Fear of being seen is common in new solopreneurs
A lot of new heart-centered coaches, healers, and creatives fear being seen in their business.
This fear hinders their ability to show up, put themselves out there, share their work, and make an impact.
Call it fear of being seen, fear of being visible, or fear of showing up… it’s all one in the same.
Do you struggle with fear of being seen and showing up online?
Read on to see how you can manage this fear and start showing up with courage and confidence.
What is the fear of being seen?
Of all the fears that can plague solopreneurs, the fear of being seen or being visible is one that can be the most dangerous, because it can stop you from showing up and growing your business.
Many times, when you’re gripped by this fear, what you’re really afraid of is not being liked, being rejected, or being seen as a failure. (Ever get that sinking feeling when no one likes your Instagram post? Now imagine it on a much larger scale!)
This fear doesn’t necessarily stop you from starting a business, but it can stop you from sharing your message, which can hinder your ability to connect with clients, build an audience, and get known for what you do.
And it can also limit your impact, because while you do wonderful, amazing work, if you can’t share it, no one will know they can hire you!
Fear of being seen = a common fear of introverts, empaths, and HSPs
You might be picking up on a big inner conflict here: The heart-centered helpers who have so much to give can be paralyzed with fear of putting themselves out there.
The fear of being seen tends to affects certain types of business owners more than others, namely:
- Introverts, who because of their very nature aren’t comfortable showing up in certain venues or traditional networking.
- Empaths, who may shy away from showing up for fear of taking on the emotions of others and getting overwhelmed
- Highly sensitive people, who may feel it takes too much energy and therefore is too draining for them to show up online.
Would you classify yourself as any or all of the above? If so, not all is lost!
There are ways to manage the fear so you can show up confidently and effectively, without expending all of your energy.
What fear of being seen looks and sounds like
When you fear being seen or being visible, you might:
- Believe you will come off salesy or inauthentic
- Worry that you won’t look or sound good enough
- Get in a cycle of self-doubt and questioning that leads to analysis paralysis
- Wonder if you’re good enough to talk about your topic or show up in a particular space
- Assume that since you lack experience, an extroverted personality, or the right lighting, that you can’t possibly show up effectively
But just because these thoughts arise doesn’t mean they’re the truth.
You have an important message to share, valuable work to do, and more clients to serve, and you can make an impact just by showing up and being who you are.
It’s not about eradicating the fear, but managing it
There’s good news and bad news: The fear you feel may never totally go away. But you can learn to manage it and move forward.
As Liz Gilbert so eloquently illustrated in Big Magic (a good read, btw), put fear in the backseat. Here’s an excerpt:
“Dearest Fear, Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so (fear) make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will not be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. And above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
So remember, fear may arise, which is OK. It might play a role, also OK. But you get to remain in control of your direction and your decisions.
10 ways to manage the fear of being seen in your business
1. Reassure yourself you’re safe. Fear can trigger a primal instinct in us that makes us feel like our very livelihood is at risk. Remind yourself that putting yourself out there is a relatively small risk (as opposed to being chased by a hungry tiger) and that you are OK.
2. Take baby steps. If you imagine going from hiding behind your laptop to doing a Facebook Live every day, you’re likely to freak out. Instead, identify one small baby step you can take today, like posting something about yourself on an Instagram story.
3. Remember that you’re in control of what you share. No one is saying you need to tell the world about your divorce, your miscarraige, or the really hard time you went through when you lost your job. You get to decide what you share and what you keep private.
4. Learn to work with the fear. Learn not to run from your fear or to avoid it at all costs. Notice the fear and listen to its concerns without letting it totally takeover. Remember, you’re in the driver’s seat!
5. Believe in your vision more than your fear. Many of us started our businesses to do what we love and make a positive impact. What change do you want to make in the world? In the lives of your client? Get clear on your why and ground yourself in that.
6. Remind yourself your work is valuable. There is value in your work. What you do for clients is valuable to them. Write a list of all the value you provide to your clients and read it when you need a confidence boost.
7. Ask for support. The inner work is hard, but it can be easier when you have support. Consider hiring a qualified coach who is trained on helping you move through these blocks more quickly than you might be able to do on your own.
8. Keep perspective. Every single person on this planet has their own sh*t going on, and they likely aren’t thinking about you. So consider that next time you post a blog, do a live video, or send your newsletter.
9. Embrace the healing process. Many of us experience fear of being seen because we weren’t seen and heard as kids (either for cultural, societal or familial reasons). Recognize that you’re in charge now and decide how you want to move forward. Allowing yourself to be seen and heard can help you heal.
10. Trust yourself. Many of our fears are unfounded and future-oriented. We imagine the worst-case scenario, while there are actually a ton of possible outcomes. Consider the upside and trust yourself to be able to manage whatever arises.
Ready to be seen and heard in your business?
Being visible in your business takes bravery.
It also takes working on your mindset, so you don’t let fear get in the way of putting yourself out there.
It also takes knowing what to say and how to say it — which is where a solid content strategy comes in.
And it takes managing your energy — especially as an HSP or introvert — so that you don’t burn out along the way.
If you’re ready to take the first step, check out my online program Show Up & Shine.
It was created for introvert, highly sensitive, and empath entrepreneurs to help you find a strategic and sustainable way to show up in your business with confidence and ease. We work on mindset, alignment, strategy, and action, so you can show up and shine.