I’ve been thinking a lot about how when we talk about visibility we are usually talking about what to say and do when we show up (online or in real life). We are given content plans but not real visibility strategies that take into account our humanity. We rarely talk about the energy and confidence required to show up and be seen in order to get our work or message out into the world.
I shared last week on Instagram that the past five years of my life have been difficult personally as I struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss while running a business that was also growing faster than what I felt I could keep up with. I said that I wished I had had women I could ask about how to show up and continued to stay visible when it felt like my heart was constantly breaking and just getting out of bed felt like a feat. The response to my story was overwhelming. 80+ women were in my DMs asking questions and saying that they also wish they had somewhere to get this type of information. Many said that while they may not have experienced the exact same type of heartbreak and struggle, they too were dealing with ongoing life experiences that make showing up to grow their brand, business, and career feel almost impossible.
Below are some of the things I learned about showing up and being visible during a hard period of my life. I will be sharing more on the podcast in the coming months so if this is a conversation that resonates with you (no matter what you’re experiencing in your life, it doesn’t have to be the same experiences as I’ve had), stick around. I’m delighted to have you explore this conversation with me.
1. 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐚 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐢𝐭. For example, showing my face on IG stories takes a lot of energy out of me. Talking into my microphone to record a podcast doesn’t. When I thought about what I could put my energy into that would give me the greatest return on my time investment during a difficult period, it was something that would last longer than 24 hours (unlike Instagram stories) so a podcast made sense. Pinpoint what drains you most and then try to see if there’s a way to dial it down but still get a return on the work you put into the world.
2. 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭. This tip is critical to keep in mind if your energy is depleted. One of the things that’s really important to remember when you’re going through a difficult time or just feeling less than your best, is that people really don’t think about you as much as you think they do. I mean that in the nicest way. And I say that because when it comes to your content they are likely going to forget they read something before. If you write content in one place (say your blog or your podcast), use it in another (make slides for IG stories or grid posts out of it for example).
3. 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠. Create a uniform from what you already own and plan it out ahead of time so you don’t even have to think about what to wear. Make sure the silhouettes and colors you pull from your closet are the ones that make you feel your very best. Pick fabrics that feel good against your skin. If you feel your best in a dressier outfit than you’d usually wear, wear it anyways. Buy yourself new pajamas and loungewear for the days you don’t have to see anyone.
4. 𝐁𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. Body image issues tend to get loud when life feels out of control because we live in a society that tells women that if they “fix” their bodies their lives will be better. It’s not true and it’s a dangerous lie that often keeps us from caring for ourselves the way we need to during difficult periods. Simply noticing your mind getting judgy can be enough to divert your attention to something you can control that will actually improve the issue at hand.
In episode 13 of The Self Styled Podcast, I shared 5 more tips for how I broke out of my fear of being visible and what helped me along the way. You can listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts.