There was a time on my journey when I was living in constant fear. After a series of traumatic losses in my relationships, I was on continuous high alert, super worried about making yet another wrong move that would make things even worse than they already were.
I was so afraid of being hurt again I literally felt that the only thing I could do was hide. I didn’t want anyone to see my true self because somehow I had become convinced that by being powerful and speaking my truth I was being a threat to myself and others—but more than anything, I was terrified of being judged, attacked, shamed by those who didn’t approve of me, and being abandoned by everyone I loved.
So I played small. For a long time. Not just in my personal relationships, but even more so in my business.
I only posted what I knew everybody would love for sure. I shared less and less of myself. I only shared what felt safe. And even then, I panicked almost every single time I put something out there. More often than not, I’d post something and then delete it 5 minutes later because I was so afraid of how my audience would respond.
I can tell you this wasn’t fun. Not only was it immensely exhausting to live with overwhelming fear as my constant companion, but it was also hurting my business—big time!
Without wanting to go into all the details (you can read the complete story here if you like), I went from being a shining inspiration to others and passionately living my purpose to hiding in my hermit’s cave and making hardly any money for several years.
Only last year I finally decided that I was no longer willing to play this game, and so my journey of liberation began. Looking back, I believe it’s no coincidence that the more I gave myself permission to show up boldly as my true self, sharing both my light and my darkness without shame, the more things began to heal in all areas of my life.
And I’ll tell you the truth: It wasn’t a smooth and easy journey. It was (and still is) chaotic and messy at times, especially each time I allow myself drop yet another one of my masks and show up even more authentically as my true self. It’s SCARY! But it’s also profoundly liberating and SO worth it!
Now, this post isn’t meant to be all about me though. I’ve heard the same stories from so many other women, and it saddens me to see how many talented souls hide their gifts from the world, often for many, many years out of fear (sometimes until they die).
If this is you, know that YES, God has given you your gift for a reason. It isn’t meant to be your best kept secret—it is meant to be shared in a big, BIG way! You were born the way you are because you are meant to be YOU, and the more you give yourself permission to fully be yourself, the more powerfully you can help change the lives of others.
The answer is not to hide, but to shine even more brightly. (And to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.)
So, if you’re ready to come out of your hiding space and get visible as the powerful light you truly are, here are a few of my favourite visibility tips to help you break free from fear and put yourself out there with ease, grace + joy:
5 Magical Steps to Becoming Visible and Shining Your Light With Ease + Grace
1. Realize that the less you worry about pleasing others, the more free you are.
First of all, it’s important to understand that no matter how hard you try, there really is no way to control what other people think. No matter what you put out there, there will always be a chance that someone won’t like it. Therefore, it really is pointless to worry about pleasing everyone and everybody.
This may be an uncomfortable truth at first, but it is also a profoundly liberating one. Once you can accept that the only thing you really have control over is your own experience, you are free. Free to be yourself. Free to make your own choices and walk your path according to your heart’s true desires.
And that (yes), truly is the most loving thing you can do not just for yourself, but also for everyone else.
2. Find your voice + share what you’re passionate about.
The most magical ingredient to being visible without fear is being deeply passionate about your work. The more excited you are about what you put out there, the easier it will be to stay inspired, and the more naturally you will share straight from your heart.
If you’re feeling a lot of resistance to getting visible, chances are that you’re not completely in touch with your truest passions, and essentially, with yourself.
What’s important here is not to overthink things, but to simply look for what brings joy to your heart. The answer is already there. Instead of straining to get visible, simply surrender to what naturally wants to come through you.
3. Focus on your strengths.
We all have our unique gifts and talents that we are called to share with the world. And this doesn’t just include what we do to serve others through our work, but also how we most naturally communicate our message to the world.
Some of us are excellent writers, others are better at speaking. Some are great at networking and relationship building on social media, others are amazing bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, webinar hosts.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to start with a marketing strategy that allows you to build on your strengths. Instead of struggling to overcome your weaknesses, focus on what allows you to get your message across clearly, powerfully, and passionately.
Then, you can gradually start experimenting with new ways of putting yourself out there. Because yes, every time you step out of your comfort zone a little more, you empower yourself to show up in an even bigger way, and as a result, you get to change even more lives with your work!
4. Make a commitment to taking consistent action.
This goes hand in hand with what I just explained above. The best way to get comfortable doing something that initially terrifies you is to simply go ahead and do it. Not just once, but consistently.
Even if it’s just one small step a day. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes, and the more you can focus on simply doing your work rather than worrying about your fears.
This is where you eventually want to be. Because yes, being under constant stress takes a lot of energy (= energy you could really use for more productive things). So you do want to get to a place where you can share your message with ease *most* of the time (while taking some bigger steps out of your comfort zone every once in a while).
5. Know your triggers + adopt healthy coping strategies.
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that fear is a very natural part of the human journey. We all get scared sometimes, and especially for us entrepreneurs, there is often no way to avoid doing things that frighten us.
What’s also important though is not to let fear be a bigger obstacle than it needs to be. Fear shouldn’t become a chronic problem, nor should it keep you stuck on your journey simply because it feels like “too much” to deal with. (That really isn’t serving anyone, and it’s definitely not good for business.)
Therefore, I highly recommend having a regular practice that will help you manage stress effectively and release emotional overwhelm quickly whenever necessary. Here are some of my favourites:
- Prayer. (I have a steady prayer practice and always make sure to check in with God before I go to work as well as before I go to sleep each night.)
- EFT. (Also known as tapping—a great tool to lessen the intensity of fear and emotional overwhelm almost immediately while also dealing with the deeper core issues.)
- Spending time in nature.
- Talking to a good friend or coach/mentor.
- Crying ;)
- Simply breathing and sitting with the emotion until it dissolves naturally.
- Honoring my sensitivity and staying away from negativity and sources of stress that can be avoided (such as spending too much time on social media).
That’s it! Now, I’d love to hear from you. Which of these 5 steps do you resonate with the most right now and what is one thing you will to commit to doing consistently from now on to put yourself out there more authentically? Join the discussion by leaving your comment below!