Being too shy to stand out and afraid of being criticised, or even worse being ‘trolled’, can totally block you from shining your light and attracting the clients you need to build a sustainable business. It often shows up big time on social media or when you’re giving a talk and it can be paralysing.

Is this you?

Woman hiding behind hat feeling too shy to stand outAre you in a ton of Facebook groups and just observing, rarely posting?

Have you been lurking in the shadows, reading other people’s posts, afraid to contribute because you’re not sure how you’ll be received?

Do you look at their posts and somehow feel ‘less than’?

Have you turned down speaking gigs because you’re just too scared to get up there and speak?

If that sounds like you, here’s a few tips for overcoming your fear.

1. Stop beating yourself up about it!

There’s a part of your fear that is totally natural – it’s a basic survival mechanism. We all have ancient, primitive programming designed to make sure we remain a part of the tribe, that we don’t stand out as different and can’t be singled out in any way,

And of course, to build a successful business, you must be prepared to stand out big-time – otherwise how will your ideal clients ever find you?

Forgive yourself for being triggered and use a little Tapping to interrupt that old stress pattern. Calm your nervous system down so you can write/post/speak/share your message from a calm and grounded space.

2. Quit fighting the parts of you that want to hide

Those parts just want you to be safe. They want to FEEL safe. And you cannot sack a part of you.

Let them know it’s okay, you’re ready to listen to what they’re afraid of. Be open and curious about it.

Their fears may be deeply buried in your subconscious mind, so here’s an easy way to bring them up into the light of day so you can let them go.

Exercise to find your hidden fears
  • Bring your conscious awareness right down into your physical body and spend a moment imagining posting in a particular group. What do the Little Voices in your head want to say about it? What are you feeling? Where do you feel it in your body?
  • Then invite your subconscious mind to float up an early time when you had that feeling – what does that feeling remind you of, when have you felt this way before? Be sure not to go looking with your conscious mind, simply let your body guide you into the feeling and your subconscious will allow a relevant memory to bubble up.

Very often it will take you back to a specific time in your life where you were being teased or bullied or humiliated in some way.

3. Recognise when you’re being triggered

For years I found groups of any kind incredibly scary. You see we moved a lot when I was growing up and so I frequently found myself ‘standing out’ (oh no!!!) with the wrong uniform and the wrong accent, being teased for it and just generally feeling ‘wrong’.

The meaning Younger Me gave to this was that clearly there was something wrong with me and wherever I went I’d be found out and be rejected.

These are the child parts that got triggered when I found myself in groups as an adult – and suddenly my system was flooded with the fears of a child, with access only to the resources of a child, and I would feel incredibly vulnerable and exposed. Because I had a 6-year old version of me trying to give a talk or make a contribution to the group.

Not a very resourceful (or fun) state to be in!

4. Take steps to remove the triggers

Sometimes bringing a memory up into conscious awareness where you can see it from an adult perspective will release you from the fear.

Often that’s not enough because the fears are not in your logical rational mind, they’re in your emotional mind and you’ll need to bypass the rational mind to reach them and release them.

Very often too, you’ll need the support of a professional and another pair of eyes on your issue before you can actually recognise what’s going on, where the programming came from and what you need to do to release it so you can show up as the resourceful, intelligent adult I know you are.

There are many tools and techniques you can use to do this and it’s something we address in depth on my Big Leap to Success programme.


Is posting on social media one of your pet hates? Or making videos? Creating content?

What other activities trigger your fear of standing out and being a target?

And what do you do about that?

Please share in the Comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

And if getting up on stage and sharing your message with the world is your goal but you’re wobbling and feeling too shy to stand out, or if you’ve been speaking for some time but never feel relaxed enough to really enjoy it, be sure to check out this programme:

‘Be A Confident Speaker’

Designed to help you get your message out there in a confident, authentic and inspiring way.

However there is only one of me and I have space for just a couple of new clients each month, so go here now and check it out if you’d like one of those places to be yours.



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8 Comments on Too shy to stand out? This is for you!

  1. Linda these are absolutely the areas that many of us struggle with. Commenting, speaking and generally being a participant rather than an observer. In your own business, you have to be a leader and that requires self-courage. For someone in business as doing these things is essential for moving forward. Your blog really made me think about some of the reasons for hesitation.

  2. Such a strong post that really resonated with me. I am only just starting to feel more comfortable putting myself out there (especially on social media). You really made me think about where these fears actually came from. Thank you!

  3. Understanding your triggers or the deeper reason behind you not doing something is so important. I find people who might think they lack the confidence to do a video isn’t about their knowledge of their subject or not wanting to be the face of the video but what’s stopping them is the technology, not understanding how to produce a video of afraid of looking silly if the technology goes wrong.

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