Many of us don’t feel like we want the spotlight on us, but without it how can we impact and help others if we are hiding?
I’ll explain the small steps which make becoming visible happen progressively without feeling daunted…
What does being visible mean to you?
To each of us being visible means different things depending where we are on the ‘visibility scale’ (as I call it).
It could be something as simple as telling people what you do at a meeting, or even a casual party when meeting someone new. The thought alone of delivering your elevator pitch without stumbling over your words, or getting muddled, can make your palms sweaty!
Perhaps it’s writing a social media post, or writing several and building that commitment to be present online. It could be making your first online video, hosting your first podcast, live stream, webinar or speaking at an event.
The first time we do anything outside of our comfort zone we will all feel that pang of fear – that adrenaline fuelled reaction that gives us the courage to push forth, freeze or run away!
Doing something the first time is the most scary it gets – whether it’s attending your first networking event or standing and speaking in front of a few hundred people at a summit. The scale of the audience doesn’t seem to make the task any less overwhelming.
The thing is – you are not alone and it can all be turned around (even if you’re an introvert!).
Being scared of being visible often comes down to a few things:
- Feeling shy and embarrassed
- Stage fright – not knowing what to say forgetting your words
- Fear of saying the wrong thing, looking stupid and being judged
- Feeling like you don’t know enough and having ‘imposter syndrome’
- Concern that your audience are not interested or find you boring
There are probably more, but these are the ones I most frequently hear about.
Here’s the reality…
Anyone who ever become visible did it through acknowledging their fears, but realising the truth was they were more worried about it than anyone else. No-one cares as much as you do and when we face a fear and dissect it for what it truly is, we can move forward from that place.
Often the fear comes from an association with an event or incident that happened in the past and we interpreted it as a negative experience, or we had an expectation and were disappointed by the result.
Often times we actually have no point of reference, it’s just a conditioned way of thinking because someone told us a story about being visible and we took their experiences and their story on to be true for us.
FEAR or ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’ is often the ego trying to protect us from something that may not hold true anymore.
So what can you do about it?
Here are my 7 top tips for easing yourself into being visible:
1. Connect with who you are and WHY being visible is important to you?
Do you need to be more visible to improve your business (and/or your life)?
For example, is your personal story intrinsically linked to your business offering?
Will sharing your story help develop rapport, empathy and engagement with people and help you attract clients into your business that you can help because your story resonated with them?
If so being visible really is vital. In fact if you can reframe it – there are people who want your help and really it’s your duty to be visible and tell your story so that you can help other people who really need and want what you offer!
2. Think about the visibility you seek and tap into the feelings it evokes.
Do you want to engage with more people to grow your list and build a following so you attract clients, but you’re unsure what to say in your emails – so you feel that you’re not perfect, or that you don’t know enough?
Will video marketing help you increase your online reach and raise your profile, but when you think of making a video you get stage fright and worry about how you look and whether the words will flow?
Or do you want to attend networking events, but you clam up when you think of giving your elevator pitch as you are scared of freezing up because you feel shy and embarrassed? Do you worry that no one will be interested or you will come across as boring?
3. Write down these feelings. Explore where the fear is based and how you can reframe the experience.
Connect with your feelings and understand if they are indeed true. What happened to make you feel that way?
Write out a new belief about how being visible would bring you the success you desire and how that would feel… affirm to yourself every morning with the new belief to ground it into your psyche.
If your belief is:
– when I speak on stage people will realise I don’t know what I am talking about and I will look stupid and feel embarrassed.
reframe it to now say:
– I might not know everything, but as I have (worked in X industry for Y years) or (overcome Z problems) I do know something and probably I know more than the people in the audience. Therefore I can add value. The value and knowledge I offer can educate and help people. That in itself is valuable and therefore I am valuable and proud of my talents.
4. You could also use Emotional Freedom Technique to tap the feelings away.
When you get really panicky then EFT may help you just ground yourself and let the panic pass (it certainly has helped me!).
EFT is a non-faith therapy (which means you don’t have to believe in it for it to work). You tap with two fingers on various acupressure points on the face, shoulder and hands.
Whilst tapping you say how you feel but add in that you love and accept yourself completely.
For example tap whilst saying, ‘even though I am afraid of looking stupid on stage I love and accept myself completely’. You need to use the actual feelings you have, rather than affirming the feeling you desire.
5. Get yourself out there in a safe environment.
Ask supportive friends or family members to help you practice being visible.
Practice your elevator pitch over and over until it rolls off the tongue. Practice in the mirror and progress to practicing with a trusted friend then someone new you meet in a non-business environment (perhaps a BBQ or party!).
The next stage is to post what you do in your own social media sites and join online groups and post questions to engage with people. You don’t have to turn up ‘guns a blazing’ showing what you can do, in fact the opposite works better.
Start posting helpful articles, your own blogs and small and short videos in groups about your business, your passions and your life which you can talk about easily to help build your confidence.
Just be yourself, ask questions and see what people are doing and need help with. This takes the pressure of you feeling like you have to perform and know everything.
6. Remember there is no failure only feedback.
You are more attached to the outcome than other people so try to breathe through your fears and take the lesson from what you have done. You cannot learn without taking action and seeing what worked and what didn’t. All those successful people you admire… they ‘failed’ their way to success!
Celebrate the fact you did take the steps to being more visible and others won’t see half the things you worry about, as they don’t know all the stuff that goes on in your head.
7. Finally think BIG.
The smallest actions towards being visible start to exercise that ‘muscle’ and suddenly being visible becomes less of a trauma. It’s starts to become normal.
Once you have started being more visible really challenge yourself. Take big action for a big transformation. Push yourself a little farther. Join a local public speaking group, attend networking events and start using social media to practice getting yourself out there.
Actions = results.
Remember – once you start taking the action you will actually end up finding the joy in the process!
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com