This past December, as 2018 came to a close, I did my annual brand review and self-check-in. 2018 was especially meaningful since Eco-Vegan Gal passed the 10-year mark as a website and YouTube channel. I reflected on how I’ve been feeling about myself and my work, and what I want to improve on. One thing that I’ve found myself stuck on for the past few years is resistance. I’m not yet fully clear on what blocks me from accomplishing my biggest goals and my best bet is self-doubt and shame. Recognizing this helped me realize that I want to be more authentic and share more of myself in my work, which takes a lot of courage and vulnerability.
How do you act more courageously and be more vulnerable when you feel self-doubt and shame? My current solution is to just do it, despite the doubt. While this may feel easier said than done, it’s actually not so hard. Many decisions in our lives are truly just a matter of making the decision to do them instead of allowing ourselves to get stuck in the cycle of evaluation and procrastination until we feel ready. I’m not sure if we ever feel ready to make big decisions, especially those that bring up doubt and fear.
It’s fascinating what happens when you deeply meditate and ask your heart what it really wants. My heart was calling me towards a new video series and a whole new YouTube channel. I wanted to start fresh after a decade of running the same channel about veganism and eco-friendly living. A lot has changed in my personal and professional life and I’m not sure that the Eco-Vegan Gal channel still represents me (even though I’m still vegan and eco-conscious). Plus, I feel a bit disconnected from the audience there and I want a much deeper relationship with my community. Connection requires authenticity and vulnerability, and my heart says the best way to do that was to make daily vlog-style videos documenting my life. These videos will require me to be fully real – no makeup, no preparation around my clothing, hair or home. The real me, no matter what I looked like or how my environment appeared.
Being this real feels so much better to me than trying to make everything in my life seem perfect. And I have a feeling deep down that it’s going to connect me with you and other people on a level deeper than ever before 2019. Typing those words confirms that feeling deep in my heart.
With all that said, I introduce you to my brand new video series (currently titled “No Shame”) and YouTube channel (called “Whitney Lauritsen”). I’ve been documenting my days and posting the footage, raw and uncut. If you’ve viewed my videos on my Eco-Vegan Gal Uncensored channel, you’re already familiar with this real version of me, and these new videos go another level deeper. You’ll see me mostly without makeup, without combed hair, wearing the same clothing a few times a week, going through my day. I share the thoughts, feelings, realizations, resources, products and moments I experience.
The videos I have made so far (six as of the time of this post) have been about an hour long each. This feels good to me, despite them being longer than the average YouTube attention span. That’s ok because YouTube is just the distribution platform and these videos might not appeal to the majority. I believe they will reach whoever is meant to view them; whoever is searching for deep, authentic content about wellness and mindfulness; and the most dedicated Eco-Vegan Gal audience members who want to meet the real Whitney.
This is not to say that I haven’t been real before on YouTube, it’s just that I wasn’t as real as I’m showing myself to be in this new series and channel. In most of my previous videos, I tried to look and sound perfect. I took down videos whenever they didn’t represent me best (however I interpreted “best” at the time). I tried to protect myself from criticism and trolls, which never really worked. I was hiding my full self and I don’t want to do that anymore. However, I still have some protection in place…
For the time being, I won’t allow comments or the ability to view thumbs ups and downs on the Whitney Lauritsen YouTube channel. If you want to comment, you can do so under these website posts, via private message (such as on my new Facebook page or Instagram) or via email. Currently, I don’t see a big benefit to public YouTube comments or the rating system, at least not for this new channel. If you have a positive comment or question, use one of the other options. Hopefully, this will keep me from seeing negative comments, non-constructive criticism and other types of trolling, which have brought up a lot of feelings of shame and not-good-enoughness over the past 10 years. I still have a lot of work to do around that and these boundaries are helping right now.
This new series is meant to help me process and work through my shame. As you’ll see in the videos, I’m currently reading Brene Brown’s book “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)“, which is teaching me a lot about this topic. My hope is that these videos help you with your own shame, since I’m starting to realize that most people experience it too. Brene has taught me how to help others with shame, and one of her biggest tips is to share our stories. That advice has helped me be more vulnerable and find the courage to express myself like never before online.
If this new series impacts your life, please let me know below in a comment or send me a private message or email. And if you’re not already subscribed, please join my newsletter list to stay connected and be part of my wellness journey on a weekly basis. You can also subscribe to the new YouTube channel and turn on notifications to be alerted when I post new videos (which is daily, at the moment).
Thank you for reading this. I appreciate you so much.
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