27 comments

Scared Of Being Seen In Your Business? 7 Ways To Conquer Your Fear Once And For All

Continue

Are you scared of stepping up and being seen in your work? Of putting yourself out there? Of standing in your own power and launching your dream business, product or service?

If so, you’re not alone — it’s one of the most common fears I see in the women I work with. This type of fear can appear in many ways — being too scared to ask for a raise, or seek a promotion, or start your dream business, or leave your uninspiring job, or perhaps write the book you’ve been mentally planning for years. In fact, I’ve worked with some women who struggle to even put a simple picture of themselves on their website or social media, preferring instead to stay safely behind the scenes and in the shadows.

Regardless of how this fear manifests for you, if you dig into the mindset behind it, you’ll always find the same thing: a fervent belief that you’re not good enough, successful enough, smart enough, pretty enough, young enough or qualified enough… sound familiar?!

If you’re nodding your head right now in recognition — knowing that you’ve said those exact words to yourself before — let me remind you that that voice inside your head that says those things to you is your inner Mean Girl. She will constantly pop up inside your head to tell you how worthless you are. She’s also the one responsible for your fear of being seen, and the reason why you’re struggling to get ahead in your career or business.

The good news, however, is that her fear-based whisperings do not need to keep you stuck and paralysed forever.

You are not the fear-based whisperings your inner critic says to you, you are LOVE!
Tweet this

Here’s a simple framework for mastering your Mean Girl and conquering your fear of being truly seen in your work.

1. Become Aware Of What Your Inner Mean Girl Is Saying To You

Does she tell you you’re too old to go after that speaking gig? Or not smart enough to do a Master’s Degree? Or that you’ve missed the boat? Or that every time you open your mouth at a networking event you sound like an idiot? (We really do say the most awful things to ourselves, right?!)

Tune in to and write down what your Mean Girl is saying, but don’t judge yourself, and don’t panic when you can’t stem the flow… simply observe the thoughts as they arise in your mind and remind yourself that you are not those limiting fear based Mean Girl thoughts. You are love! Writing them down will really help you get out of your head and back to your truth. So go ahead and write them down now.

2. Recognise That Just Because You’ve Had Those Thoughts, Doesn’t Mean That They’re True

For many of us, the moment our Mean Girl lets rip with a negative thought about how unworthy we are, we become convinced that it’s 100% true… But this simply isn’t the case.

Your Mean Girl’s job is to keep you ‘safe’ in your comfort zone, which is precisely why she tries to talk you out of going after those big, bold goals that excite you so much — because with growth, there also comes a degree of risk.

Unfortunately, she has a tendency to drastically overestimate what could go wrong, and in her role as your ‘inner critic’ the only way she can stop you from taking those kinds of ‘risks’ is by making you as scared as she is. That’s why she insists on directing a constant stream of negativity your way — because it will stop you from standing in your power, realising how amazing you truly are, and putting her out of a job in the process!

3. Know That Everyone Has Thoughts And Fears Like These

When you’re mired in the constant negative chatter of your Mean Girl, it can be very isolating and feel like your are the only crazy person with these thoughts. It’s easy to believe that you’re the only one who’s struggling with low self-worth and a constant barrage of inner criticism. But nothing could be further from the truth…

Everyone has their own Mean Girl (or Bad Boy) inside their heads — yep, EVERYONE! Sure, some people have gotten really good at mastering her, but she’s still there. Even those women you admire so much who seem to be living the dream without a worry in the world still have to deal with her on a daily basis. I am still mastering mine every single day.

4. Ask Yourself The Deep Questions

Sometimes our fear might seem to be caused by one thing, while actually being caused by another. For example, on the surface, you might think that you’re scared to go after that big, juicy promotion because you don’t have enough experience… but it’s really the thought of being in charge that petrifies you.

Or it might seem like you’re hesitant to begin your dream business because you don’t know where to start… but it’s really because the mere thought of it not working is more than you can bear.

To get to the bottom of your fears, grab your journal and a pen and dig deep. Ask yourself, ‘What is it that I’m truly afraid of?’ What else? And what else? Keep digging until you’re confident you’ve reached the true core. If this exercise is slightly uncomfortable, stick with it — it’s worth it! Honing in on the actual source of your fear is important, because it means we can get even more laser-focused in the next crucial step…

5. Gather Evidence To Show That What You Fear Isn’t True

Look around you for evidence that your fear has no merit. For example, say that your Mean Girl is telling you, ‘You can’t ask for a raise — you’ve only been at the company one year!’ To disprove this fear, you might write a list of all the contributions you’ve made to the company over the past 12 months, all the excellent ideas you’ve implemented, and all the times you’ve managed to over-deliver on your tasks.

Or if your Mean Girl tells you, ‘You could never start your own business — you don’t have an MBA!’, you might collect evidence of all the incredible qualities you do have, all the past experiences that have equipped you with the necessary skills, as well as researching successful female entrepreneurs who don’t have MBAs, but are kicking butt in the business world anyway.

Having this kind of evidence in your arsenal is a powerful antidote the next time your thoughts stray into fear-based territory.

6. Gently Close The Door On Your Mean Girl

There’s no need to fight or argue with her (that usually just causes more anxiety). Instead, try simply turning down the volume on her destructive words. (Aaaah, now doesn’t that feel better already?!)

7. Stretch Outside Your Comfort Zone

Now that you’ve identified your fear and turned down the volume on it, it’s time to stretch yourself. Keep in mind that you don’t need to make a giant quantum leap here — baby steps are great too!

So if you’re someone who’s been petrified of public speaking, maybe setting a goal to give a TED talk feels like too big a leap. But putting your hand up to deliver a presentation at your next major work event might feel much more manageable.

Likewise, quitting your job to launch your dream business might still scare the pants off you, but perhaps you could take the baby steps and buy and register your domain name.

This framework for overcoming your fears is mind-blowingly effective. Mastering your Mean Girl is one of the most powerful ways you can make progress towards your business and career goals, and I can’t wait for you to try it out for yourself.

Remember the time is now to take the leap, launch your dream business, idea or product. There is no time like the present. So go for it sista!

Now I would love to hear from you. What is one thing you are going to do today that can take you one step closer to your dream business or career? Share with me in the comments below.

As always thank you so much for being here. I love supporting you.

Comments (27)

+ Leave a comment
    • Jen
      October 27, 2016

      I’ve been working on (taking classes, doing research, etc.) on starting my own baking business, but recently came across some information that has made me think twice about moving forward. After finding out about extra costs to get my business going and to keep it going, I’m scared that I won’t be able to make enough to profit from it. I’m not sure if it’s my mean girl trying to mislead me, or if reality is actually sinking in…

      • Melissa
        October 27, 2016

        What do you think sista?

        • Jen
          October 30, 2016

          I think it’s my mean girl trying to scare me away from pursuing my dreams.

        • Melissa
          October 31, 2016

          I think so too sweetie. It’s time to master her and choose love instead. What do you think?

      • Jen
        November 3, 2016

        Definitely! I’m still working on mastering her. It’s been a rough year, but I’m not going to give up. Thanks, Melissa! xoxo

        • Melissa
          November 3, 2016

          That’s it sista. You CAN do it! I believe in you ;)

    • Jules
      October 27, 2016

      I am so thankful you wrote about this topic. You have helped me immensely. My mean girl has been VERY loud this week while applying for a promotion, and reading this felt like a therapy session. I am so excited to try these steps and prove to myself that I can do this. Thank you Melissa!!

      • Melissa
        October 28, 2016

        Pleasure honey. Go for it!

    • Georgia
      October 27, 2016

      Perfect timing for me Mel! Thank you.
      My damn Mean Girl has been seriously sneaky and LOUD of late.
      This was a perfectly timed kick up the bum and reminder that she needs her volume turned down – big time.
      So good to hear you still deal with your Mean Girl too.
      Thanks again babe. So glad i read this.
      G xx

      • Melissa
        October 28, 2016

        Sure did sista! Go for it your time is NOW.

    • October 28, 2016

      Loved this, Melissa! :) I struggled for so long with not feeling good enough and my mean girl was the worst! I’m getting better at turning her volume down (LOVED your book and I still go back and reference it all the time!), and it’s always great to have a reminder and helpful ways to get back on track! Thanks for doing the amazing work that you do! xx

      • Melissa
        October 28, 2016

        Pleasure angel.

    • October 28, 2016

      Hi Mel

      Thank you for this. I did the exercises as I was procrastinating working on content for my healthy lifestyle program. But now I have a really strong pull to get going. Thank you for your guidance, for paving the way and being your authentic self.

      Amy xx

    • Sandra Fawcett
      October 28, 2016

      This came at just the right time – my mean girl is screaming at me!
      I want to start a blog but keep doubting myself – have actually asked someone to help me set it up this weekend – I’m trying to silence my mean girl – thank you

    • Tiffany Smith
      October 31, 2016

      I was putting of taking a personal training job I got offered because I was scared. I kept telling myself what if I am not good enough, what if I can’t get enough clients to find my career/ business.
      After reading this post above, I realised this is just my inner mean girl telling me these things and I know I am going to be great and I need to listen to the supportive people in my life that tell me I’m going to be great.

      I now need to buy your mastering you inner mean girl book!!

      • Melissa
        November 1, 2016

        You sure do sista! Have a read and let me know how you go. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts ;)

    • tina
      November 2, 2016

      Hi Melissa

      I used to be very productive and focused but getting over a seriously bad divorce, has left me numbing in a frozen condition not daring to move in any direction at all… And i’ve been there for so long that I now have doubt about all my skills but also left me what a serious wish to build a business to prove to myself that I can. I’ve got a product and a vision but no support from friends family or colleagues (been out of work for way too many years) my sons support me though but they are still teenagers.

      My fear is that my skills are too rusty, that my business (should I commit 100%) will fail and that I would’n be a able to lead a company – people tend not to like me if I’m just being me :/

      How much is this the mean girl within ? Should I give up and get a low involvement job, low pay but definitely on a path to being a sad old woman…

      Thanks for being you
      Tina

      • Melissa
        November 3, 2016

        Sounds like your Mean Girl to me angel. It’s time to master her. Write down exactly what she is saying to you. Once you have done that re-write what love (your truth) would say. Next time your Mean Girl tries to tell you one of her limiting beliefs it’s your job to master her. Your dream life is waiting for you sista! Go out there and get it.

    • December 8, 2016

      Thank you Melissa
      I’ve been feeling down lately with my Beauty business I’ve just opened.
      Getting clients in the door has been very slow and some days none.
      So my mean girl has been in top action which is blocking the flow of anything happening. You’ve given me a shake up to dig deep and look at my fears to see why I don’t feel that I’m good enough to have what I want in life.
      You inspire Melissa, you are beautiful through & through.

      • Melissa
        December 8, 2016

        Thank you for your kind words angel, and right back at you.

        Have you read Mastering Your Mean Girl yet? I think you would love the chapter on dialing up your worthy-o-meter. Have a read and remember yes you are worthy my darling.

        xx

    • ET
      February 2, 2017

      I’m struggling to be physically seen in my business which is a socially-driven nonprofit. I find it so hard to post pictures of myself and thoughts like, “Am I being self-involved, egotistical by posting this?” or “I’m not as pretty/stylish as other girls who gain a following.” keep preventing me from showing up in the way that I dream of. I know I have important purposeful things to say and my following of 30k clearly wants to hear it but I overthink every post before putting it up.

      Mean girl or just struggling with the notion of social media and it’s nature?

      • February 3, 2017

        Total Mean Girl honey. It’s time to master her and put yourself out there. Have you read my book yet? Your tribe wants to hear from you. Master your Mean Girl and get out there, you only get one life angel, better make the most of it.

      • Raquel Garcia-Garrido
        March 13, 2018

        MEan girl! Definitely! Go for it, and share it here so we follow you too! Support from one another.xx Raquel

    • March 4, 2017

      Great actionable tips. Thank you Melissa x

    • Raquel Garcia-Garrido
      March 13, 2018

      I have a degree in HHRR, a MSc in International Trade, transport and logistics, a postgraduate course in Buying & Merchandising from the London college of Fashion, which was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the one I had been the most happy in getting out of my comfort zone of working 15 years experience on Export Shipping. I have a business idea and my Mean girl is still telling me I’m not clever enough, I don’t have the guts, who is going to be interested in you? I fight her everyday (now I know I have to kindly close the door on her) because I do believe in me, because I have acquired skills over time, but Mean girl is very annoying. Thanks Melissa for your post, I’m purchasing your business bootcamp next month. Raquel

    • May 26, 2019

      Loved this article. Thanks!

Please share your thoughts...

Your email address will not be published.