What does it mean to be seen? How does it feel when you’re noticed by someone? It’s a great feeling to be acknowledged by others, even if we don’t feel the need to nor be dependent on them noticing us. To be recognized for our work, our efforts, and who we are is a good thing and one we can be happy about. But is there a point where we expect that because we do something good that we should be noticed?
Think about when you see a nice guy who thinks women should like him because he’s nice. As if that’s the best redeeming quality about him. Yet, no one knows anything else about him (I used to be this guy so this I’m speaking from experience here). Who are you and what else do you have to offer?
This kind of expectation leads us to become angry and bitter at everyone because we think, “because I do or have done ‘X’, I should be liked and respected.” It’s one thing to do and be a certain person and have amazing qualities and skills, which is to be respected. But no one is obligated to notice you, your personality, deeds, or anything about you. Instead of complaining about people not seeing you, ask yourself a different question:
Am I allowing myself to be seen?
Being seen is more than allowing people to see what you do. It’s allowing people to see who you are organically. It’s allowing you to see yourself as you truly are and who you can become when you decide to grow. Allowing yourself to be seen is one of the most frightening things you can do and the most liberating as well.
Being seen is vulnerability in the purest form, but isn’t that a bad thing? Won’t people judge me for putting myself out there?
No, it’s not. Vulnerability allows you to see yourself in everyone and to allow others to be your mirror. As for the judgement part, find me a person who wasn’t judged for being themselves.
Think of all the people who are admired and respected in spirituality, self-help, and the like. Look at people like Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jim Kwik, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Louise Hay, and many more. All of them at one time were told they were stupid, they would fail, had many doubters, called many names, and told they were fakes and frauds (myself included). Yet, these people have inspired and helped many people around the world with their work.
How were they able to help people? They had to be seen. And in order to be seen, they had to put themselves out there. That made them vulnerable and in turn, it helped propel them in their profession and practice. Vulnerability plays a huge part in our growth and its only a bad thing when you don’t set healthy boundaries. If you’re doing that, people’s comments, opinions, and attacks mean nothing. Only your progression.
But do I have to put myself out there? Is being seen that important to growth?
Absolutely! Being seen is an integral part of our growth. If you have a passion, message or a mission, it’s important to that you’re able to be seen. Besides, how are people supposed to know about you and your work if you don’t put yourself out there? And being seen comes in many forms from large to small, familiar to something you would never thought mattered. Something which I had to learn.
Recently, I changed the profile picture on all my social media accounts from my logo to my face. Now this might not seem like such a big deal and even may seem a little trivial but it was bold as love for me. Since I started on this journey as a healer, I always used my logo as my profile pic and never thought anything of it. Over time, a few people suggested I change it to me and I resisted until just recently.
One thing I realized is that in my line of work, people don’t connect with faceless brands. Unless I’m a retail giant, marketing firm, or IT company, people need to see who I am. They need to know that I’m a real person, just like them, who’s going through, or has gone through, the things they are. People need to see me!
Of course I had my limiting beliefs about doing it. One of mine was: Will people take me seriously as a black man doing healing work? This was one thing that almost stopped me from being seen. But this was me judging myself. And if other people are judging me for that, they aren’t the people I want to work with anyway. I can’t control what people think but I can control how I respond. This is where vulnerability can help you grow by giving you a mirror to see the blocks you impose on yourself.
In the 2014 commencement speech at the Maharishi University of Management, at one point Jim Carrey said to the graduates, “risk being seen in all of your glory,” and then proceeded to unveil a large painting which he had brought with him. The painting showed all the things he had experienced and learned from himself and others. This act of vulnerability showed the graduates at the time that he’s a real person who goes through challenges like them, even at his level. It allowed them to connect with him and his story.
I go back and watch this speech from time to time for its wisdom and a reminder that who I am and what I have to offer matters and will make a difference. You have the same thing within you. You just need to share it with the world. If you haven’t seen his speech, I encourage you to watch it below.
One of my inspirations to write this blog was from one of my friends Laura Di Franco. Laura is a writer who, in her own words, writes to Feng Shui her soul and has created her business around writing and helping others to write to heal, grow, and thrive. Yet, with all her writing, she herself struggled to put herself out there as well for many different reasons. What she realized is that in order to help people, she had to put herself out there. She had to be willing to be seen. Through this action, she learned that self-promotion is an act of self-love. She wrote a wonderful blog about this and it’s a fantastic read. She even includes a few tips on how to move through the many fears of being seen and do it anyway. Give it a read.
I get it. Being seen helps me grow by showing everyone the real me. So where do I start and what’s it going to take to do this?
Start with something simple. Take what you already love and begin to put it out there. For me, this something was music. For a long time, I believed that I had to choose between music and healing work. Could I be a musician while also working with people using ThetaHealing® and coaching? What I realized is that the two aren’t exclusive. I can do both at the same time. Both of them not only compliment each other but can co-operate with each other as well. They are separate but also one in the same. I am not just a musician or a healer, I am both, and they are me!
As for what it’s going to take, it’s bravery. As I mentioned earlier, being seen is scary and brings up a number of fears and emotions. It’s important to feel all of those fears and emotions and do it anyway. Allowing yourself to be seen is a great time to work on any mental and emotional blocks you may have. I don’t believe in being stone-faced, devoid of emotion. Stuffing things down only allows them to come back later. Use this as an opportunity to face your stuff.
A great example for me was writing this blog post. I haven’t written one in awhile but I knew it was time. I have a message and a gift to share and it’s time I stop hiding it. You do too and it’s long overdue for your gifts and talents to contribute to this world during a time where new energy is very needed.
So what do you say? Are you willing to risk being seen in all of your glory? I know I am and I hope you join me. It’s time for the world to see you in your awesomeness!
Do you struggle with allowing yourself to be seen? Share in the comments. If you still struggle with being seen and sharing your gifts, contact me for a session.