*A little note before we start! With the holidays coming up, schedules change a bit and things get a little busier. I typically don’t listen to as many podcasts during the holidays when I’m home with my family, and I want you guys to unplug a little too. That said, there will be no new episode November 26th in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The same goes for December as there will be no episodes December 24th or 31st in observation of Christmas and New Years Day. Take some time away from your business, slow down, and enjoy the holidays with your family!
I never really understood the profession of life coaching, but then I met Carol. Just in the first few minutes of meeting her, it was so obvious that of course she was a life coach. She just had this calming and yet exuberant presence and energy to her. I have really leaned on Carol in the past year, and she always makes me feel better, which is exactly what you want in a life coach! I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Carol Elizabeth, as we talk all about life coaching and what the key is to caring less about what other people think.
This is a topic I personally still struggle with, and I hear my clients struggling with it as well. “What if so and so thinks this___?” This problem is real, and Carol is going to help us navigate this today, along with helping us learn how to use the amazing emotions we have as women to our advantage. Here is Carol!
Becoming a Life Coach
Carol is a life coach for high-achieving millennial women and currently resides in Seattle Washington. She still runs into people daily who don’t know what a life coach, though the profession has been around for quite a while. Carol was introduced to the idea about 6 years ago. Before that she was a fitness instructor and trainer for 15 years. She worked with women, mostly corporate women, and was so intrigued – these women were so capable, so intelligent, so motivated, and yet they really struggled to meet their fitness goals or sustain them. Carol began thinking that something was missing or there was a piece out there she didn’t know about. It occurred to her that it was self-talk. Because hearing these women talk (she shares that being a trainer is like being a hairdresser – you hear all the things!), she kept hearing the same stories again and again of how these women felt unworthy and had low self-image.
Carol started doing some research and read about life coaching school. The next weekend she signed up for a certification program, not even really knowing what she was getting herself into. She assumed she would go and sit at a desk and learn, take a test, and go out and be a coach to these women. When Carol showed up at the first workshop, there wasn’t a desk in sight. There were chairs in a circle, and Carol freaked out a little. “I did not sign up to sit in a circle and pour out my deepest, darkest secrets to a bunch of strangers,” said Carol. But interestingly enough, Carol thought about what people would think if she quit. And that was what got her to step inside the door.
30 minutes later, Carol “drank the kool-aid” and joined in. But to her surprise, she realized that she was being impacted and was finding ways that she could change. Carol wouldn’t have signed up had she known it would have been changing her, but it was so powerful for her that she knew she wanted every woman to experience what she had experienced there. Carol took a step back from training and dove into life coaching head first.
Serving High-Achieving Millennial Women
Carol is a life coach specifically to high-achieving millenial women. Carol describes this woman to be in her late 20s-early to mid 30s. She has grown up with her path laid out in front of her – you’re going to go to high school, college, maybe grad school, get the job, have the house, etc. This woman learned in order to succeed in life you really focus on external validation. These women check all the boxes but then get to this place of “what do I do next, and why am I not happy. I did all the things.”
If you have grown up on the path someone else laid out for you, it’s really hard when all of a sudden you are like, “Where is the map? Who is going to tell me what to do next?” Carol resonates with that so deeply, which is why she chose that niche. When Carol went to coaching school and saw how impactful it was, she kept having this thought of if she had only known this when she was in that stage of life, her life would look so incredibly different.
Carol became passionate about serving these women and now specifically works to help them to manage their fears so they can really show up fully and accomplish everything they want to accomplish. She sees fear being a recurring theme with her clients, along with other things like confidence and self trust.
Fear can be a hard thing to tackle, especially when you are in it, but Carol has some great tips for how she helps her clients. The first being awareness – knowing what you are feeling is okay and normal. It doesn’t mean you aren’t smart or capable, it means you are human for feeling those things. Carol’s goal isn’t to teach people how to stop feeling fear but to help them manage their thoughts when they are in those moments. You can’t completely stop feeling fear, but you can manage those thoughts and your emotions.
Steps to Take
I asked Carol what we can do then in managing those fears and to stop caring what other people think. The first thing she said to note was that no one is going to be as committed to your dreams and goals as you are. Others aren’t as emotionally invested in the same way you are. So letting go of the expectation that someone else is going to be as excited or committed as you are is a good first step to take.
If you feel like your spouse or friend isn’t supportive of you, you just need to remember that they just can’t quite get on the same level because they aren’t as invested as you are. Our loved ones still care about us, especially when we are pursuing ideas maybe outside of the box. Those ideas and business ventures can be unknown, and our loved ones just want us to be safe and happy. Not knowing what it’ll look like to take that leap can be scary for them too. Carol pointed out that sometimes that is where the problem lies as people can’t always articulate that well, and then it seems like they are saying “I don’t believe in you; I don’t think you can do this” when really they are just concerned and it’s just their own fears showing up.
The next step Carol suggests is to ask yourself why it matters what other people think or why it matters if they approve of you. We know it all feels good to have people support you, and we want that. But what we need to realize is that that doesn’t matter us more worthy. It just means our “why” is impacting lives and is working. And on the other side, it doesn’t make us less worthy if people aren’t liking what we are sharing or your message doesn’t resonate with them.
I asked Carol her advice on something I have experienced many times. I’ll get a dozen kind, appreciative messages in a day, but then one negative message comes, and that is all I can focus on. I feel bummed out, and it throws off my entire day, even though I just received multiple positive messages before that. Carol shared that our brains are hardwired to avoid pain and to look for pain and danger. Negative comments seem like danger to us – no one likes to feel that way or hear those things, but again, they don’t change our worth. And neither do the positive things. They are just gifts people are handing us. You can choose to accept the gift and display it or not.
Negative comments are hard to deal with, and as women, we often think that we are supposed to be feeling a certain way or like something shouldn’t have bothered us. Carol challenges that and asks,“why not? What is wrong with having that negative emotion in that moment?”
Embracing ALL of Your Emotions
As women, we get these mixed messages from society that our emotions are what make us weaker and not as worthy. But I believe women have incredible emotional intuition and ways to use our emotions that men maybe don’t have. These are human emotions and aren’t bad to feel, but I asked Carol for tips for how we can work to manage them. Carol went on to say that typically we don’t want to feel negative emotions – disappointments, failure, anger, sadness. We avoid those in order to spend more time in happiness, joy, excitement. But the thing is, when we turn off the negative emotions, we are turning off our ability to fully experience the positive emotions.
Carol asked, “What if you were happy all day, all the time? If that’s your baseline, what is it going to take to bring that level of happiness up to a point where you can experience it? Having the contrast of feeling both can be our goal – to be able to sit with the comfort of negative comments so that we can fully enjoy the positive ones. When you avoid discomfort, you are also avoiding success. For Carol, discomfort still isn’t fun and still doesn’t feel good, but she reminds herself that it is a part of her journey. And in order for her to show up fully and have the impact in the world that she wants to have, that discomfort is just part of the ride.
Carol shared that she spent many years avoiding that discomfort and just being comfortable, and in turn she feels she lived a small life and her daughter did too. Now she realizes that if she would have had a mentor that said to her that those negative feelings are okay and part of the journey, it would have changed so much for her. I think we often just need that person to come alongside of us who has been there before or understands the feelings we are having to let us know that it sucks, but we’ll make it through.
Caring Less What People Think
In caring what other people are thinking of us, we often don’t want others to have negative emotions. And we personally don’t want to have negative emotions in a result to what they are thinking or feeling either. But Carol poses again: “Why not? There is nothing wrong with feeling those negative emotions, and the better we get at feeling and experiencing them, the better we become.” It’s not your job to stop others from having those negative emotions. Carol emphasized that our job is to share our message or speak our truth very kindly. When we do that, that is success. What that person does with that information or how they perceive is not our business because we can’t control it.
And half the time, if not more, Carol stated that we are assuming what they are thinking. But the truth is we don’t know what they are thinking, and we tend to just assume it will be something negative. But can you imagine if you did none of that and put all of that energy into your ‘why’ and purpose? When you think about it, that is valuable time we could be spending on our own businesses or on something that matters or fulfills us.
Carol reminded us that she gives herself grace through this all. She says she has regrets in life but at that time, she just didn’t know. But now she knows better and can do better going forward. Give yourself grace too because you can learn and notice the next time it’s happening and do it differently. For myself personally, I work to remember that these people don’t know my whole story. And honestly it comes down to the fact that they aren’t paying my bills. Their thoughts are not paying my bills. That means I need to keep showing up and doing my thing and trust that the right people will hear my message. And the wrong people will fall away.
The more you are living into your purpose and serving your ‘why,’ the more opinions people are going to have about you. But Carol asked me to think about the alternative: you could stay in your house because you don’t want to take a step that might make someone disappointed. But then who’s disappointed? You are. And potentially all the other people who you could have helped or reached.
A Few Final Thoughts
Carol wanted to add in a few final thoughts. One thing she shared was that ultimately, when people are not supportive in the way we want them to be, it just means we are showing up in a way to serve the people that need to see us. When this negative thing happens, the positive is right alongside of it. Reframing the situation or changing your perspective when a negative thing is happening is so powerful and can allow you to see the positive in the situation too. We tend to run away from negative emotions, but those make us who we are.
What’s Getting Carol Excited
Carol is doing a lot more speaking, which lights her up like crazy! She loves to get women in a room and empower them in this way. She also has a few free video trainings coming in the next month.
Connect with Carol
A big thank you to Carol for all of these thoughts and empowering us to manage the fears we may face! You can connect with Carol on social media to listen to more of what she has to share. Find Carol on Instagram @carolelizabethcoaching or on her website at carolelizabeth.me.