Pause On The Play Ep 29
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Hello, hello, and welcome back to Pause On The Play. As always, it is amazing to see you here where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions, and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with in order to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation emcee for the day, Erica Courdae here to get the dialogue going.
Erica Courdae: I'm going to start with letting you know, I usually don't record at night, but I am. And so you are getting my extra sexy voice with this whole like weather's changing and it's after eight o'clock. So here we are. Not trying to turn you on. Just letting you know. And I am here with my co-host, India Jackson, of Flaunt Your Fire. Hey, lady.
India Jackson: Hey, Mimo over here. My stomach is talking.
Erica Courdae: You missed that whole... Right before we started, her stomach decided to make itself known. I swear one day I'm going to do a outtakes. You're all going to hear these things. Oh, it's funny. I swear, this is real life. This is what happens.
India Jackson: Yes.
Erica Courdae: So you might hear her stomach, full transparency, just so you know.
India Jackson: It may join this conversation, just paying online.
Erica Courdae: It's got something to say. It is what it is. I actually want to start off. We're going to talk today about how your story influences your mindset and visibility. I feel like we've had some new listeners coming on, and we've talked in the past about mindset and visibility, and what our takes on it are. But I kind of want to do a little bit of a refresher.
Erica Courdae: So the mindset piece that comes here is coming from me. Visibility comes from India. The way that we intersect those is definitely the big cornerstone of how we work together. For me, mindset is really just where are you coming from? How do you think? How do you feel? How do you act? How do you literally just be, because all of these things stem from your mindset.
Erica Courdae: Your mindset is very rooted in your ethics, your beliefs, your values, the experiences that you've had, your family of origin, these different things that contribute to what is your lens that you view things through, and the lens that you take action through as well.
Erica Courdae: I talk a lot about imperfect actions, so your mindset absolutely influences that. I find that it actually is a beautiful intersection with visibility. So I'll let you tell people what that visibility piece is that you bring, India.
India Jackson: Visibility, for the purpose of this conversation, the dictionary says it would be seeing and being seen. It's both sides. It's how you are or are not able to see others, and how they are or not able to see you. I also think it's very important of how you see yourself and the level... Sometimes what can come into play with that is the access or the frequency that you're being seen or the magnitude of it, whether it's being on a stage or somebody acknowledging you in a line and saying, "You look cute today." All of that is visibility.
Erica Courdae: A lot of people don't understand that visibility is not always... I think some people think it's a one-way street, and it's not. Visibility is about being seen and seeing others because I think that you tend to feel more seen as a person when you can see others. And when somehow there is a break in that conduit, then that's when that disconnect can come and maybe you don't feel visible, or you just... I feel like there's been a few different things in the media that have come up and women frequently you'll hear say things like, "I feel invisible. I don't feel seen."
Erica Courdae: Sometimes taking on other roles like being a mother or being a wife can make you feel as though you don't have that individual personality or just who you are goes away because you now become a title or something in reference to someone else. So your own identity in that autonomy can feel like it gets lost sometimes. So I think that's a good way of understanding and maybe having a real tangible way of like, "Okay, what does that mean to be seen?"
India Jackson: Agreed 100%. It's definitely a two-way street. Going off of dictionary terms, it's also the degree to which something has attracted general attention or prominence. I think that that is something important to note in the work that we do at Flaunt Your Fire because we are doing work to bring attraction, attention, sometimes even followers or expansion of network for people. And so, you are factoring that in. But a big part of that, again, is being able to also see very clearly the people that you want to attract, and them feeling like they can identify with your content.
Erica Courdae: That, to me, is, excuse me, a chunk of that mindset and visibility and how it intersects. Because when you are storytelling, when you are marketing a brand, when you are marketing yourself and you happen to be the brand, it is very difficult to have mindset or visibility independently. These two things go hand in hand because your mindset absolutely impacts your visibility. Whether or not you are comfortable being visible is impacted by your mindset and it will impact your mindset.
Erica Courdae: So, again, this is something that is very cyclical and one affects the other. So addressing that intersection of the two is very important. And that's where I think talking about how your story influences those is such an important thing.
India Jackson: Yeah. Because when I think about visibility in more tangible terms, like we all have eyes and both of us need glasses. I am required to wear them in order to drive. And I like to think of your mindset as being your prescription. It is shaping how you see yourself in the mirror, how you see others, whether or not you're even able to acknowledge that they're there. Can you make out the letter on the board? All of that is affected by mindset.
India Jackson: I'm curious to know your thoughts on it, but I think many times our story and the experiences that we've had in life that have shaped us, whether we consciously remember them or they're buried in the subconscious definitely shape the way that our mindset shows up, which then shapes the way our visibility shows up for us.
Erica Courdae: Absolutely. And I think that it's very easy to think it's the things on the surface. I think these subconscious things that we are not aware of, or that we don't really consider as influential on where we are, is huge, because if you have someone that is having trouble being visible online. They're just like, "I just don't want to do this. I can't do this. I'm going to have an Instagram feed that is full of memes and I am never going to put my face out there." And that's just one aspect of visibility.
Erica Courdae: But they may have something that happened to them when they were younger that makes it so that they don't feel as though they're attractive or they don't feel as though them showing up is going to have value. Oh no, if you show up, it's going to dilute the brand because remember back in blah blah blah, Uncle Jimmy told you, "What are you doing this for? Nobody wants to see you." And you internalized that.
Erica Courdae: And so, it can be very easy for these things that you're not even aware of to impact what you are and are not able to do. And you may not be clear as to why. And that's where I think people don't always consider that when it comes to being visible about their stance on something. If you have very strong feelings about women of color and how they need to be represented, but you can't bring yourself to show it, maybe there was something that is kind of sticking with you subconsciously as to why you can't do it.
Erica Courdae: If you've experienced some type of sexual trauma in your past and you know that you are very passionate about sex trafficking, but you can't bring yourself to talk about this publicly, there may be some underlying things, that you don't consider, as to why you can't connect the ability to speak out loud about something that is a vital part of your value system.
India Jackson: Yeah. And so, this is where I think it's incredibly important that our listeners know as they start to look at working with professionals like us, that while you may not need to tell someone all the dirty details of your story, in order to fully support you, I personally do need to know some of the things that make you feel uncomfortable, or some of the key pieces of your life story because I can come at that with more empathy and more understanding when I give you a list, as your consultant, of things that will get you to the next level in your visibility, and they're not being done.
India Jackson: I can connect the dots of what's coming up there, and then we can see together or through referral of needing a coach to kind of help you get through those things, what's next. What I find many times, we can get stuck in procrasta-learning. We can get stuck in, "I know I need to do all the things," but then go do this other thing over here that's the same behavioral pattern as before, that's not going to get you the result.
India Jackson: The underlying reason for that can be some things that are way in our past that we think are completely unrelated to our marketing, to our photographs, to the outfit we wear when we show up to the business meeting, to whether or not we're willing to go to a networking event, how loud we're willing to be when we speak up and talk about something. All of these things show up in those places.
Erica Courdae: This is where I think it's very important to have a level of transparency with yourself and the service providers that you're working with. If you are paying someone to provide support, accountability, structures, strategy, a listening ear, whatever the thing is, you're doing yourself as well as them a disservice to not be upfront because...
Erica Courdae: Let's say, for example, you go to the doctors and you're sexually active and you want to get tested. "What does your sexual history look like?" "Uhhhhhh... I don't have any." And you know that ain't true. Lies you tell.
India Jackson: Lies.
Erica Courdae: It's not helpful because if, for some reason, you feel like, "Well, if I say this, I'm going to be judged," you being afraid to be honest can make this medical professional unable to actually test you for the things that you probably need to be tested for because you're saying that you don't need it. And so, as a service provider, if you come to me and you say, "I want to be an ally," but you have neglected to tell me that you have been fighting your whole life with the stories that you've been given by your parents who are avid Trump supporters, you're married to a black man and you are fighting this on a daily basis to reconcile your own feelings with your sense of responsibility with your family of origin, well, that's important for me to know because that means that you're likely running up against some things that we need to work through in order for you to feel more aligned with the things that you feel called to do and want to do.
Erica Courdae: But then, on the flip side, when it comes to the visibility, you can't be visible and talk about these things if you have all of this fear, and this confusion, and this lack of clarity on what it is that you feel as though you have to do outside of anybody else's stories that you've internalized about you in your actions and your beliefs. These things have to come out because if you can't be clear with yourself, then you can't be clear with any anyone else. And therefore, it is very difficult to be visible from a place of cloudiness, because your mindset is not going to let those things intersect. It's just not going to happen.
Erica Courdae: If you've ever seen a celebrity and you're like, "I don't know what's going on there." And then you find out years later, oh, that was all a lie. They didn't stand for nothing that I thought they stood for. Well, maybe that's why. It doesn't connect. It's not authentic.
India Jackson: Yeah. I think this is one of the very reasons why we found that we were having overlapping clients because they would start in one area or another, either on my side of visibility, or on yours. The two things work together. The tangible of like, "Hey, here's the plan and the strategy and what you need to do to get the results you want," and the intangible. But maybe even sometimes more important of working through those blocks because the blocks are what keep you stuck. So I want to shift gears for a moment and ask you what should someone consider when they're looking to tell their story?
Erica Courdae: I think when you want to tell your story, it's important to consider, first of all, what is it that you're comfortable with sharing, what is it that you're not comfortable with sharing, and what is important, because you do want to also be very conscious of not oversharing just for the sake of oversharing. So you want to make sure that you're keeping the pieces that are important and the pieces that you're comfortable with, or healed, if it may became from a painful place, but that it's still important in the narrative that you're sharing.
Erica Courdae: Really having that understanding of what it is, why you want to tell it, and what the connection is, I think that it's a little easier to go into the mindset and the visibility around it. But it's very difficult to begin to figure that out if you don't have a good grasp of your story and how it does color the lens of which you view life as a whole, because it is going to affect your mindset and it's absolutely going to affect your visibility. So knowing those roots helps you to understand how your tree is growing.
India Jackson: I've personally been on the other side of that where I have seen that choosing to tell your story for clients that I've had in the past and getting to that place where you're finally comfortable in your skin and you're not in it anymore. So you're not speaking from still being in the trauma and still sorting things out, can actually increase your visibility, can actually allow you to connect more deeply and more authentically with people, your people. And I say your people in a sense that they get you, they love you for you. And they're your clients for life if you're a business owner, because they can identify with something that humanizes you and ties you back to the why you do what you do from a very authentic and truthful place.
Erica Courdae: Absolutely. There is an entrepreneur that I've followed and loved her for years, Ashlyn Carter. I remember, when she began to speak openly about experiencing burnout in the work that she did before she started her business, that affected her to the point of ending up in the hospital having an eating disorder. She talked very openly about some of these things. But she also mentioned how she had to heal before she could do that because you can't share while you still have an open wound.
Erica Courdae: It was important to her to share it because she wanted people to understand why the things that she was doing in her business were so important to her and how it connected with what she was hoping to support other entrepreneurs with. And so, having that story and being able to, one, give that why to what she was doing was important.
Erica Courdae: But then there was that piece of humanizing herself. She didn't paint herself as, "I'm giving you this because I'm perfect, and I know the way and I'm trying to teach you." No, she wanted you to know that she was a person, and that she'd had her own challenges. But those challenges didn't limit her from finding ways to move forward in her life, and to be able to find a path that was better for her.
Erica Courdae: I think when people have a story, it can really be a big part of how people connect with you, how you are finding your circle and your people in your audience, because they're seeing themselves. They're seeing their story. They're seeing what can be possible because you're modeling that. You're modeling vulnerability. But you're doing it from a place of, "I want you to see that this doesn't have to be the end," or "This doesn't have to stop you." This can be something that you go through and then you can go on and do something else.
Erica Courdae: So your story is just a part of it. Your story isn't the end all be all. The story is a part of how you're approaching things, why you do things the way that you do them, why it's so important for people to understand that there is a reason behind what you're doing. It's not simply, "I just you to pay me money for doing this thing." There's ethics behind it. That's where I think people need to remember how important it is to humanize themselves, and that being visible isn't just about, "Look at me." It really is about connection.
India Jackson: I don't want it to be lost that I think there's an incredible value on that mindset piece, that depending on where you're at in the story, it can be incredibly helpful to work with a coach or a therapist to clean up your mindset about some of the negative things or experiences that you may have had in your life, so that you are able to kind of turn that around and be able to speak from that from a place of not being in it anymore, empower, and seeing how it kind of shaped where you are today.
Erica Courdae: Interestingly enough, we, India and I, had a conversation earlier today about what our lives may have looked like had some of the aspects of our upbringing been different.
India Jackson: Oh God.
Erica Courdae: Yeah. There is that. And then we also had the flip side of maybe some of these things happened because this is what shaped who we are. And so, it can be very easy to think that all of these things are about it being negative. But if I look back on the things that I have gone through, and I did experience some abuse growing up, these things could be considered, "Oh, you experienced these terrible things, and oh my gosh." And it's like, maybe they made me more resilient. Maybe somehow they brought out parts of me that maybe would have been more dormant. I have no idea. It could be that, it could be something very different. All I know is that's what it is.
Erica Courdae: And so, therefore, if I can find strength and a reason to use it to propel me forward, then that means that it wasn't for nothing, and I can somehow utilize all of the things that I've experienced from a neutral place, not about them being good or bad, as simply parts of the whole. And that is how I choose to let that affect my mindset, and to create that hub, so to speak, of my beliefs, values, and ethics. And as the dictionary calls it, the established set of attitudes that I hold.
India Jackson: I can say, as somebody who has had a long friendship with you, but even before that, who has experienced abuse at a young age as well, when you have gotten to that place that you describe and being able to see this from a place of strength, a place of hope, and recognizing that it's led you to where you are today, it allows me to actually see myself through your story. I feel like maybe...
India Jackson: For some people they may feel like they're not alone. If they've never felt that way before, then shows them like, "Okay, someone can get to this place that has been where maybe I currently am or used to be." It can make them feel seen. And in doing that and allowing them to be seen, bringing the conversation full circle, they're able to see you.
India Jackson: They're able to do something as small as actually pay attention to what you're saying and what you're writing because we're all very busy and we can skim on things, to something as big as seeing how they could invite you into a space, how they could take the next step in being an imperfect ally. Tying it back to their why they want to be an imperfect ally in the first place.
Erica Courdae: This is why having a clear understanding of what your story is and how it influences your mindset and visibility can set the stage for everything else you do, to set you up for success, business, life, all other things. If you don't have a clear understanding of those things, it can be very easy to get stuck in the cloudiness, and that's not fun. And it's very difficult to move through if you just don't have any understanding of it.
Erica Courdae: The better that you can understand yourself and where you're coming from, makes it a whole lot easier when things get difficult, when things get shitty. Or when they're good, you're like, "I get it. I can see this." And you can actually take in the goodness in that moment. But it's very difficult when you just won't let yourself see.
India Jackson: I'm going to co-sign that. I think if there's anything else I would add is that when you're looking to work with service providers of any sort, especially if you're a business owner and you are marketing, you're branding, you are hiring people for your team, you're leading a team, if they are helping you facilitate something that is forward-facing or rear-facing, and I want to say it's a both, not an either or, they need to know your why. They need to have some clarity around that.
India Jackson: And if they're not asking, you need to tell them. You need to volunteer because it does shape every single piece of what you're doing. Or at least it should. We've seen it not, and that's where you get into a brand that is not aligned.
Erica Courdae: Absolutely. And I'll say from, a coaches point of view, we're very focused on where you are and where you're trying to be. But being that I like to do what they would call blended coaching, which is where I bring the consulting and my additional knowledge in, I think that it is important to include any of those things that are a part of where you are.
Erica Courdae: So, again, using an example of having someone that came from a family of origin that had very different political or societal views than you, and that being a part of why you're having trouble just stepping into it, it's not about being stuck in the backstory, but it's being very clear about what influences where you are right now.
India Jackson: Powerful conversation here.
Erica Courdae: Agreed. So, that being said, last week's episode, I gave you some journaling prompts, and that actually was received very well. So I think I want to do that again. And I'm going to give you one in this week instead of three. I'd like you to take this, again, journal on it, think about it, talk about it. But no matter what you do with it, take it into consideration. How does your story influence your mindset and visibility? Take that with you. Go on and consider. Let it roll around, see what comes from it, and India and I will be back. Thanks guys.
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