Getting Comfortable with Visibility: My Own Journey…
As I mentioned in my last post, visibility issues can affect even the unlikeliest of people…
With a decade of experience in a corporate consulting role, I was more than used to speaking in front of an audience – sometimes hundreds of people at a time. But visibility was never an issue for me. Why? I was playing a role. I was in character, delivering presentations, speeches, facts and figures without breaking a sweat – because what I was speaking about didn’t come from the heart; it didn’t ignite me or fuel my passion. It was just words. And it turns out, public speaking is a whole lot easier when it means nothing more to you than that.
Skip ahead to becoming Founder of Kapucia, a wellness centre in the heart of Liverpool, finding my path as a healer, a business coach with soul, an activist for veganism, and actually believing in what I do and how I do it? Let’s just say that that’s when visibility can become a whole lot trickier…
My first public speaking experience as ‘Sarah McBride – i.e. the ‘real me’’ rather than ‘Sarah McBride, Corporate Consultant’ – was for radio, and I was so nervous. I worried about how my voice would sound, whether my conviction and passion would come across, and most terrifyingly, whether I would be rejected for my beliefs.
But I did it anyway.
(Can I get a “whoop, whoop”?!)
Shortly after that, I gave my first public talk at Kapucia on Personal Development and Growth. Again, I was terrified – that doesn’t just disappear – but I got through it. So I booked in another talk right away. And another. And another… Naturally (as I was putting myself out there despite my fear), I then started getting asked to speak publicly at events, workshops, etc. All of a sudden, I was doing professionally what, just a few short months earlier, I’d believed I’d always be too scared to do.
I knew I had to practice what I preach – and, actually, there is something incredibly empowering about doing something you have feared, getting through it and realising it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be. Feel the fear and do it anyway, right?
And you want to know the craziest part? I actually started enjoying it. I know, right?! With every action I took to become more visible in my authentic self, a little of the fear fell away and was replaced with excitement. That delicious excited-but-terrified-before-getting-on-a-huge-rollercoaster kind of excitement. The same can be said for any photoshoots I’ve taken part in. My first professional shots for Kapucia took twice as long as they ought to as I was overthinking everything. “What about this angle?” “How does this come across?” “How do I look?” “Do I seem professional but friendly?” Aaaagh!!! Fortunately, I have a very wonderful (and very patient!) relationship with my PR contact, Lauren of Chic PR, who helped me to work through the vulnerabilities that I’d shared with her. Now I genuinely look forward to shoots and everyone is better than the last.
Why we self-sabotage
You see, the mind and ego wants to keep you safe. It will use past experiences as ‘proof’ of why you should or shouldn’t do something. So, if you’ve had a bad experience of speaking your truth, rejection, etc., your mind will use that as a reason not to do it again. But every time you feel the fear and do it anyway, you override that ‘reason’ and replace it with enjoyment. Eventually, all your mind and ego can do is associate public speaking – or any other display of visibility – with positive connotations, and the fear begins to subside.
Are you ready to let your fear subside?