Hello. Yes, you. You with your eyes on the screen, reading my words. That’s right, you. I see you.

One of the most common emotions, many of us struggle with is the fear of being seen – for what we are or for what we aren’t. The extreme form is called scoptophobia. It occurs differently for different people – for example, some people feel uncomfortable in front of or within large groups, whilst others, the reverse is true as you’re easier to “pick out of a small number”. Think presenting to the whole company or being in the queue at the supermarket.

This fear also exists in the virtual world too. Your next career options may open up from your professional posts, insights and photos or the impression you give from your social media feeds of your life and interests?

This fear exists with strangers, with colleagues and with loved ones. It can pop up unexpectedly, it can be around all the time in some relationships and it can arise when we misread a room.

We confine and contort our true selves into showing up in safe ways, to protect and shield us from pain, embarrassment, shame, guilt and a raft of other emotions.

We learn that good girls behave in certain ways to be accepted in society, at school, in our cultural or religious norms – we help others, we keep the noise down, we play in groups and we’re expected to be artistic and graceful.  (And please don’t think, I’m underestimating the conditions placed on good boys in writing this – we’re all encouraged to “fit in”). 

As we get older and start to understand more about ourselves, our preferences, our values and our needs, the option to wear a mask can become one way to protect ourselves and hide from this fear and the many meanings we give it – I’ll be judged, I’ll be rejected, I’ll be excluded, I won’t get promoted, I’ll never be loved, I won’t fit in, I don’t belong here……….

Too often I hear women talking about their “work” persona and their “home” persona. The pieces of themselves that they are willing to be seen as. It isn’t just speaking up in meetings or with our loved ones.

It’s how we dress and our appearance, it’s the friends and interests we enjoy, it’s about our activism or acceptance of what is happening in the world, it’s how we hold our boundaries or sacrifice for others, it’s how we ask for help to meet our needs or move in alignment with our values.

It is how we show up for our aligned, true selves and for others. It is how we are seen. Truly seen.

Potential clients often ask me is will people still like the “new me”? 

Whilst it may be easy to say “yes, of course, they will”, there is truth in that: having the courage to recognise yourself and the self-acceptance and trust to share your whole self is often admired by others – who have done the work themselves or would like to, if only they could find the momentum to begin.

In fact, relationships can become easier as you show up as your true self whilst honouring their true selves. You clarify your boundaries, respect your own values and stop sacrificing your joy, your energy or your soul. As you demonstrate your brilliance and trust in yourself, you will inspire others to be vulnerable and brave in who they can be. 

As a leader, as a parent, as a sister, and more, each day the fear recedes and joy grows in who you are, your strengths, your experiences and your choices.

Do you recognise this emotion in you? A fear of been seen as your whole self? 

Good books to read/listen to are Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and Untamed by Glennon Doyle – their podcasts are also brilliant. If books are your thing, may I suggest journaling on the meanings you create behind this emotion – a helpful prompt might be to explore the very worst that could happen and the very best.

I’m also curious what small step could you experiment with showing up for yourself with a trusted friend or colleague? Sometimes, we need “proof” that our fear is entirely valid or true.

Lastly, a recent coaching client said this after working with me:

“Life before working with Sarae was confused and stressful. I felt lost, drained and weak. I knew things needed to change. I needed help. 
 
My experience with Sarae has been extremely helpful. Sarae has enabled me to rediscover my strengths and my needs plus how everything could align to make me happy. 
 
The best thing about Sarae’s coaching is that she doesn’t tell you things like ‘you are strong, intelligent, etc.’; she gives you the tools to see your own value and brilliance. When you recognise that by yourself, there is no self-doubt or fear about it. 
 
Life is always full of challenges, but I now know and trust myself far more plus I have the tools to face anything.”

The final few places on my beta introductory prices are available – if you would like to recognise your brilliance and reveal it without the fear of judgement or rejection, drop me a line and let’s start the work toward you being seen as your aligned, authentic whole self.