What Is Fear of Being Visible & 3 Steps to Overcome it
Fear of being visible (or seen) is something that happens to most of us, if not all of us, at least once in our lives. It shows its ugly head whether we are in business, in school, in a work environment, or in a relationship. It impedes our decision making process and keeps us stuck, dreaming small, and taking small actions that aren’t really taking us anywhere.
There are many different ways in which fear of being visible manifests. It is different to every one of us, since we all perceive the world in a unique way due to our education, conditioning and personal system of values. However it is oftentimes seen as a fear of showing yourself to the world, of taking responsibility for your desires. It can be fear of success, fear of making a stand and making your voice heard. It can show up as a fear of being vulnerable, as impostor syndrome, as fear of disappointing others, fear of being criticized or made fun of. It is linked to our self esteem, level of confidence and worthiness.
In relationships, it can show up as an inability to express your needs and options. Your partner would ask you “Where do you want to eat tonight” and you’d say “Wherever you want babe” although you might in fact be in the mood for a pizza but are worried your partner will dismiss your option. This risk brings in the potential of conflict which you might want to avoid at all cost.
In business, it can show up as low prices, few or unsatisfactory sales conversations, little, infrequent or no online presence at all. You might not even talk about your business with friends or family, avoid giving interviews, networking, are scared to death about doing lives, webinars or even showing your face in relation to your business.
For entrepreneurs, fear of being visible can have damaging effects for the growth rate of the business, monthly revenue and overall marketing and PR efforts. It makes our lives harder, keeps us stuck and afraid of actually achieving success. We feel alone in it, unclear and stuck, wondering if any of this is actually worth it.
The good news is that fear of visibility can be overcome. Here are three steps you can take right now to begin reducing and overcoming your fear of being visible:
1. Take responsibility for change
Fear of being visible usually comes about when you are ready to grow. Embracing your role as a business owner means embracing the role of a leader, potentially a change maker - and this is no easy task. It’s something that scares you in the beginning because it is a new role and it triggers a lot of old, false beliefs that you might have internalized during your early years. While it manifests as fear of being visible, underneath are fear of disappointing your team and family, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being criticized, fear of being called out to be an impostor.
When you were a kid you didn’t have much control in your life. You would do what others said. You would speak when adults asked you. As an adult you are in charge. You can decide when and how to do something. So the first step to overcoming your fear of being visible is to take responsibility for your change.
2. Make small acts of courage - repeatedly
We are all struggling with fear - every single day. It is part of who we are and how we evolved. However, we are not without power. It comes from our active decision to change the way we react to fear and take decisions despite the worry that goes in the back of our mind. In other words it is about acting out of courage, rather than fear. The good news is that courage is a skill that can be taught, and can be improved upon. They key detail here is courage and confidence are built over time, so be patient with yourself.
That is why I recommend practicing small acts of courage, repeatedly and take your time with this, because during this process you need to give yourself patience, compassion and love.
Here’s how my own experiment with small acts of courage went.
3. Get accountability & guidance
With something as deep as fear of being visible, many people try to handle it by themselves. But this is not something that you can easily discover, manage and overcome by yourself. And that is fine. Getting accountability and or guidance will make the entire process of overcoming fear of visibility a lot easier.
First of all it makes you accountable to your goals. Secondly it gives you a chance to see the world through another person’s eyes, and you might realize that what you thought about yourself being unworthy, imperfect, and not deserving might in fact be false.
If you find someone who has previous experience with handling and overcoming fear of being visible in business, then you can also tap into their own stories and discover alternative solutions to your own struggles. Doesn’t mean the same thing would work for you, but at least you learn that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and that it can be done.
So how can you get accountability & guidance?
Find an accountability buddy
Look for someone who is either going through the same thing or has done it in the past. A community of fellow entrepreneurs would be a great way to get started.
There are many people looking for accountability (success) buddies that would do exactly this: ask them every week or so how they are following through their goals.
Some interactions get even better when those involved look 3 big aspects: Wins, Challenges and Goals. Focus your practice around reducing your fear of visibility and enroll an accountability buddy for support.
Read my story of working with an accountability buddy for 1yr to discover how this works.
Work with a mindset coach
If you’re looking for a fast way to achieve long term results in overcoming fear of being visible in life and in business, working with a mindset coach might just be the right path for you.
A mindset coach knows how to ask the right questions and guide you through the self-discovery exercises that would make it easier for you to overcome various fears and limitations that are supporting your fear of being visible. The guidance of such a professional is extremely valuable and for a business owner it can certainly make the difference in how much money you’re making and how fast you’re growing.
There are various techniques and fields of expertise in mindset coaching, so explore what would work best for you. Many coaches offer complimentary sessions to introduce clients to how they work and give them a chance to see if they would click.
Need help overcoming fear of being visible?
Hello go-getter. It’s great to have you here. You’re one step closer to showing yourself to the world and to your potential customers as the amazing person and leader you can be. I know about your pain because I’ve been there. My name is Monica Badiu. I am an entrepreneur and a visibility coach who helps established entrepreneurs grow with powerful visibility & mindset strategies.
I have been studying fear of being visible in entrepreneurs for a while now. It has become my main focus in my coaching practice and I am blown away by how uniquely it can manifest with entrepreneurs all over the world, and in all stages of growth. It manifests with different symptoms and to overcome it you need to undergo a committed and decisive transformation process.
It might seem like a complex process - and it is, however the change brought by overcoming your fear of being visible is going to transform every aspect of your life. As a leader, you will feel empowered. As an entrepreneur, you will grow with clarity and strength. As a human being you will develop the courage to put your needs first, to take decisive steps into being heard, seen and appreciated.
Learn more about how I can help you here.