Being visible is something that we’re constantly told to do in our businesses. But all too often the way we feel can be exactly the opposite and before we know it we’re left feeling as though no one can see us let alone appreciate our work enough to create the queue of ideal clients we crave.
So what exactly is going on here and how do we build self esteem?
When you run an online business it can be really difficult to spend time offline. We get sucked into various apps and platforms that use our biology (we get addicted to the dopamine hits of happy when we get likes, comments, see meme’s that make us laugh etc.) to keep us using their platforms.
But as a result our productivity suffers, our results suffer and so too does our self esteem and well being.
Being online gives us an acute awareness of how many other people are also online creating their businesses, selling their products, calling attention to their services – and for many of us that can make us wonder what we’re doing, whether we can ever stand out or worse – leave us feeling insecure and secretly debating whether to shut up shop.
The cold hard truth is that with each visit into our favourite app we train our minds and our bodies that we alone are not enough, that we’re inadequate and our social system reinforces that belief through telling us we need this or that to be whole, in fashion, up to date or to fit in.
And with each like and comment we receive on our posts we can feel motivated – as if we’ve been acknowledged, seen and as though we must be doing the right thing. Momentarily.
And that’s the problem. The feel good dopamine hit is never enough to keep us going and ten minutes later we’re checking our phones to find out if we have any other likes or comments which over time results in lowered self esteem.
So what’s the solution?
The need for validation comes from a desire to be approved of, to be liked, acknowledged, to be seen and loved and that’s a perfectly natural human want. But our social media habits amplify this.
One way to get around requiring external validation is to give it to yourself. Now I know that you may be thinking that’s hard nearing impossible but stick with me here.
We worry so much about what other people may think, about being judged for our work, for our words, for how we look, for our opinions to the degree that it diminishes the amount that we enjoy our lives or express ourselves freely.
And when I recently polled my IG audience the 68% of people who agreed that they hold themselves back based on what they fear other people may think shows us that it’s an over arching issue.
But what if you felt confident in your work? In your words? In each thing you did in your business? – what difference do you think it could make to the way you feel and the way you work if you KNEW without a doubt that this post or product is a result of your own creativity, an expression of your personality, your life, your skills? What do you think that could do to build self esteem?
Feeling invisible online isn’t just a product of feeling insecure and looking for external validation – but it is, more often a bigger part of it than the marketing strategy being used.
And, I hear you asking, just how do I give myself what I need?
Being visible online can often be a reflection of how visible you’re actually being with yourself.
Are you being honest, true to yourself and your feelings or are you creating a post the way Sarah from down the road did it because you saw that she had a great response to it?
Are you being visible with yourself around what you want to be saying, doing, selling? Or are you doing those things because a number of other people are doing it and you think that it could work for you too?
Are you being visible with yourself around what you want to do or are you blurring your boundaries with obligations that create feelings of resentment, being unenthused, uninspired or just plain fed up?
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: business is energetic. And if you’re not being true to your soul, to your own guidance system, your own desires and self expression then the chances are you will continue to look externally for validation over whether what you’re doing is right, will work, could be accepted etc. All of which results in lowered self esteem.
Being visible with yourself is all about your own sovereignty, it’s about knowing yourself and being courageous enough to stand by what you feel, think, create, express which builds self esteem.
Yes of course its always going to be tricky to stop wondering what other people think because it’s a part of how we’re made up BUT when we know that what we create or say is something that HAS to move through us, that is a result of our own sovereignty, our own self sufficiency, our own creative energy AND that no one else out there is saying the same thing because they don’t have the same life experience or perception that you do you begin to understand how and why you stand out and experience pride, confidence and courage as a result of that which permeates throughout your confidence levels, actions, business and results.
So just how do you practice being visible with yourself and build self esteem?
You listen – shut out the external noise and find your own voice
You practice meditation – quietening the monkey mind and learning how to hear your own thoughts, tap into your own energy, higher self and creative flow
You become curious and ask yourself questions: for example questioning whether you really do believe that your work isn’t as good as Mrs X’s or whether the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing are a result of feeling insecure and over using social media? Is it true for you OR is it coming from ego? From fear?
You become aware of how great your work, words and energy affects other people – get testimonials, write down the nice things people say about you, your work, the way you inspire them, have helped them, the way you’re always there for them and remind yourself of the milestones you’ve achieved often.
You create lists of just how freaking amazing you are, your work is, what value it brings to people’s lives and what that brings to your life.
You allow yourself to see what you may be afraid of seeing: if your business isn’t what you want it to be – it’s ok, if you have a block that you know deep down isn’t letting you move forward right now – it’s ok, if you’ve been feeling you want a change – it’s ok. You matter, your feelings matter, your happiness matters and there’s no point continuing with a business if it isn’t giving you fulfilment because it’s only going to serve to lower your self esteem and enjoyment of life.
But above all of this – you ask yourself (question everything!) from moment to moment – whether this is right for you, working for you, whether you’d do it differently if you didn’t already know how – because life, your enjoyment of it, your validation or security in it and in your business – is always based around YOU.