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  • Writer's pictureErin Ratliff

Shining Your Light: How to Overcome Your Fear of Visibility as a Heart-led Soul-preneur

"Everyone wants to build a following, but no one wants to be perceived."

Chelsea Lockwood

As a holistic wellness practitioner and healer, having a public presence- both digitally and socially, is vital for your success. However, for many budding entrepreneurs, the fear of being seen can be a significant roadblock on their path to making a positive impact.

For some, especially those inclined towards introversion or privacy, the act of self-promotion may feel uncomfortable, intimidating and downright TERRIFYING.

But if you have an online business, it’s something you can’t skip. Trust me, I've tried.

Posting on social media feels a lot like online dating. It's exhausting, time-consuming and you open yourself up to the risk of rejection EVERY TIME. To do it well requires so much confidence, courage, vulnerability, and resiliency - not to mention the administrative costs of schedule coordination and consistency.

Afterwards you're always left questioning, wondering if who you are, or what you did or said was good enough. And then to top it off you have the tangible tracking metrics to remind you exactly how you're performing, what you're doing wrong or right.

This discomfort to post on social media is REAL, but by putting together a plan of action, saying “yes” in small ways, and building authority over time, it WILL get a lot easier. I promise!

In this post, I will break down your visibility blocks, explore practical strategies to combat the fear of putting yourself out there and empower you in your role as a changemaker and healer.

"Visibility is Vulnerability"

Understanding The Roots of Your Patterns & Fears

Recognizing and understanding the underlying reasons behind your visibility fear is the first step towards overcoming it.

The fear of being seen doesn't mean you don't want to be seen. Being seen is a fundamental human need for secure attachment, which helps us feel regulated, connected, and important—key components for survival.

The fear of visibility most often originated in childhood experiences where you were criticized or ridiculed for sharing your thoughts, emotions, or needs. Or it might be rooted in the unconscious when you feel overshadowed by your siblings, peers, or other family members.

As children, we absorbed the words and actions of those around us like sponges. If you felt like you didn't meet others' expectations, it sowed the seeds of self-doubt, which grew into a fear of being seen as your authentic self.

Of course if you're afraid of being seen by others, it also likely means you struggle to truly see and understand yourself.

As humans we crave visibility because we are wired with two distinct subconscious/ego needs:

  • The need for authentic self-expression

  • The need for acceptance and belonging.

Almost always, the need for belonging will outweigh the need for expression in order to keep us safe and protected. In order to feel accepted by peers, family and community we may unconsciously "turn down the volume" on our personalities or desires - silencing ourselves to preserve our relationships with others or our perceived "membership" in a group.

Everyone wants to be acknowledged, to know they are seen and heard. We want to feel like what we are saying matters. That's why social media algorithms and pressure can be so hard to navigate. When we are vulnerable and post, we run the risk of feeling ignored or misunderstood.

“Three of the greatest longings of the human soul are to be seen, heard and known”

Kim Kurtz

Our inner insecurities and self-doubt can stem from various factors and manifest in many different ways:

  • rejection sensitivity - fear of judgment, criticism, ridicule, or cancelation

  • imposter syndrome - fear of being exposed as incompetent or a fraud

  • overwhelm - fear of the unknown, risk, responsibility, demands, stress, inability or inadequacy

  • avoidance - fear of success, acknowledgment or recognition

  • perfectionism - fear of failure, being wrong, being misunderstood

  • smallness - fear of being average or unoriginal, or in being "too much"

False/limiting beliefs:

  • I'm a fraud and I'll be exposed as incompetent

  • I'm not smart/skilled/talented/good enough

  • I must be perfect to avoid other's judgement or criticism

  • If I am vulnerable I run the risk of rejection

  • My success will provoke envy or resentment from others

This underlying anxiety typically manifests as Stress (pressure, panic, burnout) or Stagnation (analysis paralysis, inability to prioritize, low morale). This general fear of discomfort or the desire to always "play it safe" can really affect the bottom line in your business.

What does this look like?

  • reduced productivity

  • procrastination

  • inconsistency

  • difficulty networking

  • difficulty connecting

  • low to no profit margin

You may feel powerless against your visibility block, but rest assured - this fear is common and can be overcome with the right mindset and strategies.

After you have awareness and understanding of the roots of your limiting beliefs, you can start to unwind your subconscious patterning. This doesn't mean diving headfirst into the spotlight, although it can. Small, achievable goals will gradually expand your comfort zone.

Our fear of Visibility is a part of our nervous system wiring. And like a muscle we learn to flex, it’s a skill we can build and master over time. Thankfully there are several ways to help you expand your capacity for visibility so that it feels easier and more natural.

ALIGNED ACTION: Journal on what visibility would look like as your inner child. More praise and recognition? More adoration? Acceptance? Understanding? Connection?

Taking up space is a spiritual practice. The belief that you need to remain small in order to be accepted and liked is the Ego masquerading as self-care. And the belief that you need to remain small in order for someone else to shine is the Ego masquerading as compassion.

Cory Muscara

Doing the Work

 Inner child work allows us to address and reshape core beliefs formed in early childhood, such as feelings of inadequacy or conditional worth. By revisiting childhood experiences through the perspective of the inner child, we can challenge outdated beliefs and adopt more accurate, adult perspectives.

For instance, realizing that a parent's critical behavior was a reflection of their struggles, not our worth, helps us reframe the belief to "I am valuable as I am." This process involves acknowledging and expressing suppressed emotions and meeting unmet needs, fostering a healthy, regulated nervous system. Building this inner secure attachment enables us to form intimate and fulfilling relationships and take risks in life.

The first step in change is recognizing that these behaviors were part of your survival mechanism, not flaws in you. They represent the survival self that developed to stay emotionally, socially, or physically safe. Understanding the origins and past usefulness of these behaviors shifts us from self-judgment to self-compassion, and perhaps even gratitude for the younger self that navigated tough situations. This understanding opens up the space for change.

Activating Your Authenticity

The next step in combating the fear of visibility is to embrace your authenticity. Taking up space means showing up as your true self, without masks or pretenses.

To live in alignment with your higher self or inner truth is a spiritual practice.

Loving and accepting your true self will allow you to connect genuinely with your audience and attract clients who resonate with your values and mission.

Embracing and occupying physical and emotional space is a form of self-acceptance and self-love. It means recognizing your inherent worth and value as a spiritual being having a human experience. This practice can involve releasing self-limiting beliefs and self-criticisms, allowing yourself to be seen and heard as you truly are.

Take time to recognize and celebrate your unique gifts, strengths, and experiences that make you one of a kind

  • Your empathy

  • Your compassion

  • Your individuality

Your personal brand is a powerful tool for standing out in the already crowded and competitive wellness industry. Take time to craft a cohesive brand identity that resonates with your target client.

  • Define your values, mission, and message

  • Communicate your authentic story and expertise

  • Showcase how you can make a positive difference in people's lives.

Using the tools of Human Design can be very helpful in this process.

"May the promise of new growth outweigh our fear of stumbling."

Amber Adams Niven

Shifting Your Mindset

To overcome the fear of visibility, it's essential to challenge limiting beliefs and cultivate a consistently positive mindset. Replace self-doubt with self-belief that reinforce your worth and abilities.

  • Surround yourself with positive influences, such as uplifting books, podcasts, or mentors who can inspire and support your journey

  • Practice self-care rituals like meditation, mindful, movement and play

  • Visualize an image that represents safe, aligned visibility to you: a house with windows, a stage for performance, a curated IG feed, a certain number of LinkedIn followers.

  • Repeat self-love affirmations to own your BIGNESS, brightness and boldness

I love and accept my bold energy and intensity.

I am safe to dream big, love hard, and feel deep.

I am proud to be this passionate and powerful.

  • Accept that being your authenticate and "extra" self is not a rejection of others, nor is it being superior to others. You're simply claiming what you already are, owning it with joy and unapologetically bringing it into the world.

Remember that your self worth isn’t based on how others perceive you, It's solely based on how YOU perceive yourself. Your value isn't in how much others like you, its about how much YOU like yourself. So let go of the pressure, the mistakes, the missteps you've made. Go easy on yourself.

"Good things come to those who are willing to look unhinged while they go all in on their purpose."

Be The Vibe You Want to See In the World

To build a sustainable following you'll need to practicing pushing/ moving through the fear of visibility. You'll also need to learn how to cultivate the energy of who you want to be, or follow.

How to embody this person? Listen to a song you like, chat with someone who hypes you up, etc. Then write like only the most supportive people in your life will see it. This alone will change the words you use... which will change the feeling people get when they read your content... which will determine whether they follow you or engage with your content moving forward. If they like you, they will naturally respond and want more!

Then, you just keep doing this until your confidence naturally starts to build and it feels effortless and easy. Spoiler alert: This can happen faster than you realize!

"Let your curiosity be greater than your fear."

Building Your Foundations

Navigating the journey of visibility can feel challenging and overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. Building a solid support system and establishing proactive, preventative measures can set you up for success.

  • Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand your journey and can offer support and encouragement.

  • Seek mentorship from more seasoned/experienced holistic wellness practitioners who were once in your shoes and successfully overcame their own fears of visibility.

  • Hire, delegate or outsource the tasks that are particularly depleting to your energy. You'll feel a weight lifted!

  • Set strong standards and boundaries so that draining people are not a part of your inner circle or taking much of your time or energy

One of the most underutilized strategies of building a visible business is building a small but loyal community BEFORE you start to sell your offering.

While some adopt the mantra 'If you build it, they will come' that results-first approach only works if people actually know about the thing you've built.

So invest some time in building an audience, cultivating trust and loyalty. This is great practice before your big launch.

Authentic storytelling helps create a genuine connection with your audience and establishes you as a trusted authority in your field. Your story is unique and has the power to inspire and connect with others. Through practice you can overcome the fear of judgment and rejection by sharing your personal journey and expertise.

Writing and documenting and sharing as you go about your entrepreneurial journey is important because it helps you

  • Reinforce the knowledge you're learning

  • Generate creativity of your own ideas

  • Build an audience with similar interests

So, put yourself out there to be seen! Take 10 minutes a day to share what's getting your attention and why. Passion and enthusiasm is contagious and will encourage others to live in alignment with gifts and calling as well

Don't forget to ask people what they need from you, listening to their problems and concerns. Market Research is a core foundation of any successful business!

"If you can't beat fear just do it scared."

Glennon Doyle

Showing Up (Again & Again)

In today's digital age, social media and blogging offers unparalleled opportunities for visibility. Leveraging online platforms can get you on the fast-track to sales and profits.

Utilize the platform of your choice (and ideally audience's preferred channel too) to share valuable content, engage with your audience, and build a community.

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • LinkedIn

  • Youtube

  • TikTok

  • Pinterest

Post first, Analyze later. Over time and experimentation, you will develop a content strategy that aligns with your brand and consistently provides value to your followers.

Start Small

Break every task into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each milestone and use it as a stepping stone to propel yourself further. After all, practice makes perfect. This could look like...

  • committing to posting weekly to social media post

  • sharing your expertise on a blog or Facebook group

  • participating in local wellness events

  • offering workshops to a small group of people

  • publishing a list of FAQs to your website

  • draw out your ideal IG feed or content ratio

Another shift: Imagine making your content for just one person at a time. Trying to publish to a wide audience can trigger performance anxiety, which blocks authentic creativity and showing up consistently.

Imagine instead that you are talking to just one person… someone you feel really comfortable talking to, someone who loves your ideas.

Another strategy to try is based in exposure therapy. Set aside chunks of time on your calendar to experience intense “sprints" of visibility, pushing the edge of comfort by being EXTRA visible for a short but designated amount of time, say 1 week, 1 month, or 3 months.

In this time it's important to have no other agenda other than simply showing up. No need to get likes, followers or new bookings. Just a time to practice and play! Over time this will expand your nervous system's capacity and before long, it will feel natural and normal.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Don't assume that if you’ve shared something once, people now know about it.

This is almost never the case. Research shows that it takes an average of 7-8 touchpoints before a customer will move to the buying stage of the funnel.

Of course the algorithm makes this even more difficult, so don't be afraid to repeat what you've said before! Over time it will be delivered to those who are meant to hear your message.

Whether you're emailing, posting on social, or mentioning something in your podcast , it's important to "ping" your customer with your offer multiple times over the course of several months.

For those who were taught that they shouldn't take up too much of other peoples space or time, we'll feel like we're being bothersome. So the goal is to find that sweet spot between communicating too frequently and not communicating enough. And every audience and industry will be different.

Getting Comfortable & Confident

People want to see your content and ideas and expertise but most of all they want to see YOU! Posts showing humans get vastly more interaction than those without.

Getting comfortable on camera opens up new opportunities for those of us who are used to being purely behind the scenes. This takes lots of practice! Get used to including videos with each posts and eventually once you feel comfortable you can add in SME (subject matter expert) interviews. This is one skillset and area where there's tons of demand — and not that many people who are truly good at doing interviews.

Start somewhere! No one really knows what they're doing, so the best way to get some momentum is to get started and learn as you go.

Remember to always speak to your clients in a way that gets them to see the value in your work. Most customers don't care about the HOW. The processes, systems, modalities or modules are the irrelevant details. Instead they care about the RESULTS you can help them get.

The goal is to ATTRACT, not chase, aligned clients who really resonate with your message.

Remember, social media operates primarily on VIBES, so if you're insecure and uncertain in your posts, your audience will feel it and engage in an equally unenthusiastic way. Therefore, the key lies in embodying the desired energy (your higher self) and authentically conveying it through content that you're passionate about. Shift your vibes before you start writing. By embracing this approach, you can gradually build confidence, leading to natural and sustainable growth.

Collaboration & Connection

Collaborating with other holistic practitioners or networking within the wellness community can expand your reach and provide opportunities to tap into new audiences and build meaningful connections.

Strategies include:

  • Contests & Giveaways

  • Guest blogging

  • Podcast interviews

Remember, collaboration is not one-sided - it's about authentically supporting and uplifting one another. Offer genuine help and support rather than a "sale" or pitch.

Another important step to building your audience organically is actually being social, aka ENGAGEMENT.

This simple Strategy can help keep you consistently showing up on social each week:

  • FIND 5 posts in your niche to leave high-value comments on

  • FOLLOW 4 of your followers who you don't follow back yet

  • INTERACT with 3 posts under a recent hashtags or location tag

  • SEND welcome messages to 2 new followers

  • POST 1 high-value (informative, inspiring, engaging) thing per week

Building Resilience

Don't get discouraged by low engagement rates or take anything personally. More often than not, people are seeing your work, they're just shy with their feedback.

If you hit a wall in your growth, whether it's due to the algorithm or not, take a deep breath to pause rather than retreat. For many ND soloprenuers, your motivation is driven by dopamine (i.e instant gratification), so it's understandable that you may want to give up when you feel you're not being rewarded with positive feedback.

  • Reframe and acknowledge your achievements. Celebrate each post, not the likes! Embrace each tiny win, no matter how small, as it reinforces your progress and boosts your confidence.

  • Prioritize alternative dopamine rewards which contributing to internal motivation, pleasure, and a sense of accomplishment/achievement. These rewards include healthy lifestyle choices (diet and exercise), continuous learning, acts of kindness, creative pursuits, social interactions, meditation, hobbies & interests, self-care routines, adventure, and more.

  • Keep delegating the tasks that leave you dispassionate or depleted so that you'll have the energy to maintain consistency

  • Remember that for every person who is intimidated by your success, or threatened by your confidence and courage - there are just as many people who are inspired by you and grateful for you.

  • Create magic for all of your "Silent Fans" who are lurking quietly in the background. Keep on producing for yourself, AND them!

Remembering your WHY

The sacred duty, the sacred responsibility that we each have is to create something for global well-being.

In the face of everything else being posted online, your voice is especially important now.

We don't need more distractions, or more negativity in this world.

Each piece of uplifting content you create and share has the opportunity to transform and transmute the collective Brain / Heart towards wisdom, peace, courage, freedom, and love.

If you aren't posting due to fear of visibility, try this:

Imagine the special soul who is deeply craving or NEEDING your content right now. Imagine they aren't able to "like' or comment, but that they will most certainly see your post and find joy in it. Imagine that someone's life is being changed in some small positive way that will ripple out into the world.

No matter how small you think your audience is, someone is seeing it, and becoming better for it. You're a living, breathing example of what's possible through hard work and determination.

What's more-- you are being changed by each thing that you create as well. Every form of self-expression about what is true, meaningful or important to you, is a form of divine-channeled wisdom that has been waiting to come out.

When you take up space and are visible, you can positively impact others. Sharing your experiences, wisdom, and insights will inspire and support others on their spiritual journeys. It's a way of giving and contributing to the collective spiritual growth.

Imagine the silent influence you have with each thing you post. The waves are much bigger than you think and one day in the future you will finally see it. You ARE making a difference.

If you still struggle to post consistently, ask yourself: Am I posting about things I really care about? It’s easier to stick to a habit if it comes from the heart, if it means something to you.If you genuinely enjoy the topics you talk about, not only will you be more motivated to post, but you will come across more authentic to your audience.

That being said, also know that you do NOT need to post content for the sake of it. There is so much NOISE on social media, and you can cut through the clutter by focusing on making content with intention and purpose.

Embracing the Growth Process

Shoshin is the Japanese concept of embracing a "Beginner's Mindset". This means you should try to let go of perfectionism and trying to have all the answers. Just be open to learning and trying new things!

Spiritual, personal and professional growth is a lifelong journey, and every step (even the ones that seem backwards or counterproductive) are getting you closer to fulfilling your purpose and meeting your potential. It's not always going to be easy. There will be inevitable peaks and valleys along the way.

By repeatedly "taking space" without arrogance , over time you can transcend the Ego's need for validation and recognition. Dismantling ego barriers allows you to connect with a deeper, more profound aspect of your being. Furthermore, sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly with others requires profound vulnerability and can help benefit the collective by fostering deeper connections and empathy.

Remember, the world NEEDS your unique gifts and expertise. Embrace your authenticity, shift your mindset, and take small steps towards being seen as the big, bold, bright, beautiful soul that you are. Shine on!

An Alternative Perspective

What if you're not supposed to be good at self-promotion? Not everyone is naturally inclined to excel at self-promotion and that's ok. It's perfectly normal to struggle with confidence and visibility in entrepreneurship. The problem arises when individuals feel inadequate because they believe they should be good at something they're simply not. Don't force it. It's ok to outsource and delegate your marketing to others so that everyone can find a fit with their natural strengths and weaknesses.

Wrapping It All Up

The fear of visibility is an all-too-common hurdle for so many - from C-suite executives to budding entrepreneurs to holistic healers. Sure, you could go the easy route, opting for sporadic posts and inconsistent effort. OR you could follow the harder but more beautiful path.

  • Understanding the roots of this fear and confronting it

  • Healing your inner child

  • Learning to exude your genuine and authentic energy

  • Implementing practical strategies to share content and expertise

With dedication and discipline you can overcome it and embrace the opportunity to make a positive impact. You DESERVE to be seen!

Bottom Line:

Want to make more money?

Find your dream clients?

Create from a place of alignment?

Have people ready to buy the next time you launch a new product, offer or service?

Then you must be willing to be SEEN! If you really have big goals for your business and you're NOT regularly shaking in your boots then you're gonna be stuck at the same place you're at right now for a looong time.

Visible content increases your surface area for luck. Hit publish daily and good things happen.

And again, the good news is the more you put yourself out there the easier it gets.

Practice doesn’t make perfect but it DOES create ease in your nervous system and confidence that you, in fact, CAN do uncomfortable things.

Ready to navigate your personal and professional transformation? Ready to unleash your light and become a beacon of healing? You can take the first step today, right NOW.

I would love to be part of your journey towards self-empowerment, both strategically and energetically. Let's connect.


Erin Ratliff is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving, heart-centered soul-preneurs.

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