Missing My Standing Ovation

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.


  1. Ebony on March 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Love your article here Nancy and down here in Australia we love YOU too.
    You are a superstar! Well done on your journey. I have your book and loved yor appearance at ICDI Sydney 2012. Hope to see you make another one in 2013.
    All the best.

  2. Lissa Rankin on March 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I SO get this! And you really were wonderful, my dear.

    With love and a big cheer

  3. Barbara Sinclair on March 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Oh, dear Nancy, This was so perfect for me to read today! We are our own worst (or best?) critics, aren’t we. We are wonderful, amazing works in progress. You have certainly inspired me this year. Thank you for that! You ROCK! xoxo

  4. Connie Bennett on March 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Nancy, what a truly wonderful post. You’re so authentic and inspiring.

    And how wild that you missed your own standing ovation in New York!

    Did you at least see what a BIG hit you were at the I Can Do It Ignite in San Jose?

    And did you feel how your message landed straight in our hearts and touched us?

    We LOVED you!

    You and your story were riveting, engaging and motivating! You were awesome!

    And your message about showing your imperfection to Louise Hay was quite powerful. Very sweet story.

    By the way, I love your description — “that true connection lives in the sweet spot where my vulnerability meets yours.” Something to ponder.

    Enjoy all your many future standing ovations!

  5. Jose Van Haastert on March 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Nancy, I loved to read your blog today. How true it is for many of us inclucing me. O how I would love to have you waiting for me (backstage) after my own small and intemite workshops to assure thing were exactly the way they are suppose to be. For sure I will start using Louise Hay’s affirmatinon. Thanks for sharing. And I like you to know how much you inspired me at Mirival and after.

  6. Leah Brenda Smith on March 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    My Darling Nancy, Congratulations on being caught in the act of being yourself, which only you can do. Your experience is a true testament to the reality that we all live in the human aspect of our spiritual journey. You can never really miss the standing ovation in life – that you stand up and stand out on the limbs of our collective human concerns is an ovation of the highest order. Bless you sister of light.

  7. Johanna Lim on March 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Wow, yr stories always blow us away. You had me in tears in Glasgow. Can’t wait to hear you again. This time I will bring tissues. I so wish that you will get larger and larger glipses of your own greatness and be able to draw strength, energy and joy out of the amazing work that you do for so many, including yourself. Thanks a million for being you.

  8. Trisha Lotzer, JD on March 21, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Nancy, I’m so grateful that you shared this–I think so many of us can relate to being our own worst critics even in the face of all external indicators pointing to great and amazing success. I’ve been following your posts and discovered your poetry since you spoke at a Hay House event that I attended. Your work and your honesty is inspiring. Thank you!

  9. Christine Berry on March 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    What a beautiful way to share your lesson and let us each see it within us! Inside out job, right? Love how we teach/learn/teach/learn…..

  10. david on March 23, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Your observation that you have only “felt worthiness based on external validation” is too close to my own. I will never be on stage or noticed in any fashion by anyone, and will likely die with this mantra still implanted in my psyche. It’s an awful way to live, and nobody should live this way. Alas, too many of us are. I’ll continue to try and teach what I myself should learn, but never will, and hope that maybe someone, somewhere will be positively affected.

  11. Margaux Joy DeNador on April 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Dear Nancy, WOW. I just read your blog post and I am blown away by how you were feeling. You totally deserved the standing ovation. I know because I was there. I’ll be posting my review of the the San Jose Ignite as soon as I can finish it. You are so inspiring. I love the way you talk to us. You inspire me. I am sending you love and hugs.