123: What to do when you feel like shrinking


Episode 123: We all have moments where we feel like shrinking. Like we’re not enough or when trying to grow outside of our comfort zone just puts us too far outside our comfort zone!

Today, I talk about that and share how it happens to me, and what I do when that vulnerability hangover comes to visit!

Thanks for listening, I hope that it serves you!


Hey, you’re listening to Episode 123 of The Art of Living big. All right, so I got another email. And this has been kind of fun. I’ve been getting lots of emails, especially since we did that episode series on talking to your subconscious. And in Episode 118 and 119, we did that goal setting thing and then we implanted the goal setting thing into the future, right. So I wanted to quickly share with you before we start the show,

a story that I got

that was just so fun, I thought you would really like it. If you haven’t done the actual exercise. Maybe you listened to the episodes, but you haven’t done it. Please do it. I’ve been getting loads of messages about this. And so the message is just starts. This woman and I have messaged in the past, she’s been a longtime listener of the show. And she said I wanted to let you know that I actually did manifest something. It was clear and amazing. I decided it was time to focus on my finances, which are in dire need of help. In your time travel episode, finances were my goal. I wrote down a number, a number that doubled my current yearly income. I envisioned the scenario in which I met my goal. I meditated on it, and then walked away. I didn’t have a plan on how I was going to get there other than some well placed personality traits. Life got busy, I didn’t even get to meditate on it again. A couple of days after I found out that my sister in law was selling her t shirt company. In case you didn’t know my husband is a pro wrestler. And I have been making his merchandise to sell it. I was poorly equipped, which is putting it nicely, and she was selling everything I could ever need. I knew with it, I could still create his merchandise, but also branch out. I can make merchandise for other wrestlers or straight to consumers. So I gave her a call, I asked for a price. And we decided to talk about it again over the weekend. I showed up that Friday and found all of it sitting on the porch. She gave it all to me. She literally handed me a business. She said she thought about it. And she couldn’t shake the feeling that instead of selling it, she needed to give it to me as a gift. She said God told her to do it. And she felt so strongly about it that she wouldn’t even listen to my arguments. To put this in perspective. She had decided to sell all of this stuff back in January. She kept putting it off. And she didn’t know why. She said Well, now I do know why I’ve been putting it off. It was all meant for you. I was so blown away that I didn’t even realize that I had to ask for that I had asked for this just one week prior. It took until the next day. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I realized that I had worked to manifest this in my life. I was ready. And I was prepared. I had put it out into the universe and I was answered. She felt so strongly about it too. I believe that all the higher powers are really one thing that we each interpret in our own way based on culture, what I call The Universe, she calls god, it’s all the same. So I wanted to share that with you because what has happened is that she had an idea. She had a vision. She told her subconscious what it was that she wanted. She told the universe, our subconscious is what connects to the universe and our collective consciousness. Okay, so she told it, she put it in the cosmic crock pot and just let it sit and do its thing. And then she opened her awareness when you tell your subconscious what you what you want, your awareness opens. And so she became aware of I mean, if her sister in law has been trying to sell this stuff, or thinking about selling it since January, she probably

didn’t hone in on that could be something for her.

But when she told her subconscious what she wanted, suddenly she became aware. So I hope that that story inspires you. There’s so much greatness out there for you. If you haven’t done those episodes, make sure to go in and do the practice, do the implant of your goal into the future. All right,

now on with the show.

Welcome to the art of living big. I’m your host, Betsy Pake. And this podcast is designed to share interviews and new ideas to help you redefine what could be possible for

your life. Now,

let’s go live big.

Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. So today I’m gonna do a show on something that a lot of people would probably tell me not to. or not to talk about, or not to admit that this happens. And this happens to me. So the idea of shrinking I have this thing and I think maybe I got this from Bernie Brown. But it’s called a vulnerability hangover. Have you ever heard of this phenomenon? So it’s basically like, we’re You’ve shared something or you’ve told a story or you’ve exposed yourself to somebody in a way that made you really vulnerable. And then the next day you wake up, and you have that feeling like, Oh, I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I said that. And you know, Bernie brown talks about this. If you’re not familiar with Rene Brown, she is a researcher who studies shame. And it’s fascinating. She has a really wonderful TED talk that has had millions and millions of views. And it’s a wonderful talk. And I’ve heard her speak about that Ted Talk, and that when she did it, she did the TED Talk. And then the next day, woke up and called her girlfriend and said, like, I can’t believe I did this, I can’t believe my husband, let me go to this, I can’t believe I like I can’t believe I said the things I did. And her girlfriend was like, it was great. Don’t worry about it, it’s fine. And then as like millions and millions of people started to watch the TED Talk, she became like more and more sort of horrified, which I find so interesting, because I thought that TED talk was amazing. Everybody thought that TED talk was amazing. And so here’s the thing is that sometimes when we step outside of our comfort zone, and we share something, or we do something that’s different, our brains really want to keep us small. they they they sense it as they are brain as they are brain is multiple, but our brains sense that as, like fear and danger. Here’s what I think. I think that like way back in caveman days, I had to be really afraid of things like I had to be constantly aware of my surroundings, I had to constantly be aware of where my potential food sources could be, I had to be aware of every little sound and every little thing that was around me, right, I had to keep alert, so that I would stay alive and really being alert and being the kind of brain that was hyper alert benefited me. And it made me like have this survival rate that was so much higher than somebody who was like, aloof and not paying attention. And so now today, we don’t need that kind of alertness in the same way. So I can walk my dog up the street, and no Tiger is gonna come and eat me. You know, I can talk to friends and I can eat something, I can go out and eat at a restaurant. Like I’m not constantly scanning for food, like there’s so much of our life is different. But my brain isn’t all that much different. And so my brain still wants to scan and look for danger. So here’s what I think here’s my philosophy on it, here’s what my, my idea is that we have these edges. So when we were cavemen our edges were like, as far as we could, like, use our senses to identify and be aware of things, right. So I was listening for things, and I was smelling different things. And I was like, my edges were really far. So that I could sense when something approached, and, and breached those edges. But now, like, now, my edges are, like way in close to me. I mean, I can, I don’t have to be listening or thinking about food. I mean, I go to the grocery store. And there’s,

like, so much food, like half of there’s food, there’s even Franken food, right? So like being hungry isn’t necessarily something that I have to worry about in this country in my life. But my brain still has this desire, right? So I believe my edges goes right in close. And then my brain says like, Oh, well, let’s be afraid of that. Let’s be cautious of that thing. Look at that thing she’s doing over there. That seems different. Maybe that’s what we should be concerned about. And so we end up having this vulnerability hangover or this feeling that we want to shrink, because we’ve breached those edges. Now, here’s what’s happening. Here’s what happens to me. And so as somebody who owns a business online and has a podcast, I find that time to time right before I’m about to grow.

So like I have these hopes and dreams, and I have a vision of

what I really want. And the vision is clear. And it’s compelling. And it’s exciting. And it feels really fun to think about. And I know that there are a lot of versions of me from where I am right now until I get to be that person that lives that life. That is that vision.

And so as I as I get closer

to everything New Version there is this like, period of growth and expansion that suddenly becomes highly uncomfortable. So I’ll give you an example. I love doing the podcast, I would do the podcast, I was gonna say I would do the podcast, even if I don’t get paid, but I don’t get paid to suit the podcast.

So clearly I would do

the podcast, even if I didn’t get paid, like I love. I love doing the podcast. And I love interacting with people that listen. And I love the good feedback. And I love the critical feedback. Like I love interacting with people about it. Like, it’s really fun for me, I have even run an ad on Instagram so that more people could find it,

you guys could help me by

by giving a review on iTunes, that would actually help people find it, but I run an ad to it. And when I do that, I noticed that there’s a jump, in listens. And I noticed that there’s a jump in views of my Instagram profile and followers on my Instagram, which is exactly what I want. And exactly what I would need to do in order to grow, right. And this is an all like an ego based thing. This is like from a marketing and business perspective. And I want people to engage with me on Instagram, and find me on Instagram and follow me on Instagram, because that’s how I believe I can have the biggest impact. If they can read something that I’ve written that impacts them or makes them think differently. Like, that’s my whole goal. So of course, that’s what I want. And of course, that is leading me towards the vision of what it is I want to have and do and be in my life ultimately. Now, when I do this, and I start to notice that those things that I want are happening, I get that I’ll wake up in the morning, and I’ll be like, haha, like, I hope I didn’t say anything wrong, I hope I won’t be misunderstood.

I hope they like it’s scary.

And you will have this in your life to maybe have a podcast, maybe you don’t. But it doesn’t matter because you have this in your life to where you have an idea or a vision or a goal of what it is you want to do or be or have in your life. And as you become the next level of the person that gets closer to it, you probably suddenly feel like, Oh, I don’t want to be on social media, like I don’t want anybody to see me. Sometimes you might notice like I do a digital detox. And that’s for reasons like I want to be more present with my family and stuff like that. But it’s also comes into my awareness when I start feeling that compression, that that vulnerability that like I don’t Am I enough to be seen? Am I really is the vision that I really have for myself

too great. Like, is that really too late? Is

that somebody that I could really become? Now? The answer, of course, is yes. And if you are wondering that about whatever it is that you want to be or become or have or do, the answer is yes. I’ll tell you right now, I know I don’t even know what your thing is. But if you’re thinking it right now, I am telling you the answer is yes.

Because you wouldn’t be

thinking it or wanting it or feeling it if it wasn’t designed for you. And I mean that. Like I mean that in my soul, I believe that. And so I know the thing that I want is for me, but it’s still I have these moments where I just want to shrink, where I’m just like, Oh, don’t look, don’t look, don’t look.

And I don’t want to be

I don’t want to care about the good feedback, or the bad feedback. Does that make sense? So I don’t want to, I don’t want my feelings, my my resolute my, my determination to hinge on either of those things. I don’t want to be looking at the good feedback or the emails that are great or any of that as much as I don’t want to focus on the stuff that’s bad. Like, I want that to be out of the picture. It’s awesome to get feedback. And you know, I’ve gotten negative feedback, critical feedback, and I appreciated it. Like I want to know what people think. And I’m happy to know I made you feel something. But I don’t want my ability to grow to that next level to that next person to hinge on that stuff either away. Right? So when you feel yourself starting to shrink, when you feel that need to go inward and remove yourself. I have some thoughts and these are the things that I have done that have really helped me. One is I think that that feeling of shrinking is it’s based in fear. And I think it’s also based in scarcity. Like that’s probably not for me Who am I to think I should be doing that. Right? Do I really want people looking at me and my stuff like is my stuff worth that? Well, yeah, of course it is. So in your stuff is to so that is fear And that is scarcity. If I want to become who I want to become if you want to become the person who can achieve the vision that you have, you have to be able to take action. And you have to be able to take action in a big way, in a bigger way than you ever have before.


all that you’ve done before is what brought you right where you are right now, which may be progress on the journey. But if it’s not the absolute destination, then you’ve got to go bigger, you’ve got to go just outside that edge. And keep going, even though you might feel like shrinking. So when you want to take an action, when you want to manifest something bigger, you have to it has to be on the physical plane, right? It has to be an action, I can’t just sit here and think this is what I really want. This is what I really want. No, I have to actually take action, that’s going to cause that may cause that feeling of constriction. But if it’s motivated by my vision,

if it’s deliberate,

then I can keep going. And one of the ways that I have started to work with this when I feel that construction, is to remind myself that it’s simply action that I’m at the edge, and that my brain is doing this to keep me safe because it loves me. And I do some self soothing. Now one of the things that I use, literally every day, like all day


EFT Emotional Freedom Technique. Now, if you’re on Instagram, I did an igtv like explaining how to do this. And I also put it on my YouTube channel and it linked to my Facebook page, so you can find it there. So I don’t want to teach it on here because it’s too hard if you can’t see me. But I literally use EFT it’s called tapping also. So I’ll tap to self soothe. So I feel that feeling of like, Oh, I want to shrink, I want to shrink. But I don’t want to shrink I want to grow I want having this feeling is really good. Because this means I’m expanding to the outer edge of where I have been. And that’s what I want. So tap, tap, tap, self soothe, remind myself that it’s okay and remind myself that it’s okay to feel like this. It’s totally normal and totally natural. The second thing that I do is a quit. I know you’re like what I quit. So sometimes last week was an example. It was like, I don’t remember what day was Tuesday, Wednesday, something freaky happened. I don’t know. I just was like, I just felt like yuck. And so I quit. I was like, I’m gonna quit. And I’m not doing this anymore. And I’m going to start back up again tomorrow morning. So we was like, 430 in the afternoon, maybe. And I was like, I’m done. I’m done. But I’m gonna pick back up tomorrow. So I allow myself to just quit. Now that may seem like kind of weird because in my head, I know I’m not really quitting. But I allow myself to my brain. I say to my brain, you know what, I’m quitting? I’m not gonna do it. Don’t worry, it’s okay. It’s okay. And I feel like that helps me calm down a little bit and helps take it outside of what I’ve been focusing on. Because remember, like I’m if I’m worried that I’m Focus, focus, focus focused on that one thing that I’m feeling or one thing that I’m worried and and many times that feeling that vulnerability hangover, that thing. I can’t even identify it. I can’t. I can’t say, Well, that’s because I posted such and such or, or, you know, I can’t identify it.

That’s why the EFT comes in so handy.

And it’s also why when I say okay, I quit, my brain relaxes. And then I’m still on the edge, right? I’m still right where I was. And then in the morning, I pick back up. Now here’s what happens when I sleep. And here’s why this is so important. You’ve probably heard neurons that fire together wire together, right? So in our brains, the things that we’re always doing are the things that are becoming more and more and more wired in our brain. So I don’t have to think about driving my car because I’ve done it so many times it has become wired in such a way that I don’t have to think like Okay, put my blinker on, if I’m going to turn left look like I don’t have to think through all that stuff that has been fired together for 30 years and wired together. So our ability to learn and to grow isn’t just about creating these new connections. It’s also about pruning old connections. So it’s about getting rid of the synapses that I don’t need anymore. So have you ever had that time where you’re like, Oh my God, my brain is just like, I just feel like it’s full. It might be. So here’s what happens. You have these synaptic connections between your neurons, right? So the neurons that fire together wire together, they create this synaptic connection and things sent over that that connection, things like dopamine and serotonin, other neurotransmitters, they’re sent back and forth over those connections. Now, in all of that, so if you can think of all these, your brain with all these different connections, and some of them are becoming stronger, because they’ve fired together and wired together, but some of them are just sort of taking up space, they’re not really doing anything, right. So we have cells in our brains that are basically like gardener cells. So their job is to just prune out all of these connections, that that aren’t, aren’t being used. So here’s how it works. The the synapses that aren’t being as active that aren’t being used, get gets marked with a protein. And then these cells called glial cells come and attached to those proteins and basically weed them out. So when does this process happen, it actually happens when I sleep. So it happens at night when I sleep. Or it happens, like if I can take a nap, even like 10 minutes will allow those gardener cells to go in and prune out the crap you don’t need. So here’s what happens when I go, Ah, screw it, I quit, I chill out, I do some stuff with my family, I eat dinner, I go to bed, my brain gets cleared out in the morning, I feel clearer, right? I feel fresher and clearer and ready to go. So my second tip for you is to allow yourself to quit and get a good night’s sleep. And in the morning, you really will feel better. And there’s a biological reason for that. Okay, so my third tip, when I wake up in the morning, and I’m like, okay, I feel better. But I also know this is going to happen again. Because that’s part of expanding and growing. And so what I try to do is really get focused on the reason what it is I really want. Now, I know I’ve said this before, and I know you’ve heard this before, but lots of times, we really know what we don’t want. Like we really know, we don’t want to have to keep working at our jobs, or we really know we want a different boss, or we really know all of these things, right? But I try to get really focused on what it is that I do want. And I get a vision of it, what it would actually feel like and in the morning, you know, we all have our morning routines. And not every morning includes like a visualization. But I do try to, especially at those times when I just want to shrink, I have to actively remind my brain of why it’s so important to do what I’m doing. And you have really important things in your life to to do the things that you’re doing, and to move forward on the dreams that you that you’re dreaming. And you know, maybe you have something, maybe you maybe you want to open your own business, or maybe you want to be a coach, you know, there’s a reason you’re thinking that. And if you dismiss it, if you start to feel that little bit of vulnerability, and you go, it must not be for me, forget it, you’re missing out, you’re missing out on what really could be and what really that vision could be and grow into. Another vision that I have right now is different than it was in the beginning. It’s grown and it’s changed and it’s evolved, and it’s become clearer. So you don’t have to have this crystal clear vision of every little thing because that you might not even know, you might not even know where you need to get clear, but

try to get a vision of what good things could happen and how it could feel. You know, I tried to be really deliberate in that vision. And I tried to even slow down and I say, Okay, well, you know what, my vision makes me feel really alive and expansive, and even peaceful. And so then I go, how can I do that? Now what can I do today to feel really peaceful, like slowing down sometimes, I’m still moving forward, but maybe I’m slowing down just a little bit so that that vulnerability hangover is, like less than it’s less of an impact. And then when I feel rejuvenated, then I go hard again, then I push forward again. So the the need or the want, or that feeling that you just want to shrink and just nobody Look at me is totally normal as we’re expanding. And so one of the other things I try to do is really get excited that that’s happening. I go Oh my God, I hate this. I hate this feeling. When this happens, it just makes me feel like crap. I gotta tell you that when I have that thing where I’m like, Oh my god, like I just all start to notice stuff, right? So I’ll put something on Facebook and then I’ll notice like nobody will say anything. I mean it’s on any other day I wouldn’t even notice that but on the days where I’m having trouble vulnerability hangover I, I’m like, I’ve noticed that right? I feel like oh, no, nobody likes me. But it’s it’s not that it’s not that it’s that my brain is looking for danger. And so it’s making me heightened alert. Now here’s the thing. As I’m doing this, if I can then focus on what I really want, if then I can focus on how it would really feel to have the vision of what it is I really want. If I can focus on slowing down and and finding a reason outside myself and even loving that this is happening, what is going to happen, the neurons that fire together, wire together. So those are the things that are going to get wired together. I don’t want those things to get pruned. So don’t focus on the crap you don’t like don’t focus on this is a biological reason. Don’t focus on how much you hate your job. Because you want to start your own business. Just focus on how you want to start your own business. Let those things be what’s wiring, let those be the connections that are getting stronger. So if you need to self soothe, and use EFT if you need to get focused on the vision, if you need to quit for just a few hours, if you need to take a good night’s sleep or a nap, I give you permission, do all the things because if you are growing, and you are expanding, and you have a vision for who you really want to be and how you want your life to be, and it’s different than what you have right now, you’re gonna have moments where you have a vulnerability hangover, where you feel exposed and when you wonder if you’re good enough.

I do

happens to me once a month.

And so

I’m here to just tell you that there’s a reason for it, and that you can

overcome it. You can do it.

You have so much good stuff ahead of you and all those dreams that you want, that you’re thinking about. They’re meant for you.

And once you believe that, that

is how you live a big life. See you

guys next week. And as always, here’s a little message from my husband.

That’s it.


Meet Betsy!

I'm Betsy Pake!

*Ocean obsessed

*Probably hanging out with my dogs


*Deep thinker

Hey There!

About Betsy

Hi I’m Betsy and I’m a subconscious change expert.
By day you can find me digging deep into the unconscious beliefs and identity of my clients so they can move past self-sabotage and lack of confidence and gain traction in their career and life.