In the last video I made, I shared with you my journey about how I’m allowing myself to be more visible.
My desire to be more visible is two-fold:
1) I want to express myself authentically and not be afraid to be seen
2) I also want to share my knowledge and connect with you—and I can’t do that if I’m afraid to express myself, especially on line.
In this article, I want to share with you why visibility is important and 3 Insights to help you if being visible or receiving criticism is a fear.
I took a blogging course recently with my friend and mentor Celes Chua and was struck by how prevalent this fear of visibility is. I certainly knew I had it, but it was really interesting to hear so many other people felt hesitant to share more of themselves on their blogs.
This seems to be a pervasive phenomenon made all the more obvious by the paradox of sharing on the Internet.
We *want* to share and connect with others on line, but we’re terrified by the degree of visibility the Internet offers.
The fact is, many people are holding back and are not sharing their gifts on line (or elsewhere) because of the fear of visibility and ultimately criticism.
How can you succeed in sharing your message and your gifts successfully if you’re afraid to be seen and criticized?
If you are struggling with this, I want to share with you 3 insights that help me when I feel afraid to be visible or criticized.
Insight #1: People will judge you anyway
People are making judgments all the time which you may or may not know about.
Yes, sharing openly exposes you to hearing more of those judgments, but they exist either way.
And we can’t monitor what everyone thinks about us.
Think about it—this desire to always be seen in a positive light (or not seen at all) is a desire to have control over what others think about us. To always appear perfect, for instance.
We need to be willing to surrender that control…
Insight #2: You don’t need anyone’s permission to share your message
Have you ever held back from sharing something (information or a creative project) because you felt you weren’t ready or that no one would take you seriously?
Maybe you feel like you need to learn more, get more experience first.
Otherwise people will say things like, “Who does she think she is? She doesn’t know what she’s doing. ” (Even though most of us can acquire several degrees and still feel like we don’t know enough).
Maybe you even edit everything you write, share, create, already anticipating possible negative remarks.
I know I’ve done that—it’s a bad habit!
The truth is, I’m probably a much worse devil’s advocate critic of my own work than most people are! (A psychology degree will do that to you. When you’re trained to back up every statement you make with a scientific study, you never really lose the habit!)
But suppose you do share and receive criticism. Does that mean you have to stop sharing your message or your art?
Are critics like police who can shut you down and send you to jail for sharing your message?
As long as you’re not doing anything illegal, it doesn’t really matter what anyone says or thinks.
Really think about that for a moment—truly understanding that is liberating.
Insight # 3: Think of the people that really need to hear your message
The truth is there is nothing you can do to prevent criticism when you allow yourself to be visible. I’ve seen even the most sweet, heartfelt stories and contributions receive harsh criticism.
But I am so so grateful that their creators shared them anyway.
They do what they do for the people who appreciate it, for those whose lives are profoundly touched by what they have to share. We can’t please everyone, because we’re all so different.
When you go to share your gifts and allow yourself to be visible, think about the people you want to reach.
The ones who will truly understand and adore what you are sharing–not the ones who aren’t going to get it (and if those people take the time to give scathing remarks, at least you will know you’ve struck a chord!).
Allowing yourself to be visible means living a life you won’t regret, and the opportunity to share your purpose authentically with the people who will benefit from it most.
Do you have any insights to add that will inspire others to be more visible?
Leave a comment and share!