If you’ve always wanted to join us for our Clutch College Live events but weren’t able to, today is your lucky day. Every single year, so many amazing insights come out from teaching and coaching live, so on this episode, I’m sharing three takeaways from our latest one.
This Clutch College Live was all about setting and achieving big goals, and the takeaways I’m offering all build on each other to transform your relationship to anything you want to accomplish in your life.
So, if you’ve been working on something for a long time and haven’t gotten traction yet, or you have some new goals on the horizon that you’re not sure how to tackle, this is the episode for you. Tune in for this short and sweet episode and experience a metamorphic shift in what you currently think is possible for you in 2022.
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. How are you? I am enjoying that there is some sunlight this morning. Now being in the depths of winter, I don’t take it for granted to see the sun in the morning because it goes away so soon. Well, that’s what it feels like to me and I realize that there are some places with much more darkness, like the Arctic circle.
But sometimes winter in New York feels pretty dark. So I am celebrating the sun, I am celebrating bringing 2021 to an amazing close, that’s as I’m recording this podcast. So you may be listening to it in 2022, but 2021 is wrapping up.
Super exciting things, the book that you all have already heard about probably by the time you listen to this, and really just getting ready to kick some ass in 2022 after a very long nap.
So here’s what I want to talk to you guys about today. As some of you know, well, most of you have heard of The Clutch, which is my feminist coaching community, and inside The Clutch we have events called Clutch College, usually live, which are live events where we really dig in deep to certain topics so that people can learn some advanced tools and skills and get really intensive transformational coaching.
And so often after I host a Clutch College, so much good stuff comes out, not even planned. The stuff we plan is amazing, but then all of these amazing insights just come out while I’m teaching and coaching live. So I wanted to share a few of them with you.
And I think I’ve done this after every Clutch College. I have shared some takeaways because part of what I want to do is always be sharing and making some of the learning accessible to people even when attending a live event isn’t accessible to them, or the podcast is free, even if you don’t join The Clutch, if you’re in The Clutch but you don’t come to a Clutch College Live, we still share some of what we taught there to really give everybody extra access to the teaching and learning that they need.
There’s more than enough wisdom to go around. So I want to share three of the biggest takeaways from Clutch College Live, and I think they really kind of all go together. For me, they’re really a powerful way of thinking about especially new things that I want to tackle, or things where I have been working on it for a long time and I want to bring fresh energy and direction to it.
Those are kind of the same actually because when you’ve been working on something for a long time and you haven’t made progress, gotten traction, gotten where you want, you kind of do need a mental reset to almost see it as new.
So here are the three takeaways that I think all kind of build on each other. This was a Clutch College that was all about goals, setting and achieving big goals. So these really have to do with your relationship to anything you want to accomplish in your life.
So the first one is that you have no idea where you are in your journey. We often think that we know that we are so far from our goal, or that we have been working on something for a long time and not making progress. We often think that just because it doesn’t seem like we’re close to our goal, it must be very far away.
But the truth is you have no idea where you are in your journey. You could be at the start of your journey, or you could be on the day before you figure something out that changes the whole journey for you.
I used to think about this a lot with dating when I was looking for a committed long-term partner, primary partner. I would often think to myself, “This could be the day before I meet that person.” When something feels like it’s so far away, we often are not thinking about the fact that we could actually be quite close to what we want. We just don’t know it yet.
Even in your business, even if you’re trying to write a novel and you’re like, well, there’s 400 pages to go, I know I’m at the beginning, yes and no. Your thoughts about where you are in the journey don’t really have to do with the amount of time or effort required. It has to do with your emotions about it.
So even in that scenario, if you believed, “Well, I’ve been procrastinating for three years but tomorrow might be the day that I figure out the thought that’s blocking me and then I’m able to write the whole novel in a year,” you still might be much closer to the destination, to the end than you thought.
So it’s really important to remember that you don’t know where you are in the journey. Because when you tell yourself, “I have so far to go, I’m still just in the beginning, I’m stuck, I’ve been working on this for so long, I’m just starting, it’s so far and overwhelming to finish,” you’re creating that experience for yourself and that’s what result you’re going to create.
When you tell your brain, “We’re so far from the finish line,” your brain is like, great, well, there’s no need to rush then, we’ll just stay here. I think this is particularly a transformative thought when you have been working on something for a long time, something you really want, whatever it is you’re trying to create, and you feel like you haven’t really moved much.
You’ve been treading water or stuck, you don’t know where you are in the journey. You could be one thought download away from figuring it out. You could be one first day away from meeting the person who’s going to turn into that amazing partner for you.
You could be one consult call in your business away from finally understanding how to do consult calls in a different way and creating more revenue. You could be one brainstorming session away from solving the plot hole in the book you’re writing and being able to finish it.
You could be one submission away from getting an agent for your screenplay. Whatever it is, you don’t know where you are in the journey. And this has been something I have been using, I’ve been talking and teaching intermittently on the podcast the last few months about this issue I’m working on in my life where it has taken a lot longer than really things have for quite a while for me.
I’ve been feeling lots of negative emotion around it. Feeling like I don’t understand what’s going on with me, I can’t quite figure it out yet. And so this is something that I’ve been reminding myself so much of is like, every time I’m like, “I need another coaching session, I don’t know,” I have those thoughts too like anyone else.
Like this isn’t changing, I’m still not getting anywhere, it’s still happening, this isn’t going to help, all those negative thoughts, I just remind myself that I have no idea where I am in the journey of my relationship with this problem that I’m trying to solve or this challenge, or this thought pattern.
It might be that today is the day that I figure something out that helps. It might be that tomorrow is the day that something releases for me. It might be that next Wednesday, I’m going to be able to go through a triggering experience and not feel triggered by it.
And I don’t mean triggering in the clinical sense. I just mean experience that activates me. So you don’t know where you are in the journey. You could always be just one moment away from the next big development or thing you’re going to figure out, or insight, or success.
And remembering that will keep you moving forward, rather than stagnating, and it will keep you from judging and shaming how long it’s taking and believing you know the future, which you don’t.
So here’s the second takeaway I want to share with you all. True is not a feeling. This one’s a little tough love. So often students will say, “I know that it’s a thought, but it feels really true.” Listen to me. True is not a feeling. That doesn’t go in the feeling line of the model.
It’s not an F, it’s not a feeling. True is not a feeling. Something can’t feel true. A feeling is happy, sad, mad, afraid, disgusted maybe. Those are the feelings. True is not a feeling.
When you are saying it feels true, what you are describing is simply that you really believe a thought. And that just means that you have thought the thought a lot. So I want you to imagine something that people used to believe that we don’t believe anymore.
Like the Earth is flat, like women’s uteruses can wander around their bodies, like whatever, pick something. People would have said at that time, “This feels really true.” If you are coaching somebody who believed that the Earth was flat, I mean, those people exist now too.
But I just want you to imagine a historical belief that you no longer believe so you can get a sense of this. They would just be saying to you, “It feels really true.” They would believe as passionately about this thing that we no longer believe as you believe about your thoughts.
Something cannot feel true. All that means is that you have thought that thought many, many times. It has literally zero relevance or association or correlation or causation to its actual truth.
Whether something is true is a circumstance, maybe sometimes it’s a thought. You can put it in the thought line. Like I think this is true, but it’s not a feeling. So whenever you find yourself thinking or saying, “It just feels really true,” you need to reframe that for yourself.
Because truth has nothing to do with a feeling. Truth is not a feeling. You just have had that thought a lot so you believe it. But it’s so important to understand that the fact that you’ve thought a thought a lot of times has zero relationship to whether it’s true.
So when something feels true, what that really means is I really believe this because I’ve thought it many times. But I can be 100% utterly mistaken about the truth of this. It feeling true has nothing to do with whether it’s true, and that’s not even a thing.
It’s not true is not a feeling. Something feeling true is not a feeling. It just means you’ve thought it a lot, you believe it a lot. It has no relationship to whether it’s true or not.
So why is that important? Because when we have thought a thought a lot and we believe it a lot, we sort of paralyze ourselves by telling ourselves, “Well, it just feels really true. I can’t think something else, or I have to think this because it feels so true.”
But when you understand that a thought feeling powerful to you, that’s a swap you can also try. This thought feels strong to me, feels powerful to me, it creates a lot of my brain saying, “Yeah, that’s true.” However you want to describe it to yourself. That means nothing about whether it’s true or not.
So we take that out of the equation when we’re deciding what to believe. You have to sort of demystify that thought and delegitimize it by not telling yourself that it feels true. I have no idea if this thought is true or not. I just know I’ve thought it many times. I might be completely wrong about it.
And that leads me to my third takeaway, which I talk about all the time but cannot be talked about enough, which is that you have to be willing to be wrong. If you want to change and grow, you have to be willing to be wrong.
I think what happen sometimes is that we are willing to be wrong intellectually, but then in the moment, when we have to admit we are wrong or feel vulnerable or try to believe something that’s hard to believe, or stay connected instead of disconnecting from ourselves or someone else, then we don’t want to do it in that moment.
And that is the exact moment when we have to be willing to be uncomfortable. You have to be willing to be wrong in order to ever grow or change anything. If all your current thoughts are true and you can’t think anything else, then you have to stay where you are.
You have to stay stuck, you have to stay with all the same feelings and problems and challenges that you have now. So in order to be able to change anything in your life, you have to be willing to be wrong.
You have to be willing to be wrong about what somebody else’s motivations are. You have to be willing to be wrong about how well you’re writing your Facebook ads if nobody’s responding to them. You have to be willing to be wrong about how you’re viewing and understanding a situation if you want to be able to change it.
You have to be willing to be wrong. The human brain does not like being wrong. We hate being wrong. It makes us think we might die. But wrongness is not going to kill you unless you’re wrong about which kind of poisonous berries to eat. So in that case you should consult a book.
Be willing to be wrong about yourself, about your beliefs that you hold the most dear, about what you think is possible for yourself in the world, about what the world has told you is possible for you.
All of your thoughts about your limitations, those aren’t in your brain because they’re natural and true. They’re there because someone taught them to you, and you may have just been given wrong information.
So be willing to be wrong. Being wrong doesn’t mean anything about you or your intelligence or your insight or anything like that. I think sometimes we don’t want to be wrong because we think it means that we were stupid and bad.
But no, it just means that you were taught incorrect information about yourself and what you’re capable of, and about how you can think about the world. So you have to be willing to be wrong in order to change anything.
Alright my chickens, so that’s what I want you to take with you this week. You have no idea where you are in your journey. True is not a feeling, and always be willing to be wrong. I’ll talk to you next week.
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 Unfuck 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.