I am an excellent man behind the scenes and I’m excellent at make others shine. However, I’ve had an itch to do this for myself my entire life but have never been able to. I’ve refused to step fully into the spotlight. In here, I reveal why. Go together in this journey of self-discovery and be inspired to move from being a person behind the scenes into a person in front of the curtain.
159: Stepping Into The Spotlight
I’m very glad to bring this show on the concept of stepping into the spotlight. It was unplanned, off the cuff, but always forming rant when my guests for the show canceled last minute. I came on and did a Facebook Live speaking about this evolution, this transformation I’ve had my entire life about my tendency to be behind the curtain, be behind someone else into the work I’ve had to do to step into the spotlight, starting off with my communication course. It’s been a very long process and I did some work with NLP Marin and saw some potent parts of my psyche that I’ve lived in fear. This is a show about my transition from being the man behind someone else into the man in front of the curtain. If you enjoy this show, please give us some stars or some reviews. They feel so good. Go to your favorite podcast app, Stitcher, iTunes. Leave us a review and leave some stars. We’d be so grateful.
I’m excited to be here talking about topics every week I come here. Sometimes I have a guest, sometimes it’s me ranting. I was supposed to have a guest. The advantage of having guests is that there’s not a lot of prep work. You show up and do your thing, read their stuff and then you interview. When I do my own show with my own rant, there’s a need to come up with a topic. When I got the cancellation, I was like, “I don’t want to do it. I want to hang out. I want to avoid being in front of this camera, on this microphone, on Facebook Live being watched, being judged, being thought about.” It’s important for me to continue to push myself forward no matter what because it’s important. This show is moving into the spotlight, which is something I’ve been doing a lot of work on for the last years. I went to an NLP Marin workshop. A big kudos out to Michelle and Carl of NLP Marin. They’re pretty magnificent and pretty awesome. They did an outstanding job. Michelle taught this class called Money Magic. Money Magic was exceptional when it came in terms of doing some investigation. I found out some interesting things about myself. I have been the guy who’s always been able to be behind the curtain or behind another person to have them be successful.
The Man Behind The Scenes
I built OneTaste. Nicole, my business partner, was exceptional out in the spotlight in the front and I was exceptional behind, the man behind the scenes. I did the same thing with my next business. I’ve talked about this before. It’s been this challenging progression to learn the belief in myself, to think that I deserve to be out in the front. I’ve been doing this show for years on some level. Every week I come up here and put myself in front of the curtain into the spotlight, but there’s still been a part of me that thinks I don’t deserve it, like this should be someone else. It’s been challenging for me to believe myself that I have because we are taught from very young that we’re not worthy. We’re not important. We’re taught all these negative mixed messages. I was at this NLP Marin workshop and Michelle had me do this exercise. What you do on this exercise is you stand and turn around. You find that point of your conception. You put a little spot on the floor. That’s your conception. Then you walk back to the point where you felt your trauma started like this moment, this part where you didn’t feel worthy. This is how I heard it. You find a spot. You take a step and then I stopped. Then she said, “When you stopped, what age came up for you?” I was like, “Four,” which was weird. Most of the time when I think about challenges in my childhood, challenges in my family, I usually think seven but I was like, “Let’s go check out four.”Fear keeps us from knowing how awesome we are. Click To Tweet
I don’t remember much from being four. I remember getting a dog when I was three, but I don’t remember a lot about those times. I went to a source. I went to my sister and I said, “Can we have coffee?” She said, “Sure.” I went the next day and I said, “Did anything happen when I was four?” She was six and a half at that point. I said, “Did anything happen at that time that you remember?” She started to tell me some stories about what happened during that time. It felt like there was some strife between my parents. It was the 1970s and she had the set role of being a housewife. That’s what women did, and she wasn’t gratified in that housewife position. I thought she went back to school at five or six but found out that she went back to school right before my fourth birthday.
What happened was that in my three to four year in this time when I was so used to having my mom’s attention and that solid availability, all of a sudden, I was in daycare. She was heavily involved in school, her own expansion and her own growth, which is awesome. It was such a powerful example for me to watch my mom not to accept the status quo but go forth and find her joy, which is so challenging for parents, especially for demanding kids like me. I was a demanding kid. Between three and four, I didn’t get this. I didn’t have the Cortexian Logic of supporting my mom. I thought, “Where’s my mom? Where’s this person? Where’s this love? Where’s this limbic system that I was so familiar with?” What happened between three and four is I got into a state of utter fear, like rampant fear.
The Parts Of The Brain
What else I learned at the beautiful and magnificent NLP Marin was that there are four parts to the brain. There are two parts that they call the creature brain. This is the fight or flight reptilian brain and the limbic system. These are parts of our brain that we do not have thought access to. Then there’s the cortex and this splits it up into the prefrontal cortex which is the human brain. The creature brain in my understanding of this is the part of the brain that whatever it survives, whatever it goes through, whatever it lives through, it wants to go back to. If I survived being in fear in my three to four and five-year-old, my creature brain said, “That worked out great. Let’s keep doing that. Let’s keep creating situations where I can feel fear so I can keep going.” The human brain is the opposite. The human brain says, “Fear is dumb. Fear doesn’t feel very good. I don’t want to be in fear.”
There’s a conflict between what they call the human brain, the thinking part of the brain, the cortex and the prefrontal cortex and the creature brain. They’re in a debate, they’re in an argument. If not handled, you tend to end up in circumstances that don’t feel good or in your human brain, but to the creature brain it’s like, “I’m in fear. This is normal.” I realized that I’ve recreated this process of fear time and time again throughout my life in different circumstances. There was my childhood. I grew up in a household dominated by my father. I was always deeply afraid of my father because he had a temper. He had a belt and he had different things that had me live in fear. My parents did an outstanding job with me. I’m not saying they were bad parents. It’s quite the opposite, they were magnificent parents. They provided. They were intelligent. They supported me. We talked about sex and about love. It was an open household, but it didn’t matter.
What was formed in that three to four years when my mom found herself and went off to school was total and utter fear. That got recreated in high school, that got recreated in college, that got recreated in grad school, in my first job, my second job. I’ve created systems of fear time and time again. Even now in this relationship with Morgan, which is by far the best, ultimate, incredible, loving, dynamic, spacious relationship, I still feel fear. I still fear when I’ll do something, she’ll respond. This has nothing to do with her. This has to do with my brain, my habits and who I am, but the training of who I am has gotten me to the situation. I’m a big guy with a big personality, a big appetite and moves very fast and I feel this fear inside of me that I’m going to do something to piss her off or hurt her feelings or screw up or just be me enough to have her feel bad. There’s that feeling.
My entire life has recreated situation after situation where I feel fear. What does it have to do about being behind the curtain? That fear of being pushed away or aside or abandonment has kept me in a state of always wanting to protect myself, to always wear this protective cloak around me in order not to be abandoned again. What that does is I’ve always kowtowed, I’ve always bowed to others and not been willing to say, “I want to be the man in the center. I want to be the man in the spotlight.” One of the examples was interesting to me.
When I was a kid in ninth grade, every lunch break we’d eat quickly and we’d go play basketball with all my jock friends. What I would do is I would go in and play basketball and I loved it. I loved being with all the cool kids because I felt so much less. I felt so much less than. Then what I found was I was the guy on the court who could set up others to succeed. When other kids were playing basketball with me, they were better players. They scored more points because I was the guy creating the lane. I was the guy feeding them the good passes. I was the guy who would give away my spotlight because I didn’t think I was worthy of who they were. I was very willing to say, “You’ll be the star and I’ll be the guy to create the space for you to be the star.” When I was in high school there was this party. I don’t know if you remember high school parties. I certainly do because it’s part of my traumatic experience. This was in my freshman year. I was standing around drinking bad beer trying to not throw up the bad beer. There were the cool kids, there were the cute, cool girls, the cheerleaders, and the popular girls. There were the nerdy guys like me on the corner watching the cool girls wishing one cool girl would come over and talk to me or I can go hang out with the cool kids and feel cool, so I could talk to the cool girls.We live in a world where we don’t confront the things that ail us. Click To Tweet
At one point in the party, I noticed a bunch of the cute popular girls and the cool popular boys move away from the backyard party and I followed them, “What are we going to do? Are we going to play Twister? What’s going to happen?” I followed them and ended up in the kid’s room, whose house was Michael’s. All of a sudden, I found myself in that space. They put some music on, it was probably the Genesis or something like that. It was a bunch of boys and a bunch of girls. Then my mind looked around very quickly and I figured out that there are four girls and five boys and this was the make-out scene at the party. There was one extra guy. Looking around the room, it was very clear who that extra guy was, it was me. After 30 seconds of trying to extricate myself from this, trying not to totally look nerdy and some kids nudging me in the ribs like I’m the one who’s stopping the make outs because I’m the extra guy, I got up, opened the door, closed the door and ran from that party. I ran home. I felt so depleted and so defeated in this lack of worth of who I was. These are the things that stop us from knowing how awesome we are. These painful memories, these traumatic moments.
Fast forward to now, as I continued to try to figure out how to be out in front of the curtain, how to find the self-worth. I don’t know how I came across. Most people hear my podcast or talk to me and I’ll do something like this and they’re totally shocked because I know I played the cool, calm collected, well. I know that I’ve got the mask and the facade to be like, “I’ve got everything handled,” but inside is still that quivering three to four-year-old and that quivering fourteen-year-old, that quivering 28-year-old inside OneTaste. I was nervous about who I was and I’m still quivering. The only difference between now and then is I have a deep understanding of the mechanics of what it takes to be the one to move in front of the curtain, to be willing to say, “This is my time.” I did a workshop with three other excellent teachers years ago: Eva, John and Kendra. I remember this deliberately because I was working with John Wineland, who I respect a lot. I said to him, “Just put your name on there. I’ll just be the guy, I’ll be like the sub teacher. I’ll be the extra man,” because I didn’t care about my brand.
This was 2016 before I confronted, I was going to write a book. I remember that feeling of giving me the power and him looking at me like, “I don’t think that’s right Rob,” and caring for me at that moment. Here it is now with this thing, this opportunity coming up and I was going to be in front of a room of 40, 45 people talking about communication, teaching. I’m finally going back into the teaching because I’ve missed it so deeply. I’m talking about my absolute favorite topic, communication. I’m so excited. This is not just a communication course. This is not just an opportunity to be in front of the room. This is not just content for my media product. This is not just a push for the book. This is me finally, after years of not truly accepting the mantle of being the man in the spotlight, finally saying to the world, “Yes.” We set up this weird matrix for ourselves to limit ourselves and make ourselves small and minimize who we are.
I’ve done it on some levels, some degrees less, some degrees more. My friend, Jillian, said, “You’re kicking yourself out of the back of the house to the front of the room.” I thought that was so apropos. It’s saying, “I deserve to be up here.” Those 40 people, “You listening, you reading the book, if you don’t like what I have to say, I bow.” I’m like, “That’s cool. That’s totally all right but I’m not going to not go up out of fear of that.” There’s a difference. We all have haters. We all have people who judge. We all have people sending negative, “You can’t do that. Stay small or don’t go big because I have to get big.” There’s all this pressure. The point is that I’m not listening to that little inner voice inside my head that says, “I can’t do it.” I’m going to do it and I would rather fail miserably. I would rather fail an epic failure. Those 40 people left there and go like, “That was shitty.”There is always a way to get out of the hole, and it takes confronting. Click To Tweet
I would rather that happen than me not try at all because I know, you know, we know when we’re taking the easy way out. We know when we’re taking the shortcut. We know when we’re not living up to our full potential. I refuse to keep myself small one day longer. That Saturday, that’s the doorway and that’s the moment and I’m so excited to see what happens. What’s the method? What are the steps to get there? How do you go, “Rob, great for you. Thanks. Thanks for the story, Rob.” How do you get there? The pragmatic method that I want to reveal to you, the first step is always to confront it. We live in a world where we don’t confront the things that ails you. We sit in the status quo, the comfortable, “I’ll never be anything. That woman will never talk to me. She’s way out of my league. I deserve to work a minimum wage job. I don’t deserve to write a book or a song or do a painting.”
We live in that, “I know it’s never going to happen.” When you say to yourself, “It’s never going to happen,” it’s never going to happen. The steps to do it is to confront and say, “I want to change this part of myself and I’m going to do it.” For me, from that experience with John, Kendra and Eva, I said, “I don’t want to be like this anymore.” Morgan standing behind me was like, “You have to write the book.” Then going to therapy and untying this, doing my journeys and untying this and going to workshops like NLP Marin and untying this so I can see. Confronting it, investigating the impact and then the commitment to do the thing that you truly want to do to open yourself up and expand yourself. That is so key and that’s what we don’t do. We sit and would rather sit with the possibility than the reality to avoid X, Y and Z to avoid the rejection, to avoid the judgments. You do it by saying, “I want more.” Then finding help, finding a teacher, finding a therapist, finding a gender group, or finding a twelve-step group or whatever it is.
Spend money, don’t spend money. Your complaints, you’re saying the reason you can’t do it, it’s bullshit. There’s always a way to get out of this hole, but it does take confronting, investigating and committing. I’m committing. I’m going to represent you to commit to getting off the couch. Stop watching Netflix. Stop being in that mediocre relationship, so you can have everything you want. That’s about it. I’ll see you. I’ll do a little report about how the course goes and I’m excited to report. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you got a little motivated. I got a little nutty there at the end, a little excited. Hopefully, it will spark something inside of you, so you can live the life you’ve always truly, deeply wanted and never thought you can have. Go forth, get some nookie. I love you. Take care.