It was freshman year of high school and I was terrified. I had just started a new school that was much bigger than I was used to. I didn’t have many friends, and fear was ruling every decision I made. My anxiety at this time felt way too much to handle, so I hid. I hid through the clothing I wore, I hid through the seat I chose in the classroom (always in the back), I hid by not raising my hand ever, even if I was 150% sure I knew the answer! I was trying to hide in plain sight, and to be honest I was good at it.
I carried this hiding in plain sight skill all the way to college. But something happened when I was in college. Suddenly I wanted to add value, I wanted to start stepping out and going after these dreams I had hidden inside myself. So all of a sudden trying to stay hidden and trying to be seen became a battle within myself. I had a voice to share, but fear told me that voice would never be enough so stay quiet.
In life sometimes it can become our comfort zone to hide in plain sight, especially if you are quiet. But you are meant to be seen and heard. You have value to give to the world. It is time to stop hiding out and start showing up for yourself and your dreams. Here are some of the ways I stopped hiding and started to be seen.
Learned To Love Myself
Yepp self love! Everyone probably has their own definition of self love, but for me it was learning how to have my own back. I needed to stand for myself, even if it was scary. When I was hiding I believed everyone else’s opinion was automatically better than mine. I lived in fear of other people judging me. When I lived in this fear I started to morph my personality to match what I thought people wanted instead of who I authentically was.
When I loved myself I was able to start choosing me and my opinion over the fear of others. I was able to learn who I was and start showing up as her. The more I showed up as her, the more confident I felt. Over time I no longer felt the need to hide.
Knew What I Stood For
The more understanding I had for who I was authentically the more I knew my likes and dislikes. I started to understand my values. I started to know what I stood for in life. Clarity brings so much strength. The clearer I was the stronger my voice became. I no longer swayed my opinion to please others, my opinion had value and was worth sharing.
I Used My Clothing & Accessories
I used my clothing and accessories to be seen. I started to dress the way I have always wanted to. I started to write with cute pens and notebooks. I started buying phone cases and coffee mugs that reflected my authentic self. I used my clothing and accessories to speak for me. Doing this also brought so much joy into my life. This was a version of self care that I had been craving but not letting myself express.
I Knew My WHY
I know my why. Why do you want to be seen? Why do you want to accomplish your dreams? Knowing your why is very important because it helps you stay motivated when you want to hide again. This is similar to knowing my values. I was able to stand firm in my why whenever I wanted to let fear take back over. I knew my why was strong and that fear wouldn’t help me achieve the outcome I was looking for.
When I was able to get authentic with who I was I was able to start showing up and being seen. I stood firm in my why and my values and I was able to start using my voice. I was able to show up in my clothing and accessories to let my personality shine through even on the days it felt hard to use my voice. Through this process I learned how to love who I was. The more love I gave myself the less I hid, until one day I was shining bright confidently being me.