UnF*ck Your Brain Podcast— Feminist Self-Help for Everyone

343: THE BOOK IS OUT TODAY! (And Why Accomplishments Can Feel Anticlimactic and That’s OK)

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • An excerpt from the book that gets to the heart of why this work is so important.
  • The most chemically fun part of creating something new.
  • Why huge accomplishments can feel anticlimactic.
  • How feminism ironically contributes to women’s stress.

Click here to order Take Back Your Brain: How a Sexist Society Gets in Your Head – and How to Get It Out. Get your copy today!

We need the biggest drumroll ever because after over three years of working on this project, my book, Take Back Your Brain: How a Sexist Society Gets in Your Head – and How to Get It Out is here!

Having a book exist out in the physical world is a surreal experience. I’m super proud of this book and the amount of work it took to write, market, and sell it. However, it also feels anticlimactic, and I’m telling you why in this episode.

Join me on this episode to hear an excerpt of the book that gets to the heart of why this work is so important for me to get out into the world, what I hope you’ll take away from it, and the most unexpected part of this book journey.

Featured on the Show:

  • Grab my totally free guide to feeling less anxious and more empowered by rewiring your brain here!
  • Click here to order Take Back Your Brain: How a Sexist Society Gets in Your Head – and How to Get It Out

Podcast Transcript:

You all, we need a drum roll, the biggest drum roll ever because after three years, probably longer than that of working on this project, the book is here. It exists in the physical world. It is at bookstores, it is everywhere. And in this episode, I am going to share the most unexpected but expected part of this book journey process. Let’s say other people are surprised to hear this. I was not surprised. And I’m going to read an excerpt of the book that I think really gets to the heart of why this work is so important, and we’ll show you where this work can take you. So, let’s get into it.

Welcome to UnF*ck Your Brain. I’m your host, Kara Loewentheil, Master Certified Coach and Founder of the School of New Feminist Thought. I’m here to help you turn down your anxiety, turn up your confidence and create a life on your own terms, one that you’re truly excited to live. Let’s go.

The book is here. Like it exists in the physical world. It is at bookstores. It is everywhere. I really, I don’t even know what to say because having a book come out is such a weird experience that I feel like I’m sharing with all of you in real time. But I am super, super proud of this book and the amount of work that it took, not just to write it, but to learn how to share it and market it and sell it, which is, a book just like anything else needs people talking about it and wanting it to move it off shelves. So that has been a whole learning curve.

And I’m going to read you an excerpt of the book that is, I think, to me the heart of this work of why I do everything I do. Of why I have worked so many weekends over the past three years, of why my team has had to work so hard, of what we’re all doing here together.

But first I said that I would share and I’m going to share the thing that was the most surprising to other people and not surprising to myself. And that is that people have been asking me, “Oh my God, do you feel amazing? The book is out, do you feel incredible? Do you feel proud? Do you feel great? Do you feel so excited? Is it so shocking? Did you cry when you saw the book?” There’s so many videos of authors crying on social media when they open their book package and I did not cry.

And I mean, I’m not a huge crier, but I do cry at things. I did not cry when I opened the book and here’s why. I know from every single fucking thing I have ever accomplished in my life, that the fun part is the part where you realize it’s going to happen. That’s the fun part. People think that it’s uphill, uphill, uphill and then the most emotionally intense part would be when it happens. That’s not true, because if you are creating outcomes, maybe that’s true if it’s a surprise. But if you’re creating outcomes intentionally in your life, which for me, I have to do.

These outcomes I have, they would not have just happened to me accidentally. So, for me, I have to create them intentionally. When I’m creating an intentional outcome in my life, no matter how big or small, the most chemical fun part in the brain is when you crest right before the downhill slope, where you see that it’s going to happen. It’s not when it happens, it’s when you see it’s going to happen. When you are 80/85% of the way there and you know it’s pretty much a sure thing it’s going to happen.

That’s what I have experienced with business goals, with revenue goals. That’s what I experienced with finding my partner, getting engaged. I mean, I think our wedding is going to be super fun. But the kind of height of that holy shit, I did this thing, wow moment. It’s actually not the moment that the circumstance changes. That’s what we’ve been talking about all along. It’s not the circumstance. It’s when you’ve done the work in your mind to get pretty close to the outcome and your belief is full.

So, the part for me that I think was the most exciting was actually when I finished the book because writing a book was a thing I had never done before. It took a lot of work. It was something I wasn’t really sure I could do, or at least stand to survive or do well. And when I finished it, when the manuscript was done on my end, when I had finished my revisions. That was the moment that I was like, “Oh my God, I wrote a fucking book.” That the book existed, and that I had created it, that was the really fun part.

The rest of this has been fun in its own way. And I enjoy a challenge and I’m learning a lot and I’m really motivated to get this book on a bestseller list, not for me, because people who run businesses don’t make their money from writing books. But because if it gets on a bestseller book list then that is such a stamp of approval for this work, which means that other people will take it seriously.

To me, getting this book on the bestseller list is not about getting my name on the list. It’s about this work being taken seriously. That women’s minds and emotions and their lives, their internal and external lives, matter and that their experience of those things matter. And that it shouldn’t be that the only things that make the bestseller list or create public conversation are bad shit that happens to women. That’s important and those things should be on bestseller lists and in conversation.

But also, we should be helping women to live joyful, powerful lives. And that should also be a subject of serious scholarly and pop culture discussion. Anyway, I could be on that soapbox forever. But the point is, although I’m very committed to that goal and I’ve been working really hard to achieve it, and if I do achieve it, I’m sure that’s going to be great and I’m going to have really good thoughts about it that will feel good.

Really, the point in this journey that was the most powerful for me was when I had created something new that hadn’t existed in the world before. It was way before anybody even bought a copy and that’s because it’s not the circumstance of selling books or getting a good review or even getting on the bestseller list that’s going to create my emotions. It is the thoughts that I have to create, the person I have to become to produce this outcome.

And so, the part where I created the thing and got my belief in line with being able to do that. That was the most fun part. So that seems to really surprise other people, but did not surprise me because I’ve been on this ride before with every outcome I’ve ever created. So let that just be a lesson to you that if you hit a big milestone and you feel like it’s a little anticlimactic, there’s nothing wrong with you, that’s actually okay and normal.

And actually, if you are creating outcomes intentionally with your thinking, that will happen a lot because the really fun part happens before the actual outcome. The outcome you’re like, “Oh, yeah, of course, the book is now here. Oh yeah, of course that $100,000 in my business happened. I already knew that was going to happen three months ago. It’s just the check hadn’t cleared from the universe.” So that’s my thought for you on goals.

I would like to read you guys a little bit from the book today. And it’s a part of the book that actually started out as the first part of the book. It actually started out almost as the introduction. We ended up moving it to the last chapter. But it really captures for me why this book is so important to me, why it was so important for me to write it, and what I hope that people will take away from it. So, without further ado, I’m going to read you a little excerpt from Take Back Your Brain: How A Sexist Society Gets in Your Head and How to Get it Out.

“When you look at how much needs to be fixed in this world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or angry. And there’s nothing wrong with either of those feelings. Anger is a normal human reaction to unfairness but our society doesn’t like it when women get angry.

Men are allowed to be angry, and in fact we’re socialized to see male anger as a form of strength and power but when women get angry, it’s another story. Women who are angry are called hysterical, irrational, shrill, or as when Black women in America express anger, even scary or dangerous. There’s a high social price to pay for being angry as a woman. And we see anger in women as something both irrational and destructive.

A man who is fired up about injustice and angry at oppression, he’s a leader and a hero. A woman who is the same, especially if it’s a sexist injustice, she’s crazy and needs to chill out. As someone who works with people’s brains for a living I know that anger can be righteous and powerful. It can be a strong signal of when a boundary is crossed or we are treated unjustly. I also know that anger can sometimes simply be an indication of an activated nervous system or an unmanaged mind and either way it can metastasize.

I saw plenty of this in my career as a social justice litigator. No emotion manifests only one way or has only one result. Some people experience anger as a righteous fire that feels powerful and illuminating and directs them toward their goals with clarity and drive. And some people experience anger as a burning resentment that drains their energy and their vision and leaves them in a state of chronic stress. Only you can know how your anger may be impacting you.

I am not here to tell you not to be angry if your anger is serving you. Self-coaching is not about making peace with oppression. In fact, it’s about learning how to be stronger and more grounded in yourself so you can respond to it better.

My client, Aisha, experienced this transformation first-hand. About her reasons for seeking out feminist coaching, she said, “As a person of color, it is an ongoing struggle to navigate the world without shrinking myself or feeling as if I should tolerate any hate comments or abusive verbal treatment by anyone, regardless of their position, and so-called power. I wanted to be unapologetic with who I was and am. After learning how to coach myself, I learned not to be apologetic about who I am. I spoke out more and called out racist behaviors without feeling as if I didn’t have the right to do so. I’m proud that I stand up to people now.”

Learning how to cope with injustice and maintain our resilience and our power does involve changing our thinking, but it also surprise, surprise, involves making peace with our feelings. Ironically, I believe feminism sometimes contributes to women’s stress by creating awareness of sexism but not giving women the tools to process that awareness emotionally. And I say that as a proud feminist. The mainstream US feminist movement has historically focused on external political goals, reproductive rights, laws banning sexual harassment, parental leave policies, sexual violence prevention, etc. And those are important, laudable goals.

We do need social changes to create a world that’s more just and equal for everyone. But social changes aren’t enough. For many women, feminism is an awakening. Feminist theory explains why it seems like men have more freedoms than women. It explains why women feel harassed or exploited. It explains why men sit on the couch while women chase the kids. It is powerful because it explains a lot of what intuitively seems unfair in women’s lives. There is a relief and a solidarity in that.

But political feminism has not historically provided a solution to the emotional experience this awareness created. It hasn’t taught women what to do with all of those emotions and how to handle integrating the awareness of unfairness with the circumstances of their real lives. After all, most of us aren’t going to join women-only separatist compounds in the woods. Those never really gained mainstream appeal, even in their heyday. Most of us are still living in society.

Most of us have male family, friends, colleagues, bosses, children or partners. And many of us want to know how we can make our lives better here and now, not surrender to a dismal fate created by forces bigger than us. So, if your anger seems to be just burning you up without prompting you to do much good in the world, you may want to change it. The same is true of the overwhelm that can leave you feeling paralyzed and helpless about all the problems in the world.

The good news is that the concepts you’ve learned throughout this book about how to change your thinking to produce different feelings and different actions will work in this context as well. So, let’s talk about how closing your own personal brain gap will help you close the unfair gaps that exist in the outside world too.”

And that, my friends, is a small excerpt from my book Take Back Your Brain. And to learn exactly how to do that, how to close your personal brain gap, how to close the gaps that exist in the outside world. That’s what the book is for And that’s what is here to teach you. I have poured my heart and soul into this book. I really, truly think it is a life changing piece of learning. And I know so many of you have ordered the book and I am so grateful and I’m so excited for you.

If I’d had this book 15 years ago, well then I wouldn’t have my career, which I’m excited about but it would have saved me a lot of time and suffering. And I’m so excited to save a lot of you all time and suffering when you read this book.

Thank you for being on this journey with me, sharing this work and doing this work because I truly believe we are all changing the world together.

If you’re loving what you’re learning on the podcast, you have got to come check out the Feminist Self Help Society. It’s our newly revamped community and classroom where you get individual help to better apply these concepts to your life, along with a library of next level blow your mind, coaching tools and concepts that I just can’t fit in a podcast episode.

It’s also where you can hang out, get coached, and nerd out about all things thought work and feminist mindset with other podcast listeners 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/society. I can’t wait to see you there.

Pre-Order My Book for Exclusive Bonuses

Take Back Your Brain: How Sexist Thoughts Can Trap You — and How to break Free releases Spring 2024. But when you pre-order now you can get exclusive bonuses including audio lessons and a guided journal to implement what the book teaches. Click here to shop wherever you prefer to buy your books!