Fear of visibility hurts your business. Protecting yourself out of self doubt and fear prevents you from reaching your full potential as an entrepreneur.
You started your business because you’re good at what you do. But, when someone asks you details about yourself, do you hesitate? Do you want to be present and share your personal values, but instead you feel choked up? Does the fear of talking about yourself and your experiences frustrate you?
The truth is, you can’t afford to separate yourself from your business. Especially as an entrepreneur. Now more than ever, visibility (and connecting authentically with others) is critical for coaches to stand out in a competitive online market. Putting yourself on display, even online, is something that might trigger the instinct to run—especially if you’re an introvert.
What is fear of visibility?
Fear of visibility is a nagging thought in the back of your mind caused by self doubt. Have you ever hesitated to share a photo because you worried about how you looked? Does the thought of giving presentations cause you anxiety? Do you avoid answering unknown phone numbers?
Fear of visibility can rear itself in many different ways, limiting your potential.
What causes fear of visibility
Self doubt and limiting beliefs are learned behaviors. A range of social and emotional factors can reinforce negative thought patterns. Fear of visibility can be triggered by past traumas, fear of failure and imposter syndrome.
As entrepreneurs, limiting beliefs that exist in our personal lives can get in the way of how we work. Fear of visibility and self doubt can hurt business. Here’s how.
How fear of visibility hurts your business
Fear of visibility can prevent you from succeeding in your business. Read through the scenarios below. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Someone reaches out to you asking if you want to be interviewed for a podcast. You think, How odd. I’ve never been on a podcast before; I’ll just decline because I’m sure I’ll sound completely fake.
- You’ve launched your website and defined your target market, but you don’t have any clients. You think to yourself, I must not be an expert after all.
- You are hesitant to invest money in your business because you fear you won’t succeed.
- The thought of reaching out to other coaches or entrepreneurs in your industry to collaborate makes you nauseous.
Fear of visibility can turn into a vicious cycle that reinforces the thought pattern.
You’re afraid of putting yourself out there, so you don’t succeed, which means you’ve probably saved time and money by not putting yourself out there…right?
Wrong. Being visible means you’re more likely to succeed! More people knowing about your business means more potential clients.
5 ways to overcome fear of visibility
In order to succeed, you need to break the cycle of negative thought patterns. Here’s how you can get started.
1. Identify real fears vs. imagined fears
If you’re being chased by a wildcat, you’re probably going to run. Real fear and imagined fear create the same adrenalized reaction in your mind. Fear of visibility is an imagined fear, but still makes you want to run. It is something that might go wrong, so by avoiding visibility you’re avoiding an imagined scenario. But imagined fears haven’t happened, and it’s very unlikely that they will. The next time you’re feeling anxious or hesitant about something, try to remember this.
2. Decide whether your fears are worth it
Imagined fear comes from somewhere. Maybe you’re recalling a traumatic event, or maybe you’re experiencing fear of failure. For example, if you’re afraid to do something because you’re worried clients won’t want to work with you, ask yourself if you really want to work with them. Do you want to work with a client who discredits you based on how you look? If you’ve collaborated with someone more experienced? If you’ve revealed a personal story about yourself? If you’ve raised your prices? Of course not—so don’t worry about what those people think (they aren’t your target market).
3. Be your own client
There is a reason people say that they’re better at giving advice than following their own advice. A lot of that stems from self limiting beliefs, which are legitimate and also very hard to break. Imagine you are your own client: What would you suggest a client do in your situation? Would you help a client overcome limiting fear, and take a chance? Practice following your own advice.
4. Learn where your fears are coming from
The more you get to know your fears, the better you will understand them. Then, you can easily decide how you want to react to them. Next time you feel something holding you back, try to identify where that feeling is coming from. Ask yourself if you’re worried about failure, or if you’re recalling negative event from the past. Write these thoughts down. The better you understand your thought patterns, the more easily you can break them.
5. Be visible / learn by doing.
Sometimes practice the best way to get used to unfamiliar situations. To overcome fear of visibility, push yourself to be visible. You can start with “safe” things that have little risk, like positive client reviews (publish them online) and sharing them within your existing network. Once you get used to putting yourself out there, it will be easier to be visible in front of larger, unknown audiences.
Are limiting beliefs like fear of visibility hurting your business?
Join me for a free masterclass on breaking through self limiting fears. You will learn proven business and marketing strategies to overcome limiting beliefs and step into your power as an entrepreneur.