If you’re an introvert, that word might want to make you turn around right now and run for the closest hills.
I get it.
For years, I was a “closet business owner”.
Yes, I had a business. Because I never talked about, so few people knew. (Ahem, I have to wonder….“Is it really a business if you don’t have customers?”)
I had to eventually admit this to myself. I had a “visibility problem.”
I cannot expect clients and people who need my help, to magically find me…. if no-one knows I exist and am qualified to help them.
Can you relate?
If you have a business, or want to start one – have you had thoughts like:
- I just can’t put myself out there
- Ugh, I hate the spotlight!
- I’ll have to show up more (and I need my quiet time! How to navigate that?)
- Someone “out there” will judge me
- I’ll be criticized
- Someone might argue with me and…
- I hate conflict
- I’m a private person, I don’t want people to know everything about me
All those thoughts and beliefs plagued me too, and most of my clients are in this boat. I empathise. That resistance is real, and it’s strong.
Most extroverts cannot understand it. Their opinion doesn’t make it any less real or valid, dear Introvert.
The thing is …
If we’re not willing to increase our “ability to be seen and found” – we might stay pretty invisible. We might get to keep our “closet business” with no customers. Or our “closet career” where no-one understands the value we can bring, because we never show it or talk about it.
How do we get past this?
For some people, this advice might work: “Just get over the fear and do it anyway. Just keep moving forward.”
If that’s you, awesome! Go for it.
If that’s never worked for you, oh my goodness I understand. There’s still hope. So much hope!
We need to learn ways to calm our nervous system that’s screaming “Nooooooooo, get me out of here, I hate the spotlight!” There are so many ways to do that, and none of them involve “Just get over it…”
We can use tools like EFT (my favourite!) to decrease the distress around it. When we feel freaked about about the spotlight or privacy, we go into “fight, flight or freeze” and then our limbic brain stops us from taking action. It’s simply looking out for us, trying to keep us safe.
Simple as that. We need to find ways to calm down the amygdala (limbic brain) so that it feels safe, and we can move forward without any forcing, cajoling or bribing.
Some inroads into Step 1 is usually advisable before we carry on here… Next, we need to find small, do-able practical ways to make “being seen” for our business or career easier.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Is “visibility” a challenge for you? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on FB. You’ll be in good company!
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.