By Ursula Jorch
When I was a little girl, if I got too loud, too rambunctious, too ME, I was quickly pulled aside by my mother and told to stop. It was too much for her.
When I tried to have impact in my family, to be myself, whether it was self-expressing with crayon on the basement wall or being reluctant to practice ballroom dancing (it was a European culture thing), my father beat the shit outta me. And I had the welts to prove it.
The sad irony of it was, the reason my parents reacted this way is because they were scared. Scared of ME, of my impact. And I quickly had to be brought to heel.
Certainly, there were other factors at play. My parents’ own childhood experiences, and how they believed children should be raised.
I quickly learned that the very best thing I could do was to keep a low profile and stay silent. The less attention I attracted, the safer I was.
So you understand why I have a fear of visibility. It kept me from creating and sharing videos, being active in building community, and even sharing my deeper self with the people I love for a long time.
Not everybody (thank heaven) has been subjected to physical violence to squelch their impact, but we’ve all experienced the squelching. Women in particular have been steeped in a cultural tea of ‘too much’, ‘always put others first’, and whatever you do, keep everybody happy.
My impact, your impact, the impact you want to have with your business, operates in that context. It’s not immune, and I’m not immune. You’re not immune.
When your impact is not welcome, when it gets you into trouble as you express it, you start to pull back from it. If the reaction is strong enough, you become afraid of it.
And that won’t let you have the impact you want to have, your compelling, exquisite impact that will change the world in some way. Whether it’s environmental impact in how you run your business, or social impact in how you treat your employees or something else, your impact CAN change the world.
You may not even realize you’re afraid of your impact. You too may be calling it fear of visibility. But why would you be afraid of your visibility if you didn’t know you would have impact?
Is it an unconscious return to earlier days, when you did get a strong or even violent reaction against your impact?
Is it that no matter what you do, it feels not enough?
Is it fear of the unknown, that if you really had the impact you want to have, everything would be different? Or maybe the power of the change that your impact could cause is scaring you.
Whatever the reason, your impact is still calling you. You wouldn’t have read this far if it wasn’t.
It’s worth it, then, to start to explore what’s holding you back from the compelling impact that you could have. That’s why I include that exploration as a key part of the Impact Breakthrough™ program.
When you understand what’s been stopping you from having the impact that calls you, it’s a big step toward having it.
Even then, understanding your fear, naming it, isn’t going to let you have your compelling impact.
That’s because it’s not your fear that’s holding you back. It’s your armor, what you’ve chosen to defend yourself with. It’s whatever you use so you don’t have to feel so vulnerable.
Notice I said that I ‘have’ a fear of visibility, not ‘had’. I still have the fear, and it pops up in the most annoyingly consistent way, at the most inconvenient times.
What’s different now is that I’ve dropped the armor. I keep dropping the armor, even after I’ve suited up yet again. I keep dropping the armor over and over again. That’s what allows me to be on video, to hold webinars, and to teach about impact, so I can have MY impact, which is to support and inspire you to be a worldchanger.
What’s the cost of not having impact?
You lose out most of all. You miss being and sharing the unique essence of who you are and what you came here to contribute. We lose out on what you bring to us with your impact, in your unique worldchanging way.
Your impact matters. You matter. What’s keeping you from it?
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at Workaholic for free resources for you and your business.