If you’ve watched one of my IGTVs this week, you’ll have heard me talking about visibility and being seen. It’s a theme that has followed me around for weeks and months, with my level of fear about it growing incrementally.
I’m not sure why I was so afraid. Last year Chris and I recorded weekly video podcasts with a live audience, and I didn’t bat an eyelid but flying solo has been a different ball game altogether.
Part of the fear was showing my face. Video can do funny things to you and we all want to look our best.
Then there’s the whole vulnerability thing. If we put ourselves out there, will we be mocked or even trolled?
So, today, as I write this, I did a live video in the Nurture & Thrive Facebook Group.
It reminded me of a trip to North Wales for a military fitness weekend years ago. We climbed Snowdon, we navigated a rope bridge and, among other things, we did some gorge jumping.
I can still remember standing on the edge, fully dressed, boots on and some army guy trying to persuade me to jump. I knew I really shouldn’t overthink it, that the secret was to just go for it but my body was holding me back. In the end, I had to tune out the army guy and focus on my own thoughts and then I jumped.
Top tip: if you do something like this, take a deep breath first! I hit the water below and went under, then realised I hadn’t taken in air first. My biggest concern had been keeping my eyes closed – I wear contact lenses and didn’t want them to float away!
Of course, after I surfaced and took in a huge gulp of air, I was euphoric. I could have done it all over again.
Doing the live video was similar. I’d finally done battle with this beast that had been on my back and was elated. So I recorded an IGTV as well. I’d finally broken the duck!
challenges and accountability
There were a few things that helped too.
- Seeing others in the Facebook Group do their own live videos and realising that we all experience similar fears. When we look at what someone else is doing and admire them for it, we feel more able to grasp the nettle.
- Encouragement and challenges from Josephine. It’s always useful to hear how others have walked the path before you, whatever that path might be. Having a guide or coach short circuits your own experiments as they share what they learned along the way.
- Katya Willems sharing practical video tips on her Instagram. Getting good advice on technicalities can be equally as important as hearing about the personal stories of overcoming the fear of being seen. Sometimes it really is the small stuff that makes the big difference.
you can only procrastinate for so long!
And then you reach a point when you really just get fed up with yourself and your ability to repeatedly put off the inevitable. Weeks go by and still you haven’t done that thing!
Eventually you’ll have a day when all is right with the world and you just do it. And then realise that it wasn’t as big a deal as you had made out.
kit and caboodle
One big thing that helped enormously was setting up my tripod. Both Josephine and Katya have suggested this at various times. Previously, I’d held my phone which, I think, makes you even more self conscious. I prepped my tripod, checked the light and the angles and then I could forget about the technical side of things and just record.
I also found that positioning the camera (aka my phone) so that it was slightly above me gave a more flattering image.
inspiration from others
At a networking event this week I met Karen and, although we didn’t speak at any length, she made a big impression. Karen is a photographer who helps people to be seen through photographs. She had shared a great post on Instagram about visibility, being seen and how we need to show up to use our gifts to help others who need what we have to offer. I’m including the post here because it just said it all so well.
View this post on Instagram
BRENE BROWN. Wisest woman around as far as I’m concerned and she’s nailed it here. SHOW UP & BE SEEN. Little words so should be easy right? 🦢🦢🦢 BIG FAT WRONG! It’s so so hard to show up for ourselves. We’ll do it all day long for others but doing it for ourselves is way down the list. And being seen? Well that’s just showing off isn’t it? 🦢🦢🦢 Let’s look at it another way. Imagine the talents and gifts you’ve been given are exactly that, GIFTS! Given to you to look after with care and attention. Given to you because other people need support and help with something and your gifts are the things that can help them. What if someone came along and said ‘Hand over those gifts, you’re not using them. You’re not sharing them with others. We’re taking them away and giving them to someone who treasures them’ How’s that feel? 🦢🦢🦢 The truth is we all have these gifts and we should be showing up, using them and being seen to use them because there will be others that benefit from them. Whether it’s a beautiful product hand crafted with your love or a service that can help someone else make the most of their gifts, IT ALL MATTERS. So please don’t waste them. 🦢🦢🦢 Show up! And if not for you show up for the people who will benefit from seeing what you have. Be seen! Because we are all here for a reason and we all deserve to shine! The biggest thing I have learned from showing up and being seen? The way it inspires others to do the same, so remember we that. You’re not showing off by being seen as the big beautiful magical person you are, you are inspiring others. Now doesn’t that feel a little more comfortable? 🦢🦢🦢 Shameless plug alert!!!! ⚠️ Show up and be seen with ME!!! Bookings for March & April are filling up fast so if you need piccies do it today!!! It won’t hurt and you might just inspire a few people along the way. DM me and I’ll send you my calendar link 📅
When I shared this post, I had so many messages, even though I wasn’t even the author. And all the messages said the same thing, I so needed to hear this today!
In a podcast I recorded with Erin Werley this week we talked about the exact same topic. However fearful we feel about showing up, it’s not about us. It’s not ‘me’ but ‘we’. I found that a helpful philosophy to embrace.
I think, as well, when the same theme keeps popping up in so many different guises, you have to take notice. The Universe is trying to send you a message!
I finally listened!
why we need to be seen
We are here to shine our light, to be a beacon for others, to recognise and share our gifts. Because we never know who might need to hear what we have to say or what a difference that might make to someone.
It’s often in the throw away comment, or that Instagram post that we didn’t think anyone would read, that we’ve shared a thought or idea that speaks to someone else. It might just change their life!