Step Up And Boldly Share Who You Are With The World
We all know that the more we show up in life and put ourselves out there, the better results we’ll get. We see others doing it, seemingly confident, and watch the positive responses they get. But what stops you from doing it too?
Join Dr. Aziz as he interviews coach and author Lori Richards to uncover exactly what stops us from putting ourselves out there, and how to do it much more frequently and boldly.
Click below to hear this episode!
Lori Richards is aLife Coach, Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator. To learn more about Lori book and coaching, go here.
Coming to you from the Center for Social Confidence in Portland, Oregon. Welcome to “Shrink for the Shy Guy” helping men everywhere from social anxiety to social domination with your host, Dr. Aziz.
Hey, what’s up? We’re going to be looking at you and confidence. That’s what we do every Wednesday, right, as we dive in and we look inward, what’s blocking me and what’s stopping me and how do I have more confidence in my life. How do I break through shyness, social anxiety, self-doubt, fear, whatever’s getting in your way. And with that confidence, you can go out and do the things that really matter to you that you really want to create in your life. Whether it’s finding some awesome women to date and have great fun experiences and sexual experiences and then finding women that you really want to connect with, go deep with, have as a girlfriend, have as a wife, also how do you show up more boldly, more powerfully in work.
And that’s a huge area of confidence challenge that I work with people, day in and day out, one on one and in my masterminds, to help them activate more and more power and confidence in their career. That’s how you show up, how you talk in meetings, how you step into leadership, how you create your own business, how you grow your own business. So wherever you want to use your confidence, this show can help you do that. And I love being with you in this way and I’d love to connect with you more, you can go facebook.com/socialconfidence to continue the conversation there, as well as shrinkfortheshyguy.com. You can send me a message there, a text or even an audio message and we can stay in touch in that way too. So today, we’re going to be looking at how to put yourself out there, fully. Because let’s face it, whether it’s for dating or for business or for your social life, the more you can put yourself out there, the more success you’re going to have, right? I mean, if you can go talk to people, you can start conversations, you can say what you really think, you can share your ideas at work, you’re putting yourself and your ideas and your feelings and thoughts out there more, as opposed to holding everything tight and terrified, you’re going to have a lot more success, a lot more confidence, a lot more responses from others. But it can be scary, right?
Today we’re going to be diving into an interview I did with a coach named Lori Cash Richards who — when I met her, I was at some training event on how to take your coaching skills and practice to the next level because I’m always looking at how to grow and improve myself. I’m always growing and investing in that way. And I met her there and there was something about her that stood out different than anyone else in the room. She exuded something, some level of confidence that allowed her to put herself out there in a really striking way. And as I’ll describe it as I introduce her here in a moment, that’s been my philosophy all along. You see someone that’s doing something amazing that you want to do, go talk to them. Go pick their brain. That’s exactly what we’re going to do today and you’re going to learn how to put yourself out there, how to put those fears and overthinking and being in your head too much and how to just start putting yourself out there in totally new ways. And she is awesome and she’s a writer. She has a new book that recently came out and she’s very poetic in the way she speaks, so it’s really fun and exciting and liberating to talk with her. So, without further ado, let’s jump into my interview.
Dr. Aziz: My guest expert today is Lori Cash Richards. She’s a graduate of the University of Santa Monica, where she earned her Master’s degree, in Spiritual Psychology with an emphasis on Consciousness, Health and Healing. And she’s also a graduate of USM Soul-Centered Professional Coaching Program. She’s a writer, a speaker, a life coach and a workshop facilitator. And she’s the author of the critically acclaimed book, which has won a number of awards, called “Letting the Upside In,” discovering the code that grants us access to the extraordinary treasures contained within our hearts.
And I met Lori awhile back at a training and I knew that I wanted her on the show because she is one of the most warm and loving people that I’ve ever met and that was very striking and what I encourage you to do and everyone I work with to do is when you see someone that’s embodying a way of being in the world, very confident, very authentic, very open, very socially skilled, it’s great to study them, to understand their world, because you can learn from them and you can model them and so, the ability to be so loving and warm and authentic is a very powerful skill and I thought the best thing to do would be to do some modeling and let’s all learn from Lori. Thank you so much for joining us on the show, Lori.
Lori: Oh, it’s my pleasure, Aziz. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Aziz: So, I’m curious, that last part about just being a really warm and loving person, I really mean it. Do other people say that to you? Is that feedback that you get somewhat regularly?
Lori: Yes and I have my whole life that I will tell you not to disagree that I’m getting it now. I speak what you said, kind of hits the nail on the head, I’m more willing and ready and able to embody that warmth and to embody that loving. Now, halfway through my life, I turn 50 in July, than I ever have been in prior decades. And so, with the book out and with everything happening for me as it is, I’m getting that feedback more and more and I love that feedback. And I’ve always received it but it’s like I’m owning it now, in a way I haven’t in earlier decades, really claiming that authentic self-version of me.
I think studying at the University of Santa Monica was a huge help in encouraging me to own the best within me because as I talk about in my book, for me in 2009 when I started at the University of Santa Monica or USM, I knew who I was but I didn’t embody who I was. It’s like I knew it in my mind but I didn’t feel it in my body. And so, going through that Master’s Degree program which is primarily focused on becoming re-identified with the truth of who we are. We become misidentified over many years on the planet. We think we’re a mom. We think we’re a CEO. We think we’re a daughter, we think we’re a sister, we think we’re a wife and we think that that’s our primary identity. It isn’t. It never is. And what really helped me was becoming primarily identified with myself, as a soul having a human experience. And as a soul, my primary way of being in the world is one of warmth and one of loving.
Dr. Aziz: That’s powerful and it’s really shedding a lot of the ideas about how we’re supposed to be and who we’re supposed to be. And you said something in there which I really liked which is — I received the feedback, but at some point, I started to own the best within me. And that’s a really powerful phrase. Can you talk a little more about that? How can we own the best within us? What does that mean?
Lori: Well, it’s such a good question. And the way I did it is I really looked back and I wondered, I got very curious like what did I dream of when I was young? What was it that I wanted before the world or the ways of the world kind of took over. I think we all have this dream or this vision that we hold in our hearts that gets covered over and it’s meant to. It’s designed this way. There’s nothing wrong with this process of our dream kind of becoming … all I talk about in the book like kind of surrounded by a safe that we don’t think we have the combination to anymore but we actually always hold the combination to this safe that unlocks the treasures that are in our hearts and it’s like returning to the possibility of being a divine, loving being or a soul having a human experience.
It made everything in my life different and better. So, it’s like even the things I was doing, like being a mother, being a writer, being a coach got better, when I brought more of the soul me or more of the authentic self or more of the real me into those areas, and when I say more of, I just mean more of those soul essence qualities like joy, grace, beauty, abundance, love, peace and sweetness. It’s why I wrote my book because I went on like a — Joseph Campbell talks about like a hero’s journey where I left the interpreted path and I started to interpret my life for myself.
There’s an extraordinary TED talk I listened to a couple of weeks ago, by a guy named Andrew Solomon. And he grew up gay and he’s my age. When we were growing up, we didn’t recognize gay as gay. We didn’t really know what it was and he suffered a lot as a result and he talks about this suffering but his whole book is about not finding meaning but forging meaning, or sorry, his whole TED talk. He should write a book. I’d love it if he wrote a book. I’d read that book. But he talks about forging meaning and he said the most extraordinary thing. He said, “When we forge meaning, what was wrong, it doesn’t make what was wrong in the past, right. It makes what was wrong, precious”
Dr. Aziz: The idea that we can draw value, when I think of precious, I think of something that’s valuable and the ideas that we can draw value from those experiences through coming up with meanings that can serve us.
Lori: Exactly, and even those layers that kind cover over our dream, it’s not a bad thing. But to reawaken that dream, that really resides in our hearts, whatever it is, it varies and I work with a lot of people who have lot of different dreams. But to uncover that, layer by layer and not make that layering wrong, make it precious. See how we had to protect ourselves, see the belief system or the belief structure we bought into, that became like an encasement, a protection, a misunderstanding, that we couldn’t be fully ourselves, was too dangerous or we weren’t allowed or whatever the misunderstanding was but to remove those layers, those layers are there intentionally and purposely. And at some point in our lives, we just get to start removing them and make our way back to the essence of who we are, which I think in every case, in no exceptions, is love.
When I dive in and join a program or get a product or work with someone one on one, whoa, I get a different level of result, that’s just night and day. And I would love to talk with you more about the second thing which is working together. So, if you’re interested in how to that, how to deepen that, go to socialconfidencecenter.com/ coaching. And there you could learn all about how I work with people one on one. That’s what I do throughout most of the day is work with people one on one and in mastermind groups to help them radically shift. And people can make incredible progress. They could’ve been stuck for 10 years and in 6 months, their life could have transformed. And I would love to have the opportunity to be with you on that journey, support you on that journey. I know this stuff inside and out more than almost anyone that I know and that’s because I lived it and now I’ve been obsessed with studying it for so many years. So I would love to help you on your journey, if that feels right for you. So, go to socialconfidencecenter.com/coaching and then you can fill out a little form there, we can get in touch and figure it out from there. All right, I’ll talk to you soon.
And let’s explore that more. So, I think a lot of people feel fear about putting themselves out there fully. So, there’s a lot of mental planning and calculation and determining, “Should I say this? How should I enter and what should I look like,” and a lot of impression, kind of manage people’s impression of us and to put ourselves out there fully, can be scary and we can have a lot of self-doubt and fear around that. Those are those layers that you’re talking about. How do you help people or in your own life, how have you worked with that to move through those layers or kind of to peel them back to get to that core that you’re talking about?
Lori: Well, you know what’s interesting as you’re sharing that with me, a memory is coming up for me. It’s in my book, I think released in November of 2014. So this was right around that same time. I do meditation every day and I do all kinds of different meditation and this one I just went quietly and into the silence.
And I had kind of on the blank screen on my mind, a scenario unfold during this meditation where I saw this young boy probably 17, 18 years old who was a prodigy painter. He just knew how to paint. And he was in a class, a painting class and he painted a masterpiece and he really created something gorgeous. And his teacher recognized the brilliance in him and invited him to be part of a show. Well, the boy was so and this is almost like a lucid dream that I was having. The boy was so scared about showing his genius that literally right before the painting went out into the floor of the show, he painted it with oil and so they were still wet. He took his forearm and he just smudged the whole painting and I really resonated with that feeling of terror before my book came out like, ” Oh my gosh, is this too long a book. Am I sharing too much? Is this somehow not safe for me?
And so, I took this experience inside the meditation, I took this real world experience of fear that I was having to my mentor, Mary Hulnick. And I shared it with her and she said the most beautiful thing to me. She said, “You are not your book. Your book will have a life of its own once it’s out there but don’t identify with yourself as your book, because you’re not that. You’re a divine being having a human experience of a writer, of somebody that’s created the book. But don’t misunderstand yourself to be the book or the boy in the meditation’s case, don’t misunderstand yourself to be the painting. It’s just one expression of you and I hope to write many, many books and publish many, many books and they’re all just where I am right now in consciousness. And we’re constantly reinventing ourselves, right? I mean, that’s what makes life so much fun is that constant reinvention.
Dr. Aziz: Yes and I think what allows for us to really embody that reinvention is putting wherever we’re at, putting that out there now, whether in this case you’re talking about the form of a book or simply having a conversation with someone or sharing something in front of a group, we just put it out however we are now and that allows us to keep moving, keep reinventing, keep expressing. You know one thing, I’m curious about and I’d love to kind of break it down is that and I think a lot of people listening to might have heard that kind of stuff but don’t really grasp. So when you say we’re a divine being having a human experience, can you say more about what that philosophy is?
Lori: It’s sort of what showed up in the middle of my life that changed everything for me. I’ve always had a belief in God so that wasn’t hard for me, that was kind of easy for me, even organic for me. I’ve always had a belief that I’m a child of God, a child of creation with a purpose, that for many years, I just didn’t know. Sometimes we identify with what happened in our childhood and sometimes, I mean, I had quite a lovely childhood actually, with wonderful parents, but not all of us did.
And so we become misidentified with ourselves based on conclusions we made about ourselves many, many years ago that are seeking resolution and are seeking an updating, almost like software in front inside of a computer. We get these updates all the time on our iPhones and it’s like new versions of the same software’s come out. It’s like we get to keep updating the software of who and what we think we are. And frankly for me, the most useful update I’ve experienced is this update of imagining myself, imagining the possibility of being a soul, a loving being that’s existed before I came here and that will exist after I leave here.
It’s come in to physical form as a gift, whose primary process in being in physical form is learning growth and healing. So it was like — it wasn’t hard to shift into this new identity but it was a different orientation than I was used to, where instead of fearing that I might make a mistake, that I might fail, those two things, mistakes and failures actually became opportunities through the lens of the learning consciousness, through the lens of my primary orientation here is one of learning, growth and healing. And when I say healing, that didn’t make a lot of sense to me when I first heard it, like what do you mean healing? What am I healing? All we’re healing is the misunderstanding that we’re anything other than a beautiful whole being having a human experience. So, healing is like, as Ron and Mary Hulnick would put it, “A return to essence,” a return to the essence of who we are.
Dr. Aziz: Yes. I love that. Like in our core, we’re this amazing human/more than that, this entity in a human body and that is just magnificent and divine and beautiful. And yes, we don’t see ourselves that way often times. It’s like hyper focus on, I made a mistake there or I don’t look good or whatever we can get absorbed in that. And so you’re saying that the healing is letting those things go and seeing through them.
Lori: And literally, at the first very sentence in my book, Aziz, because this is what was so useful for me. I’ll just read it to you, I’ve got it right here, it’s on the back of the book too. This is how we do that. How we get to that inner being. So, I wrote, “To see the world as it is, we must first see ourselves as we are. To see ourselves as we are, we must look through the eyes of love. When we look through the eyes of love, we see that we, like the world, are extraordinary, gorgeous creations, made from, through, in and of love.” It’s like when we look at ourselves through soft eyes, it’s a much more accurate view of how the universe sees us. We think that the universe or God or spirit is judging us. Many of us were taught that through the village in that we came up through. But when we start to identify ourselves as divine beings having a human experience with the primary purpose being one of learning, why would a Creator be judging us? It doesn’t make any sense at all. And so why are we judging ourselves, and so to look at ourselves through soft eyes aligns us or at least, my experience has been, it aligns me with something much gentler than what I was conditioned into. It feels much more organic, if you will, much more aligned with the truth of what is than any form of judgment I could bring in.
Dr. Aziz: So how do you think we can do that? So we’re in a situation and our mind is just going at it. It’s criticizing something we did or is predicting that something we’re going to do is not going to be received well or not going to be liked and yet we want to shift, to see ourselves through the eyes of love or with soft eyes. How do you go about doing that?
Lori: Probably the most important thing to remember for me and everybody else is it’s a practice, it’s not an event. It’s a process not an event. And so, I’m of the idea of gamifying it, making it so that it’s fun. When we move into judgment against ourselves, catching ourselves and saying “Oh, wait a minute, if I were to look through soft eyes here, if I were to look through the eyes of love, is there another way of seeing this and then just consider the possibilities.
And one of the things that really helped me as well is I remember hearing this and it really getting my attention. And it’s very simple and it’s just a slight variation on something we all heard when we were kids but it’s talking about when we’re talking to ourselves. And what we heard when we were kids that is, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all, right? And so, it’s like taking that inside of ourselves and using it for our own good, if we don’t have anything nice to say about ourselves, than let’s not say anything at all. But if we do have something kind to say, let’s be kind to ourselves. Let’s acknowledge ourselves a lot more than we have in the past. Really look at our day through soft eyes, instead of through the harsh eyes of judgment and look for ways of acknowledging ourselves, look for ways of being kind to ourselves.
Dr. Aziz: That’s such a powerful practice. I’m a big believer in retraining our brain and our patterns of focus which then lead to patterns of feelings and just action in life. And one thing I’ve been doing for a little while now, not that long, maybe just about a week but it feels really good. So, the commitment was to keep it up for the rest of this month, but here’s what it is. I have a list of 10 for the day and I want to fill in the list, which is what’s going right in my life or in this moment what’s going right.
And I tried the gratitude practices in the past but what I like about this one is it gives me room to write something I’m grateful for, something I’m proud of, something I handled well, something that I have no control over that just was great, like it was a beautiful sunny day and I could take the time. As I have been doing that, it’s really powerful to shift our focus and one question I wanted to ask you, Lori, is what is that resistance, sometimes I’ve seen in myself and others, there’s almost a resistance to letting that in and we don’t want to see the good in ourselves at first. We kind of have to work around that, what do you think is happening there and how can we work around that or work with that?
Lori: Well, such a good question, and you know what, it calls forward for me is back in 2005, I chose out my marriage of 17 years. And I probably felt more resistance to choosing out like that was like a 100 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of resistance, like I just really — I really, really, really wanted to stay in that marriage. And it was a process, the resistance, it’s like as you say that, it’s like I don’t want to minimize it, I want to go straight to where I felt intense resistance. And then think about your question in terms of how did I work through that and the answer that comes to me is I remember it’s such a strange memory but I live in California and I live right by the ocean and so back in 2005, I think it was every Wednesday, I was going for a walk with a friend and her two or three-little old daughter and we put her daughter in the stroller and we would just walk right down by the water — actually, we were kind of up on the bluff so we were as close to the water as we could get but we were probably 250 feet up so it gave us this beautiful vista.
And I was new in California back then, I’ve been here a couple of years and we were walking down in a place called Malaga Cove which is in Palos Verdes and they have this beautiful church called The Neighborhood Church that sits up on this buff and we were standing at this balustrade and her daughter was kind of playing in the grass and my whole world was sort of crumbling around me, I felt like I was just falling through this bottomless abyss. Even Einstein’s natural of gravity felt like it had failed because I couldn’t find my footing anywhere that made any sense to me based on what I believed for the first 40 years of my life. And so we’re standing at this balustrade looking out over the water and all of a sudden we see this spray come up out of the water and my friend who I’m walking with has been there for many years and I looked at her and I said, “Did you see that?” And she said, “Yes, it’s a whale.” And so we watched this whale in the bay — it’s not really a bay, it connects out into the ocean but it comes kind of in so it’s kind of calm and we watched this whale and it seems like, and I’d never had an experience like this before.
As I watched that whale, the words that came to me, the way through this was slow and steady, slow and steady like the slower and steadier, the better. I didn’t have to do anything fast and it took me about 18 months before I was really ready to call that marriage complete. And so, it’s like that whale — watching that whale, this awareness came to me. I don’t have to move so fast through life. I didn’t have to know ahead of time what I was going to do. I didn’t know that if I was going to stay in or out of the marriage. And like I said, I was feeling this extraordinary resistance of leaving but ultimately I knew, leaving was the most courageous thing I could do and it was what would serve the highest good of all concerned and I didn’t even know what that meant at the time but I just kept trusting, I learned during this 18-month period, how to trust my own instincts in a way that had been dormant in me for a long time.
Dr. Aziz: That is all the time we have for today’s interview. Next week, we’re going to diving into more of that interview with Lori and you’re going to learn about some really powerful concepts about how to let more good into your life, opening yourself to receive more from people, more love, more connection, more praise, more recognition. We have so many blocks to that, don’t we? We want it on the one hand and we kind of cringe and try to keep it away or get the spotlight off of us and another so you’re going to learn how to let more of the good in, you’re also going to learn how to relax out of your mind and get into your body in a way that produces a greater sense of confidence and peace but also greater response from others. So we’re going to diving into all of that and more, next week. Stay tuned for that, and until we do though, we’ve got to get you into some action. Don’t we?
Your action step for today is to take what you learned in the interview and use it to put yourself out there more this week. I don’t know where that is for you but you do. You’re going to just ask that question, “If I were to put myself out 5% more this week or 10% more or 3% more, what would I do, what would I say, how would I be?” Could be real small, maybe wear a different kind of shirt, maybe you sit in a different place in a meeting. Maybe you open your mouth more in a certain situation, maybe you make more eye contact with people, whatever it is, putting yourself out there more.
That’s your action step for this week. So, rock that and I’d love to speak with you more in the next episode. And of course before then, you can always reach me at shrinkfortheshyguy.com. And also if you don’t know about my site, socialconfidencecenter.com, that’s got tons of videos and trainings and there’s four e-books you can get through that site, all for free on different topics, super valuable stuff, so go there to socialconfidencecenter.com, if you’re eager to dive into this stuff right away. This podcast is just the beginning of the ways that you can rapidly accelerate your confidence. So, rock that this week and until we speak again next week, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. Talk to you soon.
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