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  • Writer's pictureJosie Coco

Procrastination and the Fear of Being Seen

“The thing that scares me the most is being visible online. I know it has to be done. I literally have a panic attack at the thought of it.”

That’s tough! Is it really about procrastination though, or something else?

An online business without visibility is going nowhere. If you’re a person who struggles with the idea of being seen, overcoming it has to be a top priority.

Let me reassure you. Your body and your mind are responding for a very good reason.

That reason is because you have developed a survival instinct that has recorded “being seen” or “being visible” as a threat to you.

That survival instinct triggers each time you consider putting yourself out there in the online world.

Now, in the event that this fact has escaped you, there is nothing more powerful than a survival instinct.

Survival instincts activate to ensure your, well... survival!

When Madonna realized that marketing her business online meant showing up in person, it sent her into a tailspin. It meant drawing attention to herself! This scared the bejesus out of her!

Enter her survival instinct with a strong emotional and physical message…don't do this!

Madonna continued to procrastinate…

There’s a story behind every mindset issue

During her primary school years Madonna was not the most academically accomplished in the class. She would be the person who had the least number of stars on the star chart ongoing. This distressed her. She felt exposed.

She felt dumb, stupid. She felt alienated from the rest of the class. She had nothing to celebrate when the test results came out.

Even as she was telling her story, Madonna became breathless. She could feel her chest tighten and her breathing become shallow and fast.

This negative attention made her want to become invisible. She wanted to shrink away, to hide.

The mind and body work together to ensure our survival

It’s at this time that our mind and body work together to create a safety trigger.

Madonna’s mind and body created a survival instinct that would be triggered each time she is confronted with having to be seen, to be visible in the future.

This spilled over to other areas of her life.

She found that she didn’t want to stand out and attract attention to herself, even if that attention was praise for something she achieved well.

She discovered that she was very good at some sporting activities and also at art class. When she achieved in these areas, she got attention but it didn’t feel good. She began to play small, to hide, to take a low profile in many areas of her life.

When Madonna consulted with me, she was beginning to experience panic attacks as well as headaches - dizziness, profuse sweating, palpitations.

The more she worried about showing up the worst the headaches became. She was becoming irritable, and frequently experienced outbursts of anger.

When a small child feels vulnerable and alone

From an early age, Madonna’s experience left her feeling uncomfortable whenever she attracted attention.

Her perception of being dumb and stupid and not measuring up made her feel vulnerable and alone. A small child who feels vulnerable and alone feels extremely threatened.

This is the perfect recipe for a child’s mind and body to register a new survival strategy.

Our drive to thrive outsmarts mindset strategies

Our physical body has a drive to thrive.

We will automatically record the threat and create a strategy for anything that challenges that drive.

That strategy includes chemical and biological changes in our body that trigger when the threat is awakened.

Those changes feel like what we call an emotion and that emotion is generally FEAR.

When we perceive the feeling our body is generating, we automatically take action to avoid that threat.

In Madonna’s case, the emotion was fear and the action was not only to procrastinate from being visible online, but to create physical symptoms that put the brakes on any strategy that she tried to use to overcome that fear.

Even though she understands that being visible is absolutely essential, even though she practices mindset management every single day, Madonna’s survival instincts are much stronger than her reasoning or her willpower.

The mind-body perspective

Escaping from these unhelpful, survival strategies that are set to auto-run is a matter of revealing and releasing the source, the origin, and the story since then, as well as where it resides in our body.

Approaching them from a mind-body perspective is currently one of the best-known methods to release them.

Our deep mind and our body records everything about us, and that information is readily available.

Once her body revealed the source and location of Madonna’s fear of being visible, she was surprised at how incredibly easy it became to show up in her online marketing.

Other ways that you can begin to work with this fear is through cultivating zen habits. I like this article. It’s both interesting and helpful.

** Madonna is not an actual person. Her story is representative of the sort of clients and concerns that I work with. For ethical reasons I won't publish an actual client's story.**


About me: Josie Coco

I’ve been studying the human condition as it relates to mind-body-energy both formally and informally for most of my life. I’m a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner of BodyTalk Consciousness-Based Energy Psychology and Health and Well-being Mentor. You are welcome to seek more information on how to work with me here.


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