Oblivious and Resistant (Special Episode)
I am learning more now than I have in a long time.
After my last episode where I shared my coaching session on processing emotion, I got a variety of responses. Some of you were shocked to see me so vulnerable, others were mad that I was making this time about me instead of focusing on Black people’s pain.
And I get it. Positive intention doesn’t sanitize negative impact. I have no excuse for my oblivion.
But I think being on display with my mistakes could be an opportunity to help so many who are like me, oblivious and resistant.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing my thoughts on your responses to the last episode and explaining why many of us need to be in more pain about this. I’m talking about the limitation to The Model that I recently discovered and how you can’t change thoughts you don’t see.
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- Why your intentions don’t matter.
- Why sometimes it takes being in pain to finally take action.
- The one “limitation” to The Model.
- Why we don’t always see our own racist thoughts.
- Why you must educate yourself before you can clear out the garbage in your brain.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, Special Edition.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello, my friends. Another special edition for you. I am going to share with you my experience, as I always have. And I’m going to coach and teach you how to coach yourself, as I always have. That’s what we’re going to do today. And I think I am learning more right now than I have learned in a long time. And I want to share it with you.
Now, I do want to say, I just met with my diversity coach for the first time yesterday, and she basically told me I was in no position to be leading and teaching on the subject of diversity and inclusion and racism because of all the shit in my own brain. So, I am not going to attempt to teach on that, although I think I will by sharing with you my experience.
And I’m allowing myself to do this kind of before I’ve gone through all of my diversity training and all of the coaching that I’m going to get because I think my process and being on display with the mistakes that I’m making could be an opportunity to reveal them to the world and to show them to so many people who are just like me; oblivious and resistant.
And one of the things that my coach said to me that I thought was really interesting was that she said, “Positive intention doesn’t sanitize negative impact.” And, you know, so much of what we teach and what I’ve learned in the life coaching industry is all about, like, tune into your intention. If your intention is good, then the result will be good.
And that was kind of interesting for me to listen to and I’m going to share more about that and how we can apply that to our coaching. But first, I want to talk about the response I got to yesterday’s podcast, because there was a lot of response and it was all very different.
I’m going to put it into three different categories. So, the first category was from people who were in awe and shocked to hear me and see me so vulnerable. And they were just saying, like, “I didn’t know that you would be like that in front of us.”
The second one was from lots of people in my community feeling like I was being bullied and that I was upset and that I was now going to be filtered and censored. And then, there was a lot of people from my community who were furious because I was glorifying my own pain and this isn’t about me and my pain. This is about the suffering of black people and what they’ve had to deal with.
And so, me sitting in my expensive house in front of my expensive computer with all my white privilege crying was a terrible thing to put on display.
So, that’s what I was dealing with, these three different responses. And it made me realize that I’m in a very unique position to address this because I have a very broad audience with very different perspectives. And I think that by me listening to all of those perspectives, I’m going to be able to have a voice that might be heard in a way that hasn’t been heard before, especially by us oblivious white women who don’t see what we can’t see.
So, for the first response, for people who said to me, like, “I’ve never heard how to process pain.” And by the way, I feel like that demonstration of processing pain for the sake of learning and coaching was as good as it gets. I haven’t personally been coached in a way where I processed pain through like that.
So, I think that those of you who saw me in a way that you’ve never seen me before, you are people that have put me on a pedestal and said, “Oh my gosh, she’s super human. She doesn’t have to go through anything painful, this all comes to easily to her. I’m not like her.”
For me to show you that, no, I’m messing so many things up and I’m doing it wrong and it is super-painful to go through that and it’s super-debilitating to get it wrong, and even though I’m a leader and I’m successful, I get it wrong and fail, blatantly fail a lot. And so, I think for some of you, seeing that was very important and it was an important lesson.
For the middle group, the second group who is super-mad at me and feeling like I’ve, like, given into something against my will, here’s what I want to tell you. That is not happening. I am not someone who is bullied into anything or told what to do. And I will not follow blindly anything ever.
I do not ever want you to worry that I’m going to lose my sense of myself and my authenticity. That is not going to happen. And I have been shown some shit in my brain and where I’m coming from that I’ve never seen before. And I want you to see it in your brain too and I want you to know it so you don’t walk around the world being oblivious like I’m being.
And I don’t want you to think that I’m like, “Okay, I’ll do what you tell me to do.” That is not how I am. And even when I was talking to my diversity coach, I kept pushing back on things and saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t want to do that. I don’t feel like that. Explain it to me.”
I’m not just going to go, “Okay, tell me what to do and I’ll do it because I don’t want to upset anyone.” So please hang with me. I know you’re mad at me right now. That’s okay. it’s okay for you to be pissed. But I want you to know that I’m not doing anything that’s out of integrity to me. Everything I do, I will research and understand before I take action on. So, you can trust me here; I’m not going to lose myself, okay.
And, for the third group who is very pissed off at me because I’m glorifying my own pain at the expense of other black women and the black experience, I hear you. And I am very sorry about that. Honestly and deeply, I am very sorry about that.
I’m not even going to say that wasn’t my intention because it doesn’t matter that that wasn’t my intention. That’s what I’m learning. That doesn’t matter. And there’s a lot of ways that I’m clueless still. And I’m going to put that cluelessness on display and I’m going to talk about it.
And also, I want to say this. I could be wrong and I may retract this, but I’m going to say it because it’s how I feel right now. I do think that this is about and has to be about white women pain as well because the problem I’m seeing in myself is that I wasn’t in pain about this. I had no pain about this.
I had empathy and understanding, but I wasn’t in enough pain about this to do something. I think that a lot of loving voices making suggestions to me did not work because it wasn’t pain. It took people lying about me and attacking me and really yelling at me and getting angry at me to pay attention.
And I’m ashamed of that. I don’t like that that’s what had to happen. But also, I know how my human brain works. I’m either motivated by pain or pleasure. That’s how it works. And I needed to get myself into some pain here. I needed to be in pain.
And so, when a lot of people are reaching out to me and saying, “I don’t like people attacking you on the internet,” I’m like, “No, they needed to do that. That needed to happen, clearly.” Because, when I look at myself, I wasn’t doing a damn thing about it. I wasn’t opening my eyes. I wasn’t asking for help. I wasn’t doing any of that.
So, no, it’s not about my pain. The straight racism that has been in our country and affecting black people that I have been really oblivious to, I don’t have that pain. I can’t know that pain. But I needed to get myself into some pain in order to do something about it.
And so, in that way, I do think my pain was important. And so, that is what I believe right now. I may come back and be like, “Woah, look at how ignorant I was there.” And maybe I am, but at this point, that’s what I feel like. And I do think that more of us, more people like me need to be in pain much more than we are about this.
Okay, so that’s kind of the response that I’m addressing from the podcast from yesterday. Here’s what I want to address in terms of coaching and the model and all of you that follow me and use the model.
I think the model works for everything. That’s what I’ve always said. I’ve said any circumstance in the world, you can plug into the model. Any client can come to you with absolutely any circumstance, and you don’t have to be afraid, you can plug it in the model. And I’ve taught that and believed that for a long time.
And so, I was in my session with my diversity coach and I had this a-ha moment where I realized there is a limitation with the model when it comes to things in the world that we are oblivious to because we can only use the model on thoughts that are already in our brain. We can only use the model on old ideas that we can find in our brain.
And here’s the problem. There are so many thoughts in our brain that we can’t see. Because – and I’ve talked about this a lot – it’s like there are so many observations by the way we’ve been raised, the way we’ve been socialized that we think are just real, we think are just the truth. We don’t even recognize them as thoughts.
And so much of the work that we do is about finding thoughts that we don’t even recognize are just thoughts that we think are the truth. And coaching helps us recognize those thoughts when we can’t see them.
So, in this case, I could have coached myself until the end of days. I could have had white women, oblivious white women coaching me until the end of days and never made any progress in this area because neither one of us would see – and I shouldn’t say all white women. I’m talking about those of us that are oblivious to this stuff – you can’t find a thought in there that you can’t even recognize is a thought because you think it’s the truth.
And the way my coach described it is, “We’re just swimming in water that we don’t even know.” So, let me give you an example from this conversation that I had with her on just one area where I was struggling.
She kept talking in a language, or she kept saying, “White women,” and, “Black women,” and “White women,” and, “Black women.” And I’m like, “Why do we have to do that? That doesn’t feel comfortable to me? Why can’t we just call us women? Why can’t we all just be women together? Why do I have to say she’s a black woman and she’s a white woman? That seems divisive. I don’t want to do that.”
And she was like, “Oh dear…” to me. It was just like, “Okay, alright. So, I guess we’re going to start at the basics.” And she explained to me, she said, “Listen, that is you and your white privileged mind having the luxury of being able to do that in your own mind. When you’re a black woman, you can’t do that. You can’t go around and, quote unquote, not see color because you are a woman of color.”
I was like, “What?” And you know what, the truth is, I had heard this said before, but I didn’t get it. I did not understand. But in that moment, I was like, “Oh my goodness, that’s what that means.” And it’s like so many of my clients when I’m coaching them and they have these a-ha moments.
It was like, listen, I feel like I don’t want to learn this stuff and beat myself up for not having known it. I don’t think there’s a benefit to doing that. But I want to acknowledge that that’s unacceptable. That’s unacceptable that I didn’t already learn that. Okay. I get that. That’s unacceptable.
And those of you who are like me, so many of you who love me and I love you who just don’t get it, we’ve got to get it. we’ve got to understand this. We’ve got to understand these things because when we are coming from a place of wanting to serve and wanting to uncover the ugliness in our brain, we have to be able to recognize it.
And sometimes – and this is what I mean by there being a limitation to the model. And, of course, the subject we’re talking about is racism, but we could utilize this knowledge to all areas of the model. The limitation of the model here in this situation is we need to be educated, then go in and clean out the garbage.
We can’t just start cleaning out the garbage because we don’t even know what’s garbage and what isn’t. It’s kind of like me and the garden. It’s like looking at our thoughts, you know, “Is that a weed or is that a flower? I don’t know.” We don’t know. Isn’t that crazy? We don’t even know what’s in there that we don’t know about.
The other thing I want to say, because I got a lot of emails about this as well, that people that are afraid that I’m going to be censored is the thing that is, that now I’m going to be afraid to talk about my thoughts and feelings and be who I really am. It’s the opposite of that.
It’s the opposite. I’m going to allow all differing voices into my mind. And that’s always been important. I want to learn something from someone who believes this and I also want to learn from someone who believes the exact opposite of that. And then I will make my own decisions and have my own belief systems.
And that is, I think, important for any topic. I learned this when I was very young, when I kind of, as a very young woman, gave over kind of my thinking to someone else, to another organization and let them think for me, and I don’t want to do that.
So, that is not what anyone is attempting to do to me. No one is attempting to censor me or filter me or have me not be who I am. That is not what this is about. This is about educating me really and me being open and willing to be educated and filtering that through a cleaned-out mind.
I’m not in a position right now to, like, really understand or separate out what is garbage in my brain. And so, I do want to say to those of you who I have told, like, “The model works for everything. Just find your racist thoughts, find the thoughts that aren’t serving you in your brain and utilize them here to make sure that you’re living in a way that you want to…” you can’t do it. You need help first. You need education first.
And as I go through this process of doing that, I’m going to learn and write down what I’m learning. And then when I’m done – which, of course, is never. I shouldn’t even say that when I’m done, because my coach told me, she’s like, “Oh no, this is the rest of your life. This is an ongoing journey.”
But when I’m at a place where I feel like I’ve learned enough that can be useful for other women to learn from and other men to learn from, I think I will do a class on it on the podcast, or maybe a special version of the podcast to kind of share my work there.
And I talked to other people about this. And one of the things that I said is, you know, I want to make sure that all of the thoughts that I have overcome in order to be successful, in order to not give into the sexist ideas, I want to make sure that I put those all through my own belief system so I can help all of my clients overcome the limiting things that keep us from being successful, that keep us from growing, that keep us from creating the results we want to create in our lives. And so, I’m going to be doing a lot of deep conversations about that with lots of different coaches.
So, I wanted to offer that, especially because it’s important when we’re using the tools that I’ve given you. The tools that I’ve given you will absolutely help with this because we will go in and dig out the thoughts and put them through the model and utilize them to get to a place of overcoming all of our limiting thinking.
But in order to find the thoughts, we have to figure out what they are. We have to learn an educate our brains so we know what we’re looking for.
So many of us don’t even know what we’re looking for in there. we don’t have any idea how many racist thoughts are in there because we think we’ll be able to recognize them and we don’t see them in there, so therefore we don’t think we have any. And it’s because we’re not educated.
And this also applies to lots of other areas in our life. So, I’m excited about learning this process, first of all because I want to be a better human being, but also because I think we’ll be able to use this skillset in order to apply it to the other areas where we may not be recognizing our shortcomings, where we may not be recognizing the ways that we’re not showing up fully. And so, just like all of the other topics that we’re learning and that we’re teaching, these are going to be really important for us to do.
I want to end this by saying, like, I hear all of you. I hear all of the different voices that are coming to me. I hear your concerns. I hear how I’m getting it wrong. Believe me, I hear that. And I am going to respond to them in the best way I can. I mean, that’s my limitation. That’s the best I can do. But that’s how I’m going to show up.
And I don’t want any of you to be disappointed in me, and this is a problem because I am a people pleaser. I am a person that wants to please everyone. And I have been really fiercely trying to work through this in my own life because of how it has affected me so negatively in my life.
And I don’t think there’s a better way for me to work through that than in the current situation that I’m in. It’s kind of like be careful what you ask for because you will get it.
So, I’m in a situation that, miraculously, I can’t please everyone. I can’t respond to everyone in a way where everyone is going to like me. And I can’t just dismiss haters here for just hating me because I’m successful or wanting to tear me down because of my success or, you know, hating me because I have money. That’s a very different thing.
What’s happening here is I haven’t shown up in ways because I haven’t taken responsibility for my own education around it. And I want to apologize for that. Literally, I have zero excuse for that. I will not make one. And I am so sorry, not only that as a person of influence that has a large following, I didn’t take care to educate myself, I want to apologize to my team for not educating myself in a way that they could benefit from.
I feel like it’s my responsibility, when I hire people and I’m their leader, to be educated. I want to apologize for that. And I want to apologize to every single black woman and man in my community who has suffered from oppression and has suffered from me being oblivious and not acknowledging their pain. I’ll talk to you all soon.
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