Is it safe to be visible?
Why am I so scared of being visible?
Because being visible is safe.
Our brain is so good at keeping us safe. Of course it is. It’s how we have survived for so long as a species. We want to remain safe, in our comfort zone. Feeling ‘meh’ is better than being scared.
We have been brought up to behave, conform, blend in, be productive, through all our years of factory schooling. We were not taught how to think differently, think critically, disagree, innovate, be brave, be bold.
I also think being female is a problem. (Yes, as a white western woman, I do recognise my privilege). I have seen women torn apart by critics, tabloids, social media trolls. It was only last week I saw my friend being “corrected” on her use of a word on a post she had written. It filled me with rage. Is this what visibility is? Being targeted by dickheads? Oh the irony... - she used a perfectly correct word; he was the one in the wrong.
You just have to look at women in the spotlight and the negative attention and criticism they receive, love them or hate them - Megan Markle, JK Rowling, Nicola Sturgeon, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, Karren Brady... I do not envy them, what they have to ensure at the hands of trolls and the media. But they all have a voice, a message they want to share with the world and they do not allow the negative attention to silence them.
I’ve been too scared to be too visible. I didn’t want to attract too much attention. But why should the fear of criticism be holding me back? Why should it prevent me from saying what I want to say? I have opinions. Do I have to be a “good girl”? And not offend or displease anyone? Is that even possible?
I have goals and a dream for my life that involves a level of being visible. So I need to push out of my safety zone, risk being vulnerable and start speaking my truth. And using my voice to try and change the world and bring good and happiness.
I am not serving the world by being good, quiet, safe in my comfort zone.
If my words help one person to be braver or make a bold decision, it will be so worth it. Because dickheads who want to criticise will always be there. I can choose to ignore/delete/block or even engage. I can choose how I react. I refuse to give them power.
I would rather be happy than safe. What about you?
PS. I saw Shereen Daniels post this the other week. Pretty much sums up my thinking on the subject...
(Originally posted on LinkedIn)