Self Expression & Vulnerability: How To Be Vulnerable [Without Scaring People Off]

We hear a lot that we need to “be yourself” and “be authentic” online, but what does that actually mean? AND what’s the trick to being vulnerable without turning people off? 


I've asked myself those same questions, which is why today’s blog is all about self-expression and vulnerability. Let’s face it, a huge goal for us as coaches is to be vulnerable in our content and position ourselves as experts- all without scaring people off. 


Ya see, there’s an effective and strategic way to be vulnerable, and then there are times when vulnerability backfires and your audience feels like YOU’RE the one who needs support.


So let’s talk about it!


To me, vulnerability means courageously sharing who we are, what we believe, why we believe it, and our stories of triumph. It means not holding back or filtering what we’re saying out of fear, and boldly sharing examples of how we’ve made it through a challenge, or even how we live our day to day lives.


To give you a personal example, it took a LOT for me to share in-the-moment experiences and content on IG stories. Letting people into my life and into my home was very uncomfortable for a long time, but I knew that letting people into that space would help them get to know, like, and trust me much quicker. 


Brene Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. 


So, how have some coaches gotten vulnerability management wrong?


What I’m seeing is people constantly sharing personal stories of struggle, challenges, their wounds, or things they haven’t gotten over yet


Now, it’s okay to share those things for relatability purposes, but if you share those stories DAILY or even weekly, it could potentially be a turn-off and make people think YOU need the coaching or therapy. 


So, let’s figure out how to do this in a way that serves everyone. Self-expression goes hand in hand with vulnerability because in order to express your true self, you have to be willing to accept criticism from others.


It’s just a fact. You have thoughts, beliefs, and opinions that are unique to you, and that someone else might not agree with. And that’s okay.


Maybe you think that having a meditation practice is an essential part of your business, so you share about it online. Well, someone might disagree and think meditation is a waste of time, and might even feel the need to tell you that opinion.


And that’s great! You now know that you weren’t meant to work together.


If you didn’t show up as your most genuine self in that moment, you might have wasted both of your time trying to grow a relationship that was never meant to be.


Self-expression and vulnerability also allow you to live an authentic lifestyle. It’s exhausting trying to live like someone else! You’re going to be more relatable and you’ll position yourself as a leader, when you do you, boo. It’s a brave thing that other people want to see and know about! 


So if you’re ready to express yourself and get vulnerable go ahead and follow these 4 steps to show up as a brave, and courageous leader that your ideal clients can’t wait to work with.

Step #1: Get Yo’ Mind Right

Let’s really think about the best way to express yourself. Like I mentioned before, go in knowing that not everyone will relate… and that’s okay! I have people unfollow me on social media and unsubscribe to my emails all the time. We can’t take it personally!  


You don’t know what’s going on in their life that made them decide to unfollow you, and you don’t need to know.


Maybe their focus or priorities shifted. You can’t assume that they just don’t like you. And either way, it doesn’t matter!  You have people to serve and THAT’S where your focus goes!


I’ve heard horror stories from other coaches about how vulnerability unfortunately backfired on them in their coaching business. And not because they were expressing their authentic self, but it was how they concluded the story or the tone they were using.


So once you have your mindset right we move into ...


Step #2: Be Clear On Your Purpose For Sharing.

Are you wanting to:

  • Inspire people
  • Invoke possibility
  • Give hope
  • Create excitement
  • Support your audience in getting “unstuck”


When you know how to express yourself ahead of time you can make THEM the hero of YOUR story. You’re the living proof of what’s possible, and you want to make them feel that if you can do it, they can do it!


Step #3: List Out Your Results (Or Results Of Clients) 

These are the stories you’re going to tell, and they don’t JUST have to be about you!

  • Share the highs and lows. People like to know they’re not alone when they’re going through the ebbs and flows of business and life. If someone is in a low they can use your story as an example of how things can shift and end up as a high. 
  • Next, talk about the emotions that came up. Tap into how you were feeling at different points of your life or journey into coaching, and tell people about it.
  • Then share any limiting beliefs that happened along the way. These are GREAT to share because oftentimes people aren’t even aware of limiting beliefs until they’re told!
  • Lastly, tell your audience about times when you kept going, even when you thought you couldn’t. Again you’re leading by example and showing people that you understand them because you WERE them.


After you share your stories you then move into …


Step #4: Position Yourself As The Solution

Showing up as the solution for someone is one of the most vulnerable things you can do - especially if you’re working on worthiness.


Give your audience the steps, tips, tools, and strategies you’ve used to make it through your ups and downs.


Part of the purpose of your sharing your story, being vulnerable, and sharing your authentic self is to support people and hold a space for them to feel safe for who THEY are.


You’re being the model of courage and when you do that, people courageously step up for themselves.


Well there you have it, friend. Now you know the 4 steps to effective self expression and being vulnerable .


If you feel like you can use a little support with this, I have your back.  I've created a free Facebook group that FULL of online coaches who are all getting vulnerable in their content just like you. Click here to connect with like-minded people and join now!



Lastly, if this video was just what you needed in your coaching business, please let me know by sharing it with your coach friends.


Until next time, keep building your empire!

xo, KellyAnne



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