Overcoming Fear of Being Seen for a Less Stressed Life

Does the fear of being seen keep you from going after your dreams? Time to join into this episode of the Success You podcast as Susan gives tips on how to overcome!


Ep 10: Overcoming Fear of Being Seen

Overcoming Fear

Hey, I’m Susan Kiley, and thank you so much for tuning in. I’m so excited that you’re here with me today. Are you listening in today because you’re sick of hoping, wishing, and now you want more out of life, business, or writing? 

Run. Hide. Ditch. 

The fear of others seeing me paralyzed me for a decade-plus. 

We all have insecurities. We all have fears. We all have doubts. I do not care who the heck you think you are, but the fact of the matter is, we all have insecurities, fears, and doubts. Period. 

We Can Overcome Fear

We can change all of it – overcome fear. We will no longer give those ‘things’ (fear, doubt, insecurities) any of our time and energy. Nope. It is no longer in your best interest to do so. 

Tough love toward ourselves and the imaginary stuff we have created to hold us back from achieving precisely what it is we want. 

If you look to the make-believe stuff as a place of safety and comfort, you will get them, every single one and every single time. There is no time for doubt, fear, or insecurities. 

Our past is that…our past. Pain, struggles, and defeat are like massive, worn-out baggage. There is no place or time for baggage. We all have it. Now is the time to kick the baggage to the curb, once and for all.

Self-Confidence to Overcome Fear

Self-confidence issues steam from an early age, I was no different. I doubted my abilities. I didn’t believe in my potential. And, never thought I was good enough. 

I rejected all praise and compliments from people I didn’t know, even those close to me felt unnatural. I made friends quickly, but they would leave even quicker. 

When I won my first writing competition in fifth grade, I brushed it under the rug, thinking it was all luck. I didn’t believe I was any good. 

The choices I made—wishing—reflected my self-image. I wished to have more money. I wished to be pretty. I did a lot of wishing, and not much action, or better said, I never saw who I was. Instead, I played the Poor Susan role. If others could have seen, I would have won many awards, including an academy. 

The wish role of Poor Susan lasted several decades. When life didn’t work out how I wanted, I would go back to Poor Susan, hoping somehow things would improve. But the part I didn’t want to acknowledge was I kept myself stuck in that role

I wished but never acted upon. I hoped but never moved. I didn’t receive it because I didn’t go for it. I wanted life to happen and give to me, just as life had done for others. What I was missing was the connection between doing and receiving. I had to DO to RECEIVE. I was doing nothing, so I got nothing. 

Take Action to Overcome Fear

Then, decades later, something inside of me changed. I had the courage to stop wishing and start doing. I started reading books on mind shift changes. I watched videos on how thinking affects our daily decisions. I started dreaming, and more so, I started taking action

I could dream, list all my wishes and desires, but none of it mattered if I didn’t take action. I imagined writing the book I had always wanted to write. I pictured traveling with my children to help others. I dreamed of being on a stage and receiving an award, not because of my poor Susan role, but the humanitarian role. I saw myself wealthy out of happiness. I saw myself lending my experiences to others through writing, teaching, and speaking.

I didn’t know how to fulfill any of my dreams. I only knew that if I took action, my dreams could become a reality sooner. I could stop playing the poor Susan role and start living life. 

I made a plan, several actually. Each dream needed an action sequence to follow. To write a book, I needed time to sit and write. I would brainstorm ideas. Next, I would decide how to structure my writing. Last, I would write. 

I wrote. 

I brainstormed. 

I compiled short-stories. 

Life then took over. I hid. I wished. I retreated to poor Susan. 

Life. Easier to revert to the familiar than to move forward to the unfamiliar.

I played the Poor Susan role well, for many more years whenever life didn’t look like I wanted it too. And then, when I found myself in darkness and begging for a break, something clicked. I was talking to myself and crying, more like “Whyyyyyy me??” and “Life isn’t fair…” 

A lot of boo-hoo’ing. And the more I talked, the more I started to listen to myself. My perspective started changing. I began saying things like, “Well Susan, you have no one to blame but yourself. You did this to you. You stopped writing. You stopped calling. You…” 

Perspective Shifts to Overcome Fear

I wasn’t getting what I wanted because I allowed myself to stop. I stopped when life took over, or when life became too challenging. I found comfort in the negative perspective as I had always done in my life. The past felt more comfortable than the present. 

Why? Why would I stop myself from making my dreams a reality? 

Because all through my life, I didn’t feel supported. I believed it was because I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t feel good enough because my mother didn’t attend my activities. I had the underlying belief life was against me. 

My mother, worked to support the family. I was so attached and familiar with Poor Susan; I couldn’t see a different perspective. I didn’t push myself to greatness in my parents’ absence because I didn’t believe it would matter. I did the bare minimum. 

I never allowed my full potential to shine through. Ever. I believed others needed to push me. I needed for others to see my greatness before I saw it. I didn’t feel I was good enough to make a difference, yet I didn’t try or have any reason to have this belief. My perspective was completely wrong. 

One day something just clicked. There was a shift, a change. I no longer felt I needed to hide – to remain hidden. My life changed. My perspective of events, past and present changed. I started writing again. I sacrificed self-indulgent comforts for necessities. I worked hard at my writing, coaching, and speaking, all the time, focusing on my dreams. I shelved the Poor Susan role and all the awards. I allowed myself to be seen. 

Yes…it was scary. To throw all my vulnerabilities for everyone to see…for the love of all that is good, it was scary. Speaking to people isn’t scary. Teaching people has never been scary. Throwing my biz and being seen…that is scary as heck! 

Like wanna go to the bathroom and throw up scary…at first. The more I threw myself out for all to see, the more comfortable I felt when people responded. People wanted to hear about me, people could relate. My stories mattered.  

“Dream. Take action. Believe in yourself.”

Final Thoughts on Overcoming Fear

I have stood amongst small crowds speaking words of motivation and inspiration. Here are goals I wrote one day when I stopped letting the fear of being seen paralyze me: 

  • One day I will stand on a large stage, to fulfill a dream. 

  • I will land a series of speaking engagements to spread my story.  

  • I will write several smaller books, and this will lead to landing book deals. 

  • I will teach others to tell their story through writing, speaking, and creating. 

  • I will never stop dreaming. 

  • I am worthy of greatness. 

Looking at the list I wrote during a time I never thought possible – it was just a dream – to see it become a reality and have touched many people’s lives in a positive way… I am truly grateful I decided to be seen. 

I believe that all success begins with changing your perspective of past events. 

Believe in yourself. 


Let others see you.

Take action.

Be thankful for the struggles that you face. These struggles are what got you to where you are today; without these, you would never have stumbled upon your strength.

So how do you allow others to see you? I’d love to hear about your process! 

Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.

That’s all for this episode and post. 

Remember this… You’re just one word away…

The Writer Insider (now Success You) produced by Susan Kiley and edited by, David L. White.