Terrified of being seen? 3 comforting words of advice

Visibility.

Being in the spotlight can be very intimidating and terrifying, especially since you’re not used to having others see you.

It feels uncomfortable.

You start to think about what people might say or think about you, now that you’re visible.

Fear starts to creep in.

You decide to step out of your spotlight.

You tell yourself, People don’t need to see me. I’ll just find a way around this.

tooafraidtosay

Some advantages of not being seen:
- You avoid being uncomfortable
- You avoid facing your fear of being seen
- Stealth mode allows you to do whatever you want and nobody will hold it against you
- You carry on with your life, passively.

Some advantages of being seen:
- You’re seen as a leader, a person to follow, a person to admire, a person to learn from, a person to connect with
- If you’re an entrepreneur, your dream clients will want to work with you
- If you’re an artist/creative, people will want to buy your music/tickets/art/books/movies
- Your audience will grow (those who love you will love telling their friends about you)
- You’ll be in service to more people
- Your message will be heard and will be spread across the world

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”
–Coco Chanel

You’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice by not stepping into your spotlight.

Sure you’ll remain comfortable with your life by not being seen, but this type of comfort will kill any chance of your growing into your full potential.

Whatever dreams, ambitions, goals and desires you hold in your heart won’t ever get the chance to become a reality.

So if you’re terrified of being seen, here are 3 things I want you keep in mind…

1. It’s not as scary as you think it will be.

A big reason you’re extremely terrified of being seen is probably because you haven’t put yourself in that position before… so you don’t really have an idea of what being in that position would actually feel like.

You’re assuming that it will be terrifying and that you wont like it.

The first time you put yourself out there may feel terrifying and uncomfortable – but that’s because you’re stretching your comfort zone. Next time you do it, it won’t feel the same way as you have already experienced it before.

Each step where you go beyond your comfort zone will be, um, uncomfortable – but that feeling only stays with you in a limited amount of time.

Once you realize that nothing awful happened, you’ll loosen up and get back to feeling at ease.

Inspired Action Tip: Instead of taking a huge step toward your goal, take smaller steps.

For example: if you want to do a video for your website but you’re completely terrified of the camera, don’t jump in and record the video and post it on YouTube this second. Do a “screen test” first where you record a 30 second video to get you used to talking in front of the camera. Or write down bullet points of what you plan to talk about first.

2. You’re not alone

Most of the people you know will have the same fears of visibility as you do.

Inspired Action Tip: Find support and accountability from others who can help you ease into embracing your spotlight.

This can be done in a variety of ways.

+ You can find another individual and become “accountability buddies” where you support and hold each other accountable to becoming more visible.

+ You can join a community or a group (in person or online, for example a Facebook group) that encourages, supports and motivates you to stretch your comfort zone and push through your fears.

+ You can join or create a mastermind group. This would be different from the groups I just mentioned as these may have involve more structure and prerequisites for participation. Some of the key benefits of a mastermind group would be the higher level of accountability and support and access to the shared resources and knowledge from all its members combined.

+ You can take a class on public speaking, improv, theatre or personal development. (These programs can be in person or online)

+ You can work with a mentor. From my experience, this would be my recommendation if you want to save yourself plenty of time from making mistakes. Working with a mentor/coach helped me grow and progress in a shorter amount of time compared to having done it all on my own. Another thing I loved about working with my mentors: they aren’t in your head so they are great at giving you objective feedback – they will call you out on your excuses and they are dedicated to you reaching your goals. Whether it’s working with me or another coach, you’ll be in good hands.

3. You don’t need to be perfect

In fact, you may turn people off with perfection.

In acting class, one of the great lessons I learned was this: People fall in love with one’s flaws, not with their perfection.

Think about it. Think about the people you love in your life – are they perfect? Do they do everything “right”? We are not robots and imperfections are what makes us human.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” 
–Sam Keen

You may think that you have to present the “perfect” version of yourself, so you try and become a different person.

But I can guarantee you that when you show the real you, people will connect to that a whole lot more than the fabricated you.

And that’s because we connect to genuine and authentic human behavior.

Once you throw away the idea of perfection, your unique quirks and personality will start to shine through in everything you do — this is where confidence and charisma stems from.

Inspired Action Tip: Be yourself.

I know, this tip sounds cliché — but it’s truthfully what it all comes down to.

Make a list of all that you’ve done and all that you can do. Write out who you are. Create your personal manifesto and/or mission statement.

Learn to love and accept every part of yourself.

Aim for imperfection.

Stop trying to be someone else and get comfortable expressing yourself the way you naturally do.

Get rid of the goal of trying to please everyone. Instead, try to be present and valuable for those people you want to reach and connect with (your audience).

 

And one last thing I’d like to add…

You are worthy of being seen.

xo Bianca

 

 

 

 

photo credit: donewithittotally via Tumblr

  • Vanessa Velez

    Phenomenal post Bianca! And as I stretch and grow in my business, and in life, my new mantra is, ‘I am worthy of being seen.’ Thank you for the support!

  • http://biancafiloteo.com Bianca Filoteo

    Thanks, Vanessa! Love your new mantra :) Wishing you loads of success and joy on your business and the other areas of your life xoxo

  • Amy Scott

    This is great, Bianca! I tend to think of myself as someone who’s not afraid of being seen, but then those fear gremlins pop up when I least expect them (usually they’re a great sign that I’m about to do something I *must* do). This is my biggest takeaway: “Aim for imperfection.” Just what I needed to hear! :)

  • Christie

    Beautiful post Bianca. I love the way you broke this down and gave action tips. I approach my fear of being seen with teeny tiny uncomfortable steps!

  • emily

    This is a lovely post and very timely for me! Your steps make a lot of sense and I found your inspired tips to be very valuable! Thank you! Xx

  • Christine

    With the action tips we don’t really have a choice, do we?! No excuses, now that we know how to step out there. I have been wanting to do video, but an annoying shyness is keeping me back. Will start by taking small steps and see where it will lead. The imperfection bit is hard, but I totally agree – the people we remember and like the most are the genuine ones, who makes mistakes and then laugh at them. Thank you for a great post, Bianca

  • Cathy Brown Sykora

    You might even talk someone like me into doing video. That was very well thought out and presented. Thank you!

  • randibuckley

    Like Amy, I am not someone for whom being seen is uncomfortable, however being photographed is unnerving. The beauty of wabi sabi has always been a greater motivation for me, and inspiration by others than a fabrication of what one thinks they must present. I appreciate that you offer this perspective to your clients and readers.

  • http://biancafiloteo.com Bianca Filoteo

    One step at a time, Cathy! I challenge you to create a 10-second video of yourself saying hello – you don’t need to show it to anyone either!

  • http://biancafiloteo.com Bianca Filoteo

    Glad you liked the post, Christine! I know very well about that shyness and what I found is that those small steps are what will help overcome it. Even if it means having you getting started by recording a VERY short video clip – for your eyes only – that’s an excellent small step! Just remember not to be too critical of yourself after you watch your videos.

  • http://biancafiloteo.com Bianca Filoteo

    Thanks, Amy! And yes, I love aiming for that instead of the, um, actual perfection ;P Too much pressure, don’t you think? ;)

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    totally love this! and had to hear this is pretty much the outline of the video I am filming tomorrow :S its spot on!

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