It’s 10:21pm. I’m lying face up on the queen-sized bed in my hotel room on the 18th floor of the Sheraton Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, my feet dangling off the bed. As I stare at the off-white ceiling, tears start running down my cheeks.
At the Summit of Greatness, I experienced one of the most magical moments in my life…
Earlier that morning, I woke up to a text message from someone I’ve never met before. Danielle, a professional sound healer, asked me to come down to the registration desk. I had zero clue what this was about. After walking up and down the hallway in my caffeine-deprived state, I was finally able to locate Danielle.
With a big smile on her face, she looked at me and said something that I’ll never ever forget:
“Fabi, I know how much you love books, and I just wanted to say that I really believe in you and thought that you would appreciate this book that someone gifted to me a few years ago.”
Danielle turned around, reached behind the registration desk, and pulled out a book entitled, “Coaching Millions.”
Here I am at the Summit of Greatness in Columbus, Ohio, and within less than 24 hours a complete stranger said the words I’ve been craving to hear from myself…
“I believe in you.”
This moment pretty much summarizes what the Summit of Greatness is at its core:
It’s about the people. It’s about bringing together the kindest, most positive, and caring people from around the world to collectively unlock the next level in life. To support each other; to cheer each other on; to achieve greatness.
This Summit has given me a life-long gift — a number of gifts. Not only did I make significant friendships with people from all over the world, ranging from the UK to New Zealand, but I was also able to make substantial progress on my own healing journey to overcome one of my biggest struggles:
I would like to share with you three lessons I learned from my experience at the Summit of Greatness to help you overcome self-doubt and unlock your inner greatness.
Because you deserve it, and the world needs it.
Lesson #1: Self-Love is Self-Forgiveness
It’s Thursday, Day 1 of the Greatness Summit. I’m sitting in a 250-person, no-window conference room, holding a Matcha Latte with lavender syrup in my left hand and a black pen in the other, ready to take notes.
Chris Lee, motivational speaker and life coach, kicks us off with a workshop called “Seven Keys to Elevating All Relationships.” After minute one, I’m hooked.
His core message cuts deep:
The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships.
The quality of our relationships is determined by the relationship we have with our individual self.
Love starts with you loving yourself.
As I listened to Chris’s voice, my thoughts started wandering.
Self-love has been one of the biggest challenges for me personally. When my father kicked my mom, my brother, and me out of the house in the middle of the night when I was 4 years old, I suppressed the memory for decades and got trapped in the vicious cycle of shame: Shame of feeling lost; shame of feeling unwanted; shame of feeling unworthy.
Instead of trying to find answers inside, I looked outside to achieve accomplishments and gain external validation.
For the past decades, I’ve been carrying the energy of shame and childhood traumas as heavy as a 50-lb. sandbag on my shoulders, thinking it’s a part of me. But also thinking: “What the heck is wrong with me?”
Chris helped me realize that me holding onto that sandbag is MY responsibility.
I made the choice to carry the baggage with me.
I made the choice to hold on to it — and not let it go.
I am the reason why I don’t feel loved.
If you’re like me, the next question you ask yourself is:
But how can you love yourself unconditionally?
Chris Lee has a very simple answer for this:
You need to forgive.
You need to forgive your parents for never saying “I love you.”
You need to forgive the people who have hurt you the most.
And most importantly, you need to forgive yourself.
You need to let go of the energy that doesn’t serve you anymore. You need to let go of the people who don’t serve you anymore. You need to throw that 50-lb. sandbag off your shoulder.
And when you let that energy go and forgive, you will discover that love has always resided deep inside of you.
That’s when you no longer feel the urge to find someone else to love you just to fill that deep void inside of you.
Because the void is already filled with pure love for yourself. You’re already complete by being who you are.
Once you have that self-love, you can give it to another in a healthy, symbiotic relationship.
Lydia Rees, Chris Lee, and I during the book signing event.
Lesson #2: Be original
“The goal of an artist is not to be the best, but to be original.” – Christian Howes
Silence breaks as Christian Howes, rated top three jazz violinists by JazzTimes, begins moving against strings to play “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley in the Ohio Theatre. It’s day two, and I can tell that music plays an important role at the Summit of Greatness.
Love literally is in the air.
After his performance, Chris steps closer to the microphone and begins to share his struggle between trying to become the best versus being unapologetically himself.
What Chris Howes reminded the audience of is that life is not about doing what’s best for others; it’s about doing what’s best for you.
How often do we get off the path of “being original”?
Think about it: Maybe you deviate from your most authentic version of yourself, just to fit into your friend’s circle. Maybe you take on a job that looks good on paper, just because it’s the most responsible thing for you to do. Maybe you give up your boldest dreams, just to not feel ashamed when picking up your kids late from childcare.
Being original is hard.
But it shouldn’t be that way.
While Chris is talking, I’m thinking about how I’ve beaten myself up about not growing my audience the way I wanted. And how often I easily slip into comparison mode.
And as if Chris can read my mind, he points out that it’s not about the thousands of followers or the blue checkmark on Instagram.
It’s about attracting and helping the people who need you the most.
And the only way to attract them is by being your most authentic self.
“Your influence will never go wider than your character goes deep.” – Rory Vaden
Lesson #3: The Universe is always a “yes”
“Faith and belief will always be stronger than your deepest fears.” – Gabby Bernstein
It’s the last day of the Summit. When Gabby Bernstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker, hits the stage, she takes us back to a special moment in time when she doubted herself.
A few years ago, she was touring around Europe, heading from one stage to another, feeling exhausted and burned out. On her way to the next speaking event in Canada, sitting in the plane, she started questioning what she was doing.
In short: Self-doubt knocked on her door — loud and clear.
She asked the universe for a sign if she was moving in the right direction.
Later that day, as Gabby was getting ready in the green room all by herself, she suddenly had a strange feeling. As if there was an invisible force behind her, she felt energy flowing. She said it felt like she had invisible angel wings.
When she returned to the greenroom after giving her speech, she believed the universe had left her with the sign she’d been craving.
Her manager held up a necklace, dangling from his hand, as he asked: “Gabby, is this your necklace?”
As Gabby tells the story, standing in the middle of the stage, she slowly lifts up her right hand.
A silver necklace slowly slides down her hand, revealing an angel charm. A word was engraved on the wing of the charm: “Believe.”
It was at this moment that I realized something deep inside of me was changing.
My jaw slightly dropped, when I realized that I just experienced a full circle moment.
A few days earlier, I came to the Summit, highly doubting myself. On day two, Danielle handed me the book “Coaching Millions”, and told me that she believes in the work I do. The third day, I realized that Danielle giving me the book was a special sign from the universe, reminding me to believe in myself.
How the heck did all of that just happen?
I can’t help but be in awe.
The moral of the story:
If you’re in doubt of yourself, ask the universe – or God if that is your belief — to show you a sign. I got my sign when I was at the Summit of Greatness.
Maybe it’s time to ask the universe or God for yours.
Greatness is within all of us.
It’s Sunday morning, and it’s official: the Summit of Greatness has come to an end, and I’m on my way home. Thinking about the event while sitting in the window seat of my plane on my way back to Austin as the sun began to shine bright above the cotton ball-like clouds, I scroll through my pictures and videos in my camera roll, reliving one memory at a time.
Each time my thumb swipes left, my heart fills with more joy. Each memory — from taking silly group pictures with strangers, now friends for life, all the way to Wyclef Jean pulling people up on stage to film a video for Shakira while playing “Pepas” by Farruko — every memory puts a smile on my face.
It’s impossible not to feel “high on life” after the Summit of Greatness.
As I looked out the window, tears of gratitude fell from my eyes. I’d never been to an event like this that moved my heart, mind, and soul as the Summit of Greatness did.
Maybe I just experienced first-hand what it takes to unlock the next level in my life.
And I hope you’ll experience it soon yourself, too…