How I overcame the fear of being visible
My story of being an introvert on a journey of becoming visible and building a business I love.
As much as I enjoy working with women 1:1 and in group workshops, I struggle with social chit chat. The nursery drop offs and pick ups are the worst. I stand there waiting for the door to open and try to blend in with the background, hoping that no one starts talking to me. Because the little voice in my head says that being seen and heard is dangerous and therefore it's safer to stay invisible. And I know where this is coming from. This is a storyline or a script that has been ruling my life ever since I was in primary school. I was punished by a teacher in front of a whole class and I was also bullied for voicing my opinions. It made sense to my 9-year-old self to stay invisible and quiet.
It's a storyline that kept me safe over the years, but it stopped me from showing up as my best self and showing up in an authentic way. And now that I am trying to build my business and help women, it's utterly painful and sabotaging my progress. Take networking... It's one of the things that every business course recommends but it's also something that causes discomfort at the best and full blown panic at the worst. And yet, I am determined to overcome my fear of being seen, because the old script no longer serves the purpose in my life. I am stronger and wiser than when I was 9 years old and I can stand up for myself.
The only way I can help other women out there is by showing up, otherwise they won't even know I am here and that I have so much to offer. When you realise that your purpose is bigger than you, playing small is no longer feasible. In a way it's no longer about you because you become the tool, the messenger and it's the message that's important.
Don't get me wrong, Frodo was important in destroying the ring but the ring itself was the most important element. Frodo's purpose was bigger than him, and he was no longer doing it for himself. I guess it probably pulled him forward even when he was scared shitless at times. Our fears can be just as strong and just as scary, despite not being life threatening but if they are holding us back from being our best and doing something amazing for others, then we need to chuck them down the bloody Mount Doom!
There is no point in sugar-coating it. It's going to be hard. Not as hard perhaps as walking through Mordor, but not far off. But just as Frodo had Sam by his side, think about your support network. Is there anyone who could support you and cheer you on? Because you don't have to do this on your own! Not all of it, anyway. I can safely say that I wouldn't be where I am without my husband, because he believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He cheered me on when I wanted to give up because it was too hard, too uncomfortable and too scary.
The truth is, every single new thing we do or try to learn is going to be scary. Every new situation we find ourselves in will put us out of our comfort zone. The key is in letting go of those old stories we tell ourselves such as: 'you are not good enough', 'you can't do this', 'you don't have what it takes', 'they will laugh at you', 'stay where you are because it's safer' and many more. Is what you are trying to do worth it? Is it meaningful? Will it make your life better? If the answer is yes, then you need to get out there, get the message out there and be the author of the story of your life rather than living out someone else's story, whether it's your relatives, your boss, society expectations or your old self. You are worth it, my precious :-)