The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 102--How to Self-Promote without Bragging

June 14, 2023 Billy Lahr
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 102--How to Self-Promote without Bragging
Show Notes Transcript

This week, Billy talks about self-promotion. While it may seem daunting, did you know it can have a positive impact on your mental health? Studies show that self-promotion can boost self-esteem, life satisfaction, and overall well-being. Let's explore the power of self-talk. Tune in to learn how to navigate life more mindfully and embrace the possibilities of life's second half.

If you liked this episode, check out these episodes as well:

  • Episode 31--Ride the Wave of Healthy Risk-Taking with John Wessinger
  • Episode 93--Get Authentic with Marques Ogden
  • Episode 94--How to Be Your Own Chief Brand Officer Jennifer Walton
  • Episode 95--How to Find Joy through Disappointing Others with Steven English

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Billy: Coming up on The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Now, last week I told you that we should be promoting other people. And now, this week I'm saying you should be promoting yourselves. So you might be like, Well, dude, which one is it? And the answer, as is often the answer to most of life's questions, is that we should do a little bit of both.

It comes down to finding the right balance. Yes, we need to take time to celebrate the successes of others in our network. But if we can't look ourselves in the mirror and say, You can do this. Now go show the world what you're made of. Then everything becomes about everybody else, and we lose our identity and we lose our drive because we stop believing in ourselves.

Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. I'm your host, Billy Long, an educator, personal trainer, meditation teacher and Overthinker who talks to experts who specialize in social and emotional learning. Mindfulness, physical and emotional wellness, cultural awareness, finances, communication, relationships, dating and parenting all in an effort to help us better reflect, learn and grow so we can live a more purpose-filled life.

Take a deep breath, embrace the present and journey with me through The Mindful Midlife Crisis. Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy La. Thank you for tuning in wherever you are. The purpose of the show is to help others navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. One way I do that is by providing a platform that gives people the space and permission to share their expertise and life experiences so you can use that information to enhance your life with whatever you find relatable and practical.

I also share how cultivating my own daily mindfulness practice over the last ten years has helped me navigate the trials and tribulations and successes of my own midlife crisis. And I'm teaching you how to navigate life more mindfully through my virtual mindfulness sessions. My mindfulness practice has helped me process my ruminating thoughts, anxiety and stress in a much healthier and productive way by reducing my emotional reactivity and impulsive behavior, which in turn has helped me improve my relationships and communication with others. 

And listen, as someone who's in the thick of a major midlife pivot right now. I also use these skills and resources to help me reflect, learn, and grow, because trust me, there are still days I am a hot mess. So just know that you are not alone in your experience. 

So if you're looking for a community to help you better navigate whatever you've got going on these days so you can take inspired and intentional action to jumpstart your life.

Join our mindful midlife community at I also just released my first course called, Mindfulness for Anxiety. For those of you out there who struggle with having an overactive mind and anxious thoughts, something I definitely know a thing or two about because the whole reason I started practicing mindfulness in the first place is because I had allowed my anxiety to spiral out of control.

So I put together this course to teach you many of the same skills I've used over the years to help me manage those anxious thoughts and feelings in a much healthier way. In this course, we define what anxiety is and what it looks like for each of us. We identify the difference between fear, rumination and anxiety. We identify the sources of our anxiety, as well as what triggers our anxiety.

And we tap into the somatic experience of what anxiety feels like in the body, which is what has helped me manage my anxiety the most. So if you or someone you know has been struggling with anxious thoughts, feelings and emotions, visit and click the courses tab to get started. If you're a member of the mindful midlife community, you get 20% off this course as well as all future courses.

I'm also offering 1 to 1 coaching sessions at a screaming good deal for anyone who purchases this course, because I want to make sure that you're getting the most out of the skills and strategies I'm sharing with you. Before we get into the show, I had a funny old man moment here this past week and this has happened to me before, but I just wanted to share this with you.

I have like a rogue eyebrow hair that grows much longer than the rest of my eyebrows. It much faster and I was in the bathroom looking in the mirror, brushing my teeth. And then I just see this extra long hair just by himself, like, Oh, So I plucked that bad boy out. And it is incredible how much longer that one rogue eyebrow hair is.

And I'm like, Here we go. This is what it's like getting older. So if you're having elderly moments like that, if you are having moments where you're like, this never happened to me in my twenties or theses send those to me, I'm curious. I'd love to know how your body is changing, what your mind is doing nowadays as you get older and you're navigating midlife.

So last week I mentioned some big changes were coming to the show. So let's talk about the biggest change of them all. I absolutely love providing a platform for other people to share their expertise and life experiences to help you, the listener, navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. There are also so many people in this world who are willing to provide you with the skills, confidence, tools, techniques and motivation to help you take inspired and intentional action to jump start your life.

And this show has sat out people who I truly think are the best of the best and doing all of that. But here's the thing. Well, I've been too intimidated to do over the course of the last two and a half years is to take the reins and showcase my own expertise. I've been vulnerable plenty of times on this show when it comes to sharing my life experiences, but not so much when it comes to offering you my own insight on what I think will help you get the most out of life.

So the question I ask myself is this. Why is that? What is it about sharing my life experiences and my expertise that makes it so intimidating and downright terrifying to do so? And the answer is a pretty easy one, actually. As someone who often puts a lot of pressure on himself to be perfect, I don't want to get it wrong.

More than that, I don't want to be called out for being wrong on a large public platform like social media. There's also this constant threat that someone or some group is going to try to cancel me for something we've discussed on the show, which is an experience I've already had. I'll tell you what, it wasn't a pleasant one, but if I'm not willing to put myself out there more, how will you, as a listener, ever know whether or not my life experiences and expertise might be just what you need to take that intentional and inspired action to jump start your life?

It all goes back to what John Wessinger talked about in episode 31 when it comes to taking healthy risks. It also leads back to what we talked about with Teresa Sandy when she talked about imposter syndrome. And it also got me thinking about one of my favorite guests of all time, Jennifer Walton. And that's episode 94. Be your own Chief brand officer when she said, quote, I have a very successful business I've never marketed.

I just market myself. I am the brand. And so when I think about this new world of hyper individualism and people as products, you have to understand how to position that and that your service, that your product is you, end quote. Now, during the past two and a half years, I've been promoting the podcast and the guests on this podcast.

But if I want people to connect with me, if I want my life experiences and expertise to resonate with you, the listener, I need to be my own chief brand officer. I need to put myself out there more often and showcase what I know. Because you know what? I've been through some shit. Most of it's been my own doing due to feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

And yes, there are people who have been through far more traumatic experiences that I have. But now I have my story. And, you know, I haven't always had the coping skills to manage those thoughts, feelings and emotions. But I'm in a much better place than I was five or ten years ago. And it's time for me to share more of myself with you, because just like I said last week, I just want to see you win.

I also think that there are more people out there who just have these everyday experiences that overwhelm us or make us feel anxious and that we don't have these traumatic experiences. So how am I relating to the everyman or the everywoman out there? And I feel like maybe that's kind of my role now. So moving forward, the format of the show is going to focus on how I'm using mindfulness and social emotional growth strategies to navigate the complexities and possibilities of my own midlife pivot and how you can use those strategies as well.

Taking the experiment mindset to heart. From time to time, I'll invite a guest on the show just to break things up and to get different perspectives. But moving forward, I'm putting myself more in the spotlight. I started doing this a little bit more when I dedicated the first episode of Every Month to sharing my experiences and my tips for success.

But it's time to take the next evolutionary step as a mindfulness coach, because I firmly believe what I have to share will be a benefit to you. That's why I lead a virtual meditation sessions for a mindful midlife community members every week, and the people in that community who are regular attendees are seeing some really great results. For example, Luke from Minnesota said that he needed something to change in his daily routines because he was burned out at home and at work without giving himself space to heal and rest.

But my weekly mindfulness meditation sessions gave him a space where he can build in much needed time for reflection and rejuvenation. He said this meditation sessions help him be more calm, better able to tackle challenges at work and home, less anxious and stress more attuned to his body and mind, which have all led to feeling more fulfilled in his life.

My one on one client, Lillis from Singapore, said she has continuously marveled at the profound impact mindfulness has had on various aspects of her life, and that my expertise who she thinks I'm an expert. That's so cool. My expertise. She's compassionate and non-judgmental Nature and calm and clear voice create an atmosphere of remarkable peace within her and that each session brings forth new insights and learnings and every interaction we have.

Fosters personal growth deepens her self-reflection and contributes to her overall development. It is kind of incredible for me to get testimonials like these from people because sure, I can convince myself that I'm making a difference. But when you actually hear what that difference is and what it means to people, it inspires me to want to work with more of you out there.

And if you're thinking, Are you just going to touch your own horn throughout this entire episode? Is that what this show has become? Unsubscribe. No, no. I assure you, that's not what this show is going to become. I promise you, there is a method to my madness here. Yes. Am I promoting my services and celebrating my accomplishments? Of course I am.

But the reason I'm doing that is because I want to share with you some research around why you should do the same. Now, last week I told you that we should be promoting other people. And now this week I'm saying you should be promoting yourselves. So you might be like, Well, dude, which one is it? And the answer, as is often the answer to most of life's questions, is that we should do a little bit of both.

It comes down to finding the right balance. Yes, we need to take time to celebrate the successes of others in our network. But if we can't look ourselves in the mirror and say, You can do this now, go show the world what you're made of. Then everything becomes about everybody else and we lose our identity and we lose our drive because we stop believing in ourselves.

So what do I mean by self-promotion? Well, self-promotion refers to the intentional actions we take to highlight our achievements, strengths and positive qualities to others. It's a way of actively promoting ourselves in various areas of life, such as work, relationships and personal achievements. Self-promotion plays a crucial role in shaping our self-perception, self-confidence and overall mental well-being. For example, when we engage in self-promotion, we focus on our positive attributes, which helps to counterbalance self-doubt and negative self perceptions.

This positive self focus can boost our confidence, leading to better mental health outcomes. One study conducted in 2019 explored the relationship between self-promotion and mental health. Researchers found that individuals who engaged in self-promotion reported higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and overall well-being compared to those who were less inclined to self-promote. Similarly, a study in 2014 revealed that self-promotion positively influence how individuals perceive themselves, leading to higher self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

This all goes back to self-talk. Ten years ago, when I was really struggling with anxiety and depression and suicidal ideation, I did not believe in myself. And when I did hype myself up, it was more megalomania and delusion based on my own insecurities and lack of awareness than anything else, which we'll talk about a little bit later. I wasn't getting the validation I craved at work, and even when I did, I didn't see myself as a success because I was so focused on my failures.

It almost felt like an abusive relationship because those moments when I did experience satisfaction strung me along. I remember desperately wanting to leave that position and I applied for every job I could, even ones that just weren't right for me because I was so desperate to get out of that position. But I feel like people could sense that.

But once I started practicing mindfulness, I was actually able to see the impact I was having more and more, which improved how I saw myself, which then built up my confidence to do some public speaking at various conferences. And I started owning my successes and expertise. Now, self-promotion has also been found to strengthen interpersonal relationships as well by sharing our accomplishments and positive qualities, we provide others with a clearer picture of who we are.

This can increase trust, admiration and respect from others, fostering stronger connections and social support. It can also inspire and motivate those around us, leading to a positive ripple effect, much like that ripple effect we talked about last week when I said that giving my guests a platform to share their expertise and life experiences increases the likelihood of my own accomplishments, which inspires and elevates this entire mindful midlife community.

I love giving them a chance to share their expertise because not only does that sharpen our stars as listeners to steal a line from Stephen Covey, but it also sharpens their scores because it gives them a chance to really dial in their messaging while answering my questions. I also enjoy reading off their list of accomplishments during the intro because I'm so impressed by their successes.

I actually let them write the intro and in the form I send them. I include the phrase Go ahead, brag about yourself. Which leads to this next point. Self-promotion is not the same as bragging when you're bragging. You're going overboard about how amazing your accomplishments, abilities and possessions are without considering other people's feelings or interests. Basically, you're just trying to make yourself look cool.

But at the end of the day, most people just view you as arrogant. It reminds me of those old Tenacious D episodes with Jack Black and Kyle Gass that were on HBO way, way, way back in the day, where it make the open mike guy say ridiculous things like attention. If you're off attention, if your ability to move away from the stage because this band is so potent, just sitting near them can get you pregnant.

And that goes back to that idea of megalomania and delusion that I was talking about before. So again, we want to make sure we strike a balance when it comes to self-promotion so that we're not doing it solely for validation and external approval. It's crucial to be authentic and genuine in our self-promotion efforts, as well as consider the needs and perspectives of others.

Being mindful of our motives and the context in which we promote others can help avoid potential pitfalls. So here are a few key takeaways when it comes to the art of self-promotion. First of all, reflect on and acknowledge your achievements and strengths and use those to build a positive self-image. Make a list of all the wonderful things that you have accomplished over your days, and it doesn't have to be anything monumental.

In fact, the other day I was talking to somebody and I dropped this line on them and I liked it so much that I wrote it on a Post-it note and I put it on my wall and it says, Success isn't measured by monuments, it's measured by moments. So what were the moments in which you experienced success? I know it was not a good line.

I patted myself on the back for that one. And then that's bragging. That's bragging. That's bragging. Let me take a step back, because that's bragging. Let's get back to self-promotion. Choose the appropriate platforms to showcase your talents and accomplishments, whether it's social media, networking events or conversations with friends or, you know, like podcasts. The key here, though, is making sure you're reading the room.

Sadly, it's far too common to share what we do for work at a dinner party, which is another episode I'm working on because I hate this idea of asking other people What do you do within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone? Because it just drives me nuts. But I digress. Anyway, people do talk about their jobs at these types of events, but is it really appropriate or necessary to bring up your seven-figure portfolio or even go on and on about all the wildlife you've hunted or all the cool people you've met while traveling the world and your side yacht when nobody asked you or showed any signs of curiosity?

Probably not. So stop overcompensating, avoid exaggerating or making false claims and become curious yourself. You can also celebrate the achievements of others, just like we discussed last week by acknowledging and supporting others, you create a positive social environment that encourages reciprocity and leads to that ripple effect of success. Also, be genuine and authentic in your self-promotion efforts. Go back and listen to my conversations with Marques Ogden.

Jennifer Walton and Steven English, where we focused on authenticity. Those are episodes 93 through 95 and finally, seek feedback and constructive criticism. It can help refine your self-promotion strategies and improve your skills because sometimes it takes another person to help you see what you don't. Maybe you need someone to help you see the line within you, or maybe you need someone to help you start seeing motorcycles.

Whatever it is you need help seeing differently. I'm here to support you through my virtual meditation sessions. My Mindfulness for anxiety course. Am I 1 to 1 coaching services? Don't forget that mindful midlife community members not only get 20% off of all the programs, but you also get 50% off your first month of 1 to 1 coaching when you sign up for my mindfulness for Anxiety course.

Just go to and look under courses for more details. And remember progress isn't linear our growth looks more like the stock market. Some days were up, some days were down and we may not reap the benefits for a while. But if we play the long game and stay consistent, disciplined and patient, you'll see that the stock market always bounces back and so can you.

If this episode inspired you to genuinely and authentically promote your own achievements, please do me a favor and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would share this episode with the people in your life who may find some value in what I share today. Remember the purpose of this show is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life's second half, and I hope this free and useful information provides some insight that will help you reflect, learn and grow.

So with that, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy and loved.

Take care, friends.