How To Get PERFECT Clarity

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Nicole Walters Podcast

The Nicole Walters Podcast

Join me each week for a new episode packed with what you need to know to gain clarity, grow your network, and monetize your life using the proven corporate strategies I’ve mastered in 10 years as a Fortune 500 executive.

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SHOW NOTES

How can you get perfect clarity on who you are and how you should show up?

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know I’m a hot mess and still figuring many things out but what I’ve learned is that I am clear on who I am. In fact, it has been the influence of others that has brought me further from my clarity. This friend, is what we need to talk about today.

If you find yourself with a lack of clarity, it’s likely not because there’s something fundamentally wrong within YOU keeping you from being clear. It may be that you have the wrong people in your space affirming and telling you who you are and what options you have (or don’t have!)

Friend, this chat is important. Don’t miss it!

 

Nicole:

I am so excited about this chat mostly because if you have been tuning in, you know that for season four, we are now putting the full episode on YouTube where you can watch and chat and I get to look you right in your face while we have these conversations.

So I know a lot of you listen to our chat while doing other things. So dinner, whatever else, you know, running around, exercising, but if you really want to listen to especially when we have like guest in, you can actually watch now. Which is so much fun for me. And it also gives us one more place to engage, you can put it in the comments. And let’s just be honest, some of you listen at work. And this is pretty slick, right? You just open up your tab, you hit play on that YouTube, you put in your headphones, and then you just open it up to a spreadsheet. Your boss thinks you’re being really efficient. But really you’re listening to this chat right now. Right?

And as I mentioned in our season four opener, that we’re just going to keep it very real. And very real means that I felt for a lot of season three and four. Ever since I really started this pod chat while I was in California, I’ve had to be kind of veiled about my language, because I was going through a divorce, I’m dealing with transitions with the kids. I mentioned in my book, and also here that, you know, my big tiny, my eldest daughter who’s 24 was dealing with rehab. And then also I had this book deal plus I was starting to date, like I literally had a lot of things happening in my life that I was trying to figure out and navigate. So I was always kind of handling it delicately in my conversations here. But one of the beautiful things about life is in the process of starting over after a while it’s no longer new to you.

And so I’m grateful because I’m feeling confident and refreshed and happy and aware. And I have more of a solid ground around what the future looks like. And because I’m clear on that I’m able to speak to you with clarity, and with more intentionality. And I’m excited because I think that we’re all gonna get more from it.

So that being said, on the topic of clarity, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. The number one thing that I am always asked about from you, from people that meet me on the street, after reading the book is Nicole, you seem like you are so stinking clear on everything you have going on. You seem confident, you seem to know what you’re doing. And truth moment, hashtag truth moment, you already know this because we’ve been together for so long, that’s not the case, right? You know that I am awkward, uncomfortable, you know, anxious, nervous, mess about a lot of things. You know, it doesn’t mean I don’t get it done. But you know that I come in and I talk about that here all the time.

But the truth is, I am pretty clear about a lot. And I want to talk to you about what I mean we’re gonna keep it all the way real see, I can feel myself wanting to, this is me being just totally real with you. I can feel myself wanting to filter what I’m saying because I’m so cognizant of the other people in my life and also just being so mindful. But I said I wouldn’t do that with you. So I’m going to be honest with you.

One of the things I’ve struggled with the most and that’s had me in therapy, is not a lack of awareness around who I am, it’s been the fact that I’ve had people in my life that have tried to dismantle who I am, or tell me who I am, or tell me how to show up. And I gave too much space to listen to that. And it has distracted me from my journey. It has caused me mental grief, it has stressed me out and it has caused me to show up in ways that weren’t in alignment.

And so a lot of my time in my life has been spent getting back to the path that I always knew the whole time. That felt good to say out loud, out loud, because I want you to know that. If this is you, you’re not alone, right? You’re not alone.

There’s this common thing that we say where we’re like we’re stuck, or we’re confused or unsure or we lack clarity. And I want you to know, you don’t lack the ability to be clear. You don’t lack awareness around what’s right or wrong or the ability to make a decision. You can literally remove that language from your mindset from your life right now. Because the truth is if it has something to do with your kids, where if I said to you right now, hey, I want you to take your kid and throw your kid off a cliff. You would look at me and be like absolutely not, that’s crazy without hesitation because you know you have a very clear intentionality around your relationship with your child and how you show up your moral coding right and wrong. It isn’t even something you have to filter or process because you know. But we can’t seem to bring that sameness to making decisions around our business or making decisions around our money or making decisions around our relationships or making decisions around how people will treat us. 

And one of the things in this season that has been most powerful to me, especially as someone who is in recovery from being in relationships and environments, where I felt like I adapted myself a lot to people please. I adapted myself and restrained saying how I really felt or performing and making decisions around what I knew would best serve me and, and my world based on making others comfortable.

As somebody who is kind of what are the what is the phrase that you hear all the time a reforming people pleaser, a reformed people pleaser. I have found a lot of strength around correcting people who tried to tell me who I am, how I feel, or what I am doing. And I don’t know if this just comes with getting closer to being 40. And I’ve heard some of my friends who are in their 50s, who are approaching their 50s say, Look, girl, when you get to 50, you don’t even correct those people. If you even still have them in your life, you just walk away. You know someone comes to you and tries to tell you who you are what’s going on, you just walk the other way. But I will tell you, if you are like me in your early 30s, late 20s, you know, or if you’re just listening to this, and you’re like because my mom made me. I want you to know that as a Christian, one thing I believe is I am who God says I am. But as an everyday woman, you know who’s walking around, depending on what your belief system is, I want you to also know you are also who you say you are.

So even if someone comes to you and says to you, Well, I remember when I interacted with you back in 2021, you know, and you said bla bla bla bla bla, okay, that’s who I was, this is who I am. Like, and it doesn’t mean you can’t take accountability, doesn’t mean you can’t evolve. But listen, you are not in a position where you have to be held to whatever definition that other people want you to be.

You have to recognize that whenever someone comes to you, and tries to tell you about what you feel like, gosh, you just seem so upset about that. You don’t have to take that in. You literally can stop, ask yourself, is that in alignment with what I really feel? And if it doesn’t, you can say I am not upset. That is not how I’m feeling. What I feel is this if you feel like sharing, and I would like it if you would please not tell me how I feel. I know how I feel.

I know right now some of you are cringing at that thought, because it’s a form of setting boundaries. And what I can tell you in my experiences is that oftentimes people who are struggling with you expressing or setting boundaries or choosing yourself or showing up in the world in any particular way, will often want to tell you what you are feeling because a definition makes them more comfortable.

So you’ll have people in your life and when you’re younger, just to be clear, you’ll have people in your life when you’re younger, that will do this as a form of power, of authority, of a way to condescend because it’s a control factor. And it’s related to their anxiety and it’s not uncommon. Heck, I’ve probably done it in my life. You know what I mean? I’m the queen of unsolicited advice, you know, but one of the things I’ve really tried to be good at, especially in my older years is say, you know, you don’t have to listen to me, right? Or this is just my opinion, or I’m aware this is unsolicited advice. You know, because as a consultant, you have to tell people things all the time that they may not be willing to receive and could be true, but they may not want to hear. But I want you to know that when you’re younger. If you grow up with people who are always telling you things like you are lazy, you are not capable, you are not pretty enough, you are not a hard worker, you are not enough in general, you better believe that not only does that put messaging in your mind around who you must be and who you are, which there’s tons of things online, and conversations and podcasts about unpacking that. But it also trains you to think it is appropriate to have other people tell you who you are.

And there isn’t enough conversation around how that affects our ability to have clarity in how we approach life. If you are confused about who you are, how the heck are you going to have clarity about what you want to do, how you want to show up and how you need to be in this world? No wonder you aren’t sure if you should pick this planter or this planter. No wonder you aren’t sure if your business idea is good enough and if you can be a boss or CEO. No wonder you question yourself about whether or not you’re a good enough mom if you do this thing or enroll them in this school or show up at this activity. It’s because you’re lacking clarity around who you are. 

And a lot of the time, that’s because you let other people define it. So one of the things that really helped me have increased clarity going into the new year, and increased clarity in my life in general, has been taking the past five years to shed one, people who will not stop telling me who I am, they are not permitted to be in my life, unless you’re able to modify that and respect my boundaries period.

You are not going to be in my life telling me that I am not enough, that I am less than, that I am only valuable if I show up in your world in a certain capacity that does not align with my health or my needs. And you are absolutely not going to be around in my greatest moments, creating negativity centering yourself, or in any way, shape, or form, diminishing the joy in the room. Like, I have no space for it, it’s not even a thing because it affects my belief system around who I am. And I need to have a strong sense of self in order to perform and show up the way that God has destined and called over my life.

My sense of self is worth something. And I’m allowed to retain and protect that. And then outside of that I also am not retaining or having anyone over the past five years, it’s been so so important in my life, having anyone who insist on me showing up in a way that does not align, as I’m continuously redefining the way that God wants me to show up in the world.

So, I have a story that lines with all this because you know, I’m a queen of real world application, right? We’ve got to know how to apply the concept in practice. And you know, I’ll use myself right? And I said, we’re gonna be transparent. So here we go. So I have struggled with being an over caregiver. And what does that mean? I’ve talked about it in my book being a fixer. You know, I’ve always lacked clarity around how I should show up in people’s lives, how much is too much, and what’s the appropriate level. I err on the side of maternal nurturing, I can do all the things up to including whatever is hard for you.

And I know this may sound familiar to you, because you’re, you’re probably a giver too. You’re probably like, look, if I can do it, I’ll do it, right. But understand that that also lends itself to you collecting people that may not want to do for themselves. It can lend itself to having people in your life that feel gaps around their maternal support, and may not even acknowledge or be aware of the fact that they lacked maternal support, and may seek you to fill that gap. That’s a whole therapeutic concept.

Now, I always thought, and this is the part where I’m going to be real clear, I had a therapy session recently where it was like a total breakthrough. And I’ve been doing therapy now for eight years. And maybe even longer than that, at this point. And the form of therapy I do is called EMDR. It’s a form of therapy that is specifically around reprogramming traumatic experiences. I’ve talked about them some of my books, so you understand the sources of trauma that I’ve had. But outside of that, I’ve also dealt with things like sexual assault. I’ve dealt with things like domestic violence in my dating partnerships. Fortunately, I have not had domestic violence in any marital relationships I’ve had. But, you know, I’ve dealt with emotional abuse, you know, I mean, there’s just tons of things I’ve had to unpack and EMDR is a form of treatment that’s used on like war victims. It’s a PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, treatment method. And a lot of us don’t even realize that even a childhood can result in post trauma, stress. A lot of times we think that post trauma, stress only happens after an inciting incident, like being in a bombing, or in a war zone, or something of that effect.

But the trauma of your childhood, obviously can lead to lingering effects for the rest of your life. So I’ve been in therapy for you for eight years, because it’s always been really important to me, as a mother and as a leader and as a consultant to unpack any manifestations of my childhood trauma in my present life. I do not want to both generationally, as well as personally bring my hurt into my present. And so I’ve worked really hard, and I’ve made a ton of progress and I’m so so grateful for it because I am so deeply happy and free, because of the work I’ve done. But it doesn’t mean that everything’s done all at once.

And what’s interesting is when you’re still unpacking some of your trauma, you collect people that are based on your previous trauma. So for some of you listening to this right now, I know there are people that come to mind where you’re like, I’ve had this best friend for 30 years, they have a million things about them that I cannot stand, you know, and lots of ways that they show up that are not nice, that are not kind, that I don’t support, they are constantly telling me they know who I am, or they have an opinion, or they’re judgmental, or whatever about the way that I live that I actually don’t have a problem with. So that’s also the clincher y’all is like, you may not have a problem with the way you live, you might like your house, like your neighborhood, like your lifestyle, like whatever, but you have people in your life who judge you on that. And now you’re questioning if it’s a problem, but you like it. Understand that that’s the issue, right?

So you may have these people in your life and you don’t even realize that you selected these people at the beginning or they were born into your life or you married them or whatever, at a time where you were not at your healthiest version of self. Right? So the person who made that choice and entered into that partnership, union, friendship, whatever, was not the person who exists today.

And so because of that, the ability to evaluate that kind of like if you are here’s some little a little more real world application, right? But kind of like when you’re in medical school, the way that you might have evaluated a condition on your first day of medical school is gonna be very different from your last day once you have more knowledge and exposure. And so that’s what therapy brings. So if you are growing in your therapy, hopefully you have evolved and gotten better in a couple of years to even assess the people in your life and new lenses.

However, most of us don’t do that reassessment. We don’t go back and we don’t look and say, excuse me, I’ve had you in my life the whole time, you’d have to say in conversation, oh, don’t go out here and start fights. But we don’t look back and ask ourselves, I have had this person in my life, and I have always kind of categorized them and put them in this, you know, box of, that’s just how they are. But when was last time you look back and said, You know what? With what I know now, what about this works for me or doesn’t work for me? What about this is a nature of the relationship that does not suit who I am and how I want to show up?

And also, what about this is good? What about this makes sense? Does this still nurture my calling, and what I’ve been sent to do. And so a lot of us don’t spend time evaluating those relationships, because it’s just how they have been.

And I want to let you know that for me, part of this process over these past few years has been a lot of that evaluation. And so these past couple of weeks, as I’ve been just looking at even more relationships that I have, and talking about them in therapy, and my role within them, and how I permitted them and what I need to do to bring those relationships into the present, you know, by being more honest in them or being more candid or affirming boundaries, so that that way, they are shaped in ways that sustain me and don’t drain me.

I learned something about people that blew my mind. And I’m going to share it with you and I think it’ll click for some, and it may not for some, because it was such a breakthrough for me. Have you ever heard the phrase from people where they say, oh, yeah, that person has low self esteem. You have, right? Low self esteem is something we’re familiar with, where we’ll say regularly, that person has low self esteem, and that lends them to do this thing. Or people who behave this way is because of their low self esteem. But my therapist told me, she said, Look, you have to understand that there’s something beneath low self esteem, there’s also no self esteem. And it’s not a phrase that’s in our lexicon, it’s not in our conversation. That’s not something we use. There’s high self esteem, there’s low self esteem. But we haven’t spoken about the range of no self esteem. And the way people show up within those ranges.

So people who are between the range have no self esteem and low self esteem, are people who are in places where they are not healthy enough to maintain healthy relationships. People with no self esteem, often will engage in self harm, because their self worth is completely gone. They just, they don’t even have an identity. They don’t know what to do with themselves and it’s so deeply depressing that, you know, they usually cease to exist, right? It’s very difficult. 

However, in that range between no self esteem and low self esteem, what you’ll often find are people who are heavily invested in identifying themselves through the eyes of other people. It’s really important for those people who are in that no self esteem, low self esteem window, to make sure that the people in their life see them a certain way, to make sure that the people in their life will relate to them a certain way, that they perform a certain way, that they serve in that role, sometimes of mother or father, or an even if their title might be lover or wife, or you know, or husband or friend, it’s really important because they can’t figure out how to be happy, that they can’t figure it out their worth themselves, they lack identity around their work and their self in general that it’s so important for them to have you perform in a certain way in their world, that they will tell you who you are all day and affect your clarity because what they need is to take some of your self worth in order to affirm their own.

And we don’t talk about that window enough. We just say oh, that person has low self esteem, but we don’t realize how harmful it is as they progress towards no self esteem. And when I heard this, it blew my mind. The idea of no self esteem, that there are people who are walking around with a blank spot where their self worth is supposed to be. And in order to fill that blank spot on the day to day, it’s really important for them to interact with people in a negative way, especially people who have high self worth and extract from them behaviors or affirmation or validation, or whatever they think they can, even if it’s a negative thing, make you feel bad because now they feel something in order to function.

This blew my mind. And it blew my mind because I inherently thought people were just like, generally good. And if they had low self esteem, it was all bringing it up. I really, truly thought that everyone had an ability to access their self worth, because I do believe everyone has worth. And that what really was happening was that they just needed a reminder, right? Like, if we just figure it out, you know, how to remind ourselves, give ourselves affirmation, give ourselves motivation, we’ll know who we are, we’ll know how we’re supposed to show up. And then we’ll feel so so great about it. And when my therapist told me like, no, like, realistically, some people have no idea how to identify themselves.

There are people who do actually completely lack clarity. That really does exist. And the reason why I’m telling you this, is because this is likely not you. If this is you, then you’ve got to seek out serious therapeutic support, because likely you’re in a state of severe depression. And that is a real thing and there are meds for it. And therapy is incredible. And you deserve the help you need. Because it might be a chemical imbalance, all of that. I am super sensitive to that. 

However, if there’s any part of you that is really clear, whether it’s now or in the past, where you were able to say no, I deserve to be treated better because this doesn’t feel right to me. Or I know that I deserve to be loved and so this doesn’t seem right. Or I know what I’m worth, and I know I’m not receiving that, that means that you have some clarity of mind, to know, even if you’re not clear on what it is you need 100%, to know that you’re not getting it. Which means you do know how to seek clarity, you’re not as stuck as you used to be and this idea that you’re stuck may be something that’s being told to you.

I used to think when I was in my marriage, and you know, again, season of transparency, that I was stuck. That I chose this, that people don’t get divorced, especially in my culture, in my faith, and that I just needed to acclimate to the state of what my marriage was, that I needed to be comfortable with the things that I and my partner had determined to be issues which you know, are private to us, you know, but that was just what I needed to adjust to. That this was what my marriage was going to be and I needed to figure out a way in other areas to make it tolerable because this thing was what it was. I was stuck. And I was never stuck.

And this is something I’m just telling you, what I said to my therapy session, I was never stuck. It was that I wasn’t willing to accept that I had choices. And I had created a situation of lack of clarity for myself because the other choices weren’t palatable to me, they didn’t taste good. I didn’t like them. The idea of being divorced didn’t feel good. And I was also told what I was many times over. A Christian woman does not get divorced. A black woman stands by her man. An African woman takes care of home to the point of exhaustion. You know, this was my identity as told to me and it was creating confusion because it did not align with how I was feeling or what I was getting as an outcome because I was also told that if I did those things, I would have joy, but that was not happening either.

And so I say all this to let you know that if you’re finding confusion in your clarity, it’s not because there’s something fundamentally broken within you and you have an inability to get clear, it’s because you may have the wrong people in your space that are affirming and telling you who you are, including telling you that you are not able to get unstuck.

So this one I think, is really big. I really believe that women, particularly black women, and marginalized people are constantly put into this world and told that our main purpose in this world is productivity. We’re always being told, like, hey, look, what do you do in this world? What is your contribution? Even when we meet people, we ask them, What do you do for a living? As if that’s their primary purpose. Literally when someone asks me, What do I do, I say my best. Okay, that’s what I do, I do my best. And this concept that your very being is only related to how you perform and that your validation is directly aligned with your productivity is so harmful, because it means that you have to constantly find a way to define who you are. Can’t you just exist? My God. Like as a woman, by default, because we give birth to humankind. We already have a responsibility innately hormonally, emotionally to caregiving and to doing all these other roles. The idea that someone wants to say that I also need to be shaped by what I create, and and what I build and all that I make, like, Listen, I love a Proverbs 31 woman, okay, I am proud to be someone that mends, tends, generates income, takes care of the fam, like I’m proud of that because I enjoy it. But I also enjoy it on terms that make sense for me and my family, not terms that are set by the rest of the world.

So it’s exhausting, it’s exhausting to be told what you’re supposed to be. And it’s even worse, have someone look you in your face and say this is what you are.

And if there’s anything that I believe will lend itself to you feeling more unstuck, to you feeling like you are moving forward with more intentionality, it’s not that you need a new planner, it’s not that you need better goals. It’s not that you need a new checklist to measure yourself against. What’s gonna help you is actually what you need to stop doing. And that’s letting other people write and make a list around who you are and what you’re supposed to be.

As I reflect on what 2023 has brought, and a lot of the conversations that we’ve had in our last season, it’s this awareness, that part of being bold, and moving forward in my life and having the fierce clarity that I want to exist in all areas, not just around my children where I’m like, you will not mess with them. And I have no question about it. But I want to have that clarity around. This is what I do for a living. This is the product and service that I offer. This is how much you will pay and you will pay it in full because it is worth it. This is how I show up in my partnership. No, I will not take out the trash. That is Alex work, right? <laughs> You know, I will cook the meal. That can be my thing. I love that. You know, I want to have that clarity. No, these extra hours don’t feel good. No, I don’t want to work on Mondays or Fridays, even if that means that I’m going to be pulling 15 hour days, you know, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

I want to have that confidence in every single area of my life. And what I found is that confidence exists and it resides within. And the only time it ever feels chipped at is if I’m listening to someone else, and I’m letting them dictate the reality.

No one, no one knows you better than you know yourself. And you have a right to trust that. And you also have a right to affirm it and boldly protect it with boundaries.

So if you are saying to yourself or have said to yourself, gosh, I feel like I am stuck. I’m here to start over but I feel like I’ve reached a rock and a hard place or I’ve reached an impasse. I want you to know that there’s nothing that’s going to get you out of that place sooner, and help you step into the life that you want, then not looking left and right for an answer, but instead looking within. And there’s nothing that’s going to help you stay on that path and continue to grow and succeed and be in the places that you want to be, then boldly protecting everything about those decisions and your right to make them, with your boundaries.

Friend, as you move through everything that you have going on this week, around holiday things, around family things, around work and parenting and just taking care of yourself. I want you to join me in saying, Look, we’re gonna have a lot of people in our lives over these holiday seasons that we may see infrequently, but are coming in with opinions, perspectives, desires, you name it, and I want you to be able to stand up and say I am allowed to choose me because I have defined what I need.

And know that that is enough.

So be bold, protect your boundaries, and live your best life.

 
In this episode, we chat about:
  • How to get perfect clarity,
  • Why it looks like I have this ALL figured out,
  • The moments in my life where I’ve been furtherest from clarity and why,
  • What you can trust when it comes to finding clarity, and
  • How to know when you’re out of alignment

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Grab my New York Times Bestselling memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss the first episode of Season 4 – Listen here
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.