Ep #45: Vulnerability Hangover

 In Podcast

How many of you dread public speaking? As coaches, vulnerability is inevitable and a fear of what others think of you doesn’t only manifest when speaking on stage, but in any capacity where you’re showing up for yourself and others.

The concept I’m diving into today is vulnerability hangover and my goal with this episode is not to give you permission to indulge in the horrible feeling of having exposed yourself and your ideas, but to give you awareness of what is happening and show you that no one is exempt from this feeling. The layers of self-critical thoughts that happen are all part of the 50/50 in doing uncomfortable things, but it doesn’t have to consume you and stop you from going after what you want.

Join me today as I share some tips with you to help you overcome vulnerability hangover and come out on the other side with more awareness and self-confidence, to be your authentic self and serve your community to the best of your abilities. You might assume I find this aspect of being public and sharing my ideas to be easy, but hopefully, my own experience of feeling this way helps you see that everyone goes through this, no matter how long they’ve been in the business.

If you want to start making serious money as a coach, you need to check out 2K for 2K. Click here to join!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What vulnerability hangover means.
  • Different forms of public speaking that you practice that could bring up vulnerability hangover.
  • My recent experience of vulnerability hangover and what it really feels like.
  • Two things you can do that act as an antidote to the vulnerability hangover.
  • The layers of beliefs that create self-critical thoughts and how to be free of them.
  • Why you can’t ever control other people’s thoughts about you.
  • How we use what we imagine others are thinking about us against ourselves.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Make Money as a Life Coach podcast, where sales expert and master coach Stacey Boehman teaches you how to make your first 2K, 20K, and 200K using her proven formula.

Hello lovies, welcome to episode 45. I am pumped to talk to y’all today. But let me just say right before – this is never a good idea. Right before I signed on to do this podcast, I got a message on Slack from my videographer.

So we – in September, I took 10 of my clients that are in my 200K mastermind to California to film testimonials of their story, to talk about what they have achieved, how they achieved it, their experience of not just being in the mastermind, but of making money, and some of them of making 200K.

And we’re now in late October and the videos are starting to come in, and every single one that I watch, I just bawl my eyes out. It inspires me as a coach to reach even more people. They’re so inspiring. They’re so good, like, I can’t even. That’s all I can say is everyone, I just cry my eyes out and I’m like, oh my god, I love coaching.

This is seriously the best industry. What we do is kind of magic. I really hope you know that. And if you want to watch these stories, we’re going to release them soon. If you want to just see the women that are making money and their powerful transformations. They’re the best.

Seriously, if it does anything for you, it will totally rev you up to have the same and just get your heart a thumping for what it is we do and this opportunity we have. So if you want to watch them, I think I’m going to be putting them on IGTV so you’ll have access to watching them. We’ll also email out a few for you to watch.

But check out Instagram in the coming weeks. We will be posting those so that you can have the same emotional reaction that I’ve been having over here. I just got one from my best friend who has worked with me since the very beginning. We’ve become best friends just in the tightness of how closely we’ve worked together for the last four years.

And hers came in and just lost it. I love watching her grow. It’s the most fun ever. And it’s one of the reasons I do what I do. I really think about people like her and her transformation. I’m like, I want that for everyone. Alright, enough about that. I just feel very excited and all of the feels.

Okay, so I wanted to do a podcast today a little off the cuff and a little from the norm of the topics I normally talk about I feel like. You guys might think it’s the same exact thing, but I felt like it’s got a different vibe about it. But I just think a lot of you can benefit from this.

So we’re going to talk about – I titled this vulnerability hangover. I want to be clear. I am not the first one to have said that or created that concept, and I’m sure maybe even my peers are calling – I was searching some of my peers’ podcast titles to be like, wait, I feel like I’ve seen this before somewhere.

So this is not a new concept that I invented at all. I’m just going to talk to you about it. But really, the way that I want you to think about it is we’re basically going to talk about public speaking and feeling like ass. That’s basically the topic today.

And really, this applies to all forms of public speaking. So for public speaking, I consider this – I’m going to give you some examples. Coaching in front of your peers in coach training. I know many of y’all go through that. I went through that. It was horrible. So good but horrible.

A coaching call with another human. Really, to which your thoughts and skill are on display as a coach in witness to someone else. A networking event where you might have to speak in front of a small group or tell people who you are and what you do. I mean really, we could even say telling anyone in general that you’re a life coach will create this vulnerability hangover and feeling like ass.

But a Facebook Live that you do, you livestream and really, without being asked to on your own volition to talk about you and what you do. Teaching classes and hosting coaching calls for others. I do this for my coach. A lot of my 200K students who are making 100K or more do this for me.

And presenting in front of a lot of people, so giving speeches is what most people consider public speaking, but I really think any time you have an audience, even if it’s five people – like I used to do infomercials, you guys know, in retail chains across the country. And sometimes my audience was two people. That is still public speaking.

And I actually think the smaller the crowd, the tougher it is. But basically, anywhere where you are in front of people, not limited to just giving speeches. Because all of these things have the same elements. They are you showing up to others as a coach publicly.

So here’s what inspired me to want to talk about public speaking and feeling like ass and this vulnerability hangover that we experience, which is the feeling like ass. I got asked for the second year in a row to speak at my coaching community with The Life Coach School at their yearly mastermind.

Last year I spoke and I don’t remember how many people were there, but I feel like it was a lot, like 400 maybe or 300. It may have been the exact same size, but I feel like this year was bigger. This year I know for sure it was like, 500 people.

And I practiced for weeks, probably 20 times. I did change it up a little bit right before I presented it. We were asked to put it on a slideshow. Then we had the option to not, but I really loved my slides. I thought they were so beautiful. So that was like, a small change I did.

But anyway, I got up there, I was so excited to go. This was something that was the moment we got asked, it was on my mind and I was thinking about it and preparing for it. I even taught the concept at my mastermind to my masterminders first so that it wouldn’t even be the first time that I was doing it.

I really prepped. And right before I went on stage, I had this burst of oh my god, this is so exciting. I was so excited I could cry from pure happiness because I love to speak in front of people. And so I got up there. I had the time of my life. I judged in the moment how good I was doing because I made Brooke laugh, which is probably not a great judgment, but I was like, she laughed, I’m funny.

Anyway, I had a great time. It was amazing. And then I got off stage and I felt all the relief of having spoken and was really kind of on cloud nine. And then I flew home. The next day I woke up and it was as if I drank 10 bottles of wine. That’s exactly how it felt.

I felt like – the only way I can explain it to you is like ass. I mean, the worst kind of ass you can ever experience. And for the next two weeks, I kind of swam in that. And yes, I still showed up in my business and I still coached my clients and I still got my deadlines and things done, but there was this just giant cloud of ass hanging over me.

And I was working through it and it was the worst on my days off because it was all I could think about. And I didn’t even want to talk about it and get coached on it because I almost felt so much shame because I think I even logically knew I did a great job, but I felt so much shame for being in such a shame storm and feeling so badly about it that I didn’t want anyone to know.

I almost felt like if I get coached on this and someone knows, they’ll agree with me. They’ll be like, I didn’t notice before but now that you bring it up, I noticed and it really was terrible. That’s kind of the way that I thought about it.

And then I worked myself through it. I just felt the shame, I felt what I’m going to explain to you is the vulnerability hangover. I felt all of the feels and kind of just the rawness of it and worked in my mind. I really worked through it. I self-coached a lot, I let myself feel it. Eventually, because I let myself feel it, it did go away, but I kind of felt like ass for a couple of weeks.

And it was still kind of in the back of my head of I should have done way better. And then I go to my million-dollar mentoring meeting in Miami and every single one of the people in the mastermind spoke on stage. There was like, I think eight of us, maybe 10.

Anyway, we all spoke on stage. And one of my colleagues asked for coaching at the meeting, and within that coaching that she asked for, one of the things that came out is she had told herself a story that she was the worst one and she had all this shame about her speech and she was crying. And I told her at dinner that night, it released me.

It was when I had this huge a-ha. I wasn’t the only one, which I didn’t need her to say that but her saying that is what made me realize I have to have this conversation with you. Because I think sometimes, we are in the closet with our shame and we don’t talk about it, and it was just like, so freeing to watch her open up about it and to hear that those were her thoughts, which were not my thoughts about her at all, about her speech.

But to just watch her go through that, it really helped me finish processing all of this for myself at what feels like the biggest level I’ve ever experienced it. Here’s what I want to talk to you guys about today. What I experienced at the core was just vulnerability.

I say just, but vulnerability feels like ass. The purpose of this podcast. So I experienced the vulnerability of putting myself and my ideas forth into the world for myself. That’s the key one that we’re going to talk about. For myself and others, to have an opinion about.

And really, to give you an idea of what vulnerability feels like, just so we’re clear, this is the way it felt like to me. All of my insides were on the outside and I had been naked on stage and everybody saw it. Pretty much sums it up.

So what comes after being naked on stage, metaphorically of course, unless maybe you’re an actor or a model, is the vulnerability hangover. So the vulnerability hangover is a concoction of critical thoughts you have about yourself and your work and then the thoughts that you think other people are having about your work.

So let’s dive in. Let’s first talk about your thoughts about your own work. So for me, the big one was I could have done it so much better, and they hated it. Another one I had was no one got a transformation. It wasn’t useful to them.

These are all thoughts. They are what truly create the feeling like ass. Not that this thing happened and as a result of it happening, I feel like ass. You see the difference there? It’s crucial to see. Take it back 30 seconds if you need to hear it again.

Now, when you have these self-critical thoughts about yourself, you can do one of two things, or you can do both. You can decide not to believe them. Like they aren’t just automatically true because you think them. You aren’t reporting the news. It felt like I was reporting the news, but I am here to say that is not the case.

They really are just sentences in our mind and we can be aware of them and not actively engage with them. Now, if you’re already in the belief of the thought, meaning you already feel it in your body, like you’re experiencing the emotion, once you experience the emotion, that tells you whether you already believe it.

You haven’t caught it in your awareness as just a thought in your mind and just seeing it. Right now, you believe it. So when that happens, you can question it and choose differently. So you can just either decide not to engage with it or once you’re engaging with it, you can question it and decide not to believe it.

Or – and this is why I say you can do both, which is really great. Or number two is you can decide to do something about it. So for example, I see a lot of things, if I wasn’t swimming in my shame that it was my vulnerability hangover, if I had been living in I’m very proud of myself but then looking at it very logically, I could have done an evaluation, which is what I teach my clients in 2K.

And say what worked, what didn’t work, and what am I going to do differently. Because the truth is I did speak last year as well and it was so much better the second time around. I was so much more polished. I had a slideshow, y’all, and it was good. It was on brand.

It looked great. I looked great. I matched the slideshow. I had way more confidence. I even told this funny little joke at the beginning. It was not planned at all. A conversation I had with my fiancé right before I went on stage, and then I just told it on the fly and it was very funny and cute and cheeky.

Then I started and went into a really great story, and I think I kept people engaged. To me, it was a total up-level from the year before. If I’m looking at it with a different lens, it was a total up-level from the time before. And I even had the thought like, well gosh, if she gives me an opportunity again, the next one will be even better. This is just me learning how to speak on stage.

But if I’m looking at it logically, like these are the things that worked, there were things that didn’t work, if I’m being neutral about it. And I could just say what didn’t work if I was willing to look at all the things. What worked, what didn’t work, what we’re going to do differently. I did change it too many times.

I think that’s what ended up being the thing that caused me the most hangoverness of it. I made a lot of edits after I had kind of done it and I lost in the edits what I felt like were a few things that I had tied together really well. Like a few themes that were supposed to be intertwined throughout, that once you added in me editing it several times and taking out a few slides and adding a few slides, and then if you take that mixed with the nerves of being on stage, I don’t think they were as evident when I practiced it.

And I think I could have taught more on one specific part and taught less things and just gone really deep with that. So next time, I’ll make it even simpler and I’ll take the audience through the application of that one thing that we’re going deep on. And I’ll set a date to which no changes are made no matter what.

Now, this is so much more constructive. And when you get to feeling constructive and curious and inquisitive, you will get yourself out of the hangover. It’s like the antidote.

Now, you can get yourself out of it remember, with option number one, which is also just choosing not to think those thoughts, that I could have done better and people hated it. And the people really hated it was really interesting because half the room were my clients. Of course they didn’t. But that was just a thought. So I could totally just disengage from that one.

Those two options are – and maybe used together are truly the antidote. It will just – it’s like taking ibuprofen and drinking lots of water. I remember I did a launch once and I was just reeling in the hangover, and really, the only thing that got me out of it was taking responsibility for the result, like exactly how did I create this responsibility and what will I do to change it, which any time you ask yourself what you’ll do to change it, you immediately give yourself power back.

It’s always the evaluate – that’s why I teach my clients to do the evaluation. It’s so powerful. It felt like going through that process – I remember I was doing it in my head as I was backing out of the driveway. I had been in so much drama.

I don’t remember where I was going. Doesn’t matter. But I was backing out and I was like, okay listen, go through right now exactly how you created this and what you’re going to do differently next time. It was like taking ibuprofen.

I also had a livestream a few years ago. I was in the mall parking lot. So first of all, let’s immediately chalk that up to what didn’t work. Don’t do livestreams from the mall parking lot. And I went live and no one joined, and I was already in this very vulnerable, raw, exposed place in my mind.

I was already in a lot of drama and I didn’t coach myself first and after five minutes, I got off and just bawled my eyes out and deleted the live. And after I calmed down and looked at it logically, again, I could see so many things I could have done better. Coached myself first, have a purpose and stick to it no matter what, work on being okay with people not coming, send a notice out to my list that I’m going live.

There were so many options, so many things really. It was just my mindset was out of control before I went live and then I took action from out of control and just created more things to see as being out of control. So some of y’all have this happen to you. You just don’t disengage with them as the truth and you don’t learn from them.

You just focus on the pain of the vulnerability hangover and then you decide never to do it again. So that’s the first thing is just your thoughts creating that vulnerability hangover and then never doing it again or taking so much time in between doing it again.

Now, the second part of the vulnerability hangover that we’re going to talk about – so there’s your thoughts about you and your work. There are also your thoughts about what other people think about you and your work. They are your thoughts about what other people think.

And they are not what other people actually think. Your thoughts about what other people think aren’t the truth. I know it seems like it might be. Like whatever you think they’re thinking, you’re like, no, for sure that’s what they’re thinking.

And then you’re like no, but they have behavior that backs it up. But even the behavior that you interpret as backing up what you think they’re thinking is not the truth. It’s very important to understand this. That we don’t actually ever know what people are thinking and our assumptions aren’t the truth.

You just got to – if you take anything from this podcast, take that and run with it for a week or two and explore just that. Now, there’s the layer of what you think other people think probably isn’t true, but then there’s this other layer of so what if they do think what you think? So what?

That’s where all the freedom is. Willingness to put yourself in a situation where other people might think thoughts about you that you don’t like. That will strengthen your vulnerability muscle like no other. Because this is really – and why I want to do this podcast, so much bigger than even public speaking.

I think this has to do with who you want to be in the world. Most people don’t show up in their lives as big as they can because they are trying to avoid having people think thoughts about them that they don’t like. So what happens is you give up your dreams and live life outside of your desires just to try to control what other people think about you.

And the question I have for you today is do you want to keep doing that? Now, keep in mind, you can’t actually control what other people think about you. So the whole game of giving everything up for yourself to control what other people think about you, you’re not even winning that ever.

Because it’s like, not real to begin with. We have no control of what other people think. We only have the illusion of control of what other people think. But even if we could control what other people think, is it worth spending all your time and energy trying to control people’s thoughts and opinions at the expense of money you could be making for yourself and your family?

We get coaching submissions in 2K for 2K and we have a section called Ask A Coach. It’s brand new in the member portal and you can get coaching any time. And previously, we did this in our Facebook community, and we get coaching requests often about coaches either not making any money or not making the amount of money they want.

And saying whatever they’re trying isn’t working, and that they haven’t had any consults and they haven’t signed any clients, and then they have a whole story about how they’ve been in business for X amount of time. Five months, two years, whatever, and they’re thinking of giving up.

And I was just answering a question in Ask A Coach, and it kind of jarred my thoughts about this right here, which is I wonder if this person who asked for coaching on this, I wonder how much of their day is actually spent trying to control other people’s thoughts and opinions of them in their business versus actually showing up and being all in with their business no matter what other people think.

Like, making really brave, bold, authentic, vulnerable offers. How much have they restrained themselves subconsciously? They’re trying to make waves as a coach, but also while trying not to make waves with anyone else ever. They’re trying to make a splash as a coach, but without making any splash to offend anyone or make anyone think anything about them that they don’t like.

Because I think this was one of the hardest things for me in the beginning and I don’t think we even catch it. We’re so used to staying in line with how we think we should present ourselves in the world that we don’t even think to question it. We don’t even see it as something we are doing. And I know so many of my clients are doing this.

There’s like, their business that’s authentically them inside their business, being them as a coach authentically, and then there’s them being a coach, trying to control what other people think about them as a coach. And another think to know is that the thoughts that you imagine other people are thinking are really just your own thoughts.

So the question you have to ask yourself is are you willing to feel any and all of what is really your own thoughts? Are you willing to feel that vulnerability and that shame of just experiencing your own thoughts as you move about in the world trying to make money?

Again, we think we know what other people are thinking, but what we really only ever know is what we are thinking. Are you willing to feel however you might feel about you showing up in the world? This is the question to answer.

Because if you haven’t ever put yourself out into the world without trying to be a certain type of way to control what other people are thinking, you haven’t ever really met anyone. What if that were true?

I teach three simple steps to make money as a coach. Meet people, tell them you’re a coach, make offers to help them. But what if you never achieve step one, meeting people, until you stop trying to meet people as someone who isn’t truly you?

So I want to recommend to all of you to notice if you’re trying to control other people’s thoughts about you so that you don’t have to experience the vulnerability hangover. Because if we go back to public speaking, you put yourself out into the world and this is what really – my current a-ha that inspired this podcast is that this feeling, the feeling of shame and disappointment and this that we do of being super critical with ourselves, this whole vulnerability hangover, what if it just is that way?

Like yes, we all need to work on being us and enjoying ourselves. But I think that the first step is being willing not to enjoy yourself. Because we aren’t here to feel good all the time. Life is 50/50. And I used to think that 50/50 that feels bad is just 50% bad circumstances and my brain being negative as it tends to be.

But what if the 50% that feels bad can be so useful in growing yourself and being bigger in the world? Like, 50% of our emotions we need to grow our business are what we would consider negative emotions, and probably 50% of that emotion is the vulnerability hangover, and what if that’s okay?

What if we just became aware of it, like this is what this is, nothing’s gone wrong, I’m just having a vulnerability hangover, and then we stop trying to avoid that. So what if you were willing to teach a class, coach in front of a group, do a Facebook Live, and feel bad before, during, or after?

What if you were willing to get off the live and feel shame and have all the thoughts come flooding in about what you looked and sounded like and what other people thought and whether they were engaged? This was another big a-ha moment I had is one of the colleagues in my mastermind was talking about being – TV appearances, if she wrote a book and TV appearances.

And Brooke, my coach, had said, yeah, so imagine how you’re going to feel after you put yourself out there on national television? And it really hit me like oh, you imagine. When I think about being on national TV talking about what I do, I imagine it’s going to be the most amazing thing ever.

But oh wait, no, as soon as I’m in live in front of millions of people, I’m probably going to feel immediately like ass afterwards. Like oh, yeah, no, that’s really how I’m going to feel is like ass, and do I still want to do it? That’s the fascinating thing.

My answer is yes and I think what if the only reason entrepreneurs don’t do that and don’t aim for that is because they can’t or won’t handle that feeling after? Because that’s really the only difference. We think that the people who show up and teach and do live streams and speak in front of 500 people are naturally good at it, confident, talented, people-persons.

And we have this whole story about who those people are, but that’s just you or me or us using our thoughts about other people against us. And what if that wasn’t true? What if the best speakers in the world, the people on TV were also terrified and lived with doubt and anxiety after?

I just listened to – well, my fiancé sent me a clip of Jennifer Aniston on Howard Stern because he knows I love her. And she talked about having to take medicine before she films because she’s so anxious about it. And I was like, what?

I see her on the Oscars or performing in front of live audiences, filming Friends, or seeing her in movies, and I think she feels at home. That’s just my impression of her. But what if she just has 50/50 too? And having anxiety when she performs, what if that’s just her feeling human? And what if when we have this anxiety and we have the shame and this disappointment and this whole hangover after, that’s just us feeling human too?

You listen to these podcasts and you give such amazing feedback. And I even recently won the best content award at my yearly mastermind with my coaching community. If you were in that coaching community and you voted for me, I am so grateful and I am so happy that you’re loving the podcast.

But it’s important to know that on the regular, I record these and feel terrible. Not a much anymore, but it happens. It’s happened many times this year. I’ll have all the thoughts. This is the one that amuses me the most but also, I believe so often, which is, this one wasn’t good, Brooke’s going to listen to this one and be like, she lost it. They were good for a while, now they suck.

I have ones where I think people will think I talked too fast. I’ll listen to it back and I’ll be like, oh, you talked way too fast. And I’ll think like, oh, they’re not going to be able to follow me. My brain was all over the place. Or this content wasn’t good. I didn’t have a good recording. The sound is bad.

Y’all, you have thoughts about me and what you imagine my experience to be and then you use what you imagine my experience to be against yourself because it is the opposite of your experience and I’m just here to tell you we are having the same experience. At least half of the time.

The only difference between you and I is that I have more practice feeling like ass. I did live shows for seven years, 10 shows a day and at the end, I would still walk around the store for 20 minutes convincing myself to make an announcement even though I felt like barf. It just never went away.

Some days, I was killing it and on top of the world, and some days the anxiety was really bad. But I just kept moving forward and it made me one of the best pitch artists in the industry, and it still feels like that in the coaching industry.

Some days I get off coaching calls and I think all my clients hate me and they’re going to quit, and then some days I’m like, I’m a baller. I’m the OG of making money. 50/50. That’s all it is.

Now lastly, I just want to say my goal is not to give you an excuse to feel anxious or shame or tell you – I don’t want you to indulge in the vulnerability hangover. I want to be clear. I want to bring it into your awareness that it’s a thing that everyone experiences and isn’t exempt from. It’s just part of the game of putting yourself out into the world.

And then I want to give you the idea that you can be constructive about it, or bring to your awareness just some possible false thoughts you’re having that make your hangover even worse. Especially in this scenario where you use your thoughts about other people, like me or other coaches against yourself.

So you might be thinking other people are just naturals, it doesn’t feel natural to me so I must not be meant for it, she’s just so confident and everybody else loves her, or the belief that you can control what other people think, or that you know what other people are thinking, or what you think is true and you have evidence after all.

Or that your results prove all of your terrible suspicions about yourself, like I knew I wasn’t good at Lives and nobody watched my Lives and therefore it’s true. That last one, no, no, darling. Your thoughts. Your terrible suspicions. You have those and then you go on to create all of those terrible results because of them. The terrible thoughts. Not the other way around.

And I do think if you can get to the point where you release yourself from controlling other people’s thinking about you and you stop trying to avoid the shame and the anxiety and the massive vulnerability, and then you put yourself out there more and more and more, so you’re getting in front of people, you’re sharing your ideas often, you’ll get more practiced and used to the discomfort, and eventually you will have more fun with it.

So I don’t think it’s going to feel like as much ass all the time. I feel like even now, it’s more like 75/25 for me. 75% fun, 25% vulnerability hangover. I think my mastermind speech was the best example. I was so excited before I went on stage and I felt like I could just cry from the excitement.

My thought was really like, this is what I want to do as often as possible. I love speaking on stage. That’s how I even felt doing it as I was just, I’m home, this is what I’m meant to do. So that’s the 75% of it can be amazing, especially when you do it more and more and more and more.

The a-ha that I really had that I just want to end with and drive home, being in my mastermind and hearing my colleague speak about it and then thinking about if I were on national television, for me, here’s what I decided. I am willing to feel that even if it were flip-flopped, if it were 75% bad and 25% amazing for a while, or forever.

I’m willing to feel that to keep having the opportunity to do what I love and help others and get better. I am willing, able, and I desire to. I am all in for this life. All of it. So the question is are you? Okay, I’ll see you next week.

Hey, if you are ready to make money as a life coach, I want to invite you to join my 2K for 2K program, where you’re going to make your first $2000, the hardest part, and then $200,000 using my proven formula. It’s risk-free. You either make your 2K or I give you your 2K back. Just head over to www.staceyboehman.com/2kfor2k. We’ll see you inside.

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