Today’s blog is slightly different from usual because I’m sharing a vulnerable story from my childhood with you.
But, before I get into it, I want to tell you why I’m sharing it and what my 80s childhood possibly could have to do with social media.
In the early days of my business, I found it extraordinarily difficult to be visible. Back then, it was all about standing in front of a crowded room and demonstrating colour analysis.
Like anything new and out of your comfort zone, it took so much effort to keep doing it, especially when my nerves made me physically sick!
Eventually, I got the hang of it, despite still being incredibly nervous before each event.
Fast forward to the relaunch of my image business after having my boys, and social media is now a thing, and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with it!
It was like starting all over again, but this time the fear was much worse than I’d ever had about public speaking.
I felt more pressure because my family was all on social media. My peers, ex-colleagues, friends, neighbors, people I grew up with – literally everyone I knew was on social media, and I knew they’d be watching and judging me.
I know that many of my readers have done precisely what I did. They’ve taken free challenges, bought courses and templates, and learned about social media strategies. They’ve developed their own strategies or bought support to create them. They know what to post about but are still unable to find the strength to show up regularly and build the relationships or get the clients they want.
Why is this?
I bet you’re showing up on social media through sheer willpower and fear of not getting any clients. You think that if you don’t post every day, you won’t get any clients, and your business will fail.
You show up for a few weeks or maybe even months, grinding away, but it’s so hard that your willpower starts to fade. Your energy is depleted, and you can’t face it anymore.
I’ve been there myself—many times.
We run out of steam because we’re fighting a fundamental instinct that wants to keep us safe from the rejection of people around us.
As humans, we’re inherently social; we crave community and belonging. It goes back to cavewoman times when our survival depended on our place within society. Even after thousands of years, it’s still hardwired in our brains that we mustn’t do anything to risk our place in the community. We mustn’t stand out from the crowd or risk being cast out.
What does my childhood have to do with it, then?
Something that happened to me when I was at school compounded my cavewoman fear, and after a lot of reflection, I realised that this is the thing that made me so afraid of being visible online for so long. Although it makes me nervous and vulnerable to share my story, I’m sure you’ll identify with some part of it, which may be why you’re struggling so much with social media.
The day I embarrassed myself in front of the whole school
If you didn’t already know, I grew up in a tiny rural village in the South of Ireland, in the county of Limerick. When I was six years old, my dad bought a farm in another part of the county, and the whole family moved there to make it our home.
The locals always considered us blow-ins. I often heard my parents saying that we didn’t fit in there. I think we were seen as a disruption to the community because my dad was ambitious and buying up land, and there was a whole load of us – 11 kids altogether!
You get an idea of the environment I grew up in. It was a very traditional Irish Catholic family. I learned early on that it was all about working hard, following the rules, being obedient to my parents, and being as helpful as possible. It wasn’t about shining or individuality. Standing up and talking about how brilliant you were at something was seriously frowned upon. Children were to be seen and not heard.
I loved school and was an extrovert there. I loved my friends and got on well with my teachers. When it came to graduating secondary school, there was a special assembly held one evening and a prize awarded to the most likeable student who was thought most likely to succeed.
It was a busy time of year on the farm then, but my teachers invited my parents to attend the ceremony. I knew my dad didn’t really want to go. He didn’t want to break off from the vital work at home, but my mum or the teachers must’ve insisted.
I remember when we arrived thinking how amazing it would be for the person who won the award. Little did I know that it was me! I was overjoyed when my name was announced as student of the year! Full of pride and so happy, but it quickly turned to fear and shame.
I was supposed to stand up and give a little speech about how much it meant to me to win the award, but I was terrified. My dad didn’t want to be there, and I had to stand up and talk about an award that meant nothing to him.
I stood up at the microphone, and instead of saying a few words, all I did was cry.
I cried in front of everyone.
I was so ashamed.
As we left that evening, my parents didn’t congratulate me on my award. All I ever remember feeling was utter shame and embarrassment. How could I have done that? How could I have stepped outside family rules, showing off with my prize and shaming them all by behaving like that?
What came after?
I buried that story deep in my subconscious for years. I didn’t think about it, but I know it was there and had held me back for so long. Every time I was required to be visible in my business and talk about what I knew, my expertise, and how I could help people, it was there. That awful feeling of fear and shame would rear its ugly head and stop me. It stopped me from marketing myself, and it stopped me from growing the business I so desperately wanted.
I’m sure that you have a similar story from your past that makes you feel ashamed.
I’m sure you’ve also been worried about being judged or criticised. People muttering, ‘who does she think she is? How dare she put herself out there and show off like that?’
So how do we move on? How do we get past all that internal chatter?
No amount of strategy work, templates or copywriting formulas will help you be visible and make the deep connections that turn your audience into paying clients. It’s all about being vulnerable and sharing some of your stories like I’ve done today.
Unless you can let go of your old, negative experiences and work to overcome that cavewoman instinct that it’s safer not to stand out from the crowd, you won’t build those connections, and you won’t get those clients.
That’s why I’ve created a new three-day workshop. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before, where I’ll take you back to uncover the things from your past that are holding you back.
Now, it won’t be for everyone. I get that. The workshop isn’t for you if you’re unwilling to do the work and confront your past. If you don’t want more clients, more eyes on you, and to get comfortable being visible, then it’s not for you. However, if you feel like now is your time and you want to make a difference in the world, if you want to show up and help in your unique way, in the only way that you can, then this is the workshop for you.
It’ll be run by email over three days from 6 – 8 July. I’ll be sending out an email each morning with a task for you to complete and will go live each day at 4 pm CET, taking you through the exercises to help you start letting go of some of the fear and pain that you are carrying.
The content from the workshop will only be available for a few days afterwards, and then it’ll go into my paid membership, the Savvy Stylists Success School.
The work we’ll do as part of the workshop is what I do with the mentees inside my 6 Figure Stylist program. I’ve developed it because I gave people the strategies, telling them how to show up online, and they’d get on and do it. Still, after a few months, they’d revert to their old ways and only post sporadically, disappearing for long periods.
So, if you don’t want to be one of those people who keep dropping off the social media wagon, but you want to have the power to show up, get your content out there, and get those clients you deserve, then I urge you to sign up now.