HOW TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF YOUR DEEP, DARK SECRETS
“I am not like that, but it is who I want to be.”
I choked out these words on my November 2 webinar, The Power of Your Deep, Dark Secrets with Kirsty Spraggon, and it was the most raw, most honest, most tear-inducing sentence I have ever said in front of a live audience.
Kirsty was describing feeling joy during times of pain and discomfort from knowing that this is where growth and learning comes from. That in those moments she could get excited knowing that next week she would be a better version of herself. The difference with Kirsty is it wasn’t motivational speaker yak. It was true and you could feel it. This was only one of the moments that spoke to the core of my soul in the quick 50 minutes I spent with her.
Kirsty’s viral Ted Talk, You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets, was a brave examination of a secret that Kirsty had been holding back for years; she had herpes. The talk essentially shone a very public spotlight at the darkest corners of her life, and in the process she exposed our own tethers to the shame and guilt our secrets can create inside us.
Needless to say, I was enthralled by Kirsty’s story, and the chance to have her on our webinar series was too good to pass up. I left with so many inspiring takeaways to apply in my own life, and here are the three that hit me the hardest.
Find your baseline
When I asked Kirsty about her concept of “finding your baseline,” the first thing she said stuck with me the longest.
“It’s like water off a duck’s back.”
Kirsty teaches that our baseline is the place where we feel centered, whole and energetic. When we find ourselves living in a place of fear, or anxiety, or shame, it’s because the squalls of life broadsided us and pushed us out to sea, far away from the safety of our own personal shoreline. And so the key is to then light up your baseline like a lighthouse beacon so you can always find your way back, no matter how strong the storm.
You can’t do your best work from a place of fear or shame. So the key is to always keep that beacon in sight, know your triggers and never be afraid to be your authentic self. Once you know where your baseline is, you can continually remind yourself that your shame or guilt or anxiety isn’t who you are.
Make the shift from energy to intention
When I met Kirsty at a recent C-Suite networking event, light and love practically beamed out of her. I was so drawn to her because she exuded this sort of confidence that didn’t need external validation. She was so assured in herself that I wanted to be around her, to learn from her, to joke with her. It was a physical manifestation of her internal acceptance. It’s something all of us want, whether we acknowledge it to ourselves or not.
During the webinar, Kirsty mentioned how this wasn’t a natural thing; it was cultivated and tilled and watched over like a finely kept garden.
Kirsty used to go to networking events and seminars and feel as though she had to be everywhere, talk to everyone and make everything happen at once. Not only was this draining, but it didn’t allow her to settle into her own self and really connect to people. So when I met her, she’d made that shift to rely on intention instead of energy. She found that when she did that, doors and opportunities opened left and right.
Speaking personally, that’s been my experience as well. The more I find my baseline and live into my true self, the more real and intentional I am, and the more opportunities come my way.
You can’t go professionally where you can’t go personally
“My success camouflaged my unworthiness.”
That quote of Kirsty’s knocked me back when I first heard it. We so often separate our personal and professional selves that we can almost view them as two different people. But listen to Kirsty for even a few minutes and you can see how her own personal revelations over the last five years totally unleashed her professionally to work from a place of love, acceptance and trust.
By her second year as a sales professional Kirsty had worked her way up to the top sales pro in Australia, but she admitted that all that success was hiding her personal insecurities. Even the clothes she wore – professional pantsuits and muted colors – were masks she put on to project power and position. But it didn’t reflect her true self.
Now, Kirsty’s closet is full of vibrant colors, flowy dresses and jeans. Just goes to show that something as external as clothing can be so reflective of our internal acceptance.
I can relate. The first time I went to an FPG seminar to train one of our clients, I tried to be as serious as possible, stick to the content and wore a pantsuit I haven’t worn since. Afterward, the company contacted us and asked that I never train them again. It hurt, but I realized that they weren’t criticizing me, they were criticizing the mask of myself I’d presented. Now, I speak to thousands of people all over the country as my own authentic self. And I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
In order to know our baseline and be truly authentic, we need to sit with ourselves in our feelings and figure out our true selves. It’s a process for sure – Kirsty’s been working at this for 20 years – but it’s so important for us to really pin down who we are, where we’re going and how we can rule shame out of our lives forever.