Have you ever felt so frozen with fear you couldn’t put yourself out there and just be yourself? Even though you had a deep longing to share, create, make a difference? It felt safer to stay in the shadows.
I get it.
Every woman has her own story of invisibility.
I was the little girl who disappeared behind the curtains when strangers visited.
I didn’t join groups as a child because I’d freeze with self-consciousness.
When I moved to a new, larger school for a year I was so shy I didn’t make any friends. I sat alone at break times with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Even when I grew up I avoided career moves that threatened to put me in the spotlight.
My first business failed because I was too scared to put myself out there and market my services.
I had a successful career in education, but chose management roles that were less scary than teaching.
Rather than step into leadership, I supported others. I had the ideas. They got the kudos.
I stayed on the sidelines, inside my cozy comfort zone.
But there was a problem ...
I had a deep calling to make a difference. To implement my vision rather than another’s.
It wouldn’t go away.
It kept me awake – night after night.
It kept me rolling my eyes with frustration when leaders around me botched things up.
I knew I could do a better job.
The trouble was I genuinely believed I wasn’t cut out to be visible.
I was too quiet. Too sensitive. Not outgoing enough.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (Anaïs Nin)
How could I break free from these frustrations and finally experience the relief of seeing my own visions come to fruition?
Honestly, I searched for an answer to this question for two decades. It wasn’t easy.
I was smart, hard-working and not afraid of doing deep, soul-searching work.
I read books. Attended retreats, workshops, trainings. Got mentoring from the best. Took courageous action. Achieved career success.
But I still struggled to overcome my fear of being seen.
Deep down I was scared I wasn’t good enough. That others weren’t interested in what I had to offer. Terrified of being judged, criticised, getting it wrong.
did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
(Hafiz / Daniel Ladinsky)
Eventually I began to find my way through. I pieced together solutions that worked. And not just for me.
I stepped into my first CEO role.
I led a team of 100 people, creating organisational transformation that generated multiple 6 figures and impacted thousands.
I mentored other women into their visibility and leadership.
I created tangible legacies that would not exist had I not stepped forward.
Here’s what I learned …
A lot of existing support services didn’t work for me.
Many experts focused on external visibility strategies - marketing, networking, public speaking. But my fear caused me to procrastinate, fail to implement, feel disconnected from my authentic self or burn out.
Many heart-centred facilitators helped me clear my inner blocks and emotional baggage. But I remained isolated, feeling too raw and tender to put myself out there. Endlessly preparing, never ready.
And you know what?
There was hardly anyone speaking about the context inside which my visibility struggles existed.
I thought it was just me.
One day I realised that it was an experience shared by most women.
It shows up in different ways for each of us. But there are surprisingly common patterns underlying women’s experience of feeling invisible.
They’ve been operating for thousands of years. It’s so normal in our culture we often can’t even see it.
Here’s a brief summary of the essential principles I’ve discovered that help women create a visibility breakthrough:
This is the kind of support I provide in my Grow Yourself Visible mentoring programme.
I created this because I’m passionate about helping brilliant women overcome their visibility blocks, give their gifts and make the difference only they can make.
If you’d like my help to get clear on your vision and get into aligned action, then book in for a free 1:1 call with me here: book your 1:1 call with Rionach.
I look forward to supporting you!