Are You Hiding Your Talents? How To Be More Visible.
Being visible is a key part of being an effective leader. We become well known and recognised for the skills we bring to the leadership table by being seen, noticed, courageous and vulnerable enough to stand out and shine.
But many women struggle with being visible. Perhaps this stems from the behaviours that are encouraged in our early years. Little girls are praised for being good and for being seen and not heard.
Throughout junior school years, girls get attention from the teacher by knuckling down and producing beautifully put together projects.
As we grow into mature young women with ambition, getting good results is our passport into the plum graduate roles.
So it is no surprise that as adult women, we struggle with being seen. We work hard, follow the rules and get the job done, hoping that our efforts will be rewarded and recognised.
But… many learn the hard way; that corporate promotions don’t come purely through hard work. Those that stand out and grab attention are often the ones being rewarded.
So what is it that holds women back and have them shrinking from the spotlight?
The reasons are many and varied but generally fall within these categories:
- Fear of being judged.
- Fear of failure (or of success)
- Fear of standing out
- Fear of revealing there true selves
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, experienced enough
My own fear of being visible raised its ugly head recently. I realised I had been hiding. And being invisible really isn’t very helpful when it comes to growing a business.
I realised I was avoiding putting myself fully out there for fear of being judged or being torn down for poking my head above the crowd like a tall poppy.
Turns out the person with the most judgement… was me.
So it was time to work through my hidden blocks and the negative beliefs holding me back and sabotaging my quest to support women to navigate the corporate world.
It was time to step into the spotlight and the first step was some new branding head shots. Let me tell you …. there is no hiding when you have a man with a camera zeroing in, focused on capturing your essence. Even with my hair quaffed, my face fully made up and wearing fabulous outfits that my gorgeous stylist had helped me to pick out…. I somehow still felt naked.
I knew that these photos were about putting myself out there in a much bigger way…. and to be honest that was a little scary. Along with the new branding photos came deep reflection into who I am, identifying exactly what my greatest skills and talents are and what type of work gives me the most joy.
And with that, came business and personal clarity…. and a new website. No more hiding behind an impersonal website that said very little about who I am and what matters most to me. This change has been a big leap of faith but one I am now very excited about.
So how visible are you?
If you are being overlooked, there is a fair chance that you don’t need to improve your job performance, learn any new skills or achieve bigger results to land your ideal project or position.
Many women continue to be overlooked purely because the people that matter don’t know how good these women are at what they do. The real issue is more about perception than competence.
The best way to shift perception is to shift how you are presenting yourself day in day out. It is about being your own PR company and speaking up a little more.
Realise that you have true value to bring to the table and be positive, excited and proud of the contributions you are making. Pay attention to the signals your body language is giving off. Do you own your space? Does your voice sound like that of a woman of influence not that of a shy young girl filled with doubt?
Is there more that you can be doing to become visible? Now is your time to stand out and shine!