lighthouse

Boom. 3 buzzwords in 1 sentence.

Words are funny things. It seems like the more we use them the less meaning they have. Every course I see advertised at the moment is apparently “Transformational”.

And now everyone’s jumping on the “Visibility” bandwagon. As for “Authentic”??! One business-owner told me that she’s actually starting to hate the word, because it seems so fake.

When I shared what I now fondly refer to as my ‘epic fail’ I had some amazing responses, especially from other women entrepreneurs who really get what it takes to look at the ‘live to work’ model, say ‘no thanks’ and commit to living a very different way.

One of them wrote: “Real woman want to be treated with authenticity, rather than just ‘what looks or sounds good'”.

This is so true. It’s actually really disrespectful of women and their wisdom to give them a shiny picture and hope they fall for it.

Here’s my take on the V word.

I find it ironic that there are people teaching the steps to standing out. Surely, if you’re following someone else’s steps, you are, by definition, fitting in?

Marketing fads come and go – and if you try to follow them all you will at the least be confused, and at the worst burnt out in overwhelm and nervous exhaustion from trying to keep up with what everyone says you MUST be doing!

The ONLY (and inbuilt) way to stand out in this crazy-busy-marketplace is to BE YOU.

It’s also, happily, the only way to do your best, most TRULY transformational work.

(Mainly because, by being you, you give others permission to be their true selves too – which is the most transformational work we can do.)

AND it’s the only way to build a business you ACTUALLY love (rather than one built on what you think looks good / you think others will think look good…)

In The Tao Te Ching, it is written about a sage:

What is his secret?
He never competes
So there is no one else
but him.
The parts of you that you’re working so hard to hide… I bet you anything they are the missing pieces of the puzzle in your marketing plan. When you dare to let them be seen – phwoar – your ideal clients better have their ray-bans at the ready.

Lightness aside, it is no coincidence that there is a rise in women teaching visibility. For thousands of years, it was not safe to stand out.

If you could heal cuts with herbs, induce deep dreams and see another’s inner world clearer than they could, you were labelled a witch. Mothers taught their daughters to quietly fit in, and the quieter we got the more we forgot.

Now, we’re seeing a resurgence – in natural medicine, in an understanding of energy and our inner worlds – and we no longer risk being burnt at the stake for standing out and speaking our truth.

But because we have this fear of visibility so deeply ingrained, it will take some healing before we can move on from it.

To heal a wound we must first be aware of it. When you feel the fear of saying something that to you, feels deeply true and deeply frightening, look that fear in the eyes. See what it has to teach you, get intimate with it. Let it speak. Hear the part that is scared.

And then tune in to your bigger, wiser, whole self. What does the part of you that is scared need to hear?

Move softly, be gentle with yourself. You might be surprised at the boldness that’s ready to shine forth, when you take the time to nurture the part of you that feels fear.

Photo credit: Tony Webster / Foter / CC BY

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