriere. Sitting in front of a computer all day doesn’t help nor does working from home were the temptation to nibble on ‘a few’ cheeky chocolate hobnobs is unyielding.

Swimming is the only form of exercise that has ever really worked for me, simply because it’s the only one I’m reeeeeeallly good at. Regardless of my size, I can swim like a fish and clock up an impressive number of lengths in no time. Yes, it would seem I’m the human equivalent to a modern day container ship… big, bulky but can shift in water! So why aren’t I doing more of it?

Well, its that teeny tiny thing called self-confidence. I can’t stash it in the trash or bury it in a box under the bed; instead it just lingers around like a brewing storm on the horizon – always ready to rain on my happiness parade. However on Friday morning I broke out my brolly, clad myself in a bathing suit, packed my redundant gym bag, inhaled the deepest of breaths and set off for the pool with a VERY excited 9 year old in tow. My nerves were jangling and palms were sweaty as I raced over a list of fears in my head. My only comfort being that I’d plucked and preened all ‘vital bits’ a few days prior. Apologies if I’ve conjured any harrowing visions of hair removal.

Fear No 1: The Receptionist

As I screeched to a halt outside the leisure centre I knew there was no turning back. I’d gotten as far as the front doors and of course Emma was already in a frenzy with excitement. There was no opportunity for ‘Sorry sweetheart, the pool’s closed today as the maintenance man is fixing a leak’. We had arrived & we were going in!

Walking through the door I braced myself for a chorus of raised eyebrows, strained necks and awkward glances. Thankfully there was only a few senior citizens perched in the seating area reading a selection of leisure brochures. ‘Must be grandparents…’ I thought to myself as mental alarm bells began to ring, highlighting that there must be an entire pool full of water-wing wielding juveniles ready to erupt into ‘Ewwwwwwwww’s’ once I make an appearance.’

Thankfully the receptionist brought me back to earth with her friendly smile and chirpy welcome. “One adult & a child?” she enquired. No sneers, no eye rolls at passing colleagues, no chortles at my impending despair. Hmmm, she’s good. Clearly practising her amateur dramatic skills at my expense. I smiled, took our tickets and proceeded to the dreaded changing rooms…

Fear No 2: The Changing Room Attendant

In our local swimming pool you have to hand your receipt over to what is effectively a ‘gatekeeper of the pool portal’ – all sounds a bit Harry Potterish but don’t let the visions of mystic & wonder fool you. This is usually a perfectly preened human that resembles something from a Victoria’s Secret campaign or an extra from Magic Mike. Today (of all days) the changing room attendant was male and not hard on the eyes either ladies, hehe *cheeky grin* As I braced myself for an all over eye scan I was aghast to find he was actually incredibly cordial… and kept his eyes firmly on mine.

“Do you have a locker token? There’s a spare one here you can use.” He said, taking me by surprise. I may have blushed, mumbled and shook my head in response. He smiled at Emma “Enjoy your swim little lady!”

Little lady? Hmmm. Was that a size reference to the looming lump of meat that was towering beside this poor 9 year old child? That was definitely size-ist dig, right?! It was, wasn’t it? I shall not be fooled by his warm eyes, helpful tone and friendly charisma *hmmpf*

Fear No 3: Baring All

Oh Lordie Lord. This is the bit I was dreading above all… removing the outer layers and baring my lycra-clad wobbly bits to the world. Emma was standing in her swim costume ready to go as I was still fumbling with the laces on my Converse. As I peered out through the changing room doors all seemed quiet, the coast was clear – a straight jaunt to the lockers and then the final journey of making it into the pool. *cue mass panic*

All was going well until a middle aged couple turned the corner, almost colliding into me.

“Oops, sorry” the guy smiled as his drenched other half fumbled with her locker key “The waters’ lovely, enjoy your dip.”

I grinned and darted off round the corner with Em’s in quick succession. Feck, that was close.

Fear No 4: Taking The Plunge

There it was, as bold as brass. A glorious body of warm chlorine tinged water, playfully inviting me to throw all caution to the wind and jump right in. As Emma tiptoed ahead waving me on towards the pool steps, I inhaled and prepared myself for the anticipated gasps of shock & horror. ‘Just keep walking – you’re almost there’ I repeated in my head.

Instead of easing down the steps I quickly sat down at the pools edge and plopped myself into the water. It was the quickest way – like ripping off a sticky plaster. Keeping my eyes low, I lifted my gaze to expect the gawping faces of innocent swimmers in awe at my portly appearance. Yet there was nothing. No one had so much as blinked an eye lid. The lifeguard was chatting to another colleague, a handful of kids were busy splashing and having fun, even the couple of folk scattered on the viewing gallery seats didn’t appear to be shielding their eyes in fright. Surely my experience couldn’t be this pain-free?!

Fear No 5: The School Kids

After 17 lengths of teaching my little water-baby how to kick and use her paddle board the entire length of the pool (without her arm bands even in the deep end *mega proud Em’s moment*) it was time to give our wrinkly digits a break and hit the showers. However just as Emma and I emerged from the water, a crowd of gabbling school kids appeared from the changing areas. Bracing myself for hoards of youngsters pointing at a me like some sort of wild beast, they carried on chatting excitedly not taking any notice of me at all. Surely this was the perfect opportunity for the class clown to exercise his overconfident attitude. What’s wrong? I couldn’t be…. *gasp* …normal?!

The reality of it is, by the time Emma and I were both safely back in the confines of the car something rather obvious dawned on me. Every single fear I had conjured up remained a figment of my imagination. Not one of my panic-stricken thoughts evolved into reality. Most importantly, I’d spent a mega fun morning with my little girl, doing something we both love together.

I know it may seem a pretty ridiculous fear for some, but exposing something I’m so utterly self-conscious off is terrifying. There’s a reason I never have bare arms on show, wear tight tops or skinny jeans. I don’t want the world to take notice of the curves I try so hard to conceal.

Now before any of you go waving your virtual fists of fury at what may seem like a lack of respect for the larger female form, hold up! In no way do I intend to disrespect anyone of any shape or size – in fact I wholeheartedly admire girls who are proud of their curves and flaunt them with pride. I wish I had that dose of self-esteem, but I don’t. I’m just not happy with me. Not you. ME.

One thing my swimming trip has taught me is how damaging fear can be. It can hold you back from getting on with enjoying your life, and even hold you back from getting healthy. Body confidence (or lack of) regardless of what shape or size you are, can be a real hindrance to happiness… mix that with fear and you have a potent cocktail that could drown out any traces of self-esteem. Every anxious, taunting and judgemental thought I had was my own making. No one else’s…

 Okay, I’m a plus size, SO what? Never again will I allow my size the power to define me… life’s too short to hide in the shadows. And guess what? I’ve another swim scheduled for this week too 😉

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Do you suffer from body-image blues? How do you deal with your bare-it-all fears?

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. As always, thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to say hi in the comments below – you all know by now how much I enjoy a good chatter 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

 Karen signature

#TakeBackWhatsYours Campaign

Hello Lovelies,

Today’s post is a little bit different than my usual – in fact it’s a very special one indeed. You see I was invited by the lovely Natalie from NatalieCharlotte1992’s Blog to take part in a very unique campaign; and something I think many of you will instantly connect with too!

The #TakeBackWhatsYours Campaign was originally started by Chloe from – the following is an excerpt from her own blog post on the topic:

This is a lifelong commitment, if you want to change the way you feel about yourself, or you want to act upon the message of this campaign and ‘Take Back What’s Yours‘, when better to do that than the start of a new year… This is notone of those “New Year, New Me” unrealistic resolutions. When I say “New Year, New You”, I genuinely mean it

I felt like it would be a wonderful time to pull together and boost the message of this campaign in time for the New Year – as I said, many make New Year resolutions, so why not influence people to make their resolution to take back what once belonged to them… maybe their confidence, maybe their control or even their happiness due to whatever situation has made them lack that ability.”




Here’s How To Get Involved:

1) Write a blog post talking about this campaign, the message it contains and why you are taking part

2) Take Back What’s Yours – What New Year Resolution you are going to set yourself?

3) Tag 10 bloggers to take part

4) Let Chloe know if you’re taking part! (again check here)

If you can – include a photo of yourself with a handmade poster (doesn’t have to be artistic!) with the words:

In 2015, I’m taking back: *i.e., “my confidence”



So with those powerful words in mind I absolutely jumped at the chance to be involved and also help boost the message of this inspirational campaign…

Why I’m taking part:

I remember when I was 6 years old being at a family fun day with my mum. Leah, my younger sister, was wrapped up snugly in her pram sleeping the afternoon away whilst I surveyed a whole field full of fun. You’d expect a child surrounded by bouncy castles, toy stalls and candy carts to be in their element, but instead mum was trying her best to comfort me as much as she could. I remember the tightness in my chest, my pulse racing and gasping for air like a fish out of water. Little did I know I was having my first anxiety attack.

By the time I turned 13 I wasn’t celebrating reaching my teens like many of my friends were. Instead I spent it at home with my family, shut away from the world, reluctant to go anywhere or do anything. I was incredibly shy. School terrified me, socialising terrified me and the thought of meeting new people terrified me even more. It was pretty clear I had become a recluse, bound to the walls of my house – too scared to leave but missing out on so much that life had to offer. So instead I took to watching the world go by from my bedroom window… it seemed so much safer.

That same year I took my first grand-mal seizure getting into my grandmothers car on a chilly winter morning. I woke up in hospital hours later surrounded by medical staff, my family and an overwhelming sense of fear as I wondered what was wrong and why everyone looked so worried.

After my epilepsy diagnosis my parents became increasingly worried. Clearly my ‘struggling’ to live my life as a normal child/teenager was more than just a phase. They did their best to help me regain some sort of a life, however the more they tried they more they failed. It soon hit home for everyone that this was my fight and only I had the ability to win it. I needed to take back MY life.

Thankfully by the time I reached 18 I had slowly overcome many of the thoughts and fears that had held me back for so many years. I had started college, found a new job, made new friends and settled in much better at home. My dad always put an arm around me and reminded me of how far I had come, how much of a transformation I had made – I was a new person. I had won my fight.

In September 2012, at the age of 30 a new challenge swept over my life. Suddenly the anxiety that I had staved off for all those years was banging loudly on my door once again – worry, anxiety & depression all mulled into one. There were days I could barely lift my head off my pillow, nights I silently cried myself to sleep wishing life wasn’t so damning.

I clearly remember the moment I emotionally hit rock bottom. I was in a restaurant with Steve and our little girl. It was evening time, the place was bustling and everyone seemed cheery… yet suddenly the fear washed over me again only this time it felt like I was underwater. The sounds of everyone chatting at other tables began to blurr as everything slowed down around me. I looked at both Steve & Emma, and like the beginning of a great flood I felt the first tear-drop splash onto my hand.

I’ve no idea why it happened that night but I knew I had to leave early. I sat in the darkness of our car and emotionally broke my heart. Years upon years of tears streamed down my face. Even when I got home I cried for hours & hours & hours. Sobbing uncontrollably, even throughout a blistering migraine the tears refused to stop. Steve simply put his arm around me and promised he would always be by my side to help me through it. To this day he has no idea how poignant those words meant to me… I had a support system, but how many people battling anxiety and depression go it alone? It’s a harrowing thought.

When I woke up the next morning I knew what I had to do. Like before I had to take back MY life. I had to own what was mine and get myself better. After all, I had a family of my own now to care for… an incredibly supportive husband and a beautiful little girl who looked up to me & needed me. I’d had enough of having to cry as quietly as I could, hoping she wouldn’t ever notice her mum so broken by life’s worries. I made those changes for both them & for me, so I set myself some goals:

1) To sign up and complete a course in Counselling Skills & Counselling Studies

This was a life-changer for me, it helped me understand more than ever about myself and others. It gave me something to focus on and work towards… I loved it going back to college!

2) To change direction in my career

I fell in love with writing during my Counselling course. Needless to say it was the perfect transition from working in a busy bridal shop that zapped all evening and weekend hours to spending more time with my family – something I had missed so much. It felt like somebody had opened the door to a rather cramped birdcage! lol However through both writing & blogging I’ve had the opportuntity to meet such amazing & supportive people. People like you!

3) To not let the worry and anxiety of things try to ruin or take over my life ever again.

I’m still working on this one. Don’t get me wrong there are days I still struggle, those occasional moments I catch myself trying to battle a rush of anxiety, or something upsets me and I need a cry or (at worst) lock myself in the bathroom for 10 mins just for some alone time.

I’ve almost come to terms with the fact that my anxiety will ever leave me, but I feel I’m able to control it that little bit better… I’m not checking plug sockets 20 times to see if all the switches are off or running up and down the stairs making sure the front door is shut for the 8th time. Little things like that are slowly getting less and it feels good. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

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Today I hold onto my hope & faith more than ever. I will try my absolute best to never ever let anxiety control my life the way it has done in the past… So here’s what I’M taking back:

I’m taking back my self-confidence – knowing that it will always be better if I set myself goals, never give up and always tell myself ‘I can’, even when I think I can’t.

TBWYC Karen Rees

I’m not going to nominate 10 individual bloggers but instead am personally inviting YOU ALL to get involved in this amazing campaign. So many of us secretly struggle with a range of issues that are close to our hearts… so now’s your chance to officially stand up and #TakeBackWhatsYours

Thank you so much for reading…

Karen signature