I woke up the other morning with a hangover. But not the kind you thought. I woke up with a VULNERABILITY hangover. It reminded me of what I felt as a teenager the day after a slumber party. Maybe you’ll relate…
An amazing thing always happened at slumber parties – right around midnight. That was when everyone dropped their usual pretenses and got “real”. They shared their secret crushes – and their insecurities and fears. They shared the problems no one knew about. They shared their secret hopes and dreams. I loved it – until the next day.
You see, I LOVED listening to what others shared with me. I felt honored that they would be so vulnerable with me. But when it came to the ways I shared myself? That was a different story.
The next day I’d start second-guessing myself. I wondered…
- “Did I say the right thing?”
- “Did I say too much?”
- “Will they keep my secret?”
- “Will they think less of me?”
- “What if they don’t like me now?”
And the worst thing about it was that I didn’t dare ASK anyone – that would have made me MORE vulnerable. So I kept my doubts, insecurities and fears to myself. I hid them – ACTING like I felt more self-confident than I did.
Mostly, the secrets I shared were honored. But sometimes what I shared WAS used against me. It became fodder for others’ teasing and laughter. And that hurt.
So I began to share less of the “real me” at those slumber parties. I protected myself more carefully. At one level, that was really smart. At another, deeper level, it only reinforced my insecurity.
- “If people see the real me, they won’t like me.”
- “Something is wrong with me. I don’t fit in.”
- “If only I could be like ( fill in the blank ). Life would be so much better.”
Sure – not sharing myself protected me from rejection and humiliation. But it also prevented me from being seen and accepted for who I was.
Because this past month, I have been sharing some of the deepest parts of myself AND MY HEART publicly. I’ve been sharing my passion, my purpose and my BIG dream – day after day. As best as I can, I’ve been sharing the “real” me.
It began with my “I have a dream” blog on Martin Luther King Day. It continued with the posts about Nikky’s journey of abundance.
I also stepped out of hiding with the 2+ weeks of “Money Shift” Facebook-LIVES I did earlier this month. One example was the from-the-heart, unscripted [i.e., vulnerable] video I recorded and emailed on Valentine’s Day.
All of which culminated last week when I gave my new Monumental Money Shift webinar for the first time. In it, I shared myself at a level I’ve rarely done. I shared the new paradigm about money and abundance that I consider to be a Divine calling. I did it – even as I realized it wasn’t perfect. And that some people may not “get” it. Even more may not like it – or me.
As I told a friend afterwards, “Well – they know the game I’m playing. They may or may not want to play with me – but they know the game I’m playing.”
And, at one level, it was GREAT! I felt powerful, energized and free. I felt authentic and more fully alive. I felt purposeful and passionate. It was a HIGH in the best sense of the word – and cause for celebration.
But then I woke up Friday morning with my “vulnerability hangover” and felt like the teenage me all over again.
I was second-guessing myself and doubting my message and my mission. I felt afraid, insecure and exhausted. I wanted to run and hide. I wished I could do it over again – AND do it differently. I wondered what the participants thought – and if they thought I was crazy. Or worse, if they thought the webinar was stupid or a waste of time.
In my HEAD, I knew this wasn’t the case. I have EVIDENCE it wasn’t the case – they all joined the private Facebook Group I invited them to join.
But knowing this in my head did nothing to change what I was FEELING. It did nothing to reassure the awkward teenage part of me that had been triggered.
So I did what I didn’t have the courage to do as a teen. I did what many people do to cure a hangover. I had another drink. I put myself out there AGAIN.
I hopped on the Friday morning “Rise & Shine” zoom connect with other members of my Madison Polkadot Powerhouse Chapter. Instead of letting my fears and insecurities take over, I reached out. Instead of hiding, I showed up.
And not only that, I showed up and was vulnerable ALL OVER AGAIN. I shared what I was feeling with them. Not to have them reassure me with praise and affirmation, but to let myself be seen as I was.
I repeatedly remind my clients that their value and worth – their lovability – has nothing to do with what they do or do not do. It has nothing to do with how much money they do or don’t have. That it’s not a function of their successes – and cannot be diminished by their mistakes.
I remind them that their worth is INHERENT – given them by the God of Love who created them in Her own image. The image of LOVE.
It’s EASY to do this for my clients. It’s another thing to trust this Truth when it comes to myself. Showing up on that Zoom connect, admitting what I was feeling – taking another “drink of vulnerability” –– was me trusting this truth for myself.
That was ME loving myself as I was – where I was. And by doing that, I could open to receive the love and support of the other women on the call. They didn’t need to fix me – because I wasn’t broken.
And neither are you, my friend.
In case you’re feeling insecure, afraid, deficient or vulnerable in some way today…Know that you are not alone. Know you are not the only one who feels that way. Whatever you are feeling right now – happy or sad, courageous or terrified, powerful or helpless – know that you are loved.
Know that you are worthy of love. Know, too, that you matter. Trust this. Practice it. Love yourself fiercely… And let others do the same.
It’s the best kind of “hangover”…