If you’ve been following along with The Gutsy Podcast or my Instagram @ThatLauraAura the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed something kind of gutsy called Liberation Week. So for this weeks episode, we’re doing a little Liberation Week recap. We’re going to tell you all about this crazy shit we got ourselves into, what we experienced, how we felt, how other people reacted, and the exercises we did every day. I am so insanely excited to share with you guys my three very special guests on the show today, and that is the Worx girls. So we have Kelli, Kristin, and amber. Welcome to The Gutsy Podcast, ladies.
What is Liberation Week?
So, Liberation Week—where did this stem from? Well, I had a really cool opportunity to work with Executive Coach, Kate Blake, who is based out of California.
One day I was laying on the couch feeling really shitty about myself. I think I was eating a bag of chips and drinking some wine and thumbing through Facebook as many of us do. And this ad popped up with Kate’s face on it. At this time I had no idea who Kate was, but there was something about the video that called me to it.
So I watched the video, I went through the motions, I went through her free consultation call, I talked to her on the phone, I met her, and all of a sudden I was like enrolled in her program. Like it happened overnight.
Working with Kate has been one of the most transformative thingsI’ve ever done in my life. I’ve worked with lots of coaches and programs and have gone to lots of conferences, but there was something about working with her that was completely different. She just had a connection with me and I was able to connect with her and she was able to draw things out from me no one else has really been able to do.
So, she helped me to identify something called a core negative beliefs, which are beliefs inherited from parents, siblings, friends, teachers, etc. and certain scenarios that have shaped the way we both think and feel about ourselves.
And so one day I was talking to Kate and she says, “You know what, to really liberate yourself from some of these negative core beliefs, I want you to wear them on a tee shirt.”
I’m sorry, what? Excuse me?
So a couple of weeks went by, I accepted the challenge and I went to the Worx girls and said, “Hey, this is what Kate’s having me do.” And the response from them was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced. They were all just like, let’s do this together. We want to support you. We want to do this ourselves.
Thus, Liberation Week became a full team exercise at Worx and I got to tell you, some really amazing things have happened.
Identifying Our Core Beliefs
So these aren’t just, you know, I don’t like the way my hair looks. These are deep-rooted things. Tell our listeners a little bit about that process.
For me, that process was very intense . . . I came up with those core negative beliefs and felt so proud that I had found them. And then speaking with Kate, she’s like, “Okay, that’s a word. But why do you feel that way? When is the first time in your life that you felt that way?”
And then I had to kind of give this scenario or that situation. And then that one word I chose actually turned into another word because I really wasn’t getting to the depths of the core negative thoughts I was believing.
Our Three-Year-Old Self
When we are scared, frightened, angry, lashing out, or just have all this pent up emotion that we have no idea what to do with, it’s not the adult version of us doing those things—it’s the three-year-old version inside of us freaking out because we’re doing or saying something that’s quieting her when she really has emotions to express.
So we got connected with our three-year-old selves. And let’s talk about shedding some freaking tears. Tell our audience about this concept.
You’d never tell a three-year-old some of the things you tell yourself. So like if a three-year-old comes to you and they have a dream and they have an idea, you’re not going to be like “Well that’s stupid. That’s not going to happen. Here’s all the reasons why that won’t work.”
So for me, like kind of looking at it that way, it helped me boil down inside what that core belief really was. And it’s not really to get rid of the belief, it’s more to be aware of it so when you react in certain situations, you understand why you might be feeling that way and then you can move forward from there.
There’s no magic number. But our three-year-old self is someone we connect with. But up until Liberation Week, we allowed these negative core beliefs to drive. So going through this, we’re learning how to adapt and understand our three-year-old self and how she/he may react to certain situations.
So these things are still going to come along, but guess what? They don’t get to drive anymore; we’re not trying to shy ourselves away from this or punish ourselves for feeling these things. Again, we are inviting them to come along as part of the process, but we get to be in control.
The first time I talked to little Kristen, it was kinda like, “Hey, um, how are you?” And then I just kind of opened my heart up to just having a real conversation with her. Kate encouraged us to grab something close to us, to make us feel safe, something for comfort.
So I grabbed a pillow and I cried a little bit, but I just had a conversation with her. She didn’t talk back but I could still hear her if that makes sense. So a little awkward in the beginning just to randomly talk to your little girl self. But it was very freeing.
Tell me about the awareness. How have you guys been able to channel when you’re realizing that some of these negative self-beliefs are coming in?
I found that on certain days when I was wearing a shirt, I would experience that feeling. So one of my shirts was, I am stupid. Um, so anytime I get like a feeling of self-doubt or second guess the decision I’ve made, or I try to overthink it, is this going to be stupid? Like the feelings came up because I was aware of it because I was wearing the shirt.
I feel like the most self-aware thing I’ve become so self-aware of is my almost disconnection from feeling when I’m around other people. You ladies experienced that I might be into like a really deep feeling one moment and then *poof* nothing—no tears, not a thing. When I was home creating my list for the shirts, I had like 15—I was sobbing. I wrote my little girl letter—sobbing. I get here and it was, you know, it was different for me.
Uh, and you guys brought that self-awareness to me. Like Kelli, I think you just don’t allow yourself to have emotions when you’re on other people. And that self-awareness has just seriously guided me from that point on. I’m still working on it, obviously, as we keep saying this week, we are continuously liberating. It did not stop and it’s not ever going to. But, uh, I think without self-awareness, uh, it’s really hard to get by. It might seem easy, but you’re just not in tune with yourself at all.
It’s almost like everyone’s walking around on autopilot. Right? We get up, we brush our teeth, we get ready for work, we get the kids to where they need to go, we let the dogs out, we drive to work, we do our thing, we come home, we make dinner, we run a few errands, we go to bed and next day—we wake up and do it all over again. So this is like jolting what we typically do on a regular basis. And I love how Kelli you mentioned, um, being self-aware has changed you about being self-aware.
I went to Chipotle for dinner. Uh, it was sidetracked. I wasn’t supposed to go to Chipotle. I ended up going there and I was standing in the line and there was a woman behind me and I heard her say, “I have always wanted to be that gutsy to wear my hair that short.” And I was like, wait a minute…
So I turned around and my shirt that day was, I am worthless. When I turned around, she could see my shirt and she immediately broke down in my arms. I grabbed her because I wanted her to feel safe. She was a stranger. I didn’t know her and she said, “I have felt worthless all of my life because I was abused.” Boom. There’s my insecurity right in front of my face. And I said, “Thank you for sharing that with me.”
And uh, the amazing part was her response to me was, “Thank you for sharing that, (my shirt) with me.”
We were walking downtown to get some lunch and a lady in the hallway just stopped and said, “Hey, I love your shirts.” Which led into a conversation and then she just completely opened up and told us about one of her negative core beliefs. And I was walking downtown one day and one guy was just like, “Hey, cool shirt.” And I was like, “It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?”
So one of the things we learned, or one of the things I learned too is to just acknowledge it.
So, every day we had powwows. At the end of the day, we all came together. It was honestly one of my favorite parts of the whole process because in that is where I was able to really hear all of you when we talked about our days. So, tell our listeners a little bit about our powwows and what they did, what we talked about, how they felt.
I remember a powwow that was most impactful for me. I wore a shirt that said It’s my fault and, ironically, someone told me it was my fault a few times. The first time didn’t really phase me—about the eighth time, I was like, Jesus, it’s my fault. It’s my fault.
When I left, I couldn’t get out of my head that it was my fault. It totally overcame me. I didn’t feel safe. I almost wasn’t able to comfort little Kristin because I was so overwhelmed by it being my fault. And, uh, the powwows for me were very impactful because we would come in and if anybody was facing something, you kind of made it safe for that person to express it immediately. And I remember walking through the door like, “I don’t feel safe and I need to get this out”. And so you called the powwow a little bit early and we came together.
So the powwows for me were beautiful. I felt like I was finally in a safe place to express what was making me feel not safe.
The powwows were great. They honestly ended up extracting more from me each time than I knew I was willing to give away. It became so easy to do and I liked the fact of you bringing up, Kristin, that one of the most impactful powwows was when you were confronted with one of your shirts that day. And I thought that was really neat because each of us were confronted with a shirt we were wearing the day we were wearing that shirt.
Like, thank you God.
He knew what he was doing. He just really wanted to make sure we got liberated through that. So those were very intimate powwows when we expressed like, Okay, I know you see that I’m wearing this shirt and I know I kind of told you why I’m wearing the shirt, but this person just made me feel like this shirt and I need to tell you why right now because I’m all worked up and anxious.
Expectations vs. Reality
I had a thought of how I would feel wearing a certain shirt. And then once I wore it, I felt something different. And the one that I thought was gonna break me was actually the one I felt like the most badass in. And the one that I didn’t think was so deep, I was a hot mess in.
So what were some of your experiences with some of the shirts you thought your, uh, emotional expectations were and how those differed?
When I wore the shirt that said It’s my fault, I didn’t think I would feel anything. But then I ended up feeling pissed off and I don’t know. Later on that night I had to go like to the gym and just fucking rage to get over it. But like I wasn’t expecting to feel that way when I wore that shirt. And I wasn’t expecting to feel as sad when I wore the stupid shirt. But I guess that’s, I feel like that’s probably the root of like the rest of the beliefs. But the second time I wore it, I didn’t give a damn.
So, I probably would have thought that being expendable or broken would have been one of my zingers. And it’s funny because expendable would probably be the route, the other three in between would be feelings that trickled after that, and then broken would just be like the end. Like, I’m just broken now because of everything before.
When I was wearing the shirts though, and uh, you guys have kind of helped me analyze maybe why I was feeling the way I was feeling, so the week before talking to Kate Blake—sobbing is what I was doing. I went home literally on a run and every five minutes I stopped, went on my phone, and added in another possibility for my shirt: Oh, I’m a disappointment. I was really feeling it.
And then, uh, we got here that week I threw on my shirt and I felt fine. I felt totally fine and my shirt the next day I felt fine. I went throughout the week and then towards the end of it, everyone was having these connections and they were feeling their core lies just really coming out. And I had like one little experience with it, but then after that it was just like, Huh, not feeling anything with this.
But what I came to kind of realize—in combination with as I had spoken on my fear of kind of ‘feeling out loud’—is that I was just primarily okay because I felt super safe where I work. I feel super safe with the women that I work with. I would come into work and I didn’t feel like a disappointment. I came into work and I was wanted. I was remarkable. You wanted to hear what I had to say. And I think that’s what got me through this week. And also being able to talk to you guys throughout it and just know the support I had. Like, that was my most liberating process through it.
So the shirts didn’t do anything, but you guys did for me.
We all experienced our own thing. So I’d be curious: What, what was one of your key takeaways through this process?
My key takeaway was that it doesn’t control me. These things that I have been so ashamed of, but when I realistically think about it, I’ve been wearing them. I’ve been wearing these things—people have seen them.
So for me, seeing the reaction and then being self aware of it—which is another reason that I pulled that out of you when you were saying, Kelli, that you know, “I’m not having the same response. Why am I not feeling anything? The only thing I can think of is that I feel safe with you guys.” And that’s why I challenged you to feel. So you feel safe? So now feel—because you are safe.
It’s funny though, the same day I challenged you to feel, I remember leaving and something happened, right? Made me feel insecure and I was texting like somebody call me, I don’t feel safe. And Kelli immediately picked up the phone and called me. In the moment I heard her voice, I immediately felt safe and then I started to process and vent and comfort little Kristin.
So a big takeaway for me is that I am not alone.
I think for me one of my key takeaways is, man, just how I almost feel like I know a secret that the world needs to know. Like I feel like I’m walking around now with a different lens in my sunglasses and I can see it now and I can feel it now and I can understand. It’s given me even more—I did not even know that I needed more empathy—but it’s given me even more empathy to understand people on a deeper level and why they’re reacting and how they may be lashing out or feeling worried or concerned etc. I can see it all now plain as day. Which is such a gift.
I would like to go off of what you were saying, Laura, like the more empathy thing, It helps me approach, I’m going to quote Kate Blake’s kind of tagline, it helps me approach the way people react to me or they lash out at me by being curious. Like, okay, well what happened to you to make you feel that way and just look at it through a lens of love and compassion. Like what can I do to make you feel better about it?
I have like two takeaways I guess. One of them kind of goes along the lines of what you were saying, Laura, about how you said you held yourself back. And when I started thinking about these five shirts and then putting it all the way back to my three-year-old self and realizing the core beliefs behind those, it’s like, okay, at 24 years old now, for the most part, I’m the one that’s still telling myself these are true. It’s not because somebody else looked at me and said, “Kelli, you’re too unremarkable to be with.”
No. I am stuck in a feeling that I felt years ago that nobody is telling me is true. I am just picking up on things that maybe feel the same type of way and telling them that that’s their truth about me. I’m the only one that’s allowing them to be alive. And that was just a huge realization and epiphany to have that. It’s like, you know what? These people don’t actually feel or think that.
And then that takes me into my second takeaway that even if they do feel that way, even if I’m not their cup of sugar (or tea—woops!), something that Amber told me that I’ve literally been using almost every day to talk to other people—and it’s an amazing analogy, maybe you’ve heard it—it’s that you could be the juiciest, ripest peach on a tree, but not everybody likes peaches.
So even if somebody does not choose me, they don’t stick around with me, it’s not a reflection of me. I’m just not their fruit and it’s okay. That’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with from feeling expendable, from feeling abandoned, from feeling like I’m just this unwanted worthless person that nobody desires to stick around with—for long at least: It’s just that, I’m not supposed to be for everybody. There are going to be people on my frequency that I am meant for and I’m waiting for those people and I’m keeping those people in my life and not worrying about the rest.
So to close us out, I’m curious how this exercise has changed or altered your core beliefs?
Like you said, Laura, they may visit me from time to time. They’re not going to ever go away. But I replaced them with the truth last week. So now I know what the truth is and that is what I reveal. Because I was able to face it: I revealed it, dealt with it, and now when it shows up again, it’s kind of like that moment where you go, I see you and now. I’m more self-aware of it so I can see it, feel it. I’m going to allow myself to feel it now.
Two weeks ago, I would have been like, no girl, you’re strong. And now I’m kinda like, nope, you are strong—but it’s okay to be weak right now. Feel it.
I have an amazing support system and even if I’m by myself and no one is available, I will grab that pillow and hug it and comfort her and talk to her and let her know that she is okay. She is safe. Whatever she is scared of, I am going to beat the shit out of it and then we will carry on.
Yeah, I still talk to my little girl self. So that’s one thing I’m going to keep carrying with me. I’ve probably done it 10 times today. Anytime I feel a certain type of way and like Kelli.
Actually—even sitting in this chair at first my heart was racing. I’m like, I hope they can’t hear that on the other end through the mic. I’m like, Kelli, what are you so afraid of? What is this fear that you have? It’s not this situation. It’s a fear from the back. Like, oh my goodness, I have a voice and people are about to hear it. Nobody cares what I have to say.
No, little Kelli, some people do.
So just self-soothing and self-talk–even if I look crazy, even if I’m like you, Laura, in my car holding my purse sobbing. I’m gonna be that girl because this liberation week has just helped me find me more and take me out of hiding; out of the dark. And by doing so, going back to that whole frequency thing, it’s just sticking with those people and not allowing the others to drag me back down.
I feel like I have more empathy for myself because I can understand why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling. So more self-understanding, more self-awareness, and I can always bet on myself. Like I kind of knew that before, but now I know it forreal cause like I’m there for myself. I can be empathetic and not like, nope it’s not okay to feel that way anymore.
I think for me, I learned that for the first time in 34 years—my ass is ready to stand in that light.
I have shined throughout my life in different aspects and I feel like I have raised up and then pulled back. Uh, it’s almost like a rubber band effect. I’ll run as far as that rubber band will stretch and then I’ll snap it back because anything beyond that might be a little bit too scary for—not for me. I feel like if you looked up gutsy in the fucking dictionary, my face should be there. And I’m okay owning that. So it’s not too scary for me, but it’s too scary for other people.
So the previous version of myself would have felt like anything beyond where that rubber band may have snapped and broke free would have been too frightening for other people or upset people or whatever the case. You know what? That’s theirs. That’s not mine. And I’ve got some really amazing things to do and take all my amazing people along with me and liberation week really taught me that I needed to get pissed off day that I was too much. ‘Cause when you get pissed off, you make a change.
SO, SO MUCH MORE
This was hands down one of my favorite episodes to record due to just how special these ladies and this experience has been. If you weren’t able to tune into the entire episode right now, I HIGHLY recommend doing so when you have the chance! You can hear more on unspoken topics like: Zinger Shirts, Day #1, Vulnerability, Accepting Compliments, and Finding Your Support System.
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