You’ve worked on your book for months. Drafting, revising, editing, formatting. It’s time to send it out into the world. You should be feeling excited and ready to celebrate, yet you’re more nervous than excited, ready to hide rather than celebrate.
Or, you’ve refined your book as much as you can, and it’s time to send it to beta readers for feedback. But you keep procrastinating. If only you could change one more thing…and another thing…and another thing…then it will be ready.
What’s going on? Often, it’s fear of visibility.
If I put my book out into the world, what will people think? What if they don’t like it? (What if they don’t like me?) Maybe my work isn’t good enough. (Maybe I’m not good enough.)
Visibility puts you and your work on display. It opens you up to criticism. It makes you feel vulnerable. Visibility is dangerous—or so your primitive brain tells you.
For those of us who are introverts and perfectionists, I suspect this fear is magnified. When you prefer to be the man behind the curtain and are suddenly the wizard in plain sight, the pressure is on.
This fear of visibility is normal. But don’t let it stop you from making your mark on the world.
Mindset adjustments to manage fear of visibility
In my experience, adjusting your perspective can work wonders. These three questions can help you shift your mindset so it becomes easier to be visible.
What if you didn’t care what other people thought?
Consider for a moment how much energy you put into meeting other people’s expectations. On a daily basis most of us manage everything from how we look to what we say (or don’t say) to events we attend to the food we eat based on how we think other people view us.
What if…just what if…you could stop worrying about what other people thought? If their opinions didn’t matter?
This is easier said than done, I know. It takes conscious effort (for me at least!).
But what if you redeployed that energy to believing in yourself? Imagine what it feels like to be free to say what you need to say. Envision the potential reach of your words when you don’t contain them. Does it really matter what others think?
Do your best work on your book, and trust the right people will appreciate it.
What if you realized other people don’t really think about you at all??
I went to a high school class reunion and the classmate making nametags misspelled my name. For a moment, I was surprised. You don’t know how to spell my name?? Didn’t everyone know ME? After all, I was VISIBLE in every music and theater group possible. And then I realized we had 400 classmates, each wrapped up in their own little world. Of course she wouldn’t remember.
Humans often become self-absorbed, thinking everything we do must be of interest to others. In fact, we worry about things no one else notices or cares about. So that awkward phrasing on page 94? Your readers really aren’t spending much brainpower on it. They have their own issues to deal with.
What if you realized how much other people appreciate you?
Sharing your knowledge in a book is a gift to the people who read it. They want, need, and appreciate your words.
Publishing a book is also a huge accomplishment. Do you know how many people wish they had the motivation, stick-to-it-iveness, and courage to write a book? When you share your book with confidence (and without regard to potential naysayers), you emanate a very appealing quality. Wow, she’s really going for it; maybe I could do that too.
Do you realize you could inspire someone? People are thirsting for what you have to give.
Still feeling the fear of visibility?
Maybe these mindset shifts don’t work for you. You’re still afraid of becoming visible, nervous about the reaction you’ll get when you send your book into the world. That’s OK. Totally normal.
What if you could feel the fear—and make yourself visible anyway?
I know how nerve-wracking visibility can be—that’s why I like to stay behind the scenes supporting YOU! If you need help getting your book in focus and into the world, give me a call at 919.609.2817.