Learning to be Visible

To feel joyful and at peace, we need to be who we are in the world. This means being comfortable in our own skin rather than constantly changing to fit in. For a whole host of reasons, we share only a fraction of who we are.  Many of us conceal our full selves to avoid anticipated conflict, judgement or confrontation. Or sometimes we simply downplay our strengths as we’re not at ease being in the spotlight.  For many introverts, remaining private is more comfortable as we need the time to sort out where we stand or how we want to respond.

If it’s easier to remain under the radar, then what’s the problem?  For some, there is no problem; they are at peace revealing themselves to a chosen few and do not feel invisible. But too often, we develop an automatic, unconscious response to others. These personas, such as  –  being accommodating, non-controversial or agreeable –  become defense mechanisms that limit our lives.  Others can’t get to know us when we hide or are non-committal. People sense a lack of authenticity and steer away, causing us to miss opportunities for true connections. Even worse, you can start to feel truly invisible and unimportant!

To work towards more authenticity, consider how often you fall into your personal version of ‘going on automatic’ in social situations, and what your ‘go to’ response generally is.  I’ve seem people who tend to nod agreeably and are always ‘pleasant,’ and others who are more inclined to act indifferent or shut down. Look at the impact of your style of interaction, and determine how you would like to relate with others while remaining comfortable.

An excellent way to start is to watch people with similar temperaments who are able to hold their own. From body language to facial expressions, observe what they do and see if it fits for you. With the goal of being true to yourself, I hope you can learn to relax the reigns a bit and trust that you can handle – and enjoy – the new attention and visibility you’ll receive.