When I originally sat down and mapped out our content calendar for June (yes... that's a thing we do now, plan our content) I held space for this post, because honestly, it felt deeply important for me to share my emotional journey with you behind the scenes of growing a business based in vulnerable content.
But I feel like even as I copy edit this post, there are five more posts I could write under this topic.
Vulnerability is a BIG part of our business, and a big part of me and my life's work.
I get comments about my vulnerability often.
"I love how real you are. I love what you share," etc.
And I often tell women that if they feel connected to my vulnerability, it is because that quality is inside of them begging and craving to come out.
So let's talk about it. Because strategy in business is amazing, but it's also totally ineffective if you aren't courageous enough to do the scary things.
When I look back on the chapter of stepping into my vulnerability, I can realize with 100% certainty that this was the chapter of my life and business that changed EVERYTHING for me.
Because this was the chapter when I started becoming the woman I always wanted to be.
Looking back, there are a few things I wish I knew about Vulnerability and being seen on social media. So here they are: my lessons for you.
1. First, It's normal to feel FEARFUL. Coming from someone who was so scared to even post a full frame photo of herself when she first started showing up on social media, I can tell you with certainty there is an emotional evolution that takes place behind the scenes for any online content creator. And it starts with owning the fact that you are afraid.
I see this alllll the time. Women get afraid of sharing and being open on social media, and then rather than looking at that fear, they avoid it by saying things like, "I shouldn't be so afraid," or "I know I should be over this but...."
Stop judging. Own it. You are here, afraid and that is normal.
You can't surrender to something that you constantly ignore.
Once we own the fear, and we truly look at it, shit just gets easier.
Fear is a normal human emotion. Stop judging yourself for being afraid of being judged. You are literally doing the exact thing to yourself that you are scared of having happen to you.
When I started, Acknowledging my fear and not criticizing myself for being afraid was my first step in conquering vulnerability.
So allow yourself to feel fear babe. Own it. Ask yourself, "What am I specifically afraid of happening here?" and "If that happened, would it really be that bad?"
2. People will Judge you but not nearly as much as you judge yourself. In the beginning, we all spend time doubting our content, questioning if we should share and wondering, "will people read this?" and "is this any good?"
We also spend a ton of time worried about judgement, criticism, and negative feedback. "What if this is too much for people to read?" and "What if people don't like what I have to say? What if they think I am totally weird?"
For me, the early days of showing up were full of resistance for fear of judgement. Now? Now I am a woman who can show up naked on social media - metaphorically speaking...and also physically if you saw my recent instagram post.
I started to recognize that my own fear of judgement was simply because I had spent so much time judging myself.
Also - just to add to this, the more you obsess about something happening, the more it happens. The women who are scared of getting negative feedback always do and the women who don't care live freely and don't attract those vibes as often.
3. Vulnerability is non-negotiable in our work. All of us have deep burning desires to share parts of ourselves that maybe aren't so pretty. We want to talk about our past struggle with addiction, our divorce, our struggles with mom or being a mom, or that painful trauma in childhood that drastically shaped us and changed us forever.
Let's face it, we are all on a journey to do some serious mission work on the planet. Vulnerability is kind of in the job description.
Whether we want to write a book, help people get healthy, or grow an online empire, we are attempting to impact people's lives.
And what is more vulnerable than that?
Challenge, my darling, is what brought you here. So it is only expected that you'll be sharing some challenging real raw content on your journey of being an influencer.
4. Being Vulnerable is a Practiced art and commitment. When I started my business, it was almost like I had two people inside of me fighting: One wanted to be seen and had a craving to share the deep dark parts of myself, and the other part of me wanted to hide under the covers and never let anyone see the real me.
One day, after months of going back and forth sharing and hiding, I decided I would embrace my vulnerability and be real and raw for 30 straight days. I Decided that every day for 30 straight days I would share something that I was scared of people seeing. I talked about all the scary elements of my past: my rape, my sexual assault, my drug addiction, my abusive relationship with my mother, the time I attempted suicide, my divorce.
GIRLLLL I went there. I went ALL the way there.
Here's what I realized: People LOVED when I was there. And I loved it too. It felt empowering, liberating, freeing. By opening up and sharing my real truths I felt like I was getting naked, but I also felt like I was accepted for it! I was owning my truth for the first time in my life, which became an incredible healing process for me. Which leads me to my next point...
5. Vulnerability is your super power to heal others, but to also heal yourself
When you show up and share your truth, you give yourself permission to move forward in your own life. It's like you are finally allowing the past parts of you to be. What we resist persists, but when you own your trauma, you can learn to not only accept those parts of you, but you can actually come to love them, because they make you the incredible woman that you are.
The best part is, when you OWN who you are, you give other people permission to own who they are too.
Talk about influencer goals right there.
Plus, how majority of my content and work in the world is just about me sharing my life and being real with the women who follow @iambusinessbabe.
6, Your Life is literally the vessel for your work. Along the journey of finding myself and really coming into my own identity, I realized something super powerful: I was put on this planet to go through, heal, and then teach.
My life was the vessel to guide me to the work I would do in the world.
Which is great, because I don't have to go looking for content, the content finds me.
Everything that has happened in my life has been used as a beautiful teachable moment to share with my audience. I am allowing source to work through me and guide me to my next layer of content creation just by going on my own life journey.
Business becomes super easy when you recognize that your life is the tool.
7. Vulnerability will challenge your perfect idea of ideal client and niche. As I evolved and shared vulnerably, my content didn't always fit into a niche, at least not in the way that business coaches teach Niche.
This felt challenging for my business. When I was trying to figure out what I did and who I helped, I always felt stuck because my content was so diverse. The deeper I went into my own personal growth, the more I felt called to talk about the things I was learning, which didn't necessarily fit into the brand I had built.
Here's what I will say about this: Let yourself go where you go, and let your business go there with you too. You will evolve, change, and grow.
This is a good thing.
Think about Apple: when they first thought about making a cell phone, did they tell themselves, "Oh no we can't go there because we only sell computers?" No - they sell technology that changes the world.
So they went wherever the journey took them.
Allow space for your business to expand and unfold as you expand. Our mission here at Lauren of Love is "transforming businesses and the women who run them." Is that only strategy? Is that only mindset? Is there room for spirituality? It's an open container that allows for whatever evolution comes our way.
Our lives are the vessel that will dictate that evolution.
8. Still Struggling in your line of work does not make you a fraud or a failure. It makes you an expert. Heal through it, and then share it. This was a big breakthrough moment that changed a lot for me. As a life coach and business coach, I spent a great deal of the early days thinking I had to have everything all figured out in order to coach others. If I was really going to help people get results, I would have to show people how much I had my shit totally together, right?
This mindset really destroyed my confidence as a business owner.
I had a fight with my husband, and I would think, "okay, well now I can't help people with relationship issues."
I had a day of binge eating and making poor choices and then thought, "Okay well now I can't actually teach people how to love their bodies.
I would miss a financial goal or a strategy I tried implementing didn't work and then suddenly I felt like I wasn't capable of getting people results in their business.
Where does all this paranoia come from?
Yes we are doing results focused work in the world, but why do we choose to allow our journey in life directly affect our feelings of credibility.
In any other line of work, the more time you spend learning about something, the more of an expert you are. So the next time something bumps you off your unicorn, why not take a minute to step back and ask yourself, "How is this experience making me a more credible more experienced more relatable leader in my line of work?"
Every time you are hit with a chance to grow and learn lessons, thank the Universe for bringing you the experience you need to be more qualified in your line of work.
9. It gets easier. The very first time I shared something vulnerable on social media, my hands were shaking, my heart was racing, and I must have re-read my content 72 times before pressing post.
It gets easier. Trust me babe.
Vulnerability is like a any muscle: The more you work it, the stronger it gets, the less you sweat during your workouts, and the more you enjoy it.
Trust that how you feel when you are vulnerable the first or second or third month of your business will be very different than how you feel during year two or year three.
The more you do it, the more it becomes a natural process for you.
I highly recommend committing to a 30 day challenge of being vulnerable on social media. Again, just like any muscle, you need to cultivate it and make using it a habit.
10. Being vulnerable is the value people need to feel safe before they decide to invest in what you are selling. If you need a motivator to make your vulnerability a MUST, this is it babe. The more vulnerable you are, the more money you will make. It is just the truth.
Imagine, if you truly believed this, what would be different about how you show up on your social media accounts?
I cannot tell you how many women connect to our content and buy our courses simply because they have heard me share stories about my life that resonate with them.
C.S. Lewis has a beautiful quote about this. He says, "Friendship is born the moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"
When people buy a product, they are buying to connect into something; an energy, a community, a feeling that resonates with them.
Give people a chance to learn about you, and say Me TOO. They will stick around and invest in your beautiful magic because they feel like they can relate to you.
11. Your fear of being TOO vulnerable is deeply connected to your conditioning as a woman being told you were TOO much or TOO emotional. I could write an entire post about this topic alone. We as women are so conditioned to feel less than. We are told we are too emotional, too much, too this or not enough that. Your fear of being too vulnerable is not YOURS... it is simply a belief programmed into our thoughts by society. The next time you feel afraid ask yourself, "How much of this fear is really true and how much of it is based on what I was told about myself as a child?"
12. People can see when you are being fake. Probably more than you can see it yourself. If you are afraid of being judged in the online space, I hate to be the one to break it to you: You will be judged ALL the time. That being said, you might as well be real in the process. In my opinion, it is worse to be judged for being fake than it is for being real.
And I'll be honest with you, I can tell when someone is faking it on social media. If Sally posts about how happy her life is, but she just spent the last three days crying, I can feel it. If Ashley is celebrating her wealth and how prosperous she is, but she just got hit with a tax bill she has zero money to pay for, I feel that. There is an energy in your posts, so please, please be authentic. Own your truth. Own your bad days and your good days. No one feels safe buying from someone who is fake on social media.
13. Your calling to be open and share yourself in online space is an Innate-Right that you have as a woman to be seen. This, above all else, is the belief I've cherished through the years. In all of my time creating in this world, I've always had a deep desire to be seen. In fact, even as a young girl I remember putting on performances in my kitchen and singing for my neighbors outside on the front lawn. I wanted so deeply to be seen.
But somewhere along the way of growing up I was told that trying to get people to look at me wasn't a good idea. "Showing off" or "bragging" or "being too sensual in my energy of attraction" was considered bad. I was conditioned to hide away and to not open about my gifts, talents and... let's face it... even my existence at times.
"Women should be seen and not heard."
This is bullshit, and quite honestly, with almost all of my clients, this is the root of their fear of being seen.
Darling, your desire to be seen in your business is deeply connected to your desire to be seen as a woman. And there is nothing wrong with that because it is your God given right.
You were BORN to be SEEN.
Women are going to change the world BECAUSE they have that desire to be seen. Run with that desire. It's the divine calling you to change the world.
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