So often, I read and write about the upside of visibility, and there is plenty to share on that score.   What I've been pondering lately is the tender underbelly of visibility.  This may not be something top of mind for you at this point because you are still intoxicated at the prospect of welcoming the influence, impact, and income that so often are associated with getting known for your winning ways.

That said, here are among the potential negative consequences associated with getting known that I have noticed in my own experience:

  • Visibility is tough on thin skin.
  • It makes you more subject to criticism and praise.
  • Hecklers can be cruel.
  • You may run into envy or jealousy from others.
  • No more hiding out or being anonymous.
  • Visibility brings up issues around worthiness.
  • Visibility brings you face to face with lessons learned as a kid from parents and others in authority around bragging, self promotion, and standing out.
  • Your wardrobe gets worn out fast, especially if you are photographed a lot.
  • You may suffer loss of privacy.
  • You may fear for your personal safety.
  • Reputation management becomes more important and potentially expensive.
  • Visibility can tax your “receiving” muscles, especially if scarcity and hard work are hard wired into who you are.
  • It can be challenging to find safe ways to vent or ask for help the more visible you are.


On the one hand, you could say, “Put on your big girl underpants and deal with it,” and that would certainly be one way to proceed.DebbieWhitlockEWN

My good friend Debbie Whitlock, managing director of the Seattle Chapter of eWomenNetwork, says that one solution is to surround yourself with truth tellers.  These are the people who help you put situations quickly in perspective, especially if you feel you are being picked at like those dastardly little birds that eat crud off a hippo.  She says it is important to remember that the brighter your light becomes, the more you will attract.  And sometimes those who are attracted aren't ready themselves for the heat and intensity of the light.  She says, “Never dim your light to make anyone else feel safe or comfortable.  Stand centered and true to yourself.”

That is pretty stellar advice. 

And, the truth  is, some of these issues run pretty deep  and can't be set aside with the shrug of a shoulder or the turning of a cheek.  It takes some real work.  Inner work.  And I am working on it.

I'd love to hear from you about some of the negative consequences you have encountered around earning more visibility in your life and business.  What have you done to overcome some of these challenges? This is a potentially powerful conversation that can be of service to many, so please share your thoughts by posting a comment.