From Inner Critic To Inner Cheerleader With Kimberly Spencer

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Kimberly Spencer. Kimberly, welcome.

Thanks so much for having me, Thomas.

It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m Kimberly Spencer. I’m the founder of I help visionary leaders really stand out in their authenticity, eliminate the self-limiting beliefs and build their empire to make the income and the impact that they deserve. This is my third business. I first owned a brick and mortar Pilates studio and then I had an e-commerce company. I’ve been coaching leaders for the past five years and it has been an extraordinary journey, just seeing the results that my clients have achieved from being able to achieve their childhood dreams and buy themselves a plane because their business is doing so well or you know, get achieved there One year goals in three months and have $4 million dollars out in bids. Like it’s the power of having someone on your side. Watching all the players in your game is super transformative, and it’s an honour to be in that role for my clients.

That’s a good couple of examples you gave there and I did want to say based on your bio, your profile, I don’t know what to ask you about first because there’s so much there. I think a good question would be – because it looks like you’re a very successful person and therefore the question is – do you feel successful? It depends on what you mean by success. Like by my own definition of success? Yes, by the high achiever, inner critic in me that always knows that I can be better. Not always, but I work at every day having a successful day and so depending upon it depends on what that looks like in the scheme of things. I’m also the mom of two young boys under five, and so a successful day today was taking care of my clients in the morning and then being mom in the afternoon to a little one that has a little slight fever and then being able to jump back into business mode and be here with you and so have, having that successful day is really what I put behind, because I think so many people measure success as like a certain amount of money in the bank or a certain amount of they have to achieve X, Y and Z before they even feel successful and you can feel successful right now, when you just challenge the definition of what I call the plagiarised programming of who taught you that X, Y and Z is what’s going to give you success and really success like money if you’re chasing that you’re really not chasing that you’re chasing the feeling that you think that will bring you.

So instead, what would it feel like to live each day successfully? And for me, living each day successfully means I take care of my body. I nourish myself. I feel good in the skin that I’m in. I’m of service. I do the work that’s important. So I serve my clients. I serve my community with my messaging and I serve my family by showing up for them as well and being present in all those areas. So by that definition, are you a successful individual? Of course, I like the answer. You did touch on the inner critic. And one of the things I believe that you’re happy to talk about is transforming the inner critic into your inner cheerleader. Do you mind talking about that for a moment? Yeah, your inner critic. I mean, we all have that voice of self-doubt or sometimes it can be the voice of other people who have conditioned you in their best desires to support you, because most people, when you adopt what I call plagiarised programming, it’s not from a space of malice necessarily, by somebody trying to project onto you, things that they think that you should do, they’re doing it because that’s their perception of what would be good for you.

But the inner critic really pops up when you aren’t familiar with your own internal compass and what your intuition is saying. And so when you can and when you can understand that and build that trust and that relationship with your intuition. So that when your curiosity and your passion are leading you in one direction and it’s that inner sense of knowingness of that feeling that you need to follow that pursuit, follow that endgame, follow that goal. That is what you lean into because you’ve built up and cultivated that relationship of trust with your intuition that the inner critic will, will the volume for that will turn down once you start turning down the volume of others around you who may have your best interests at heart, but they their advice may be misplaced. Like, for example, one of my clients, her greatest inner critic voice was the voice of her mother and yet it was her mother who she would constantly talk to about her entrepreneurial endeavours when her mother had also been a corporate employee for 40 years, so she was seeking the wrong support from the wrong person and so finding that community around you to that makes the things that you want the success you want to have seem normal.

Like when I have my clients who are becoming parents for the first time, when they’re like, I don’t, or becoming dog moms for the first time when they’re like, I don’t know how I’m going to run a business and take care of this other living being and I’m like who do you know around you, who is already doing that and that may not be somebody that you know personally that could be people that you’re following or watching on social media or listening to their podcast, but getting to know and be in the mindset of people who are normalizing that level of success of what it is that you want. Because if you look at a toddler, when a toddler is learning how to walk, they fall statistically 10,000 times and yet they’re not falling and then doubting themselves and having that inner critic pop up. When did we learn that inner critic? So that inner critic is a learned behaviour. So if we go back to the toddling phase, one of the things that a toddler has is there surrounded by people who are walking on two legs, Even if you grow up in a house with parents with disabilities, you still see a majority of humanity walking around on two legs.

So it makes that activity that makes that action, It makes that goal seem normal and so surrounding yourself, listening to podcasts like this, listening, following certain people on social media who are achieving a few steps ahead because sometimes if you Have it, if you’re following people who like, let’s say Tony Robbins, huge mentor of mine, his body of work is extraordinary, but he’s been doing this for 40 years. So me comparing where I am now in my business five years into 40 years is it’s going to seem like it’s almost impossible. So you want to look at who’s, you know, a few steps ahead like maybe six months a year, two years, three years ahead of you and or who is already achieving at a level that you want to achieve at that normalises it and that will start to turn the volume down on that inner critic. So really it’s just your environment and if you don’t have a good environment, then you can find it via media.

Yeah, I mean the internet is, the internet is powerful when used for good when used for consciously creating an environment that will elevate you. It can be incredibly detrimental to be sucked in as a consumer. So it just depends on what is the intentionality of what you’re doing and that inner critic will start to quiet as you start approaching. Also, the things that you’re doing in your business with more intentionality. So do you still have should we say issues with the inner critic or well what’s your thoughts about your own in a critic? I don’t think she ever really goes away. I don’t, I just think the volume just gets turned down quite substantially. I mean, for example, when I first started my business back in 2015. I created my business in 2014 when I was on my honeymoon. I was bought out of my e-commerce business three weeks before I got married. I jetted off to Italy for six weeks in an Airbnb in the Northern Italian Riviera with my husband.

And I was like, what am I going to do when we get back? And we were brainstorming on ideas because we had, you know, six weeks in Italy, we had some time and I had way too many espressos and I was looking at all of the passions that I’d had from screenwriting, that I’d had success in getting a movie produced in up on Netflix and in e-commerce, I loved business, in Pilates and owning a successful private Pilates studio and I loved fitness and I loved health and I loved relationships and I loved coaching and I loved pageants and I wasn’t quite sure how to blend all these into one holistic business. And I had way too many espressos that morning. I leapt off the couch and I said, Crown Yourself and my husband’s like, what’s that? And I said, that’s the name of my company and he said, what do you do? I said, I don’t know, I think it’s something like Marie for Leo where I do like YouTube videos and have horses. So I immediately went into what I call productive procrastination, which was buying the lights and buying the domain name and buying the, all the things, but not actually taking the moments to get clear on what the vision and the next steps were because I was too scared because I knew that the one thing that I was terrified of was rejection because I just had a pretty big rejection in getting bought out of any commerce company.

Like, that was the first time I dealt with in the three months leading up to my wedding when you’re supposed to be choosing cakes and you know, napkins that I was like negotiating with lawyers for the first time in my life and they don’t necessarily send you the nicest emails when they’re not on your side. And so I had a year and a half of complete self-doubt where my inner critic was super loud. In fact, she was just running the show, and I was super complaint. I was complaining, I was blaming and I was filled with shame and that those are the three markers where you can see if your inner critic is really running the show in any area, whether it’s in, you know, leading and growing your team. If you feel like you’re not bringing in enough money, sometimes that can be your inner critic popping up or it can be in the beginning stages when it’s like, oh, should I try this idea? No, that won’t work. Oh, you’ll look foolish, oh they’re gonna think you’re ridiculous. So they won’t take you seriously. Like I had all of these beliefs And so for a year and a half in my business, like if you could call it that I made $0 and it wasn’t until I found out that I was pregnant with my first son that I was like this needs to change because otherwise we just need to acknowledge that this is an expensive hobby of a nice blog that’s not actually producing income and revenue and so that was when I had a what I call a come to Jesus moment and I just said this is what I’m going to change. This is what’s happening.

And so I started actually selling and so I actually started putting myself out there and it is only through the but you can change your environment, the inner critic starts to shut up and the volume really gets turned down through acts of courage, so only you know what those acts of courage are. So for some entrepreneurs, especially when I’m working with high achievers who are already, you know at the almost at a million a million dollar level they are in this, if they’re in the space of like I need to just like work harder, work more and their inner critic is like because it’s never enough because you might lose it because you know they’re telling all those stories then their act of courage is actually not working harder, it’s actually taking a nap, it’s actually blocking out time so they can go home early and see their kids, so it depends on what it is and only you will know what those acts of Courage truly are for me when I first started my business, the act of courage was putting myself out there and making sales as I grew the act of courage became hiring team, delegating, surrendering control and surrendering doing those things that were in my zone of competence instead of in my zone of genius because that’s another piece of plagiarized programming that I’ve seen consistently with.

Working with high achievers and leaders for the past five years is so much of society has conditioned us from very early on that things can’t be easy. And so when we’re operating in our zone of genius, which is that space that is almost like it’s so easy, you could do it for free. Like it just comes so out so naturally you’re like, wait, people don’t think like this, people don’t do things like this and it’s so natural for you that it goes against all the plagiarized programming of, it should be hard, it’s usually have to really slave away. Like I know if I come off of five hours of coaching, I am more energized by our number five than I am by our like from the beginning of the day because I love it so much because I’m in operating in my zone of genius, but as we’re building businesses so often it’s very easy to get sucked into that plagiarized programming of things being hard and things are going to take time.

So that’s a big belief that I work with is the amount of time that things are going to take, or the amount of time it takes to achieve a certain level of financial success. And so looking at those beliefs and sometimes those beliefs will create the actions or the habits of doing the productive, procrastination tasks of the things that you really could delegate to someone else, but you’re not ready, really, quite ready or you don’t feel ready or you don’t really want to surrender that because it’s still allowing you to operate by that belief system, that things have to take a lot of time. So it really does come down to what you believe, do you think that it becomes more difficult to find acts of courage, the more quote unquote successful, you are, the more high achieving you are and if so what’s your, what your thoughts there? I think the acts of courage become different. I mean, for example, I was working with one very successful. He was a very successful businessman, he wasn’t an entrepreneur, but he, he was, he had achieved so much success in one area in his industry and he wanted to shift into being a motivational speaker and so suddenly he was going from this area where he had so much success, so much knowledge to where he then had to become a beginner again.

And so the act of courage, it wasn’t that it was any less hard than when you’re starting out of business because he was already successful, but he had to go back to that place of being that beginner and that beginner mindset, that student mindset that kaizen continuous, never ending improvement mindset, that is that, that is in and of itself takes courage, it takes courage especially once you have achieved a certain level in your business and you have to, you may be pivoting, you may want to shift that. Then once you’ve achieved success, sometimes it’s risk. And sometimes what got you to that level of success was that you were taking risks. I mean if you look at apple is a fantastic example of a company that when it started out, it was, it was doing the risky thing and then it got kind of, but when Steve Jobs left like it was, it got into that space where it wasn’t taking any risks and then Steve Jobs came back in and just like that the whole 1 80 whirlwind on it and did the risk and simplified and sometimes that can be the risk is, is simplifying when you’ve been able to generate a lot of income from a lot of multiple products and a lot of multiple streams, the risk is simplifying into what is that one thing that you do really well to then grow that massively.

So the risk is just different, it’s just different acts of courage, I think courage on an emotional vibration level, it always resonates at the same frequency so that it, it, it’s always just evolving what those acts of courage are for you, hmm, makes me think of Earl Nightingale you said. Um, there’s no service that is as good as it could be or no product that is, um, you know, essentially perfect. So, um, you know, I suppose an act of courage in that particular instance, even if your product is great or your service is great, there’s still potentially another way to move forward with them. Yeah. Or sometimes the product becomes irrelevant, irrelevant. I mean, or sometimes the marketplace shifts or sometimes like if you have a product that you’ve been selling successfully for 20 years, but now it’s no longer needed. Like Kodak, like those snap films that we used to do.

Like I remember getting those disposable cameras, like that’s a product that was successful for years. And Kodak didn’t survive because it didn’t evolve and it didn’t innovate. So innovation in itself is an act of courage as a company. What’s the, would you say, the most rewarding part of your business? My clients’ results when I see them because the people I work I get, I’m blessed to work with have the biggest hearts and like, yes, they want to make an income and yes, they want more freedom. And yes, it’s nice to buy a plane. And yes, it’s nice to get in a really nice car, but they really want to make an impact. And so it’s the care of their customers. It’s the care of the ripple effect that their business provides for. What that success from their business allows them to do whether via their businesses a vehicle or in other non-profit endeavours or in their own personal endeavours, for what it is that they want to create in the world. Have you got any favourite stories that you’d like to share? Oh my goodness. So I’m trying to pick a good one.

One of my clients, when I first met him, he wasn’t my client. Initially, I saw him in a room and of 2000 people were at a conference and we were all supposed to share about one of the biggest things that we ever had to overcome. And we were, he was just a guy who I caught his eye, and he ended up in our group and I saw him and I just saw it, I was like, that guy needs to be in our group and it was just an intuitive hit and a lot of my coaching is, it has structure, but it also is very intuitive based and when we were in that group, it just so happened that the group was predominantly sexual abuse survivors myself included and I looked at this guy and we’re doing a round robin of talent sharing our, our story. And I saw this guy, and I knew he was just going to fake it, gonna not lead with his heart, not really share.

And I looked him dead in the eye before he opened his mouth and he looked at me and I’ll never forget that moment because when I saw that he then spilled the truth out and he shared his experience of being abused and it was the first time and so he had ever publicly shared that or personally shared that and I took him out with another coach and we coached him through that he ended up becoming a client of mine. And through that experience, seeing him from that moment when I when I met him to now he has the brightest smile. Yeah, like it is a smile that is from the heart that is from truth, that is from him leaning into and living in his in his space that he just, he just loves to thrive in which is real estate and just being able to see that and the fact that he is able to do what he loves and he is also able to fully own all that he is and all that he has experienced in this world, to make him the shark that he is, we’re going out after real estate deals.

Like it was transformative to be able to see it. That’s one of my favourites. Another one was just being like seeing my clients be able to hire their first team members, like when they first start hiring. And I remember one of my clients, she was a mom of two kids, grown kids and she was like, I’m not a leader Kim, she had been a solo preneurs. It was a nice business, like it was like a nice little like hobby brings in some side cash, but she wanted to grow into being some something substantial where she could Have, you know, 10, a month coming in to really show something. And I said, well to do that like team will be required for you to have that extra support. And she was like, I don’t know managing and I’m not a leader. And she kept on doubting yourself as a leader and when I started looking at how she was as a mother, I was like Queen, you have, you have successfully raised two beautiful children who are still alive until their 18th birthday, which is a testament because I have a toddler and a six-month-old and my six-month-old just falls all the time.

Like so the fact that like raising someone to be alive, healthy, vibrant, successful human being, who wants to contribute to society, like raising Children, like I said, you are a leader and once we correlated her subconscious success strategy to how she led her Children to how she could lead a virtual system, an employee, she suddenly connected with a deeper mission that she’d had. That she didn’t even know she had and suddenly she, she started crying just huge tears of just weeping because she hadn’t let those, those dreams really have a voice. She wanted to make such a powerful impact in the world, especially in the in the African American community. And she wanted to really lead in equal rights and in a movement and she hadn’t even thought of how her business could contribute to that because she’s like, oh I just kind of do like some like healing things and I help people and then they get better and once she really connected that with like a general possibility of healing generational trauma within the African American community, she suddenly just felt so bad, powerfully overwhelmed in the best way.

Like push will only get you so far. And when you’re, when you’re pulled by something greater by a mission that you like on those days that you face challenges, you’re like, I don’t want to do this, I’m tired, I don’t want to wake up. But when you’re driven by that mission of that devotion to what it is that you want to see manifest in this world that is, that can change the game for how you show up in your business, how you show up for in your relationships, how you show up in the level of engagement and present that you bring to every single thing and every single person that you meet, and it did for her and she ended up hiring her first virtual assistant and it was transformative. You just actually made a connection for me that I haven’t thought about before, which is because I love to be a dad and you know, I always want to try and be the best possible dad that I can be, but I haven’t actually attributed that to any kind of anything in my business before. I can see that as being a very, a very powerful thing to transfer over.

Um So, thank you for that for sharing that. I did want to ask about your confidence because you come across as a very confident person and I think some people do struggle with that, I think so, have you got anything to share about if you weren’t quite as confident what your thoughts are there? Oh, if you had asked me when I was 15, 16 if I was confident, I mean, I was so shy and introverted as a kindergartner. I peed myself when I was asked a question like I didn’t speak for six months, my teacher thought I had a learning disability because I was just so painfully shy and I remember in first grade, my mom asked me like, I was like, I I made my first friend by stalking her on the playground and she still is my friend 30 years later to this day. and I remember asking my mom, I said, mom, I want to make more friends, and she said, Kim say hi to 10 people every day with their name. 10 people every day.

And so I did and I started making friends and I took that advice into business as well of hi to 10 people every day. So when I first started out in, in my business career with teaching Pilates, I started out as a freelance instructor. And so I started out in a studio and I would go up to the students and I would say hi and then we get started having a chat about their fitness goals or why they were there or you know, their resolutions are all, it would just allow for a conversation to evolve. And it was no surprise then, like in hindsight, now, looking back that within a year of becoming an instructor, that I was the highest paid youngest freelance instructor teaching at that studio. So much so that I went off and started my own because it was just, it was just because I was going up to people and saying hi. So it was the practice of the competency of having the courage to say hi to the just say hi specifically with someone’s name because that that does build the rapport with the other person.

And also the thing about self-doubt and lack of lacking confidence is when you look at your fears, the fear of rejection, the fear of not being accepted. The fear of like, heck even the fear of like not it not being safe. Like when you look at all the fears, the fear of judgment, the fear of, oh, they’re gonna think I’m weird. They’re gonna think I’m needy. Whatever those inner critic stories are, when you look at those, they’re all about you and if you can flip the script to being about service. So when you do a presentation, it’s not about you, it’s about the information and how it’s going to serve the people who you’re speaking to when I do a podcast and I’ve done over 100 and 50 podcast interviews guesting and I’ve done over 150 on my own podcast, The princess and the pea, it comes from the practice and repetition, but also from that place of this information or the tools or the systems and strategies that I have, I’m coming at it from a place of service.

So it’s no longer about me. I’m removing myself from it. I just want to serve you. And so that’s all my attention is no longer on me, it’s on you and how I can best serve you and your audience or you as a client or you as you know, a human being who I’m just having a chat with on LinkedIn. Like if I can serve you, then it’s no longer about me. Great answer. You mentioned prior that you were in a sexual abuse group where you were helping people. Um, I find that it’s important to ask just in case there is someone also suffering from dealing with that type of scenario. What advice you would give them under that criteria? Have you got anything that you can help with them? Oh, finding help. Like being able to talk about it. Like for me, I was molested as a child by my father and I was raped when I was 24. I’m sorry.

Yeah. And I learned so much from it. Like my experience. So, like I look back here, here’s the crazy part. So that story with the, about the client of mine who I met in the conference after I had that experience I like, and after I took the client, the gentleman out and I was working with him in the hallway before he became a client. Um, but it was working with him in the hallway, helping him come down. I didn’t realize that that night he was planning on committing suicide. And yet I knew something that said I needed to talk to this person. I would never have had that gut instinct that innate ability to detect that in someone had I not had that experience as a child. In 2018, my um, in 2016, I staged my dad’s intervention. And in 2018 he gave me permission to share that story. Not like I really needed permission. I probably would have anyways, but I always said that I would wait until he passed and he passed in early this January and he told me, he said, Kim, I want I want you to share that because he had been a victim of abuse from his mother and of sexual abuse.

And so it’s a cycle, and it repeats and it only stops repeating when we say stop and we start sharing and we start removing the shame from that experience and allowing us to stand in the power of who that experience has allowed us to become. Because for me, that experience and I can only speak for myself on this because I’m not a therapist, but I can speak for myself from this space. Is that for me, those experiences taught me about what I believe that I deserved because when I was 24, that experience, I put myself into the situation because I believed I deserved to be punished. And so I can take responsibility for that part. The other part is his responsibility. But I can take responsibility for my part because that was based off of a funky self-limiting plagiarised programming belief that I deserve to be punished because I felt guilty about being a divorced woman with my, with my father, I was able to hold the space. I forgave him when I was around 17 years old.

We had multiple conversations for years, opening up that space allowing for it. but that was something that it took time to evolve and it took me owning that truth within myself first. And so that experience and being able to have that experience and then connect with my dad on that deeper level to see that he was, his experience really came from hurt like him doing that. And now looking back the times that were the most challenging in my childhood, those were right at the times that he lost both his parents and I just lost my dad this year and I know how challenging that is and thank God I’ve had the tools and done the work and then the personal development and had the growth so that I’m very well equipped with more tools, more resources. All my dad had was alcohol. That was all he knew was to cope with grief and loss and pain and suffering and losing a parent where there’s been complications, especially if there’s abuse.

It’s a different type of grieving process and his grieving process. He didn’t know how to process it. And so I can look back on that experience and see him through the light of such compassion because I know that when he was sober, he was always an amazing, loving, generous man. And it was his own childhood, his own shadows and such, so being able to talk. And if you do, if you I wasn’t ready initially to talk to my abuser. So being able to talk to a third party, a therapist, a friend, somebody support groups, somebody who has been there, who you can open up to, who you feel comfortable again, that environment to where you are able to see yourself through the perception of with without the perception of there being shamed about it because you did nothing wrong in that situation and being able to own that.

Yes, that happened. And yes, what happened was wrong and you now as the leader of your life, get to choose how you define how that story is going to play out for you. And I chose that instead of being broken and damaged and a victim, which was the story that I lived by for a long time. I lived by that story up until my early twenties. And it spiralled me into a 10 year battle with bulimia and into a very abusive relationships with men and I saw that story not working. And so I flipped the story so that everything that happened in my childhood has allowed me to serve at the level that I’m able to serve at today has allowed me to communicate this story to you and to any listener who has experienced that from a place of power, from a place of being on the other side, from a place of forgiveness and compassion. And letting you know that it’s possible. So from a place of possibility. And so it comes down to the stories that we’re telling ourselves. And you get to define how those experiences get to continue to define you for the rest of your life.

If you want to be the victim, that is a choice. And it’s not saying that you weren’t a victim of a circumstance of a victim of something happening to you, something did happen. But choosing to have a victim mindset is a choice that you can make, choose to make or you can choose to be the leader of your life, where that that thing that happened no longer defines all of who you are, because you are so much more than that. You are love. You have a purpose. You have a mission. You have you have people to serve because of what you went through and that is what I say that life is happening for you not to you. And when you can shift that story to it being for me, how like I asked my question, my clients is whenever they face something really challenging, I say, how is this the best thing that ever happened for you? What did this allow you to learn? How did this allow you to have another level of compassion? How did this allow you to connect with other humans on a deeper level? Because when you look at it from that perspective, that is how we can help rise each other out of our own darkness is well, I thought you were great before you answered the question.

So, imagine how I feel now, but I think you’re incredibly inspirational. So thank you very much for everything you’ve shared today. Have you got anything that you want to close with at all? Just own your story, like own the messes, own the mistakes I made many own and own the successes as well, because that’s the big thing that I’ve seen with high achievers is that high achievers tend to be, especially if they’ve had trauma in their past, they tend to be very skilled at focusing on the failures and the things that have brought them down versus the successes that everybody else sees on their bios when they go on podcasts or interviews or things and then it’s red and it’s like, oh my gosh, I’ve done all these amazing things. And so the truth of that is that it’s really like a, like a heartbeat, life oscillates. And so the truth that is really somewhere in the middle, it’s not the success. It’s not the failure. It’s not the highs, it’s not the lows, It’s in the middle of the, of the entire experience of both.

What are your goals, Kimberly? My goals? This month, it is getting home to see my mom and we currently live in Australia and I am very excited to take my boys home after two years of being stuck here on this lovely island in the Gold Coast of Australia, to being back in Los Angeles to be able to hug my mom. And then beyond that, New York Times bestselling author. Well, if that’s one of your goals and I have absolutely no doubt that that will be on your bio the next, the next time you decide to, you know, speak maybe if you come back if you want to, but I would love to. I mean what I said, I think, I think you’re great and um, yeah, I think that, I mean, I, sometimes what I do is I might encourage someone to, you know, if they’re let’s say in a particular business, I might say, you know, really, I encourage you to go and do business with this person.

But I think your interview alone has done enough there. So if someone does want to hire you as a coach, where do they find you? Just go to and click the button, says work with me, and book in for a high performance acceleration, consult and we will dive deep and for 90 minutes into your business and your life and how to set you up for massive success momentum and being the leader of the empire that you would love to build that truly fulfils you and helps others.

Thank you very much.

Thank you so much, Thomas.