“I want more of…you.” I said. “I want full wattage you.”
ARGH! Can you feel that? The tension that brings up? How would it feel to be see at your brightest brilliance?
Our feminine conditioning (the subtle and not so subtle messages we’re given about what it means to be a ‘good’ woman) has spent a lifetime telling us to be small, deferential, compliant and modest.
So to be full on, take up space, share an opinion, be funny, vibrant, and visible?
Being visible is an essential part of building a business.
It’s vulnerable. It feels exposed and sometimes even dangerous.
Our culture is littered with stories of high profile women being vilified and dragged down. From witch trials to online trolling – we all have those tales running through our collective psyche. And I bet that in more recent times you can still remember ‘that girl’ who was mocked at school, or the one who got whispered about behind her back? Yeah, nobody wants to be ‘that girl’
So you are not crazy for feeling uncomfortable about being seen.
It’s self protection. It’s transgressive.
It goes against everything we’ve been trained to do.
And that’s why it’s so transformative.
How magnificent is it when we see a woman in her full power, owning her gifts and talents? Not puffing up arrogantly, but fully embodying all that she is?
It’s a wonderful, inspirational sight to many (and a threatening one to others)
For every woman who allows herself to shine fully as herself, there are a hundred more who are watching her show them the way they can do it too.
That’s why it’s so powerful. That’s why it’s seen as dangerous by some. And that’s what gives it potency.
Shining bright doesn’t have to involve shouty, in your face ostentation (but it could). Nor a ton of glitter, makeup and a diva like vocal range (although that is rather cool too)
It can be rooted, quiet, gentle, thoughtful. funny, intellectual, wise … or all of the above.
But it does involve showing up in the most youest of you ways – without toning down, fitting in, diminishing or faking it.
Oh, and you know what else?
Being full wattage you is the very best marketing you can have
Because your potential clients will only hire someone they trust (and they can’t really trust you if they can’t fully see you.)
Even though it takes some courage.
It’s not a switch
To walk this path we need to uncouple the ‘this could actually happen’ fears from the imagined, exaggerated ‘what if??? type of fears. I live with an anxiety disorder so I know those fears intimately.
They are rarely real but they are nasty.
We need to build some sort of safety into our daily practice. For me, that means body work like walking, mindfulness and yoga with social and psychological support. My body is often wiser than my head when it comes to working with fear.
We also need work on untangling the legacy of our personal and collective traumas and stories so that they don’t limit our capacity to shine is ongoing. This is vital work and takes time and care. Some come undone easily like snags in a hosepipe – you have a realisation like ‘I’m not at school anymore, I’m not trapped with those bullies’, and poof, the fear disappears.
Others are more like tangled balls of yarn that take consistent, painstaking work over time.
That’s OK. This is the work we do with our clients. This is the work we do with ourselves. Healing is an ongoing process. It’s true for our clients. It’s true for us.
Having the courage to be visible is like a muscle. We strengthen it over time.
Start small. Then build.
What it would that feel like to shine brightly as yourself. No hiding. No mask. What would change if you were to do that?
What would a more full wattage you be like? A tiny step? Then a bigger step?
What would you stop hiding? What would you share more of?
What would you do that you’re stopping yourself from starting right now?