As a novice coach, you might be grappling with some hurdles on your path to visibility. Perhaps, one of these is social anxiety, an often-overlooked obstacle, yet the symptoms are common among those stepping into the limelight for the first time. The good news is, through subconscious work and embodiment, you can transform this anxiety into a source of empowerment.
In the early stages of my coaching journey, I wasn’t aware of how social anxiety was holding me back. I loved to have fun, to laugh, and to connect with people, but there was an underlying fear of being seen and judged. I began to realize that our self-perceptions are clouded with negativity, thinking errors, past traumas, and anxiety. These distortions can significantly impact how we show up in the world and how others perceive us.
Recognizing and Overcoming Limiting Self-Perceptions
As a coach, your unique qualities are your greatest assets. However, the dominant traits that stem from our beliefs about our self-worth and abilities can often keep us stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and unease. The key is to recognize and break free from these limiting self-perceptions, which can dramatically enhance our visibility and efficacy as coaches.
The process of ’embodiment’ is a powerful tool to understand and overcome these barriers. As I delved deeper into this concept, I noticed how our movements and actions speak volumes about our underlying fears and anxieties. Some of us might exaggerate our actions, while others might shrink into stillness. Both extremes reflect a fear of being seen—or not being seen—often accompanied by a palpable sense of anxiety.
In my case, I realized social anxiety was a big issue. Although I was never formally diagnosed, I knew it was affecting my interactions and my ability to connect with others. I decided to undertake ‘Authentic Relating’ (AR) as my core embodiment practice. AR is an embodied practice as it involves body awareness and character development. It’s about communicating with another human being on a level that surpasses mere information exchange, while maintaining awareness of your own body.
Navigating Anxiety-Inducing Situations
Connecting one-on-one with someone was never an issue for me. However, speaking in front of a group initiated a stress response. My heart raced, my hands shook, my thoughts ran wild, and I even experienced a feeling of floating—a form of dissociation often linked to trauma.
Experiencing these symptoms, it’s only natural to want to avoid situations that trigger them. But in doing so, we inadvertently reinforce our anxiety and remain stuck in our comfort zone. The question then arises: how can we regain our personal power and control?
Hypnotherapy has been a game-changer for me in this regard. It allowed me to do things that used to trigger overwhelming anxiety, like speaking up in front of a group, attending networking events, or even posting this very text you’re reading. Yes, I did some of these things in the past, but the anxiety they induced left me drained for days. However, hypnotherapy helped me lower the toll these activities took on my mental health.
Embodiment took my healing journey to a whole new level. By staying with the discomfort in my body instead of getting caught up in anxious thoughts, I developed a more grounded sense of self. This meditative practice helped me shift my focus from the stories my mind was telling me to the physical symptoms of anxiety.
This might sound uncomfortable, and it is, but it’s also incredibly empowering. I learned to remain present in the moment, to hold eye contact, and to express myself even amidst discomfort. Anxiety stayed a part of my life, but it no longer dictated my actions.
Gaining Control Over Anxiety Through Awareness and Choice
As I became more aware of my bodily reactions to anxiety, I found that I had more control over how I responded to it. I was no longer a helpless victim of my anxiety; instead, I had a choice. I could decide how I wanted to react and then practice that reaction until it became a part of me. Awareness and choice are crucial in the journey to managing anxiety and possibly overcoming it.
Incorporating embodiment in my practice has also allowed me to have more fun in my life. I’m more authentic, even in situations that used to terrify me. Instead of avoiding difficult situations, I embrace them, knowing that I have the tools to handle whatever comes my way. The journey has been transformative, leading me to have more genuine laughs, deeper connections, and a sense of fulfilment in my work.
Does this mean I never experience anxiety anymore? Absolutely not. But now, instead of being paralyzed by it, I use it as a stepping stone to personal growth. I am aware that anxiety is a part of me, but it doesn’t define me. I still feel the discomfort, but I can sit with it, understand it, and move past it.
For all the new coaches out there grappling with social anxiety, I want to assure you that it’s okay. It’s normal to feel anxious about stepping into the spotlight. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey.
However, it’s crucial to understand that you don’t have to let your anxiety hold you back from achieving your full potential. With the right practice and support, you can change that narrative. Subconscious work and embodiment are potent tools you can use to overcome your fears and limitations. They allow you to understand and acknowledge your fears, paving the way for you to choose a different response.
Embodiment is not just about being aware of your physical presence. It’s about integrating your mental, emotional, and physical aspects to foster personal growth. It’s about developing a deeper understanding of your body’s reactions to anxiety and learning how to manage them effectively. It’s about gaining the confidence to stand in your truth and show up authentically, even in the face of discomfort.
Your Journey Towards Becoming an Authentic, Effective, and Visible Coach
So, don’t let social anxiety deter you from your path to becoming a visible, successful coach. Embrace the discomfort, the fear, the vulnerability, and transform them into stepping stones towards growth. Be patient with yourself, and remember, the journey to overcome social anxiety is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.
As you embark on this journey, keep in mind that every step you take towards understanding and managing your anxiety is a step towards becoming a more authentic, effective, and visible coach. And as you grow and evolve, remember to have fun and laugh along the way.
In the end, you’ll find that facing and overcoming your social anxiety won’t just make you a better coach—it will make you a more authentic, self-aware, and resilient individual. With subconscious work and embodiment, you’ll not only become a visible coach, but you’ll also be a coach that truly embodies authenticity, courage, and resilience. And that, undoubtedly, is a coach that others will be drawn to.
NEED SOME EXTRA HELP?
Check out my Confidently Visible 1:1 program. Combining subconscious work with actionable steps and strategy coaching, you’ll get there in no time at all and without having fake it until you make it.