You might believe that to be resourceful, you need to have all the answers and tools from the outset to solve any issue. This couldn’t be farther from the truth and holding onto this belief is likely leaving you feeling helpless. I see instances of resourcelessness from tiny to big examples, and if you’re unsure of where you lie on the spectrum, I’m highlighting some ways I’ve seen this show up.
Listen in today to discover the difference between a resourceful mind and a resourceless one. The way you approach any obstacle is a good indicator of how you might be thinking about coming up with solutions, and I hope this episode serves to encourage you to become more resourceful.
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? So I feel like I need to tell you all that I might be living in the first part of a horror movie. So I’m staying in this very pretty small town upstate for a few months. I’m kind of trying to decide where I want to live for the next few years, which is sort of something I was thinking about before the pandemic, but this has been the kick in the pants to kind of figure things out.
So yesterday I went for a walk through the town. Beautiful fall day, there were all these gorgeous houses and lawns. There’s an elementary school in the middle of the town. So presumably, there are children who live in this town and I went for this walk on a Sunday afternoon, and not a single other person was outside.
Like, not one. I was just walking along thinking like, okay, this is the part right before the zombies come out, I’ve seen this movie, I know what happens. So I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone while I was walking and I was like, if I disappear, please call ghostbusters because something is very wrong.
It was actually such an interesting conversation because – not about the ghosts – because this is a friend who’s been married for a long time. Now she’s getting divorced, and she’s having this experience that so many of my clients have had where they never really resolved their relationship anxiety that they had back when they were dating.
They just white-knuckled and suffered through it and then they got married. And sometimes they got comfortable enough eventually in the marriage for it to die down, or they started growing apart from their partner, so they just didn’t really care anymore.
And then eventually, they get divorced and all of a sudden, that relationship anxiety just shoots right back up to 100 because they never changed the thought pattern, which is why we’re focusing on this for the next Clutch College online because so many of my clients have relationship anxiety, which is often romantic, but not always.
Sometimes it’s a work relationship or a family relationship or friend relationships. And it can just be so pervasive, all consuming, and it makes us make terrible decisions. Makes us date people we don’t even really like, makes us kind of overwhelm our friends, or shut down and disappear. Makes us freeze and hide or overcompensate at work.
It can be really debilitating. So I’m super excited to work on this and I think by the time this podcast airs, we will have just opened up registration for Clutch College a couple of days ago. So if you’re in The Clutch and you weren’t paying attention and this is something you need, I would hustle over. These come out on Thursdays, these podcasts. It’s probably already sold out, but it’s possible we have a couple of spots left.
We also just set up a grant program to give partial scholarships for Clutch College online to make it more accessible going forward. This time and going forward. So I’m super excited about that. We had everybody participate in naming the scholarship fund after an amazing kickass woman, so that was also super fun.
I’m really excited to make these kind of next-level offerings within The Clutch, these kind of online or in-person deeper study and masterclass events more accessible. So lots of good stuff happening.
Okay, let me focus before I just spend this whole episode telling you about all the great stuff we’re doing. So sometimes I say the episodes will be short and sweet, this episode is going to be short and screamy. It’s going to be short and a smack. It’s going to be some – buckle up. This is going to be sermon. This is some tough love.
Because y’all, I want to talk to you about how to be resourceful. Here is what I know just from watching humans and also from reading your emails and seeing your DMs and hearing from other coaches and students and acquaintances and everyone else.
Some of y’all are not resourceful. Some of y’all are resourceless as fuck. So what I mean by that, being resourceful, the dictionary says it means having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. I don’t even think they need to be quick and clever.
My bar is lower than the dictionary. When I use the term resourceful, I mean solving your own problem. Now listen, that does not mean that you already necessarily know everything that you need to know to solve your problem. That doesn’t mean you have all the tools to solve your problem.
I mean, this is why coaching exists and programs about using software and education. Most of us don’t always have the actual knowledge or tool or skill we need to solve our own problem. So being resourceful doesn’t have anything to do with whether you already actually have all of the knowledge or information or skill you would need to solve a problem.
Being resourceful is about your attitude towards the thing you don’t know how to resolve yet. So a resourceful person might listen to this podcast, identify a problem they have in their life, and then they use what I teach to solve it. And if they can’t, then they join The Clutch to get more tools and to get coaching to solve it.
That person, them being resourceful doesn’t mean they already know all the actual information or tools they might need. But they take responsibility for solving the problem. A resourceless person just thinks a lot about how they have a problem and kind of idly listens to the podcast and doesn’t apply what I teach for free, nor do they invest in getting coaching to solve it.
This is not just about coaching. I’m just trying to give you an example when we talk about the difference between already knowing all the facts and tools and skills you need to know, versus the attitude of being prepared to solve your problem.
So being resourceful means that you figure out how to solve whatever problem or challenge is in your way. Being resourceless means that you act like you’re helpless and you either don’t solve a problem yourself, or you just try to ask other people to solve it for you.
I see this from the smallest to the biggest things. So many tiny examples but that are just so telling about how you are thinking about your life. So for instance, I get DMs from maybe not any of you. Maybe people who don’t listen to the podcast. But I get DMs from people with questions like, “Do you have a podcast episode on jealousy?”
Like yes, it’s the one called jealousy. Did you scroll the podcast list to find it? Did you try to Google? No. Or people ask me constantly what coaching school I went to and I’m like, the one that’s on my website. I get emails from other coaches asking me things like, or non-coaches asking like, “Hi, do you have any suggestions for how I can become a coach?”
I have had coaches email me and ask if they can copy my website text and just use it on their website. Just change the word feminist to something else. I get so many messages that are like, I want to be a coach, what should I do?
So I want to be really clear. I’m not mad. This isn’t a problem for me. I am not the one answering these emails and these DMs. I mean, it’s maybe a problem for my social media team, but that’s what I pay them for. That’s their job. They’re happy to answer the DMs. This is not about it putting me out or wasting my time. It’s not.
It’s about you and your life and putting yourself out. It’s about what is your first instinct when you have a question, or you want a piece of information or you have a new goal. Is your instinct to figure out how to solve your problem, how to get what you want, or is your instinct to assume that you don’t know anything, you can’t do anything, and you need someone else to tell you what to do?
That is so rampant and especially if you are a coach listening to this, I see so many coaches who are acting completely resourceless and they can’t figure out why their businesses don’t get off the ground and it’s because they are not solving their own problems.
And they think they are. What is so, I think, tricky about this sometimes is that sometimes it seems like hiring an expert is solving your problem. Like, oh, I’m not getting sales, I don’t know why, let me enroll in this course, let me do this thing. But when you’re constantly telling yourself that the answer is out there and you can’t figure it out and some expert is going to be able to solve it for you, you’re never going to get anywhere.
There’s a really big difference between I got to figure out what’s going wrong in my sales process and this course might give me some ideas or give me a new tool to think about this problem with, versus I don’t know why I’m not getting any sales, I’m going to buy this course and then that course will teach me exactly how to get sales.
It will all happen for me from that thing. I’ll just get the course and that’ll solve my whole problem because this expert will know. It’s the differences in how you think about who’s responsibility is it to solve the problem. And who’s going to have to do the hard thinking to solve the problem.
And it’s not just about coaches. I see this all the time. I can’t tell you guys how often someone posts in The Clutch about something’s changed in their life and so they need to budget, and so they think they need to cut The Clutch to save their $97 a month.
And whenever I see a post like this, I get in there and I always comment and I say, why don’t you use all of the tools in this incredibly rich program with all these resources to figure out how to make $97 a month to cover it? That’s not a lot of money, y’all. Don’t write me emails about how it is. It’s not.
Every single goddamn one of you has a brain that is capable of coming up with a way to make $97 a month if you focus on it. I believe in you. I believe that if you really want to, you can figure out something you can do in the world in 30 days that will bring in $97. I 100% believe that for each and every one of you.
And without fail, when I say this to someone who’s looking at budgeting or cutting, their minds are blown because they’re not thinking about it that way. They’re not thinking about it with a resourceful mind. A resourceful mind sees resources everywhere. A resourceful mind says okay, what are all the things that I’m good at, what are all the things I have, what are all the things I can do, what are all the ways I can provide value or be of service to other people, what are all the things that I could contribute to the world that someone might want to pay for, for instance.
A resourceless mind sees nothing. Just looks around and says well, have to do with less, I have a problem. The only way to solve this is to get rid of things. A resourceful mind believes that everything is figureoutable. And a resourceless mind believes that it’s helpless and that other people have all the answers.
I swear, I kind of blame Google for some of this. I mean, it’s a double-edged sword because using Google is part of being resourceful, for sure. A lot of people are not using Google when they could. But we’re also just so used to just looking up the answer and assuming someone else has the answer and will just give it to us.
And the human brain evolved to solve problems. Your brain is completely capable of solving problems. For sure, you might need some actual help. You might need coaching; you might need tools. You might need to know some information you don’t have. If my problem is that my steam engine is broken, for sure I’m probably going to need to at least study up on a steam engine, I might also need to hire an engineer to help me.
Like yes, sometimes there are some things, some information, or some skills that you don’t know. But you have the most powerful computer in the world inside your little skull. And when you are resourceless, you are not using it. You are not taking advantage of the incredible possibility that lies within your brain.
This is like, learned helplessness and it’s a way of not taking responsibility for your life and for yourself. It’s not about whether, yes, you might need some expert help or to learn some new things to solve a problem. It’s the mental attitude of who’s problem is this to solve and how is it going to get solved.
Do I take responsibility for solving this problem? Do I take responsibility for figuring out the answer to this? And yes, maybe I need to consult an expert or hire a plumber, whatever needs to be done. But do I take responsibility for resolving this, or do I throw up my hands, do I ask someone else to fix it for me, do I want an expert to just take care of everything and for me to not have to think about it? Do I think that the ultimate answer is somewhere outside of me and/or there is no answer, there’s nothing to be done, I can’t figure it out?
Some of y’all are very comfortable being helpless, not being able to figure out what to do. Being confused, looking to someone else for the answer, giving up at the first obstacle, the first challenge. Anything in life that is worth doing is going to require you to get over obstacles in your way.
And go under obstacles and go around them. You’re going to have to MacGyver your way through situations that you don’t initially know how to resolve. I think a lot about what enables some people to succeed when others don’t.
Particularly in coaching because I see so many coaches, and some of them succeed amazingly, and some of them just never get going. And I think that it comes down to resourcefulness. It’s not having all the information or all the tools or all the answers. It’s what you do when you come up against something that you don’t know how to navigate or fix yet.
It’s your attitude when you hit a question that you don’t know the answer to. Whether that’s as small as how do I start becoming a life coach – that’s not really a small one, but like, do you have a podcast on this? Or it’s huge, like my spouse and I both lost our job, and our kids have school payments, and we need to figure out what we’re going to do.
It’s not about the size of the problem. It’s about the attitude that you have. What do you do when you hit a question you don’t know the answer to? What do you do when you need a new skill or tool or piece of information? How do you go about getting it?
Do you just ask someone else to solve your problem for you and then throw up your hands? Or do you buckle up, buckle down, either way, you buckle yourself in and take responsibility for solving that shit. When I’m hiring someone or making a decision about whether to firing someone, the number one thing I look at is resourcefulness.
When they encounter a problem, do they just bring it to me like it’s a dead bird that I’m supposed to dispose of? Like your cat would? Or do they use their brain and figure out how to solve it and come to me with a proposal, with a solution? Or at least get as far as they can in solving it before they absolutely need some help.
So for those of you who are feeling very attacked right now, here’s the good news. This isn’t a genetic lottery thing. It’s not like having high cheekbones. Being resourceful is a skill. It’s really a practice and a way of thinking. You just have to practice thinking this way.
If you got an electric shock every time you just whined about something without changing it, or every time you just wanted someone else to solve your problem, or every time you just gave up as soon as something was hard, you would probably quickly learn to stop doing that.
And for better or worse, I can’t give you an electric shock. I want you to just imagine my voice yelling stop it. Stop doing that. What if you assumed, what if you believed that you could solve any problem in your life? What if you believed that you could always figure out an answer?
What if you believed that there were infinite ways to get what you want? And if one way wasn’t working, you just had to try another way. If you just assumed that there’s always a solution and you can always figure it out, no matter what the problem is, how would your life change?
That’s what life is like when you are resourceful. That’s when you can do anything. So this week, I want you to go out and solve a problem that you haven’t been solving. Take full responsibility for it. Be resourceful. Solve that problem no matter what. See how that feels. I’ll be here 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 my feminist coaching community for all things Unfuck Your Brain. It’s where you can get individual help applying all these concepts I teach to your own life and learning how to do thought work to blow your own mind.
It’s where you can learn new coaching tools not shared on the podcast that will change your life even more. 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 everything, I guarantee it.
Come join us at www.unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. Or you can just text your email address to 347-934-8861. If you text your email address to that number, we’ll text you right back with a link to check out everything you need to know about The Clutch. 347-934-8861 or again, just go online to www.unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. I cannot wait to see you there.