Fear of self-promotion
Oddly enough, in worrying that by promoting ourselves, we're asking for too much attention, we do just that: We make it about us, instead of all the people we could lift up by sharing what we offer.
"I don't want to impose."
I was chatting with a client this morning — a young, self-possessed, amazingly talented musician — and she said, "I just don't want to impose."
She was responding to a social media calendar I'd created for her. She was worried that by posting an average of once a day, she would come across to her followers as saying, "Look at me! Look at me!"
I told her that first of all, her followers don't get an alert every time she posts. Most of her followers probably won't see most of her posts, because they'll get lost in their feeds. That's how social media works. Which is why it's important to post more frequently. Once a day is just skimming the surface.
Second of all, the schedule I designed strikes a balance between posts that promote her work, and posts that build community, share her personality, and express things that are important to her.
Third, I reassured her that she isn't alone in this fear of "imposing."
But I told her she needs to let it go.
Hanging back puts up roadblocks between you and those you hope to serve
Nearly every woman I talk to, from 20-somethings to women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who are leaders in their fields, is afraid that self-promotion will make her seem like "too much."
Earlier in the week, I was talking to a prospective client — an executive coach — and she said, "I just want to do good work. Why do I have to make it about ME?"
If this is how you feel, I'd like to invite you to consider something.
Let me help you promote yourself without cringing
When you don't have a strong online presence — what I would call, telling your story online — you are putting up roadblocks between you and the people you seek to serve.
The people who could have their spirits lifted by a talented musician's music.
The women leaders whose lives could be transformed by your coaching.
A friend recently shared the quote (I can't pin down its source), "I'm trying to find the people who are trying to find me."
You need to put out breadcrumbs to help your people find you.
What's more, we need a world where women are less afraid of being an imposition.
A world brimming with women who express themselves fully.
Not just for the sake of it, but because I truly believe this will make the world a more just and compassionate place.
Your story's ripple effect
So, the lesson of the day?
You aren't imposing.
And the next time you worry that you are, reframe, and remind yourself of why you do the work you do.
Does it light you up? By sharing your work, you're sharing that light with the world.
Does it help people? Inspire them? Inform them?
By sharing your work, you're informing. Inspiring. Helping.
Think of the ripple effect.
I'm reminded of the Marianne Williamson quote:
You are powerful. And you only get one shot at this life.
Express your power. Express your story. I can help.