I recently held a boot-camp about how to elevate your personal brand one of the challenges was for the participants to write down what holds them back from putting themselves out there.
The answers came in fast and thick and to be honest I was not surprised by any of them, because I have been there and can relate to how nerve wracking it is to put yourself out there and be seen. Whether that is on a larger scale or a smaller scale such as social media or standing in front of 10 colleagues to give a presentation.
Common concerns that people have are:
- Not knowing what to say;
- Impostor syndrome and being afraid of people writing me off;’
- I don’t know what to say/blog about that hasn’t been said 1,000 times over already;
- Fear of vulnerability and criticism;
- Fear of judgement or being made to look silly to others who see my content;
- Scared of failure;
- Not knowing the technical stuff;
- I’m afraid that I won’t be considered knowledgeable or an expert in my field;
- Not knowing where to start or what order to do things;
There was a common thread and most people feared the same things about putting themselves out there and it all comes back to what other people might think.
Is this you?
We beat ourselves up after phone calls, interviews or meetings running through everything we said (or didn’t say), worried if people will think we aren’t smart or talented enough.
We do tend to live worrying about what others think and it can hold us back from reaching our potential or making a huge impact.
I can relate to this because I have held myself back in the past so many times before because I have been worried about putting myself out there and when I get to the core of it, it is really about concern about what other people thought, even though I didn’t recognise it as that.
For example, once years ago I created an online commerce store selling cuff-links…. I know I have done all sorts of weird things. The problem was that I was so worried about what my friends and family would think that I was yet again onto something new, that I didn’t want to share it on socials or put myself out there.
Now I am today going to breath some truth into this……
The truth is, that you cannot make the impact you want to make if you hold back and keep yourself, ideas, services and business a secret.
Also, other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
Their opinions have nothing to do with us and everything to do with them, their past, their judgments, their expectations, their likes, and their dislikes.
You are never going to be for everyone, so we have to get past that.
Some will think you are amazing, some will think you are cringe, some won’t remember you and others will aspire to be like you. This is just a fact of life.
When we keep ourselves hidden and small, you will still have the same percentage of people who think you are amazing versus not so much as if you are big and out there doing your thing. It is just that the numbers change as you make a bigger impact.
In my businesses I attract a certain type of client and they like my values and what I am about and ultimately what my team is about. Then there are other clients in the spaces I work in, that are not going to be interested as all because I am not for them.
No matter what I do some people will never like me or what I offer. On the flip side, no matter what I do some people will always like me.
Either way, it has nothing to do with me. It is none of my business and further to that I don’t take in personally, anymore!
Ok, “that’s all well and good” you may be thinking. “But how do I stop caring what other people think of me?”
Do I still care what people think… hmmm I do a little but mostly I don’t! I can’t hold myself back from helping people.
I want to share with you how I have been about to overcome these fears, because if you too can overcome these fears, it means that you can put yourself out there, play a bigger game and boldly elevate your brand and business so that you can become unstoppable.
It is not my business what others think of me!
It really isn’t my business about what people think of me. As humans we all form opinions about everything, this is human nature. They may be fleeting opinions or ones that stick with us for longer and be deeper.
Most of the time people will keep their opinions to themselves about you (hopefully, lol) in any event so you will be none the wiser anyway!
Also, on that note why would I allow someone’s opinion of me or what I am doing to stop me from playing a bigger game, particularly someone whom I hardly know or who doesn’t really impact my world.
A few years ago, I created an online course for people going through separation and divorce for my law practice. I was so concerned about what a few lawyers in town might think of me because it was a totally fresh idea and a bold move away from traditional law practice that I procrastinated and changed the name of this product, not kidding about 8 times. I brought so many different domains and used this as an excuse to not put my course out there.
This is just crazy for so many reasons!
- I was not positively impacting the 100’s if not 1000’s of people who could use this program;
- I was wasting so much time;
- The people I were worrying about probably don’t give me a second thought;
- They might think, wow, wish I had thought of that;
- The people that I was worrying about are not my target client
- It is non of my business what they think of me!
I was so caught up in my head that it honestly paralyzed me! Eventually I launched the course and it is an amazing idea and product that ads an extra dimension to my law practice. People loved it!
1. Letting Go Of The Ego
We all have an ego, that is just apart of being human. If we didn’t we wouldn’t care for a compliment, or a put down would just slide right past us and we wouldn’t notice.
If you are worrying about what people are thinking, you are actually being a little too egotistical to think that everyone is actually judging you and worrying about you! I realised that the truth is that most people are way too busy in their own lives to really be spending extensive time worrying about what I am doing in my business or life. Most people don’t even notice what we are doing. When you post something online, only a very small percentage of people is going to see it. That is the truth!
Plus if you do encounter people that do concern themselves with you in a negative way are people that actually admire what you are doing and are maybe a little envious of the impact that you are making. Be flattered, stay humble and lift those people too.
I have had team members leave and start their own business in competition to me or I have had people in my industry take my ideas and run with them. It can be natural for these people to be critical of you, but it is only because they wish for the same and then try and emulate your success. It is actually OK, there is plenty of clients, opportunities and success for everyone to have.
2. Staying In My Own Lane
Staying in my own lane and looking forward rather than sideways at others and what they are doing has been huge for me.
I don’t spend any time worrying about what others are doing because I am so focused on my own business, family and success. Looking sideways takes time, you never get the full picture anyway, just a snippet and you are unable to assess fact from fiction.
It is natural for people to inflate the truth and make out that they are more successful than they are. Look at social media… is that really a true reflection of some one’s life. Occasionally you will come in contact with someone who is prepared to be real, but that is far and few between.
So, staying in your own lane, backing yourself and focusing on your life is where time and energy wise you are going to get your best bang for your buck, plus it helps you to not particularly care about what others think of you because your focus is sharply elsewhere.
3. Honing In On my Values
I have done a lot of work over the years on learning what my core values are, which is some of what I teach in the Unstoppable Brand Formula. The reason for this is that when you know your values, you are able to shine a brighter light on the path of life for yourself.
With a brighter light the decisions you make about your life and which way to go become clearer and easier to make.
All through my twenties and even into my thirties, I had no idea what I truly valued, and I felt lost in life as a result and nothing that I did in my life stuck! All the businesses that I had came and went, and I had no staying power.
I never felt confident in my decisions, and I questioned everything I said and did.
Doing core values work on myself has made a huge impact on my life. It is the compass in my life and in my businesses.
What this also means is that I know myself, I know what I stand for and I don’t need to worry about what others think.
Because I am strong to my core in my values in an unwavering way, I am able to attract the right people into my zone, these are people who share the same values, who are in the arena too and who can support me through this journey of life.
When creating your brand and business, knowing your values is essential in helping you remove self-doubt and gaining confidence as you step up and put yourself out there.
When I think back to the times that I have been worried about putting myself or content out there, I have actually been worrying about people that do not share my same values.
4. Brene Browns advice about Being in the arena
If you are a long-time listener of Being Unstoppable you will know that I love Brene Brown! And in particular I love her quote and discussion around about being in the area, which is originally formed from a Theodore Roosevelt quote.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
I think about this quote and Brene Browns speech Daring Greatly, she says, it is not about winning, it is not about losing, it is about showing up and being seen. Brene further goes on to say in her speech, ‘who do you want to be, how do you want to show up and be seen. If you show up and be seen there is only one guarantee and that is that you are going to get your arse kicked. If you are going to go in the arena and spend any time in there, especially if you are committed to creating in your life, you will get your arse kicked.
She also says about criticism;
“If you are not in the arena, also getting your arse kicked, I am not interested in your feedback.”
She says if you want to give constructive feedback because you are in the arena, let’s do it, but if you are in the cheap seats just talking about how I could do it better I am in no way interested in that.
How many times in our lives do we concern ourselves with what others think of us or our work, when in fact they are not in the arena!
Don’t criticize my podcast, if you don’t have the bravery to create one yourself. And if you do, that is okay, but your opinion doesn’t really count.
What I find is that people that are out there in the arena with you are not usually the ones that are being judgmental, they are the ones cheering you on because they know the courage that it takes for you to be in the arena playing a bigger game and being unstoppable.
After hearing this, I have started to assess if the critic is in the arena too. And I have been freed from worrying about what others think.
So, who in your life is worrying about what they think? And are they in the arena with you?
5. Courage to Take Action
You might worry about what people think, so you don’t put yourself, your brand or your work out there, you are waiting to feel more confidence.
One of the things that I have realised on my being unstoppable journey is that confidence comes after action. You need to take the action, then you will be surprised by the amazing feedback you receive and you will gain confidence.
To recap on all the ways in which I have overcome the fear of what others think:
- Knowing that it is not my business what others think of me
- Letting Go Of The Ego
- Staying In My own lane
- Honing in on my Values
- Brene Browns advice about Being in the arena
- Courage to Take Action
Having the courage to put your brand out there and to be unstoppable is hard! In the unstoppable brand formula, one of the modules is dedicated to overcoming the fear of putting yourself out there because I know how hard it can be and how paralyzing it is.
I had a dropbox full of videos and content that I didn’t put out for years because I was paralyzed with this fear, but it meant that I wasn’t able to make an impact and play bigger.
Now, I am on a mission for you too to be unstoppable!
I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and until next week, bye for now.
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