“You must have a profound desire to be seen.” A trusted business mentor gave me this advice when I started my business years ago. She shared this with me at the moment that I was terrified to write and publish my newer - and much bolder - bio on my website. This new version of the “Meet Andrea” page was unlike anything else I’d ever put “out there” about myself and I was terrified of what people might think or say.
In business and in life, it can be scary to be “seen”. There’s a certain vulnerability...a feeling of being “exposed” and open to possible criticisms of others. I asked a client recently about what scared her so much about putting herself “out there” in a way that seemed bold to her and she responded with a body quake that kinda looked like this:
And the truth is: she’s not alone. I get what she means! You might get what she means. Being seen can be hard...and there are some ways to gain the confidence we need to shine:
1. Speak from the heart. Be you and be honest. When we’re nervous about putting ourselves out there, we can “play” at being someone else - a much neater, smoother, smarter version of ourselves. We send out this “ambassador” to show the world we’re much more awesome than we even believe ourselves to be. This can work - for maybe a hot minute. Eventually, showing up in this way gets cumbersome and we have to give up the game. Just be you, boo.
2. Speak about what you KNOW - No one has your unique story. Others may share your perspective, but they may never have heard that perspective in quite the same way you’re going to share it. Speak on what you know for sure and you will find that your passion & beliefs + experience will make you unstoppable.
3. Focus on giving your audience something they want or need. This will make them and you feel good because in showing your peeps that you “get them” and care enough to focus on them, you’re taking the pressure off you to be right and perfect while giving them exactly what they want. In every communication: speeches, memos, emails, presentations, meetings - it’s all about connecting with the audience.
4. Practice. Confidence is gained. It can’t be bought and it can’t be transferred like some magical spell. It’s a mindset that is built from experience. Practice gives you that experience. Yes, you will make mistakes. Yes, you will get feel super uncomfortable. In the end, though - when it really counts - you'll be prepared for anything and THAT is the most amazing feeling!
In my years of coaching and working in communications, I can guarantee everyone this: someone somewhere needs to hear your voice. You are the right person for the right people at the right time. Hiding out and playing in shadows only dampens your shine and keeps you in the cold. If you take just one thing from reading this, remember: your stage is where you make it. Start now on getting out of your comfort zone to to expand your influence and voice in your world. You never know whose day or life you can change for the better with it.