Strap yourselves in for the first of a two-part conversation with the one and only Brooke Castillo. She truly needs no introduction, but for any of you who don’t know who she is, Brooke is my teacher, mentor, coach, and creator of The Life Coach School, and we’re sitting down together to discuss a topic that might be one of our biggest challenges as women: authority.
So many women experience blocks in claiming and exercising their authority, mostly because we’ve seen examples of authority that have been actively harmful. We might associate authority with oppression or a system to punish, enforce, and keep people in line, but the truth is this isn’t what claiming authority in your own life has to look like.
Tune in this week to discover the difference claiming authority over your own life can make. If you’ve ever wondered what Brooke or I have done to carry ourselves with an air of confidence and mastery, you’re in the right place because you’ll hear the small ways you can begin exercising your authority, the biggest thing that will keep you feeling like a victim, and what the ultimate claiming of your authority looks like.
Welcome to Unf*ck Your Brain, the only podcast that teaches you how to use psychology, feminism, and coaching, to rewire your brain and get what you want in life. And now here’s your host, Harvard Law School grad, feminist rockstar, and master coach, Kara Loewentheil.
Hello, my chickens. I am so excited for this week and next week’s episodes which are conversations with the one and only Brooke Castillo who is the founder of The Life Coach School, the person who trained me to be a coach and now one of my good friends. And while we don’t see eye to eye on everything, we have enormous love for each other and so many incredible conversations. And so, I’m so happy to get to share a couple of those conversations with you.
In this episode we’re talking a lot about authority and what it means to be in authority in your life. If you’re listening to this the day it comes which is October 27th, you can join the Claim Your Authority Masterclass which is tomorrow October 28th. If you’re listening to this afterwards you can still sign up and get the replay, you would just text your email to +1347 997 1784 and the codeword is CYA, or go to unfuckyourbrain.com/cya. This is a 90 minute masterclass in which I am teaching the three core skills you need to know in order to claim authority in your own life.
And I’m going to be teaching the five subconscious blocks we have to claiming that authority that keep us playing small, people pleasing, seeking external validation, crowd sourcing our decisions and kind of unable to take ownership of our own lives. I think when you listen to this conversation with Brooke, you’re going to hear what the difference is when you really take that authority in your life. She is an example of that. I’m an example of that. And I want all of you to be examples of that too.
So, text your email to +1347 997 1784 and the codeword is CYA, or go to unfuckyourbrain.com/cya if you’re listening to this on the 27th October or the morning of the 28th of October, you can attend live. If not that’s totally fine, you’ll just get the replay if you sign up. Well, you’ll get the replay either way, you don’t have to be able to attend live but you’ll get the replay either way. But if you are signing up right when this comes out you will also be able to attend live if you can. Alright my friends, let’s get into it.
Kara: Hi my chickens. For some of you our guest today needs absolutely no introduction. And then others of you are going to be like, “Wait, what’s happening?” So, some of you are going to lose your minds at the beginning. Some of you will lose your minds by the end once you have fallen in love with her because I am talking today to my teacher, and mentor, and sometimes my coach when I’m coachable, the inimitable Brooke Castillo. Actually, we’re doing a two part series so this, we’re going to have an episode this week and then we are going to have an episode next week.
And for this week since you guys have all been hearing me talk about authority quite a bit. We’re talking all about authority and you’re going to get the real dirt because Brooke has coached me from the beginning so she knows what a non-authority I used to be. So do you want to introduce yourself for people who don’t know you, there are people who listen to the podcast.
Brooke: Yeah, sure, hi chickens.
Kara: Chickens, that’s right.
Brooke: That’s what everyone is. Yeah, I’m Brooke Castillo. I run The Life Coach School. I am a huge fan of UnF*ck Your Brain. We can swear on here, right?
Kara: No, we just call it UnF*uck Your Brain, but then there’s no swearing on the podcast.
Brooke: A huge fan. I love everything Kara, I feel like she’s one of my best friends. I coach her but she also coaches me and mostly on my love life and how crazy I am. So, I am super happy to be here. And I’m really excited about this topic. I think that this might be one of our biggest challenges as women right now for sure.
Kara: Yes. How would you even define authority? I would be so curious. I’ve been thinking about what does that even mean as I’ve been teaching this. I like to teach first then think, what does this even mean that I’m talking about? How would you define it?
Brooke: Oh my gosh, that’s a hard question. Is it the ability to make decisions about your own life or is it the choice to make decisions about your own life?
Kara: Yeah. I think it’s on one level we’re always making choices, even when we think we don’t have a choice.
Brooke: Consciously, yes.
Kara: Yeah, we are making choices. I think authority is the belief that you are the kind of – it’s like I need another word for authority, but authority is a feeling of grounded-ness in the decision making I think. Authority is the feeling, it’s almost like you can define it by the absence of thinking that someone else has to tell you what to do.
Brooke: Yeah. I mean for me when I think about do I have authority over my own life, how do you check that? That’s kind of an interesting question. How do you check to see if you have authority? Do you have the power because not everyone does in this world, do you have the power to make decisions about what you do or don’t do?
Kara: Yeah, maybe the better definition is in the areas where you do have power are you taking on that responsibility? So, there are some things that we can’t decide for ourselves because of whatever circumstances. So, it’s not absolute amount, the person who can decide the most things has the most authority. But in your own life in the areas where you can make decisions, and it’s tricky because sometimes we think we can’t make decisions in areas that we can make decisions in.
That’s one of our biggest thought confusions is thinking, I have no control over any of this. When in fact you do have control over some of what’s going on.
Brooke: Well, this is actually interesting because when does authority actually exist? Is it, do you have authority even though you’re not making decisions with authority about your own life. Does that mean the authority isn’t there or is it there whether you’re doing it or not? I think it is there, right?
Kara: Yeah. That’s why I think it’s claiming authority. It’s sort of like somebody is making the decisions and sidenote, it’s still you most of the time. But are you claiming that and being like, “Oh, I’m the decision maker so let me decide?” Or are you like, “I don’t know if I should be the decision maker, I can’t trust myself. Let me ask 12 other people what they think. Let me try to make the decision based on what I think my dead mom would think. Let me try to consult all of this stuff outside of myself.”
Brooke: Well, I’m just thinking, as you’re talking I’m thinking about all the women that went before, and many women in the world right now, that legitimately don’t have the authority to make decisions about their own life. And I think sometimes I feel like I have been given the privilege in so many areas of my life to have authority over those decisions. And because of the way I’m socialized, because of the way I think sometimes, I don’t do it. And so many of my clients don’t do it.
And I think exercising our authority I guess in our own lives is our responsibility.
Kara: Yeah, I think there’s so much, all of that socialization, like as you said, sort of there are places in the world this is still the case or individual people who still have the circumstance. But if you go back a few hundred years it was pretty much all women at least in the western world didn’t have the authority to make decisions in their own lives, like who they were going to have sex with and when. And whether they could have a job, or whether they could have money, and whether they were going to have kids or not, all of that.
And so, there’s so much socialization from thousands of years that existed to justify that system. If you have a system where one group of people doesn’t get any power over their own lives, you have to have a lot of social beliefs that justify it, that women are weak, and irrational, and stupid. And they need to be led, and they need guidance, and they need a man to take care of them and all of that. And so, we’ve had such an enormous amount of technological and legal change in the last 150 years.
So, you can at least sometimes in some states in this country now control whether or not you have a child. That’s changing. But you can have a bank account, all of those, but that socialization still sticks around and that’s where we get what you’re describing which is like there are areas we could have authority over but we don’t take it. We don’t act on it.
Brooke: So true. I mean I’ll give you the perfect example of this in terms of money in my life. And I have taken the authority, the power to make the decision about how much money I want to make. And it is insane how many of us do not make that decision consciously. We just default into what someone else is willing to pay us or what someone else has told us is possible. So, I have kind of gone into the world and decided that I will make a $100 million. And the amount of disbelief and I don’t know what the right word is.
Kara: Disapproval, if a woman claims authority people are upset.
Brooke: Disapproval that I get especially from men, the audacity of me to even make a claim that I will make that amount of money has been fascinating. And I just keep exercising my authority to say it, and do it, and follow through on it. But it is disruptive. And when you think about it, why, why should that, a decision about how much money I want to make, why should that be so disruptive to so many people around me? And the audacity to exercise your authority.
Kara: Brooke, the audacity Castillo. Yeah, I think when we – I was just coaching somebody about this at Clutch College. And she was like, “I’m afraid to claim my authority and show up as big and brilliant as I can be. I think it’s going to be hard to swallow for some people.” And I was like, “Yeah, so let them choke.” But we’re not wrong.
Brooke: Let them choke. That’s amazing. Yeah, let them choke on it.
Kara: There was a gasp in the room, yeah. We’re not going to get to a practice of let them choke but it could be out of context. But it’s sort of like I think it’s this one two punch. When I’m in this claim your authority challenge that I’m doing the week that this airs, we’re talking a lot about people pleasing and validation seeking. Because it’s all wrapped up. It’s like we are afraid to claim our authority because also people will get upset and why should we think that we’re allowed to decide anything for ourselves? And then what if other people don’t like it? And of course, they might not like it.
But then all the conditioning around people pleasing kicks so then we’re like, “Well, I can’t tolerate that. I can’t tolerate people not liking that I want to”, whatever it is, make a lot of money, have an unconventional life, whatever.
Brooke: And that’s real. And that is because of the way that we’re conditioned and also because of, I think, our human brains and our biology. I just recently spoke at Funnel Hacking Live which is an event of mostly men marketers that want to make a lot of money. And I spoke and in my way spoke about the things I speak about. I spoke about making lots of money and I spoke about how much money I make. And I spoke about how important it is to understand ourselves and our feelings. And I coached people on the audience.
And I have a lot of big energy and I didn’t hold back. And I went for it. And afterwards I was talking to someone who had seen me speak. And he was like, “Yeah, I mean you have some real BDE up there.” And I was like, “That’s not what that is”, I’m like, “Because I don’t have one of those. That’s not what that is.” And I could feel this man was not intentionally trying to put me down. I really don’t think so. I just think it’s all this unconscious, well you really are…
Kara: Yeah, he was not, that’s how a woman, he’s been programmed to think women are supposed to be like.
Brooke: Yes. And I was like, “No, that is not big dick energy. And it’s not big pussy energy either because I don’t have a big pussy.” I’m like, “That’s just me being a woman on fire, on who I am showing up as fully me.”
Kara: It’s so fascinating that even that term involves genitalia because we are so conditioned to think that power or energy, it’s like that that has to do with gender, or has to do with sex.
Brooke: Right, yes, exactly.
Kara: Why is it even about, why can’t it be like big left arm energy? What does it have to do with…
Brooke: That’s what we’re going to start calling it. How’s that left arm energy coming?
Kara: B-L-A-E, BLAE.
Brooke: Yeah, but I could see for so many women a comment like that said in that way could be – I don’t know, could ignite someone to want to apologize. Oh my gosh, I’m doing it wrong.
Kara: Yeah, deflate you, I am too much. How many women are socialized to believe that it’s a problem for them to be too much? They’re too much. We don’t even know what that means. It just means, does anybody around me feel at all uncomfortable with anything I’m saying or doing? That’s our definition of am I being too much?
Brooke: Well, and that you’re not being a woman. And I think so many of us are afraid to step into our feminine power because we get put down like that.
Kara: Yeah, or any power. I think whether you – for me I don’t think of it as feminine or masculine energy. It’s just there’s a ton of – it has historically been dangerous to be a woman or a person of any marginalized group, and be big, and bold, and out there. And it still is in some places. You can’t fully express your sexuality in some places without getting harassed, or bullied, or stopped, or killed. And we’re seeing the protest in Iran right now. There are still many places around the world that to try to take up all of that space and claim that authority is dangerous.
But I think for those of us who live in a place where we do have that luck and privilege to be physically safe, that we can take that authority and we are not going to be captured by the secret police. I mean number one, the women in the rest of the world need us to do that work because we need to change the world.
Brooke: That’s such a good point, yes.
Kara: And we have to see how it’s holding us back. So, I actually wanted to talk about it because you have the inside track, when I first – because master coach training was 2017. I got certified in 2015, I think and then I did master coach training 2016/2017. And although we weren’t using this language I think a lot of what we were kind of you were coaching me on was this idea, sort of claiming the identity of having a business, or the identity of being an entrepreneur, being entitled to make those decisions.
So, I mean you of course may not remember because you’ve obviously coached…
Brooke: I remember. I remember calling you a businesswoman and you being offended.
Kara: I was like, “I do not wear grey pant suits. I am not a businesswoman.” Yeah, we have the grey pant suits.
Brooke: Which is so interesting, that that’s what we would associate when we put the word business and woman together, that’s what we’re associating. And when I think of a grey pant suit I think of a woman trying to show up to look like a man and blend in.
Kara: Right, yeah. I mean I think I was resistant at the time because I was more strongly identified with social justice work and business being this bad word. But I do also think that it was when you’re doing social justice work, there’s a lot of disagreement about how to do the thing. You can still have people with different ideas about the best strategy or whatever. But there’s often, at least what appears to be a clear orthodoxy so you know, what’s the right thing to believe and what’s the right thing to work on and we’re all in agreement here.
And then when you kind of leave that and you start a business you become an entrepreneur, and it’s just like a wide open field. And you have no preparation, I had no preparation or training. So, it’s not like I went to Wharton and got an MBA. I had no idea what was happening. And I think this is such a big issue for women who are – especially for women of all kinds but obviously you and I hang out with a lot of coaches. I think that a lot of problems that people have in their coaching businesses, yeah, of course there’s money mindset.
But it’s also this, there’s no self-trust, and there’s no belief in our own authority to make decisions and so there’s just constant playing small and checking what everybody else and doing what someone else tells them. And just hiring business coach after business coach even though it doesn’t resonate, trying the next. And none of that’s going to work.
Brooke: I can relate to that. When I was a new coach, I tell this story a lot about how I heard Amy Porterfield say that she’d made a $1 million in a year. And the thought that came to my mind when I heard her say that is, are we allowed to do that? That is what came to me. I was like, “What, we’re allowed to do that?” What an amazing thought. Where’s the authority that is telling us this is okay, as when to be showing up as who we really are and making $1 million and not asking anyone permission, just by our own authority.
That was a moment that really changed my life. And I was like, “They’re not they, who are they? They are not limiting us anymore.” Is kind of what I was thinking. I’m like, “There are no ceilings to what I’m able to do in my life.” And that to me was claiming that authority to decide. But I also feel, I’m curious what you think about this. I also feel that when I claim that authority and I have that authority I feel like a lot of my clients come to me to ask me permission to be able to be as big, to be able to make the money.
We’re still seeking it from the people that have gone ahead of us when we actually don’t even need it.
Kara: Totally. I mean I have a podcast episode called No Gods, No Gurus that is all about the idea that I am not your fucking guru. I don’t know what you should do. I’m not in charge of you. One thing I say to my clients often is, “You don’t have my permission to substitute me for your own authority. Or you don’t have my permission.”
Brooke: That’s so good. That’s so good.
Kara: Yeah. And you don’t have my permission to use me to judge and beat yourself up because you are just going – I was just coaching a very successful coach, colleague and friend of ours two days ago about how just so much suffering from thinking you’re doing it wrong, you’re doing it wrong. This is someone I know well so I was like, “Let’s go through your life.” At every stage you just joined a group and then you adopted the principles, and values, and measurements that told you. It’s like a good A student, be a good student.
Brooke: But hey, I want to say though, by the way, that is key in so many of our lives is we have to be surrounded and in groups of people that can help us change the way we think. And I do think it’s so much easier when you’re part of a coaching program, or part of a community that has thinking and has people in there that are thinking the way that you want to think. We can utilize that. The trouble is when we give away our authority to it. So, we need to be in those environments, we need to be in these coaching groups where people are changing our ideas and have those consistent messages.
But just be careful that we’re not following that same pattern of okay, what do I do now mom? What do I do now authority? Yeah.
Kara: Totally, right. It’s like you want a community of chefs if you’re a chef because that’s how you learn technique, and get to practice, and have community, and all that. But it’s not a good situation if you’re like, “Well, this chef I admire only makes Korean foods, that’s the only thing I can make. And if I’m not making Korean food I’m doing it wrong. Just using I think the problem with a lot of spaces that are not thought work oriented is that there’s plenty of people there who are very willing to be like, “Yeah, here’s what you should do. Let me tell you what to do.”
And I’m going to put myself in a position of power where my job is to judge if you’re performing well enough. And then I think we get so sucked into that. I mean my experience going through coach training was exactly like this, I mean I just would never be where I am now, not only if I had not been trained by you but if I hadn’t had all my coaching colleagues and friends. But I often think that it was so healthy and good for me that when I came into coach training with you we already had one big area that we didn’t kind of align on which was weight loss coaching.
Because that just sort of kept me from falling into, I still do a little bit because we’re human and I have my own authority figure issues. But I think that saved me a little bit from just being like, “Okay, well Brooke is my new master and she knows everything and she’s going to tell me.”
Brooke: Well, that’s why it’s so important, this is what I try to teach anyone who’s going to be in an ‘authority’ position with their students or with their clients is you have to constantly be claiming your own authority over your own life so you don’t feel any sense of authority over someone else’s life ever. Because if you start thinking that you have authority over someone else’s life, you are very, very confused. And if you are a coach trying to help other people, your job is to help them claim their own power which is their own authority over their own life.
And listen, I never, when I’m coaching, I’m sure you feel the same way, I never want to coach a bunch of people that want to be just like me. I already have me. I don’t want everyone to be like me. I love that people are different. I love that we disagree on things. I love that we can banter, that’s what makes life so amazing. And the same with parenting, the same with anyone.
Kara: I was about to say, I think there’s something important here around leadership in any area. It’s whether you’re trying to be a parent, or a manager at work, or a coach, or just in your relationship, whatever it is. Because I think that women are socialized to have this backwards where they’re like, “Well, authority is bossing other people around.” Authority, I think a lot of women or other marginalized people have had a lot of negative interactions with authority, where an authority system is there to punish, and enforce, and keep you in line.
I mean I remember coaching one of our LCS coaches at a retreat I did a year ago around authority where she was like, she came up in a very high demand religion where she saw authority being used to kind of cover up sexual abuse and justify a lot of things. And she was like, “I don’t want to be that.” That’s what she thought was authority. So, I think that we have this subconscious block of I don’t want to claim authority because I’ve seen all the bad things ‘authority’ has done.
But I think you’re exactly right that when you truly take authority in your own life and you are coaching yourself into emotionally healthy work, you don’t want authority of anybody else’s life. You’re not even interested.
Brooke: Your own authority is a full-time job.
Kara: Right. You’re like, I’m going to be working on this forever. That’s what I always say to my clients, I’m like, “I don’t have time to solve your problems. I’ve got my own shit going on. I don’t have time to be.”
Brooke: Okay. So, when I was originally, speaking of weight loss, when I was originally a weight loss coach I really saw this happening with people where they wanted to come. And one of the things that I’ve always taught is you have to decide what you’re going to eat tomorrow. And I like them to decide ahead of time. You choose what you are going to eat. How hard is it for a woman to decide what she’s going to eat. And what she kept saying to me, “What do you eat? I just want to eat what you eat. You just tell me what to eat.”
And this is so much of our education system is let me provide you with what the answers are and then you just repeat them back to me. And I have spent more time with more women giving them authority over what they actually put in their mouth for food. It is insane. You decide what you eat. It’s not even that it’s too hard, we don’t even want it. We want to abdicate our responsibility, what is that about?
Kara: I think that’s because we’re terrified of doing it wrong because we’ve been, for so many reasons, I think we’ve been socialized to believe that especially as women that we don’t have inherent value. Our value comes from what other people think of us and doing it right.
Brooke: Come on. That is so true. That is so true.
Kara: We want to get it right. So, we don’t want to take responsibility. I mean I think that’s such a good example. I did this whole list of things women are taught they need someone else to tell them how to do. Even mine wasn’t basic enough. I posted it and somebody was like, “Yeah, and also how to sit, and stand, and walk. How should a lady sit? Don’t walk that way, that’s too lascivious. Don’t walk that way, that’s too masculine.” When you really think about it, just every, yeah, the smallest to the biggest thing women are taught.
I don’t see a lot of articles for men that are about how to sit and walk. We assume that they know how to do that.
Brooke: That is crazy.
Kara: When you really think about how many things in women’s lives, probably you and I don’t spend a lot of time reading Cosmo magazine anymore.
Brooke: Right. That tells you how to make your man happy. How to get dressed. How to have sex.
Kara: Right, how to whatever, how to style your hair if you have a round face, God forbid, whatever the thing is. Is there any wonder that we are like, “I need three people to read this email before I can send it. Or actually I’ll ask three people to read it after I’ve sent it just because I still can’t stop worrying about it.
Brooke: Okay, let’s give everyone listening and ourselves some ideas about this. How can we begin to do this? How can we just do little things where we can start claiming more authority in our lives, what do you think?
Kara: Well, I think that the reason we won’t claim authority is it’s the same as the reason why we’re afraid to make a decision, is that we’re going to beat the shit out of ourselves on the other side. So, I always think the number one thing is decide on purpose ahead of time, which you taught me, what are you going to think?
Brooke: About this regardless of what happens.
Kara: About whatever the decision is. Is what are you going to think if you eat this for lunch and then I don’t know, you have a stomach ache or you’re tired later. Whatever you’re afraid is going to happen. What are you choosing to think for yourself? And I also think finding a very low stakes decision to make, this is like, you’ve got to start with little things and then make a decision. And see that the world didn’t end and then make a decision and see that the world didn’t end.
Brooke: This is what it is. It’s what you were saying about right and wrong. It’s being willing to make the wrong decision and still have your back. So, I’ll give you an example. I decided I wanted to buy a house with this guy I was dating. When I was freshly divorced I started dating this guy and I immediately thought that I should buy a house with him and move in. And so, I put all the money down. I can’t even remember what it was. I think it was 200K, a ridiculous amount of money down on this house.
And I was in that moment claiming my authority. I can do whatever the eff I want. I can buy a house or not. And I have lots of money and so I can do that. And I decided later not to buy that house and I lost that money that I had put down. And I don’t know why – I do know why. I shouldn’t say I don’t know why.
It made me feel so powerful because I exercised my authority to make a decision and then I exercised my authority to unmake that decision, to make a different decision even though the decision was wrong, instead of making me feel disempowered, instead of following through on that original decision to make sure it was right, so people wouldn’t think I was crazy. Both of those decisions, I’m just like I am a baller in my own life. I wasn’t mad at myself, beating myself up.
Kara: Right. You didn’t make yourself wrong. That was the wrong decision in the sense that you didn’t want to keep making it. But you didn’t make yourself wrong for making that decision.
Brooke: Oh my God, that is everything. I hope you say that a lot to people, because that is mind blowing.
Kara: This just came from coaching the coach I was talking about because I just was so…
Brooke: That is so good. So, let’s say it again.
Kara: Yeah. There’s a difference between and in your case it really even is an opinion. But there’s even a difference between the math being wrong on something. I thought I had this amount of money, I have that amount of money. I thought doing this would produce this result and it did this, whatever. I thought this was how to build a deck and then the deck fell apart. You can be factually wrong about something.
Brooke: Yeah, of course, yeah.
Kara: That is very different than making yourself morally wrong, that there’s something wrong about you as a person. It’s like the distinction that some people use between guilt. This is between guilt and shame, the idea of being guilt is that I’ve done something wrong. The shame is that I am wrong. It’s the same thing. So, when we say, “I was wrong.” And I’ve been coaching for years and I didn’t catch this until now because I just wasn’t seeing that people are conflating those two meanings.
So, you think you’re coaching them on how the math was wrong and you’re like, “Okay, the math was wrong. You were wrong that you didn’t want to live with that guy, okay.” But really what they mean why they can’t get over it is, no, that means I’m bad. If you do something wrong it means something about your worth and value, your okay-ness.
Brooke: Well, yeah, because even thinking about it, it’s like I’m just dating this guy, I’m going to buy a house with him. What is wrong with me? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with me, that was just the wrong decision at the time. And had I gone through and purchased the house, it would have been fine, it would have been great. And so just knowing that I don’t ever have to beat myself up for making a wrong decision. And of course, that’s just like you said, an opinion. I can make a wrong decision. We can invest in something that goes way down or whatever.
Kara: Right, that would be the math. But also, what makes it wrong, so on the end of it could be like, I learned the most important lesson of my life out of that experience. You get to decide. I think the thing that people can do, can start practicing on this part of this is, this isn’t exactly one of those things where you can just be like, “Then practice this exact thought.” But I think the thing we have to give up, the lie that our brain’s telling us is if we just get enough other people to coastline our decision then we will feel secure in it.
Brooke: Yeah. If we just get enough people allowing it, we just get enough permission.
Kara: Right, just enough permission slips. We’ve just got to get enough permission slips, just got to get at least three friends, and two coworkers, and our boss, and our ex-boyfriend to sign off on our decision.
Brooke: And our mother, don’t forget.
Kara: And our mother, always our mother. But that’s a lie. You know who we know it’s a lie is that you’ve been crowd sourcing approval and permission your whole life and you still don’t feel secure in any decision you make. And after the decision you still keep thinking about it. And you still worry about whether you made the wrong the decision.
So, I think that’s a fantasy we have to give up because the reason people have such a problem with this thought pattern is it’s just like compulsive shopping or something where you’re like, “I’ll finally feel good about myself when I get the right outfit. So, I’m just going to keep doing it.” You have to give up this fantasy, that if you get enough approval and enough permission slips then you’ll feel certain or sure about something you’ll feel okay.
Brooke: And if you do enough things right.
Kara: Yeah, if you do enough things right you’ll win.
Brooke: Then you’ll get the A on your paperwork, the A for approval. And so, when you think about this, this is so fascinating. When you think about exercising your authority is simply just making decisions. And I’ve been talking a lot to people about this that are thinking about signing up for one of my programs. And I’ll tell them, and the same thing with The Clutch, I’m sure some of your students are doing this too. They think what does it take to turn this desire? I have this desire to be part of this into a decision. And that’s where your power is.
Not when you’re thinking about the decision, but when you actually make the decision, your power is executed, whether it’s the right or wrong decision. And I think that’s what so many of us women aren’t doing. We think our power is executed when we make the right decision. That is not the case. Our power is executed in our lives when we make any decision because that’s what keeps us moving forward. And so many of are locked in lockdown, I’m not going to do anything until I’m assured success.
Kara: Right. And I think this leads to the perfect sort of end point of this which is the ultimate claiming of authority is the authority over your own mind where you get to decide what to think on purpose. Because making the decision doesn’t cause your thoughts. It doesn’t go that way. And there are things in your life you may not be able to change. You don’t have authority over whether your parent gets cancer. There are many things in your life you don’t have authority over making that circumstance different.
You always have authority over how you’re going to think and feel about it. And I think the thing that makes us feel the most victimized and unauthoritative is the belief that things outside of us cause our feelings.
Brooke: That is it. That is everything. It is, I’m going to execute my power by making this decision to make this amount of money. And I’m also going to use that same authority to treat myself kind whether I do or I don’t.
Kara: Right. If you just are like, “I’m going to execute my authority to make money and exercise no authority over my own brain and what it says to me in the process.” That’s a hollow authority, that’s not really…
Brooke: But that’s why we don’t exercise it because this is everything right here. We don’t make the decision to do the thing because we’re not also making the decision to have our back when we do the thing. That’s the difference. But if you decide both, you’re like, “I’m going to make this decision to do this thing. I’m also at the same time going to make the decision to have my back either way.”
Kara: You have to, that’s where the authority is, yes.
Brooke: And I’m going to make the decision to manage my mind which is what having your back is, which is preventing yourself from beating yourself up. Come on.
Kara: Right. It’s just not beating yourself up. So, I think to bring it all home for the end of this episode, claiming your authority means what it truly is it’s claiming your authority over the way that you’re going to think and feel which of course leads to what you do. The whole reason that we are paralyzed over what to order for lunch is that we’re like, “Okay, well, I sort of thought I was supposed to be doing keto and this person said that is good but then this podcast said maybe you do need carbs. But then what are the right kind of carbs?”
This is the part of the reason you can’t get enough permission slips is that the world doesn’t fucking agree on anything. So how are you ever going to crowd source one single answer. The only place you can find a guiding principle is in your own self and because women are socialized to be disconnected from their own selves and to look outwards for approval and authority.
The key to claiming your authority is learning how to be in conversation with yourself which means learning how to manage your mind, how to be aware of your thinking and your feeling, and how to change it.
Brooke: So good. Come on.
Kara: Come on.
Brooke: I mean that really, that is if you really get that, listen to this a couple of times. I’m having so many aha moments right now too. Is I’ve been really thinking about the difference between wanting something and deciding to get it in that decision. And in the just basic decision to live a conscious life and manage your mind. That changes everything. That’s your ultimate authority. Brilliant.
Kara: So good. Thank you, my friend, for coming on and [crosstalk].
Brooke: Oh my God, it’s my pleasure, any time.
Alright my friends, how good was that conversation? So much gold. I really hope that when you are listening to Brooke, and you’re listening to me, you can hear the difference that claiming authority over your own life really makes. One of the things that I hear a lot when people meet me is that I seem so confident, and I’m so warm, and I’m so open. And people sort of frequently ask me sort of, “How did you get this way?” Or like, “What is the work you’ve done to be that way to kind of have that air of confidence and mastery but also in this way that is very warm, and open, and loving?”
And I really think this is the key to it. It is claiming your own authority in your own life. And one of the things that we are going to be talking in the Claim Your Authority Masterclass is that one of the big subconscious blocks I think for women to claiming their authority is that the examples of authority that we have seen have often not been great or have been actively harmful. And we associate authority with sort of coldness and oppression. And that’s historically sometimes been the case. But that doesn’t mean that that’s what your authority will look like in your own life.
And so, if that stirred something in you, if that sort of opened your eyes to what it might be like to live a life where you feel like you are the authority in your own life then I want you to come join us in the Claim Your Authority Masterclass. It is happening October 28th, 2022. But if you’re listening to this after that, that’s fine. You can still get the replay of it. Text your email address to +1347 997 1794, the codeword is CYA. Or you go to unfuckyourbrain.com/cya.
These masterclasses are the most accessible, affordable way to learn directly from me at a much deeper and interactive level than I can do in a podcast episode. So, if this concept of claiming your authority has been speaking to something in you that’s your sign that this is the work that you need. So come and join us. It’s going to be amazing. I’ll see you there.
If you’re loving what you’re learning in the podcast, you have got to come check out The Clutch. The Clutch is the podcast community for all things Unf*ck Your Brain. It’s where you can get individual help applying the concepts to your own life.
It’s where you can learn new coaching tools not shared on the podcast that will blow your mind even more. And it’s where you can hang out and connect over all things thought work with other podcast chickens just like you and me. It’s my favorite place on earth and it will change your life, I guarantee it. Come join us at www.unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. That’s unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. I can’t wait to see you there.