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June 29, 2013

Are You Invisible or Are You Hiding?

IStock_000008250965_ExtraSmallI’ve heard various women (and teens) say that they feel invisible and that no one ever notices or listens to them. The closer we look at the issue though what shows up is the countless ways they practically make themselves invisible and/or muddle their message so much that it’s difficult for anyone to “hear” them.

Below are several signs that you are doing things to keep yourself from being seen and/or heard. 

  1. You barely speak in meetings or social gatherings.
  2. You wait to be spoken to before you speak.
  3. You give mixed messages rather than saying what you truly mean.
  4. You shrug your shoulders or say, “I don’t know” when asked what you think or want.
  5. You “let things go” that bother you. 
  6. You sit at the back of the room/class/meeting.
  7. You keep your opinions to yourself—especially if they differ from others.
  8. You fail to set limits because you don’t want to be mean or cause conflict.
  9. People repeatedly comment on how quiet you are.
  10. You say, share and ask for what you think others want to hear, or are willing to give rather than saying what you want to say, sharing what you want to share and asking for what you want to get.
  11. You constantly “tone” yourself down in an effort to not draw too much attention to yourself.
  12. You’re constantly “sizing” yourself up to see if you’re enough (pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough etc.).
  13. You can sit with a group of people for hours and barely say two sentences.
  14. You try to please others,
  15. You try to do everything that is asked of you even if it is unrealistic.

When it comes to feeling invisible, the first thing you want to ask yourself is, “Am I making myself invisible?” If you’re frequently self conscious about what you say, what people will think, how people will interpret what you’re saying and how you come across when you say it, you will be nearly paralyzed around people.  If you don’t want to be invisible, then you have to show up. This doesn’t mean you have to be loud and outgoing, it simply means you have to be you and allow others to see who that is. Stop worrying about what everyone will think or feel and instead start paying attention to what you think and feel… and share that. The more able you are to get out of their heads and stop worrying about what they’re thinking, the better able you will be to relax into being you. 

Add your thoughts, your quirkiness and your true self to the world and see what happens. We need more originals in our world trust me. We have enough carbon copies and could use a lot more genuine, authentic, daring individuals. Dare to be you…I, for one, welcome your voice, ideas and your humanity. Get out of hiding, let go of what others think, how you look/sound and step into the world in a whole new way.

Challenge: Start paying attention to all the ways you hide and why. Begin to choose “safe” people in your life to start to show up with in a more real way. Expand out from there. Remember to stop worrying about what others think and start paying attention to what feels true to you…then dare to share, be or do that. 

Good-luck and I look forward to our world finally meeting you.

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