Quieting Your Inner Critic & Showing Up Brave – with Confidence Coach, KT LaPorta

Guest: KT LaPorta
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KT LaPorta works with women in their 20’s and 30’s who struggle with confidence and getting their inner critic voice to be quiet. She teaches them how to stop cycles of negativity and redirect anxious thoughts so they can learn to trust themselves and have the confidence they’ve always wanted. KT has a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and uses her experience on both sides of the therapist chair in her 1:1 coaching program. If she isn’t coaching she can be found at home sewing or buying more fabric to feed her sewing habit! 

As someone with experience of social anxiety, and who trained as a counsellor and set up a business as a confidence coach, KT LaPorta has a wealth of personal and professional experience and approaches for dealing with anxiety to share with you, wherever you are in your journey from socially anxious to quietly confident.

Join us for a conversation about the harsh inner critic, the ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought-tos’ we hear in our heads, and feeling stuck in the mud in your attempts to overcome anxiety. We’ll be talking about the importance of your words and honouring your nature; why we need to search for the right fit when we’re seeking help for anxiety; and what it is that inspired KT LaPorta to be brave in her life – and we think this story will inspire you too.



Hayley Stanton  0:00
Welcome to the Quiet Connections Podcast, KT.

KT LaPorta  0:03
Thank you. I’m really happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Hayley Stanton  0:06
It’s so lovely to have you here. I wonder if you could just begin by sharing a little bit of your story and how you can relate to those people who are feeling socially anxious and not good enough who are listening?

KT LaPorta  0:17
Yes, I can definitely relate. So growing up, I would say as a teenager, I had a lot of anxiety and depression. And then through my early 20s, undergrad and grad school, that anxiety was always there. So I definitely understand social anxiety and generalised anxiety. I actually went to school for my master’s degree in mental health counselling. Because I could relate so much I wanted to help. I had an amazing counsellor in my high school. And he was one of the kindest adults that I really started to trust, especially when I did get really depressed as a teenager. And that really just directed me so much. I was like, I want to be that for other people when I grow up, you know? And school counselling I discovered was not my thing. I did not want to do that after an internship. So that’s was the mental health counselling. I wanted to have more of a more broad range. And, it’s funny to think of now I’m about five years removed from finishing that degree. And even in the midst of learning how to become a therapist, I was in therapy, and dealing with my anxiety.

Hayley Stanton  1:59
I hear that a lot.

KT LaPorta  2:01
Yeah, yeah. And that’s even for my programme, it was part of it that you had to be in therapy for X number of sessions. Because they wanted to make sure you understood when you worked on stuff you needed to, and to that you understood what it was like to be on the other side. And I was like, no problem. I’ve already been doing that. But that sense of social anxiety, in classes it was so funny that for a long time, people in my classes, would tell me Oh, you’re so smart. You’re so wise. When you talk during class you say such important deep things. And it made my anxiety so much worse. Because I was like, I’m only talking when I definitely know what I want to say. I know you all think I’m so smart, and I’m not and it like fostered this imposter syndrome. And it was a lot to live up to. So it’s just so funny to think about. So anybody that’s listening, you’re not alone. And I love that you have this podcast for that purpose of, you’re not alone. There’s so many other people dealing with this too. And, yeah, so I did finish my degree just fine, a whole year worth of internship just fine. You know, I survived. But afterwards, I realised that therapy, traditional therapy here in the States ( I’m in from New York) it was not exactly what I wanted, it wasn’t what I imagined.

Hayley Stanton  3:38
Tell us what you imagined.

KT LaPorta  3:40
You know, kind of like the your standard idea the media presents, which is very much more of a private practice situation where you get to meet with your clients on whatever basis that they want, and it’s not an issue and you have plenty of time, and you talk to them about whatever. But clinics are very, get in, get out. You’ve got maybe a half hour, and you have to take notes. And unless you have a private practice, it’s very quick and it gets very frustrating. I was burnt out by the time I was done with my internship.

Hayley Stanton  4:18
Yeah, that’s tough. And I think being in an office with the white walls that can be really difficult as well for you and the client.

KT LaPorta  4:30
Yeah, so I never really got into therapy after finishing my degree because of my internship experience, I would literally go in and cry in my office, because I was so done. So, fast forward a few years of that imposter syndrome and that anxiety intensified even, because here I was, I have all these student loans and I got this degree and I had all these things. And I’m like, Oh my god, what am I gonna do now? I’m a failure. It made everything feel so much worse. And, again, I’m five years removed from that now and over the past five years, I’ve gotten to really think about like, okay, if that’s not the route I want to go, what can I do? I have so much knowledge and so much experience. And so for me, creating my coaching business was that outlet, and that Aha, this is what I can do. This is how I can help people, I still can.

Hayley Stanton  5:35
Oh, I can really see you lighting up when you’re talking about this different approach as well. Yes, it sounds like it was a real fork in the road. There’s like a real gift.

KT LaPorta  5:44
Yes, exactly. Because, for me, I had an aspect of my internship was extremely like hands on. And like teaching based in like a lot of psychoeducation, and things like that. And I love that aspect. Whereas more of the traditional therapy is very hands off very, you know, obviously processing, listening, helping the person, you know, find their own conclusions. And I love that I support that, and I still go to therapy. But for me, as a practitioner, I realised that hands on, like, I love that that very goal focused at action. So I, when I was like, Okay, I’m gonna try this whole coaching thing. That’s where that came from, was this idea of being able to create kind of that roadmap for people.

Hayley Stanton  6:41
You’ve got a quote on your website that talks about being stuck in the mud. It really appealed to me. Could you talk to us a bit about that?

KT LaPorta  6:47
Oh, good. Yeah, I think I got that from grad school. I don’t remember exactly where I got that. But I love that phrase, because it’s stuck so much for me as well. This idea of like, when you’re depressed or anxious, it feels like you’re just in the mud. You’re in your head, like, just sinking in quicksand or mud, just stuck. And my whole thing, and I do mention that on my website, is that, going to therapy for me anyways, all the people I worked with, and going to school for it made me realise that getting out of that mud is something you have to do yourself. And even going to school for it and everything. I realised that, therapy-wise, nobody’s going to give you that roadmap; that handbook. They’ll sit in it with you. That is the goal. That’s how I look at traditional therapy is having that person to sit down in the mud with you and hear you and feel that, but then you have to figure out, Okay, now I need to stand up. Now, how do I get out? And that’s what I’m all about is I know how much that sucks to be sitting there and feeling lost. Like you can’t see the end of the mud. It’s just like, why even get up, is it just mud forever? Why try or I have tried, and it hasn’t been successful. And just the defeat and because anxiety and depression, they’re both very cyclical. It perpetuates itself. And that’s one of the first things that I go over with people is explaining the cycle of anxiety. You know, that first time that you go to make plans with somebody or do something, and you feel that anxiety creeping up of like, Oh, God, I haven’t been to that town. Driving is my favourite example… Like, I haven’t gone to that town. So I don’t really know where that coffee shop is. And like, Oh, god, what if I can’t find a parking spot? Or what if I get lost when I’m going there and then you feel your heart starts beating faster, and your thoughts start getting quicker and you’re thinking of all the things that could go wrong. And what if it rains? We can’t sit outside, and then and then what what if it’s small inside? And you know, and like, you just get in such a tizzy about it. So then you just don’t go.

Yeah. Thoughts. Feelings. Actions. Big cycle.

Yep. And you’re like, I’m just not gonna go. That’ll fix it. That’ll make me feel better right now. That’ll be easier. Even if my friend thinks I’m a jerk. Honestly, that’s better than how I feel right now. Yeah. So then you cancel, and then you feel like a jerk and then you feel guilty. You’re happy you didn’t go but now you’re sad. You didn’t go and you’re mad at yourself and you’re such a bad person, you’re a bad friend. Then you try to make plans again. And then the same cycle.

Hayley Stanton  10:07
Yeah. Sounds like you’re very much talking about the inner critic there as well.

KT LaPorta  10:13
Yes, the inner critic, that voice, that’s how I like to say it because I don’t think we are mean to ourselves. I don’t like to put it that way. But there is that sense, that person within your head, that voice in your head, that’s just always if you’re somebody that suffers from or with anxiety and social anxiety, there’s a voice, it’s just kind of like, Are you sure? Do you really want to do that? Is that really a good idea? Do you know what kind of face you just made? Like all of this little like nitpicky thoughts. Oh, that outfit you think you look nice in this? This is a bad idea. And it’s just overwhelming. Like, be quiet.

Hayley Stanton  10:58
Yeah. You talked about having Mean Girls stuck on a loop in your head?

KT LaPorta  11:03
Yeah, just that constant like bullying, like just nitpicky and I want people to know that, I totally get that; I’ve been there, I’ve felt that. And that’s why I love doing this so much. I’ve got a boot camp that I do, a confidence boot camp. That’s what I call it. Because it’s quick. And that’s what I think of when I think of boot camps, like quick and dirty. And that’s what I want. Um, and yeah, just teaching people how to recognise that inner voice, that critic and like, so once we can recognise it, once we understand anxiety and how it works. Once we can identify that voice, we can personalise that voice and start to treat that voice, as you know, in a sense, a little separate from ourselves to be able to look at and say, Is that real? Is that true? And then to be able to make an informed decision, essentially.

Hayley Stanton  12:10
Yeah. And I like the approach where we look at what other wisdom is within us as well. Because you know, if you’ve got this one voice, there are obviously other voices there, too. They might just be a bit quieter.

KT LaPorta  12:20
Yes. Yes, exactly. And being able to give them more attention. I love that. And teaching people, one of the big things that I say that usually strikes people is like, you’re the grown up. You know, a lot of us deal with a lot of stuff growing up where, adults tell us things, and generally, I assume, adults don’t mean to harm children, right? That’s a core value of mine. But things that they say like with colouring, you can’t colour that way. You can’t do that, you know, simple little things growing up. You hear comments made about our bodies by adults around us. Feedback from teachers. Like, if you’re really proud of an assignment result, you totally misunderstood the assignment, get the whole thing wrong, and then you failed. You feel dumb and stupid, and like a failure. But maybe you just didn’t understand what was expected of you. It’s the all these different messages we get that we internalise and again, from our parents as well. And so my goal is to work with women in their 20s and 30s when you’re really feeling out what is adulthood for me? What does this look like? You’re getting like a lot of the stressors of society of, you know, career, settle down, have a family, maybe that’s not what you want. There’s all the anxiety from society alone. All those shoulds and oughts.

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And at that point, we need to start looking within and going, Okay, well, what do I want? You know, forget what society tells me I should have. What is it that I want, what’s the path that I want to walk on?

Yeah. And just encouraging women to feel that and own that and you can do whatever it is you want to do and that is okay. That is good. .

Hayley Stanton  14:41
Yeah. You might want to take a moment to reflect on this question, but what does the phrase quiet confidence mean to you?

KT LaPorta  14:48
I love that phrase. I do. I feel like for me, that is actually like, how I kind of view or would define confidence itself is like this. It doesn’t have to be something that’s loud. So the way I define confidence is, in a sense, quiet, because I’m the way I define it and look at it is that feeling of I am okay. Regardless of what’s going on, even if life around me is not okay, I am okay. And even if I’m having a moment where I’m not, I will be. Yeah. I know, I’m using the word in the definition, which is wrong, but that’s what I think of when I hear quiet confidence is is that internal feeling? And knowing that I am okay. I will get through this. I will be okay. And I am okay. Yeah.

Hayley Stanton  15:55
There’s a lot of trust in that isn’t there.

KT LaPorta  16:02
Yeah. When it comes to confidence, I think because there’s so many ways to think of confidence like body – and I feel like that’s generally where people go when they hear confident, is feeling confident in my skin, right? And, and I think about it in a much more holistic way. Yes, that’s important. But you also need to be able to feel confident in your decisions. In your relationships, your opinions. And that takes so much trust in yourself. I guess that’s my big thing. And why I focus so much on the critic talk. I feel like that is that piece of yourself, that kind of just undermines you. And teaches you to not trust yourself.

Hayley Stanton  16:59
Yeah. Would you say that’s the biggest thing that’s got in the way of your confidence in the past?

KT LaPorta  17:04
Definitely. Yeah. It’s that little voice of you know, if you ask that question in class, everybody in the room is gonna look at you. What if everybody else thinks you’re dumb for not knowing that already, like, maybe you should just wait until after class to talk to the teacher? Maybe you just shouldn’t ask that question at all. All those little nitpicky things.

Hayley Stanton  17:24
Where does it come from, that voice?

KT LaPorta  17:27
Where I think it comes from, other people could think differently, obviously, but I think it comes from what I was saying before is like all those messages that we pick up on from others. So growing up the adults in our life, then our peers, good and bad interactions, because even even good interactions can be negative. I do want to point that out. I think that a lot of people skip that. What feels like a positive interaction may be something that encourages not bad behaviour, but unhelpful behaviour.

Hayley Stanton  18:06
Yeah. So maybe rescuing behaviours when some avoidance is kicking in, or we had somebody talking about selective mutism on an earlier podcast, and how praising in class can have the reverse effect, because you’re putting people in the centre of attention. And naturally, you can do it in much more subtle ways.

KT LaPorta  18:31
Yeah. And there’s so many examples, you know, weight based comments. Oh, you look so good. That could encourage somebody to have their disordered eating. Just being mindful of things like that. That’s something that I encourage others. Unless somebody brings something up, maybe not comment on it, or maybe ask a question prior to that. Absolutely, rescuing behaviours can encourage that avoidance cycle, so yeah, thinking about all those things. So all I think all of those influences and society as a whole, media, social media, oh, my God, society, you know, where we get all those messages also shoulds and oughts, so shaming, isn’t it? And that’s a big thing that I talk to people about is you know, like, be careful. Don’t ‘should’ all over yourself.

I love that. It’s so important because how often in a day, and I would encourage everybody think about this. How often in a day do you say that to yourself? Well, I should get up at the first time my alarm goes off. I should have a fruit and a vegetable with my lunch, but I’m not sure. and oughts, they are judgmental in and of themselves. Because if you should be doing something, it means you’re not, which means you feel guilty or shame. or bad or you are bad. Yeah. Because? And that’s, that’s silly. It’s it’s not helpful.

Hayley Stanton  20:24
Yeah, I agree. And what do you suggest people do to change that?

KT LaPorta  20:29
Pay attention to your language. I say this constantly, language matters. The language you use with others matters. And if that matters, think about how much it matters to yourself. Oh, yeah, the way you speak to yourself. And that’s part of that whole inner critic thing and combating it is paying attention to what kind of language are you using with yourself? You’re using shoulds and oughts, and bad and failure and all those things, you know,

Hayley Stanton  21:00
and BUT, that’s a big one that comes up as well, like it’s going well, but… We don’t allow ourselves to have any successes, because we but everything.

KT LaPorta  21:05
yes. Absolutely. Yeah. And I’ve said that to people. Um, I don’t know where I heard it, maybe a book or something. But um, the idea that when you use but in a sentence, you’re essentially saying everything I’ve already said doesn’t matter. Only what I’m about to say. And like if you’re doing that, like stop and pause and like, does the first half of the sentence Make sense? And is it important? Because it is, and maybe you said, some of these accomplishments are your own accomplishments? And now you’ve said, but what’s really going to come after that? And is it actually helpful? Before you even let yourself finish that thought, you know.

Hayley Stanton  21:14
Yeah. I think we can, as a minimum, we can change the but to an and.

KT LaPorta  22:09
I like that idea. That’s so helpful.

Hayley Stanton  22:13
There’s an awful lot in language, I feel like that’s a really good place to begin making these changes for yourself, just get really mindful of what are the words that you’re using, and the small adjustments that you can make. And when I did my NLP training, this was the biggest shock for me, the way that I realised I was talking to myself and holding myself back just by the way that I was talking. So it made such a big difference to get conscious of it, and just begin to tweak the way the words that I was using.

KT LaPorta  22:44
Yeah, absolutely.

Hayley Stanton  22:46
So language, changing your language is one method that really helps you to navigate your way through this sort of lack of confidence. What else has really helped you?

KT LaPorta  22:57
Um, so for me, and these are all like techniques and things that are used with people. So changing language is huge, becoming aware of it, and then starting to change it. So changing how you talk to yourself. And then from there, it can be so many different things, so for me, I’m somebody who works very well with routine. I like routine, it makes me happy. I know what I’m doing every day, you know? So like, if I make plans with somebody, it’s probably going to be about a week out. I need time to prep myself. Like that’s part of self care is you know, recognising in yourself. Like I’m an introvert. I need time.

Hayley Stanton  23:40
Just honouring your your natural nature.

KT LaPorta  23:43
Exactly. Yes. And not beating yourself up for that. I feel like extroverts are very much praised for being extroverts. And like that being an introvert, somebody who is not the maybe life of the party, per se, because they’re not very outwardly loud and open and things like that. That’s not bad. And I feel like a lot of times in movies and things it is. So coming to terms with you know, okay, I’m an introvert, and that’s okay. I still deserve love and respect for myself and others. That’s fine. So, you know, recognising that, honouring that, doing self care steps to honour that. So for me, I love working out that’s part of my morning routine. I wake up I do a workout, whatever it is. So for me in that journey of, you know, coming to love myself and increasing that confidence and things like that. Part of it was, you know, looking at my exercising and saying, you know, is this out of her Respect for myself and my body? Or is this a punishment, and that was really big for me. Because, you know, I’ve had a lot of issues with disordered eating when I was younger, and body image issues. So, you know, if that facet of confidence is obviously  important to me, and I’m very aware of it. But it’s also why take this holistic approach, because for me, I was always chasing that idealised sense of what I should look like.  And once I started to shift towards saying, compliments to myself, like, No, I am pretty, I am nice, I look good, you know, however I look, and then looking at those workouts and saying, am I doing this out of respect and love and, you know, encouragement of seeing what I can do and that excitement, like, That’s so cool that I did X, you know? Or is this a punishment and out of anger towards my body out of hate, which is intense and that might be different for somebody else looking at some kind of behaviour and saying, like, Where is this really coming from? Is this is this behaviour from a place of love and respect? Or is there something more malicious here? And yeah, that made just a huge difference, I still work out every day and I still love it, but I can love it so much more now. And I’m significantly less at risk of injuring myself now. Because I’m not just trying to push, push, push, like, I’m pushing and listening.

Hayley Stanton  26:45
Yeah, that feels so important. Checking the intentions of your behaviours. And, you know, is it really serving me?

KT LaPorta  26:52
Yeah. And that’s one of the things when I work with people is creating new behaviours that are positive, and checking in with them, why do why are we adding this behaviour to your day? What will you get out of it? You know, and like really being able to talk about that and look at that. And, if it’s adding a workout, or adding meditation or something… for why? That’s usually my question. What’s the goal? checking in on that intention and making them aware of, and making sure they’re always asking themselves For Why am I doing this?

Hayley Stanton  27:35
And if you’ve got the right why, then the motivation comes more naturally, doesn’t it? Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So I’m wondering, what has been your most significant comfort zone stretch in your life?

KT LaPorta  27:47
Yeah. Oh, gosh, I feel like I’ve had several. I would say maybe even starting my coaching business was definitely one of them to be totally honest, because like, my first thought, is grad school. And then my second thought, is starting this business. Because all those fears of failure, you know, nobody’s gonna want to work with me, or I don’t have anything useful to say to people.

Hayley Stanton  28:23
All these old fears come back again. Like I thought I dealt with all this. And here it is, again, for me to deal with on another level.

KT LaPorta  28:25
Oh, yes. Hard. Yes, absolutely. That was probably like probably the biggest like, Oh, God, is this really a good idea? And then using all of those things that I plan on using with everybody else, and retraining my brain and getting myself to focus and you know, I would say that was definitely, probably one of the biggest things is just overcoming all of those fears. Because even just with my beta group of when I was first testing my, my programme, I was so nervous, and I don’t know if the women I worked with knew and realised it. And they all just blew me away with just how wonderfully they took to all the steps and just the experience of all of it and it’s such an honour, on my end, to work with women and getting through that beta process and that testing things out and being just as vulnerable with them as they were with me. I feel like Yeah, it definitely stretched that comfort zone so much and it was so validating and freeing as much as it was terrifying at the time. Getting through that and getting to see them grow. was so beautiful. And I loved it so much. And it hooked me. Because not only did I see myself growing, right, and seeing myself, overcome different challenges and figuring out things that, you know, maybe 5-10 years ago, I would have been like, I don’t know, what the heck, where to even start with that. You know, today I’m like, Well, I don’t know. But I bet I can figure out who does? I’m gonna go ask them about it. And it’s just been such a beautiful experience. And I was just so much more obviously comfortable with myself. Which makes this work even like that much more fun to do.

I really value what you’ve just just said there. Because I think that people can look at us where we are and feel like, well, they obviously don’t feel anxious and self doubting, and they aren’t going through the same things that I am. Just like I was looking at people to be successful when thinking the same thing. But really, that anxiety is normal. It’s just a human emotion. And we all do experience it and self doubt. And, it doesn’t matter where we are in our careers. We’re kind of experiencing these things on different levels.

Yes. Oh, my gosh, yes. I’m so glad you said that. Yes, because that’s something that I realised like, you know, like, once, once my coaching was a little bit off the ground, like, I would text friends, like, Oh, I’m nervous about la la la. And they’d be like, Oh, well, like, what would you say to a client? And it was so like, Well, yeah, I know what I would say to a client, but I would also tell clients to use social supports to your friends. Like I remember having this moment of like, Oh, my God, if I’m a coach, does that mean that I’m not allowed to feel anxious anymore? Because I definitely still do.

Hayley Stanton  32:10
Yeah, I felt that too. And, you know, a bit of shame attached to it, because there’s that sense of I’m helping people and therefore, I have this idea that I should have my stuff together, or people expect me to have my stuff together. But there are still these moments where I do feel very anxious. And, even doing workshops and things, we’ve started workshops and going, you know, I’m really anxious, we’re doing something new. But it’s interesting, because you can see, like, the whole room relaxes, and they’re like, oh, you’re like us.

KT LaPorta  32:44
yes. No, and it’s so nice to put that out into the room, to have out there like, yeah, like, I have my stuff together. Right? And I’m sure you do, too. But we’re still people. That’s the whole part of it is getting that inner critic under control. so this other voices are louder, but your critic is still gonna be in the room. They’re not gonna be gone forever.

Hayley Stanton  33:17
Yeah, just dial them down a bit. And yeah, I think the difference between where I was when I was hugely socially anxious, and avoiding everything, you know, all the good stuff in life, and to where I am now, it’s that I have some tools to be able to deal with it. It’s still there. But I’ve got that awareness now.

KT LaPorta  33:35
Exactly. Yeah. And that’s like, what I tell people going through my programme is you’re not going to be never anxious again, or just think you’re the bomb.com, like, it’s not a zero to 100 thing. So you’re gonna have all these tools. And that’s exactly what it is. It’s looking for what helps you. And establishing that sense of trust, that foundational relationship with yourself. I definitely still get anxious when I drive to a town that I haven’t been to to get coffee with somebody, I will definitely pull up Google Maps, and put on the satellite thing so I can figure out where their parking lot is. And if I have to park on the road, all right, what are my options? I do that so that way when I’m driving there, I’m okay. Yeah. Like I figured out what works for me. I’m still gonna go, and I might go 15 minutes early to make sure that I have extra time to calm down, use breathing, talk myself through, like, I’m still a person, I still need to do those things that’s why I like teaching those things because they’re helpful.

Hayley Stanton  34:47
Yeah. That’s very refreshing to hear. So, what’s inspiring you right now? Maybe you’re reading something or listening to something that’s really captured your attention.

KT LaPorta  35:07
So, not gonna lie, I read a lot of fiction. So that is, like, inspires me in its own way. But I would say right now what’s been kind of really inspiring me lately is my other job, my tutoring, I work at a local college, so I’m a writing tutor. And the majority of my work is actually done with students from abroad, the so students who English is their second or other language that have come to, you know, our state to go to school. And I’ve been working with them for three years now. Like, kind of, it’s kind of become like my, my niche. And I was recently interviewed about a workshop essentially, that I do for the college. And it’s, it’s so similar, like, it’s different, but it’s so similar, that helping them find their confidence in using English, that has been like the big thing. So like, this whole past semester, you know, especially being here, we’re still remote, all the classes have been remote this semester. And last, and just getting to this semester actually just ended last week. So like, I’m on break now. And I’m like, you know, kind of just reflecting on just how brave those students are. And, you know, obviously, I love working with them as well. And just how cool it is that I get to have all these opportunities. And it’s just, I don’t know, kind of like that sense of like checking in and reflection on, you know, how wild that experience would be. And like the potential for culture shock and things like that. And, you know, I, I only know one language, and that’s what I always tell them, like, your English is amazing, considering I only know English, like, you know, your entire language plus this well enough to not only, you know, speak to somebody in English, but come to the states and go to school in just this language.

Hayley Stanton  37:34
It really is awesome, isn’t it? What do you think we can learn from that group of people?

KT LaPorta  37:40
Oh, just be brave. And, that’s why I’m saying like, it’s been so inspiring to sit and reflect on it, especially in that sense of confidence is stretching that comfort zone, like you were saying, and doing things that are scary, but if you really are passionate about it, you’re really interested in it, taking the time to do those things and really taking the opportunity, that’s a big thing, I think that a lot of us miss opportunities, out of anxiety, or out of creating this, this pigeon holed view of things; whereas, for a lot of these students, they were like, I want to be able to speak English fluently. I’m going to go to an English school, and it’s amazing. so reminding myself of that, that’s what I take from them. If they’re brave enough to do all of that, to fly across the world, to a place they’ve never been, I can go to a town that I haven’t been in and find a parking spot. Yeah, I can handle it.

Hayley Stanton  38:56
The growth is in those courageous moments, isn’t it?

KT LaPorta  38:59
Yes, exactly.

Hayley Stanton  39:01
That’s pretty beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So if you wanted listeners to take away one top strategy, what would it be? The number one thing.

KT LaPorta  39:12
I would say that your language matters. That is a my my number one thing when I talk to anybody is pay attention. How are you speaking to yourself?

Hayley Stanton  39:24
Yeah, thank you for that. Perhaps we can just finish on what would you say to your younger self if you could send a message back?

KT LaPorta  39:32
Oh my gosh, I think about this all the time. Yes. So I turned 30 this year, I will say so. Nobody ever believes me but I did. And thinking about that. It’s like whoa, like thinking about 20 year old me and that’s why I say like I have thought about this a lot this year especially. If I could say anything, I wish I could go back and tell her, you can be okay. And you will be okay. And that it is absolutely okay to ask for help. And even if the help you initially received is not helpful keep asking, keep looking, because that’s I feel like that’s what I had a really hard time with, was just asking for help to begin with. And then you know, finding those healthy relationships that stuck, that can be really hard. And it can be traumatising, at times trying to find them. And that idea that keep going, even though sometimes it really sucks. Keep looking, keep asking, keep being aware, create boundaries. Keep going. And just know that if you keep doing the work, you will get there.

Hayley Stanton
Aww that’s such a heartfelt message. And I feel like that’s such an important thing for people to take away as well. The first person that you come to you, the first therapist or counsellor or coach, whatever it is, that might not be a good fit for you. It wasn’t for me and that was the end of my support and I didn’t feel like I could go and seek it again because I was like well that confirms it, there’s something wrong with me, but there wasn’t it, it was just a bad fit.

KT LaPorta
Yeah that’s exactly it!

Hayley Stanton
Like you said earlier, they’re just people as well and they’ve got their own stuff going on, so it’s not necessarily about exactly just not a good fit.

KT LaPorta
Yeah, and even going through therapy; maybe therapy itself isn’t the mode that is helpful and maybe you do need to look for a coach or someone more activity based like myself. Staying open to, paying attention to, if this wasn’t a good fit, you’re not broken, it just wasn’t a good fit and it’s just time to look for another person. And that’s totally fine, that’s part of the process and part of life. I’m sure we’ve all made that one friend that we thought was really cool when we first met them, and then after a while, it’s like the end like, no, not a whole useful fun relationship anymore.

Hayley Stanton
Yeah people change, we’re growing and learning moment to moment and as we grow, we might grow apart from other people, so it’s okay to let people go as well.

KT LaPorta
Exactly yes, yes and giving yourself that permission.

Hayley Stanton
Thank you so so much for coming on. I feel like we could write a book with what you’ve shared today, it’s amazing. An absolute joy talking to you and thank you so much. Do you want to just share where people can connect with you if they’d like to?

KT LaPorta
Yes, absolutely. So if people go to my website, which is www.coachingwithKT.com, they can go there and there is a contact form on there so if somebody wanted to schedule just a free at home chit chat to get to know each other, if they wanted information, if they want to contact me about whatever that is, the easiest and best way to do it is through my website.

Hayley Stanton
Thank you for sharing, well it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you.

KT LaPorta
Thank you so much. This was so much fun. I really appreciate it.


  • Hayley Stanton

    Hi, I’m Hayley - the original quieteer. I, too, identify as a quiet person. I’m naturally a highly sensitive introvert and I love and appreciate my quiet strengths now, but I spent much of my life not feeling good enough and experiencing social anxiety. I missed so many opportunities because I was afraid of being judged harshly, criticised and rejected – and because I doubted that I had the ‘right’ personality to succeed. Quiet Connections exists in part because I had a fantastic coach who helped me to work through old patterns of keeping myself small and hidden so that I could show up and be seen to play my part in creating the more connected, curious and compassionate world that I dream of. Now, I’m passionate about helping quiet people discover their unique qualities, gifts, passions and experiences and explore how best to use these to express themselves more authentically and contribute to the world in a way that works with their quieter or more sensitive nature. Get to know me here.

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