The power of my vulnerability when I spoke my truth on that TEDx stage was that ‘my connections deepened rather than weakened’. You see I spent so long, 18 years in fact, allowing my fear brain to run the show, telling me that if I were to come out, if I were to talk about these things, that everyone would reject me. I spent so much time focused on that I never, ever gave any real thought to what this could look like, if I were to open up.
Do you know what it did look like? Unconditional love. Yes, there were a couple of people who weren’t able to support me, but for the majority, for the most part, I received curiosity and surprise, concern, love, respect, and my relationships have deepened rather than weakened. People have opened up to me in ways that they never did before. As I said to you, I thought all my work was done. The fact that I was ready to stand on that stage, where I thought I was there, wherever there is. There was still so much to learn, and fear didn’t go away. I don’t know if you know this about TEDx talks, but when you do the talk, it’s live streamed to the world for 24 hours. Whoever happens to be online, watching it, sharing it, gets to see the video, and then it gets taken down.
For 3 months you wait in limbo, in vulnerability remorse, worrying about this thing you’ve done, and whether it was going to be the stupidest or the bravest thing that you’ve ever done. Then they ring you, and tell you that in 5 days, the video is going to be going live. Well, panic sets in, at this point I’m sweating profusely, I’m crying, I don’t know… I’m eating. I don’t know what to think or do, and I thought to myself, “Maybe I should call Angelique, the intuitive. I don’t know why I was grasping at straws, let me tell you. I mean maybe she had a crystal ball, I didn’t know what I was expecting, but I found comfort in the idea of talking to her.
I gave her a call and she said, “How have you been going?” I said, “Oh, Angelique, I’m not doing so good. I’m really worried, the video is going up in 5 days. I have so much worry, and concern, and fear.” She said, “It’s okay Angel, it’s going to be okay.”Let me tell you something.” Last week, she got a call from her best friend of 30 years. She said, “When she rang me, she asked me,” “Have you seen … Do you remember that video that you posted, that Aussie girl, with a blonde hair? She did a talk about shame and secrets on TEDx? How do you know her?” She said, “Oh, I met her through her show, and we’ve become friends, she’s lovely.” She said, “Well, I have to tell you something, me too. I have herpes too.”
Power Of Vulnerability
She said to me, “Kirsty, this is my best friend of 30 years, had never told me this.” Well, she’d just started dating someone and she was pulling back from the relationship, and she said to Angelique, “Do you think I should tell him? He’s been pulling back a little bit too.” She said, “I think you should give it a shot. Be honest, be brave, you know, what have you got to lose?” Well, she told him and it turns out, he had it too. They’re all loved up, by this point, little tears are streaming down my face and she says, “But wait, there’s more. 2 days after that my daughter called me.” She said, “Mom, do you remember that TEDx video that you put up months ago, the blonde Aussie girl, she was talk about fear and secrets? Well, she said that your secrets make you sick and I’ve been keeping a secret from you for 20 years, I have it too.”
She says, “Why didn’t you tell me?” She said, “Mom, I thought you’d judge me. You know I was young, it was one of my first dating situations, you’d told me to be careful. I didn’t know what you’d think.” She said, “Kirsty, the connection that we now have, is just beautiful.” By this point, I’m doing the Oprah ugly cry. I’m just like, “Oh.” She says, “But wait, there’s more. 2 days ago, my niece called me.” She said, “Auntie, do you remember the Australian girl on that video. Well, she said that our secrets could make us sick, and I don’t want to wait 2 decades and a month ago, I was raped and I haven’t told anyone.” For me in that moment, all of my fear disappeared. It was like a tsunami of love washed over me, and I understood that my reason why, had been achieved. Because I had hoped that one person wouldn’t wait 2 decades living with that fear and shame.
What I know is, is that our fullest potential, our best life is on the other side of fear, and you can’t get to it, without going through it. So what would I do, if I weren’t afraid? Me, I’d tell my truth.
* A talk to share.
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Motivational Speaker, Kirsty Spraggon is, “Simply one of the best speakers I’ve seen…” Sotheby’s
‘In my entire professional career I’m not sure I have seen anything so heartfelt, powerful and important. And she is stunningly brilliant as she truthfully and openly delivers her message’