11 Jan It’s not about you! How to show up and speak up
Are you afraid to put yourself – or your work – out there?
- Do you feel like you’re “not really creative” and you don’t know what to write about in blogs or social media?
- Are you constantly self-censoring on social media? Holding back from saying what you really think?
- Do you edit out comments that could strike a nerve? Are your blogs full of “maybes” and “on the other hands” and other nicey nicey phrases designed to minimise offence?
Are you afraid that if you really said what you think:
- People would unsubscribe
- Your family/colleagues/ex-colleagues/friends would think you’re a flake, (they just don’t get what you do).
- You’d be interrogated about your opinion – and you don’t want to feel backed into a corner.
If any of the above sounds familiar, I have a message for you.
It’s not about you.
That might sound harsh, but hear me out.
Your fear of sharing your work with the world, is really a fear of being judged. Fear that others won’t like you or your work. Fear that you’ll get it wrong. Fear that your work is not good enough. The age-old fear and cultural legacy borne by women, that if you speak up or speak out, there will be consequences for you, or someone you love.
Those fears can feel heavy, even paralysing. But if those fears are stopping you from fully showing up or sharing your message from the heart, then
Your fear of what people think of you, is getting in the way of helping the people you are here to serve.
You know there are people out there who need your help! They want to feel connected, held and supported. They want to hear from someone who truly gets it. When you dilute your voice, they find it harder to find you and hear you. They feel more alone.
Those people you think are going to judge you are not your tribe. They’re not going to ‘get’ your message and they’re never going to buy from you anyway.
What if you stopped worrying about what people think of you and flipped your focus to the people you are here to help?
When you focus on the people you are here to serve, you stop worrying so much about what the critics may think of you.
Instead you worry:
- Will she hear me?
- How can I show her that I understand her situation?
- Am I giving her what she truly needs?’
- How else can I help her?
You start focusing on how you can connect to your customer with empathy and a sense of hope. You focus on understanding what she needs to hear, what you can do to help and how you can meet her needs.
When you know in your bones that you are sharing what your customer needs to hear, then criticism from random people who are not and never will be part of your tribe, becomes less important, even irrelevant.
So how do you switch your focus?
- Take the time to really listen to your clients. Every time you hop on the phone, write down her exact words. Pay attention to the unique qualities of her overwhelm, the precise way she describes her problems or fears, and how she’s feeling.
- Use daily journalling as inspiration for your social media posts. In this online age we’re constantly bombarded with noise and information – so if you want to hear your own voice, you’ve got to turn down the volume on everyone else and tune in to you.
Journalling is my favourite tool to shut down your inner critic and connect with your inner knowing. I recommend all my clients make a daily practice of free writing in a journal for 10 minutes. This will help you get closer to what you really want to say – and your inner critic won’t even have time to show up.
You don’t have to share your posts verbatim – just use your meanderings as springboards for heartfelt social media posts. Don’t know what to write about? Sign up for my free newsletter to get weekly writing prompts straight to your inbox.
- Take it slow. As Brene Brown says, we share our stories with people who have earned the right to hear them. You don’t have to put everything out there and you don’t have to do it all at once. Start small and pay attention to what people respond to, with comments, likes, shares and personal emails. They’re telling you what they care about. Do more of it.
Getting comfortable putting yourself out there takes time and practice, but the rewards are huge. You’ll start to see that you DO have a lot to say – and the more comfortable you are raising your unique voice, the easier it will be for the right people to find you.
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