There are some moments where the internal drive to be seen, and the simultaneous desire NOT to be seen by our audience, are present in equal measure. Which kind of sends a mixed message to the world about what experience to bring back to you, in response to your wish.
And consequently, can have others responding to you or what you put out there in the world, in line with whatever force is more dominant in you within that moment. When we decide, "hell yes, I’m giving this a go!" DESPITE whatever fears or reservations we might have about doing so, “life” will start bringing you people who want to see you and are committed to showing up. And simultaneously, we are just that powerful that if we don’t really feel ready to be seen or show up, then the people around us can and will (whether unconsciously or knowingly) respond (or rather not) accordingly.
I first noticed the power of our intention in this back in 2010, after I left my longest term relationship and decided that, while I was healing, I was off the market for 6 months. As a little symbol of my desire NOT to be seen and available to single men in that moment, I started wearing my favourite ring as though it was an engagement ring, as my sign to the world that I wasn’t available for that time that I was committing instead to my growth and healing. Believe it or not, it worked.
Every day I would walk my housemate's and my 2 Short Haired Pointers together, past many men with dogs, through the local park. Every day I’d see many men in public. But it was a little like i’d just slipped on Frodo ad Bilbo’s one ring, or maybe Aragorn’s fancy Elvish Cloke of invisibility in it’s effect, if somewhat more pure in it’s intent. They hardly noticed me and I could seemingly move through a crowd without being seen if I wished, until the exact day I decided I was ready to drop the intention and take it off.
And then, my Goodness. It was tangibly, tangibly obvious the difference that first day as I went walking through the dog park, strolling through the train station and sat with friends after a devotional chanting/singing event that night. EVERY man I passed at the dog park was actively full of friendly smiles, his dogs would run over to greet mine and he’d follow for a chat. One of the charity fundraiser guys at the train station, who struck out on a sign up (that I was already signed up to) then thought he’d ask for my number anyway. Everyone at the evening event, seemingly gravitated in and out of our conversation outside the venue and I found myself tagging along with the dinner after crew. Where previously I’d stay after and chat for the length of a chai with a couple of people and then go.
That one act of shifting my intention to deciding I WANTED to be seen and be present again, made a massive difference to how I engaged with the world and what life brought me back, in terms of social engagement. And I would later discover that our true intent to be seen or not seen in our work, as we make the decision that we want to show up in service, can just as much impact our levels of engagement within our businesses and the size (or lack thereof) of our audiences.
Very often when I’ve Coached Practitioners or Business Owners on social media engagement over recent years, they’ll be telling me, on the one had, that they want more likes, views and engagement that converts to sessions, program or event participation. And they’re frustrated when they’re not getting interest or numbers for what they were trying to fill that day.
But when we dig a little deeper, it turns out that another part of them that same day, was actually feeling really exhausted, emotional and like the last thing they wanted to do was see and be present to listen to, let alone be seen by 10 clients. They didn’t have the headspace or the energy for it in that moment. Then “life” and others around them, on an unconscious level, seemingly, got the telepathic download and aligned with being or doing something else. If the client I was talking to had also started conversations with potential clients directly, to invite them to an available session/event, they’d hear a lot of seemingly out of character no’s or “excuses” back as to why the people they asked couldn’t be there for the session, the event, or the webinar that day too.
Sometimes it’s NOT that we failed on the value proposition. Sometimes it can be that you’re doing everything you’re “supposed to do” right to invite the desired number of people to be there. But you’re sending out mixed signals about whether you’re really ready and available to be witnessed by and engage with as many people as some other part of you wishes would attend in that moment.
So sometimes, if you’re feeling like your engagement, or the number of available possibilities open to you is down, it pays to ask the question, what am I REALLY committed to more right now? Showing up intending to be of service (and hence being willing to be seen)? Or NOT being seen? And what can I do to ensure that more of me is available to show up in service, at the times where I have committed to do so?
Until next time...
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.