feminine conditioning
You may have noticed I’ve had a makeover – or at least my message and website have.  You’ll also see that the term feminine conditioning appears a lot.

It’s not that I’m departing from my work with coaches. I’m just deepening my explanation of the work I actually do.

You see, there’s something rotten in the coaching industry. What should be a deep and resonant conversation about how we become more effective as humans – both individually and collectively, has instead become filled with shouty voices talking about instant wealth, hustle and overly simplified solutions to the complexities of being an actual human.

There’s such a disconnect from the work that we as coaches do. And after a while, I’ve gotten sick of the same old ‘rah rah rah’ motivational quotes and have started longing for something more nuanced.  More real. More human.

In late 2016 I realized that I needed to go deeper with my branding and messaging than I was at that time. The description of my work and philosophy I was putting out was only encompassing part of my work. The truth was, I wasn’t just helping people with the strategic steps they needed to grow their coaching business.We were digging deep, uncovering their ‘why’, creating copy though glorious back and forth brainstorming sessions that reflected who they were and why they were doing their work. We were designing packages that would not only help them have consistent income but help their clients achieve greater and longer lasting outcomes.

I was also helping my clients work through the emotional and personal developmental stuff that inevitably comes up when we’re doing any growth work. Some weeks would be more like traditional life coaching than business coaching. And that was more than OK. It was essential work because once those unless those issues – the resistance, fear, procrastination, self-doubt and a load more, the client would get stuck and not be able to progress. Once those blocks were worked through, the client was free to move forwards. But ignoring those points of resistance only made them bigger.

So I could no longer feel authentic without sharing the true nature of my work. But if I’m honest I was scared to make the change. Sure, the website looks gorgeous but the message felt like a HUGE departure from where I’d been before. Like I was outing myself as a feminist and suddenly talking about radically different stuff than ‘I’ll help you build your coaching business.’

Which is kind of funny now because once I’d put it all out there, the overwhelming response has been ‘That’s so YOU’ – like this was my message all along and I’m really now laying it out.

I had been wrestling with the exact same issues I help my clients with. My own feminine conditioning was telling me to tone my message down, play small, don’t say too much or else risk offending people.

Freeing yourself from that can feel liberating and scary at the same time. But being true and genuinely authentic (rather than the faux ‘I’m being so real and vulnerable here guys’ authenticity we too often see online)

As women, we’re used to putting on a mask and a costume. Caitlin Moran talks about the question every woman asks herself when she stands in front of her wardrobe – What do I need to wear for who I need to be today?

Being real and true to ourselves – whether it be our bodies or minds, or our hearts risks being judged. And as women, this all too often means to be judged to be found wanting.

This is so much as the heart of the work I do with women coaches – to stand out in a crowded marketplace and build a sustainable, successful coaching business means being visible and authentic. It means being seen and heard. Sharing our opinions and claiming our expertise.

The brings us right into conflict with a lot of messages we’ve been given by our culture about what a ‘good’ woman should be.

This is our feminine conditioning and even the most progressive, strong, ballsy out there and self-declared feminists still have to grapple with this tension.

So in this week’s podcast I’m diving into what I mean by feminine conditioning and why it’s so important to the work you do as a coach – but also to the work we do as switched on women and men in a culture that’s wrestling with a pace of change that’s at once breathtaking, exciting and scary.

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