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Are you afraid of being seen?

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Every new year, I set one intention to guide me for the year.

It becomes my inner compass that directs my actions. And by focusing on it for a year, that intention becomes ingrained in my habits. It becomes a natural part of me.

Last year was about allowing myself to be seen.

Depending on who you are, this may either sound narcissistic and self-indulgent, or not really a big deal to you. But let me share some context on why this one matters to me.

For the better part of my life and still to this day, I’ve suffered from an anxiety disorder.  I experience a constant state of worry and unease, with dozens of potential outcomes processing in my brain on how a situation will play out. Some are good, most are worst-case scenarios, and so my natural tendency is to hide.

I felt damn uncomfortable each and every time I posted on social media or spoke in front of a group, virtually or in-person.

Heck, even writing these personal posts was hard.

That fear of being seen can be overwhelming familiar especially for many entrepreneurs, because it is compounded by additional ones:

Fear of judgment.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of criticism.

Fear of being shamed.  

Fear of vulnerability.

You’re afraid that if you share who you truly are, it may not be acceptable to others. You short-change yourself by focusing on what you think others want from you, because of a perception that what you offer isn’t enough. So you hide from others to avoid being ‘exposed’ for all that you aren’t.

But really, all you’re doing is hiding from yourself.

What I came to realize is that no one ever sees you as less of a person just because you’re not perfectly polished. (And if they do, they aren’t people you want in your life anyways.)

They are rooting for you, and are ready to be inspired by your authenticity and courage to live life fully. You find joy as you lean into the discomfort and create a more expansive view of your business.

And when you allow yourself to let go, you encourage others to join in and be a part of it with you.

I lived in a state of discomfort throughout last year, but it was also incredibly beautiful.

I would never tell you it’s been easy, but you’ll be so glad you did it.