I recently experienced a moment during coaching where I felt like my brain ascended to the next level of understanding. It was a powerful reminder that there is no amount of problem-solving that means you’re done, or a destination reached where there’s no work left to do. But I often see so many of you torturing yourselves by using thought work in a way that adds unnecessary suffering to your life, and this is what we’re diving into today.

This week, we’re talking about the five biggest misconceptions I see about thought work and mindset coaching. As a coach who’s been in this game for 10 years and professionally for five, I still have so much work to do to keep the faith in the process to see the revelations and growth in myself. And if you’re holding onto any of these misconceptions, you’re likely using thought work in a way that is not serving you.

Tune in this week to discover why untangling these five misconceptions about thought work and coaching is so crucial to getting the results you want in life. I’m showing you what mindset work is really about, why prioritizing it is not frivolous, and how it’s work that is truly for every single person with a human brain.

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:

  • 2 ways I see so many people torturing themselves with thought work.
  • The 5 biggest misconceptions I see about thought work and mindset coaching.
  • What happens when you believe you’re broken and why thought work isn’t going to fix you.
  • 2 reasons you can’t change your thoughts to feel happy all the time.
  • How negative emotion can feel like it rules and controls you.
  • Why thought work is never about blaming people for their results.
  • What mindset work and coaching is really about.

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. How are you guys? How are we all doing? It’s 2021. Some things still haven’t changed from 2020, not surprisingly. Others have. I think it is normal for a lot of people to feel a little bit of a letdown in January.

I always think it’s kind of odd that in Western society, we’ve decided that New Years is the time for resolutions and changing everything about our lives. And that comes in the middle of winter when at least in a place where winter’s cold, like much of the western hemisphere, you want to sleep in the winter. It’s a weird custom to have the new year be a time that you naturally want to hibernate.

So obviously people who live in places where it is warm and lovely in the winter in January don’t have this problem, but some of us do. So I hope you are being gentle and realistic with yourself and remembering that time is a mental construct that humans have made up.

So I have actually been having – I hit my hibernation slump in December, but I have been having a lot of breakthroughs in my personal coaching. Coaching myself and getting coached by my coaches. And it’s so interesting, I’ve been working with some coaches on my thinking around sort of my relationship life and love life and dating and romantic relationships and my partners and all that kind of stuff.

And I had this experience that I often have where I’ve been working with them now for I think six months. And there have been little bits of progress, but it’s been kind of – feels like fits and starts a lot. And then last week, all of a sudden it was like a whoosh and everything came together.

My brain opened up and I ascended to the next level of understanding. That’s really what it felt like, it was like a dawning. I was like, oh, I got to this next level of depth.

So I’m telling you this for a few reasons. Number one, no matter how often I say this, your perfectionist brains don’t like to hear it, but I have been doing this for a while. I have been coaching full-time for almost five years and I did a ton of self-coaching and worked with coaches before that and I still have things I work on.

Because there’s no destination. It doesn’t get solved. It’s not about solving a problem where you realize the answer and there’s nothing left to do. Being a human with a human mind and a human heart and a human soul, if you believe in souls, whatever you believe in, just being a human is not a math problem.

Well, it’s not an algebra problem. It is probably high-level conceptual math where you solve one problem, that just opens the door to thinking about the next level challenge, the implications. Now that you see this clearly, where else can you take it?

So maybe it’s like a high-level math problem, but it’s not an algebra problem, a basic problem. It’s like all my metaphors won’t work because in everything this is true actually. You solve one “problem,” you figure one thing out, you get clarity in one way, you reach more peace or understanding in one way, and then you see all these other levels for growth.

And so that’s a growth mindset. That is the mindset you want to be in with your own self-work. So often I see y’all kind of torturing yourself by finding thought work and then trying to use it to solve your problems and then be done with this whole business of being a human who has places to grow.

That’s never over and I don’t know why we would want it to be. We only want it to be over if we think there’s something wrong with us, or we think that our problem causes our suffering. But it’s just our thoughts about where we are that cause our suffering.

So that’s number one. And actually, this whole episode is about misconceptions about thought work so I’ll probably come back to that topic. But the other one is that one of the things I see with a lot of my students and clients, and even just followers who write in when you start doing this work is that you’re so anxious for the result to arrive. You’re so anxious to feel different.

When I think about this, I have been coaching myself and getting coached for a decade and doing it professionally for five years. I was about to say not to brag, but like, of course I’m going to brag. I teach all of you to brag, right? I have got to be in the top 1% of coaches in the world in terms of the changes I’ve made in my own life, the transformation I’m able to teach other people, the growth of my business, all of that.

So point being, I am quite legitimately probably a world expert in this. And still, it took six months – and that’s just this round. I’ve worked on these issues before, it’s not the first time I’ve gotten coaching on them. For my brain to put some shit together in a new way.

If you have ever tried to learn a language, I think that is the best example for what it is like to get coached on something or coach yourself on something. You do not go to one lesson and then be mad that you’re not fluent. And if you do, you need to coach yourself on that.

My experience in learning languages or learning anything was often quite similar, which is that I would be kind of chipping away. A little bit, a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It would still feel very rote and awkward and was not quite getting it.

And then literally I would go to bed one night and wake up the next morning and my fluency would have jumped a level. Like all of a sudden, I got it. And similar when I used to study for exams, I would often study at night then go to sleep, and I’d wake up and the material would have kind of synthesized.

I think there are actually studies about this. So coaching is like that too. If you are working on something with yourself, with a coach, with a chicken peer from The Clutch, whatever, and it feels kind of halting and stumbling and like, little bit by little bit, just keep the faith. That’s part of your job.

Coaching isn’t going to prove to you that it works immediately. You need to believe in it and give it a minute to work. And the results and the payoff are so good when you can do that, and we block ourselves so much by believing like, it should have worked, it’s not working, why isn’t this different yet, all of that.

So it was such a powerful reminder because of course, I’m a human, I do that too sometimes. I’m like, come on, I’ve been working on this forever, I’m a professional, why is this thing still bothering me or why am I not getting the results I want in this way or whatever, but when I can just let the process work and do its magic and keep the faith, I’m rewarded with such a change.

I think a lot of what we hear about kind of divine revelation, whether you believe in that or not, it’s not my personal belief, but I think it’s sort of – it’s like echoing a human experience, which is you have to keep the faith and do the work, and then sometimes you are gifted with what feels like revelation.

I think it’s actually neuroplasticity. I think it’s little changes, little changes adding up, your brain marinading, working on it, thinking about it, processing it, and then putting it together. But however you describe it, I think that is a human experience that’s available to us. But it’s no surprise that in religion, it’s kind of tied to faith, to keeping the faith, to believing without evidence. That’s how you get the revelation.

Alright, actually I’m probably going to keep just talking about this kind of thing, but we are going to get a little more structure. We are talking about today the five biggest misconceptions I see about thought work and mindset coaching.

So I’m going to list them and talk about each one. Misconception number one, thought work will fix you. Misconception number two, you should always change a thought so you can be happy all the time. Mindset mistake number three or misconception number three is that mindset coaching is blaming people for their problems or is just for privileged people.

Misconception number four is that if you need coaching or you can’t change something yet, there’s something wrong with you. It’s not working, or you’re not working. And misconception number five is that if it’s just about your brain, you should be able to figure it out yourself.

Okay, so let’s talk about each one of these. Number one, thought work will fix you. Thought work is not for fixing you because you don’t need to be fixed. You aren’t broken. Now, I know that sounds like everybody on Instagram says that, but it’s really true.

Because here’s the problem. When you believe that you are broken and need to be fixed, and you come to thought work looking for it to fix you, you will inevitably be disappointed. Just like if you want a relationship to fix you or if you want losing weight to fix you, if you want any external thing to fix you, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not going to work.

I think that in the best way, thought work and mindset coaching is kind of a bait and switch because you come in thinking I need to fix myself, this is what’s going to finally help me, but then what we teach you is actually that you’re okay the way you are and how to actually accept and love yourself.

Not that there aren’t behaviors you may want to change. My behavior and demeanor and personality has for sure changed through getting coaching, but it required being willing to accept and love who I was in the first place. And that sounds terrible when you hate yourself. You’re like, “No, you don’t understand Kara, let me tell you these 12 things that are wrong with me.”

But thought work isn’t going to fix you because what you are trying to fix is being a human who’s not perfect, and that’s actually your life-long sentence and that’s a good thing because it removes – if you really accept it, it removes that pressure of having to be perfect or trying to be perfect.

Thought work is not for fixing you. Thought work is for learning to accept and love who you are. From that, sometimes behavioral change does flow, personality change flows because a lot of our behaviors and character traits are being driven by our self-criticism and our self-loathing. So if we change those, we often will see change in our lives.

I have seen a lot of change in my life, but it never works when you think there’s something broken about you that you need to fix. And I have definitely – every area of my life that I have really up-leveled and grown with thought work has required grappling with that.

Because when you believe there’s something broken about you that you need to fix, then you are in a massive hurry. Then you are in a rush. Then you are trying to get to the there in the future where you’re fixed. Then you are constantly checking to see if you’re fixed yet.

It creates being in such a rush and then that creates so much resistance to not being there in the first place, and then you can’t even do any self-coaching. When you are creating rush and resistance to where you are, that just takes over the whole ballgame.

Resistance is like the one person who’s so loud at a party that no one else can hear themselves. So when you think you need to be fixed, this is the thing to fix me, then you just are in a rush, you’re creating resistance, and you’re just sort of almost appropriating thought work for your own self-critical purposes.

You just suck thought work in and use it to beat yourself up and to try to change yourself. And that is not what thought work is for, that’s not what mindset coaching is for. The most foundational secret aspect of self-inquiry to me is curiosity and compassion. That’s what it’s about. And when you’re trying to use it to fix yourself, you are just going to create more and more of what you are already experiencing and resisting.

So the second big misconception I see is that coaches are teaching, or I’m teaching, or you just should always change a thought and be happy all the time. So if you’ve ever heard the terms like spiritual gaslighting or spiritual bypassing, those are terms that people use to mean the tendency of some kind of coaches or spiritual teachers or whatever to sort of be like, always focus on the positive and always keep your vibrations high and if you think about anything negative, then you’re just creating and attracting that and if anything bad is happening to you, then that’s your fault because your vibes aren’t high enough and all of that.

The point of thought work, I cannot say this enough, I probably say it on every episode. The point of thought work is not to be happy all the time. The point of life is not to be happy all the time. You are not supposed to be happy all the time.

I don’t care what that Coca-Cola ad told you. You are not supposed to be happy all the time. That’s like saying you should be awake all the time or you should feel full all the time. No, you’re not supposed to be in any physical state all the time.

Happiness is just a physical state. It’s just a chemical release in your brain. You are not supposed to feel that way all the time. Just like you’re not supposed to be always hungry or always full, and you’re not supposed to be always asleep or always awake. You are not supposed to be always happy, nor always unhappy.

If you are operating kind of free and clearly, it’s a mix. Life is a mix. So you are not supposed to be happy all the time, and thought work is not a tool to be happy all the time. And I think that especially in our kind of striver positive optimistic culture, whatever, I get this question a lot. This kind of, okay well, but if I can change my thoughts, why can’t I change them to be happy all the time?

And there’s a couple of answers to that. Number one is because that would take all your time and you might have other stuff you want to do. If you’re going to coach yourself to change every single thought to be happy, I think that’s a full-time job if you can even do it. You may have too many thoughts to even be able to do that in a day.

But even if you could, that’s a full-time job and you might have other shit in your life you’d like to do. This is number one. But number two also, I talk about this a lot in the episode on contrast of emotion. Being happy all the time wouldn’t actually feel happy.

You know how when you’re hungry is when food tastes best, right? When you’re not hungry, you can open the fridge and be like, I don’t know, whatever. When you’re really hungry, food is amazing in this very animalistic way.

It’s fascinating. Your senses get heightened, you smell it better, it seems so delicious, it tastes different to you. And it’s actually like, if you do intuitive eating, one of the cues for being satiated is that the food stops tasting and smelling so amazing. It’s a very primal thing, a very animal response to hunger.

And happiness and negative emotion are like that too. If you are always happy, you wouldn’t have any contrast. You wouldn’t know how to appreciate it. It would just be like, eating a consistent sugar intake 24/7. It would be like being a hummingbird.

So you need negative emotion to understand and appreciate positive emotion. And for me, I want to experience negative emotion because I think that’s part of a human life. That’s what allows me to empathize with other people, to have compassion for other people’s suffering.

I would be a terrible coach if I didn’t ever feel unhappy. All my advice to you guys would be useless. All my teaching would just be like, well, I don’t know, just be happy. Just feel better, I don’t know, it’s easy. No, the fact that I can experience negative emotion and that I have had to learn how to hold that, to be with it, to allow it, to let it flow through me, that’s what makes me a good teacher for all of you.

And for you guys in your own lives, whether you’re a coach or a teacher or you’re modeling it for your children or your friends or just yourself, being able to have and experience negative emotion, so much of what humans do – when you start to really watch the way that humans act just to get away from their negative emotions, it’s bananas how reactive most people are.

And the inability to accept negative emotion is what actually lets negative emotion rule you and control you because you’re always reacting to it. So thought work and mindset coaching, even positive thinking as a discipline is in my mind not about always being happy or always thinking positively.

It is not about bypassing the negative emotions of life. And it’s not about blaming you for your negative emotions. And that really leads to misconception number three, which is that kind of the logical conclusion or the underlying premise of mindset coaching is that we are blaming other people for their problems, and that it’s just for privileged people.

This is really kind of like two but they’re related. So I’m putting them all as number three. So the first one is that coaching is blaming people for their problems. And I have a whole episode about this called victim blaming and shame, something like that, from this fall. It’s pretty recent. Definitely it’s called victim blaming. I can’t keep track of my own episodes; I’ve done a lot of podcasts.

But this is a big misconception is that if we say that your thoughts produce your results, then we are blaming people for their results. But when you say gravity produces a fall, you’re not blaming gravity. You’re not blaming somebody that they fell out of a window. You’re just explaining why they fell down to the ground.

That was a dark metaphor, but that’s what people think. People have this misconception that if you believe in thought work, if you believe that your thoughts create your results in life, what that means is that you are blaming people for their problems.

And this is such a misconception on two levels and this is a subtle teaching, but I believe in you guys. We rock at a high level around here. Number one, it’s believing that somebody’s not having what they want in life is a problem.

So if somebody is like, “Well, it’s a big problem that I’m single and can’t find a partner, now you’re blaming me for it.” We’re not, number one, agreeing that it’s a problem. That’s a thought the person has about their life. It’s a problem that this is the amount of money I have, it’s a problem that I don’t have this partner, it’s a problem that I have chronic pain, it’s a problem that whatever.

And sometimes we get sucked into kind of debating this and we’re taking for granted, yes, you have a problem. But remember that believing something is a problem is always an option for us. I have chronic pain; I get to decide if that’s a problem.

When I’ve been single, I get to decide if that’s a problem. When I wasn’t making money in my business, I got to decide if that was a problem. That’s an adjective. It’s an option. It’s an evaluation. So in order to blame someone for a problem, you would have to be agreeing with them that something has gone wrong, that there’s something to blame them for.

And that’s not what thought work is about. It’s not about saying yes, you have a problem and that problem is your fault. Thought work is about saying, number one, we get to even decide if we’re going to think about things as bad and problems. Let’s see how that works for us. Do we want to think about it that way?

For a lot of people, if they tell themselves they have a problem, then that’s all they see and all they think about, and they don’t think it can be solved. They start to identify with having the problem, which means you’re thinking – in corporate consultant speak, it would be like, you’re thinking about the problem, you’re not thinking about the solution.

So we’re not blaming anyone because we’re not saying that it’s a problem. We’re not saying that something has gone wrong. So that’s number one. But number two, even if you do want to believe you have a problem, people do want to believe this negative thing happened to me, it was a problem, I experienced this trauma, whatever it is.

We are not saying, I am not saying at least that your thoughts create your results in the sense that people create world hunger by not being positive enough, or people create genocide by not having high enough self-esteem. That’s not what I’m saying.

For me, mindset coaching, thought work is really about how we show up to deal with a world that isn’t the world that we would have wanted, it’s not the world we would have ordered. There’s some shit going down that we don’t like, that we don’t agree with.

How do we show up for that? Life is full of challenges. All human lives involve suffering. Thought work is not blaming people for their suffering, we’re not saying you shouldn’t suffer and it’s wrong that you do and you’re at fault. We’re saying all humans suffer, it’s part of being a human.

Now, how do we want to meet that suffering? Can we meet it with self-compassion? Can we meet it with curiosity? Can we meet it with the willingness to see the ways in which we could change some of our outcomes and circumstances? And how are we going to deal with the ones we can’t?

To me, one of the biggest things thought work does is it challenges our perception of which things in life we just have to cope with and which we can change. I think most of us are very wrong about that balance. I think a lot of us really underestimate how many things in our life we can change by actually changing the actions or results or circumstances.

And then the other half is we completely underestimate how we can change our relationship to the things that we can’t change. How can we change our relationship to the suffering that all humans experience? Whatever the variety is for us, that we have lost a parent or we’ve lost a child, or our bodies aren’t working the way that they used to or the way we want them to, or we’re sick, or someone we love is sick, or we are not able to get enough to eat this week or whatever it is.

These problems that all humans experience – and I’m not saying that we also don’t need social solutions to them. We do. But thought work isn’t about blaming people for them. It’s about teaching people how to really practice a higher level of discernment and openness to see what things could I change if I change the way I think about them, so I change the way I act.

And then the things that I really can’t change, if a loved one dies, no amount of thinking on your part is going to prevent that. Your mindset does not cause somebody else – as long as you didn’t do the killing – your mindset does not cause your parent to pass away. That is a natural thing that happens in the cycle of life. That’s not one we’re going to change with our thinking, but what we can change is our relationship to it.

Again, this goes back to number two. Not necessarily changing our relationship to it to be happy about it, just getting more skillful at allowing an inhabiting the human experience without resisting it so much.

So we’re not blaming people for their problems because number one, it’s not my job to decide what is somebody else’s problem or not. That’s an optional thought that they get to decide if they want to have about something. But number two, even if it is a thing in human life that is causing suffering that you can’t control, I mean, it’s always your thoughts causing suffering, but a thing in human life that you can’t control like the death of a loved one that you’re going to have – that most people want to have negative emotion about as part of the human experience, there’s no blame needs to happen.

Do you guys see what I’m saying? It’s like, if somebody’s like, “Of course I’m sad, my mother died, you’re saying that’s my fault?” Like, no. Number one, I don’t think it’s a problem that you’re sad that this happened. Nothing has gone wrong here.

Yeah, most people want to be sad if their mother dies. Not everybody does. Part of thought work to me is being like, not absolutist. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you if you weren’t sad when your mother died. Any reaction is allowed.

But if somebody is, we’re not saying it’s a problem that you’re sad and grieving. That’s not what mindset and thought work and coaching is about. So number one, we’re not saying that’s a problem, but number two, we’re also not saying anything has gone wrong or that there’s anything to blame, that anything there should change, or that there’s any blame to be apportioned for having that.

Mindset work is really just about teaching you how to be more skillful. And this is why – I could talk about this for hours. I’m going to try to keep this podcast a reasonable length. This is why I think it’s so stupid when people say that mindset work or thought work or coaching is only for privileged people, for people who don’t have real problems.

That is just inane to me. Who is more in need of resilience and emotional strength and coping tools and the ability to imagine a better, different life and create it than people who have bigger challenges in life, bigger structural challenges?

I mean, my thought work inspiration is not a blonde 120-pound wellness influencer on Instagram. It’s Viktor Frankl who lived through the Holocaust in the concentration camp and who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, and whose famous kind of quote from that is the last freedom available to man under any circumstances is to determine his own attitude. That’s paraphrased. I didn’t write it down. I didn’t write the quote in my notes right here.

But that’s it. He wrote the last freedom left to man, regardless of the circumstances, is to determine his own attitude. And having come from a Jewish family and being only several generations from the Holocaust, I grappled with this a lot when I first started doing this work and really where I came down is everyone needs this work, but the more challenges you have to overcome, the more you need this work.

It’s not frivolous. It’s not just for people who have a lot of time to sit around studying their nails or whatever. The more challenges you have in life, the more resiliency is required for you to navigate in a sexist, racist, ableist, fat-phobic world, the more you need this work.

And I think the weird resistance to it goes back to that blame part. That’s why I put these two together kind of as number three. It’s like, why would we be resistant to teaching people this stuff? Oh, because we think it means we’re blaming them for being poor, or blaming them for being fat, or blaming them for experiencing racism.

But that’s not what we’re doing at all. We’re teaching people, number one, you get to decide how you want to think about the experiences you’re having, and number two, you get to use thought work to help you create more resilience, even when you don’t want to change your thoughts.

If I experienced – I’m going to use myself as an example. If I have an interaction that my brain tells me is driven by fat phobia, I always get to decide. I have the human autonomy and the mental autonomy to decide whether I believe that was driven by fat phobia or not. Whichever one I decide to believe, I still then can use thought work to decide how I’m going to think and feel about that.

I’m not saying I brought it on myself. I’m not saying my thoughts controlled this other person’s thoughts. Society created their thoughts, they act on their thoughts. I often don’t actually know 100% for sure what’s going on. But even if I decide to believe it is discriminatory towards me or it is fat phobia, I still get to decide what am I going to think about that, what am I going to make it mean.

And again, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to necessarily go to sunshine and rainbows. But I just think it’s such a perversion of what we teach and what this work is to say that it sort of doesn’t address the bigger issues in life, or it’s only for people who don’t have any real problems. It’s the fucking opposite.

If your life is super privileged, first of all, you’re still going to have emotional suffering because you’re a human. But you may have less day-to-day challenges to overcome logistically in your life. Who needs thought work more than people who are facing those kinds of challenges? Who needs emotional resiliency, coping skills more?

And it’s so fascinating to me that there are programs going into schools and teaching meditation to children and everyone thinks that’s amazing. There’s these certain things we’ve decided are okay to teach everyone and helpful and whatever, and then thought work and mindset coaching is somehow suspect or suspicious. I just think people don’t understand what it really is. I could have a whole other podcast about that.

But for all of human history, people have been grappling – honestly, thought work and coaching are philosophy. I was talking about this with my brother actually and he was like, “Well, all great philosophy is basically self-help.” Before that term was invented. And all good self-help is philosophy. What is philosophy is the question of what is human life, what are we doing here, how should we be, what is the good life, how do we make sense of the world, how do we create the world we want?

All of that is philosophy. And I don’t think it’s an accident that coaching in this form and self-help happen to be associated with women in this day and age, and so it’s kind of trivialized. But when it’s men and it’s called philosophy and it’s Aristotle or Socrates in a cloak, we venerate it.

Although in his time, Socrates also got in a lot of trouble, so it just goes to show. Okay, this podcast episode is getting very long. Alright, that’s mistake number three. Mistake number four is if you need coaching, there’s something wrong with you.

I don’t think we think that about other people, but we think that about ourselves. I actually see this a lot, which is so fascinating. I had an ex-boyfriend once who was like, “Yeah, I’m totally into it, therapy is great, everyone should go,” and I was like, “Would you go to therapy for x, y, z?” And he was like, “No, I have to solve my own problem.”

So I think we have that. We don’t think coaching is bad for other people, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with other people, but we secretly think if we can’t figure it out, there’s something wrong with us. Here’s who needs coaching; literally anyone with a human brain.

That’s who needs coaching. Anyone with a human brain. Am I saying it solves all problems? No. I’m not saying it solves all problems. If you have an infection, you should get antibiotics. That’s my personal belief. It doesn’t solve every single problem, but it does solve how you think about it, to the extent that your thought process impacts your biology and your stress, it does actually impact your health also.

But if you have a human brain, then you would benefit from coaching. Coaching is just learning how to be a more resilient and capable human being. And when I say capable, I just mean capable of navigating life with more self-compassion, with more resilience, with less anxiety, with less drama, with less self-loathing, more love. That’s it.

Nobody in the world wouldn’t benefit from that. It’s almost like the question is like needing. It’s just like, who would benefit from coaching? Literally everyone. No one is at a point where there’s coaching wouldn’t add anything.

And I think if you’re conscious and functional, no one’s at a point where coaching won’t be helpful, even if you also need other kinds of help and intervention. It’s like, if you have a conscious human brain, then you need help or will benefit from help in learning how to think about your own metacognition. Your own thought process differently. How to relate to yourself and others better, how to have more compassion and love and curiosity for yourself and others. Who would not benefit from that?

So if you’re struggling with compassion for other people, with compassion for yourself, with your time management, with your productivity, with your sex life, with using numbing and buffering, eating or drinking or smoking or Netflix or shopping or whatever, those are all human challenges. We all struggle with and face those.

We are all operating with a brain that was built by many, many different levels and layers. We’re all trying to integrate the part of your brain that can contemplate metaphysical philosophy and the part of your brain that you share with a lizard. We are all trying to get through life in a big confusing world with that kind of a mish-mash in our brains. So literally, everybody needs it and there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re struggling with anything that humans are struggling with.

And then that really leaves me to the last one, which is if somebody says to you, “You need medication to solve this,” you’re like, okay, well I don’t think I should be able to make that medication in my kitchen, so I’ll buy it from the drugstore.

But sometimes with coaching, what I see is people’s self-sabotage and self-loathing kind of leads them to believe that, well, if it’s just my brain, I should be able to figure it out myself. That is nonsense. It’s just your white blood cell count, but do you think you should be able to figure out how to fix it yourself if there’s something wrong?

Any complex biological system, yeah, it’s just yours, it’s in your body, but you don’t think you should be able to figure it out yourself. The same is true about your brain. I mean, it’s amazing that brains can be conscious of themselves at all. That miraculous gift is the reason we can do thought work and we can change our minds and our brains, and we can evolve and grow and learn and create better lives for ourselves.

That’s a blessing. But that shit is not 100% reliable. We all have blind spots. We all get stuck in places that our ego is coming in, meaning we’ve made it about our own worth, we all have blind spots that are cultural, gender-based, race-based, size-based, whatever, we all have insecurities, we all have biases. No one can do this on their own.

Every coach you know and look up to and respect has coaches and gets coaching. If they don’t, do not follow them. Do not follow anyone who tells you they have it all figured out and that they are not still being a human.

What I always say is I’m a few steps ahead of you on the path. That’s why I can help you. Anybody who tells you they’re at the end of the path, no. everybody needs help learning how to be more skillful in this human experience, have more ease, have more joy, create more amazing results. Everybody needs help with that.

You don’t need to do it alone. You don’t have to do it alone. It’s not possible to do it alone. And you don’t need to do it alone. And of course, I think the best place to do this work is with me and all the other chickens in The Clutch. But if you truly – that’s not an option for you, then find a friend and try to do it with them.

Look on Facebook and see if somebody in your town listens to the podcast. You never know. I had someone tell an amazing story in The Clutch that she lives in a town of 22,000 people and she was playing the piano outside and someone else who was in The Clutch who she had talked to recognized her. So you never know who’s around.

So you can come join The Clutch, you can learn and talk about it and get coaching and teaching from me, or you can do it with your neighbor or your friend or your sister or your mom. But don’t be afraid to ask for that help, ask for that outside perspective. And don’t make the mistake of believing that you should be able to figure it out by yourself because that’s just not how the brain works.

We all need that outside perspective. There’s no shame in it. And in fact, it will 10 times your growth and your learning to get that kind of expert outside advice and guidance and perspective. It’ll save you a lot of time.

Alright my friends, that’s it for this week. Thanks for sticking with me. This is a double-length episode but I had a lot to say about misconceptions about thought work. So now those are all cleared up, I don’t want to hear any of them from any of y’all.

And for those of you who are in The Clutch, I think this is a great kind of writing prompt for you to post in the group and have discussion about which of these you were believing and what you’re taking away from this episode. That will really help cement it in your brain. Alright chickens, I’ll 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, to coach you live. No question is off limits. You can change your life by going to unfuckyourbrainn.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.

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