In the Life of a Woman…
Career & Leadership Coach
You just need one person in an entire family to release the past patterns and the reactive tendencies and gift a generative future to the next generation. The question is are you willing to be that person…?
This time on The xMonks Drive, Kathy a leadership coach who has dedicated her life to the advancement of women in business, joins us to share her belief and show us the path of purpose.
Take home these learnings
1) How can women deal with situations without getting their voice compromised?
2) How to recognize and deal with a narcissist?
3) How can we bring forgiveness for self and others?
4) How can we face the cage of fear?
2) How to recognize and deal with a narcissist?
3) How can we bring forgiveness for self and others?
4) How can we face the cage of fear?
Intro// • What if I tell you that I am born in a dysfunctional family? And so are you… • How do you deal with people who are narcissist or emotional manipulators to what does it mean to forgive? • Why do men find it extremely difficult to accept a woman who has a voice of her own and who is assertive? Welcome, Ladies and gentleman, welcome to another episode of the podcast The xMonks Drive. This is your host Gaurav Arora and our today’s guest is Kathy Caprino. Kathy Caprino is an internationally recognized career and leadership coach, writer, speaker and an educator, dedicated to the advancement of women in business. Kathy’s core mission is to support a “Finding brave” global movement that inspires and empowers women to close their power gaps, create more impact, and make the difference they long to in the world…So let’s take a dive and hear from Kathy…. Outro// This entire conversations reminds me of a statement which I firmly believe “You just need one person in an entire family to release the past patterns and the reactive tendencies and gift a generative future to the next generation. The question is are you willing to be that person…” As Kathy said “I don't believe we came here on this planet to simply struggle and pay our bills”…Of course that could not be the reason for us to be on this planet. Think over it… Please feel free to leave a review or rate the podcast…. And I look forward to meet you again next week with yet another interesting conversation. Till then take care… 00:02 Gaurav: Thank you so much, Kathy, for accepting my invitation and to be on this podcast. Thank you. 00:09 Kathy : Oh, I thank you, my dear. I'm so so happy to be here. What a, what a lovely thing to do today. I'm thrilled. And I can't wait to see what we come up with in our conversation because I know its going to be 00:21 Gaurav: I'm sure like always we are going to dance on the on different beats and different music notes. And every time I've ever I've had a conversation with you. It made me ponder on few some really deep reflective questions, and I can't wait to get into this conversation. 00:41 Kathy : I can't wait either. I can't. 00:43 Gaurav: Let's take the first step forward. Kathy, you know, this show is all about going deeper and reflecting on those moments, which bring smile on our face. I was wondering why you're going to the book that you've written the most powerful you as a moment at the moment, I'll get to the moment I'll get an opportunity to speak to Kathy, I'm going to ask this question. Can you help me understand a trait that you have picked up from your parents, which you consider as a gift today as well? 01:16 Kathy : I was mentioning to you earlier of all your 50 questions here. That one made me ponder. I don't think anyone's ever asked it just that way. So I'm going to go with what my gut my soul says, I got different things from my mother, and my father. And you know, so many were gifts. I think from dad, he was what we call a fun stir. He's in heaven. Now. He died at 93. How many years ago, eight years ago, I guess nine years ago. He was so full of light and fun. Again, we call them the fun stir. And he always, this is what he said. We would be coming home from church, my sister and I, and complaining about things. And he said, you know, if you can't say anything good about someone don't say anything at all. He would literally say that. And my sister and I were like, oh, but he was that. And it's hard to put into into a word. But he was just a shining light a hugger. Everyone, he hugged everybody. So, I would say the trait that I got from him is, I'm a relentless fun stir. And I am relentlessly positive. I think in that that is from Him, not a Pollyanna, but I will find the positive, there's a difference, you know, from my mom, mom, really persevered. And she didn't get an education really. And she would say to me, it makes me cry to say you can do and be whatever you want to do. And she would say that, oh, she said it 1000 times, at the times that she said it, I would get angry because I felt like I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I didn't know how to act on that. But now I'm so grateful. So, what's that trait? Believing in yourself, believing that you can do whatever you want to do. I guess those were the traits. And there's there lots more. There it is. 03:32 Gaurav: Thank you. Thank you, Kathy, for sharing. You know, Kathy has as I'm just listening to you and saying believing in yourself, and you do a lot of work with women. Right? Very often I have come across people. A lot of women in fact, who are not clear about their unique gifts, talent, their core, their absolute nature, their expression. What do you think? What blocks them to be fully aware of the same? That's one. Also, yeah. What blocks them to believe in themselves? 04:10 Kathy : That's such a good question. So, you know, when we're trying to communicate a concept or a challenge or a dilemma, often, all of us we simplify it down to its, you know, we boil it down to its core essence. And sometimes that can be helpful, but sometimes it can over simplify. But I will say this from working with 1000s of women and a lot of men so I have enough to compare it to. I will say this. And this comes from being you know, a former therapist, former corporate VP and then doing this coaching and writing and interviewing a lot of people you know, I don't just talk about what I know. I'm always interviewing and learning. You know, I'm a student. But I would say this. When you see trends that emerge in terms of gender or race or now we have to be careful not to again oversimplify or stereotype or label. But when you see something over and over and over again, like I see with women, that they struggle to believe in themselves, they struggle to speak confidently about themselves. They struggle to put themselves first what one realizes is, we don't come out of the chute like that. We are trained. Yeah, all human beings are trained, culturally, societally, familiarly. Even with the language we use, what did they say Alaskans have you know what? 15 words for snow? Don't quote me, but you know what I'm saying. So, what I've seen and what I have experienced in my own life is in a patriarchal world, and this is not to bash men. This is to look at the system in which we live. And if you look, especially in the working world, in corporate environments, and startups, it's dominated by men. So, when you have a system where one group dominates, and the other group is the minority, what you're going to have and in I learned this from therapist, Terry real, who is an expert in the patriarchal system, what he says in a patriarchal world, is that all of us men or women split ourselves in half. We know what the “masculine” and I put it in quotes, because it's a construct. It's not what real masculinity is, or real femininity. But we know what the masculine is, and we know what the feminine is, what is the masculine, strong, invulnerable, isn't weak, gets it done, assertive, confident, and we know what the feminine is, and you can even hear the difference in my voice. We're soft or malleable, feminine is emotional connecting. We put other people first. Wow. The problem is, it's gotten so steeped into a stereotype that it goes both sides, I interviewed an amazing guy, Mark Green on man box culture. What unhealthy masculinity isn't it I cry, I cried. And he cried on the podcast, that goes both ways. But for women, we are trained from the beginning of time, not to sound too confident, not to sound like a bragger, not to put ourselves first. And there's another thing, a really interesting concept, and I'm dying to do more research, but it's around boundaries. And I learned this and I'm giving you a long answer. But here we go. Learn this in therapeutic training. Boundaries are the invisible barrier between you and your outside systems, you and your family, your church, or temple or right, you and your school, whatever. Well, when your boundaries are such that everything gets in, you know, it's there on it, you can assess them on a scale of diffuse, everything gets into rigid, nothing gets in. Of course, neither of those extremes is what you want, you want to be in the middle. But when your boundaries aren't sufficient. For instance, if you asked me, Kathy, would you do this for me? And it felt unethical to me a strong boundaries, I'd love to be of help, that, you know, is not aligned with what I do. What other ways could I help you? That's a strong boundary and you articulated beautifully. Women struggle, not all women. But so many women struggle with all of these things, seeing ourselves powerfully being powerful because we associate power with men. 08:45 Gaurav: So, you know, some people have said to me, when you read my book, Gaurav, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Some people have a few people have said, You're blaming the victim, aren't you? No, no, no, I'm not blaming the victim. I am trying to rise us up from feeling like we are in a victim situation because we all have so much more control over ourselves. Does that answer the question? That was an answer? 09:13 Kathy: Actually, absolutely a no doubt, when it comes to women, when they become a part of the culture that they are born into the patriarchal culture that we are talking about, or the male dominated culture that we are talking about. I'm not surprised that their happiness gets compromised. And that is the reason that could be one of the reasons for the unhappiness, the disillusionment and the disappointment that women face in the work environment. Yeah, you know, just before this call, I was I was a part of I was, I was having conversation with another friend of mine, his name is Jos where we were talking about the way we impact the environment that we are born into and the impact of environment on to us the interdependency that we have an interesting question. As I'm just talking to you right now. What do you think? How can a women deal with that deal with the environment that she's born into? So that her voice does not get compromised? 10:22 You know, my, my therapeutic training comes into play to answer this question. So, I think there's two ways to look at it. I work with so many women from Asian cultures, Indian cultures, Jewish women, and I'm Greek and Italian, and we all have our own things. But, for instance, I adore my parents. And this is never to blame. If we're ending up blaming our parents for years and years, we're not doing the work, but I was raised that you, you? How would I put it with mom? You didn't challenge mom, the Greek mom. Huh, didn't go well. You didn't challenge authority. And, and I think she had that to an extreme. So, when I was writing this book, I had to come clean about this and talk to my mother is 97 and overcame COVID. She's a I call her a warrior spirit. But I said, Mom, I gotta ask you something. I am going to write down in this book that I couldn't challenge you that, you know, that. It's difficult to challenge authority figures. And, and I told her, I had watched Tony Robbins documentary, I am not your guru. And he asked a question, who did you crave love most from? And who did you have to be to get it? Oh, and immediately, like, half a nanosecond, what came to me was I had to be brilliant for Dad and obedient for mom. Hmm. Now what it's important to remember is, if they were both sitting here, right in this moment, and I said to dad, that did, I felt like I had to be brilliant to be loved. He would say, nonsense. I loved every part of you. But so we didn't matter that was the objective truth. It's what I got the impression I got. So, mom said, I said, I'm gonna say this in the book. And she said, Are you okay with that? There was dead silence. I thought, Oh, no. She said, “Yeah, I could see how you would think that”, you know, she grew up in a very rigid culture where you didn't challenge your parents. So to answer your big question, there are some family systems where there's room for change, there are some that there isn't room for change. I think, over the years, what my mother and I have come to is, I don't challenge mom, like we don't see it at all, politically, we don't talk about it. Because it's not comfortable for her to be challenged. So sometimes you there's room, to let's say, you have a narcissistic parent I have, I work with a lot of people who have had narcissism in their life when you've had narcissism in a parent, but you often don't know how to speak up for yourself because it's damaged, scary, because if you spoke up to the narcissist, it would go very badly. So, in those type of systems, you're not just going to suddenly come out and start challenging them. So, you have to be sensitive to how much room and play there is. Now, I do want to address it in the corporate world. Back to the question, you said your statement you said you love. I really believe that you can say anything when you say it with love in your heart, love, and compassion and empathy, like people say to me love, there's no love going on in my workplace. Okay, not love. How about empathy? So, if I'm going to have you work for me, and I'm going to have to tell you something that's hard to say. And for you hard to hear if I can say it with empathy, it's going to go better. So, the final answer to your question is in, in work in the working world, women have to learn how to speak up for themselves. That's the only way our world will change. We believe what we see. And when we begin to see stronger, more confident, assertive women, we begin to get it. But that doesn't mean harsh, cruel, critical. It can be very gentle. You can be very powerful, and yet be loving and kind and spiritual and gentle. 14:43 Gaurav: You can be very kind. You could be very polite in communicating your voice and your expression, right. I'm a firm believer, Kathy, I don't know why I believe in that all of us are born into dysfunctional families. It's a loud statement, but I personally believe in that. I personally believe in that right? Just picking up the thread from where you left where you said that, at times we are born. We are raised by a narcissist. Now here's my question there are people I know of in my family in my known circles, in my professional circles who are raised by a narcissist, and it wreaked havoc on their self-esteem, their feelings of well-being of safety got compromised. Now being raised by a narcissist, or otherwise emotional manipulators gives rise to believe throughout their lives, that we are just not good enough. Right? Despite everything we try, to an extent, bending over backwards, to please those people to please others. My question to you is, how do you define how do you not define? How do you recognize that we are in the company of a narcissist or an emotional manipulator? How to recognize that or how to how to deal with that? 16:04 Kathy: So, I know, and I've worked with women who need to divorce a narcissist. And, you know, I've written a lot about this. So, if you are having show notes, I'm happy to I interviewed a guy about what extreme narcissism is. So let me give it two minutes. How I see it. When we talk about narcissism, I don't mean some pop culture definition. I mean, narcissistic personality disorder. And disorders can be looked at on a scale on a spectrum. So, you can be a 1 out of 10 or a 10 out of 10, or anywhere in between, right. So, a one would be well, let me give the give the traits and then a person can have any mix of these right. But here's the traits that I think are most apparent and easy to suss out. Number one. They can't be challenged. So, if you say, I don't agree with what you did, it's going to go badly. And if you're with an extreme narcissist, there's murderous rage. I'm not kidding. They will drum you and I experienced this in my workplace with my senior leader. I challenged him, you know, I need to talk to you about, oh, it was horrible. I went to HR, they said, okay, we see what you're talking about. You have to talk to him directly, big mistake. So, he insisted we walk around the building, and while he smoke, and I told him, here's what's happening, I don't feel you're supporting me in public. I don't. Whoa. So, number one, you can't challenge them. Number two. And trust me when I say this, it's because they're wounded. It's a disorder, it's because they didn't get what they need, or something didn't happen for them, that it's they're wounded. But number two, they have no empathy. So, they even let's say you and I disagreed. I could have empathy understanding of your position. No, they can't put themselves in your shoes. Number three, they somehow feel they're better than other people. They're entitled to things. I don't need to stand in this line. I'm too important. I mean, I see it. I see it in the athletic world, the sports world politics. You got people who think they don't need to abide by a country's rules, because I'm who I am. And so the list goes on. Now, here's the deal. If you're dealing with an extreme narcissist, let's say you're unhappy in your marriage. Usually taking them on straight is never going to work and you're going to get crushed. There's a way, the other the other thing that's difficult when you're raised by a narcissist, typically, the narcissist has a wound and is trying to fill it. And that is often trying to make sure that children are the paragon of everything. They're going to Ivy League schools, they're the best on the soccer team, they got straight A's. So, what happens is children of narcissists never feel like they're enough. Because love is conditional. I'm only going to love you, when you're getting straight A's. When you're the top of your class. It almost feels like love is withheld unless you meet certain conditions. That's what emotional manipulation is. I won't give you love. I won't give you support. Unless, unless you're doing this. And you know, I gotta tell you, so many cultures are like this. And I can say this unequivocally that bad parenting. They push their kids so hard, but they forget to love them. And that's so painful. It's worse than painful, it will damage your child life. 19:56 Gaurav: So here are two different things that I'm listening. One is you're raised by a man manipulator emotional manipulator or a narcissist. And the second one is you're married to a narcissist or an emotional manipulator. 20:06 How to deal with them? Kathy: Well, you know, a lot of people say to me, How did I not see this? So sometimes in the beginning of a relationship, it's all love. Everyone's loving each other, you're not challenging the spouse and it can go either way. They're women in men, narcissist. You're not challenging. But then five years later, 20 years later, 10 years later, let's say the husband who's the primary breadwinner doesn't want to work anymore. And, you know, the wife challenges that that's when it starts to really appear. When the person doesn't feel accepted. They feel challenged. To answer this question, I mean, we're not doing therapy here. It depends on how extreme it is. And it depends on if the narcissist is willing to do the work to change. Now I have a therapist, Chanel, Iglesias friend, Chanel, Iglesias CourtCall, no Chanel CourtCall and Iglesias, Sorry, she would say she works with narcissist in couples, they'll come for help on one condition, if what they are potentially about to lose, hurts them more than staying the same. So, for some of them, men or women, they're going to lose their family, they're going to lose their financial well-being. If it's something they're going to lose means more to them than staying the same. They will seek help. Not always will it be effective. So it really depends on your situation. But I would say get outside help. But here's the unfortunate thing. A lot of therapists don't know anything about narcissist. I mean, I've had clients come to me who say my therapist said I should take him head on. No, no, no, no. Not like that. 21:54 Gaurav: So final because we Oh, 21:56 Kathy: it'll be terrible. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So to deal with it is to get outside help from an expert, therapeutic expert, who has worked with narcissism, there's a very particular way that you have to extricate or deal with it, and it isn't coming head on at them. Because they're, they're wounded. 22:19 Gaurav: Yeah, yeah. You know, picking up the thread where we left before this conversation around narcissism. You spoke about forgiveness as well. You know, when I see I've not been able to grow in an environment where I've been a part of, because I'm, I'm born in a culture that taught me to put others ahead of me, never to raise the voice and to an extent, not to share that I have a voice. I personally believe that forgiving yourself and others and accepting where you are. Acceptance of your own self is extremely important. I don't understand that at the cognitive level. How can you bring in forgiveness for self and others? Because my parents did the best that they could? 23:10 Yeah, right. 23:13 Gaurav: And if I hold anything against them, or if I hold anything around the culture that I was born into, it's only creates more bitterness and resentment within myself. So what are the ways to deal with that situation to forgive self are those to accept where I am and operate from space of self acceptance? 23:35 Kathy: I love it. I'll give some tips but I do need to differentiate something. I think when we say acceptance, the women have taken that too far. I accept where I am. No, I'm not accepting this. I will not accept abuse. I will not accept sexual harassment. I will not I don't care how much I forgive you. I will not. So I think you have to be your spirit. We have to fight for what we deserve. That is different. Now about forgiveness. You know, I interviewed Dr. Fred Luskin who's a forgiveness expert in the US for if we read his book everyone forgive for good. Oh, it's incredible. But one thing I that jumped out off the page for me is this- Sometimes people will do things and we will take it so our egos are so active, how could you do that and really, why you hate them so much is that in some way? We experience shame from what they have said or done? We you know, our boyfriend left us and cheated or our girlfriend or you know, our boss said we were terrible in front of people. We get so angry in part because we hold shame. And we can't bear that. So, we have to blame Brine Brown talks about one way we dispel anxiety is to blame. So, you know, I'll give a real personal example. I was talking to my sister, before writing this book, maybe three years ago, four years ago, bringing up the same story that happened with mom and I, when I was 16. It was not a good thing. And she said to me, and here I am complaining about it once again. And she said, you know, Kathy, you're my sister, I'll listen to you as much as you want about this. But it pains me that you bring it up so much, and it still hurts you so much. And to answer your question, how do we forget? Sometimes we're in a state of radiant readiness, then in half a second, we shift. And for some reason, the way she said it, not mean, not judgy it was like I had an internal switch. And the switch got clicked, which was how long are you going to beat yourself? And your mother? No, I was angry at my mother. She's 90, whatever I am, 61. I really going to keep telling this story is absurd. It's absurd. And I realized the absurdity of it, let it go. And honest to goodness, it was gone. And what that allowed, like people don't want to forgive, because they feel like it lets the other person off the hook. That's not the kind of forgiveness we're talking about. We're talking about. Well, from the book, what I was bringing up is he says, Dr. Les can, when you think about what was done to you that you're so angry about, Are you taking it personally. And here's a way to check, would that person do the same thing to anyone else? Everyone else? Are they doing it just to you, most often, they would do it to everyone. They would talk like that to anyone they would treat anyone like that. Well, they take it personally, when this is how they operate is ridiculous. But we take it personally because our egos are so fragile. So, forgiveness, I would say it is not letting the person off the hook. It's stopping the poison that you're feeding yourself. It's almost like severing here's the cord between you and them and that rageful thing sever it you are not that thing. That's what I would do. 27:39 Gaurav: It takes me back to the conversation that you pulled up pulled out when you spoke about boundaries. Mm hmm. You know, coincidentally, you're spoken about Dr. Neha Sangwan in your book who happens to be our friend? No way. 27:53 Kathy: Yes. Neha. Yeah. Incredible. 27:56 Gaurav: She talks about boundaries very often. 27:59 Kathy: So good. Her book, right? Correct. Yes. 28:03 Gaurav: And what I'm what I'm listening is acceptance does not mean not to have emotional psychological boundaries for yourself. 28:10 Kathy: That's it. Or even as Fred says, “Be angry. Be you know, upset hurt”. That doesn't interfere with forgiving. No. I want to say something really tragic happened in our community. Oh, a young boy was playing hockey. I think he's 14. And a creek accident happened. Another person came. And another player on the other team and other 14-year-old and his blade, cut the boy's neck and the boy died. This family said this is just a freak accident. There is no one to blame. Not the players. I can't even say it without weeping. Being a mom of a 24-year-old boy who was a hockey player, not the coaches, not the medics, not the doctors who did the surgery to try to save my son. There is no one to blame here. And basically, what was pouring out of them was forgiveness. From what I read of every in every cell of their being they could stay stuck with how come the school didn't do this. How come we didn't have neck guards? How come this How come that but from what it sounded like from what I read, you know, they didn't want to stay stuck in that horrific, angry place, dark place. I mean, what a spirit that family has. There is no one to blame here. And I think so many of us were weak. And when we want somebody to blame because in a way it takes your focus away from the pain. Yeah. 30:06 Gaurav: So there's something that I'm avoiding in the conversation because of which I'm blaming somebody else, or I'm blaming a situation life world. Also in the mind, I'm just wondering if there is any connection between blaming others or not forgiving others, and taking responsibility and accountability 30:25 Kathy: 100% connection? I mean, look at this family, if they're not blaming anyone, what are they left with? How do I heal and live without my beloved Son, that's the work. If you've been fired, you know, I've been laid off in a way that I was I felt wrongful. And, you know, I'm taking it from the spiritual down to kind of the practical. I was the kind of person that never fought against things that were wrong, because I was raised, be quiet. And I was talking to another vice president, and we were laid off 100 people after 9/11. And I was so hurt. And so, because I had been promoted, and you know, whatever, I didn't feel like I deserve that. And she said, I'm going to a lawyer. And I went, she's going to a lawyer. What an interesting idea, I'm going to a lawyer. That was, you know, you can count on probably 10 fingers, the real-life changing moments. But I found a lawyer, I had a friend who was a lawyer who supported employers, she said, I'm not going to work with you. But you need to find here's a person I recommend. This was the most. I just wanted to finish the story that he said, Yeah, you've got something here. And I will tell you that it ended very well for me. So, I think that have I forgiven them. They're not even in my room, the company, they're not even in my realm of thinking. But I, I will tell you, I acted on my own behalf. I became a change agent for myself. 32:12 Gaurav: You know, you said that that was one of the 10 Transforming situations of your life. Yeah. But there are instances where expressions getting compromised, where you're not given an opportunity to speak your truth. to voice it out for yourself. What do you think? What's the impact of expressions getting compromised, when you're not able to speak or when you're not been able to voice it out? What's the impact it has on to your emotional, physical and behavioral functioning, especially in the corporate arena, that one, a lead is a part of? 32:48 Kathy: I mean, it's so crushing and so damaging. And it's one of the seven power gaps that the most powerful you book talks about, which is communicating from fear, not strength, which is number two, or number five, acquiescing, instead of saying stop to mistreatment. It's crushing Neha’s book is all about how come I kept seeing, you know, life threatening emergencies in people, and we'd treat them in the hospital, and then they'd come back in a year. So, she started realizing it's the conversation you're not having. So, for me, I mean, it has so many impacts, so many ways to impact for me, I had four years of an infection of the trachea. Who's ever heard of such a thing? It's called tracheitis. Somebody some doctor told me, they made that up. That's just a term. They don't know what it is. You know what it was after getting some energy healing and spiritual growth? What is this? This is the seed of your personal expression, your voice? Hmm. And it for you, I went to two and I didn't believe in energy healing back then. This is 20 years ago. Somebody said, no doctor could help. I went to four different doctors, here take your antibiotics. And then that wreaks havoc on your body. Oh, what a mess. I went to an energy healer going, yeah. What are you going to say? She without knowing anything? I didn't say a word. She said, What do you do for a living? And I told her and she said, this is a crying within, this infection that you have. You are not speaking truth. And I didn't like that answer. Because that would mean I'd have to quit my big corporate job. I went to another energy healer. I said nothing. walked in. She goes, what do you do for a living? I go oh, good grief. Here we go again. And she said, You're being so stifled here that you're infected. 100% right. Do you know from the minute I was laid off from that job, I was in that job two years? I never had a tracheitis again. So not speaking up impacts every aspect of your life, your physical wellbeing your emotional wellbeing your social wellbeing your financial wellbeing, I mean it, it does not not touch every aspect. It's every aspect. When you can't be who you are when you can't say what you believe, when you feel like an imposter, when you feel like you're going to be punished or killed, or really terribly penalized or hurt, if you are who you are, I mean, millions of people know what this feels like. 35:21 Gaurav:both for men and women, 35:23 Kathy: Oh, definitely, from one sexual orientation to, you know, racial discrimination where you just can't be accepted for who you are. 35:34 Gaurav: You know, as I'm just listening to you, I'm just reflecting in my life, just trying to recall all the ladies, all the women in my life, who have who had the voice of their own and over assertive. What was my relationship with them? At the same time, I've also experienced, especially in the corporate arena, men find it extremely difficult to accept women who are assertive, and have a voice of their own. 36:05 Kathy: You know why that is? And it's true. And I think people will really nod their heads, I was called, I can't say it here BEEYOTCH for doing the exact same thing that my male director counterpart was doing and getting promoted for it. But it's back to this issue that we this is so incredibly interesting to me when I heard this from Terry Real therapist, writer, bestselling writer. He said, what happens in a patriarchal world is it's not just men that shun the vulnerable women shun the vulnerable within themselves. So, if and Mark Greene talks about this, if the men are taught to be invulnerable, then they shun that and hate that vulnerability. But also, I think if a woman takes on what they think is a masculine trait, they reject that one boss. I mean, it's in the book, one boss, who I really like, said, My goodness Gatlin when I was a director, you're a buzzsaw. I go What the heck is a buzzsaw? He goes he had get it done. You just get it done when no one else gets it done. Look, no one wants to be a buzzsaw. And I am 100% sure that not one man in that organization was ever called the buzzsaw. It's just a mess. It's frankly, a mess. And we're not making much progress yet. We're not. But truthfully, it's all around training. You know, we, you know, a question comes to mind, some people have said to me, but why is it that so many senior women are so hard and difficult, and when they're hard on their, the women underneath them? They're nothing anyone aspires to be? And they want it. It's called, what's it called? There's a term queen bee. And they kind of are asking me like, are women born that way? No. I think what happens is in look at the startup world, I just am doing an article, you know, VC funding, I think it's something like 4% goes to women. Good grief. What am I saying? Where am I going with that? What was I saying? Right before that? You're just talking? Yes, I was just talking. So I think that it's training. We're not used to seeing this. Oh, yes, about women. I think when you're in the past when not in past still the same if there are so few CEO roles that women are in or senior executive level roles. Some women have worked so hard and thrown away some so many whole pieces of themselves to be that, they're not terribly open to paving the way for other women. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true. But it doesn't mean that inherently these people are bad. It's all about what we're experiencing that traumatizes us and makes us change. 39:03 Gaurav: So, Kathy, what is it that you have noticed that you have witnessed in different cultures? Is it the same? Is it different when you're working with the men from North America to women in India, women in Asia, Europe, what has been your experience? 39:22 Kathy: What I would say from what I've seen is in my courses and working one on one cultures that have an intense and let's not embellish your list to say certain cultures like the Asian culture and the Indian culture. There, I would say that what I see let's put it this way is an incredibly strong fear to speak assertively to I have a number of clients right now incredibly illustrious, but their parents, doctor, lawyer, and the parents that you will do this for a living. And there was no in their mind, no way of not doing that. And 10 years later, they're sick and sad. And one of them, for instance, has the parents visiting, they, they got an apartment 10 minutes away, so they come every month. So unfortunately, even when you're grown up, even when you're when I was 40, and I decided to leave corporate 41 and become a therapist, I was scared to tell my dad, he was a GE guy, General Electric, 30 years. And he was a 80 blip at one and he said, Kathy do it. Like I literally my heart was beating, I was scared. He is just that he believed in business. That's what you should do for a living, you know, he actually believe women should stay home and care for the kids really. But anyway, what I see with these cultures is speaking up about what they want, when it is different from what their parents believe is successful. Is for many women that I so hard, verging on impossible. So, we have to work on are you a mesh with your 40, but your mesh with your parents still. And I leave it to them. I say Listen, my job isn't to make you change, When you don't want to change. My job is to make allow you to live the life you are meant to live. Now. When you're 90, Looking back, do you want to live the life your parents said you should live? Or do you want to live the one you want to live? You know, scary to them very scary, 41:35 Gaurav: as I'm just listening to Kathy I can experience on Russia feel within myself? Yeah, some kind of fear I could experience. Also, I'm just 41:47 talking about what that's about. Yeah. 41:51 I'm wondering what's on the other side of fear. Right? 41:55 What if a place 41:57 what if I can live from a space which is on the other side of you? What is these women that we are talking about whether they are impacted by the impact that the appearance or the culture that they were born into had onto them? 42:15 Kathy: What I love it's so funny, you know, because I'm a writer, I'm at words are everything. So when you say things, I get this, this image in my mind on the other side of fear. In my course, amazing crew project I teach, you must get in the cage with your fear. And one woman that I bring it up every time from a few years ago, can I just walk around the cage and talk to the fear? No, you've got to open the door and get in with the lion. So the on the other side of fear. I would say you can't even get there till you get in the cage with it. That's what gets you on the other side. What does that mean? It means I'm going to assess what I really want. I don't want to be a lawyer anymore. Okay, what's the first hurdle? I have to tell mom and dad that? Oka! What's that conversation going to look like? How is it going to go? Are they going to cut you off? Some parents say then, you know, never ever get another cent? We won't see you anymore. You know, you've got to get in the cage. And the truth is what's on the other side, you can't even imagine? Because you haven't gotten in the cage. But it's beautiful. I mean, I got in the cage in every way. From you know, I was a high paid Vice President made a lot of money, oh, I'm making that face because it fed my self-esteem because my self-esteem had no other way to get fed. Now, it gets fed by the things that matter to me. Not title, not the salary, not the bonus. Not this work that was so meaningless. But honestly, had I not been able to get in the cage, I wouldn't have been able to see what's on the other side. But I promise you, if it's heart connected and soul connected and value connected, it's a beautiful life is on the other side of beautiful life. You know, this is a spiritual belief. I don't believe we came here on this planet to simply struggle and pay our bills. I just don't believe that. 44:23 Gaurav: Yeah, yeah. Or to please others. You know, I'm personally working with a couple of women from different walks of life from different geographies. They are saying that I cannot move out of what I'm doing right now because my husband would not appreciate it. Right. I cannot move out of this country because I don't think that if I'll be able to settle in any other country, when you know that your heart is not there, and yet something is stopping you. And if we call it the fear, how can we get in the cage and face that fear? 44:54 Kathy: Well, I think the first thing is choose the thing that's hurting you the most right now. I mean, you know, you said all families have are dysfunctional. I'm gonna say this, all situations have a potential for dysfunction. All situations have a potential for dysfunction, all systems, all families, all workplaces, what I would ask you to do is look at the thing that hurts the most. I say, what's the current one conversation you must have that you are not having? That's Neha’s great tip too. But look at what hurts the most. You can't change what somebody said, I was just doing a webinar. I want a podcast act, do this right bubble. I'm like, okay, hang on, okay. I love it that you want to do all that. But you have to focus. If you try to do seven things, you're not going to do them? Well, let's focus. What's the one thing you're going to regret? If you don't do? I would have you look at that people. I mean, I would. Interestingly, if I said to you, you said to me, it's my spouse who doesn't want me to do this. I will tell you this as a marriage and family therapist, as a couple’s therapist, I said something that was really unusual. The couple was fighting over something, I'd say stop. I want to ask you this question. Can you say to me that you want to see your spouse, grow and achieve their highest potential? No matter what that looks like? None of them could say yes to that. One guy was wanting his wife not to work. So she would drive him to and from the train station every day. What do you need that for? Take an Uber! Oh, my goodness. And it goes both ways. It's this is not just a feminist view. But so many of them couldn't say, yes. If there were conditions, yeah, she can have that job. But as long as we stay in this country, yeah, we can be together. But as long as we only have three children, not whatever it was. Pick the thing that you want to do most. And most likely, if you're held back from it, there's somebody you've got to talk to, that is doing this. Now, don't get me wrong, to turn over a whole system like a marriage, or it's no small thing. I know because, you know, I've lived it. And I've worked with a ton of people in therapy and coaching. But I would ask you, what's the life you came here to live? And what are you sacrificing? What are you giving up? On yourself in yourself in your potential? You know, I The other question around that is when you're 90, Looking back, and I've lost people lost my dad. And there's an amazing book, Top Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware. And I had her on my finding a podcast, being with people who are dying and who have died. You hear what they talk about. And they're not talking about their title, and their money and their big house. They're talking about what they didn't do, what they didn't say who they didn't love, who they didn't spend time with. I want you to look at when you're 90, Looking back, let's say you're 100 on your deathbed. What do you want to have done with this life? And who are you allowing to be in the way of that? 48:23 Gaurav: You know, I think we're in a very good space right now, as I'm talking to you, Kathy. And I remember last time when I asked you this question, what has been your mantra in your life? You said just be who you are. What does that mean to you? 48:38 Kathy: Yeah. If I didn't remember I said that. That just be who you are. Four words can take up 100 years of study. I mean by 1000s of gurus. What I mean by that is, see yourself bravely. That's one of the seven brave pathways to career bliss. Understand how important you are in the world, how valuable what your special talents are, and find a way to be yourself in using yourself in service of others. I mean, those are the happiest people, not people just glomming on to give me the money, give me the fame, give me the Instagram followers. But find a way to be true to what you believe in what you value. I think for me, let me give an example. I now know that I value truth, transparency, authenticity, compassion, kindness. And every day of my corporate life, I didn't see it, every day for 18 years. Yes, there were some people who were deliciously loving and wonderful. But generally, the system was not compassionate, truthful, authentic, transparent, and the leader shirt, I have had some beautiful leaders but by and large, the system perverted that perverted them. So, look at what you value and honor those values. And if you can't do it where you are you don't, you shouldn't be where you are. 50:19 Gaurav: So I think it's a beautiful takeaway from this conversation be who you are, you know, to all the ladies that I'm working with to all the great women that I'm working with, you know, if you're struggling to do good for yourself, because you would like to please your husband, or you would like to do good for yourself so that you can take care of your children or you cannot move your country because you have to take care of 10 things or you're blocking your own voice or you're not expressing yourself, you know, a beautiful piece of advice coming from Kathy who has worked with so many women, be who you are. 50:54 Kathy: And you know, men to I know men who they're doing work that they're making millions, but it's so unethical. Or, you know, they want to be kinder, but they can't figure it out. So this is not a gender thing. Men are blocked a lot of men feel they have to keep doing the work. They're doing, you know, financially raised their family. And I am not saying please don't take it as some platitude go chuck your job and be a singer in the band, please, we need money in our world today. But, but you don't have to sacrifice everything to have a job that's meaningful and valuable and fills your heart and makes you be the person you longed to be. That's it. 51:38 Gaurav: Thank you so much, Kathy. I think for me your questions. So deep. Thank you so much. You've been extremely kind. And thank you for your for sharing your wisdom, your experiences. And thank you, I think it's so much of with so much of sincerity, compassion. With so much of love, you share everything that you share a lot of gratitude. 52:02 Kathy: Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Thank you for having me. And you know, I hope to hear from people who are listening. If they have questions like What do you mean be who you are, I can't be whatever I am on social media everywhere, wherever they see this. I'd be happy to connect with you and be of help if I can. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.
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