Belong as Your Happy Authentic Self

By Darrin Tulley, Founder & Chief of Possibilities at Ignite Happy

“Live Your Possible”

Darrin believes there is a light inside of you waiting to be unleashed.  A beautiful light he calls your “happy authentic self”; ready to joyfully belong and to unlock your full potential.  He was thrilled to own his part and contribute to the “Unlock the Power of Belonging” worldwide, virtual conference, hosted by The World Happiness Foundation in November 2020.  At this digital conference, he led a workshop about how to “Find Your Awakening Through Authentic Inclusion.”  Join Darrin and watch the recording of this event to set forth on your path to igniting the light inside you.

  Darrin introduces his enlightened purpose and shares how this timely topic gives hope and tools to help others to shine in times of darkness. Combining extensive research with over 25 years of experience in corporate America, Darrin Tulley has evolved a unique approach for bringing out the best in people via “vulnerable and relatable storytelling.”  Darrin discusses how to turn up the light inside each of us through authentic inclusion and how to ignite an awakening of endless possibilities.  As part of his multi-sensory approach, Darrin shares deep-rooted intentional practices, exercises and ideas to activate audience members to move forward.   

Click Here for Darrin’s Workshop on YouTube

Quotes from Audience Attendees:

“Humbled by your story and courage to share your vulnerability, thank you!” – Charlotte, NC

“I relate to your stories; your messages and exercises will stay with me forever” – Mumbai, India

“Your authentic approach and care to help me see the light in me gave me goosebumps” – Vancouver, Canada

“The exercises were eye-opening and gave me pause to get more curious about the beautiful differences I am missing out on” – Phoenix, AZ  

“You are a true partner and ally! I seriously have never seen a senior leader be so very vulnerable like you just did and we need more of this; I really think you will change workplace cultures around the globe through your storytelling, authenticity, vulnerability and passion” – Satellite Beach, Florida

As you listen, gain additional insights from key excerpts out of the talk below: 

1:00 ”I believe there is a light inside of you waiting to be unleashed.” – A beautiful light Darrin calls your ‘happy authentic self,’ ready to joyfully unlock your full potential where we belong and are interconnected to something bigger than ourselves.

6:00 “I couldn’t believe the level of oppression that is still happening in this world” – Darrin never saw or realized how many others had struggles in their everyday life. He couldn’t believe he was so unaware and realized he was existing ignorantly in this bubble that shielded him from feeling the inequities occurring all around him. 

8:30 “I began to see I had some unconscious bias that I was unaware of, it was terrifying and my bubble burst” – It hit Darrin hard when he saw he wasn’t living out his purpose to bring the best out in others.  He was favoring people like him and was not living out an authentic purpose and being inclusive to help all people.  He felt tremendous guilt and shame, like he was “found out” for not impacting those around him as fully and positively as he was intending.  It is here where his BUBBLE BURST.

9:10 “I cried, yeah, I cried and was very emotional” – In front of his colleagues, Darrin vulnerably admitted that he became conscious of bias he never realized he had.  He WAS NOT HIS AUTHENTIC SELF up to this point and realized he was part of the problem! 

10:08 “The people I was holding back….help me up” – The beauty of the bubble bursting and experiencing this internal struggle led to an outpouring of love and expansion of possibilities he was missing out on.  This enlightenment woke him up to be more accepting and curious while making positive connections with both similarities and differences.  

10:52 “When I looked into her eyes, I saw hope, sadness and love…I felt like I belonged and it was amazing”- Darrin committed to be accepting of differences through what authentic inclusion really looks like.  Darrin began to believe and see there is a beauty in us all.  He committed to seek change and to be different and to make a difference. He will forever use a pink pen as his accountability tool, his constant reminder of this life-changing commitment.

15:15 “Four Days to Change – I read this book that kicked me in the stomach four times and I needed to give four apologies to make things right” – Darrin stepped in to learn, seek knowledge how to be better at inclusion through joining business resource groups, attending other inclusion events, reading books and articles, seeking input from others he hired that were different from him. All with a purpose to learn and own his part.  

17:15 “Who am I to limit her expression of emotions” – Darrin shares how he apologized to his wife for not listening the way she needed him to.  He recognized he needs to meet her where she is at times and to be open to other ways of thinking that genuinely help others, where they are. Darrin also realized he needed to participate differently in the way she needs him to, while not always trying to fix everything;  Listening to serve her and others. 

22:22 “There is NO THEM, there is no more THEM” – Darrin’s organization was saddled with blame and self-protectionism.  He was looking for a sign to communicate a way for people to see their part in the problems and he literally found one.  It said “There is no them” and asked other leaders to run an experiment with him to stop using the word “Them” to become more united. A commitment ensued to work together more intentionally, with a purpose to collaborate as one working team that proved to be stronger together, over the long run.  

24:35“We became ONE and doubled our customer satisfaction scores” – Authentic inclusion rids us of the need to classify a group as “them” and to use “just us” to unify as one. The language the team was using stopped the collective whole from achieving success.  When the team members each let their guard down to seek a greater purpose, possibilities became plentiful. If you have a team that is struggling, try to stop the word “them” and replace it with we/us or another word that engages collaboration and discovery.  

25:55 “Identify a “Them” Group to Practice Authentic Inclusion” – Darrin walks through an exercise to help you explore where you are with inclusion.  He guides you to identify groups that you view as “them” where you might be classifying people not in your circle (or your bubble), don’t trust or believe in.  From here, Darrin teaches the audience to explore the attributes each of us apply to different groups of people in our mind. He challenges each of us to take one of these groups we label as “them” and to begin practicing inclusion with this group where you learn to expand your bubble, welcome change and bring people closer into our “we” groups.  This is a form of belonging, more “we/us” and less “them.”   

38:55 “Please don’t let society break you down” – Darrin’s heart grew that day when his daughter taught him to look at people with intentional differences as a way of celebrating being different.  She was on Darrin’s shoulder on a work trip, helping him see a woman with bright red hair as celebrating being different.  

41:40 “Honor Those Not Present” – Darrin put his pink pen to test and recalled a conversation with a friend that stuck with him about how treating people equally should be done when people are present and not present as well. Don’t join in mistreating others when it might be the easier path to fit in. We need more people supporting each other while being a voice for others. 

44:20 “Accept yourself, Accept others” – When we realize we all have differences and are especially unique, we should accept one another, starting with having compassion with ourselves. Try to be inviting and open to the differences we all have. 

47:47 “I see a light in this man waiting to be unleashed…” – In a life-threatening situation, Darrin focused his attention on the beauty within another person as he was threatened by another man yelling at the top of his lungs. So much so that spit landed on Darrin’s face as he was screaming “are you a racist, are you a racist?”  Darrin stood in this conversation with a resolve to serve him. Darrin felt something overcome him and it wasn’t anger or the desire to run or fight.  A sense of calmness overcame him, even in the midst of confrontation. He felt sadness and compassion for this man and it fully consumed him.  

49:40 “Show genuine interest and people will amaze you” – Darrin stood in confrontation and took a real interest to help a man through his struggles and ended with a hug filled with love, filled with hope and filled with belonging. Giving and serving others with genuine care, rewards us with love and joy. 

50:10 “There is a beauty in all of us waiting to be unleashed” – Let’s give each other a chance.  Look at one another with curious eyes to see something more about them.  Check your emotions and bias, and seek the beauty that is right in front of you.  Darrin later recognized the angry man shared his emotion, yet was more curious than furious as he didn’t call Darrin a racist, he asked if he was one. 

53:00 “Look at life with kid eyes and see what you are missing” – Darrin takes the audience on a trip with him and his family out to Arizona, living with childlike wonder.  As a jeep tour guide, Darrin facilitated an experiential exercise for people to get curious and creative again.  Being open to new things and seeing things from a different perspective. Like happiness, creativity is another attribute that dissipates in humans over time and we need to spark the kid inside each of us to see what we are missing. Open up your creative mind again to curiously see and respect the beautiful gifts we each have, called differences.

58:45 “Get conscious again” –  What is scary to Darrin is that he became aware that we all are living more from our subconscious minds than our conscious ones.  We may be limited based on what we did in our past, yet we need to gain the consciousness to live in our present with a greater purpose.   

62:50 “The lid was not upside down, I was” – Darrin had a special moment with his daughter where his world turned upside down, again. It is the moment where Darrin’s world lit up.  Literally a moment when everything became extremely clear and bright.  He needed to have a kid’s eye. This particular experience awoke his inner child and brightened his spirit.  He recognized at that moment that there is so much inside all of us looking to jump out in a big and vibrant way. 

66:40 “Each “WG” Is Unique and So Are You!” – Staying present, accepting the happiness and differences within us, allows each of us to be calm and in the moment; to see things in the world that are different.  To see things sitting right there, no longer hiding and ready to be noticed.  Be vulnerable with Darrin and celebrate our differences through each “WG” sighting (Watermelon Guy on the back of the Italian ice lid).    

67:10 “You are worthy to live your possible” – It is amazing what you find in the world when you remain curious. Embrace happiness from within and know (deeply know) that it is never far away and within reach.  Be present and focus on what is in front of you with a child’s eye and with wonder. Be silly with me, accept each “WG” finding as a joyful reminder we get to choose happiness and unleash your beautiful light inside. Vulnerably accept that you are different and worthy of belonging.

68:50 “Expand your bubble and connect with joyful abundance” – We each are in our own little bubble, it takes belief and purposeful steps to expand. As we do, our universe gets wider and connections become more clear. Darrin shares how connections become even stronger.  So much is possible when we begin to open up ourselves to a broader circle and experience uncertainty as an opportunity. 

69:24“Why are we crying” – Because there is hope.  Happiness is within each of us, when each individual is welcomed as our happy authentic self.   

69:24“You changed my life too” – It is a two-way gift for both the giver and receiver, when including and serving others. Too many worry about what they might give up, rather than being open to what they might be missing out on. There is more to be gained in this world through love and kindness. 

71:11 “Be the one that illuminates others” – When we help others shine, Darrin believes we all become brighter. Start today. 

71:23 “You are Possible” – You belong wherever you are and in whatever you want to be! Darrin is inspiring each of us to Live Your Possible!

71:37 “I believe in you and it is the light inside you that will be the difference” – It is your turn to get vulnerable and help unlock the power of belonging.

72:15 “Follow Darrin Tulley” – www.ignitehappy.com; hashtags #ignitehappy #findyourwg #liveyourpossible or on Instagram/Twitter @ignitehappy

Turn up the brightness of your light by being you, and grow into the person you are meant to be. Be the one that illuminates others. It is time to awaken your soul to this life and light up your path to live your possible.  Keep learning, self-exploring and taking intentional steps to seeing your “happy authentic self” come alive and embrace the joy that comes with it. 

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