Great Escape Podcast episode 37 - Kimberley Spencer taking responsibility for the right things and not the wrong things

Uncategorized Oct 12, 2019

Kimberley has created a freebie for you dear listener. Just click here: reprogram-your-subconscious-mind

Her website and contact details are linked at the bottom of this transcript.

- On this episode of the "Great Escape Podcast," I'm talking to Kimberly Spencer who describes her life as a transition from a victim mindset to very much a victor mindset and now runs her own business. So Kimberly, welcome to the show.

- Thank you so much, Stuart, for having me.

- You're really welcome. So tell us what was your life like before you decided to make this transition.

- Well, I grew up in an addict household. I grew up with my dad was addict, my mom was a quintessential codependent. And I didn't really grow up learning positive resources to deal with emotions or thought process. My mom never wanted to deal with emotions, and my dad would medicate them in some way, whether with pills, or with alcohol, or pot, or whatever. And so I learned that if you're feeling feelings, shove it down, and that you're a victim of your feelings. So I learned not to acknowledge the fact that we're human and have feelings. So I start what that caused me to do was to learn some pretty bad resources for dealing with the every day experience of feeling feelings. 'Cause what happens when you don't feel a feeling? You then if you don't allow a feeling to release, if you don't allow a feeling to be released in some way, like we feel hunger, we don't judge feeling hunger, we just satiate it, right? So we feel that sort of feeling of hunger, and then it's a sign that we need to pay attention to something, and so we go on and we eat some food. Well, any other feeling is just like that. But what happens is when you're programmed or conditioned not to experience those feelings, then you judge them, and then you shove it down with guilt and shame. Guilt because, oh, I shouldn't be feeling the feeling. Shame because I shouldn't be feeling the feeling like I'm now a bad person, or now I'm not supposed to be feeling this, and then maybe anger at yourself for experiencing that feeling. So it adds a whole bunch of negative emotions on top of it. So what happened was, was I started becoming a victim of my emotions 'cause I had all of these ones that were pent up that I was not allowing myself to fully express and release. And it cost me to go through a 10-year bout with bulimia. And for the beginning part of the 10 years, I was in the cycle of blame and shame, and blaming my dad for my eating disorder, blaming my whatever for whatever. But the only way you can ever change, Stuart, is when you take personal 100% responsibility. And the only way that I was able to reprogram my mindset around bulimia was because I took responsibility. I had the wherewithal to say it was never my dad shoving my finger down my throat. It was me. He didn't want me to. He tried to stop me. But it was never him doing it. So me perpetuating the cycle of blame, it was allowing me to think that my life was happening to me rather than by me. And once I took responsibility for that, that's when things started to shift with my body. The thing is, is that as you know, the unconscious mind is like an iceberg. And so you've got all the stuff underneath the water, and that's what sinks the Titanic. And so I had the deeper-seated, limiting belief that I wasn't enough that was sitting under the water. So even though parts of what was on the surface, I was able to bring most of the iceberg to the surface and let it melt back away into the ocean in the form of my body, that deeper-seated part of the iceberg, that deeper-seated belief, it permeated then and it shifted forms into my relationships, and I got into some very bad relationships and made some very, very silly, stupid mistakes, and ran off with a Navy man, and got married at like 22 or something in a very tumultuous... And it was a very tumultuous relationship 'cause when you have a reverend with a ponytail that's asking you, "Are you sure you wanna go through with this," that you probably should pay attention that that might not be the right relationship for you. So I got into that relationship. And it was coming from that fear-based mindset, that victim mindset of blame, of again, it went circled back to my childhood, which is where most of our programming comes from the ages of zero to six. And it circled back to my childhood of not feeling like I was enough. And finally, I had somebody in my life who was meeting the bare minimum of my criteria of what I wanted in a relationship. He had a job, and he had steady paycheck, and he would never cheat on me, and that was it. That was the bare minimum. It wasn't the full width and breadth of what I wanted out of a relationship, but I was too scared feeling like all these emotions of fear that, well, maybe what if somebody else doesn't come along? What if there's nobody better for me? And so I jumped into this relationship, again, from that victim mindset, from that deeper structure, fear-based belief of not being enough, of like well, at least I'm enough for him in this way. Well, turns out, I wasn't enough 'cause I wasn't exactly what he needed in his life. It was not a pretty relationship. And then so what happened was, was that once that marriage dissolved and once that we parted ways and that was out of my life, that deeper-seated belief of that victim mindset, again, permeated my business. The first e-commerce business that I had, I went into it, and that subconscious programming of not feeling like enough, not feeling worthy, not feeling deserving, being in a space where I thought that everything was happening to me, not that everything was happening by me. And because I thought everything was happening to me, I got into a space where I was in a relationship in a business partnership where there was a lot of complaining. There was a lot of why are you doing this to me sort of conversations. And it wasn't until three months before I was getting married to my forever husband, the amazing man I'm married to now, that I got a call from my business partner that he wanted to buy me out, and he had spoken to lawyers. And being 27, 28 years old, and dealing with lawyers for the first time of buyouts, and on top of it, planning a wedding, I realized that holy moly, something's gotta change. Something's gotta give. And while that was a very challenging summer, it taught me so much about where am I placing my focus. Am I placing my focus on my fear? Am I placing my focus on me beating myself up on me being the victim of life, of me being the villain of? And mostly, to be honest, I was the victim of myself mostly. 'Cause when you're placing guilt, and shame, and blame on yourself, and judging yourself, and taking such radical ownership for all your stuff, that you end up becoming a villain of yourself sometimes in your own circumstances. And so when I was on my, three weeks before I got married, I signed the buyout agreement for that company and walked down the aisle toward my husband. We went off to Italy, it was lovely. And it was there that I had the moment of aha, the epiphany for what I wanted to do for my next business, which was Crown Yourself, which is the coaching and digital education business that I have now and that I love. At the same time, I was so embittered and I was so in this place of blame and fear, and I still had not shifted my mindset. So for two years, I played small in my business. I didn't take big actions. And it's because I was not living congruently. My mindset, I saw where I wanted my business to be. I saw what I wanted my business to be promoting. And I saw what I wanted the values for it to stand for, ownership, leadership, kicking fear off your throne, being 100% authentic and vulnerable. And I was scared shitless of all of those things. And then I found out almost three years ago that I was pregnant. And it was in that moment of the most massive fear that I could have ever experienced because with having kids... The title of CEO, I've had that. I've been the president of an e-commerce company. I've been a business owner. The title of CEO did not scare me. The title of mom scared the shit out of me. And when I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had to live up to that title, that I had to live into that.

- At that point, you've realized you were going to become a mom, and this is kind of an inevitable thing.

- Yeah.

- It's happening. You have a timeline. You know roughly sometime in the next 40 weeks, something's happening.

- Yup.

- Or by the time you realize, it's gonna be less than 40 weeks. At what point did you believe you could actually make this change? It was literally when I was getting the inclinations and the hits of inspiration of I started looking for my first coach. I started looking for programs. 'Cause I realized I just was not liking the person that I was back in 2014, 2015, especially 2015. I was not liking the person that I was. I was complaining all the time. I was in this cycle of blame. I was just worried about finances like nobody's business. I was struggling, and I just knew, I said, "There's got to be a better way." And I got to my breaking point. And then I found out that I was pregnant. And it was in that moment where I realized, well, I can either show up 100% for myself, invest money that I did not have at that time into a coach and into a training program to reprogram my mindset, to heal some of this shit that I have from my past, and then to move forward. And I was literally on the phone with my coach, my now coach, and we were talking, and then we set a date to have a follow-up conversation. And in between that time, I found out that I was pregnant. She was actually the second person that I told was pregnant. And I was like, "Yeah, so I just found out I'm pregnant." She's like, "So are you going to enroll?" And I said, "I don't think I have a choice "at this point anymore. "I think I have to enroll." 'Cause I just knew that operating the way that I had been.

- So yes, so in that moment, you've kind of taken the decision something has to change. The thing that has to change is my attitude, sort of all in one.

- It was my attitude and my perception, my perception of the situation, my perception that things were happening to me, the things that I was a victim of my own life rather than being the cause of every single thing that I consciously or unconsciously have chosen or attracted into my life. And once I became aware of widening out my perception to see, oh, my goodness, all these deep-seated iceberg of beliefs that I have about myself have been what has been sinking my ship time and time again 'cause I've been focusing on the wrong thing. I've been focusing on moving away from fear rather than moving toward my goals. There's a big difference. I've been focusing on what I don't have, what I don't want. And thus, I've been attracting that into my life time and time again 'cause your unconscious mind does not process negatives. If I told you not to focus on, if I told you not to think about chocolate, what are you thinking about? So I realized all the things that I was repeating to myself in a very destructive way, and it was with those tools that I radically changed my life and my business. And immediately after working with that coach and going through learning Time Line Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming hypnosis and becoming certified in all those modalities, I immediately drastically increased my prices for coaching, 'cause I started out just doing, I didn't feel worthy. I didn't feel enough so I was coaching for $100 a month. You're gonna fall off your chair. $100 a month for four sessions in a months. So it's like $25 an hour, yeah, I know, I know.

- Yeah, you work that back, you're working for less than minimum wage.

- Oh, yeah, oh, yeah. I was completely at the mercy of myself because I was the greatest villain and the greatest victim of my life. And when I realized that I am neither the greatest villain, I am neither the greatest victim, and I am neither the greatest hero of my life, and because there is a psychologist, I don't remember his name, but he came up with the idea of the victim-villain-hero triangle. And it's just the Drama Triangle. And in every single one of those areas, you perceive everything that there's a problem that you either have to solve, and strap on your hero cape, and come to the rescue for it, or you are the problem, and you're the villain who, oh, it was me, I shouldn't have done whatever, or you're the victim of why is this all happening to me versus if life is happening by you, if you are taking full 100% ownership of your results in life, of the things that are happening in your life, then everything you experience is simply a learning lesson for you to grow more rather than it being this failure or this horrible thing that happened. There's a difference between being a victim and having a victim mindset. When I was, and I've gone through some experiences, when I was abused, when I was raped, I was a victim of that experience. In that moment, I was a victim, and I am not saying that I was at fault for that. It is that happened. At the same time, holding on to that, holding on to the blame of the people who hurt me, holding on to the shame, it drags all that shit into the present moment, which is where it doesn't belong. If I kept blaming the man who raped me, if I kept blaming my ex, if I kept blaming my dad for all the things in my life, then the problem is, is that they get all the credit for all the good, for one, 'cause if you're giving them all the credit for all the bad, then they also get all the credit for all the good. That's just fair. And I decided that I wanted my results in my life to be mine. When I reprogrammed my mindset from 10 years of a eating disorder, I wanted that victory to be mine. And the only way it could be mine was if I stopped blaming my dad and if I started just owning how I showed up in the world and owning how I showed up in my relationships. If I kept blaming my ex for all the fights and all the things we went through in our relationship, if I kept blaming him for my crappy choices in partners, well, then I would've never been in the space to meet the love of my life, to meet this amazing husband that I have now who takes full ownership and who I take full ownership of my reactions and my actions in our marriage. If I had never gone through the experience of being raped, which was something that it took years for me to come to terms with, if I had never gone through that, and if I had kept blaming that person for me not feeling worthy or deserving of all the things that I want, then I would still today feel not worthy or deserving of all the things that I want. And instead I was like, no, screw that, hell no. I'm not gonna let that experience define who I am. And I think that's the biggest difference is the victim mindset is when you let the shit of your past define who you are today, you can create whoever you wanna be today. I created the leader that I am today. I created the woman who takes full ownership of her actions and her results in life. I created this person, and I went through fuckin' fire to do it, but at the same time, it's not being a victim of your past.

- I think what you say there about taking ownership of what you can take ownership of and releasing people who may have done horrific things of the blame for the thing they didn't do. So they still own the blame for the thing they did do. But you talked about the guy that raped you, and thank you so much for sharing that, but what I think I heard you say was that you carried on blaming him for your shame afterwards. And actually, that wasn't yours to own.

- Oh, I kept on blaming myself.

- Okay.

- I didn't even blame him. It actually took me, it wasn't until this past at High Performance Academy as a high performance coach, I'm blessed to be able to go to High Performance Academy with Brendon Burchard. And I go there, I take my clients there, and we have a really grand old time. And we were doing the sort of just an awareness of letting your past go and expression of what is the big things that have happened in your past and what can you release. And there was a young man there who I gave a breakthrough to by just giving him a look 'cause I could tell. I could tell. You see somebody, and I think if you've gone through a space of abuse, you see somebody, it's in the eyes. And I could tell this young man wanted to lie and hide. And I just looked at him, and I shared some of the experiences that I had gone through in my past, and suddenly, he came out with this story of his own abuse. And with that, there are a few other people who had gone through sexual abuse in that group, another coach that is a good friend of mine. And so we took this young man outside, and we worked with him to process his feelings 'cause this was the first time he had ever expressed that. And it was in that moment that that evening, I just couldn't sleep, and I was having this vivid dream. And it was a minute-by-minute recollection of the experience that I had had where I was raped because it defied what my perception of what rape was. Because it was this, not this violent movie, cinematic thing. It was this experience that, where I knew that I had put myself into a very, very poor choice position, and I was also in a very, very shitty mentality, and I had made some poor choices to lead up to this decision to be in this room alone with this man. And it was something where I had to even look up what the definition was of what rape was because I use that word very, very specifically because I was scared to use that word. I'm a linguistic nerd, so the words that you use are incredibly important because abuse can range from anything from he grabbed my arm wrong to full-on battling, cinematic what you think of what rape is. And when I looked up the specific definition of sexual penetration without permission, I said, "Well, yes, that's exactly what happened." And it was hard for me to wrap my head around that label. 'Cause the labels that we use in, 'cause it went against my whole perception of what rape was. And I knew that I was blaming myself because I didn't feel like I was deserving of feeling loved. I knew I put myself in that experience so that I would repeat that cycle of shame and blame because I'm very skilled at being the villain in my own life. I'm very skilled at taking so much ownership that I am beating myself up and being incredibly hard on myself for not living up to my unrealistic standards that I can have for myself. And that was the thing that I had to shift. And the man who did that to me and that experience, yes, I had to forgive him, too. Yes, that was a process of forgiveness and healing. But really, the main culprit in that experience was me because I had to take ownership of the shame, and the blame, and me putting the villain status. It wasn't necessarily that I, that I--

- Let's be very clear.

- Yes.

- You're not blaming yourself for being raped.

- No, I'm not. No, I'm not blaming myself, but I did blame myself. You see what I'm saying?

- Yes.

- I'm not blaming myself, but in my mind, I did blame myself for that experience and for what happened to me. And then I put myself then at the mercy of myself beating myself up about all of it, and piling on the shame, and piling on the guilt, and--

- And what you describe is something that Kenny Weiss referred to in Episode 19, if you wanna go listen to that one, is he describes how the brain gets used to behaving in a particular way, and then runs those railroad tracks again, and again, and again because that's how the plasticity of the brain works. It gets used to a particular habit of thinking or acting, and then just repeats that process. And actually, what you've had to do is stop going down that track of I'm the one that's to blame for all of this, and actually, let's put blame where it appropriately lies, take responsibility for what is ours and leave it with other people when it's somebody else's.

- Yeah, let them take responsibility for their actions, and you take responsibility for your choices and then move forward. I think of exiting any sorta cycle of abuse, 'cause that's why they call it an abusive cycle. Addiction is a cycle. And I made the conscious choice, especially becoming a mom, and that's why becoming a mom scared the crap out of me was because I knew that this cycle of addiction and abuse ended with me, that that was it. It was not gonna repeat. It was just I was the end of the line. And I think of it as like when you're growing up, you have certain conditioning. I think of it like a roundabout. And so you're kinda stuck in that roundabout of conditioning. And when you're looking at making new choices, when you're looking at doing something different, operating in a different way, choosing a new path, choosing a new identity, choosing to escape that roundabout, it's scary 'cause you don't know where that path leads. You don't know. It's like turning on a roundabout, you don't know where that exit goes 'cause you've never been on it. You've never been down the road of what it feels like to actually truly 100% believe in yourself. You've never been on the road to understand what it feels like to not be hard on yourself, to not beat yourself up because of every single decision or choice that you've made. You don't know how that ease of what freedom actually feels like. And thus, because you don't know that feeling that taking that exit seems so much scarier than just staying stuck in the roundabout. No matter how deeply ingrained that pain or that struggle is, it's a lot easier to our brain and to the ego to stay in that roundabout. But changing the direction, 'cause you're taking that exit without a map. You're taking that exit and just trusting that it's gonna be different and that you're not gonna end up back in another roundabout. And it just is about constantly making that conscious choice to choose a new way of thinking, to choose a new way of behaving, to choose a new way of believing what if you operated instead from the belief that everything that you said that came out of your mouth was exactly what you needed to say, and that was perfect, and that's exactly what needed to happen? I didn't know coming on here what I needed to say. And before, years ago, I would've scripted this all out. I would've been scared to death to show up and say anything about my past or things that I have been very vulnerable about today. But it's because now I own that shit. Now I own the fact that that happened to me. And here's how I've grown. Here's the lessons that I've learned from that experience. Had I not grown up with my dad and with my mom, I would not have had the training ground of 30-plus years of learning how to spot shifts in behavior, which has prepared me to coach my clients. Had I not been in abusive relationships, I would not have been able to identify with my clients and empathize on strategies that they can do to leave, and on the emotional hurdles and the roller-coaster that that can take. Had I not experienced 10 years of an eating disorder, I would not have known how to, the power of the mind, and how I can reprogram it, and how you can shift your thinking. Because I remember when I owned a private Pilates studio in L.A. for several years, I had a client and I was pregnant at the time 'cause I was still operating that studio and growing my coaching business. And I had a Pilates client, and she said, "Kim, aren't you scared about losing the baby weight?" And I was like, "No, not at all." Why? 'Cause the concept, the identity of the person that I was 10 years ago who lived in fear, not 10 years ago, it's now a little older. But the person that I was when I was 12, 13, 14 years old, the person who was scared to death of gaining a pound, that's not the identity that I live in. The person, the child that I was who was so scared and so scared of which dad was coming home, that child's like I'm no longer that person. I now see and assess behavior when I walk into the room, and that's kind of why I'm, A, I'm an introverted extrovert, so I can assess. I lean back before I really lean in with the person just because I assess behavior, but I do it really fast 'cause of 30 years of a training ground of doing that with my dad. So I'm able to see that. And is this making sense? That's...

- What I hear you described is that you're able now to look back on your life. Yes, there are things you wish hadn't happened. But actually, what you're doing now is capitalizing on those experiences to create a better future. The shit happened. You can forever regret it, or you can say I learned something out of that. Now let me make life better because of that or in spite of it as well as because of it.

- Yeah, for me, it's 100% because. For me, it's looking at those experiences that I went through growing up and into my early to mid 20s. That first 25 years of my life was the best training ground for what I'm doing today, and where I want my company to go, and the impact and the ripple that I know that we can have in this world because of those things. Those things happened, yes, they happened, and I know they happened for me. I know they happened for my growth, for my ability to have greater compassion and empathy toward human suffering. I know they happened because I see the lessons and I've been able to experience the lessons firsthand sitting with someone, going through their breakthrough where they're recognizing their childhood sexual trauma, sitting with someone going through the fears of losing it all, losing something that they've built, spent years building, and it crumbling before their eyes, being able to sit with someone in that human-to-human experience because it doesn't matter the... I don't like to get into comparison of like, oh, well, this happened to you, well, let me tell you about how bad my situation was. It's not about that. It's about if you've felt anger, I felt anger. Sure, the circumstances were different, but I can sit with you and understand on an empathetic, emotional, high EQ level what that feels like to feel rejected, what that feels like to feel like you're not enough, what that feels like to beat yourself up constantly, daily because you feel like you're not achieving what you, quote, unquote, should be achieving because you're just being hard on yourself and being a villain of, being a villain and a victim of yourself because you're taking that pendulum of ownership all the way to the other side of cause where you're actually at the effect of yourself.

- And it's been a real privilege to hear you tell your story and to witness your vulnerability and your honesty. So often, we have conversations with people in our daily lives, and we know that they are, hi, how are you, I'm fine, when actually, what they mean is life sucks.

- Yeah.

- Or life is grim. And actually, to have somebody willing to say, my life did suck, and I took ownership, and I decided what needed to change, and I changed it. Life is still, I guess, not perfect 'cause life is never perfect 'cause we're in it. We are human beings. But thank you so much for your time and your contribution to the podcast.

- You are so, so welcome. And I think that taking ownership, it's looking at every day as a conscious choice as to how you show up in the world. You have a choice. And if you're actively creating a new identity, and you actively want to shift your life and escape where you have been, then it takes a massive, heaping dose of courage to move forward. So I challenge, since I'm an enneagram eight, I'm super skilled at challenge, so I would love to challenge your audience to take a daily act of courage, something that you have been holding back on moving out of that roundabout of fear and moving into something where maybe you don't yet have all the information, or maybe you don't feel ready to take that exit toward something that you're not quite sure where it leads. Maybe it's making that sales call. Maybe it's calling that girl back that you really liked that you met at the pub the other night. Maybe it's hiring that personal trainer that you know is gonna kick your ass, and you're not really sure if you want that, but you also know that you don't wanna stay in the body that you are. Whatever it is, do that daily act of courage, and you will constantly retrain your brain to get out of the roundabout of fear and to move into that space where you're on a new path to creating courageously the new identity of the person who has, does, and is everything that you wanna be.

- Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the "Great Escape Podcast." You can find other episodes at all the usual places on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, or at the website, And if you'd like to contact me to talk about any element of this episode or others I've covered, please go to, and you can find all the ways of getting hold of me there. And if you're stuck in a situation, and you can't find the way out, please go there, send me a message, and let's see how we can work together to get you unstuck and moving forward with your life again. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family, other people you think might appreciate it, and comment on episodes, or send me a message. I'd love to keep the conversation going. ♪ Can we do that again ♪

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