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Do you know what your authentic voice sounds like? RD did, but never shared it, until he went on an 8 year journey to do just that: Use and share his authentic voice, consistently, and guide others to do the same.
This episode’s guest is RD Weeks. RD is a voice consultant, storyteller, and believer of having fun in your work. Through his methodology VTW (Voice Training Workout), RD supports you in reconnecting with your genuine voice through powerful voice exercises and techniques that allow you to strengthen and care for your voice.
RD’s clients have included Tedx speakers, professional singers, and business professionals.
If you or someone you know wants to create a consistent habit of sharing your genuine voice with others, connect with RD on Instagram or LinkedIn @RDWeeks50
During this episode, Kerry and RD speak about:
How to find your authentic voice and what your authentic self looks like. RD shares a story about how he let fear and anxiety direct his actions at an event and how that moment became his turning point. He promised himself that he would never feel that same shame again and began his 8-year journey towards becoming his confident, authentic self and sharing his authentic voice. RD gives us some foundational guidelines and question prompts for how to organize an effective, impactful, and potentially even transformational speech. RD’s goal is for everyone to become effective speakers so he can, “have fun while making his job obsolete.”
Experts referenced by RD:
1- Lisa Nichols
Books referenced by RD:
1- The Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
2- The Potential Principle by Mark Sanborn
To connect and work with RD- follow and DM him on Instagram or Linked In to get the conversation going!
Kerry: Hey, hey! Welcome to the In High Alignment podcast, the podcast where we connect with rebellious creatives and courageous guests who are forging the path towards living in alignment with their core values. I’m your host, Kerry Walsh, and in today’s episode, I connect with RD Weeks. That’s the letter “R,” the letter “D” Weeks, a voice consultant, storyteller, and the believer of having fun in your work. Through his methodology of voice training workouts, AKA, VTWs, RD supports you and reconnecting with your genuine voice through powerful voice exercises and techniques that allow you to strengthen and care for your voice. Today, RD shares about his experience that led to his professional speaking career and how he guides others into public speaking now too because at his core, RD believes that everyone has a powerful story to share.
RD’s clients have included TEDx speakers, professional singers, and business professionals. He’s an absolute joy to know and is always jet-setting around the US and around the world. You can find RD on Instagram and LinkedIn @RDWeeks50 and without further ado, let’s dive into today’s episode!
Kerry: Okay! So today we have RD Weeks, a friend of mine who I met online, on Instagram. He prioritizes fun and living a fun-filled life; an adventurous life and helping people on their public speaking journey.
RD Weeks: Yeah, yeah, being able to support those that wanna be especially more authentic in how they’re sharing, especially if it’s on stage, in one-on-one conversations, or in group settings, be able to really share their authentic voice to others a big part what I do.
Kerry: Yeah. And you’re so good at it. Even the things that you post on Instagram are so powerful and useful and I am constantly eating up and like, “Everybody needs to know about this!” So, that’s why we’re here! If you want to give us just a little bit of background, like, how did you even get into public speaking? So many people who are like, “Oh my gosh, I could never.” But you were somebody who was like, “No, I’m running towards this.” How did that happen?
RD Weeks: Yeah. Well, so it’s surprising for some people to realize I was terrified and super shy as a kid when it comes to speaking to others. And I still remember, like, as I was growing up as a kid, I remember going to, like, a target store and I wouldn’t even be able to ask, like, where the champ who was from one of the employees because I was just super shy and was like, oh, I feel like such a burden being able to ask for help and that can also manifest in different ways as you’re going through your life. And so from that, actually, my yeah, my mom, she was a big part in that moment of really stepping up and saying, hey, we’re not gonna leave the store until he asks someone.
And so throughout my childhood, growing up I was the youngest of three boys. I always felt like I couldn’t voice as much as I’d wanted to, my opinion, and that’s fed into, certain settings, like school, or even in family life just being, the youngest, I was, like, “Oh my gosh, I gotta step up and fill these shoes.” And throughout the journey going all the way up to college, I always felt like I just would listen to others and do in a sense what I was told to do. Like this next step is what I gotta do. And just really not understanding for me, what was my authentic voice? How did I want to live life? What were my priorities? What were my values? And as I went through college, at College of Charleston, South Carolina, college was where I started to have this moment and for some of that rash, you know, going through the college process.
And I graduated, and was hit with this big awakening moment of, like, “Wow. Is this how the “real world” is happening at the moment?” And I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. So that happened for me. It was a moment of just feeling super lost and unsure of where I wanted to go in life and on this journey. And what I started to do at that moment that really sparked it for me to get more and more into public speaking was actually writing. Being able to journal for the first time and being able to get my thoughts out somewhere in some form, and being able to learn more about, “Okay, how do I want to live my life and what are the values I want to incorporate? “
And I still remember going to my first networking event post college. This was the the moment for me of really realizing, “Alright, enough of being shy and super terrified person of public speaking.” Because what ended up happening was, as I was going up to this networking event, I didn’t know anyone at this event, but I had decided as an intention going into it that I wanted to be my authentic self. I had always felt previously that there was a mask that was hiding who I was- some perhaps can relate that are listening to this- where it’s like, you gotta feel like you gotta be something that you’re not or impress someone or feel like, “Okay, I gotta be totally this whole other person than who I really am so that they can accept me; so I can feel like I belong.”
And so going into this event, I was like, “Alright no, I’m gonna show up authentically me,” and set into that intention. And so I still remember walking up to the building, and they have a table registration out, I paid for this event, it was an entrepreneurial event where speakers were gonna come in and share their story. And I still remember going up and the sweats were starting to happen so now I’m sweating, my pit stains were forming- For those that have had that happen, you get it!- and then the clammy hands that were forming. And I sort of remember putting on that fake smile as I got up there. Internally, I was so terrified of what I was about to walk into. And so I get the name tag, I go in, go into the elevator, and I’m going up to where the room is. And in that moment, I still remember there’s someone right next to me and, I say that awkward, “Hey, hello, hi!” and then it’s *silence.* In my mind, I’m like, “This is a great start to this event!” Here we go.
And so the door’s open, the person goes out in front of me. I’m walking in behind, and I still remember turning to the right and seeing the room. For those who have been to networking events, you know, there’s that infamous- which I’m just not a fan of at all- that awkward beginning networking of, like, getting to know each other and you just gotta hop in there. And there were groups that have already formed. So you’re trying to figure out how do I introduce myself into this. And I still remember going to where the door was and in that moment, I like saw what was happening and something in my body and my mind was like, “Nope, you are not about to walk in there.”
I remember doing a 180 turn, going back towards the elevator and walking there. And of course, with that, it was like, “Wow, I’m not keeping a promise to myself in this moment.” And so shame starts building; the uncertainty of, “Why am I even here and doing this? What’s happening?” The blame of, “Gosh you could have done better here.” And in all that moment of the fear, the anxiety starting to build, I do something that I will forever remember and that really was the push over the edge to stay, let me take a leap into doing this.
So I took out my phone. I didn’t have a call coming in, but I had a fake phone conversation with myself. And for those that know, you get it! You know, that moment where you pick up and we’re like, “Oh,Hey! Hey. How’s it going?” Just being there while people walking by, so I didn’t have to talk to people. Because I was just so embarrassed of and so scared to be able to share who I was authentically. And I still remember after a few minutes, I ended up putting my phone down and was like, “I’m outta here,” even before the speaker got on. And so I remember walking out of the building, walking past registration, gave a quick wave and then put my head down and continued to walk. And I still remember telling myself on my walk back, I was like, “I never want me this place again. I never want to feel like I can’t truly share who I am authentically to others and who I am share with confidence.” And also, “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else, this feeling.”
So from there, it was a journey of 8 years to navigate getting into public speaking, to putting myself out there in conversations, to meeting people I don’t know and be able to share who I am. That’s led me to the point where I am today, where I’m supporting others in this journey, which I believe for any great speaker, you first begin with being an authentic speaker. It’s really lit this fire within me to go out there and support others and really bind to this mission that we all are great communicators and great speakers. It’s being able to just rediscover that within ourselves. And continue on that journey day in and day out.
Kerry: Wow. So after you left that event and you’re like, “I never want to feel this again. I don’t want anybody else to feel this.” What were the steps along that 8 year journey? What were the things that you did step by step to build your confidence to start living in your authentic voice so that you could stand in those rooms and walk into those rooms confidently and actually stay?
RD Weeks: Yeah, well, the big word I use for that is the “spaghetti phase.” And so it’s realizing that it’s gonna be messy and you’re not gonna have all the answers right away. And so you’re throwing things against wall and seeing what sticks. So the key with all that, a great first step is getting into event environments. I really believe in the power of events, and power of in-person events especially, to be able to get outside your comfort zone. And so especially for someone that is listening to this like, “Wow, I resonate with that story of the fear and the anxiety and the uncertainty.” It’s just realizing with practice, and with getting into more of these environments, which is for some feel like a bit of a paradox of, if you get into more of those, you can get more comfortable in those spaces. And so my recommendation, especially to begin and what I did, was to get into other event environments. If that’s being a part of different organizations… For example, this one event I went to was “Startup Grind.” That’s an entrepreneurial event/organization and a few years later, I was helping out on the volunteer team. So I was just more and more getting into those spaces and getting into those events and thats step one– is just the willingness to take a leap and dive into those environments.
Kerry: Yeah. That totally makes sense. And it really is a practice thing. I’m against the whole term, “Fake it ’till you make it,” because I think that breeds a lot of impostor syndrome because you’re thinking, “I’ve been faking it so long, who’s to say if I’m still faking it or not now? Did I really earn any of this?” But I think the practice, like you’re saying, is what truly builds that muscle of repetition that says, “I do have the skill to do this. I can do this. Everyone has been in my shoes at some point or another, so I know I’m not alone.” So that’s so awesome. And then how did you kind of land your first public speaking role then? Like, your first public speaking gig?
RD Weeks: Yeah. Okay. So, definitely, this is for those out there that are interested in getting into public speaking from a stage standpoint and if you’re wanting to do workshops, and really speak from one to many. My recommendation is, first and foremost, how I did it was: I figured out who in my community do I know? Who is someone that does events or wants someone to come in and speak about their experience? And really, you wanna find the low hanging fruit. Which ones are you either currently in for your life that you could go out and support? And what I mean by that is: I had recently graduated from college when I got my first speaking opportunity. And even in college, I took a class, it was an entrepreneurship class where you had a lot of presentations. So really for me, that was that was a big start, but also at that point, I was not being authentically me. Like, I was trying to be someone else.
So I always think about it as my phase of really stepping into authenticity was post-college. What happened was I had a connection with one of my teachers back from my college who’s in the entrepreneurial department, and was like, “Hey, if you have any opportunities to come speak, please let me know!” And then a little while later, he came back saying, “Hey, would you like to come in and speak to one of our classes?” And so that was just how it started. It was a simple conversation.
I believe I hold on this quote from one of the distant mentors of mine, Lisa Nichols, where she says, “Communication is a distance between you and everything you want.” And so if you can communicate, “Hey, this is what I want,” in the standpoint of being able to speak, and then practice this and you share that with your friends, family, mentors, teachers, there is most likely– I still have not experienced it yet so I’m just saying for personal experience of those I’ve worked with and those within my own sphere– there will be someone that is willing to support you and share an opportunity. I know that can be scary to go out there and ask, but that’s a big part.
So from there, that’s how I started and it was a free event just to go out there to practice. But what that led to was going into one event at college to another event at a college class to then have an opportunity to speak in front of a conference that was focused at the College of Charleston. And actually, that person at this leadership conference I spoke to, a little while later, they gave me my first paid opportunity to come and speak. And so it was just a culmination of putting yourself out there, people realizing the value you can provide, and through practice, you really hone in your skills. And then from there, someone’s gonna give you an opportunity and be grateful for that, absolutely. But also take it and then really embody it fully. This is an opportunity for me to step up and commit fully into this and go for it and just be me. So that’s how it led to the journey.
Kerry: What were some of the stories that you were sharing in that first leadership class? What were you talking about?
RD Weeks: Yeah. So it’s interesting because one thing I teach about is the power of stories. So I highly recommend each person, when it comes to getting about speaking, think about the stories in your life. And if you feel like you don’t have any cool or impactful or crazy wild adventure stories, really realize that if you’ve had an emotional response– and this was something that was shared with me by my one of my mentors, Eric Edmeades,– is that if you have an emotional response based off of a situation that happened, if that is being in a car and someone cuts you off and you have a decision of how you react in that moment, that’s a story right there to be able to share. And so what happened for me at the beginning was I was actually not sharing a whole lot of stories. And some could relate to this, and some people that are already in the space are like, “yeah, I don’t really share stories.”
What I would do would be share information as to what happened. And so it was more like, “Okay, this is what you have to do if you want to get into mindfulness. These are some of the practices you can focus in on.” And it was more of a knowledge sharing, but there really wasn’t a whole lot of emotional connection that was forming at the beginning. And what’s wild to think about is that this is one of the major fears that we have as a human beings is speaking. And so when it comes to skill set, you can go into it with that minimal skill set of speaking and still have an impact on someone because you are stepping up on stage or stepping up in a workshop setting and presenting, and people are gonna look at you like, “Wow, this person is really having courage here within themselves to step up,” and they’re gonna be listening.
And so it is such a low barrier of impact that you can have on someone, even the classic–which was shared to me, which I laugh at– when you go to a new city, you’re, like, “Oh, it’s so great to be in Austin, Texas!” and you have that cheer that happens. That’s such a minimal way of connecting with the audience. And yet you can have a half-hearted cheer, but you’re still having a cheer. And so it’s just realizing that, yeah, the barrier is definitely low when it comes to the impact you can have on stage. You can start off just sharing information and then growing from there but the key is, when it comes to the beginning, for me, the stories weren’t there, but that came later on.
Kerry: That totally makes sense. I know for a few of my first public speaking things, they were more sharing skills and “these are things that need to happen.” I was less on the story and more so on the, “I wanna make sure I have an impact and tangible takeaways for people.” So I was more on the information side and afterwards I realized, “Oh, story was the best part of that whole thing that people related to,” so infusing more of that is super powerful.
In terms of a balance of story to information– say you do have you want to make sure people walk away with tangible things in terms of mindfulness if you’re talking about mindfulness– how do you balance that amount of story versus these are tactical things to do instead of just, “I’m gonna have a feel good story happen here.”
RD Weeks: Well, so it definitely depends on your audience. So step one in all of this is really honing in on the audience, what are the current needs that they’re looking for? And base that off of even your own objectives when you’re going into speak. So even before getting into those, which I’ll definitely touch on for the stories and the points. A key step is when you’re going into a speaking environment, look at: what’s my primary objective?
So speaking of mindfulness, you’re talking, you’re committing, you’re saying, okay the benefits being mindful in work, benefits of being mindful yourself in work or your team. That is your primary objective: To be able to serve your audience that information or that experience with that knowledge. Then from there, understanding what are my secondary objectives? Is this an opportunity for me to connect with potential clients? Is this an opportunity for me to have an increase of awareness of my social media platforms? Is this an opportunity for me to really have someone connect on a emotional level in this story. They should be that specific.
So lining up with the audience and figuring out what stories are gonna resonate with this audience? How can I connect stories that I have based off of what they’re going through? And a great way you can do this is talking to the person that’s bringing you in as a speaker. So if that’s a conference organizer or the team lead or if it’s HR, whoever’s been your point of contact, just asking them, “Hey, what’s coming up for this group?” Or if you’re in-person and you arrive early, talking to some of the attendees of asking, “Hey, what are current challenges that you’re facing at the moment right now in this specific space of mindfulness? What ways do you feel like you would benefit from this?” And we all have the answers, it’s just having others help support us in being able to discover those.
So when you get a sense of what they’re looking for and your stories, being able to implement a story and add a point within that. I always recommend utilizing three points with each story at a maximum. So anything beyond that can be very overwhelming for an audience and especially a person too of, like, with each story if you’re sharing six or seven points, it can be a lot. People can only take so much of writing down notes, trying to get it all in, or like taking pictures of the slides.
You really want to create a space that is in a sense of time warp where they’re in it, they’re mesmerized by what you’re sharing, and it’s connecting on such deep level. And so I always recommend from story to point ratio, having a three or less would be really impactful. And a great way to also utilize throughout your entire if it’s your speech map or your speech timeline, be able to have an impact if that’s through a point you’re making of a powerful quote. Or just a specific point of how to bring my mindfulness into your work to sharing an emotional story that’s gonna resonate on an emotional level. If you can have an impact every minute, that’s a great speech. And that’s something that was taught to me is just realizing making sure that that’s there each minute is super powerful.
More than that can be even transferred from transformational on a whole another level. But that’s something I’ve held on to when it comes to building up the talks, supporting clients, in that is if you have at least every minute an impact in some way, shape, or form, it’s gonna be powerful.
Kerry: That makes so much sense. And I feel like that minute cadence, when you’re setting up your talk, does that just come from a lot of practice? Really being super clear on what you’re going to do going into it? Because I feel like that every minute doesn’t happen naturally. Like, you really have to know what you’re doing going into it.
RD Weeks: Well, and to expand upon that further–I know for me, I’ve gotten into this and maybe others can raise your hand too– I feel like that impact has be the most transformational impact and massive breakthrough that anyone’s ever experienced. And I gotta do that every minute. And that’s just not true. You don’t have to make it this big overwhelming, all encompassing breakthrough impact every moment. It can be just a subtle shift of emotion. One thing that was, again, taught to me by another teacher, Sean Stephenson was, “Three commonalities of great speakers: they can shift emotions, they can transfer ideas, and they can allow the audience to rethink their life.” And those can be subtle, those can be very subtle. It can shift the emotion from super nervous about coming in and, “Is the speaker gonna be really worthwhile to listen to?” To then just shifting it a bit based off their story. Like, “Oh, wow! I laughed. I can connect now with this person. This is cool.” That’s an impact right there because it just created a subtle shift.
So these don’t have to be massive, massive breakthrough moments each minute, but it’s just subtle ways in which the audience can connect and you can lead up to those big moments throughout. But the key is just realizing, “Hey. Am I causing shifts here? Am I transferring an idea? Am I allowing someone to rethink their life by asking a question?” A question is a powerful one too, to be able to do that.
Kerry: Okay. That makes it a lot more approachable, I think, for those of us that are thinking, “Oh my god, I need to have this huge transformation!” But it makes a lot of sense to have that staircase basically of leading up to this bigger message that you’re talking about overall so that everyone is engaged the entire, or the majority at the time anyway, you hope.
RD Weeks: Yeah, well and stories are a fantastic way of doing it because stories, especially, again, if there’s an emotional response that comes up– and that quick example of, like, someone cut you off in your car and how you react– That could be a 2 minute- 5 minute- even 10 minute story, however you dive into it. And within stories, there are so many ways that people can connect because you’re bringing emotion into it. You’re really allowing the audience to be there with you in that story. And already that’s a connection right there.
And so it’s not putting so much pressure on, “Okay, every minute this has to happen here, this is gonna happen there.” But if you’re intertwining stories throughout and then putting your points within that-again, I utilize the power of three with that, three or less points- It’s gonna check out. It’s gonna work out. So for having that every minute situation, but it’s not putting so much pressure on, like, okay, I have to have it structured in this way exactly.
Kerry: Cool. Cool. Cool. So then talk to me about the people that you work with in your coaching space.
RD Weeks: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Well, so commonality that I have, I feel with all of them is the willingness to grow. And so I feel with anyone that’s starting into the space of public speaking. I really focus on those that are starting off, have had a bit of experience, but those are really kinda like clients I love to work with. And always, it’s that they have a growth mindset. Do they have the willingness to learn and improve? And that takes a lot of self acceptance.
A book that I actually have right here that I go through with my clients, it’s called, “The Six Pillars of Self- Esteem,” by Nathaniel Branden, and it’s powerful because really when it comes to it, there’s 2 things that come up for someone I work with:
1- Is an improvement that’s needed in self trust
Or 2- Is an improvement in the content that they’re delivering
And it could be a combination of the two, but that’s what I’ve been seeing within those that I work with is there’s a part of it of self acceptance, self trust, self responsibility, and really going back to self esteem, you know, being able to improve upon that.
But when it goes back to self trust, that’s really an important factor of all this, is trust in yourself. And so those that are willing to step into this where I’m at and I know that I can improve upon this. And I’m willing to do that, because not everyone is willing to. There are some people that are just like, “You know what? This is what it is.” But for me, I really want to go into focusing on working with those that are ready, banging down the door, excited to be a part of this and really to want to grow in this space. So that’s a commonality I’ve noticed within those I work with.
Kerry: That’s awesome. And so they can be in any industry, like, working on any particular subject at all.
RD Weeks: Yeah. My whole focus is, like, if you are super you have a message, you have an idea, you have knowledge that you believe can impact and support other people’s lives, I wanna work with you. Like, the variety, I believe, actually helps from a skill standpoint of coaching and consulting is my methodology within it. It’s a combination of the two. I actually variety is so important for me. And so to be able to get a variety of different industries and coming at it and at it from a beginner’s mindset actually can help those that I’m working with to feel way more comfortable because it’s like, “This guy doesn’t know anything about my industry so now I can be really open and share what’s going on.” Rather than, what can happen-again goes back to what I experienced my life- is trying to impress someone. So instead of coming at it from that, we can come at it from this reality of what’s going on and really dive into where we can improve and how I can support the person.
Kerry: Yeah. And I think part of what you do that is so unique is that you do combine the coaching and the consulting. So can you talk to us a little bit more about what that means, what that actually looks like?
RD Weeks: Yeah. So for the combination of the two, it’s like being able to feel like I’m with the person in the trenches. I love that. And so there’s a level of coaching where it comes back to helping those that I’m working with come to the answer or come to the realization of the breakthrough. And that’s beautiful with coaching styles within coaching through the powerful questions to really opening and holding space for someone and holding that container. But then from the consulting angle, what I love, is really diving into – and I especially utilize this now in my intensive- is being able to get my computer, let me go through, focus in and figuring out what’s your ideal event. What’s the dream event? How do we work towards that dream event based off of other events that can be stepping stones to get you there?
And so I’m gonna be out there going through it, navigating where these key events that we can look at right here, right now. Let’s get let’s your plan written out. Let’s start with the booking process. Whose the person to contact. And so it’s working with so many other changes in that standpoint that I love, and it’s in such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things for this intensive where we’re getting so much done. My whole thing is I love action. I didn’t at first realize that in the space, but for me, my shortest now program, based off of just trial, and error is 30 days.
So I do a 30- day and then I do, two different other ones that are full days, multi-hour days. And I love it because it’s, like, we’re not hiding. We can’t hide. We’re here, you signed up for this, we’re gonna dive into it. And that’s where the consulting really comes in. It’s more of those full-day experiences- I’m in it. We got a mission together of what we gotta get done. Let’s do this. And it’s the action that forms because that creates an amazing breakthrough someone. And again, I can’t take responsibility for any breakthrough. It’s up to the person to have that. It’s like, they have one, great! If not, it’s okay, that’s still on you. All I can do is create the environment and put in my side of the energy, but it’s definitely up to the person to decide how much they wanna commit into this, for the time we have together.
Kerry: Yeah. I think that a lot of what we talked about before too is that you and I both see our roles more so as a guide instead of a leader. It’s like we have to be that Obi wan Kanobie in Star Wars. Right? He gets to be the person to teach you through what’s happening, and then you have that big climactic moment. But what I love that you offer, in the combination of coaching and consulting, is that you do so much work on behalf of your clients so that they know they don’t have to do so much work on their own in terms of finding the gigs, and what they’re gonna be doing ,and honing in on the events that they wanna be speaking at, and really tracking down all of that information that I think so many people do get stuck on. It’s like, “I know where I wanna go, I just don’t have the bandwidth or capacity or I may be a little bit afraid to take those initial steps.” So after having you as their guide to walk through that, at least first, rendition of figuring out the steps, they know, “Okay, this is how I’m gonna apply and book my first few gigs,” I think that’s so huge. Really, really beneficial.
RD Weeks: Well, and as I mentioned too, there’s the trial and error. I think, previously, I would have three month programs and that was the plan. And I was realizing, I was not feeling great with this. I was also realizing, there wasn’t alignment–going back to the podcast name here. There was not that alignment within how I feel I can best serve someone, and the acknowledgement and acceptance of that. And then again, as you were saying, the power of being the guide through that process for someone, it’s huge and I love to do it in a shorter amount of time to get that momentum going because I so believe it’s a principle I hold on to: a principle of immense potential. I can paraphrase it but basically, in essence it says, we all have way more potential within each of us than we could ever develop in our lifetime. And so really the goal is to be on that path of developing it, and we can feel into that.
And so if I can help guide someone, to really embody that, not just intellectually get it because there’s many things I can get intellectually that I don’t actually do like, working out every day- those kind of small things. But if I can really help guide someone to embody that and take that on for themselves, then hell yeah. Like, that for me lights me up and gets at it because I come and again, there’s different perspectives on it, but I just come from that perspective of if, “I can have a short amount of time and really have that impact but then someone can run with that on their own and go and create it, and then they can always come back for a refresher if they need a reminder.” Gosh, I love that! Because it’s going back to self responsibility.
Going back to the book, The Six Pillars, someone’s taking that responsibility on for themselves, and that lets me have fun making my job obsolete. That’s my goal.
Kerry: That’s awesome! And so going back to that, speaking of alignment, how did you figure out what was and wasn’t in alignment for you? How do you know? What’s the feeling that you’re like, “Okay, this is right.” And then how do you know that there’s some dissonance of, “Okay, I don’t wanna do it this way anymore”?
RD Weeks: I love this, this is such powerful question. Wow. So the key for me I shared at the beginning: I now put everything under this lens or filter of fun. So I prioritize that fun filled life. And for me fun, the actual what comes up for emotion is joy, excitement, enthusiasm. And so I always utilize a daily reminder. For my method, it’s taking the time each night and each morning to check in and so have enough space for yourself to check-in however that looks. I highly recommend it. For me, it’s writing out, like, what’s happened in the day? If it’s at the end of the day, at beginning is just a reminder of, like, what I appreciate above and grateful for. But having that space for you allows yourself to realize, and again, I utilize fun, so I’m checking in like, “Alright. Is today feeling fun? Am I actually joyful to hop on here and go on this epic interview here? Is that fun? Is that exciting?” Is that accurate? Which is yes?” The answer is YES!
So with that, it’s be able to just have that time to check-in. And for me, it was, of course, trial and error. And I even had this belief early on thinking, “Where is the magic potion that I drink so all my problems go away?” And that’s just not the case. And I don’t know how many more times I’m gonna keep saying that until we all really embody that. But it’s really powerful to realize that you’re always gonna have challenges, problems… they’re seasons of life. And so noticing that and realizing in this moment it’s a trial and error of just figuring out, what works? What doesn’t? Again, I went through 8 years, I would say, of spaghetti phase. Of still moving forward, but at moments moving faster than at other points. Trying this, trying that, you really gotta get out there and experience life and experience, especially on the work side and specifically speaking side, experience different ways to go about speaking. And figuring out really what resonates with you.
And that you can’t rush. You can rush how to go to specific events and go through different techniques and skills and how to discover or reconnect with my authentic voice. Again, that’s something that I focus in on so there’s ways to speed it up in that capacity, but you can’t speed up your own experiences. You just gotta go out there and have as many as you can. And if you want, like me, to have as many experiences as you can, as quickly as you can so you really start to figure it out. But it takes you having to put some action behind that too.
Kerry: Yep. I have just enjoyed this conversation so much. I’m not gonna take up too much for more of your time. But RD, how can people find you? How can they connect with you and learn more about what you’re doing every day?
RD Weeks: So you can find me on both Instagram and LinkedIn are my most active now. So it’s R-D Weeks 50. So it’s w-e-e-k-s, like, weeks, months, days. And that’s the best way you can connect with me. I also have some resources there that you can look at too for ways to continue this work, if this was something that resonates with you. Happy to just, if you want to send me a direct message and connect that way, if you have one thing you learned from this, or one thing that resonated, that would be awesome to hear and then we’ll go from there for the conversation.
Kerry: Awesome. Well, thank you so much! I am so excited to continue to follow your journey, to work with you someday in that larger capacity, because you are the dream person to work with in the balance that you bring with the coaching and the consulting, just how much integrity you really have, how you have embodied so much of what you are leading other people through and guiding other people through. You really practice what you preach and I appreciate that so much in you because that’s not always true in the education space and just the coaching space in general. So you’re one of the real ones RD and I just appreciate you so much. So thank you for helping on with us today.
RD Weeks: Oh, I’ll take that in an honor that I appreciate it and definitely so honored to be part of this epic podcast too.
Kerry: Awesome. Thanks everyone! Talk to you later.
Thank you for listening into another episode of the In High Alignment podcast. I hope you are able to get some good action steps and takeaways from today’s episode. As always, any resources referenced in today’s episode will be linked in the show notes and the episode blog post on InHighAlignment.com. If you like what you’re hearing so far, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you’re not sure how to do that, a quick Google search will answer the question for you. I’ll also get a tutorial up on the In High Alignment Instagram soon, but Google is your BFF in the meantime. So yeah. Those I mean, those ratings and reviews help so much with discoverability. And also feels like you’re giving me a giant virtual hug. So, thank you. Until next time, this is Kerry, and remember to stay In High Alignment.
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