Are you letting fear stop you from being visible, i.e. doing videos or being seen on Instagram?
I’m Alexandra Susan Greenawalt, a personal stylist in New York City.
Today I want to talk to you about visibility, fear and style.
I was doing some sales videos with a bigger team here in my space and I went back and looked at the footage and I realized, “Wow.”
I can see all the things I was doing wrong.
I could see where I was blinking.
I could see where I was nervous.
I could see where I wasn’t my best or my most comfortable self, and right after I filmed some videos here by myself with my Iphone and I found, “Wow, I’m actually getting better.”
It feels more authentic, it feels realer, it feels easier, I feel more comfortable doing it.
That’s one of the things that I want to share with you, is that if you’re struggling with putting your message out there, struggling with you want to make more videos, you want to be more seen, you want more speaking engagements,
how can you make it comfortable for yourself?
We’ll get into that in a little bit. I want to share with you another story.
When I was in high school I was super into theater. I was all about the theater, theater, theater, musicals, musicals, musicals, dance, dance, dance and all I wanted to do was be an actress. That was my big goal.
However, I was super, super nervous. I had such anxiety and fear on stage that I would literally make myself physically ill.
I would be just racked with anxiety and my stomach was always off.
The one role that I was the breakout-star in was “The Crucible”, Mary Warren because she was a nervous character.
I just channeled all my nervous energy and it was real. That was my best role.
It took me a long time to be realize that yes, I wanted to be visible, yes, I wanted to be on stage, but I didn’t want to be on stage as someone else.
I wanted to be on stage as myself.
That took a long time to realize, and now I just want to be me.
That’s who I want to be.
I don’t want to be you. I don’t want to be someone else, and this is what helps me: fear is false evidence appearing real.
It’s not real.
Recently, I did talk a front of 150 women and in advance thought that it was going to be to 200 to 400 women, and my mind goes to the fearful place first – I was hyperventilating,
I was freaking out about the idea of speaking in front of, in my mind, 400 women. I was so afraid but I had a self-talk with myself and I said, “Look, Alexandra, what can you do to make this a positive experience?
Because I know it’s going to help you. I know it’s going to help you take your career to the next level, I know it’s going to expose you to more potential clients.”
So, here’s what I did. Number one, I realized that I wasn’t going to die.
Because you’re not going to die on stage. It’s not going to happen.
And then, I got help. I think getting support is one of the key principles of overcoming the fear. My support came in the form of a really great coach who is a speech coach, Taren Sterry.
She helped me with my speech with writing, rewriting it, practicing it, honing it, perfecting it and I practiced it where I practiced filming myself that really helped.
I also find getting hair and makeup, it always makes me feel better.
Even though I’m not really a big makeup person, when I put it on and I see myself on camera, I see myself on stage I was like, “Oh yeah. I actually do look better with just a little bit of makeup on.”
It doesn’t have to be a lot.
I’m not caking it on today but just a little bit goes a long way.
And then, making sure your hair looks good, looks the way you want it to look, so maybe getting a blowout.
That’s a very inexpensive way to elevate yourself.
I know another wonderful entrepreneur, Denise Duffield Thomas, she talks openly about her weekly blowouts. That’s when she films her videos and they always make her feel better, and I’m all for that.
The other thing is getting help around your style.
What are you going to wear so that you’re not stressing?
I find that so many entrepreneurs right before they’re about to give a speech or go on stage or film something or go on TV, the night before they’re thinking and freaking about what they’re going to wear.
If you can do a little advance planning, in advance go shopping, give yourself enough time, try on different outfits, take pictures, show them to your team, show them to your stylist if you have one.
If you need one I’m a stylist if you haven’t figured out.
So, planning out your outfits, figuring out how much is going to be seen.
Do you need really something that’s head-to-toe or do you need something that’s just shoulders, boobs or do you need waist-up?
Finding out as much information in advance of the event is great.
Finding out what’s the background going to be so that you can plan to either pop or blend in depending on your personality, your message, your power colors and your branding.
I always try to dress on brand but yet still be me.
The second thing that’s helped me a lot in getting more visible is just the principle of starting small.
That means making baby steps – maybe you start off with just getting a new photo shoot done with the right photographer. By the way if you want a good team, I now have a fantastic photo-shoot package that is with a stylist (me) in the closet, shopping, the shoot, you have photographer, you hair and makeup.
It’s really fantastic.
Anyway, so starting small –maybe you want to do a photo shoot or maybe starting small is just taking some photos for your Instagram account.
Maybe it’s about just stepping up into the light and not just having photos of flowers and food.
I know for me, I for a long time on Instagram, I was afraid to show myself too much.
I was like, “Maybe people will be tired of looking at my face.”
But I tested it and I found, and again it’s important to test your audience, but I found that the pictures where I showed myself, where I revealed something about myself, those were the posts with the most engagement.
People don’t really get all that excited by just an item.
Let’s see. My third tip with overcoming fear and visibility is to make yourself comfortable when you’re doing it. For example, if you’re doing a photo shoot or you’re doing a video shoot, make sure the basics are taken care of in terms of: do you have healthy snacks, lots of water, do you have your security blanket?
Whatever you need to feel comfortable doing it.
Wearing comfortable clothes. I try, every time I speak, I like to wear control top pantyhose.
That’s a personal choice because it feels secure to me, but I know other people that they’re like, “I don’t feel comfortable in spanks.” If you don’t comfortable ditch that stuff because if you’re not comfortable it’s going to show and you want to be as comfortable as possible.
The other thing is practice; practicing your speech, practicing what you’re going to say – a teleprompter.
When I spoke in front of the 150 women I used a teleprompter.
I wrote my speech. It was very well written and my coach said to me, “Don’t worry. You don’t have to memorize it, you should just use a Teleprompter.”
All I did was borrow an iPad and get a tripod and there was my instant Teleprompter.
At first I thought, “Well, everyone is going to be thinking that I’m cheating or that’s not cool enough.”
But it was where I was at the moment and the reality is I went there, I delivered my speech, I did a great job, I was relaxed, the audience connected with it, it was a total win and that’s for many reasons because I set myself up for success.
I made sure that I had enough rest, I made sure I had the right food for my body, I made sure that I was wearing an outfit and a color that really represented me and really made me feel like stepping into my power and really powerful.
Color, I find is an amazing tool and I use it all the time to convey a mood.
I always work backwards with my outfit. I think, “Okay, how I do I want to feel in my outfit?
How do I want the others to interpret my outfit? Is this a day where I want to blend in more? Is it more like a calm and serene moment?”
I wear a lot of white for my Closet Clarity program because I feel like the message is about calming things down. That’s a very deliberate.
It’s what I want to convey the message is about. And then, there’s times where I’m really rocking red or something very bright.
So, I encourage you to play with color when you’re being shot, when you’re on stage when you’re doing videos.
Brights tends to translate very well. For example, on camera, bright blues, teals, those sort of things do really well versus tans and muddy colors – don’t often translate that well, but then again, it depends on what your message is because some people’s message isn’t about, “Hey, look at me!”
Some people’s messages are more quiet power.
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