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 to talk to you all today. I just spent a week in the Cayman Islands, which was ridiculous, for work. My father always says it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it. Although, as you all know how I feel about the beach, so if I were going to go somewhere for a week-long vacation, it probably would not be the beach.
But it was obviously amazing. I was there to teach at a master coach training for The Life Coach School, which was such a blast. We had a really incredible group of students in this beautiful setting, and it was so interesting because they were half blissed out and half dying. Because the experience was so intense and they were confronting themselves on such a deep level, which is really what has to happen for growth.
We have to come face to face with ourselves. And I think that’s so easy to avoid when we’re just doing a few minutes of thought work at home on our own, right? I know I will completely avoid coaching myself on stuff sometimes that I just don’t want to deal with, and then I have to make myself text Rachel, my coaching bestie, Rachel Hart, and be like, please force-coach me. I’m avoiding this, I need to be coached on it.
And it’s amazing to have a coaching bestie, but I think what I saw with the students was that’s what live events really do. I think a lot of these students, these are obviously people who are qualified to at least try to become master certified coaches. They’re already certified coaches, they’re already operating at a high level, and yet even for them, it was so apparent that what that week in person together was doing was really forcing them to see their blind spots and see the places that they haven’t really been taking their self-coaching where it needs to go, and they haven’t been calling themselves out where they need to, often because they just can’t see it.
So that’s one of my favorite things about teaching at these live events or being a student at them and they really give you the time and the space away from your real life to dig in deep and then you have the support and guidance to make sure you’re doing that in a useful and productive way, a way that is kind of kind to yourself and helpful as opposed to self-critical.
So I’m a big, big fan of immersions. That’s why I mean, partially also because I work alone from home, but I always jump at any opportunity to spend time in person with any of my coaches, or just my coaching friends and colleagues. It’s funny, whether I’m teaching or a student actually doesn’t even matter.
I learn so much and my own work gets deeper really either way. It’s hard to create that on your own. You know, I think we all have the temptation or at least some of us do to think like, I’m going to set aside this whole weekend and do a little self-coaching immersion. You get all organized with binders and color coding, and then all of a sudden, it’s Sunday afternoon, you’ve been watching Netflix for 36 hours.
I don’t think I’m the only person that’s happened to. So I think really, having that time in person is what helps you take your brain to the next level. That’s really been my experience. Every time I spend time with my mastermind, my coaching friends, I unlock new ways of understanding this work and new progress. And we laugh so much. I mean, laughing at your own brain is like, the silver lining of thought work. It’s the part that’s so much fun.
I firmly believe that any good live event involves like, a lot of laughing and a little crying. That’s the right recipe. So that’s the energy that I’m coming off of. That’s what I was doing this whole past week, and I am taking that energy and I’m working on planning the next Clutch College, which is going to be amazing. And we’re releasing all the details I think next week.
So I just want you to, if you’re thinking about it, imagine spending a few days in an amazing location, just working on your brain, and learning how to create whatever kind of life you want. Like how fucking lucky are we that we even get to do that? It’s kind of ridiculous.
Anyway, I know some of y’all are very anxious about getting the details and when registration opens. Totally understandable. I know. My live events sell out very fast. Our Portugal event was 48 hours. We had 150 applications for 10 spots. So I totally get it. But I promise that if you are in The Clutch, you will get all the info. You just need to make sure you read your emails.
Don’t skip my emails and then get mad that you didn’t find out before it sold out. I promise I’m going to give you plenty of advance notice and your job is to read it. And you have to be in The Clutch to come to Clutch College, unless you graduated from Unfuck Your Brain, and if you did, then you know that you did. If you’re confused about it, you didn’t. That was my coaching program that’s over.
The email with the info is only going out to Clutch members and my former clients from other programs. So if you want to attend the live event and you’ve been waiting for a sign to join The Clutch, this is your sign. You can just go to unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch or if you really want to make it easy, you can just text your email to 347-934-8861. 347-934-8861. You just text your email and we are going to send you a link to the page where you can learn more about The Clutch. If you’re in The Clutch, you don’t need to do anything. Just read your emails.
So the other thing I did in the Caymans was that I watched this Netflix show, Cheer, which Rachel, my friend Rachel made me watch. And I have a lot of thoughts about it. It’s incredible. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about – it turns out that the top two cheerleading teams in the country, at least based on who’s won national championships are these two community colleges in Texas, which is not what I would have guessed.
And there’s a lot of fascinating stuff that goes on in this series, but the thing that I was really thinking about and part of what sparked this episode today was that the team trains hours and hours a day. Like five, six hours a day, whole school year. I don’t even know, maybe in the summer too. And yes, they are cheering at football games, but that’s really not the point. That’s not really why they’re there and they don’t do stuff that is that complicated there.
They really are training all year for this one competition, which is like the National Cheerleading Association event. I don’t know – what is it called? The National Cheerleading Association competition. I don’t know. It’s like the top competition, and if you win it, then you’re the national champion.
And so their routine in the national championships is two and a half minutes long. They are practicing all year, multiple hours a day for a two-and-a-half-minute routine. Just think about how much time and effort they’re putting in for that one moment, or that two and a half moments. It made me think about another documentary I saw about Beyoncé and the tour she went on after she had her twins.
And she talks about how she practiced for eight months for a two-hour show. In fact, it was not a tour. It was just the show, I think. Maybe it was the VMAs. I obviously do not keep up on pop culture that well. I don’t remember the names of the different shows. But I specifically remember her talking about how she trained for eight months for a one two-hour show.
And these cheerleaders are training all year for a two-and-a-half-minute routine. That’s how much work they’re putting in. And that is why today I want to talk about entitlement. And what I really want to talk about is the idea of result-entitlement. I’ve been thinking about this because of watching Cheer, even that Beyoncé thing got me thinking about it a few months ago.
And then right around the end of the year, the beginning of this year, I saw a meme of all things on social media that said, “Don’t complain about not having the results you didn’t create.” Don’t complain about not having the results that you didn’t create. And I do not usually think that memes are very profound, but I was like, damn, that one is on point.
And I’ve really been thinking about it in the realm of thought work because I think that what happens is that we are entitled to our thoughts working immediately for us. We think that if we have put in a little bit of work on our mind, we have done a few thought downloads, we did a model or two, we did a thought ladder – if you don’t know what those are, those are the coaching tools that I teach in The Clutch, and there’s actually a podcast about the thought ladder as well.
We think like, oh, I did a few of those, I practiced this thought a few times, why isn’t it working? We kind of get into this like, childhood tantrum where we think that we are entitled to certain results. And it might be our thought work or it might be anything else in our life. We think we’re entitled to an amazing relationship with a partner who does exactly what we want. We think we’re entitled to a coaching business that makes six figures or seven figures.
We think we’re entitled to new clients hiring us. We think we’re entitled to have a body that looks a certain way or can accomplish certain things. We think we’re entitled to other people treating us the way we want to be treated. We think we’re entitled to positive emotion all the time. We think we’re entitled to see big changes in our minds and our lives from doing a little bit of work.
But what I love about the model and life is that you get the results you create. That’s it. End of story. If you have the necessary belief and you take the necessary action, you will get the result. If you do not have the result, you either don’t have the belief or you haven’t taken the actions or both.
I just want you to try to go with me to the place where you believe that. What if that was true? What if that was just a math equation? It had nothing to do with what kind of person you are, and it meant nothing about you. But you also weren’t owed anything.
I had this great coaching session a few months ago with a newer coach and the problem she brought for coaching was that she’d set a goal of getting two clients in a month and then she did a bunch of stuff and I don’t remember the whole list, but she told me what it was. And then at the end of the month she had one client.
And so obviously to her, something had gone terribly wrong. So she told me all the things she’d done. She made this many social media posts, she’d done this many consult calls, she’d run this many Facebook ads, she’d made this many offers, I don’t even remember what it was she did. But she told me the whole list and she was like, but I only got one.
I said, “Okay, so what do we know?” And she said, “Well, I don’t know, I’m doing something wrong, it’s not working. I did all this and I wanted two clients and I only got one.” She’s like, I don’t know. And I said, “No, we know it is working and here’s what we know now. That’s the amount of things you need to do to get one client. So what do you have to do if you want to get two clients?”
And she just looked at me totally blankly, which is totally normal because we’re all deer in the headlights when we’re getting coached. And she was just stuck in it in her brain and she said, “Well, I don’t know, it’s not working. I was trying to get two and I only got one.” And I said, “Okay, you just have to double that. You did all this, you got one client. So if you want to get two clients, you just need to do twice as much.”
Just totally simple math, right? But she couldn’t see it because she believed that what she did should have gotten her two clients. She felt entitled to the result of two clients. She would never have identified her feeling as entitled. She would have said I’m doing all this work, I don’t think I’m entitled to clients, I’m working hard.
But the truth is she did think she was entitled. She had randomly and kind of arbitrarily decided she wanted two clients, and then she randomly decided how many things she was willing to do to get them. I’m not saying it’s arbitrary in a way – all of our goals are arbitrary to some extent. We just decide what they are.
But she had sort of decided, well, if I do all these things, I should get two. As if that’s the law of the universe. If I do all these things, I should get two. So if I only got one, something went wrong. But she was just wrong about that. And so when she got one client, her thought was something went wrong. She thought she was entitled to the result of two clients.
But why? Just because of our own thought that what she did should have gotten her two clients. A totally made-up thought. That’s entitlement. Imagine you’re trying to walk to a store and you don’t know how far away it is, and let’s say it’s actually two miles. But in your head, you’re like, I think it should be one mile. I want to walk one mile and be at the store. That’s what I want.
So you walk one mile and there’s no store. And then you have a mental tantrum because it’s not working and the store is supposed to be there. You feel entitled to the store being there one mile because that’s what you wanted to have happen. You only felt like walking one mile and you also wanted to be at a store. But the store was always two miles away. The store is where the store is.
Now, you get to decide if you do want to walk two miles to get to a store. I’m not saying you should walk to the store or you have to walk to the store. You may not care that much about going to the store. You may only be willing to walk one mile in order to get to a store. But if you want to get to a store, it’s two miles. It’s not one. You’re not entitled to get there after walking one mile, or 1.3 miles, or 1.8 miles. It’s two miles away.
And I see this in my clients, even in their attitude towards thought work. They come up with a new thought, they practice it a few times, and then they feel entitled to it changing their life for them. They just come up with a thought and then they want the thought to do all the work. And they feel entitled to having a thought be sticky, or take root, or change their life for them.
But your thought doesn’t owe you anything. You have to commit to your thought. You have to do the work to make your thought your default. And then once you’ve believed it a lot, that’s when it’ll start to deliver something for you.
And people do this all the time with new businesses, new projects, new creative habits, whatever it is. We start something and then we want it to be successful and feed us immediately. But you wouldn’t think a newborn baby should feed you right when it’s born. You have to feed it and care for it, and eventually if you’re lucky, it will help support you.
Or you can see this in the context of relationships too. I was coaching a friend recently and she was complaining that when she gets around a group of her friends and colleagues, some of them seem really close and like, they’re making arrangements to spend extra time with each other, and she doesn’t feel that people are including her in the same way.
And I said, “Okay, so are you close with these people? Tell me, what do you do to maintain those relationships between gatherings?” And she said, “Oh, well, nothing. I don’t do anything to maintain those relationships when I’m not seeing them.” She felt entitled to being included and wanted these people to make her feel good about herself, even though she doesn’t actually maintain those relationships.
So we feel entitled to results that we have not created. And then we get mad when they don’t happen, and we complain and we feel sorry for ourselves. But what if we didn’t do that? What if we didn’t think we were entitled to anything? What if we didn’t complain about not having the results we haven’t created?
The truth is that I think when we do that, it’s because we actually believe something is impossible or that we can’t do it. Or we think we should want to do it but we don’t really. We’re only willing to walk one mile to the store but we think we should want to walk two miles. And so we walk one mile and complain.
If you try to tie your shoes and do it halfway, you don’t get mad that they aren’t fully tied. You know you can fully tie them and you don’t feel entitled to tie them halfway and yet have a fully tied shoe because it’s not a big deal. You just – in your mind, you’re like, I’ll just tie these all the way. I know that’s what I need to do.
I think we act entitled about things that we fear we cannot create. And we want the answer to be that it should have happened and something must have gone wrong, because we don’t really believe that we can make it happen. We underestimate our capacity to persist and do more and work had and keep the faith and keep going.
So we take a certain amount of action and we only get one client, or we think a thought a few times and it doesn’t really become the new default yet, and we think, “Well, that’s the best I can do.” We don’t believe truly we can do what it takes to get two clients or walk the two miles to the store, or have that new thought truly become what we believe and that we can figure it out and persist.
So instead, we pout and we sulk and feel entitled. And we think a new thought a few times and we don’t really believe that we can learn to believe it fully, and so we have a tantrum that hasn’t changed anything. I don’t think entitlement is a character flaw. I think it’s a cover for fear or disbelief.
It’s so interesting because before thought work, I used to be kind of shocked when people were successful in kind of disparate areas of life. Like when a professional sports player turned out to be a successful businessman, or when an accomplished concert pianist also became an inventor, because I thought that success came from innate talent. And so it was surprising to me that people had such disparate talents.
I was totally in a fixed mindset, for those of you who know Carol Dweck’s work on growth versus fixed mindset. But now, post-thought work, I realize that it completely makes sense because success doesn’t come from innate talent. The talent is the least of it. There are people with tons of talent all over the place who are not accomplishing their goals, and there are people with only a little talent who are blowing it out of the water with their work.
This was even in that – back to the Cheer documentary. One of the young women who ended up being a star of the team was someone who came on knowing less than everybody else, but she worked hard and she was willing to take risks and she was willing to try new things. Successful people have the thoughts and the actions that create success. They know how to believe hard and work hard. That’s why they can be successful in more than one arena.
People with talent who don’t succeed think that their talent entitles them to success, but it doesn’t. And people with less talent succeed because they don’t believe that they’re entitled to it. So that’s the challenge I want to leave you with. What if you didn’t believe that you were entitled to any result in your life that you hadn’t put in the time and the effort and belief to earn?
What if it all was possible but you have to believe it is and act on that belief to create it? If you haven’t created it, you just haven’t fully lived the belief and the actions. And if you don’t want to, that’s okay. But if you do, you have to keep doing it. Either way, you can drop the entitlement and set yourself emotionally free, because entitlement is just a lot of emotional drama and it’s so unnecessary.
Either you don’t want it badly enough to keep going until you make it happen, and that’s 100% okay and it’s a gift to yourself to admit it. Or you do and you need to keep going because whatever you’ve done so far in your mind or out in the world has not produced the result, and so you’re not there yet. You’re not done yet.
That’s it. What if those were the only two choices? Admit that you don’t actually want the thing hard enough, or more, or bad enough to do what needs to be done, or you do and you’re not entitled to it and you’re going to keep going until you get it. If those were your only two choices, think about how much time you would save and what you could achieve. That’s what I want you to think about. Alright chickens, I will talk to you next week.
If this episode spoke to you, then you need to check out The Clutch because it comes with a five-week self-coaching course that will walk you through exactly how to apply this life-changing work to anything you experience. Literally anything. If you’ve ever thought, “Well, I don’t know how to get started with thought work, or I don’t know exactly how to do thought work or if I’m doing it right, or what order I should do it in or how I should do it,” the self-coaching course teaches you all of that.
And even if you’re familiar with thought work concepts, The Clutch will help you take the work deeper, and it comes with access to expert coaches who can answer any thought work question you have, plus me, of course, the coach you live. No question is off limits. You can change your life by going to unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch, or you can actually just text your email address to 347-934-8861, and we will send a link to all the information you need straight to your cellphone. I’ll see you there.