For me, being seen is one of the scariest things in the world. But is it being seen that scares me, or being judged?
Over the last few weeks I have pushed myself into the realm of publicity quite a bit. With an extremely important event, and even the mere act of conversations about what I do, AND why I am good at it, my anxiety about being seen has ramped up a lot.
Here is what you may not know about me.
- I HATE accepting compliments. Don’t get me wrong, I can accept them, but it is not often that I allow myself time and space to truly feel them.
- I really dislike being the centre of attention (extremely ironic as I have worked in education, made large public speeches and all the things that go along with being centre of attention).
Being seen, especially in a public area, for many of us brings up a world and then some of anxiety. Like I said, over the last two weeks in particular, perhaps more so over the last two years.
In many ways I have had to redefine who I am, and reconnect with the essence of who I am. THEN, I had to prepare myself for so many different bloody things.
- I had to accept that some people who were in my life, would no longer be.
- I had to accept being judged.
- I had to accept that people would not understand.
Or did I? Did I really need to hold myself responsible by accepting, and allowing the fear of judgement to come my way? Because really, what I needed to do was:
- I had to accept that by choosing this path, I was choosing to be seen.
- I had to prepare to interact with the world as I knew it, now as I know it.
- I had to know, that despite being seen, the fear and anxiety of all that goes with it, the knowledge that my world would change forever…
I have my back. Those who love me, for the essence of who I am, have my back.
I had to ask myself though, despite the fear of being judged, there was still anxiety around being seen, so what was it?
It was a fear of being acknowledged, accepted and complimented. It was the fear of success.
Because with success, comes pressure and other peoples entitled view of what it is I do, how I do it, how I should be doing it. With success comes visibility. With more visibility comes more opportunities for judgement, and so the cycle continues.
What I have come to know over the last two years, is that the fear of being seen, changes. The anxiety still creeps in when I am confronted with a new opportunity of being seen. The fear of judgement, the fear of success still hits when something new and exciting crops up in my world.
Because once again my comfort zone is pushed. It is pushed and pulled and twisted, moulding to a new shape.
Then, eventually, with creating the space and time to allow, identify the situation, challenge my own beliefs, and pushing myself for growth… that new shape becomes the comfort zone.
With every opportunity of being seen, I have the opportunity to grow. To learn. To Experience.
I have the opportunity to further connect with the essence of who I am. Knowing now, that I am allowed to be seen. Because I allow myself to be seen. I allow myself to be successful, and I allow myself to release the judgements and expectations of others.
And perhaps, at some point, compliments will humbly become a part of the comfort zone.