Overcoming Fear Of Self-Promotion

woman walking to show overcoming fear of self-promotion

Overcoming Fear Of Self-Promotion

Overcoming Fear of Self-Promotion


Many of my clients have fears around self-promotion. Indeed, I have my own moments too. Some of these fears may be imagined, some of them very much based on reality. The idea of putting oneself out there, showcasing skills, or even discussing achievements can be daunting. It’s no surprise that some people find self-promotion genuinely frightening.

Many cultures do not encourage self-promotion, judging it as bragging or showing off. Indeed, some people have had bad experiences in the form of negative social media comments or public disagreements, which can create strong fear of self-promotion. Hearing my clients talk about their nervousness inspired me to create Rekindle, a group programme to help business owners through this type of crisis of confidence. If group work is not your thing, or you know you’d like to work one to one with me,  I offer both visibility coaching or, for those who think their wariness stems from something deeper, therapy for business owners.

However, it’s crucial to understand that self-promotion is not about arrogance or bragging. It’s about presenting your abilities, products, or services confidently and authentically. What’s more, without it, who is going to know you’re even there?

The Fear of Rejection


One of the primary reasons people are scared of self-promotion is the fear of rejection. Nobody likes to be told they’re not good enough, and putting yourself out there feels like an open invitation for criticism. However, it’s essential to remember that not everyone will resonate with your message or offerings. That’s part of business (and life). If we can accept and even prepare for that, it makes raising your profile a lot more comfortable.

Rejection is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t define your worth or the value of what you have to offer.

To overcome the fear of rejection, focus on the positive feedback and support you receive from those who appreciate your work. Building a community of like-minded individuals who understand your journey can provide a valuable support system. Likewise, keeping a file or folder of supportive comments and positive feedback can bolster your confidence when you are feeling wobbly.

The Imposter Syndrome


The imposter syndrome often creeps in when individuals contemplate self-promotion. It’s that nagging feeling that you don’t deserve the recognition or success you’ve achieved, making you hesitant to promote yourself. The truth is, many successful people have felt this way at some point in their careers. Some have this fear of self-promotion all the way through their careers!

To combat imposter syndrome, keep a record of your accomplishments and positive feedback from clients or peers. Remind yourself of your expertise and the value you bring to the table. Remember that self-doubt is a common hurdle, but it doesn’t define your abilities.

I actually like to think of imposter syndrome as a positive thing, for me at least. It makes sure that I’m fully prepared and really know my stuff.

Fear of Alienating Others


Another fear associated with self-promotion is the worry that promoting yourself will alienate or annoy others. You might be concerned that your friends, family, or colleagues will view you differently, or even become envious. That they will think you are getting too big for your boots! While this is a valid concern, it’s important to remember that your true supporters will be genuinely happy for your success.

To address this fear, be open and honest with your loved ones about your goals and the importance of self-promotion in your journey. Share your passion and enthusiasm, and involve them in your accomplishments. When others see your genuine excitement, they are more likely to support and celebrate your achievements.

Overcoming the Fear of Self-Promotion

To overcome the fear of self-promotion, consider these practical steps:

Start small

Begin with low-pressure situations, such as sharing your achievements or projects with close friends or mentors.

Practice self-compassion

Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that fear is a natural emotion. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling scared. To aim is not to have no fear as that’s pretty impossible. The goal is to experience that fear and do it anyway.

Develop a personal brand

Establishing a clear and authentic personal brand based on your own values will help you feel more grounded. When you believe in your brand, self-promotion becomes more natural.

Focus on your audience

Remember that self-promotion is about providing value to your audience. Think about how your skills or offerings can benefit others. Interact through comments, polls, quizzes and the opportunities to share and show-case. Be generous with the limelight.

Seek support and feedback

Share your self-promotion efforts with trusted friends, mentors, or someone like me, who can provide constructive feedback and encouragement.


Overcoming the fear of self-promotion is a journey, not a destination. It’s normal to feel scared or uncomfortable when putting yourself out there, but it’s essential to remember that your voice and talents deserve to be heard and recognised. In fact, if you are running a business, this is essential.By acknowledging your fears, working through them step by step, and building a supportive network, you can gradually become more comfortable with self-promotion and realise your full potential.

Interested in working with me on this? Your options are the Rekindle programme, held regularly, visibility coaching, or therapy. Why not book a call with me to talk through what might suit you best?


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