Let’s Get Visible, Visible -- What introverted women can learn about being seen

Being seen is a struggle for a lot of us. If we are more on the private side or are introverted, putting ourselves out there can be an uphill battle.

Some of us are even hiding in our businesses or behind the screens of our laptops instead of breaking away to be in the world and connect with those around us. Sometimes it’s easier and more comfortable to be an observer or hope that people will notice us by working hard and letting the results speak for themselves.

That kind of thinking won’t work here.

In my corporate days, I wouldn’t speak up at meetings for fear of saying the wrong thing then would kick myself when much louder, extroverted person next to me (usually a dude) would say what I was thinking and get all the credit.

This bad habit followed me even as I became an entrepreneur. The truth is I truly enjoyed interacting with people and speaking; I just chose to do it in a one on one format. Unfortunately, we don’t always have those opportunities in the work setting or when running a business. I had to unlearn those old behaviors if I ever wanted to advance in my business and challenge myself to take center stage.

Ladies we have to become more comfortable with being seen. Especially as women of color and being the only person of color in the room most times, it’s essential that we let others see us and be a recognizable player in our industries. This is the best most effective way to build visibility and become recognized in your field. 

In my coaching sessions with clients, I sometimes share mystical teachings to help my clients build their confidence and comfort in being seen. We do this by taking on the qualities of certain planets. In the cases of building visibility, the ideal planet to emulate is the Sun. The Sun is bright ball of light in the sky that shines unapologetically, is seen by all without embarrassment or shame, and brings joy to everyone who is touched by it’s glow. These are qualities that if we are short on, we can learn to cultivate.

Think how taking on these qualities can help you become a better speaker, magnetic, and shine your light without care for what others might think. Think about the people in your life and work right now who possess these qualities. Do they struggle with being seen? Didn’t think so.

So how about you?

The idea of being seen is very much a mindset thing. The good news is there are some very practical ways to boost your visibility. Here they are:

  1. Challenge yourself to speak up at least 3x in a large meeting. 

  2. Publish a blog or write an article on LinkedIn

  3. Publish a video of yourself speaking into the camera

  4. Comment on posts and engage with your online community

  5. Go to networking events and introduce yourself to three people

  6. Build expertise in your industry and share your ideas regularly

  7. Be a guest on a podcast

  8. Practice speaking publicly at least once a month. Volunteer to present material or lead a workshop.

  9. At meetings, sit towards the front of the table rather than the back

  10. Volunteer to say a toast at dinner gatherings

Cultivating our relationship to speaking up and being seen, we can learn how to powerfully take up space and share who we are with the world without sacrificing our true self.