When I was a kid, my sister and I made up a game called “dress of jewels.” You open your closet, look at a dress, then close it and say “I wish for a dress of rubies, emeralds, and diamonds!” If you wished hard enough, it would happen.
We always convinced ourselves we’d seen a “flash” of the jewels when we opened the closet door again. Our desire to see it made us believe we saw it, even if it wasn’t there. People do this to other people, too. Ever met a person who just didn’t like you, for no good reason?
One of the top fears people express to me when increasing their visibility is this: “What if I experience judgment, mean comments, attacks, or projections from people?”
In order to grow to your next level, you must be fully seen by more people. It’s a dilemma which, not addressed, could slow down your business results and personal goals. Because you’re holding back or even sabotaging more visibility due to fear.
I get it. Doing what I do for 12 years, I can say projection is a real thing, y’all. I’ve been accused of the wildest things by people I haven’t even met! I’ve had stalkers! These experiences can leave you shaken and make you want to hide.
I do Capacity Work™ all the time so I’ve been exploring new levels of my capacity this year and I’ve watched myself undergo the largest internal transformation of my adult life.
I’ve felt more free than ever. Even more comfortable with being seen, while caring less than ever what people who aren’t important in my life think. I’m more at peace and I’m only giving my energy to that which brings me more love, softness, and joy. If it doesn’t add to those three, it doesn’t get my attention.
I have an incredible team right now, too, both in my business and in life. I feel good. I’ve been working hard to get here. And I’m enjoying it without apology, while excited to see what’s next as I continue my own capacity work. I know these little shifts come across in the energy waves when I post a picture or write an email. People who know me well tell me they notice the subtle shift.
The better I feel and the more I show it sans apologies, I’ve noticed an uptick in passive-aggressive comments & projections from people who don’t know me well or at all. And the only reason I’m even giving it any mention is because there’s a potent Visibility Capacity™ lesson in here for you.
A few of the triggered were people I’d worked with once a long time ago. But I wasn’t blocking them right away after their microaggressions. For a day, I fell into an old habit of “being understanding” because I knew it had nothing to do with me and more with their own internal battles. Except, not blocking them meant they’d come back and aggress again.
I was talking to a trusted mentor about this– how when it came to having known someone briefly, I didn’t immediately trust my instinct to block right away. She asked me the perfect question, “why are you still making space for people who don’t see you?” I finally blocked the micro-aggressor as soon as my mentor and I hung up.
If you’re holding back in your visibility because you’re afraid of this happening to you, I want you to read this now: You’re never required to make space for people who are committed to not seeing you clearly.
I used to think I *had* to allow space for people who didn’t want to see me. I told myself it was the “compassionate” thing to do. But that’s called spiritual bypassing & self-gaslighting. Compassion isn’t true compassion if it doesn’t include YOU.
No compassion for another should include not extending compassion to yourself or leaving yourself open to harmful and, frankly, abusive projections. You never need to remain in spaces where you aren’t seen, where intentions that don’t belong to you are projected on you, and there’s no desire for true connection or understanding.
You don’t need to allow that into your space either. You can block it immediately. It’s your living room, so to speak. Maya Angelou had ZERO qualms about instantly kicking people out who were rude in her spaces. To make space for that behavior is just putting yourself in the wake of mistreatment. That’s not compassion.
As your Visibility Capacity grows, you’ll impact more people positively. That’s why you show up for this even when it’s hard. You’re here to see that light turn on in someone’s eyes when it finally clicks.
And your visibility increasing also means some people will want to come into your space with a vested interest in projecting a character or role onto you that isn’t you. They can have a really hard time meeting a new version of you & if they knew you before, they might not like you changed or grown.
That happens when the person has an ego identity based on you staying in one role in their lives or perspective. And if they are identified with a certain role or identity that played off the role you fulfilled, they won’t like it when your role changes because it disrupts their “life screenplay,” so to speak.
Your true “people” care for your well-being. They don’t get triggered when you change in ways that feel good to you. They want to get to know every new version of you. They don’t judge, project, or commit microaggressions. They listen with curiosity, celebrate & encourage you. They love meeting new parts of you.
So it’s okay to *not* make space for people who don’t have your well-being in mind. In fact, it’s the MOST compassionate thing you can do. It’s kind to you, and it’s kind to even those who get triggered by your changes.
When you don’t engage in or make space for mistreatment, the only thing left for them to do is face themselves and why they’re so upset that you’re shining. So you still get to impact them positively without having to throw yourself under the bus under the guise of “being compassionate.”
A spiritual teacher once said to me, “as viewed, so appears.” What people want to see is what they’ll see. Just like the jeweled dresses, my sister and I convinced ourselves we saw for a split second.
I’m not going to lie and tell you people aren’t going to project all of their hopes and fears onto you when you become more visibly bright and aligned with yourself as a leader. Some people will put you on a pedestal just so they can tear it down. You don’t have to be involved in all that. Let them do it over there in their corner and pay it no mind.
I’m not going to tell you there’ll never be nasty comments in your social media posts. Or that you won’t be accused of ridiculous things. You’ll sometimes have people walk away from you believing with every bone in their body you are the embodiment of evil, even when you’ve not shown up that way. That’s what they were committed to believing about you from the beginning to complete their mental screenplay.
When you build your capacity for more visibility, you won’t let the fear of those things happening subtly dull your shine. It won’t stop you from showing up like you need to in order to get to your next level. You’ll show up and be unbothered.
That’s why a publicity, branding, or visibility “strategy” isn’t enough. Your life hacks and strategies need to be supercharged by your capacity to see the most powerful results.