I know that feeling. You have an idea for a business and you want to develop your personal brand, but you’re worried about putting yourself out there.
When I started blogging again last year, I didn’t want to go through the hassle of creating all new social media accounts, so I started by rebranding my personal Instagram account. The only problem was that the majority of people following me at the time were people I actually knew—my friends, family and acquaintances. ‘What will they think of my new shift in focus and the sudden volume of posts I’m creating?’ I wondered.
Well, there was only one way to find out. I just had to put myself out there. It helped that I am my own ideal client. So sharing my story and daily experiences made sense for my audience. I am the definition of a side hustle pro: I work a 9-to-5 by day and host the podcast and am building my personal branding business by night.
But what about you? How will you get over your fear of putting yourself out there? Here are a few tips that helped me move past fear and launch my brand:
Get out of your own head
Most of the worries and scenarios you have in your mind will never actually happen. And most of the people you think are judging you, never actually do. People are self-centered. In a given day, most people will think of themselves only and never even consider judging you and what you have going on. So get out of your own head and stop letting imaginary naysayers hold you back.
Know that someone needs to hear your story or benefit from your product
You have something to contribute to the world that no one else can. No one else can think like you and implement an idea quite like you. You’re robbing the world of your gifts if you don’t put yourself out there.
Understand that sharing your weaknesses only makes people like you MORE
This was a shocker to me. I spent so much of my life trying to keep up appearances and portray success. I never wanted to look like I didn’t have it all together or to share my low moments with the world. I succumbed to the highlight reel culture of social media but to the extreme. So it was mind blowing to me to learn that people actually relate to me more when I share my failures. If you think about it, no one likes confiding in the perfect person, you want to talk to someone you know won’t judge you. And who is least likely to judge you? The person who has been through some low moments themselves. In the words of Tiffany Aliche, “People don’t want a guru, they want a girlfriend.” So if you’re afraid of putting yourself out there because you’re worried people may see you fail, know that that will actually make people like you more.
Think: What’s the worst that could happen?
Do this exercise: take out a pen and paper and write down the worst result that could happen after you put yourself out there. Yes, you have lots of doubts and fear of your idea tanking, but most of the time when you actually do this exercise, you realize the worst thing that could happen is not even that bad. So you really have nothing to lose by getting started.
Don’t look for validation
Don’t vet your ideas by people who don’t see your vision (and most of the time that’s everyone). If you’re waiting for someone to tell you you have the best idea ever and you need to start now, you’ll be waiting until you die. Yes, it’s that serious. You don’t need anyone’s permission or confirmation that your idea is a good one. And a lot of people will shoot your idea down simply because they don’t know any better. Let the market be your judge. And if it doesn’t work, pivot. The sooner you get started, the sooner you fail, the sooner you will get to an idea that works.
You’ve probably noticed a common theme with all of these tips—it’s all related to changing your mindset. And that’s because the fear of putting yourself out there is all mental. Fear = false evidence appearing real. Start shooting those doubts down one by one and get ready to be amazed by the results.