I’d say the most common fear for people is being afraid to shine. Of course there are who thrive in the limelight. If given a stage, a website, any kind of audience, they’ll be set to shine it up. How about You? Do you fear being seen?
I think I’ve met more business owners who would rather curl up and die than be at the center of attention. Most would prefer no attention at all, including me!
Why is that? Mostly because you think if someone sees you, you expose yourself. All due to any number of perceived faults.
You fear visibility as someone who has bad ideas. For being too old. Or being too young. For saying something stupid. Or saying something intelligent. For making spelling mistakes or using a word incorrectly. Or not being likable… ad nauseam.
You get the picture.
My turning point
You need to know that I was a precocious child. I’d learned to read by the time I was 4 years old. I started kindergarten early and I could read and write some and count before the other children could. So, like any other smarty-pants child…. I showed off.
To boot, I loved to play with my imaginary friends. I saw angels in the rafters and things like that. Emotions were colors to me and sometimes it scared me. I was different, to put it mildly.
By the time I was seven, I loved to read more than I loved to play with the other kids. Their games weren’t as thrilling as the things I read about. My grandpa Victor encouraged me to keep reading and so I did.
One day, instead of doing the dusting, I hid behind the door to get a sneak peek at the latest version of Reader’s Digest. It was engrossing, whatever article I was reading. It was new and wonderful stuff.
I heard my mother speaking to one of her sisters. She was talking about me. What I remember of her words went something like this:
Yes, she’s different alright. She doesn’t play with other kids her age and she does all this weird stuff. She isn’t anything like Tere (my sister).
I wish she were more like the other kids. It would be so much easier.
I was devastated! In my own mind I thought that my own mother thought that I was weird, that I wasn’t enough as I was. That was the beginning of the retreat into invisibility for me.
It really sucks when something like this happens to a kid, particularly from their own mother. I know now that she didn’t know I was listening. She didn’t want to hurt me. But in my child-sized soul, it was a mortal wound.
But, you’ve all had some version of a traumatic experience happen, right?
By the time you’re adults, “Who Do You Think You Are?” shouts in your mind. So loudly in fact that you stop giving yourselves the chance to be who you truly are. You build big, high walls to protect you. You try to prevent anyone from seeing you.
How about you? Do you fear being seen? Is that fear stopping you?
As a business owner, you have to be seen. You must be seen.
As a business owner, you have to be seen. You must let others see you.
Running a business is a public thing. People observe your ideas, your videos, your talks, your writing, your coaching, your successes. And yes, much to my chagrin, your failures.
To overcome the fear, to let others see you, is the same for you as it was for me, no matter what baggage we bring from the past…
Take some action
Next break it down into do-able steps.
Then take the actions to complete the to.
Action doesn’t make the fear go away. That voice will fight harder to keep you stuck at first. When you get through the first step, all you need to know is that it’s time for the next small step.
Fear can’t fight steps. Fear fights your big ideas and dreams.
Get support, accountability
Have a buddy or coach who holds you accountable to do what you say you’re going to do. Someone who will also cheer you on for the steps you take.
Don’t let toxic people into this process. Surround yourself only with encouraging people.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Find a way to clear your energy. If you are able to work with someone that can help you with mindset, focus and fear. Find someone who doesn’t try to fix the fear. No one can do that.
Still afraid of someone seeing you?
You can bring presence to the fear inside you. By presence I mean building a relationship with fear. A relationship where you won’t be a basket case when you get upset because of fear.
Getting all wrapped up fear causes resistance. And resistance locks the fear in place. But when you stop resisting, the fear can loosen its hold.
This is the power of your attention. You can’t kill fear. It vanishes when you are present with the fear. And you are able to take action anyway.
Paying attention means staying in relationship with your dream. Don’t ditch the dream because you’ve hit a block. That block is an opportunity to discover what lessons you need to learn as a business owner.
Sticking with it, you will gradually lose the fear of being seen, warts and all.
What do you say?
Do you fear being seen? What has worked for you to let you act?
Leave me a comment. Share if this fear has shown up in your life.
Are you still fighting the fear? Need help? Send me a message, I can help.
Warmest hugs to you!