Overcome your fear of promoting yourself

And claim the success that’s rightfully yours

promote yourself, Fear of Self-Promotion

Fear of Self-Promotion

You’ve got an enormous amount of talent. Everyone tells you how gifted you are. You’ve got numerous qualifications/letters after your name.  You’ve trained in something dear to your heart – but you’re not doing anything with any of them.

Or, you have an idea to start working for yourself. You want to go in a new direction, and stop being a wage slave for someone else who doesn’t even appreciate what you’re doing for them?

You know what you want to do, but you can’t do anything.

In fact, you’re terrified to death of doing anything. You’re literally frozen. Because you know you’re going to have to go out there and promote yourself.

promote yourself, Fear of Self-Promotion
You’re literally frozen. Because you know you’re going have to go out there and promote yourself.

And that’s a huge stretch.

For introverts, in particular, it’s their worst nightmare.

See How an introvert can overcome their fear of the spotlight

We’re all meant to shine

Maybe you’ve seen this quote by Marianne Williamson hundreds of times and it still gets to you.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

Why You’re Hiding Your Light

Because you know you’re hiding your light? You know you’re playing small, and shrinking has become such a habit – like any drug it’s hard to give it up. You’ve never known quite how to promote yourself.

And there are all sorts of reasons you’re hiding your light. You’re afraid you might fail. You’re afraid you’ll get in a financial mess (or you’re already in a financial mess and can’t see a way out of it). You’re afraid that everyone will think you’re a big fraud.  But perhaps you’re like a lot of people, you’re afraid of being seen.

And so you hoard. You hide away and your hoard, like any miser, you hold onto what you’ve got, afraid that if you let it go you’ll lose everything.

And it is daunting, no doubt about it – moving into the light, really allowing yourself to be seen, taking those brave steps into the unknown. I’ve been and done all those things I’ve described so far. I’ve hidden away. I’ve been fearful. I’ve been in black holes and I’ve been absolutely terrified of being seen. 

See The real reason why you hide away

You Are Not Your Fear

But I know too, I am not my fear. As I’ve said before, often fear is not fear at all. It’s just the first thing that shows up when you start on a new path. And when you dare to break out of your box and start to do something different.

This is an excerpt from a  previous newsletter: Feel the Fear :

“Fear is powerful. The fact that fear is not real in most cases, makes it no less powerful. Fear can grip you around the heart, paralyse you, run you into the ground and make all action impossible. Most of the things we fear are inside our heads, that produce similar physical sensations as if we were facing a raging bear. I know what it is to feel this emotion. Fear has gripped me many times. I have known its paralyses and seductions.

Claire Schrader, Feel the Fear
promote yourself, Fear of Self-Promotion
The power of fear

However, in his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield tells us that FEAR IS GOOD.

“Like self doubt fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to have to do. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.”

Stephen Pressfield , The War of Art
promote yourself, Fear of Self-Promotion

So the way to go with fear is towards it, (and I am not of course talking about the fear that protects us from real dangers). Going towards fear is at first terrifying. But as everyone who knows who has bungee jumped or skydived, going through your fear threshold can be enormously exhilarating.

And travelling through that barrier for something that calls to you at the deepest level, is hugely fulfilling. It facilitates the emergence of a totally new self. The old skin falls away effortlessly, along with the limitations that went with it. Life can never be quite the same again.

What I have found that has worked for me, is to “feel the fear”: to become acquainted with it.

Try this exercise and see if it helps to become more acquainted with it.

Exercise – Overcome your fear of self-promotion

Take a moment and get connected with your fear. Ask yourself : What is the fear telling me?

Sit with it. Listen to your fear. Wait till you know absolutely what action you want to take or can take – in this present moment. Choose a really small action.

Take that action. Reflect on how it felt to take the action.

However in his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield tells us that FEAR IS GOOD. and propel us into fight or flight by flooding our system with exciting adrenaline. There is an aspect of adrenaline that is purely pleasurable as I have described.

This is what happens in the Sunflower Effect courses The fear that comes just before you’re about to participate in an exercise or about to make a big breakthrough. This is what makes it so empowering. It takes you through your fear/doubt/resistance so you can move out the other side.

I hope you find this exercise helpful, and it will enable you to start breaking the habit of comparing yourself to others. Then you can start being the real “you” and live your life from a more empowered place.

© Claire Schrader

Want to get more comfortable promoting yourself? The Finding Your Voice Course is particularly designed to help you to move through your fear and get more comfortable promoting yourself and speaking with confidence.

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