During a call with our coaches, some said that you can’t use The Model for racism; that it doesn’t work, so The Model doesn’t work.
It does take educating yourself and training on The Model to use it for this issue and other horrible things that happen in the world. And I’m taking responsibility for not providing the training on this sooner.
Today I’m bringing on Anita Miller, Confidence and Career Coach for Women of Color, to discuss the ways The Model can be misused and how racism plays into the C line. The word “racism” means different things to different people, which makes using it in The Model challenging.
In this episode, Anita and I dive into what the experience of a Black woman in corporate America is like and how it differs from that of a White woman. We’re sharing how our experiences shape our thoughts, and how our thoughts have the power to change the world. While policies and systems do need to change, we also need to work on our thoughts so that racism doesn’t hold us back.
What you will discover
- Racial disparity issues in the workplace.
- Why we want to feel pain and discomfort around racism.
- What the white-hot fire of clean pain is.
- How to put “racism” in the C line without using the word.
- The importance of educating ourselves on the topic of racism.
- Why pain can be the unifying component that allows us to have open conversations from a place of love.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, special episode.
Well, hello there my friends, how are you all doing today? I have a very special guest and we are going to have a very frank conversation together about what I have seen as some misuses of the model. And we’re just going to talk about it, like stream of consciousness, and some ideas, and some concepts.
And I want to let you know that we’re going to do a full training on how to use the model with racism in specifics next week on the regular program, we’re going to do one like that. So, so many people have asked for it and I definitely want to make sure.
But for now we’re just going to do a conversation. I’m going to talk about some stuff that I’m learning, but I’m also going to introduce you to Anita Miller. The story of how we ended up here is she sent me a Slack message with a curriculum that she had created that she was asking permission to use. And I was like, “Absolutely, this is amazing, can we go on the podcast and talk all about it?” And then we later decide let’s not do that curriculum quite yet because we’re still working on some of it, but let’s have a conversation on the podcast and talk about you.
Brooke: So, hi, welcome I’m so glad you’re here.
Anita: Hello. I am so excited to be here.
Brooke: So I thought we could start with kind of your story, however you want to tell it. A little bit about you, how you found me, your experience with the model, let’s start there.
Anita: So I am originally from, I’ll call it somewhere in between, which is Washington D.C., so I grew up there. I grew up in Northern Virginia where I’ll be honest, I really didn’t see instances of race growing up. The Washington D.C. area is really a melting pot, so you see all type of races. And for me, growing up, race wasn’t really discussed.
I then about my senior year of high school parents, my parents moved to South Carolina. And you talk about culture shock, it is a much different place, not only in just how people handle things, how people treat each other is different. In D.C. people kind of keep it moving, we don’t really make eye contact, we’re just all trying to get to the next place.
In the south, people want to be softer and eye contact, and so that has been a transition for me. I think that that was my first real experience with the noticeable difference between races. Because when we moved to South Carolina, where we lived was really just, there were black people and white people. There wasn’t at that time, other cultures. I think all states have changed from a cultural perspective since that time. But that was my experience; I really didn’t have kind of those interactions, at least not directly growing up until I moved to the south.
And then in terms of finding you, I was having a moment at work, a moment that I would categorize as a racial one. Where just over a couple of years a number of things have happened where I was tapped on the shoulder, everyone wants to be tapped on the shoulder to apply for a position. And so I applied for this position, I did great. And the feedback I got was, “Oh wow, Anita interviewed so well.” Pretty much they didn’t know I was capable of that, they were surprised.
Brooke: Sorry to interrupt, but can you tell us what kind of work it was?
Anita: Yeah, so I work in financial services. So I work in a very white collar corporate environment. And at that time, I mean this was before Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. So at that time on my floor of let’s say 150 to probably 200 people, there were only three African American people, or say black people.
Brooke: Can I ask you a question right there?
Brooke: When do we use the term African American, when do we use the term black or are they interchangeable?
Anita: I think it’s personal preference, and no matter who you talk to of what race, everybody has their own feeling about it. I grew up pretty conservatively, so I tend to see things conservatively, which is why I got diverted back to African American instead of black.
Brooke: Okay, good. Yeah, that’s good to understand.
Anita: And as I was growing up that’s what I heard, I heard African American more than I heard black.
Brooke: Okay. And now, but if someone were to refer to you to as African American or black, you’d feel the same either way, just you personally? I want to be clear; we’re not speaking for all black people here.
Anita: Yeah, so we are not, but no, I don’t have a preference.
Brooke: Okay, sorry to interrupt, go ahead.
Anita: So I didn’t get that position and I…
Brooke: But they were surprised that you interviewed so well.
Anita: Yes, they were surprised that I was so articulate and kind of that I presented well. And that literally was the feedback. And so then I didn’t get that position. And it’s funny because there were two of us, one was an Asian American woman and then there was myself who was tapped on the shoulder as a possibility for this role. Instead, somehow a white male ended up with the role.
And so that white male, whom I love, let me be clear, that white male happened to be somebody I sat next to. So just in the course of sitting next to someone every day you can’t help but to build a relationship. But he ended up getting the role. That also meant that he was the one that was groomed. And so because he was groomed, he now is at least one level above me. So when we talk about opportunities and kind of why some of these things matter and the combination of them all, these are the type of things that we experience.
And so I just took it as a learned lesson, I went back and said, “Okay, what could I have done differently?” And the feedback I got was, “They needed to get to know me.” So in white America, getting to know you means can I trust you. In black America, at least from conversations I’ve had with other blacks, and so again, speaking in more generalities, as opposed to everyone, in black America I’m not going to get to know you because of our experiences.
So I’m going to go to work, I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do, I’m going to do it well, but I’m not going to interact, so we don’t interact. And because we don’t interact it still keeps a divide between us from a cultural perspective. You don’t know me, I don’t know you. And because there’s no trust, it makes it difficult for me then to move up, is what I’ve learned over the years. So there was that experience.
Then I had an experience where I am really like – I’m a PM, a Project Manager. So I believe in action items, we come to a meeting, if people have takeaways; I’m going to do that. And I sent an email to what at that time was a leader who was a white male. And he went back to my boss and complained and pretty much said, “Who was I to give him action items and why didn’t I have any?” And my action items were fair; they were the ones we agreed to as a group. And once he would have completed his then I could have done my job.
So my boss told me to not write action items for certain people, which ultimately meant I had to end up doing the work to get it done. But then later that year my interview, on it was, “Well, you need to stop doing people’s work.” But when I held people accountable, particularly white males, or when I asked questions to white males then I was seen as throwing them under the bus or confrontational or being too direct.
When, for me, I’m just wanting to learn, it’s how I learn, I ask questions to learn things, to understand how things work. It’s how my mind works, I’m pretty analytical. So I’m trying to put all the pieces and the widgets together in my head.
And then we get to 2015, 2016 and I get passed over for a promotion yet again with no rhyme or reason this time, for a white woman, who had less than a year of experience in what we do. And I had like at that time five, six, seven, and a background in this field. Even when my peers did step up - and my peers were not African American, because again there’s still just three of us - it didn’t matter to leadership, when they attempted to speak up, it didn’t matter to our leadership at that time.
And that kind of sent me into kind of this tailspin, I can remember going out on leave and having surgery. And when I came back from that leave or when it was time to come back, I literally sat in my room and just cried. I sat in the back and I just cried because I didn’t want to go back to work. And my husband ended up telling me that, “You don’t let other people decide your next move, you need to decide for yourself. So you need to, at a minimum, go back to work and decide what’s next.”
Brooke: That’s pretty good, that husband.
Anita: He is pretty good. But I didn’t want to go back. And when I got back, people didn’t expect to see me, and I know this because people literally came up to me and said, “Well, that boss you have said that you were gone, that they had let you go, that they had gotten rid of you.” And I didn’t do anything to him. I tried my best to fly under the radar, to stay out of trouble. When I fly under the radar I got in trouble for not interacting with the group.
But then when I interact with the group it was like, “Well, I see Anita’s doing things, we don’t really want Anita to know people, but we don’t want her to interact.” So this sent me into a tailspin and this is why I started to look for coaching. Because it made me question who I was and what I was doing, because there is a secret society, so to speak, where they know all the rules and the unspoken rules. It made me feel like I was going crazy, like it was me.
And that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have work to do, because I’m always open to, “Hey, this is how you can grow.” But it sent me into a tailspin and so I started to think about coaching. So I went and I saw a career coach, I had a life coach, I got both at one time at one point for 2015, 2016. I spent a lot of money on coaching. And that’s where I fell in love with coaching, and also where I started to look for more resources.
So then I came across you. Because I had looked at a number of schools, and I just wasn’t finding what I wanted, what I was searching for until I found you and thought work and the model. And that’s how I got past that moment, that helped me kind of process my feelings, that helped me be more thoughtful and more strategic about other people’s perspectives of me and how I want to see me. And that I can’t control other people’s opinions or other people’s views.
And it really helps solidify me being okay with me, and who I want to be. So I know that because I – where I grew up there was a lot of strong women in the D.C. area, so I’m pretty direct. And I tried at one point in that process to change it. Because in the south we want to – they tiptoe around things. There could be an elephant on the table and they’re going to walk around it to talk to you, they’re just not going to talk about it, which is kind of counter to my upbringing and getting to it, the way I grew up or the way I think about things.
So I decided that I’m not for everybody, and I think your example of the peach, not everybody likes a peach, and some people don’t like that it’s that. That helped me get to a place where I’m more open to other people; I’m more approachable, because I’m not always upset about it all. I’m not always trying to please everyone else or be something I’m not. I recognize at this point in my career that it means that sometimes I’m not going to get the job because I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay too.
Brooke: Right. And sometimes you’re not going to get the job because of the system, the system of racism that is in that job. And then the question becomes what can you do personally? Which is of course what we do with the coaching, and making sure that no one in the world holds us back from our dreams no matter what. But then the other question is what can we do about these systems?
So what I’m thinking about and sharing here is my perspective alone as just starting to learn about these things is, my guess is – I can’t speak for the people in your system. But my guess is if you went and asked them, “Are you racist, are you doing this because you’re racist?” They’re not going to say that they are. And yet it’s the total lack of awareness of their own minds and their own bias that they can end up feeling okay about the things that they do. And that’s the thing that I think where the education comes in, and understanding that.
And it sounds like you had that education; you knew what was happening, and used the model not to feel good about it. And that’s one of the mistakes that I want to talk about real quickly here is I had a client who coached with me for years, loved the model, talked about it all the time, it completely changed her life, it was great. And she started using it in her business without any formal education and was using it with her clients. And then just recently came out and said, “The model doesn’t work, it doesn’t work on racism, it doesn’t work.”
And it’s because she was never properly trained in it and misusing it, and also because of so many of my shortcomings in the training of it. And so that’s something I’m correcting now and we’re working on. But one of the mistakes that I think some of my coaches have made, and scholars, and a lot of people in self-coaching are making is – and this is actually – and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. This is actually a mistake that people make on lots of different topics in the misinterpretation of my work.
The goal of the model is not to feel better. The goal of the model is to feel, and so we talk about better feeling thoughts, we talk about creating new thoughts, but never at the expense of processing our emotion, accepting that life is 50:50, staying in the presence of our terrible emotions. And so one of the mistakes that I see a lot of us making is, okay, racism’s terrible, awful, horrible, it makes me feel bad to think about it, how can I be comforted, how can I feel better about it?
And one of the things that I’ve learned really first hand is that when we understand that life is 50:50, we understand that our thoughts create our feelings, it doesn’t mean we want to feel good all the time. We don’t want to feel good about racism. That is not something we want to feel good about. And so the point of using the model is to process that emotion.
The pain that we’re in right now, so many of us are in right now, is pain we need to be in, we want to be in. And so I have been calling it, white hot fire of clean pain, it’s the pain that isn’t me beating myself up, isn’t me making myself guilty or making myself a terrible person. But opening up to the pain of racism and what I haven’t seen and how I’ve contributed by participating and not participating.
And so I think for you and what it sounds like is that when you first started looking for coaching, were you looking for coaching to feel better, is that what you went looking for? Tell me a little bit about that.
Anita: Yes, I wanted it to stop; it was I wanted to feel better. And we talked about, even in life coaching still we talk about a certification from coaching a-line. So I was getting coached on the a-line. And in terms of kind of what I should do next, it was helping, but it wasn’t moving me forward. So even though I had a life coach who was coaching me and a career coach, I still was kind of spinning. So I had a new résumé, and they were helping me look for a new job. But I hadn’t cleaned up the thought.
And what I found at least for the women I coach, and I coach African American women, and corporate America as well, is that because we internalize so much of all this, it’s very hard for us to leave one job angry and go to the next job, because you pick up on that energy. We don’t know that we’re giving it off, but we’re picking up on what we’ve internalized, so we show up and we don’t show up as our best selves because we’re carrying all this baggage over here from this job, and we just want out.
And we don’t know, and I’m guilty of it myself, which is why I notice what’s happening, because we haven’t worked through our thoughts and our feelings about it. We just want it to stop and if this isn’t working, we’re going to move on to the next thing. And I think the thing about the next thing is, it’s likely that it exists somewhere in the next realm. So you have to learn how to manage it in a healthier way. And I think the model helps to do that, at least for me, the model helps to do that. And I do think that the model is a tool that is always working, and that it works for racism.
When you break it down to the applicable dose of what you’re trying to get through, if you put in your c-line something that’s bigger than a bread box, it’s hard to get to clarity, either on how you feel about it or to campaign about it because you have so much there. Because I coach on it all the time, my clients, because they are African American women in corporate America, they hit that ceiling at some point, sometimes earlier than other where they feel like they should have been promoted.
So they typically come to me, seven out of ten times because they are experiencing something in their dynamic that has to do with race.
Brooke: Right, right. And so here’s some of the things that don’t work, when you put – so just a brief reminder for all of you guys listening. The c-line of the model is factual circumstance. We put in the model, things that are factual. And so the argument has been that we should put racism in the c-line because racism is a fact. And so the feedback that we’ve been getting is that we’re not even acknowledging racism because we’re not putting it in the c-line. And I understand the argument completely.
And I actually had a conversation just today with a diversity coach about this and we were geeking out about it, because she was trying to understand the model. And we were trying to understand, if – for example, we put murder in the c-line, we put rape in the c-line, we put death in the c-line. But we can’t put racism in the c-line as a word. Now, the concept of it, the reality of it, the system of it, we can put in the c-line, but the word ‘racism’ we can’t put there because it’s so subjective.
A lot of people, when they think of racism, they think about one person being racist to another person, and really the way that my diversity coach described this to me is it’s a system of power is what racism is. And so that was another definition of it, that – and what I said to her is I said, “We need to break it down so it’s not just this big word that so many people have different, subjective interpretations of. And we need to find a way to what is that specific instance of that thing that happened in the world, and then evaluate our thoughts on those things.”
And I thought it would be interesting to demonstrate this. And one of my coaches said, “People are looking for influencers who are just willing to put themselves out there where they are right now.” So that’s what I’m doing right now, this is where I’m at. So I just signed up with my diversity coach so we could work on some long term solutions with this. And she wants to talk this out with me and we’re going to have great conversations about all of the things in the model.
But where I am right now and how I teach the model, I want to make sure it’s being used properly. And I want to demonstrate the power of understanding how the exact same circumstance, the exact same circumstance can be interpreted, and felt, and acted so differently, and how this is contributing to the problem.
So here’s what I want to do. I want to give you my model that I had when George Floyd was murdered. So I want to tell you what my thought was and what happened. And I want to tell you now that I’m not speaking for anyone else but myself, and Anita, of course isn’t either, she’s speaking for herself. This was my experience, but I think many of you will be able to relate to it and then I’d like to have a discussion about it.
So are you up for this?
Anita: Yes, I am, let’s go.
Brooke: Okay, you know what your model is?
Anita: I do.
Brooke: I’m sure. Sure. So the model is, so in the c-line we put a black man, can’t breathe and dies because a white police officer pushes his knee onto his neck. How do you feel about that as our C? Because we’re going to share the C, how can we better state the C or did you state it differently?
Anita: And so my C was pretty similar, it was a white man put his knee on the throat of a black man. And the time, the amount of time, it was something people have focused on, I think it was eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Brooke: Yeah, good, good, okay. And I want to make a note here, it’s very important to keep the words ‘black’ and ‘white’ in this c-line. Often when we teach in the model, we strip it down as much as you can and there are circumstances where we want to strip it down to man says words, sometimes we’ll put that in a c-line. In this case it’s very, very important to keep the black and white in there. So my thought was this is a wrong human tragedy, he should be arrested for murder, that was my thought at the time.
And my feeling was certain, I felt certain this guy needs to go away, that was murder. My action was to follow the news to make sure this guy gets arrested, this police officer gets arrested. And my result is once he gets arrested; my erroneous belief is justice has been served. So my action really is watch the news and do nothing. Because the way that I looked at it, this isn’t a black and white thing, this is a human thing. This is horrifying, this shouldn’t have happened; the police officer should get arrested.
So that’s what my white mind thinks, and you can see how, maybe some of you can see how this model ‘makes sense’. Now, I want Anita to share her model, just to show the contrast and to show – I don’t know what your model is but I’m guessing it’s different than my white brain model.
Anita: So I’ve gotten a place, let me just say, where I don’t typically watch these videos. But with the news and social media it’s kind of hard; it just pops up these days. So my T was more around the audacity of this white cop to just be so disrespectful and to have such disregard for a black life. And so that left me feeling hopeless or worried. And so the action for me probably became more – so, worry, worry that my son just turned 13, and so now I’m telling him, now he’s watching this, now unfortunately we have to educate him about all the things, worry.
And having conversations with my husband about every time he leaves the house, even if it’s in our own neighborhood, so I think that that led to just the result of me wanting to just kind of control everything, so, the audacity of me to try to want to control other human beings too.
So now I’m trying to tighten my grip on my family and not want them to move as much as they would normally move and things like that. Because if we can just have such disregard with the look of, and no one’s going to do anything about it, it says that we’re all not safe, there’s not even a chance.
Brooke: Right, right. And so I think for so many of us white Americans, we don’t have a clue that our models are different, that their models are so different. And it’s because of our education, it’s because of how we’ve been living in the world and not having to ever experience this.
I mean we had a meeting yesterday with all of the black coaches that wanted to come to a call in the Life Coach School, and I listened to the experiences of what it’s like to be in a world like this. What it’s like to see all of these things happening so regularly through a system that is set up to perpetuate them and to have many white people not have a clue what that experience is like. And so I think that so many of the things that we say that are well intended, that doesn’t prevent them from being incredibly hurtful.
And like I said, completely oblivious, because we have these two different models, and so I do think that the model can really help demonstrate that it really is our thoughts that we’re thinking, that we’re trained to believe that are part of the systemic issue. And that when we understand what other people’s thoughts are and what they are thinking about it, we can help. Now, we can also use the models to not stay in worry, and not stay in grief, and not stay in despair, and anger, to make positive change.
But one of the things that I think is interesting is I think as a white woman I needed to be in a lot more pain over this, unfortunately, for me to start taking action, and for me to build up new ways that I can do this.
And I was just talking to my diversity coach, because I’m such a massive action, I’m like, “We’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this.” So she’s like, “Listen to me, you need to slow down.” I’m like, “No, I have skills, I can help.” And she’s like, “Okay, you’re going to calm down and I’m going to slow you down, there is no rush, we’re going to do this right.”
And so I know and I feel so strongly that the model will be able to help me and you, and all of us through this. And I think that by working with different teachers about how do we put racism in that c-line without using the word ‘racism’, so it gets so confusing and people don’t start thinking that we’re saying racism is neutral, because we’re not saying that. So I’m really looking forward to doing all of that work. The model does always work when it’s used properly.
And we’ve had some experiences with my own coaches and with people that don’t understand the model at all, using it improperly to cause more harm than good. And that’s something that is because my lack of training on that – lack of training my coaches on that. But that’s something we’re fixing right now. And have you been able to use the model with your clients now? You say you work with African American clients that are going to you for coaching now that are suffering, have you been able to use it effectively and feel good about it?
Anita: I do, but I also work with them to get very specific in our C’s.
Brooke: In the c-line, yeah.
Anita: Yeah, so they’ll say, “My boss was racist.” And we’ll talk about what it is, or they’ll come and they’ll say, “Well, we don’t even get the opportunity or for a chance.” Or we’ll just talk about basic things like, “Hey, are you networking? Why aren’t you networking?” And a lot of it goes back to these experiences and interactions with other people in white America where they don’t want to. Most of my ladies have underlying thoughts and beliefs about white America that we have to work through.
So they come to me saying there’s racism, but underneath it, it’s more like, “Hey, at the end of the day I grew up in Alabama and this is what my granddad said about white people, so this is how I see white men in corporate America, so this is why I don’t want to interact with them.”
Brooke: Interesting, yeah, clearly we’ve got to work on the systems and the policies, I am learning so much more about that. And we also need to work on our minds in a personal way so we can, in the meantime, not let anything, especially someone else’s racism hold us back from our dreams. And I feel really passionate now about helping in any way I can to be able to do that, because – especially with women.
One of the things that I just want to touch on that we talked about a little bit last night in our group was just money. And that’s one of the things I got super fired up about because I feel like so many of our thoughts around money as women, hold us back and make us think that money is evil because white men have it and are doing bad things. So therefore we’re kind of coupling those together, they’re the same. And I think it prevents us from being able to get more money in the hands of the good guys or the good women, the way that I speak about it.
Do you want to touch on that, your thoughts on that?
Anita: Yeah, I have to say for me, and I venture to say for a lot of African American women. I don’t necessarily; I’ve never believed money was evil. I think my understanding of the ability of money, one, a scarcity mindset versus an abundant mindset, but just what’s possible. And I think it’s only been when it’s been made aware to me what type of money is possible then my dreams have changed, because you only dream as big as you know. So for me, growing up if I could just make 30,000 to 50,000, I thought I was like, that’s all I wanted.
But then I was making 50,000 and I mean I wasn’t living a terrible life. But then I was working and a white male said to me, he told me how much they made, which was like 150,000 at the time. And I was like, to do this I can do this, so that’s – like this was literally the thought I had. That’s what I [inaudible]. So now I make over six figures. But then when I had issues with the boss that I was having and him not wanting to promote me, I learned that he made like 350,000. And I was like, well, I’m a threat to him, I get it, he’s trying to protect his 350,000.
And then hearing you talk about a million dollars; so my goal for my business is for it to be a million-dollar business, that’s where my next number is. So for me hearing that it’s possible, I remember telling my husband, “I’m going to have a million dollar business. I don’t know when but I for sure know it’s going to happen. I can’t give you details, don’t ask me, but I for sure believe that it’s going to happen. I just can’t like say, “Hey, I’m going to do x, y or z tomorrow, and it’s going to be there,” but I know.”
So for me just knowing it’s possible, I think for us we don’t know it’s possible. For the majority of people they really stay in their neighborhood. So unless you have someone to tell you what’s possible, you don’t get to see that there’s more to the world, that there’s more available. And so I think that that’s a challenge, we’re told to just work. A lot of the careers we go into are lower paying careers. And that’s the thing for someone like me, I’m told not to complain, I’m in the minority, I am a unicorn, I should just be happy, you shouldn’t want more.
Brooke: Yeah, I mean I’m told the same thing as a woman. But here’s what I heard you all tell me last night is that you have a whole another layer of money beliefs. Because you’re African American women that you’re exposed to that I don’t have enough knowledge about to be able to help coach you, and I haven’t been supporting you in that area. And really excited about learning that and being able to help, because I think that one of my purposes is, yes, to be an example of what is possible and to do that with money, and with influence and to be able to use money for good.
But I also know that as a white woman it’s harder for you to have me be that example. I want you to be that example. I want our other coaches to be that example. I want to help in any way I can to get you to that place so that you can be the example for the coaches that come after you. And so I’m excited about the work that we’ve committed to doing, to be talking about that stuff because you’re not a unicorn.
Anita: What I also say it’s about is we learn differently, and we learn more hands on, so that’s a part of it. And from a money perspective, where it’s hard, I think for most of us we all have, again, good jobs. So the question, the way we’re taught is you have this good job, don’t rock the boat, why would you risk that to go start your own business? How do you save enough money to go start your own business? Or how do you work yourself to death so that you can do both until you can make enough money in your business?
So I think for most of your coaches, we all still work full-time, and we’re trying to build our business on the side, which is not necessarily the same thought process that you had to have. I know from my cohort, most of them have been like, “Hey, tomorrow’s my last day, I’m going to start my business, and that’s it.” Where I’m like, “I’m going to stay here for a little while longer,” even though I believe in the success of my business.
Brooke: Of course, absolutely, and all those additional thoughts, and all those additional things that you’re dealing with that I’m not dealing with, you’re dealing with on top of. It’s like you’re dealing with all the shit I’m dealing with, and, and a whole another addition to that. And so this is what I know, I’m good at that shit, let’s uncover that and let’s see if I can help there in any way that I can.
But most importantly, I need to – all of our coaches, especially white coaches, coaching black women need to understand all of those things in order to coach from a place of being able to hold space. Because you can’t hold space when you have a bunch of bias that you’re unaware of, so that’s been our shortcoming, so much of our shortcoming in our coaching.
But I also know our super power is overcoming stuff like that, so when we become aware of it then I think that we can do a lot of amazing things in the world in our own personal lives, but also on a bigger scale. That is my dream and my hope that has kind of been growing in me in the last few days. I feel super powerful about empowering women.
And I think if we can do the work with the African American women in our community, I do think that will benefit everybody, because it’s the hardest most complex work. So if we can figure that out everyone else will benefit from that work, and so I’m super committed to doing that. So are there any other mistakes you’ve seen people making, your clients making, any other coaches making that you wanted to mention?
Anita: Not on top of mind, I think we covered them off, trying to put too much or just the word ‘racism’ there, and then put too much into the c-line about the aspects of racism. And just noticing that racism means very different things to everyone, regardless of race, what I believe is racism is very different than what someone may see as really just simple prejudice.
It was just again that one guy and it’s just that one thing, so that’s the challenge with putting the word there or various aspects of it just in the c-line versus being very specific about the event and how you felt about the event. And then working to drill back on your beliefs, what are your beliefs fundamentally about it. And that’s the work that I do with my clients really from a place of confidence, and then how they can grow their careers. Because, for us, again, we’ve internalized all this, these are the lessons we have been taught. We have been taught that we have to work harder.
I think you heard that a little bit last night. We have to work harder to even show up every day. But what I find is that we’re also exhausted.
Brooke: Yes, yes, of course, yeah. No, I get that, I get that. I want to add just especially if you’re new to the model and this concept is like what are you talking about. Listen, if you haven’t been trained in the model, so many people haven’t been trained in the model who are judging it, and that’s the opposite of what you want to do. We want to understand things before we think we understand things, and that requires education.
But here’s what I want to say, do horrible things happen in the world? Yes, that is a fact, yes. But we don’t put horrible things in the c-line. We don’t put the words ‘horrible things’ because we don’t know exactly what we’re talking about. So yes, horrible things exist in the world, it is a fact that they do. Yes, racism exists; it is a fact, of course. We don’t put that in the c-line of our model for the sake of being able to break down specific terminology so then we can evaluate our thoughts about it, and make sure it’s a thought we want to have.
The last thing I’ll say, most of the thoughts that people are having about what happened to George Floyd, are the thoughts they need to be and want to be having, even though they cause excruciating pain. The work that most of us need to be doing right now is not changing models. We need to keep the models that are causing the deepest pain, that’s what’s going to ultimately lead to the models that create change. That is what’s going on.
The more I learn about this, the more ideas I get about it, the more I’m going to help us to really integrate all of this training into our programs, into our curriculum. We’re working on all of that now. I see how important that is and I’m super excited about it. People ask me, “How are you doing right now?” And I’m like, “I’m doing so good because I’m energized and I’m excited about this.”
I’ll leave with one last thing because I think a lot of white people are getting freaked out. They’re getting freaked out by me and how they feel like I wasn’t going to say anything because I don’t get political, and now all of a sudden I’ve been bullied into being super political. And I just want to say listen to me. That is not the case; I do not get bullied into things. I got some serious wake-up calls, I opened my eyes and I’m learning, and I’m excited about what I’m learning. This is not a bad thing; this is a beautiful positive thing.
Do not spend your time beating yourselves up and feeling guilty, spend your time understanding, listening and being in the pain that’s appropriate for the situation and then let’s talk about what we can do to do better. Is there any final words you want to say, Anita?
Anita: No, I think that that was awesome. I think right now, pain may be our unifying component. I think that’s the one thing that we are all experiencing, and if we can rally around that pain to learn more, to be open with each other, to have open conversations from a place of unconditional love. Then we can change our models and we can change kind of into the world we want to see versus kind of what we’re experiencing today.
Brooke: Yes, beautifully said. Alright, Anita, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, I so appreciate you taking your time to share your story with us, to talk about the model, to talk about mistakes we’ve been making with it. If someone wants to come work with you and get coaching with you, where can they find out more?
Anita: Thank you as well, Brooke. You can go to sisyouareworthy.com. So that’s s.i.s.y.o.u.a.r.e.w.o.r.t.h.y.com.
Brooke: So, good. Alright, and then what – can you just briefly tell us what kind of coaching you offer?
Anita: Yes, I offer confidence and career coaching for women of color.
Brooke: Perfect, thank you so much. Please go check out Anita’s site if you would like more coaching from a fantastic coach.
Alright, my friends, looking forward to our next podcast coming on, on Thursday, where we’re going to really dive into racism and the model, and for those of you who don’t think this applies to you, you’re wrong, really wrong. You need to download that episode and learn about how to use the model to help during this time and to help your clients during this time. So I’ll see you then, have a good week, everyone. Talk to you soon, bye.
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