WHAT IT MEANS TO FEAR BEING SEEN AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT
This month I’m going to share my journey towards being seen and I hope that it helps you be seen in whatever way you want to be so you can show up fully, brilliantly, beautifully and authentically as yourself.
Not to do a bait and switch, but I am not going to answer the question “How to Overcome the Fear of Being Seen” today. Instead I am going to be addressing that question over the next month through blog posts and instagram posts and I hope you will follow along.
There are many reasons why someone may struggle with the fear of being seen. It may be due to disability, body size or body dysmorphia (this can go in both directions: being too thing or being too fat), race, gender, shyness, being an introvert, or being seen as too much or too little. We all have reasons for sometimes wanting to fly below the radar and not put ourselves out into the world.
I have struggled with this in some form my whole life. In my teens and twenties I was painfully shy and extra introverted. Then in my late twenties I was in a car accident that left some pretty gnarly scars on my leg and I refused to wear skirts or dresses for years. I’ve gained and lost more pounds then I can count and often my weight has been a reason why I limited myself from doing things like dating, traveling or going to events. Not liking how my body looked meant that I didn’t want pictures taken of me or I didn’t want to snap a selfie and post it to instagram.
Unfortunately I have had instances that affirm my belief that I shouldn’t be seen. I was once wearing workout clothes and sneakers and going for a walk and someone drove by in their truck and shouted “Move your fat ass!’ I once showed up for a date and we ordered a beer and the guy pretty much slammed it and said goodbye. I wasn’t what he was looking for. Keep in mind we had already had a phone conversation and it wasn’t who I was that he didn’t like. It was the package.
I let those things keep me bottled up for years. It affected my ability to walk outside the house. It made me avoid dating because I just assumed no one would want me because of who I looked like. I wouldn’t wear certain clothes because ‘gasp’ they showed my fat arms. Keep in mind that I move through the world protected and privileged by the color of my skin.
It has taken a bit of therapy and a fabulous life coach to help me reframe my thoughts. That is not to say I am completely healed. I still struggle. In fact, that picture above was caught by my dear friend Dorey Kronick, who I trust, and is an amazing photographer. I look radiant in that picture and I have a genuine smile, and yet, I noticed that you can see my stomach in that picture. I have a little ways to go too.
Beyond therapy and coaching I have read and followed some amazing people who talk about their journey and that I have learned from. I have taken some wonderful courses that helped me get to a place where I can start showing up authentically as myself.
This month I’m going to share my journey and I hope that it helps you be seen in whatever way you want to be so you can show up fully, brilliantly, beautifully and authentically as yourself.