Welcome to another episode of my ongoing series of conversations with some of my closest friends and colleagues as we pick each other’s brains about what we’ve learned from each other over the years. Today, I’m hanging out with one of my coaching and life loves, Brenda Lomeli.

Brenda is a Master Certified life coach and holistic nutritionist who helps powerhouse women know exactly how to get what they want and feel confident doing so. Brenda and I went through master coach training together, and while we’ve endeavored down different paths with our business, we both have the same mission of empowering women and helping them feel unstoppable.

Brenda has been a true testament to the work we do as coaches, and as you’ll hear on this episode, we’ve learned from and inspired each other in very similar ways. We’re discussing the importance of diversity in the coaching industry, what has impacted our work, and the power of making decisions that feel barfy.

Joining The Clutch is even easier now! All you have to do is text 347-934-8861 and we will text you right back with a link to all the information you need to learn and join. 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. Hope to see you there!

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The 3 things Brenda and I have learned from each other.
  • Brenda’s “secret sauce” that has helped her build a half a million-dollar business.
  • What feeling nauseous about a decision signals to you.
  • How Brenda and I have inspired each other in similar ways.
  • Why I see Brenda as a true testament to this work.
  • The barriers and glass ceilings Brenda had to shatter to be in the position she’s in today.
  • Why it’s so important to have thought leaders who look and sound different.
  • How the differences in our understandings of systems of power and oppression have impacted our work.
  • The genius of the way Brenda coaches.
  • The thought work Brenda’s been doing on herself lately.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

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 hang out with you today because we are also hanging out with one of my coaching and life loves, Brenda Lomeli I’m going to let her introduce herself. But Brenda and I met in, I think, master coach certification. Is that right?

Brenda: Yeah. I was doing a little bit of research myself and it was summer of 2016 master coach training. So it’s been four and a half years.

Kara: Can you believe that was four years?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: That’s not that long when you think about everything that has happened.

Brenda: Yeah, we’ve done a lot.

Kara: We’ve done a lot. So, we are going to get into it and we’re going to talk about what we’ve learned from each other. But I’m going to let Brenda introduce herself first and tell you a little bit about herself. Just tell the chickens what you think they need to know.

Brenda: Okay. Well, let’s see, I am a master certified life coach. Kara, I will say, is one of my closest friends. It’s crazy, I mean, I won’t go off too much on a tangent but honestly-

Kara: Tangents are welcome on this podcast.

Brenda: Okay. All the tangents.

Kara: All the tangents.

Brenda: Good, I’ll take a note on that. But I was just thinking about it this morning and just thinking about how I was so excited to have this conversation because it feels like such a full circle moment. You know, when I first met you, I remember us just having ideas of what we wanted in our businesses and like just the beginnings of it. And now here we are and I’m on your like world-known podcast as a guest. And I’m honored and so excited to be here.

But, okay. So let’s see, the work that I do really, I help women to be on brand with what you do, unfuck their brain, specifically about food and weight. That’s really what I see my work and I love that work because that journey is what brought me to thought work. And, yeah, what else can I tell you? I have my own podcast, How to Lose the Last 10 Pounds, or what I like to call it, The Last 10 podcast.

I have a dog named Waffle.

Kara: Super cute.

Brenda: And let’s see… Yeah, he’s adorable. I’m biased but he’s adorable. What else? I’m a mom, I have a toddler. She’s 19 months old, her name is Gianna. And I live in Phoenix, Arizona and I’m excited to chat with you today.

Kara: She’s even cuter than the puppy, I have to say. We know that I am not like a super… I don’t have children. I don’t see every baby and go, “Oh my God, so cute.” But your child is adorable.

Brenda: Yeah, actually I think you did say once something along the lines of, “I’ve never considered having a child but your kid is so cute I might.” Or something along the lines and I was like, “Wow. That’s very flattering.”

Kara: It did not sway me in the end, but she is super cute. She also came out with a full head of hair and I met her when she was like so young and you came to whatever that mastermind meeting was. So she just looked like this tiny person already.

All right, let’s dive in because I know we got a time limit. So, I’m going to start, and for anyone who didn’t listen to the first one of these this format is just basically me talking to my besties about what we’ve learned from each other because I think everyone will learn from it.

So, I’ll go first because I think the first thing that I learned from you was really what determination and belief in yourself really looks like. So, I’m going to tell the master coach training story if you don’t mind.

Brenda: Oh, I don’t mind. That’s one of my favorites.

Kara: Yeah. So, when I went to master coach training Brenda was in the group. And I can’t remember if she told us in the beginning, I think maybe we didn’t know until the end. So, I went to master coach training, Brenda is in the group. We’re just all in a group, we all assume we got there the same way. And then I think at the end of the coach training, at some point our teacher and coach Brooke Castillo kind of announces that she has something for Brenda. And she pulls out this thick envelope of cash.

Brenda: This story sounds really shady so far.

Kara: We were like, “What is happening?” But then she tells us that when she originally filled the class Brenda was not in it. And Brenda emailed her and was like, “I will pay extra.” Is that right?

Brenda: Yeah, yea.

Kara: Like, “I am coming to this thing. I know it’s the right thing for me. I know I can do it. This is what I need. I will pay you extra.” And our teacher kind of took it, never intending to keep the extra money. It was basically like, “Well, she’s going to show up, obviously she’s motivated. She’s doing an amazing job. And then at the end when she’s shown that she did it I’m going to give her the extra money back so everybody actually paid the same amount.”

But that to me was like… I coach and talk a lot about belief and confidence in myself now and I’ve done a lot of that work. But we have to remember this was like 2016. I was like a baby coach, I had just left my job. I definitely still had a lot of self-doubt, a lot of… I was still coming from this like legal ivy league background where I was like, “Is this a real thing? Is it a pyramid scheme? What’s happening?”

Brenda: I remember all of that.

Kara: Yeah, and the fact that like… That to me was just such a powerful example of what does it mean to really be all in on yourself, right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: To not only be like, “Yeah, I’m going to find the money for this thing that I don’t have right now. I’m going to figure out how to invest in myself. I’m going to figure out because I know that I’m worth it and my dream is worth it.” And then when you get a no, to be like, “No such thing as no. I’m coming anyway. What do I have to do?” Right? That’s the level of ballsiness, I want to say ovariesness, in the face of rejection that I just found super inspiring. And I think especially in the beginning Rachel and I would use that all the time, when it was like, “All right, well, what would it look like to really be all in?” It’s like, “Okay, well, what’s the equivalent of Brenda being like, “I’m sending you extra money and I’m coming to this thing.” Like, “You don’t get a say.”

Brenda: Yeah, and I’ll even add to that a little bit.

Kara: Yeah.

Brenda: Because honestly, I think that if I were to say, “What is…” I hate the term secret sauce, but it’s like literally the best thing I can think about right now. That is something that I will say I think I’m just really good at. Like I’ll believe in myself hardcore until the end. Even when other people might think it doesn’t make sense.

Just to add to that a little bit, even before that, like when I came to the Life Coach School, I was already trying to build my own business and help women for years. I think at that point it had been like six or seven years that I had already been trying. And there really was never going to be a point where I gave up because I just knew this was the work that I want to do and this is how I want to help people. I just knew this is what I want to do and I’ll literally die trying, you know?

And, yeah, what you said too, it wasn’t like I had that money sitting around to be like, “Hey, let me give you a few extra grand.” I literally had to send an email and be like, “Can I put this on different cards? Can you guys send me special invoices?” Because I put that on different credit cards, I did not have that. And that was just really going all in on that in whatever best way that I could at that moment.

Kara: Can you tell everyone now though what you’ve made in your coaching business since then? Do you know what the total is?

Brenda: Yeah. I mean, this year it’s going to be roughly half a million.

Kara: And that’s just this year.

Brenda: Yeah. Because that first year, that first full year after I left my job, I did break that six figures. So I think it was like 135K, something like that. So, every year it’s been just growing. And that investment is like having infinite return, you know?

Kara: I calculated once, I have to say like somebody… I think we were talking in The Clutch, people were talking about the money and the investment. And I calculated how much I had spent on coaching in the last four or five years. And it was like $40,000 or $60,000. Like it was a big amount, right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: But, when you look at the… Forget the whole like, just my life is so much better. Like the living and enjoying of it. But when you look at the revenue back also, right? It’s like that amount sounds crazy until you think about the total revenue of my business in the last four years, which has been… I haven’t done the math but it must be between five and six million over the last several years, right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: So, when you look at it in that perspective that’s a pretty good return on investment.

Brenda: Totally.

Kara: And it wasn’t business coaching. Anyway, go ahead. Sorry.

Brenda: Oh, I was just going to say, like to tie in what you just shared, unless you wanted to say anything else.

Kara: No, no. Go for it.

Brenda: Okay, then I want to say, I mean, what I’ve learned from you has been so many things but it actually goes hand in hand. I was going to say… Because I actually prepared a list of three things.

Kara: I did too.

Brenda: I was like, “Oh my gosh. I mean, it’s going to be hard to pick three.” But I did pick them. My number one is courage. And I wrote the courage to go for it. And I have like exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C. Because I think when people see someone that has created some form of success, whether it’s financial or some other transformation, it’s kind of like you’re looking at the peak of the iceberg, right? Like you can see that part. And honestly, I feel honored that I’ve been able to get to see all the barfyness underneath all of that.

But, basically, I didn’t meet you when you were a lawyer or an attorney, but right when that transition was happening. But, from my perspective, to leave a career as an attorney and to be like, “I’m going to be a life coach.” That requires courage, probably. My guts would be…

Kara: It required a lot of mind management, that’s for sure. And it definitely felt terrible.

Brenda: Yeah, exactly. And then, okay, so you got that, and then after that I remember… Because you started off first as The Lawyer Stress Solution, right?

Kara: I did.

Brenda: And you did, I don’t know, maybe a year or so of podcasts on that. And you did your first six figures, or more. Probably more.

Kara: Yeah, my first six figures was in that niche and then I transitioned.

Brenda: Yeah. So, even that transition, because, I mean, to really see what was going on there it’s like you’ve… Or my interpretation just from looking at it from the outside is, you’ve built this whole six figure business on one thing and then to pivot and be like, “Oh wait, but I’m going to go do this other thing.” Like, “I’ve proven to myself that I can do this thing and then I’m just going to totally go do something different, which is helping women unfuck their brain.” And that to me, it is, it’s the courage of going for it.

And then, that’s not all folks, right? Then you’re like, “Okay.” Because then you had your unfuck your brain and you were doing like your high-ticket group coaching. And then basically decided to what you have now, which is your membership. Which is essentially this whole revolution. And it’s amazing and just so many examples of being like, “Okay, I’m going to go do this thing that I’ve never done. And I’m going to be wildly successful at it.” But the courage that requires, I think, is… I mean, it’s just important.

For me it’s important to see that because, again, like I said it can be easy to see someone’s success and be like, “Oh, well she’s making millions, multiple millions.” But the meat of that is all of the limiting beliefs you’re overcoming and so many things that you’re doing that do require courage and that are very uncomfortable. And, as we started calling it barfy, you know?

Kara: I know, I was going to say, “We coined that.” Brenda and I coined the phrase barf club, which is like… And now we both use that. People use that all the time. It’s like you’re on the right track when you feel nauseous about a decision. Like, that’s how you know.

Brenda: Yeah, because it’s like-

Kara: It should feel like you’re trying to physically expel the decision from your body. That’s how you know.

Brenda: Yeah, because it’s so foreign and charted, you’re like… It can feel terrifying. So, that was going to be what I was going to say too, basically the courage. I see it over and over and time again.

Kara: I love that. I also just love that we both just… I feel like we’ve inspired each other in similar ways. Because my second one is related to that. It’s that I feel like, I think, given your story and your background, like what you’ve accomplished in your work and in your life. Is it okay if I share your…

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: I think, you can tell me if I have this wrong. But I believe both of your parents didn’t graduate from college, right?

Brenda: They didn’t even go-

Kara: And they may not have graduated from high school.

Brenda: No, they didn’t even finish… So, my parents are both Mexican. I’m first-generation Mexican American. When they were living in Mexico, I mean, this is very, very common, they didn’t even finish elementary school, like barely even know how to read and write.

Kara: Yeah. So, you and I think like there are ways that my… I came from an established family that had plenty of money and could send me to private school. And, you know, there are ways in which, of course, my privilege has helped me along the way. And I don’t discount that I also had to be brave and do a shit ton of work. Because there’s plenty of people who don’t.

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: But when I think of who’s a testament to this work, I really think of you. Because you have accomplished so much. And of course, a lot… And it has all been without that head start.

Brenda: Right.

Kara: I think you’re a testament to… You know, especially, it’s sort of, I think, fashionable these days to kind of attribute anybody’s success, like kind of only to their privilege. And that doesn’t bother me because I want praise, I don’t give a shit. Half the people who write into me love me and half of them hate me. That’s fine, that’s not going to change. Right? It’s not about that. But it’s such a… As a teacher, and a coach, and someone who wants women to create the lives they want, it’s so damaging, right? To sort of have the idea that you can only succeed if you already have that leg up. Right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: Because it makes people give up before they even start. And so whenever I sort of start being like… Again, it’s like always back to like, “Wait, is this just a pyramid scheme that only works if you’re already wealthy and you’re white.” Right?

Brenda: Oh, yeah, right.

Kara: And I’m like, “No, look at what Brenda has created in her business and her life. And she was doing it without any of that. Without a family that paid for her to go to a private school or putting it on credit cards.” I think I’m way more impressed by your accomplishments than by my own. And I always think about-

Brenda: Oh my gosh, wow. Yeah. I mean, that’s like, I’m getting all choked up over here just by hearing you say that. But, the one thing I was going to say, I mean, I remember when we met in master coach training. And literally, the first time I heard the word feminism was actually from you and Rachel.

And so I’ve learned so much and I wanted to say about this is that, I feel like this kind of speaks to the trajectory of how we both got here, I guess very differently. But here we are, right? We got here differently and we came from different places, but yet we both now are on a mission to just help empower women, in our own ways. Yeah, in our own different ways and styles, but with the same similar tools. And we teach it in our own way, and et cetera.

But, for me, I really was so focused on believing in me and breaking through so many barriers and like shattering so many glass ceilings. And it’s like now that I am in a position that I am where it’s like, “Okay, I’m not actually worried about paying bills. I’m not like…” Right? I’m in this different space where, especially this past year, or even the past couple years, where I now do have what I would call the luxury of looking around and being like, “Oh, holy shit, there is so much more that I want to change.”

Like, I’m actually even seeing that there actually probably were more barriers and things almost working against me than I even realized because I didn’t have that awareness. Or even the ability to even see that because I learned from my parents to work really hard and et cetera. But I’m learning, especially in these recent years, so much more about oppression and so many different things that it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to have access to so much.”

And so anyways, I love that we both are different examples that really look so different. I don’t mean look, like from the outside, but that too. I mean, you know, you can look at our story and like our upbringings, and all of that. And I actually really think that’s such a beautiful thing, because different people will resonate and learn from us in different ways. And in the end, the mission is the same, right? Like, we want as many women to feel as empowered as possible, to feel unstoppable. So, yeah, that was a little bit of a tangent. But you said they were welcome, so.

Kara: Oh, tangents are always welcome around here.

Brenda: Yeah. So, I love actually that we’re having this conversation because what we both just said, it’s like we’re both learning so… Have learned so much from each other. And I know that we will continue to, which is such an amazing thing.

Kara: Totally.

Brenda: Well, okay, so my number two for you that I’ve learned from you is really, I think you’re such a powerful example for me of what it is to be a thought leader. Like a true thought leader. And I even thought about this and I’m like, I want to call it intellectual boldness. And I’ll give you an example. So, just recently you put out a podcast episode called Maximalism, is that what you called it?

Kara: Yeah.

Brenda: And that’s just one little example. But in a, let’s say, space right now where minimalism is kind of more “popular” you’re like, “But listen, let me tell you about maximalism.” Right? And I love that because, again, tying back actually to what I was just saying, I think that’s so important that we have thought leaders that do look different and sound different. Because if everyone sounds the same, and is teaching the same thing, there are so many people we’re not serving.

And so I love that, because when we are aware of our own thoughts and how we want to create our life on purpose, et cetera. It’s really going to look so many different ways for everyone. And so-

Kara: It’s so funny I… Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Kara: I was just going to say, so I love… That’s one thing that I soak up from watching the way you teach all the time. Because I think it’s really important. I mean, whether it’s maximalism or minimalism, or whether it’s like… Actually, that same week you put out that episode, I put out an episode… You actually coached me on this too, because I was like, “Oh my gosh, this feels so, you know… I feel like my brain is exposed.”

Because I shared an episode on my own podcast, where I talk about how on my brother’s graduation, we actually went out drinking and had a great time. And for me that sounds different than what a lot of “wellness” spaces might sound like. And so for me also I just want to keep being like an example of like, “Hey, there are different ways it can sound like in our heads that are still useful.” Right? Or that still serve us.

Kara: Yeah, there’s different kinds of diversity in the space that are important, right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: It’s like, there’s obviously racial, and ethnic, and national origin diversity that’s important. And then there’s also, for me, like its size diversity that’s important, right? Like being maximal, being like women are allowed to take up space, and have a bigger body, and have more clothes if they want. Like not everything has to be a palette of beiges on like a 20-pound white woman.

Brenda: Yeah, right.

Kara: But I was just thinking about how interesting it is that our journeys… I don’t know exactly how to like… I can’t give the takeaway from it yet, but it’s like I went on this journey of feeling so aware of my own oppression, like as a woman, and then as a fat woman. And in order to create what I’ve created, now I actually have to learn how to think about that differently, so that I wasn’t just completely victimized and oppressed by it.

And then you’ve been on this opposite journey. Where you’re just kind of like, I am like hustling to get where I need to go.

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: And then it’s only like when you had enough security, which I think is common. Obviously, if you’re hustling for the basics, where you were like, “Oh, wait a minute.” Right? It’s like you’re becoming more aware of those structural forces now.

Brenda: Totally.

Kara: And so, it’s so interesting that we both ended up here. But there is this like oppositeness to how our kind of understanding of systems of power, or oppression, or the ways in which we are diverse or different from the kind of stereotypical thin white woman in the wellness world has impacted our work.

Brenda: Yeah. Which is why I think when it comes to like thought work, and even transformation, or change, or anything I really think it’s not something people can assess from the outside. It’s only something that person can know if whatever they’re doing is working for them or not. Or if it feels empowering or oppressive, right? I feel like it’s only something that person can self-assess, because people are coming from all kinds of different places and angles. And you just-

Kara: Yeah, that’s such a good example. Because the way that I was thinking about it before was actually holding me back. Whereas, for you now thinking about it this way has allowed you to be more open about who you really are and show up the way you want to show up without kind of whitewashing or trying to blend in as much.

Brenda: Yeah, exactly.

Kara: Wild. So, my third thing I learned from you, which is like more on the coaching. It’s funny coming up on the heels of being a thought leader because I actually think one of the things I am always learning from you every time I watch you coach is like, there’s this saying in the… I don’t know where the saying comes from. You’ve heard like, keep it simple stupid, like kiss, right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: The genius of the way that Brenda coaches, for those who haven’t seen her coach, is that she’s not simple in her mind about what she’s doing. She coaches in this very… I don’t like the word simple because it sounds like I’m saying that as opposed to complex. What I actually mean is just like extremely effective and constrained way. Whereas I’m like, “Oh, I see a parallel between 12 other things. Let me explain the whole thing to you.” And like the person is like, “What is happening?”  I often get more into that mode.

But I have been coached by Brenda, and I’ve watched her coach. And I feel like you’re like the stealth coach, because you’re just like, so chill and non-threatening. And you’re just like, “What if you had just made that up?” And then you just like drop some kind of mind blowing, you know… Like, it’s just… So, I’m always, when I’m trying to slow myself down, I’m like, “Coach like Brenda. Just ask a question.” I feel like you have this really beautiful simplicity.

Brenda: Oh my gosh, that’s hilarious.

Kara: You know, there’s the elegance of a complicated idea. And then there’s the elegance of something simple that has only… Maybe this is where I do like minimalism, I guess. It has only what it needs, and nothing distracting, and nothing over complicating. And I think your coaching is very elegant in that way. It’s like very spare and clean. And I think about that a lot when I’m like developing some theory in the middle of coaching some poor person who just wants help with their problem.

Brenda: Well, thank you. And that does make sense. And I could really see that actually. Like in how our coaching is different. I can see that and I can really own that. Because I know I’m sure a lot of coaches listen to you.

I actually want to piggyback on what you’re saying but also kind of like put a little teaching moment on it. That you know, for me, like, when I come meet you and you’re like Harvard, like attorney, and I hear you explain things, right? Like when I first meet you, or when I’m like a baby coach, for sure my brain wants to be like, “Oh my gosh, you need to sound intelligent like Kara, right?” Or some version of that.

And part of my own work for sure has been like, “No, no, that’s like what Kara…” Or we could insert any other coach, right?

Kara: Yeah, yeah.

Brenda: “That’s what Kara sounds like. And that’s amazing. And it is fire.” In fact, actually, number three for me about you is also about how you coach. So I’ll get to that.

But I really, oh my gosh, I guess this might be the theme of our conversation, at least for me. The beauty and the diversity of it, right? Like, the way you coach and how you do that when you’re coaching. And then the way I… I do think that is one of my powers, I’m like really simple. Because I think that’s part of what helped me create transformation is like, a whole bunch of shit that felt so complicated, when I could finally make it feel simple.

Kara: Mm-hmm.

Brenda: And my clients, for sure, tell me that all the time. Like, “Oh, my gosh, I used to think this was the most complicated thing. And like, it’s so easy now. It’s so simple.” So, you know, there’s so much value in that. But yeah, I mean, I think that what I’m seeing here is just like… And for the coaches listening, there is something priceless about each person coaching their own way, and not trying to just mimic someone else, because we’re all so different.

Kara: Yeah, we all have our special sauce. And our clients are going to respond to us. I have been thinking a lot actually…

This is my own little tangent, because I’ve been reviewing, watching a bunch of coaching samples and reviewing people who have been applying for either the advanced certification I’m doing, or like we were hiring a clutch coach, or whatever. And I do think, for those of you who are watching, who are listening to this who are coaches, that when we were starting out, we were kind of in the earlier day. I mean, I know it sounds hilarious because It’s only five years ago. But actually, the coaching industry has like kind of exploded.

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: Which does not mean it’s over saturated, there are still so many people that don’t have life coaches and need them. But there’s definitely just a lot more people and our LCS community has gotten much bigger. So, when we first started out, I feel like we were kind of like it was just kind of our teacher Brooke was doing it. And then we were kind of like, “Okay, we’re like kind of like the next vanguard.” There were like 10 other people or whatever. And I feel like now, the way that I coach somebody when I’m doing group coaching, in the sense that like lots of people are watching and learning, is like different, a little bit different from the way I will coach if it’s truly one on one. One on one it’s like sort of you don’t need to be teaching or contextualizing, right? And you also have that sort of like…

So, it is a different skill set. And I do think sometimes that newer coaches who come up now, because most of what they see is master coaches like us coaching in a group, are trying to coach that way. And I think the way that you coach is… Of course, I mean, you do good groups too. But I think of it as the epitome of that one to one. And that’s usually where I see you, right, is if you’re coaching me or you’re coaching, I guess, in our little mastermind. But it’s four people, it’s not a group. It’s not like group coaching, right?

It is like a different thing. And I think, not only does each person bring their own style, but also for any coaches listening, different coaching environments demand different styles and approaches. And I think sometimes that gets kind of like… It’s like everybody wants to coach in the flashy way sort of, or like the way that seems like intellectual acrobatics. But that’s not always the most useful thing.

Brenda: Yeah, yeah. And then like coaching is a skill. And I think even teaching is even separate from that.

Kara: Totally.

Brenda: And so I think your coaching style develops and then your teaching style develops.

Kara: And balancing those both. Sometimes you’re like doing both at the same time.

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: And how to switch back and forth. Yeah, everybody’s got their own signature style.

Brenda: Yeah. Well, and speaking of signature style, my number three-

Kara: That’s a good segue. That was very smooth.

Brenda: I know. This comes with years of practice, segueing, and podcasting, and managing-

Kara: My segues in the podcast are like, “Okay, enough about that. Here’s what we’re talking about today.” There’s no segue.

Brenda: Well, hey, apparently, it’s working says millions of people.

Kara: I’m going to learn it from you. Yeah.

Brenda: So, my number three, honestly, is laughing at my brain. And I think, I’m sure your listeners will be like, “Yes. Kara is so hilarious.” So, I remember when I came to LCS, The Life Coach School, even before master coach training. Like when I first went, me, to go get my certification, the first time that I encountered doing thought work. I can think back and like, everything felt so heavy and, oh my gosh, dramatic, and painful, and dark, and like a vortex of emotions. I mean, that’s what it felt like. And now I mean, I’m sure like we’re literally laughing right now. I feel like I laugh at my brain. Literally every day.

But I will say, watching you coach and coaching with you, and also just being a witness to you coaching yourself and how you integrate. I mean, this is from, again, that’s from the observer. Like how you integrate, like even laughing at yourself a little bit. Like when you coach me, sometimes I’m like laughing, crying, laughing, crying. And it’s like I’m having the time of my life. I’m laughing so hard. And at the same time, I’m having a life changing epiphany.

And so I would say that’s the other thing I learned about you. It’s this kind of lightheartedness about like… Our brains are just like, they’re fucking funny sometimes.

Kara: Totally. Yes, I feel like… Right? Like, we have to laugh. I feel like this is like a Jewish thing. We’re like, there’s nothing too dark that we’re not going to be like, “Time for some hilarious Holocaust humor.” Like, we’re just going to laugh at anything. But that’s what gets you through. I totally agree.  I think it can seem, when you start to look at your brain you’re like, “Oh my God, what is happening up there?” Right? You got like…

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: It’s like any big project, I think. It’s like, you get all gung-ho to like organize your house, and then you pull everything out of your closets, and you’re like, “I’m going to die. Like, there’s all this stuff. And I don’t know what to do with it and I’m overwhelmed. And why did I ever start this? And I just want to give up.” You know?

It’s like, I think that happens when you start thought work sometimes, because all of a sudden you have this whole new awareness.

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: And you’re like, “Oh my, who knew that was happening up there? And now I got to figure out how to try to change it.” Most of our problems are caused by taking our own thoughts way too seriously.

Brenda: Yeah. I totally agree. And it feels so daunting, and scary, and like there’s something so wrong with you.

Kara: Yeah, the more that we can laugh at our brains, I feel like, the easier the process goes. Yeah, we are all very… I’m always trying to get people to like… It’s like, “Lighten up. It’s just life or death. That’s it.”

Brenda: Imagine if, I was just thinking about this right now, if once a day, it’s almost like something you do once a day on purpose. You just laugh at your brain, once a day.

Kara: Totally.

Brenda: Because I think… Yeah, multiple times a day we’re like, “Oh my gosh, like what’s wrong with me? Da, da, da.” If instead, once a day, you just actually laugh at your brain on purpose. There really is value, I think, to that.

Kara: Totally. If you look at it as like, what hilarious thing is my brain going to say to me today?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: When your brain says something ludicrous you can either make it mean, “Oh my god, I’m so fucked up and how will I ever change it? Blah, blah, blah.” Or you can make it mean like, “Wow, this is a like, barely evolved three-layer sack of goo with electrical signals running through it doing the best it can. I’ve got like a lizard talking to a mid-ape talking to a primitive human all in my brain at one time. We’re trying to like do a group project together. Of course, it’s going to come up with some like really weird shit every day.”

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: So true.

Brenda: Yeah. That has been priceless. So fun.

Kara: It’s like, come for the epiphany as the laughter’s free. Or vice versa, come for the laughter, the epiphanies are free.

All right, I want to make sure we’re respectful of your time because I know you got another call like the busy lady you are. So, just one parting gift of wisdom that you want to give the chickens, anything you think they should know?

Brenda: Oh, my gosh.

Kara: I know that’s a huge prompt. What are you thinking about working on these days? Just tell us that.

Brenda: And I should have… And I didn’t even prepare for that question. I should have.

Kara: I know, I didn’t tell you about it. I’m sorry, that’s the worst.

Brenda: Oh, no, it’s fine. You know, when you go to an interview, and you’re prepared for the what are your weaknesses question?

Kara: Right. Not, “What are your strengths?” Okay, let me ask you a better question. How about you can pick. Either tell us what you’ve been doing thought work on yourself these days, if you feel like sharing that. Or tell us what is the one thought, or just what is a thought that you think has made a huge difference in your life once you learned to think it?

Brenda: Hmm, I mean, I think I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing thought work on recently, as in this whole year.

Kara: It’s been 12 years long as we know, because 2020.

Brenda: Yes, that’s true. The 12-year long year. I mean, this past, probably even more than a year, back into right about this time last year, so much work of myself as a woman of color. And I picked that… I’m actually glad you offered this other question. I feel like I was shopping for which question is best. I picked this question on purpose, because you know what? Let’s just say there’s not that many… I’m trying to think of how, what’s the right way to put this. But really, I’m just going to say it.

Kara: Just put it however it’s going to… However, it wants to come out, just spit it out.

Brenda: Right, like when we were in master coach training, like I’m the only… No, no, there was actually, Martha was in there too.

Kara: Oh, yeah.

Brenda: And yeah, and she’s Black. But still, the numbers were low, okay?

Kara: Still a small percentage. So it’s probably 10… A little more than 10%. But yeah, not 40%.

Brenda: Yeah. So, the work that I’ve been doing as a woman of color, like I said, Latina, Mexican American really has been… And you mentioned this earlier, but it’s been really fascinating and priceless as I’ve been having my goal of growing my company to seven figures. And I am like convicted of that, like, I’m going to make this happen, right? Or as I said earlier, or I’ll just die trying. And by the way, I’ll have fun also trying.

Kara: But also, I don’t think you need to die trying. I feel like you could just do it in the next like two years and we don’t have to die. That seems better.

Brenda: Yeah, I agree. I agree. But just in the sense of like, it’s just part of what’s going to happen. But the priceless awareness that I had, and this was like years into doing thought work. I was already in millionaire mentoring, right? Like, that’s the amount of thought work that it took. And I was already making multiple, multiple, multiple, six figures in my company as a life coach.

It took that amount of thought work to see that I had a limiting belief system. Or that I had this belief system that, in order for me and my work to be of value that I needed to edit myself, that I needed to like “whitewash” myself. Right? It like took that much for me to even see that. And this is why, you know, I think it’s fun to like set big, juicy, audacious goals, because sometimes you come up against stuff that you’re like, “What? This is a thing? Like, I believe this about myself?”

Kara: I was just going to say that. It’s like, if your goal had just been six figures, and you’d gotten there and then just hung out there, you would never have discovered this. Right?

Brenda: Right.

Kara: It’s like you have to keep going after the next impossible thing. There’s no way to know what all your hidden limitation beliefs are, until you set the next goal. And I think that just goes on until we die.

Brenda: Yeah. And it’s not like in a scary way, where it’s like, “Oh my gosh, then it’s going to be scary to set a goal because who knows? You know, Lord knows what I’ll find.” Like, not in that way, it’s more like… The way I see it is more like, “Hell yeah, I’m so glad I saw this shit. Because if I didn’t, that means I’d just be living my life that way.” And so it’s like, as soon as I see it, then it’s like, “Oh, no, no. This is not how I’m going to do life. I’m not going to be editing myself or whitewashing myself.” Okay, so then I just do that work. And I would say give it like a year later. I truly feel right now I’m in that space like, “Brenda, no. Brenda doesn’t edit herself.” I show up, and then if you love that, as far as like my audience, if you love that, and if this serves you like, hell yeah, then it’s a match. Right?

It’s more about, like, here’s how I teach this. It’s like, what I was sharing about you and the intellectual boldness. I mean, I’ll say it, I think it took about 12 months of first recognizing that. And then basically chiseling away at it as much as needed, where I’m like, I feel I’m in that space where it’s intellectual boldness, like game on. You know? So I’m sure it is going to be seven figures any day now.

And that’s like, I just needed to be willing to continue moving towards that. And then anything that I kind of like push up against, like chiseling away at that.

So that’s what I’ve been doing in 2020, along with everything else. But it also is like, kind of what a perfect year to do that work. Because these were a lot of the conversations happening at a macro level, is the conversations of cultural identity, and like racism, and all these things. So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

Kara: I think that’s such a perfect thing to leave them on. Because I think it’s so important to hear that even people like you, or people like me, or the people who are making 100 a year, or whatever the thing is. Writing the book that wins the Nobel Prize, or whatever, right? Like it’s not all about money. But there’s always like… It’s easy to think like, “Oh, they’ve got it figured out.” And it’s like, “No, I believe I can run a low seven figure business. I totally don’t believe yet that I can run like a $50 million business.” There’s a whole bunch of uncovered beliefs between me and that right?

Brenda: Yeah.

Kara: Or I don’t believe yet that I can have a bestselling New York Times book. There’s like a whole bunch of beliefs in between me and that goal that I’m only going to find out by going for the goal, right? People so, I think, misunderstand the… The point of setting the goal is not because like you’re going to be worth… Because money is everything, you’re going to be worthy if you make that, get that publication, or like the girl who stole your boyfriend in college is finally going to know that you were right. You know, it’s like none of that. Right?

It’s like, you set a goal to find out what you don’t believe in yourself about. Because, as you said, because that’s operating in the background. You’re living your whole life by that without even knowing it.

Brenda: Yeah, and one thing you said recently. Actually, it was on your sales page for your feminist coaching thing. It said something about, like, truly freeing our minds. I mean, that’s literally what it felt like. Like I was able to kind of identify like a chain that was still there. And then I identify it. And then it’s like, “Okay, let’s undo this thing.” And now it’s just more of that brain freedom, right?

Kara: Totally.

Brenda: And so, that’s what we want.

Kara: And it’s so crazy to think there’s going to be more chains we don’t even know about yet that are just like, lurking that we’re going to find. Which I think is… Yeah, it could sound depressing. But I actually think it’s like, who knows how much more fabulousness is ahead that we don’t even know about?

Brenda: Right. Yes, exactly. I mean, right, you get to choose which-

Kara: That’s our 2021.

Brenda: Yeah, you get to choose which perspective about it you want to have.

Kara: Right.

Brenda: For me, for sure, it’s just like, “Yeah, if there are things holding me back, I want to see them.” Because for me, it’s about being, or one of the things is about being unlimited, like limitless. And what does that look like for me? You know, because I want to have a role model.

Kara: Right, because would you have imagined five years ago that you would be this fabulous now? No. So like, who knows? We can’t even imagine how fabulous it will be in the future.

Brenda: Yeah. And that’s what I want a role model for my daughter like, this is what we do when we’re not held back by some BS old beliefs about whatever, so many ones.

Kara: So good. Thank you for coming on and chatting with us.

Brenda: Thanks for having me. That was so fun. I’m so proud of you. And I’m so happy.

Kara: I’m so proud of you.

Brenda: Yeah, that we get to share this journey.

Kara: We should group hug over Zoom. I know, some day we will get to hug in person again.

Brenda: Yeah. So thanks for having me. It’s an honor.

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.

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