Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Being Seen

Lately I've been thinking thoughts, which is a dangerous business. Thoughts lead to ideas and ideas lead to action. And I just don't think I have the time (or energy) to deal with all of that at this point. But I've learned over the years that I need to get these things out or they take over my brain. So that's what this is all about.

These thoughts are about being seen...

Having a desire to be seen is a normal, healthy part of human nature. We all have a desire to be seen. This might be the longing for a parent, lover, friend, to see you or it might be on a bigger scale; for your home, community, or the whole damn world to know your name. On whatever scale you want to be seen is your special unique need, but all of us humans have this desire on some level.

When it comes to being seen there are good things about it and not-so-good things.

PRO: Validation - Being seen can help you feel validated in all of the hard work you've done. When I kick-ass on a project and a colleague notices this, points it out, and congratulates me, it helps me feel validated. I didn't just complete my work for a quota, but for real humans. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with that validation.

CON: Projection - Stepping into leadership, being seen, putting yourself out there also means that you get the projection of those looking at you. People will make assumptions about who you are and what you believe, these assumptions may or may not be true, but you get to be a big movie screen that holds all of the ideas other people are creating about you. There really isn't anything that you can do about it, except remain humble.

PRO: Purpose - After spending hours, days, months, or years putting your energy towards a goal being seen can help to solidify your purpose; your direction. Yes, you have a purpose and it is clear that you've done the hard work to put you in a place of honoring that. Well done!

CON: Imbalance of Power - Being seen often means that people are giving you power. This is partly projection, but if left unchecked it can quickly turn into an imbalance of power. If you don't have a firm grasp of your own identity this can easily lead to trouble, inflated egos, and interpersonal troubles.

PRO: Opportunity - When you are noticed, and seen, for doing an excellent job, having good skills, or being a talent, it will open up more doors for you to do more of an excellent job. Opportunities will follow you when your skills are seen and noticed by others.

CON: Loss of Privacy - As you are seen you also lose some of your privacy. When you step into the limelight people are likely to overstep their bounds, ask more of you, expect more of your time and attention, and push your boundaries.

Putting yourself into the front of the pack, letting your skills shine, and stepping out into leadership comes with challenges, but ultimately if you have gifts to share you just gotta do it! The goal is to stay grounded, calm, humble, and let your light shine.

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