How to deal with the fear of being visible in your creative business
Do you ever dim your light?
My friend Allie Tymo asked that question recently and it hit me straight in the gut.
This theme seems to pop up everywhere for me right now as I've been chatting with Suzie Chaney, Verena Bowyer + Fiona Barrows on Instagram about our fear of being seen and our intention of being seen more (+ our work being more visible) in the new year.
I think a lot of us online creatives love the *online* part of our work, the fact that there's a computer screen between ourselves and the world around us.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's a danger of us not fully showing up, of giving in to the fear of being visible + seen as we are.
I think we're not talking about this very common, very real struggle enough.
Right now, I don’t have it all figured out. I’m right there, smack in the middle with you. But if you struggle with the fear of being visible, these are a few thoughts to help you on your way.
/ 1 / Dealing with the fear
It's always been my deepest struggle: not being seen for who I am + not being understood or being seen in the wrong way. It's what kept me quiet and small.
If you’ve been following along with my perfectionism journal in my weekly Perfect Picks posts, then it’s plain to see how this fear shows up for me: making a mistake, having to ask questions, or receiving criticism leads to anxiety about being seen differently than who I am. Which, in turn, leads to an uptick in my perfectionism.
It’s the biggest trigger for me: I feel a need to be seen. Not in an outlandish way but in a real, authentic way, where the people I connect with see the real me + all that I am.
At the same time, I’ve put barriers in place that prevent others from coming close. Because if those closest to me still don't see me, that’s like not being seen at all.
They say that the way out is through. I understood that, conceptually.
That is, until I looked my fear straight in the eye + got brave enough to tell my own story. How amazed was I, when I showed my face and told my story on this blog + over on Instagram, and others followed along.
You and every single person in the Ditch Perfect community sees me and so, slowly and steadily, I’m breaking down those barriers, because for the first time I finally feel like I’m being seen.
What will help you in dealing with your apprehension about being seen is to look the fear straight in the eye. Don’t run away, but sit with your fear + you’ll see that it’s not nearly as scary as you think.
And also, start doing things that let you be visible and maybe have you feeling a little exposed. Whether it’s telling your story over on your blog, showing your face in your Instagram photos or Stories, or going live on your Facebook page, pick something that feels like the most doable for you + set a goal about showing yourself a number of times day, week, or month.
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/ 2 / Letting yourself be seen
You wouldn’t say it from that photo of me above, but gosh... I used to hate having my picture taken.
I avoided it with skill + strategy. I would always stand in the back of a group picture, just my head poking through as if to say “I’m here, but not quite”.
And that’s how it felt too: I was there but not quite. Hiding away. Concealing myself. Showing only the tiniest portion of myself.
When you’re scared to be seen, everything is scary. You don’t want to be successful. You don’t want to be happy. You don’t want more than you think you deserve, which is not much of anything at all.
I think in having my photos taken (by my mom(!), Ditch Perfect’s unofficial brand photographer), I demanded I was worth being seen. I was claiming a part of me that I’d let hide away for too long.
Ask yourself the following: how are you “hiding” in your creative business? And how can you show yourself + what you stand for better?
Are you tired of struggling with your need for constant perfection? Need a little help with overcoming your perfectionism, so that you can start making those big ideas you have for your creative business a reality? Then make sure to download my fan-favorite (not to mention FREE!) ‘4 steps to ditch perfect’ workbook.
So, hit me up in the comments + let's dish. Do you fear the spotlight? Do you ever dim your light? How are you not being seen right now, online or in real life?
AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BE SEEN MORE OR FOR YOUR WORK TO BE MORE VISIBLE?
Hey, Wendy here!
As a perfectionism coach, I help online creatives #ditchperfect, overcome their perfectionism + take action on their big creative ideas. Let’s work together on making your creative ideas happen.