Why being visible online can be scary - and what to do about it

Being visible in your business is critical for success, at it’s simplest, if people don’t know who you are or what you can do to help them, then you’re not going to get many customers.

Visibility covers everything from using photos of yourself on your website or social media, to creating content, making videos or going live. It’s a chance for your potential customers to see who you are, understand your values and whether they align to theirs, and it creates connection and trust.

It all sounds so simple right?

The reality is that being visible in your business can be pretty downright scary. Even though everyone around you seems to be tooting their own horn, you might be finding it hard to put yourself ‘out there’ and you might be wondering if everyone else can do it what’s holding you back?

The truth is that when you put yourself ‘out there’ you’re saying to the world ‘this is who I am and this is what I’m good at’ and that creates vulnerability – which can leave you exposed to uncomfortable feelings.

Your mind’s number one job is to keep you safe, so it tries to keep you away from any situations which might make you feel any uncomfortable emotions. Let’s face it, who wants to feel fear, shame, humiliation?! Instead the mind creates an unconscious self-limiting belief about what you can or can’t do and that becomes a program that we operate within – which is why some people make it seem easier, because they either have a different program, or they have learned how to re-program theirs.

So how do you know that you have a self-limiting belief if it’s unconscious? Look out for these 3 tell-tale signs:

1. You worry about failing

Do you ever catch yourself asking ‘what happens if this doesn’t work out?’ or find it easier to think of more reasons why it might not work rather than finding reasons why it might?

If you focus on what might go wrong, two things happen, firstly your mind will look for examples and circumstances where that is true to try to reaffirm itself. Secondly, you’re projecting that energy outwards and as a consequence, you’ll attract it back, so in both situations it starts to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, create a list of all the reasons that it might work, and keep focused on looking for ways to make it happen. Remind yourself every day why it’s important to you to succeed, and reframe ‘failing’ as an opportunity to grow and learn.

Erin Hanson wrote the beautiful quote: “What if I fall?” Oh, but my darling, “What if you fly?”

2. You worry about what other people think

Why do we worry so much about what other people think of our business and what we are doing, when normally we don’t value that person’s opinion in other circumstances?

It’s an ancient and primal fear – the fear of being rejected. It’s part of our limbic or ‘lizard’ brain. Back in caveman times, you needed the tribal community to make sure that you had enough food if you were rejected by the tribe, it was much harder to survive.

That said, you can still learn to change how you think and feel about other people’s opinions. No matter how much we want to, we can’t actually control how other people think. That’s no your role.

More often than not our fears are simply our projections rather than the reality of other people's thoughts. Whether people really are judging you, or it's all in your mind, it's often a sign that you are being judgemental of others. What you send out you receive back, so start to notice if you are behaving in the same way.

The biggest secret of all though is that when you worry about what other people think it's because you are first and foremost judging yourself and measuring up as not good enough.

Try writing a letter of forgiveness to yourself for all those things you’re judging yourself for and show yourself some love.

3. Feeling like you’re not good enough

This is the number one biggest block; and is actually the root cause of any other blocks too. Your inner critic likes to tell you that you’ll never be good enough to achieve the things you want to, never be as good as other people who are succeeding at it, never as good as you want to be.

Not only is that exhausting but it’s crippling! That inner critic is buried deep in your unconscious mind and is controlling how you think, feel and act. It is keeping you in a destructive pattern of negative thoughts as well as creating anxiety and even depression.

The feeling not being good enough can make it almost impossible to bring yourself to take action and put yourself out there into the public arena.

It’s a 20st century epidemic that almost everyone experiences at some time in their life, career or business. The world we live in today makes it hard to avoid the media which is constantly telling us that we’re not good enough because they want to sell us the latest shiny new thing on the promise that it will make us feel better. We do get a dopamine hit when we first buy it, but it lasts about 5 minutes; because nothing external will ever create true fulfilment or satisfaction – that’s an inside job.

Start by telling yourself that you are good enough every time you look in the mirror. Every time your inner critic pops up to tell you that you’re not good enough, observe it, thank it for trying to help you, but remind it of at least 3 reasons why you are good enough just as you are.

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