Last month, after my keynote at Hay House’s I Can Do It! Ignite NYC conference, I walked off stage and since no one was right there to receive me and to shower me with positive reflection and energy, I immediately defaulted to the negative self-talk. So much so that I even went as far as sending texts from backstage, apologizing for sucking.
I had been out there sharing my story with over 2500 people – about being a recovering perfectionist who has historically only felt worthiness based on external validation, who has now learned that love is an inside job.
The irony is not lost on me.
There I was on stage, teaching exactly what I need to learn.
I came out for my book signing, still in a fog of my own making, and could barely receive the overwhelming positive response: that I was so natural, that it was as if everything I was saying was happening right now, that my conversational tone, timing and pauses created a rhythm for connection…
And then I was told – by several people – that I ran off the stage so fast I actually missed my standing ovation.
Talk about being unable to receive…
I realize now that I was so blown open and present to my own experience up there that I had no gauge for how my speech was really landing, or the impact I was having. I was so wrapped up in wanting to be perfect that I couldn’t even see I already am. The external validation was there, but because I didn’t receive it and take it in, I made the whole experience mean something else.
This past weekend, at our I Can Do It! Ignite San Jose conference where we had so many brand new speakers, I made a point to be right there at the edge of the curtain after each person spoke – since I’m also producing these events, I live backstage – to immediately lock and load positivity straight away. Including myself. As soon as I came off stage, I did what Louise Hay always does and said to myself, “You were fabulous! You did a great job, kid!”
And even though I didn’t feel that was 100% true, I was reminded of “The Right Questions,” in which my dear friend and mentor Debbie Ford asks: “Am I Looking for What is Right or Am I Looking for What is Wrong?”
And now as I head off to I Can Do It! Austin this weekend, I realize that each experience on stage is a magnificent exercise in noticing my attachment, and in letting go. And I am excited to have the opportunity to share my heart with everyone there, devoted to my commitment to service, and knowing that true connection lives in the sweet spot where my vulnerability meets yours.