⚠This content is NOT psychotherapy & is not a substitute for psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment.

In my last video I talked about two ends of the visibility dance — hiding out and powering through.

Today we’re going to dive deeper into powering through.

While it’s true that sometimes the fear we feel is that old brain response to protect ourselves, that doesn’t mean that we always disregard and push against our fear. There may be a warning, a message, a pause needed first in order to address something before moving forward If you’re consistently going against your body’s signals that something is off — you may be causing yourself and your business harm.

Here’s a personal example.

My first speaking appearance as a business owner in 2015 felt very much like my first time on stage when I was 6 years old.

As I walked on stage for my first speaking gig as a business owner and scanned the audience of about 40 women entrepreneurs, the lights went out. My body froze in the middle of the stage but my mind was racing.

Now what?

I was already feeling anxious about publicly sharing a particularly personal and vulnerable story for the first time, I was also grieving the unexpected death of a family friend. Emotionally and energetically I already felt off-kilter and now, the lights. What I really wanted was to run out of the ballroom, get in my car and go to my friend’s funeral, which was happening at that very moment.

What I chose to do was power through.

After a couple minutes it was clear that the lights might be off for awhile, so I started into my talk, which wasn’t awful and definitely wasn’t my best. A few of the women gave me lovely, supportive feedback Several others enrolled in one of my programs. Another women shared a major epiphany about her own story that she later shared shifted her speaking results.

I felt the fear and did it anyway . . . and it sounds like it paid off right?

Except not really.

The truth is, I spent the next week ruminating. Playing my mistakes over and over in my mind and judging myself harshly for it. I wasn’t sleeping well. My nerves were frayed and I was carrying around a ton of guilt for missing my friend’s funeral. I was blinded by all the ways I’d screwed up and took no joy in what I did right. With a little time and distance from that first speaking gig I realized that it felt oddly familiar. It felt like that first time on stage, which I hadn’t healed AND it felt like more. What I realized years later is that if I had just taken a moment to check in with the fear and resistance I’d been feeling, instead assuming it had no place and purpose because I’d already made a verbal and financial commitment to something, I may have understood that I still needed to do quite a bit of healing around the story I was beginning to share.

While I took more of an immersion therapy type of approach with my visibility and vulnerability, that was not the only way . . . and it may not have been the best way — for me or my audience. At the time I believed that pushing through would get me where I wanted to be . . .and it did. But what if I didn’t actually need to traumatize myself that first time or a little less the next time or a little less the next time?

In the long term, the initial fear and stress led me to limiting the amount of times I was willing to speak each year. That naturally limited my growth — as speaking tends to be an effective client attraction strategy for me. What would’ve been possible had I been speaking from a place of wholeness 12x per year rather than from a place of fear and force only 3 or 4x per year. OR maybe I could’ve still only spoken 3 or 4 times, impacted 3-4x more people and felt far more ease and joy around it.

What about you? Have you ever had a visibility experience like that? One in which you bypassed all your negative feelings, even had moderate success, yet still was left feeling worried, sad, angry . . . maybe experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, insomnia, chest pain, nausea? Would you choose to power through if you knew a way that would work better for you? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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