You’d think getting your “first big brand photo shoot” would be an exciting day, but for me, back in 2013 it was NOT. In fact, I felt sick to my stomach the week leading up to it. On the day of the photo shoot, my self-confidence was bottoming out.
At that time ALL I saw put on pedestals around me were super thin, model-like coaches and influencers, with blonde hair. Yet, here I was, size 12, brown hair with distinct Latin-American features.
My photo shoot wasn’t in a trendy Paris cafe, like most “experts” were using as their “look how successful I am” backdrop. Nor did I pose in front of a Ferrari and a mansion that’s been rented out for the day. Instead, I wanted to be in my home country of Panama.
I wanted to shoot in the cobblestone streets that shaped me, the run-down-yet-brightly-painted peeling walls of Casco Viejo (the older area of Panama City) and the jungles that made me.
I had a vision for the shoot that was very different than anything I’d ever seen in the online coaching world up to that point. Instead of showing stacks of money I’d made or the proverbial “laptop in hand, cocktail in the other” I wanted a photo shoot that modeled embodying your capacity, success and desires. I wanted people to look at the photos and feel like they can embody their highest capacity too.
Not only did I have fears that I’d look like a “weirdo” and be judged as “not successful-appearing enough to hire” because I didn’t want to pose in front of a luxury mansion in Bali on the beach, or a Paris cafe or Lamborghini… but I also felt particularly nauseous about one big thing that had held me back from getting a professional photo shoot for three years.
I felt terrified of a photo shoot because of my weight. I was afraid people wouldn’t want to hire me because I didn’t “look like” the other successful coaches. And I was fearful I’d wasted money flying the photographer into Panama, only to look at the photos afterward, feel embarrassed about how I looked and end up with no photos to post at all.
This fear of being seen in all my size twelve beauty and glory held me back for a long time. To the point where I didn’t have a viable website for years after starting my business. I just had the poorly-designed template site from my coaching school with only one small photo of me on it and the photo didn’t fully represent who I was now and how I’d grown.
While having a website is never going to stop you from having success (too many people waste time “retooling” their websites instead of just going and getting a damn client already)… it certainly helps. I can’t help but think about how many sales and opportunities I missed because I didn’t have a viable website for three years. All because of being held back over my weight and photos
What about you? Are there parts of you that you’re holding back because they’re “different” than the mainstream?
Ever wanted to book a photo shoot, pitch yourself to get on that stage or lead that meeting…but you’re worried you don’t “look the part”. Waiting on losing weight to feel “worthy” of being seen? Feel like you can’t be taken seriously if you have wrinkles? That you won’t be desirable if you don’t look like a Hollywood actor or the typical “celebrity” in your industry?
Those are Visibility Capacity™ deficits shooting up red flags for you to pay attention.
I went forward with my photo shoot, after all it was too late to cancel. And when I got the photos back, they were beautiful, but my self-critical eye back then demanded I was still not as “thin” as I would have “preferred” to be. But…I needed to get my website up and have a brand that would attract the clients I wanted.
So…what if I just owned it and posted the pictures anyway? What if I just stepped up and embraced this is what I looked like in that moment and there was nothing to be ashamed of? I took the plunge.
Within a few months I finally had an official website and the photos were all over it. It was uncomfortable for me to be seen just as I was by so many people online, but I pushed myself to do it anyway. A few emails from around the world came into my inbox.
At first I winced, thinking I’d gotten messages saying negative things about my body. I was fully prepared to have my feelings hurt, but what happened next took me completely by surprise.
Instead of messages criticizing my weight, I got this: “Thank you! Looking at your photos I feel like there’s room in this industry for women like me!” and “I finally got the courage to post my own photos because of you!”
There was another unexpected thing those photos brought to my business that I’d never expected…more clients!
More people signed up to work with me because of those photos. People felt like they could relate to me more, see themselves represented in me and as a result felt more connected to me. And that built trust. And when people trust you, they feel safe buying things from you, signing up to work with you or building a relationship with you.
You think you need to “keep up with the Jones’” to be accepted and create success. But it’s actually when you allow yourself to be fully seen for who you are that you’re at your most magnetic.
I was no longer hiding behind a ten-years-too-old photo and a crappy website. I was fully visible, exactly as I was. And it drew so many people in. That was the year my business grew so much we had waiting lists for our waiting lists!
This is why when I meet new people, show up on a podcast or do business negotiations, I show up fully as myself. I don’t hide the fact that I cuss, or that my body is whatever shape it is anymore. Why?
When you stop hiding the parts of you that don’t “fit in”, you finally attract the relationships and circumstances in your life that are the right fit. Would you want to attract a potential partner who has a problem with your weight? Your age? Your wrinkles? Or your cussing? No! That person wouldn’t see you fully or love you for all that you are. Who wants to be with someone like that?
Same goes for clients, money, opportunities or anything else you want to draw into your life. Every time you hide who you are because you’re trying to fit into some standard that is mostly manufactured anyway, you attract misaligned clients, business opportunities, relationships and collaborations.
And there’s another reason you need to work on your Visibility Capacity if you’ve been hiding…
It’s EXHAUSTING to pretend to be someone you’re not. Think of all the energy that’s going into crafting the perfect “image” or “brand” that isn’t even who you fully are? What do you think happens when you expend so much energy hiding for so long, trying to appear ‘acceptable” because you’re afraid of being judged?
You BURN OUT. I have worked with so many ambitious people who feel burned out and think it’s some problem with their strategy or system. When we dig deeper the burnout is caused by the energy leakage of HIDING. It’s exhausting to always have to bend into a pretzel to avoid judgment.
I’ve seen clients miraculously break through years-long dry spells simply by expanding their Visibility Capacity and daring to allow all the parts of them that make them unique be seen. Their strategies didn’t change. Their Capacity did.
After everything you’ve read, I have one important question for you to ask yourself.
Do you see how you can have all the publicity, praise, best website, and ‘brand” in the world…and still not be getting the results you want? It’s because you’re hiding.
What good is a gorgeous looking brand if it’s not fully representing who you are? What kind of clients do you think you’ll get with that misaligned brand?
What good is all the money you spent on that amazing business coach if you can’t put ANY of their strategies into action because you’re afraid of being judged when you put yourself out there? What good is that business mastermind if you got a rush of clients, got nervous you had so much exposure and then sabotaged and shut it all down?
You need to learn how to get over those fears of being seen. And how to fully own the unique magic you bring to the table, so you stop efforting so hard and can allow the magnetism of your unique self to draw your desires to you in an easier way. And you don’t do that by talking about it or reading about it here. You do it by working on your capacity for more visibility.
I just heard from a client last week whose been working on her Visibility Capacity with me for months. We finally were able to co-create a webpage for her that felt like it fully showed HER. And within a few days of posting that site, she had a client contact her saying the page made her cry because she saw herself so fully in it and that client signed up to work with her!
BECAUSE my client allowed all of herself to be fully seen, she booked someone into her new program without even launching it yet. That’s why it’s not about your strategy. It’s your capacity.
Ps: we’re working on Visibility Capacity every week in Capacity Shift™. If you want to stop hiding, work on your capacity and do so in a tight knit community that will cheer you along, check out the program and enroll here.
Pps: I’ll also be hosting a “push your visibility edge” challenge on Instagram this week. If you want to participate, head here and give me a follow so you don’t miss the post where I announce the challenge during the week!