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We Need to Talk about the Fear of Seing Seen

What is the fear of being seen

The fear of being seen is an often deep rooted fear of showing one’s true and authentic self, usually because of the fear of rejection, ridicule or judgement.

Where does it come from?

It usually stems from earlier in life in our childhood or teen years but not always. It develops as a result of experiences that we may or may not remember. These experiences in some way were traumatic and made us feel like it wasn't safe to be seen as ourselves. This could be bullying at school that made you feel shame about who you are, or perhaps a parent that was difficult to impress, so you began to hide parts of you that they wouldn't approve of. It is usually deep-rooted and triggered by negative beliefs about ourselves that we need to change.

What are the implications for your branding

Something I’ve fought against for many years with my own branding and personal life, I'm no stranger to the fear of being seen. I’ve identified key problems it can cause if not kept under control or challenged, and thankfully, a solution!

  • Inconsistent posting

When you worry about what others think, perfectionism can take over and you find yourself feeling uncomfortable to post anything that isn’t perfect.

  • Lack of authenticity and connection 

With a fear of showing your true self, you often hide the most relatable parts of your identity. This can prevent you building a genuine connection with your audience and prevent you attracting the people who would resonate the most. 

  • Easily swayed by others

To avoid sharing your true thoughts, you may mimic others content which may work for them, and may work for you temporarily but isn’t showing the true essence of your brand. It's important to be genuine from the get go when building a brand.

  • Procrastination 

Procrastination is when you avoid doing the task in order to avoid the unpleasant feelings that may arise. This could look like actively avoiding and postponing creating content or doing the work you need to do to avoid the fear. This is of course only temporary as you will have to face it eventually.

How can I work on it?

This may sound like cliche advice but it's honestly the only way. You need to face the fear. You need to show up regardless and ignore those feelings in your stomach or heart saying that it's not safe. That way you will rewire your mind to think that actually this isn't so bad. You might even find yourself beginning to enjoy it and your the attention it may bring.

Remember, the length that your content stays in someone’s mind is much shorter than we imagine it to be. Over time you'll realise it bothers you less and less. Make it a habit to post daily for a while to get uncomfortable and force yourself to show up 💪 


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