That which clings repels . That which moves attracts. Who are you clinging to? Whose approval do you seek? Whose opinions matter the most to you? Whose validation do you compete for?
Have you noticed that the people who are the most unapologetically themselves are also the people to whom others are most attracted to? Ironically, these are also the people who care little about who is attracted to them. They don’t need the validation.
The need for approval makes you invisible. All humans want to belong, but often belonging means succumbing to the beliefs and opinions of others. We have to adapt to the group in order to belong. Often belonging to a group means adjusting our beliefs systems, whether political, religious, or social. The more that we give up our own beliefs in order to belong, the less authentic we become, and the more that we desire approval from the group, the less attractive we become to those group members. Seeking approval makes us unattractive, less valuable, and less respectable. This is true when we also seek romantic relationships, business connections, approval of mentors, and family members. In essence, seeking approval makes us slaves to people and groups we try so hard to belong to.
How to be visible? Practice being yourself. Who are you really? What do you truly believe in? Why are your authentic beliefs so difficult to express to others? Do you fear their disapproval, disagreement, any label they can place upon you? Do you fear their rejection? Then you fear being authentically yourself.
Your authentic self lives buried deep inside you, and is afraid to come out for fear of what others might think of it. What is truly invisible is your authentic self. And you’re making a choice every day to keep yourself invisible.
Authenticity is highly attractive. But it comes at a hefty price. People will be threatened by your authentic self. They may be in disagreement with that authentic you. Authentic people get a lot of criticism. Authentic people often stand out from the crowd and are perceived as not belonging. Authenticity is challenging, and many people are not prepared nor self-assured enough to defend their authentic self.
When we learn self validation, we show the world that we have worth. When we learn to trust ourselves and our judgments, we discover we don’t need other people’s validation. We feel more authentic. We feel more proud to be ourselves. Pride and self worth are highly attractive.
When we become authentic and self validated, we naturally receive approval from others for our genuine qualities. Now there’s something of true value. Isn’t it of greater value to be appreciated by a few people who care for who we truly are, then to be loved by hundreds of people who approve of our mask? Your need for acceptance will make you invisible. Your need for approval makes you less worthy. That authentic you that is only you and no one else, is what you have to bring out into the light.
Yes, it is very uncomfortable, even scary to come out of the closet. Yes, in essence, you are revealing to the world your authentic you. For sure, people will judge you. For sure, somebody will talk about you. She’s not like us, she’s a little weird, she has issues, she’s so opinionated. They might even laugh. They might not ask you to hang out. The worst thing you can do is recoil and run back into the closet. The worst thing that you can do is ask them why.
To be authentically you, you have to accept all that comes with being an authentic person. When approval truly isn’t needed, why they don’t want you is not important. Become more comfortable being the one standing outside the group and being confident about it.
Practice speaking confidently about your unpopular views. Don’t apologize for having a different opinion. If you want to truly be confident about your own belief system, then you have to study your own beliefs, find logic in your beliefs, and prepare to defend them like a rational person. Only a person who doesn’t have full intellectual grasp of her own beliefs, will be offended when others challenge her. Have the knowledge to back up your beliefs with proof and evidence. Only a person who doesn’t have full confidence in her beliefs will apologize for them. You have to fully know your subject, your self, and your position before you can stand firm and be confident.
Practice saying no. Practice disagreeing. Practice standing outside the group and feeling confident about it. Practice moving on. Practice changing direction and moving towards independence, self assurance, and learning subjects beyond the intellectual grasp of the group.
It is only when you have your own direction that you become attractive to others. It is only when you stop clinging to others that they will find value in you. It is only when you have self worth, valid opinions of your own, that others will see you as a valid person. Even when they start validating you, you must understand that your own self validation is of greater value, than any admiration they could give you. If you want people to follow you, chase you, seek your company, then you have to start moving. This is true in business, romance, and social settings. No one chases a person going nowhere.
Clingy people repel. The ones moving attract. Don’t believe me? Watch a nature show and pay attention to how lions hunt. As lions are stalking a herd of impala peacefully grazing grass, there are usually a few animals grazing right there in front of the lion’s nose. You’ll never see a lion chase the closest impala. Unless the lions are sick or injured, their natural instinct will have them zero into that one particular impala that is running away. They will chase it only because it is getting away. The other that was grazing right under the lion’s nose is of no interest whatsoever.
Quit clinging and start moving. Quit seeking approval and start approving of yourself. Quit apologizing and start expressing your true opinion and know why you believe it. Come out of your own closet. The reason you are invisible is because you’re trying to blend in, rather than stand out.