The Identity Factor Podcast

You Are Still Enough With Dex Randall

July 23, 2023 Robin Keesler
You Are Still Enough With Dex Randall
The Identity Factor Podcast
More Info
The Identity Factor Podcast
You Are Still Enough With Dex Randall
Jul 23, 2023
Robin Keesler

Dex Randall is an expert not only in taking humans from burnout to leadership but, more importantly, in helping them to re-connect to their good heart and to what I would call their true identity.

Join me as Dex offers powerful insights into the healing journey that we all go through in our lives and for this invitation to remember the oneness of your humanity and that no matter what you are going through that you are still enough.

If you enjoyed this episode, share it with the world and help us spread this message to someone else that might be needing to hear it right now.

You can find more of Dex Randall on his website and also via his Burnout to Leadership podcast.

The live, grand finale summit event is open for registration and you can sign up for this powerful event at

See you there! 

Show Notes Transcript

Dex Randall is an expert not only in taking humans from burnout to leadership but, more importantly, in helping them to re-connect to their good heart and to what I would call their true identity.

Join me as Dex offers powerful insights into the healing journey that we all go through in our lives and for this invitation to remember the oneness of your humanity and that no matter what you are going through that you are still enough.

If you enjoyed this episode, share it with the world and help us spread this message to someone else that might be needing to hear it right now.

You can find more of Dex Randall on his website and also via his Burnout to Leadership podcast.

The live, grand finale summit event is open for registration and you can sign up for this powerful event at

See you there! 

 Hello, my friends. Welcome to the Identity Factor Podcast. My name is Robin Keesler, and I will be your host. Let's go. 

Hey, we are gonna be continuing this conversation around leadership, identity and mental health, and we're gonna jump right in with, uh, one of my favorite coaches, Mr. Dex Randall. He's the host of the Burnout to Leadership Podcast.

One of the things that I love about the work that Dex does so much is really that he focuses so much on helping people reconnect with themselves. And the truth of who they really are and their good heart. And I just, I love your podcast, Dex, and I love all the work that you do. So I'm very honored to have you here today.

And if there's anything else that you'd like to say as far as to introduce yourself, go right ahead. Otherwise, I'd love to just dive in and, and pick your brain around, around this conversation. No, we're good. Thank you. Okay. Sounds perfect. Well, let's dive in. Um, first thing, Dex, I would like to, to start with sort of defining some terms, if that's okay?

Sure. So first of all, Can we start with what it means to be a leader? I think really a leader is somebody who draws performance from the people that they work with, and it also is the glue, the cultural glue that binds them together towards common vision. But I think if it really, leadership is really pulling out performance from the people who are working around you.

And what are the ways that people do that, that we like, and what are the ways that people do that that we don't like? Good question. Well, I think it's, it's grounded in emotional and psychological safety for me. The more and more safety you can create, the more you can invite people to participate at the highest possible level of contribution.

The higher and higher they'll perform and the, and the stronger and stronger their loyalty and common efforts will be. So high performing teams are really the teams that trust one another that are all active contributors. Nobody feels they can't participate. Everybody brings their best creative, freewheeling challenging ideas.

And for that you have to have safety. So a leader really. The leader of the highest performing team will be the one who trusts and empowers and respects and draws answers from all of the people around them because really, uh, I mean, it's scientifically proven. A diverse team will always outperform an individual.

Doesn't matter how smart the individual is. So if the leader wants to be the one with all the answers, it's a very self-limiting situation. Yeah. And also if they're very dictatorial, if they're like, you're gonna do what I say, no performance ever, ever really flourished. Totally there. People won't grow, people won't expand.

They won't, they won't challenge the status quo. They won't bring new ideas. Innovation always sits on safety. I love that. How can you create more safety as a leader, do you think? Well, there is a, there's a foundation kind of set of rules of psychological safety, but the first one of those is inclusion. It needs to be a, a flat playing field where everybody is seen as being deserving, as having the same human status.

That's kind of inclusion, safety, that's the first thing as being allowed to have a voice. Everybody has the same voice. Everybody is expected to be candid and honest with one another regardless of rank. Yeah. So it needs to be a flat organization. Yeah. And then we start looking at what, what encourages contributors safety, how can people feel safe enough to pipe up and give their ideas with no humiliation, no blame, no shaming, yeah.

Of the people. And then you, you kind of draw people up into that. I love it. Inclusion, a very warm and non-judgmental inclusion, which encourages every voice and encourages people to dissent. If they don't agree with something that's happening, they're encouraged to challenge the status quo because that's how you find problems.

Solve them. Totally. Yeah. And that's how we grow. That's how we learn. Like if you're, it's one of the things whenever I'm teaching, um, I remember I was teaching a workshop one time on relationships and we were talking about boundaries, manual and all the things. And some of that stuff can feel kind of controversial, right?

Where people are like, bullshit, you know? And. And I remember there's this one particularly argumentative human that was in the workshop, but I loved it. Right? And every time she would bring a question or I don't think that jives or how, you know, it's like, I was like, oh yeah, like let's talk about it. And it was, and at one point in the end, that was one thing she said, she's like, I love how, and I, there was never a moment where I was like, I wish you would stop arguing.

I wish you would stop bringing up all these, trying to poke holes in what I'm teaching or in what I'm doing because I want people to poke holes. Cuz that's how you find answers. That's how you. Begin to expand your thinking and the things that you're right, like it's how everything becomes stronger, I think.

Yeah. We have to conquer our sense of risk or threat in a workplace, particularly if we feel inhibited. We are never gonna be able to bring of our, of our best as individuals. So, yeah. It's a difficult one because most of us do feel a little bit afraid and anxious about certain things at work, where sometimes the power structure, sometimes just a person who feels they must combat.

Yeah. Whatever it is. Yeah. Job loss, obviously we fear job loss. Yeah, as well. Loss of, loss of respect, loss of authority, we, loss of love sometimes even if Right. Job loss, that's like a financial security, but it's, it's like, I think there's so much that goes into that and, and again, identity, I think for, for people that are, I.

You know, I think especially for people socialized as men in our society, Brene Brown talked about this when she talked about vulnerability. It's like, there's this, this idea that for men it's like, I have to be the, the knight on the white horse. Right? And, um, it's like, she's like, she talked openly about that guy who was like, when she was doing her book, signing for the daughters and, and she said something about, oh, I don't work with men or something like that.

He goes, well, isn't that convenient for you? You know, I remember that. And it was so convicting for her, right? And she's like, he's a hundred percent right. He's like, you're talking about vulnerability. And yet my. My daughter and my wife would rather see me, you know, die a bloody death than to not be that night in shining armor.

And I thought that was just such an inter, I mean, let's to talk honestly about these, well, what we were talking about before we hit record, like the stigma of mental health is here for a reason, right? And we can like to pretend and talk pretty about getting rid of the stigma, quote unquote. But let's be real.

I also think there are people that don't wanna get rid of the stigma, just like racism, just like all these other isms. They are serving a purpose in this society, structure in in America, and ca in different places across the world that it has been created. Right? I don't think it's here by accident. It was constructed by humans.

Right? So what, that's an interesting whole other conversation. Like what is it, why is it that the people who are protecting this status quo, why is it that they want this stigma around mental health? How very convenient. It's, as you say, It's an acknowledgement of differentness. You are different than me and I don't understand that, and I'm scared.

I might be a bit the same. I might have components in me that aren't quite mentally healthy. That would be uncomfortable. Fuck Yeah. Brilliant. I have to reject that in you cuz I'm also rejecting it in me. That's the basis of any ism really, isn't it? Isn't it? Duh. You say it now, it's so obvious, but you're right.

Yeah. And that's actually what you know with the shadow side. It's one of the things that Debbie Ford, you know, when she taught this work, of course this came from Carl Young and there's a lot of people, Deepak Chopra, who have done shadow work, but it's like when she talks about it, that's really what it's all about, is that we reject these things in other people because we haven't made peace with them in ourselves.

Right. And so, yeah, go ahead. Because there's no space for us to do that. There's no arena where we can do that. Generally speaking in public, yeah. So when we talk about, uh, leadership and the way that you kind of just defined that and talked about some of those pieces, how does, uh, neurodiversity fit into that when we talk about differentness?

Right? So mental health is a way that people are seen as quote unquote different, dangerous. Therefore, we have to isolate skin color, sexuality, right? There's all these, these ways that we divide people and put them in boxes and then put them in their prospective corners. So, How does that relate to this?

This conversation around or neurodiversity? Well, I think that's where we talk about a little bit about D E I, because any kind of diversity will contribute to the bottom line of a team unless the leader is too scared to it, to inhabit that space and welcome those people. But really these different styles of being different life experiences, different ways of thinking and responding to the world.

Are what contribute kind of dimension to productivity, to performance, to ideas, to innovation. It, it kind of, you get a much deeper, more vivid, more in more holistic solution to a problem when you have diversity in the team because they will start asking different questions than one another. Yeah. And it really rounds out the possibility of having a robust solution rather than a mono, a mono thinking solution, which is, I know the best way to do this cuz when I did it 10 years ago, it worked like this.

Yeah. You know, which is kind of one old-fashioned leadership style. I know how to do this and I'm going to tell you how to do. Yeah. It's in the past I've had this experience, but now success in business because of the speed of technology change, rest on innovation if you're not innovating. Then your competitive advantage will quickly wear out.

Yeah. So diversity and including neurodiversity, people who have a different take on the world and life and have different experiences to draw on will really add to your competitive advantage. And this is the same for anybody in any stigmatized sector of society. They're gonna bring a radically different perspective and experience in life that will.

Help you kind of move through any limitations of your business development and your leadership. And I think that, and it's scientifically proven that that contributes to your bottom line. But I think as well, it's uncomfortable for many of us cuz we have our internal judgment Yeah. Of all of that. But it's actually very, very powerful.

And I think also the people who've had mental health challenges, their journey to work with, Those challenges has led them down a path of self expansion and growth. Yeah. That's developed assets in them that they may not have had if they've had this kind of vanilla non, you know, non-eventful life. Yeah, exactly.

I think there's a couple things that you said and, and hopefully my brain, well, a d d brain speaking of that will be able to keep track of all these ideas cuz there are so many things just now that came up as I was listening to you talking. The first thing, which I'll say and then try to move on from quickly is that again, when you're talking about leadership and leaders, you know, that are willing to pull in all that diversity, it makes everything so much richer.

And I'm thinking of the. The, you know, the differences of leaders who are willing to do that versus leaders who won't, and. And I think, you know, for me it really comes down to this idea of, you know, what is their center? What is their goal? What is their purpose? Like, what is this? What's their why? Because when I look at certain, you know, P leaders and political figures and things like that, you know, it's like even just.

You know, like the, the, all the, the Trumpian bullshit, to be honest, right? Like, I don't go into a ton of com politics really. And it doesn't mean that the people who support them aren't sometimes people that I love, even though some are more challenging than others. But it's like, but when I look at that, just that leadership style, to me there's just something about that that is so, it's about that, that, that, my impression is that that human is not really here to make the world a better place.

For everyone else, right? It's, it's about ego and power and Right, and, and leaving that mark versus the leaders who are, um, here, I'll, I'll throw out another fun. You guys are gonna get to know me a little bit better today. I'll throw out another fun analogy, right? Like, I'm not huge into the BDSM stuff.

However, I did watch a documentary about it one time and they were talking about like, dominatrix and like a good dominatrix is like, you know how sometimes, um, they, they're like, Or like the, you know, they will like tell people, okay, what you're gonna wear. It's like they're, when you're quote unquote bombing someone, right?

And they're like, if I'm ever, uh, the person that this documentary was about, she was like, if I'm ever bombing someone, she's like, I get to be in control and say what's gonna happen and all these things. But she's like a good do. Cares about the experience of the person that they're bombing. And so she's like, you're really doing it for them.

Does that make sense? So it's like, I'm not making decisions that I'm gonna enjoy. I'm making decisions that that's gonna make this person's experience better. And same like with in a political sense or anything, right? As you're leading, it's like when I care even about this summer, the things that I'm doing, if all I care about is my experience and me getting what I want out of this.

The way that all of that gets implemented is going to be a very different unfolding as opposed to if I think about what's gonna make Dex experience here a good one, what's gonna make, you know, Jessica's experience and Cam and all the people that are participating when I'm thinking about them and when I'm thinking about the listeners and when I'm thinking about all of that, it makes the experience richer because it's not coming from me and my, um, ego.

Does that make sense? Maybe that was all incredibly, I'll take it one step further if you like. Yeah. I, using your example or using your two examples, Trump and B D s M can't imagine why they came up in the same sentence. So I think, uh, I think really the dynamic of doming somebody is, goes a long way beyond care.

What you're really doing is you're really seeing as much as possible of the entire human. Mm. You're seeing really deeply inside that person what their needs are. What their drivers are. It's a, I've, I consider it to be a very deep connection. There's nothing superficial about it. You're going right down deep and seeing the whole person airing for the whole person.

I think of that as a, as an expression of love, and I think of leadership the same way. Leadership, really good leadership, functional, performative, even money making. Leadership is bonding a team into a really tight social unit that is performant. This is also an act of love, like when people come to me in burnout, the thing they're suffering from is disconnection from humans.

They're in a lot of pain and they're very withdrawn and isolated and cut off, and they're still trying to bosh it all out, but they, they're not feeling it. They're not feeling the reward because they're so disconnected from themselves and from other people. That's why I talk about heart-centered leadership because it turns out that's what wins on every single level.

You care to name, but it's also deeply connecting and rewarding. It's fun. You can have joy, you can have connection. You can have the kind of experience of work that's passionate and engaged because you are willing to connect with people and you are willing to cherish your people and nurture your people, particularly nurture and mentor your people.

And guess what? That feels good. Yes, it feels good. So when we look at then Trump, who has I've seen described as narcissistic, this rampant grab power grab, and need for control comes from fear. I'm so scared. I'm going to control and manipulate and take every bit of power I can get my hands on so I can feel a bit more safe.

It's completely elusory. It's momentary. It's fleeting. Any, any control you think you gain in the moment, a second later it's gone. You need a bit more. That desperate quest for control doesn't feel good inside. Doesn't create internal safety. No, not at all. It doesn't. It's disconnecting again, it's taking power.

Yeah. So I think it's unfortunate people who are trapped in that place. Yeah. Trump. Trump is not a happy man. Yeah, and it's like, and when you look at, because I believe that at the essence of every human, like you said, you talked about like, I think safety is a core human need, and so we can talk about what our needs are, but I, I believe that on our essence, truly like that we are all.

Like love, like that love is the essence of who we are as humans. Even, even even Donald Trump, even any of these political figures. Yeah, figures. It's like that is exactly what he is. And, and it's a, and it's a hard, it was a hard thing for me to get my head around for such a long time. But all these behaviors, right, no matter whatever political figure you're talking about are or person, or.

Coworker or anyone. It's like any ugly behavior. Even in my life, like I've had for sure my own, my own ugly, and I still do sometimes, but it's like anytime that that ugly is coming out, and this is where the shadow, right, this is why, and we can talk about this in a second, those, those parts of us that we don't love, that we would rather hide.

It's like. I believe that even in those moments, grasping for power, like you said, the essence of that behavior is love, but it's, it's that person trying to love that child inside that's hurting. And so here they're like, I'm gonna protect you by creating this persona of power and control and, you know, whatever it is, they're, they're not.

I don't think, it's not condoning any of this behavior or anything like that, and it's destructive, but sometimes those destructive mechanisms that we adopt, we adopt them because we don't know what else to do. I would, uh, essentially agree, I regard each human being as intrinsically perfect. Mm-hmm. Like I would agree that babies are born perfect.

They, they must be right. Even if they're wired differently, even if they have. Excuse me, generational trauma or something like that. And so when they have fear and trauma in their lives, our response to that is a fearful one. So if we exhibit bad behavior, we've learned it to, to try and protect ourselves from that fear Yes.

That we have inside. So all bad behavior is just a habit we've cultivated because we don't feel good inside. It's not because we're bad people. Yeah. Yeah, and they're, they're, they're trying to, I believe even an adult, even Trump, even anybody who's exhibiting what would publicly be agreed as poor behavior.

It's just a person who's scared a hundred percent. It's a person who's scared and they're trying to find the best way to love themselves that they know how, because they probably didn't get it from anywhere else. And so they didn't have, well, not even love. Protection comes, survival comes first. Yeah, but I think that, I think that survival and protection is a form of love, right?

Like for me, like that's, it's, it's like that's why would you, you don't protect something that you don't love, right?

Well, the survival instinct is animalistic it. So it's really just wired in, well, it is wired in, it's our base instinct. So whether it go and I, I would. I mean really the animal, the lizard brain, the survival brain is beneath the emotional brain. It fires first. Survival always comes before love. It's not that we wouldn't love ourselves.

Yeah. Most of us have learned not to be very good at it, but it's not that we wouldn't do it, but I, I think survival is, yeah. The amygdala fires before any other part of the brain, so yeah. How I think about it, I think about it for me, like when I like, like when my amygdala is triggered and something is trying to protect me, like when I'm in that survival mode.

I guess what I mean by that is, like, the way that I think about it is like I notice, you know, those, those protective personalities, those protective mechanisms that get triggered, I guess I just see them as, as a, as like a team, if you will, of people that are there to. To love and protect that part of me that feels vulnerable or that feels like it's being threatened.

You know? So I guess I'm thinking, when I'm using that word, I'm using it more of an action word than a feeling word. Right? Like, but I don't know. Just something that I have considered and. I wonder because it's like, I don't know, like how is, how is this thing trying to nurture? How is this thing trying to protect?

How is this thing trying to help me survive? And, um, and I think of the inner critic in that way as well. The, the purpose of the inner critic is to protect us from risk and harm. Yeah. It does it in a lousy way by criticizing us, telling us we're doing wrong. Yes. But the instinct behind it is to protect us.

And it's something we pick up pretty early in life because we learn from our caregivers, our parents, whoever, this is the way a good human behaves. This is what a good human does. This is what a good human does not do. And their art in life, we're like, oh no, I'm not following the rules. Something's gonna go horribly wrong.

Yes. And that's where the inner critic comes in. Self-correct. Self-correct. You're doing this. You should not eat too much food. You should not punch the punch the boy in the next desk. Yeah. Yes. Because that's a survival mechanism as well. So I be, I believe everything about us is oriented to healing and survival.

Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I believe that intrinsically we can also return to our perfect good heart at any time. It's always there. Nobody's got a bad heart. Yeah. Nobody's fundamentally ill-intentioned. They just have coping mechanisms that went a bit sideway. Yeah, sometimes a lot sideways, but sometimes sideway.

But even then, I would say that I don't think it's their fault. I think it's, you know, it's, it doesn't mean that they can't and shouldn't, in my opinion, take responsibility for that as an adult. But there are so many things that we have wired into us, like you said, and, and things that we learn in coping mechanisms and ways that we try to survive.

And it's like we live in a world where, as we're specifically talking about mental health, we can kind of circle back to that. It's like, just to notice that there are so many things. At work here that are far beyond us that impact our mental health and our ability to really manage our mental health. And so, um, and I think that might be a definition of worth really even taking a minute when we talk about mental health.

First of all, what does that mean? And second of all, I think this would be a, an awesome conversation to have Dex about this idea. You know, we were talking about this before we hopped on this idea of the shadow side Leadership Summit. Right? And there were a few people that expressed like concern around talking about it in that way.

And the, the concern is this, that, and I, and I asked myself this question because it got brought up like, am I, or are we unintentionally. Contributing to the stigma, right? Because I think one of the things about mental health, it's such a bummer, is that when we talk about mental health, people think of it as mental illness, which I don't think is true.

I think mental health is so much bigger than that, right? Joy is a part of mental health. Love is a part of mental health. All of it, like it's a spectrum. But sometimes we do have mental health challenges and we kind of end up. In these places that we don't wanna be in. And we get stuck there for a long time and we don't really know.

We had no one's taught us, like you said a second ago, how to not get stuck there. No one's taught us how to process an emotion and how to support ourselves and how to love ourselves when we're going through a challenge and, and to be able to kind of come back over to more of a neutral emotion or where we wanna be.

So, The concern was like, okay, if we're talking about the shadow side, I know what I mean by that, right? The shadow side to me is all the parts of me that I'm ashamed of or that I don't want someone to see, right? The parts of me that I feel society would label as bad or wrong. And so, but, but again, my relationship with those shadow parts of myself has actually been such a beautiful experience and so I've gotten to the point now where, I really, when I talk about the shadow side, it invokes a feeling of love inside of me because I have such a loving relationship.

And so the intent was to destigmatize that and to just invite everyone to say, you know what? Each and every one of us has. All of this, right? It's the 50 50, the ugly and the beautiful, the, the joy and the pain, the, the day and the night, right? Like it's just all part of who we are as humans. So I have a very loving, affectionate relationship with that.

And my intention was to just to, to give other people permission to bring. There's forward as well, and to know that it's safe and that it's okay. Um, so Dex, I just wanna turn it over to you and see if you have, what have been your thoughts, your experiences around that, and what would you, how would you describe your relationship to, again, the shadow parts of yourself, if you will, um, and how they potentially have really served you, and what are the real.

Things about it that are scary, where maybe we should be cognizant of informing people to know that it's okay if they're wanting to hide it. Okay, that was a lot of questions. I'll try and answer some of them. Lot of questions. Firstly, I don't really subscribe to the concept of a shadow song because this is where our shame comes from.

If we detect that we are different in an unacceptable way that we'll be stigmatized. Then we will experience shame and we will hide this piece of ourself and we'll develop coping mechanisms to compensate for that. So I think even the term shadow side is very fraught, even though people listening or watching may identify with that, which is good because it means you're in the right place.

We're having the right discussion and we can show the upside of that. But I think still it's, it's almost saying you've got a shadow side, so there's a piece of you that's acceptable. Then there's this other piece that's not acceptable. Um, and you should be quietly tidying it away because it's uncomfortable for me for if to experience you having that.

I don't wanna see that. That's, that's not emotionally safe for me to know. You've got that piece of you, so you need to tidy that away privately, which is why so many of us grow up in shame and don't get the attention or healing that we really require for any mental health associated challenges that we have, because, As well.

If we call it a shadow side, I'm not two people. I don't have a good bit and a bad bit. I'm just one person and maybe I've got some acquired impairments that I can't do anything about, but I'm still just one person and I think of it like this, like you wouldn't call it my shadow side to have cancer, and yet it's something that I would have to live with and work with in my life.

And you, you could stigmatize me for that if you want. I'm just one person. I'm wired differently from you. Mm-hmm. So I think of this as, all of us are on a path really to find self-acceptance. If we are stigmatized, particularly from our mental health, we're on a path to find acceptance. And that's not a very easy path because of the stigma itself.

Because there are risks involved in disclosing something that might be diagnosable, for example. Mm-hmm. It separates us. We have coping mechanisms and they separate us too. So I think part of the healing journey of finding a way to work with other people who do accept you towards healing, towards self-acceptance, towards living with the exact person you are, that journey is so important.

But it's, and I think this, what we are doing now is making a vehicle for people to have access to the idea that that's an okay thing to do. That there are people who will support you. That it's. Perfect. Whatever your experience is, however you're wired, whatever that might look like in the D S M is okay, right?

That you can find the richness of your life to be sufficient for you. You can find your good heart like you and I have explored in our individual lives. We can find our heart inside of that. And you're still enough.

Hey. If you're enjoying this episode, I wanna invite you to come join us on May 19th through the 21st for the Shadow Side Leadership Summit. It's gonna be an entire weekend where we're gonna dive into these conversations around identity and leadership, around mental and emotional health, around how to support ourselves so that we can truly lead others in a more impactful way, that we also get to experience, connection, and joy along the journey.

Shadow side leadership Go sign up and we'll see you inside. But the stigma is real. I myself have been, I've lost a job because of my mental health and I've been stigmatized in other ways called out for my mental health as if it's something that I could or should fix. And I think that that's unreasonable, but it's still quite prevalent and I think it's where people need to, to find a safe place to explore how to work with what they think of as their own.

Mental health challenges or neuro diversity or whatever that experience is in coaching, what we, the way we approach anybody is number one, you're already perfect. Number two, I unconditionally love and accept you exactly the way you are now without needing to change or fix anything. His idea of trying to be the best version of yourself is a self aggression.

It's like, I don't accept myself now, but when I'm over there I will. I don't subscribe to that either. No, you're already perfect. You can sink back into it. You don't need to run away. And all of that's available. It's available, but it's available by talking to the right people, by disclosing your difficulties and your fears only to a person who will hold them gently and carefully with you.

Not by just going around willy-nilly going, yeah, totally. Yeah. It's like Brene Brown talks about vulnerability and she says like, vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability. Right? And so it's like there are things that I share. Sometimes, you know, and with my community or whatever, that, that feel pretty vulnerable.

But it's like, I, it's always, again, coming back to that place. Like, I always check in with myself first. Like, why am I sharing this? Is it for their benefit? Right? I'm not trying to trauma bond with anyone here. Like, is there something here that's for your benefit? And then also, um, there are some things that I don't share, right?

Some of the things that I share, it's like those are. Experiences that I don't think it has to do with old or new or how the timeline, cuz time, it's one of the time doesn't heal, right? It's not about time. It's about you having gone in and, and healed your belief systems and your identity around the thing.

But, so the things that I share are things that I, I'm okay with any outcome, right? Like I was saying, like, so before I go and I share something like, am I willing, like this person, this may not go well and am I okay with that? And. This could also bring us closer together. There could be more connection, more intimacy on the other side of this.

And so that's great if that happens. But am I willing to accept the honest reality that sometimes when you share parts of yourself with the world, they will reject you? They will reject it, they will shove it away, and there may very well be very tangible consequences based on that. So it makes sense that people are afraid.

And it does make sense and I think it's very important to see if you can find somebody who'll give a safe container to your exploration. Cuz underneath any challenges of any kind you may have, there's a heart of gold. The self connection you can find when you really accept that this is who you are and that, that's wonderful.

It's perfect as it is. The self connection and the love you can find is worth everything. And the creativity and the spirit that comes out there and the possibilities that explode for you once you agree with yourself that you're perfect, but it's finding a container for that I think is very important.

Yeah. And sometimes it backfires. The journey backfires. I've certainly had it backfire on me and found people who I thought would help me, but who have actually. It's me. Yeah. So if that's the case and we all have had those experiences to just know that that is a real truth, then why would we bother? Is there an upside?

Is there a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow that we're like, you know, wanting to find? Is it just fake or is there something truly real there where it's like, okay, you know what? I had 10 bad experiences or whatever, but then there was this one. Where it's like, cuz in my experience man, a lot of pain there.

A lot of stuff like where it has not gone well. And at the same time when I do find my people, like for me there has been such healing there and for me too, and I think it's, it becomes about full self-expression. There's such joy in that just being. Relaxed in who you really, truly are finding, finding out who you are for.

One thing is you've been covering it up perhaps for years and limiting your experience of life, of yourself, of the world. When you shut yourself down into this tiny thing to fit in with the world, then let's say there's only 10% of you still functioning and being public, then you forget about the other 90%, and what you are closing down is not just the pain.

What you're closing down is the joy. The love, the connection, the self-expression, all of the good stuff gets shut down when we're in pain. And reclaiming all of that, I think, allows you to live much deeper. I mean, I'm feeling in my guts when I'm talking. My whole body now is, is just full of love for myself and who I really, genuinely am.

And it's the kind of love that I might have been denied earlier in my life and that I may have self denied in order to make myself convenient to work with for other people. User friendly. Yeah. And I think coming home to that full expression of yourself is, it's a, it is just a wonderful thing and there's a lot of power in it.

Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent. And I think when you were talking about that idea of oneness, it made me think about how we do compartmentalize and like, You know, exact, it's like, it's this kind of, honestly, it's like even like the day and the night. Like, is there really a difference? Is it two different things or is it just one thing?

Right. But it's just like the cycle, right? It's like the sun goes down and, but it's all still there and it's like you're kind of going in this cycle. And that's kind of how I think about my mental health too, is it's like for me it's, it's like I'm just one. And same with like the shadow side. It's like I, I love my shadow sides and.

And I think that's a framework that if it's not useful for you, for anyone who's listening, then throw it away. Right? That's my whole thing is like, don't use it. Like I the re and I was telling Dex, like there were a couple people that brought this up even before we did the summit, and they're like, I don't think I like the name because I feel like it might be contributing to this idea that there's something wrong over there.

But for me I was like, that's exactly it though. It's the opposite for me. Like the intention behind this is that. That this is, this is a part of you that's beautiful and that like, because I think the stigma is that, like you said, telling someone like that part is wrong and bad and you need to hide it and it's making me uncomfortable versus this thing over here.

And I think that's why I wanted to talk about it because I want, I want people to be able to realize that there's something beautiful there. And I think that idea of oneness is actually, is actually kind of a neat idea. However, I do think we, in our brains, Still tend to compartmentalize parts of ourselves, whether it's the truth or not.

Sometimes I think that's how we think, right? But it's a very expensive way to live because com compartmentalizing takes up a ton of energy. It blocks the energy flow in the whole organism. We put a little bit over there, a little bit over there, and they don't talk to each other, and we had to expend a lot of energy keeping them apart.

But also we are living from only a tiny fraction of ourselves. We like a cardboard cutout then. Walking around in the world, we don't even know who we are. By that. We don't even know what we enjoy. And people who come to me and burn outer like this, they're very compartmentalized for safety reasons. I can only keep my job if I compartmentalize everything out like this, like this.

I don't tell people about all the parts of me. It's energetically very expensive because we are disunited as humans. We can't integrate and just be one person the same all the time. And it also repercussions into chronic illness in the body. Eventually, like the body will break down, the mind will break down because it can't keep the facade up for a lifetime.

Yeah. There'll be a crash. So how do we then, and, and that's kind of what we're about to, we're going to be doing with this summer, is talking about how can we support ourselves and connect with all those parts of ourselves and really allow ourselves to stop. Stop demonizing the shadow. Stop allowing the world to tell you, right, that you're demonizing the shadow.

And that's kind of like how I think Sarah Fisk in her, our interview, she said the same thing. She's like, I don't even think of it as a shadow anymore. It's all just part of me. I'm just one. And that's the goal. That's what I wanna invite everyone into. Right. So, so what would you say Dex, for people that are like, you know what, I'm done compartmentalizing.

I'm done saying, this is my shadow side, this is my light side, this is my work side, this is my home side. This is my private corner. Like, What about, what would you say to the person that really does want to just be one human? One whole human, where everything's beautiful, everything's accepted, everything's valuable, but maybe they don't know how?

It's an interesting question because we aren't taught how, but in my practice as a coach, every single thing about my work with men in burnout is helping them reintegrate all their parts. Helping them be just one person, helping them have the best possible relationship with every piece of themselves.

And there's a lot of techniques for doing that. But I think what we need to do is in, instead of focusing on the inner critic initially, instead of giving all our attention to what the inner critic is telling us is wrong and should be kept apart, we flip the needle over into let's look at all the things that are worthy, good, acceptable.

Where I'm contributing, where I'm being decent, where I'm trying to work with, and for the people who are important to me in my life. Let's look at that side that we never, ever look at if we're in, if we're in enough pain, we don't look at the good things in us. I have only two conditions for self-acceptance.

One, do I have a good heart? Because for me, underneath it all, that's always true. And the other one is, am I basically well-intentioned? And if those are true, which in my self-assessment they always are, then I'm good enough. That's it. None of the rest of it's important. Only the heart. Fundamentally, the only, the heart's important.

So I teach people to love themselves completely, and then they kind of spring back to life. When they start accepting all these fragmented parts of themselves, they, they start to thrive and flourish again. So I teach a bunch of techniques to people and it's kind of complex. One of the exercises that people might.

One to try is I suggest to people they find 10 things they appreciate about themselves every day for one month, but different every day. Mm-hmm. And it forces them to look inside and go, oh, what on earth is there? There's nothing. There's nothing. Oh yeah. Where there's one. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Like for me, it could be that I got outta bed this morning.

It could be that I smiled at someone on the street. Mm-hmm. It could be that I bothered to have a shower, anything. Yeah, it could be that I noticed somebody in distress and just went and gave 'em a pack. Yeah. Anything. Right? Anything. Yeah. And I think we don't do that. We're not taught to do that. We we're taught to focus on where we're underperform.

And do you notice that American dream, you know of Yeah. Top 1%. I must be in the top 1% of performers, cuz then I'll be okay. We can't all be there, can we? Yeah. Do you notice that? So when you start doing these practices of appreciation, just noticing, okay, I know I have a good heart. I know I'm well-intentioned.

And, and as you start to find those things that you appreciate about yourself, do you find that it makes it easier then to, to look at the other parts? Just a little bit kinder, or does it make it easier to actually realize why they're there and how to change them? Or do you not even bother asking the question for change?

Is that fundamentally damaging?

I pursue change to enrich in my life, not because I think I'm brokenly and I need fixing. And I think that distinction's really important for me because I have a lot of odd behaviors. Yes. Yeah, exactly. There's things that I want and I think the love shines out. What's, what it's really taught me is that the love now shines outta me pretty continuously.

I feel a lot of love. Yeah. I feel it for myself and I feel it for other people and I feel the connection between me and other people because of it. And I think, okay, don't sweat the small stuff. I may still be a bit weird and I, I have social anxiety and other, I experience it as difficult to connect with humans and humans experience it as difficult.

To connect with me because I'm quite self-protective like that. I just think, oh, well there we are. Yeah, I've still got a good heart. And they still know that they can still see it and feel it in me. Yes. And we connect on a non-verbal level and oh well, if I'm still got weird behaviors, nevermind Gene.

Yeah, that's what I, I ask you and you ask, what, what was the reason you chose me to participate? And I just, that's what I said because I felt safe with you. Right. I never care if people wanna cha, like, I, I don't, I'm always open to feedback and challenge any of the things, but it's like I can, you can feel it when someone's like, this person has a good heart, and they're not saying this to attack me or what I'm doing.

They're actually saying it's the opposite to elevate the intention. Right. Which is to help people. And I can feel that, right? Like, They're like, Robin, this is a terrible name for this summit. What are you doing? And I'm like, beautiful. Let's talk about it. Why? Because if you're thinking it, somebody else is probably thinking it.

So can we ask, can we look at what your experiences of that and look at what my experience is, and then find a way to really allow this to reach more people? Right. Because I think, I think when we put away the shame and judgment, which is what you're talking about, when we start to appreciate ourselves, What happens for me when I do that is that the judgment lessons.

Yeah. And when I'm not, when I'm not judging myself and I can just look cur be, I can be curious. I can just put it as neutral and know none of this means that I'm not worthy. None of this means that I'm a bad person. All we're talking about now is math and numbers and or whatever, or how do I want to show up?

I can be more curious and actually change, like you said, just because I want to. Not because I have to or it's gonna make me a better person. Yeah. And I think what, how it works for me is I'm able to see the perfection in each person. Mm-hmm. It's very easy for me to stimulate my unconditional love for another human, because I already know that underneath everything, underneath all the trappy experiences and behaviors they may perceive is a, is a fundamentally very good person.

With a very good heart who's fully capable of, and I think that's, and I see that in each person that I work with. And I just went, oh, that's terrific. Yeah, I love that. Totally. And that's a great leader for them because you've done that for yourself. And so you can do that for them. And so you, you can pull out, you can excavate, you can amplify that beauty and help them to see it.

Help them see it, I think is the big part. Yeah. Cuz it's already big part of them. Connect with the inner goodness in them because they're over here looking and. And shaming and blaming and believing all these stories, and it's like you can help them to connect with those parts and to see it and to begin to believe it.

And I love that. Dex, how can people find more about you? Oh, I just got a dex It's all there. Dex It is. And for people in burnout, I've got a podcast, burnout to Leadership, which has a lot of practical tips to help you stimulate a better relationship with yourself, a more relaxed and loving and caring relationship for yourself.

Beautiful. I love that. Dex, thank you so much for coming and being here with us today. This was awesome. Pleasure. It was lovely. Thank you, Robin.

If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of it for me and share it on your favorite social media platform. And in the meantime, I just wanna invite you to remember that you are beautiful, that you are worthy, that you belong. See you next time.