"Are you kidding me?! You want me to what !?" I said in an exasperated way to my inner self. "You want me to tell my story on a stage in front of everyone !?" "Yes!" My inner voice said.
I refused to even consider it for the longest time.
In my former life, over 20 years ago, I was an actor/singer and I had no problem teaching, facilitating even performing and singing in front of unlimited amounts of people. BUT telling my story in all its vulnerable messiness was very different from a technique I was teaching or part I was playing, or even a song I was belting. This was going to be sharing my vulnerable no BS truth... LIVE - ON STAGE-IN FRONT OF EVERYONE!
Speaking my vulnerable truth; revealing my guts in front of strangers seemed inconceivable to me just a short year ago. In fact, my journey to speaking on the Speaker Slam stage took me many years to finally convince my outer self of what my inner self was tugging at for soooo long.
For years I have been on a profound personal quest to create a deeper connection with others and with myself. What I discovered was that the only way I was going to achieve that, was with my own skin in the game. That is, my own willingness to let others in deeply and vice versa. Oh but this scared me to my core.
As a veteran psychotherapist for over 20 years, I had my presentation down pat as a super together wise soul, that encourages OTHERS to be authentic. But over the years I was starting to evolve more into a kind of therapist that skillfully picks and chooses some personal material to reveal to the client.
But never ever too much or too deep so that I can always maintain impeccable professionalism.
Also I came from a family-culture that deeply promoted the idea that one never airs their dirty laundry out in public... But my own therapy process showed me that my inner demons and my quest to overcome them, could only be truly transformative for me and for others, if I shared my stories widely and furthermore, I needed to share them in a very personal way.
I had written a book called Find Your Self-Culture in which I teach others to search, find and live life from their true authentic self as a key way to overcome depression and anxiety. I speak about how this is quite conceivably THE most important quest one can go on. And while I did walk that talk in my marriage and with a hand full of chosen close people, letting others, I mean strangers into to my deep self, my pain, my journey was just not in the cards.... so I thought.
And then the deep inner voice started to nudge at me HARD... I mean harder than hard.... "Show people who YOU really are... it will help you AND them." It started to whisper. Then it would get louder and louder.... the more it did, the more I protested vehemently. I begged and I pleaded...."Why do you want me to?.. I don't want to!" But the nudges turned into massively persistent pushes and darn right unabashed kicks in the arse to just keep revealing my deeper real self!
My inner being often demanded that I speak more and more authentically on my Facebook Live show Courageous Conversations which initially I had started just as an instructional platform to help others.... but the views were only moderate until I got real... really real. So I knew I was onto something important that others related to.
When I started telling others about me, my struggles, my vulnerable truths, my fears and my hopes, this is when people started to really connect to me and to life’s lessons.
Personal stories create indelible sparks of awareness in other people’s souls.
This is deeply in keeping with my life’s purpose: Using my knowledge and my expertise to awaken others to stop multi generational patterns of dysfunction in as wide a way as possible.
Sharing my vulnerable, authentic self is like ringing a bell that resonates in other people’s hearts and is the game changing bridge to connection and understanding. Once you go down that route, you cannot un ring that bell.
Thus my journey to the Stage really amped up.
I decided to contact Speaker Slam and whoah there was spot for me within a couple of months in the “Love Lessons” theme! I was kept up at night with the deep nudge that dared me to talk about something I had never ever shared publicly... my 8 year infertility journey and giving birth to a healthier version of myself in the process. I cried when I realized that I was not going to talk about something that was less painful. My inner being shot down every other topic I suggested to myself. "Nope... you gotta share the deepest stuff to created the deepest impact.”
So I finally complied.
And I am so grateful I did. AND ever since then my soul feels lighter and a bit more healed. Also I know that others have benefited deeply from me telling my story.
My 3rd place win felt good. I'm not gonna lie.. I did want the top spot... but I promised myself I would rejoice and feel a deep pride in myself just for entering the competition and for my courage to deeply reveal my guts.
I adore this Speaker Slam community..... It nurtures the part of my soul that no longer is content to just be safe and hidden.. Time to rise and fly and SPEAK!
- Victoria Lorient-Faibish MEd, RP, CCC, BCPP, RPE
Journey to The Stage...
This is a series chronicling the journey of our speakers from the moment they sign up to compete and what it takes to get there. What was their experience once they took the stage and afterwards? We find out!
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Victoria Lorient-Faibish MEd, RP, CCC is a Registered Psychotherapist, relationship expert, life coach, author and keynote speaker. Over 20 years of practice she has developed her own brand of holistic psychotherapy, combining traditional and Eastern approaches to empower clients and strengthen their relationships.
What is Speaker Slam?
Our Inspirational Speaking Competition features 10 competitors going head to head and heart to heart, to deliver 4-6 minute speeches based on a monthly theme with a chance of winning cash and prizes valued up to $5000. Our winners have gone on to get paid speaking gigs, TEDx talks and online notoriety.