I went to a networking event 6 weeks ago. I put on the bright red lipstick that brings me so much joy, and my favorite black and white striped shirt dress. It’s comfortable while still delighting me with its fashionable cut, so I wear this ensemble often for events like this.
I also put on my favorite handmade, Italian, yellow high heels that I recently bought in France, and I went to the event feeling vibrant, excited, and like a perfect expression of me. My light was big and bright that evening.
When I walked into the venue I immediately walked up to a group of men and women, introduced myself, and within seconds, we were laughing and sharing travel stories (this was, apparently, a well-traveled group).
That’s when I felt it. A feeling I’m unfortunately familiar with by now. Many women are.
From across the room, I felt someone looking at me, and the energy felt weird. It was a woman, standing there hunched over a bit, pulling her oversized sweater tightly closed across her chest and torso, looking me up and down, suspiciously.
I ignored this energy and kept talking and working my way around the room, introducing myself to everyone, feeling lit up and happy to be there, meeting new people.
Still, I felt that scowling at the edge of my awareness.
When I finally reached the area of the room where she was, one of the executives pulled her into the circle so I could meet her. I kindly introduced myself with a big smile. Once again, the scanning me up and down took place. Weak, disinterested handshake on her part.
It was very obvious to me that I was triggering the f&ck out of her.
Why? I’m not sure.
She kept staring at my shoes, bright red lips, and clothes with a scowl.
But I suspected that it’s because perhaps she wasn’t feeling so bright and shiny herself. So she got triggered by my bright light entering the room.
This is the behavior that women do unto other women
that I have never nor will ever understand.
The way some women make their insecurities the problem or fault of a woman who doesn’t have that insecurity. Or the anger they project at a woman who dared to wear bright red lipstick when everyone was wearing neutrals.
This has happened to me so many times. And not just me.
Whenever I work with a womxn on expanding her visibility capacity, this comes up.
An experience of having been bright, shiny and in her fullest essence, but being torn down by another woman, whether it be through a look or passive-aggressive words.
This left them heartbroken and afraid to be “too big and visible.” This seriously holds back the impact and earning potential of your mission.
Let’s not even get started on what this experience is like for black womxn (who often get told they’re being ‘too loud’ or ‘aggressive’ when a white woman could do the same thing and be celebrated as ‘strong’).
Or fat womxn who seem to arouse some profound level of public anger just for owning their gorgeous, curvaceous bodies without shame. (As a size 14 woman, this has happened to me many times. I’m only ‘acceptable’ as long as I’m apologizing for my body size or promising I’m on a diet, which I refuse to do).
A few years ago, a woman friend of mine went with me to a networking event. I just happened to know many people there that evening, who were all excitedly greeting me with warmth and love.
At one point I noticed her getting very insecure that she didn’t know all the people there, even though I was introducing her to everyone I was saying hello to so that she didn’t feel left out. She turned to me with a smirk and said: “Well aren’t YOU the most popular girl in the room who knows everyone?”
Why? What is the point of that comment? Why not just tell me you’re feeling a bit insecure so I can give you a huge hug and remind you of how amazing you are?
I don’t understand why we can’t just celebrate each other HOWEVER we choose to express our own light—high heels or sneakers, red lips or no makeup, cute dress or hoodie. Who cares?
We aren’t crabs in a pot of boiling water. There is room for every woman’s light.
I get so lit up and excited by women shining. I cry every time I see Lizzo perform because I’m so happy for the way she shines ALL THE WAY OUT. Or my Facebook friend is about to hit her $10,000 fundraising goal for her dream farm. I cry with joy when women SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT.
I am so happy to see this. This is why I’m so passionate about helping the world build more Capacity. Because that inability to cheer another person on and instead tear them down is a lack of Emotional AND Visibility Capacity.
And the ways we let other people’s triggers about our shine make us cower and dull our own light is a Visibility Capacity issue.
And it’s rampant in our world. We project our issues onto innocent people and attack them. Instead of taking responsibility for our own sh$t and using it to grow and learn.
Or we see other people going through that sort of attack and we decide we won’t ever shine too bright to avoid that sort of crucifixion in the public eye. This is bullsh$t.
The success of your mission, that thing only YOU were called here to contribute DEPENDS ON you being fully, gloriously, brightly VISIBLE. It depends on you letting ALL OF YOU BE SEEN. And I don’t just mean the ‘societally acceptable’ parts of you. I mean ALL OF YOU.
The parts that you’re hiding from the world are the parts that would bring you the MOST lucrative financial and emotional returns. I KNOW this because I have seen this happen repeatedly over the last 10 years of helping women like you expand their Visibility Capacity.
I can’t IMAGINE how different things would be if Lizzo decided to be ‘more socially acceptable,’ ‘smaller,’ or less fabulous. Her performances wouldn’t have nearly the level of positive impact they have on me and other women.
This is why it is so profoundly important that you work on expanding your Visibility Capacity. It CANNOT WAIT.
Every minute you keep holding back even the tiniest part of you because you’re afraid of being judged is $1,000 dollars left on the table and 1,000 people you don’t impact.
That’s why I opened up the virtual Visibility Capacity retreat.
To help you STOP the ways you’re STILL hiding. It doesn’t matter WHAT level of your career you’re in, ALL WOMEN ARE DOING THIS ON SOME SUBTLE LEVEL. It has to stop.
Our second to last date for the virtual retreat is TOMORROW.
Our final date is next week and there are just a few spots left.
And then THAT’S it—the virtual Visibility Capacity retreat is CLOSED and done.
There’s no future date planned right now.
This retreat is so impactful that one woman rearranged ALL OF HER CLIENTS to be able to attend. She told me it was WORTH IT.
One woman who attended already told me that getting over her new visibility fears has completely shifted how she is launching her next program. Is that not worth rescheduling some appointments in your day so that you can attend?
And, listen—I promise you that if I see you shining I am cheering you on with every cell of my friggin’ being. Not once am I thinking that you shining means less shine for me. Or how dare you be different?
The world needs as many lit up women (and men) as possible right now. Not a limited amount. That’s scarcity thinking. There is endless amounts of space for all the shines.
Like Lizzo says, “If I’m shinin’ everybody gonna shine.”