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How To Get Over A Fear Of Being Visible

June 18, 2020

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-coach and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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When I first started my online coaching business, I had a major fear of visibility. As a naturally private person (plus an introvert), I was not comfortable with the idea of being seen online.

And yet, I knew if I was going to have the impact I wanted and build a business that would give me the freedom and flexibility I craved … I was going to have to get over it.

If you have a fear of being visible online (and you know it’s holding you back from building your business, reaching your ideal clients, and making more money as a coach), then this post is most definitely for you!

A fear of visibility can be a major obstacle when it comes to building a thriving coaching business. So today I’m going to give you 4 key steps to help you get over a fear of visibility, step into the spotlight, and claim your space in the coaching world.

By the way, if you’d rather listen than read, here’s where you can tune in to this episode:


Now, before we get started…I want to invite you to my brand new free training, it’s a masterclass I created called: The 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love, and that’s exactly what I teach you, inside the class. I’ll tell you a little more about it at the end of this post, but if you’re keen to check out the details now, head over to https://drkimfoster.com/businesstraining to find out what I’ll be talking about, and how you can reserve your seat.

So let’s dive into today’s topic!

I want to help you overcome your fear of visibility, and overcome your fear of being judged by the world, so you can confidently step into the spotlight and run your business like a boss. I’m also going to discuss how I dealt with this journey myself, what helped me let go of my fear of judgment and be consistently visible in my business even though I’m a born introvert.

So let’s talk about how to overcome your fear of visibility. 

If you’ve read any of my stuff in the past, or listened to my podcast, you might have heard me talk about how I’m a naturally introverted coach.

But I learned to embrace visibility because I simply had to. 

If we, as coaches, want to inspire people, and help our clients transform and have better lives, then we need to be able to be seen and get our message out there. 

These days, I do speaking engagements, I go to networking events, I get interviewed on podcasts and on live video, I have made media appearances on TV and radio, I make my own videos and podcasts … and so many other ways of being “out there”. And I have learned how to embrace all that, big time. Because I know that being visible is the best way for me to reach more people.

But it wasn’t always that way. I remember the first time I pushed the “go live” button I almost couldn’t bring myself to do it. The first time I hosted my own live webinar I couldn’t sleep the night before. I remember the first time I was interviewed on TV, it was so stressful that I was positively shaking, and it took me a whole day to come down from that jittery state, and I ended up with a monster migraine. And I thought: Okay, this is not going to work. I’m gong to have to reconsider my plans and maybe follow some other path because this is just not me. I just can’t do this.

But what really helped me over time were some very specific steps. And I want to teach you today that have the power to change the way you think about visibility and finally help you bring out that inner CEO, and step into the spotlight into the work you really love. 

STEP ONE

Step number one is to identify and replace your negative self talk. There’s no doubt, we are our own worst critics. We are our own mean girl.

But if you let those thoughts control your mind, they will poison you. And they are not the truth! I want you to start listening to the nasty words your own mind is saying to you when you think about being visible. “You don’t have anything of value to say”. Or “Nobody wants to listen to you.” Or whatever it is.

Those critical, mean thoughts are there, whether you realize it or not, and especially when you don’t realize it, when you don’t examine where those thoughts are coming from, they will just remain there, influencing how you feel and how you act. But when you notice them, when you hear them consciously, that’s when you have a fighting chance of replacing those thoughts with something much more positive, and when you get to be your own coach, instead of your own critic.

Create some empowering statements, some positive statements, things you can say in replacement of those defeating thoughts. Things like: “I do have value.” or “I’m learning and that’s what I want to share.” or “I have plenty of interesting things to say.”

Also, it’s important to recognize that you have the ability to evoke in others what you’re most insecure about. I know that this may sound a little woo, (and I guess, to be honest, I have actually got a slightly woo side of me, or a spiritual side, whatever you want to call it — and it’s definitely something that I did NOT give myself permission to have, when I was going through all my years of being indoctrinated into western, evidence-based medicine).

But let me say that again, and then explain what I mean.  You have the ability to evoke in others what you are most insecure about.

What this means is that if you are, deep down, holding on to all kinds of beliefs about your inability to show up in a certain way, if you’re worried about your appearance, or your value, or whether you have something useful to say … then that is going to come across. It’s going to seep out in your energy, in the way you present yourself. People will feel it. If you don’t believe that you have something valuable to say — nobody else will, either.

So when you’re trying to become more visible, and get out there more, the very first foundation work you’ll have to do is on your own mindset and your own belief system. Because until you can embrace the truth that you are enough, that you have value, that you can help people with the things you have to share…it’s going to be very difficult to get other people to embrace that truth. 

So create those affirmations. Say them to yourself. Write them in your mantra. Gather a praise file — emails or messages from people who are thanking you for helping them. List out all the ways that you are awesome, everything you can do and have learned over the years, your formal education, and the fact that you taught yourself to make the perfect poached egg for breakfast. Everything you can think of! All of these exercises are going to help you quiet that inner mean girl, and instead be filled up with positive self-talk that will help you step into more visibility for yourself and your business.

STEP TWO

Step number two is to let service drive you. This step can be a game changer.

And it really made a big difference for me.

Even when I felt fairly insecure about being visible, what really pushed me out of that shell in the beginning, and still to this day, is my desire to be of service. It’s a matter of turning the camera outwards. Instead of focusing on ME, on being all in my head about it, I focused on the people I could help. We are always in our own heads, thinking: oh my god my hair looks terrible, and my voice is weird, and I’m going to stumble over my words...and all this me me me stuff. 

But instead, when you let go of these thoughts and think about the people who you want to reach and impact, it completely shifts things. You need to think about the people who are in pain, who are suffering, who are anxious, who are struggling with unhealthy habits…and they desperately need you to get over yourself, stop worrying about your hair or your voice, and just get out there and help them. 

My belief system is that we all have gifts and skills inside of us, and things of value to share, and it’s all there for a reason. And I believe you feel that too. So if you let go of the worries that have to do with YOU, and instead allow your sense of purpose to drive you to actually go out there and be visible in front of the people who you can help, that can make a huge difference for you when it comes to letting go of your own fears and insecurities. 

STEP THREE

Step number three is to practice being visible. Practice a lot.

If we’re talking about video, and to be honest, this is one of the major struggles for most people. So many people say “I hate seeing myself on video.” But we know that video can have a HUGE impact on your business. Video is queen right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. So I want you to practice. Make LOTS of videos.

At first, they’re just for you. They’re just videos that you make of yourself, talking to the camera, getting over that odd feeling of talking to an electronic device as though it’s a person, and then I want you to WATCH those videos. I know. Everybody says they hate watching videos they’ve made. They want to turn away. But you can’t turn away. 

When I started making videos, I hated seeing myself on video. I looked different than I think I look, I sounded different than I think I sound. I had these tics and mannerisms and filler words that I do unconsciously. It was torture to watch myself. But I forced myself to keep watching, to keep analyzing what I wanted to do a little differently, and two things happened: one is that I improved. And the other, is that I got used to seeing myself on video and it no longer freaked me out. It just became kind of normal. My squeamishness got extinguished because I was just doing it so much. 

So turn on the video camera on your phone and record yourself. Then watch it. Then correct and fix the little things you want to fix, and then do it again. And then watch it again. And keep going like that, over and over and over. 

It’s the best way to extinguish your discomfort about being on video, and it’s also the best way to get better. 

STEP FOUR

My final step for you today is to expect criticism. Expect people being critical, or disagreeing with you, or sometimes being just downright mean. 

One of my mentors, she said to me: hoping that you don’t get people judging you and criticizing you is like planning a trip to England and hoping it won’t rain.

It’s gonna happen.

So basically, you just have to accept that this is a consequence of being visible, and to not let it stop you from getting out there. If you go back to what I said in Step Two, try to always remember the people you are trying to HELP and positively impact, and just imagine that those people need you to toughen up and not worry about the critics, and to do your good work anyway.

When I got my first hater online, someone posted a really mean comment on one of my videos on YouTube, my first reaction was horror. I felt so much shame, it bothered me for an entire day. But I went to my tribe, a really supportive private group of other female entrepreneurs, and they were all: congratulations! You got your first hater! It means you’ve arrived.

Denise Duffield-Thomas says to take it as a compliment: when you get your first hater, it’s a milestone and it means you’re getting out there, you’re growing your business, and it really is going to happen sooner or later, so expect it, and don’t let it stop you.

The thing is, other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. And I say that with love because you cannot control people. You think you can, you think that maybe if you’d said something a little differently, or had come out with your thoughts at a different time, then maybe they wouldn’t have been offended. But that is a dangerous game to play. You cannot please everyone, so don’t even try.

There are people out there who need to hear what you have to say, they will totally resonate with you and your message. And then there are other people who will think that you are ridiculous, and not at all their cup of tea.

No problem. They get to have their opinion, and you get to carry on with doing your work, and helping the people who are exactly right for you.

As Dita Von Teese said: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.”

RECAP

Okay, there you have it. Those are my 4 steps for overcoming your fear of visibility and stepping into the spotlight in whatever way you need to, in order to grow your business and reach the people you can help.

  • Step One: identify & replace your negative self-talk
  • Step Two: let service drive you.
  • Step Three: practice being visible, and keep practicing over and over.
  • Step Four: expect criticism, and don’t let it stop you.

So I would love to hear from you. Find me on instagram or facebook and let me know why you are afraid of being visible and how it shows up in your day-to-day life. What steps will you take to overcome your fear of visibility? Let’s talk about it.

And….if you’re ready for the next step in your business, if you’re ready to get out there and establish a profitable online coaching business, then I just want to remind you about my free training called The 4-Part Formula For Replacing Your 9-5 Income With A Coaching Business You Love.

In this training, not only do I talk about how I did this for myself, in my own life, but I’ve got plenty of case studies of my clients and exactly how they were able to build their businesses and find freedom and fulfillment in a very short period of time.

I walk you through my 4-part framework for exactly how to create a wildly successful business that will free you from a day job that is not fulfilling you. If you know you are meant for more, then this training is exactly for you.

You can register for free at drkimfoster.com/businesstraining and then choose from a couple of different times, whatever works best for you. 

In the training, I’ll be teaching you:

  • my system for how you can establish a profitable online coaching business.
  • the 3 biggest mistakes that I see coaches make that stop them from building a successful business and gaining clients online.
  • the 4 exact steps you need to create a profitable business that will replace your 9-5 income…without spending all day on social media or posting endless pretty pictures on Instagram.

Resources & Links:

N.B. some links are affiliate links.


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