Many of my clients struggle with their marketing because it means sharing their truth, their authentic self with the world.
Truly effective marketing means being visible.
And that feels scary, especially for those who’ve lived most of their lives hiding their essential selves from those around them.
Maybe you’re worried about publishing that blog post you wrote. What if no one reads it? Or worse, what if your cousins read it and they see what you were really thinking during the family reunion last week?
Or maybe you’re worrying about that upcoming Facebook live you were going to do. What if no one shows up? Or worse, what if only one person shows up and they realize they’re the only one and then leave?
Or maybe you’re worrying about the course you’re about the launch. What if no one signs up, or even acknowledges your email? What if your launch turns out to be a fizzle?
Hitting the publish, record or send button can feel terrifying sometimes.
You can try to push through the worry.
If you’re a coach, healer or creative, you know all about having a positive mindset.
Cue the affirmations! “Your time is now!” “I will transform obstacles into opportunities with grace and creativity.” “What I believe I can achieve” and so on.
And that can work.
Well, that just doesn’t cut it.
The Worry Factory
The other morning, I found myself worrying about answering a potential client’s email. She’d asked a good question, and I felt I didn’t have a great answer. I tried the soothing route, telling myself it was ok that I was concerned. It’s a potential client after all.
Then, I thought about bringing the question to my mastermind group, but then I worried my question would sound amateurish, like I should know how to handle this already.
I tried some more self-compassion, and then moved on to some motivational thinking “Girl, you can DO this!”
Nothing seemed to be working.
I kept looping back into the worry. Gah!
And that’s when it struck me. My mind was factory in that moment - endlessly churning out little packets of worry.
Fear of Being Seen
And that’s exactly what happens to my clients as they hover over the publish, send, or record buttons.
There’s a deep-seated fear related to being seen that presents itself when they’re putting themselves out there. And the worry starts up.
It can be intense.
Fear of being visible and the tendency to hide is often rooted in years of unconscious conditioning. And that can take time and support to unwind, but I’ll share a few things with you today that you can do if you find yourself caught in a worry factory.
Ready to Strike
Reasoning with a part of the mind that’s being driven by fear is like trying to sweet talk the factory owner to shut down the line because the workers need a break. When persuading doesn’t work, sometimes you just need to be prepared to go on strike.
Here’s what to do if you’re feeling stuck:
See the truth.
Whether they’re striking for better economic conditions or against unfair labor practices, workers don’t go on strike without deep consideration of their current situation.
When you’re anxious about hitting that button, you need to see what’s going on first. Fear of being seen can disguise itself. It might seem reasonable to be concerned about the quality of your post, looking out for spelling errors and good grammar and syntax. It makes sense to want to look your best on a live recording and to take care thinking through the set up or your appearance.
But if you’re spending an inordinate amount of time on these things, delaying over and over again sending things out or completing steps on your marketing plan, what you’re really concerned about is being seen.
Recognize that’s what’s going on. That’s the first step.
Declare your demands.
When workers decide to strike, formulating a formal list of demands is a critical step.
Once recognize what’s going on for you, consider what you really want. Take a few minutes to think about your why, why you got into business in the first place. Then consider your potential clients, your business goals, and your marketing plan.
And then ask your heart: What, ultimately, do I want to do here?
Chances are you’re longing to share your message with the world and really want to be heard. Write it down and declare your demands.
Often, just taking a few minutes to tune into what you really want is enough to stop the worry right then and there.
Get an instigator if you need it.
One person can’t lead a successful strike. They’ll need other unionized members on board so early on they begin talking about why they think a strike is necessary.
So too for you. It can be tremendously helpful to have someone to talk to about what you’re going through. So, find a fellow practitioner, a former colleague, or a kind friend to chat with and talk about how you’re feeling.
Many times, just naming your worry and having it met with the light of kindness, compassion or humor causes it to disappear. Just like that.
Be prepared to walk away.
So, if you’ve established what you really want and you still find yourself feeling anxious about the step you need to take, plan to walk away for a set amount of time.
Changing your environment helps tremendously. Go outside and take a walk. Sit on the patio. Go somewhere else in your house and watch a funny video.
You can also engage in an activity that is completely unrelated to what you’re working on – like folding laundry or decluttering a kitchen drawer.
Anything that takes you out and away from what you were working on.
Reassess and negotiate.
Strikes don’t last indefinitely. At an agreed upon time, both parties return to the negotiating table.
That’s what you want to do too. After stepping away for a set period of time, return to your office and to the task at hand. See how you feel. You’ll likely have a completely fresh perspective and can move forward on publishing the post or sending out the invites.
But if not, you might need to repeat the process again, or call it a day and come back in the morning. You might also need to seek out some additional support. Any or all of that is completely normal
Whatever the case, be open and kind to yourself as you seek to move forward.
If you find yourself struggling to take that important marketing step, that one that’s going to increase your visibility, your mind might have temporarily turned into a worry factory. Once you can see what’s going on, call up a friend or two for support, and walk away if needed, chances are you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for.
A way to bring your gifts to the world and find your ideal clients.
Photo by Lucas Dalbera on Unsplash