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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

How to Stop Feeling Invisible

Have you ever been at a job where it felt like nobody really “saw” you? You did good work, you showed up, but promotions went to other people, and you never felt like one of the people in the rooms where the decisions were being made.

So often, we have knowledge, ideas, suggestions, but we just lack the space to share them.

I've worked with lots of clients who are in jobs where people above them are perfectly happy to keep them in the background. These managers don't want to promote or move you, they like you just where you are: standing still.

Now, sometimes that type of workplace is toxic and abusive. There are absolutely companies that operate this way, by keeping their employees fighting for space so that they have less energy to try and climb the ladder. There's only one path in that type of workplace: get out of there.But if you're in a situation that isn't toxic, then you have some room to move.

Here are the top 3 reasons people get stuck.

They just can't see you.

Start by looking within. Have you been playing small? Are you keeping your head down and limiting yourself because you were afraid to stand up? The answer to this question might be no, but it's worth asking yourself how you've played into your own narrative here. After all, the first step is usually to get out of your own way.

Volunteer for that project, raise your hand in that meeting, and show up with impeccable body language. Pretend that you’re someone who’s confident and engaged in every meeting, and you’ll find that you actually are that person. That kind of behavior projects excellence that other people can sense.

They just don't know what you're capable of.

Even if you're not standing in your own way, you still have the option to make yourself more visible. You can control the level of awareness people have of you in an organization. Finding and exercising your voice is terrifying, because it requires you to stretch. When you start to express yourself, that requires you to open yourself up to criticism. If you volunteer to give a presentation, people in the room will react to it. That's scary!

But that discomfort is growth, and that’s where your advancement opportunity is.

You haven’t owned your worth.

There's nothing about you that deserves to be hidden or kept in the background. If you don't see that in yourself, you need to do some deep work and own your own value. This too is uncomfortable. In some ways, sitting down and writing up your personal value-proposition can feel less comfortable than giving a talk in front of fifty people. We're taught to be modest and not to boast, but if you're being held back or you feel invisible, it's crucial that you know exactly why you deserve to be seen. You deserve to be seen. The world needs more of you, and if you can't admit your own strengths to yourself, you're going to have a harder time expressing it to others.

Stand in your self worth, show them what you're made of, and let them see what you can do. The rest will take care of itself. If you want additional insight into your situation, you might benefit from one-on-one coaching. Click here to put a consultation with me on your calendar.

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