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We Want to be Seen, and Yet...


I am struggling with being seen. Which is pretty funny because I often say that I never met a microphone I didn’t like and public speaking is my superpower. I’m even putting on a costume and marching in a parade next week. But that is my “public” persona. The face that I present to everyone.


As I was getting ready to launch my new website and putting all the content together I found that I am hesitant to put my real self out there because I think other people will judge me and that feels terrible. I just got some coaching around this and wow, it uncovered so many thoughts: If I do this, people will be able to see me; I am not worthy of being seen; I am not willing to see myself.


And here I am coming at this from the perspective of a cisgender, heterosexual, white woman only marginalized by one social identifier. The judgment burden and the fear of being seen increases when people occupy intersectional categories of marginalization- Black, indigenous, lesbian, transgender etc.


My thoughts about being seen and judged leave me feeling anxious. And when I am feeling anxious as I am thinking these thoughts what do I do? I stall. I have a tough time putting words down. I keep myself hidden. The end result is that I remain unseen. Silent and hidden. I have so much to offer the world. All of us do. But before we ask anyone to see us, we have to be willing and able to see ourselves as the magnificent people we are.


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