Intro: Welcome to Your Confident Self, the podcast that empowers women to step into their boldest, most confident selves. I’m your host, Allegra Sinclair, and I’m here to help you unleash your full potential in every area of your life. From the boardroom to the dance floor will explore practical strategies and mindset shifts that will help you show up as your most confident self in every situation. Join me each week as I either bring you a lesson straight from my own executive coaching practice or I dive into conversations with inspiring women who have overcome their own fears and self doubt to achieve amazing things. From entrepreneurs and executives to artists and athletes, my guests will share their stories and insights so you can learn from their experiences and apply their lessons to your own life. Whether you’re ready to ask for that promotion, start your own business, or simply feel more confident in your own skin, your Confident Self is the podcast for you. So grab your headphones and get ready to unlock your full potential.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Hey, this is allegra welcome to the podcast. Now, I’m going to be talking very southern today because I’m in the south and I’m trying to get an accent so I can be more interesting. And my guest is also in the south, so it’s on, y’all. That’s right, it is going to be on today we are talking about, or rather we are talking with someone who I just met recently, but I think that we might have known each other in a former life because we were laughing from square one. And y’all know, I was really raised in Jersey. I don’t usually like people, but I liked her instantly and I think you’re going to have the exact same response. Karen Freeland is a recovered corporate workaholic. After years in high pressure leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies, she traded the boardroom for the bedroom. Now, before you all get it twisted, in her hilarious award winning book, the Ins and Outs of My Vagina a penetrating memoir, she recounts the mishaps and misadventures she’s had over the past 40 years with a special partner in crime. Her vagina, named the women of All Ages, can relate to this raw and honest journey of firsts long term relationships and finding pleasure. Karen’s, also a speaker and certified life reinvention coach, focused on helping women transform their lives and achieve their dreams. Through her signature Edit Your Life program, she offers oneonone coaching, giving women all the tools and techniques needed to cover fears, discover their purpose, and live their dream life. Her group coaching program called Success Without Sacrifice, helps women grow their career and create the balance they crave so they never miss out on life again. Please help me welcome Karen to the podcast. Hey, Karen.
Karin Freeland: Hi Allegra. It’s so good to be with you today.
Allegra M. Sinclair: It is so good to have you here. This is I know, shots fired. Fired in a hole. All the fire metaphors I could come up with and grab your panties, because this is a definite big girl panties episode, because we’re going to get into some delicious stuff. But we’re grown women here, south.
Karin Freeland: Thank goodness for that.
Allegra M. Sinclair: I know, right? So tell me about the corporate workaholic part. What does that mean to you? Corporate workaholic?
Karin Freeland: Yeah. I mean, it’s the 24/7 hustle mentality always on, never can be separated from your phone. And I think it’s one of those things that it was just what I saw others model for me. It was a bit of a badge of honor. And so I just took to it, and I was like, well, this is what I got to do to be successful. I’m game. I’ll do anything to get that title and get that paycheck. Right?
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes. That is wild. When you said badge of honor, something in me just rose up and screamed, no, because I remember walking into meetings and it would be a badge of it was like a contest to say who had gotten the least sleep.
Karin Freeland: Yes. Oh, yeah. We had one guy. He’d be like, I slept in the office last night. And I’m like, Why is this why are we celebrating this? I don’t understand.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes. I don’t ever remember anybody saying they slept in the office, but wow, I hope that if someone said that today, that everybody would look at him like, you need Jesus. I’m not sure why he slept here.
Karin Freeland: I don’t know.
Allegra M. Sinclair: But you need something because sleeping in the office not so good. Although I do remember back in the day, this was a very long time ago, that there were some engineers who were sleeping in the office when I was working at a company that intel later bought because they were, like, coding and testing stuff out. That was like a different time. Like, we would come in on Monday and they would be there with, like, pizza in their face kind of thing.
Karin Freeland: Right.
Allegra M. Sinclair: But, wow, I slept in the office. No, not so much. So was there an inciting incident or was there a moment when you just knew not just no. Hell no.
Karin Freeland: I mean, there were a lot and I think that this is a thing for a lot of high achieving women. You keep seeing the signs and the red flags, but you don’t really know how to speak up or put up boundaries and go, that’s not for me, because everybody else is doing it. So you think it’s success? You think that that’s the only way. So I remember specifically one example. There was a death in the leadership team, and this man passed away on vacation with his family, had a heart attack. Horrific. And we were trying to figure out when we were going to move the operations review, because the funeral was the morning of the operations review. And the HR person basically said, like, the VP, the big head honcho of HR was like, well, they can put their big boy pants on. We’re not moving it. There’s no other time to do it. We’re going to have the operations review after the funeral. And I just remember thinking, this is everything I never want to be. This is not me. How did I get here? I don’t want to say they didn’t care. I think there were a lot of people on the leadership team that really did care, but there was enough of that corporate grit and jadedness, I think. Right. Everyone had become so hardened that they were just like, no, this is what we do. We have business to do.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Wow.
Karin Freeland: I’m just a number. I am just a number. What am I doing?
Allegra M. Sinclair: That is a showstopping thought. They can just suck it up. We’re having the oh, my, I cannot with that. I’m rejecting that entire notion. So that would be a moment that would give me pause. So what did you do?
Karin Freeland: Yeah, well, I was chief of staff at the time for a large company, and I felt really helpless. Right. And I tried talking to a couple of the people in my inner circle like, this doesn’t seem right. And they’re like, It’s not right, but it is what it is. And so that was kind of my initial like, okay, I have to start making an exit plan. I have to start figuring out something else. And so I ended up eventually getting the confidence to start looking outside of the company. Because when you’re at a company for a long time, what happens for a lot of us is we start to think that we’re only good and we can only be successful in that one environment. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes, I have.
Karin Freeland: Yes. And I just remember thinking, I’m only good because I’ve been here so long and I know the right people and I understand our culture and I understand the right way to do things here. I don’t know if I would be successful somewhere else. And that’s such broken thinking.
Allegra M. Sinclair: But understandable, right?
Karin Freeland: Yes, exactly.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So it’s fascinating that when you reached out to your circle, they were like, yes. Immediately they’re like, oh, my gosh, yes, this sucks. Yes, you’re right. This is all sorts of wrong, but then in the next breath but this is how it is. So in other words, what are you going to do about it?
Karin Freeland: Right? And I think sometimes you can change. Right. Sometimes you can speak up and you can make a difference. This was one of those scenarios that I don’t think it would have mattered how much I spoke up. So at that point, it becomes and this is something that I have to coach a lot of my clients through when we’re doing our life coaching sessions, is if you can’t change it and you’re unhappy with it, then you have no other choice but then to go elsewhere. You either sit there and you accept it and you go with the flow, or if you can make a change, great, speak up, make those changes. But if those are not options for you and you cannot live with it, it’s like, well, there’s no other way but to leave and go somewhere else, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So when you went to the next organization, did you find the same issues that you were experiencing in the organization that you had just left?
Karin Freeland: Yeah, and it’s so funny because it became very apparent about six months into this new role, right about the time the honeymoon phase of it wore off. Like the new pay bump, the new title, all that glitz and glamour had kind of gotten old and was now steady state. I realized, oh, it’s not actually the company that’s the problem. I could work for any company and I would have these exact same problems. The problem is me. I don’t fit in this square box. That for me, was corporate. This isn’t going to work anymore. Oh, now what? How do I get out of here?
Allegra M. Sinclair: Exactly. There’s that whole Holy Macaroli moment like, oh, okay, so it came here with me, right?
Karin Freeland: I’m like, wait, I’m confused. I thought we were done with this. I thought we weren’t going to have any more late nights. Grinding of the teeth. Oh, no. I now have full on acid reflux. I can’t even swallow without crying the stress.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Oh my gosh. Do you know how many women I have spoken with in the last month who specifically said grinding their teeth, acid reflux and unexplained emotional swings?
Karin Freeland: Oh, hello. I forgot about the emotional swings.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes. I remember working at a company where I thought, okay, this is it. I have arrived. And I was having the wildest swings of emotion. And I went to the doctor and I was like, okay, I think something’s wrong with me. Maybe I’m having early menopause. It can happen in your 30s. Right? And they told me I was depressed and I was not depressed, but they told me I was depressed. And I believed that for like six months until I figured out that when I wasn’t in this particular environment dealing with the particular issues that were troublesome for me, I was my regular self, right? So I was like, oh, so I’m situationally depressed. I’m geographically depressed because when I’m not here in this space with these folks having to do this stuff that doesn’t make my heart sing. I am glorious.
Karin Freeland: You just hit the nail on the head. Right. It’s that doesn’t make my heart sing because that was the problem for me. I love that there is more opportunities for women in Stem. I love that we’re raising awareness amongst young girls and women and giving them the opportunity to go into this field and at the same time, I, as a woman, found it boring as all get up. I could not get my head around it. I would sit in meetings and look at the guys around the table, and I would be like, okay, let me just get this straight. Do all you all actually care how many people we adopt to the cloud? Because I don’t. I literally can’t think of anything I could care less about. Are you faking it or is it just me? I was so confused. But I think they really liked it. Maybe. I don’t know.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Did you? I couldn’t get a midlife crisis 100 legitimately. No, because, see, I think I didn’t.
Karin Freeland: Know it at first.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes, I was about to say one of the things I sing with my clients now is they don’t realize that there is a dissonance between what they want to do and what it is that they do. Especially if you’ve been really successful at it’s hard to turn your nose up at something that pays you well, where you keep getting promoted, where you get all these social cues that you are the bomb. It’s hard to say to yourself, okay, so I might be fabulous in this space, but it’s itching me, right? It’s hard to say that. So I just wondered if you thought, hey, this is just a midlife crisis. I just need to bear down and buy a hot car and get over it.
Karin Freeland: Oh, my gosh. Okay, wait. It’s like you’re reading my mind. So first thing I want to just tell your listeners, because I think this is so important, and hear me loud. Write this down. Talent does not equal purpose. Talent does not equal purpose. You can be talented at something all day long and hate it or not enjoy it or just not get fulfillment from it. Right? You might be like, hey, it’s not bad. It’s okay. But it doesn’t make your heart sing. And so I think that’s so important. Andre Agassi, we all remember him. Big tennis star. He hated tennis. With a deep passion. He actually said in interviews, a deep passion. And he did it for so many years, but he hated it. But he was so good at it that he probably felt like he couldn’t walk away, right? And everybody was telling him, what are you doing? You’re amazing. Keep going. But he hated it.
Allegra M. Sinclair: I did not know that.
Karin Freeland: Yes. Oh, yes. So I felt like that with marketing, right? B to b marketing. I was just like, I’m good at this. I know I’m good at this. I’ve had an amazing track record, and yet it’s not fun anymore. I don’t feel excited. I don’t wake up and want to get out of bed and go do my work. But you just hit the nail on the head again, like the money. How do you walk away from six figures? Especially when you have kids and you have responsibilities and they’re playing hockey and it’s expensive and there’s all these things. So you’re right? I did. I bought a hot car. I got myself a Benz, because I thought, well, if I’m going to work this hard, I might as well enjoy my money, right? And for me, I think the midlife crisis became very apparent when we had a couple of deaths in the family, and that was the moment that really shook me and went, OOH, my time here is finite, and I don’t think I’m happy I’m not living in alignment with my values. Like, what happened to fun Karen? What happened to the Karen that used to be pursuing her acting career? And where did all those dreams go? But I was so stuck with those golden handcuffs that it took me probably a good I mean, all said and done, it was probably a four year process, but from this point, it was about a year to really break free of that feeling of just being stuck. Well, this is my bed. I’ve made it. I have to lay in it. I better just suck it up.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So that is heartbreaking to hear that it took four years. But I wanted to make sure to say that is not unusual. Because the fact that you figured out that it was not the organization, but that it was your fit inside the organization doing the work that you were doing doesn’t immediately lead to like an ABC After School special moment where you know exactly what you want to do instead. And you pick up your skates and you’re plucky and determined and then you go and do that other thing. Real life doesn’t wrap up in 45 minutes plus commercials, so it does take time to reconnect with what you liked before the world told you who you were supposed to be so that you can go be her and do more of what she wants to do. So four years. Don’t begrudge yourself that it took time, because when you get on the other side of that, it can be quite delicious. But when you were in the stuck place, how did you move from stuck? Yeah, I love that word, because it just sounds like exactly how it feels, how’d you move from stuck to unstuck.
Karin Freeland: It is the worst feeling in the world. And I think that’s why you and I are probably so passionate about helping women get unstuck, because we know what it feels like to be there. And it’s just so painful and hopeless that you’re like, I got to move out of this space, but you don’t know what to do. And I think that that’s, like, the easiest thing I can tell people to do. Number one is just do something, anything different, literally. Because we all think, I got to know how to get from A to Z. I have to know the exact right next step. But you don’t. You just have to do something different. Maybe that means you start volunteering your time. Maybe that means you take a different route home from work one day, because you’ll see a billboard that’ll spark an interest in something. You just don’t know where inspiration is going to come from. So do something, anything different. The biggest thing I think I did that really helped me get unstuck was turning inward and drowning out the noise.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So what do you mean, turning inward?
Karin Freeland: Yeah. So for me, that was a lot of internal reflection, a lot of journaling and going inside of myself because I had all the answers. I knew that corporate wasn’t for me for years. When this whole thing started to kick off, I didn’t want to acknowledge it because of what it meant, because of what the perceived discomfort was going to be. So as I started to journal and uncover all of these dreams and ambitions in my heart, I realized I owe it to myself. Like, I am preventing myself from having a better life because I’m putting up all these blockers and I don’t necessarily think that I’m capable of making a living as an entrepreneur. Well, I don’t know, because I’ve never tried. And so now I was able to look at all of these thoughts that I had buried deep inside of me and go, oh, well, that’s actually not so scary. That’s not really true. I probably could run a business, look at all these other people doing it. If they can do it, why couldn’t I? Look how successful I’ve been in my career. That would translate, surely. So I think by going inside and drowning out the noise and not worrying about what everybody else thinks I should be doing, I was able to get clear on what I really wanted, which ended up being, at first, writing a book. I didn’t even know I was going to leave corporate, but I just thought, well, I got to get joy from somewhere other than my job. Why not pursue my creativity and write this memoir?
Allegra M. Sinclair: So did you write the book while you were still working in corporate?
Karin Freeland: I did, yeah.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Awesome. Okay.
Karin Freeland: Yeah, so it was kind of like my night job. I would get done with work and I would be like, all right, everybody, mommy has to write. I need like, 20 minutes. Just give me some time to go upstairs and crank out a half a chapter or something. And yeah, I hired an editor at the beginning of 2020, right before the world shut down.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Oh, that’s interesting timing, isn’t it?
Karin Freeland: Oh, my gosh. Right? But the universe always knows everything happens for a reason. But yeah, I met right at the end of February in New York City with the editor, and he decided to sign on, and we agreed to work together. And the next week, I think a week or two later, I got noticed from the company that bonuses were not going to be paid. And so I had a very pivotal moment where I believe the universe was testing me and saying, okay, how serious are you about this? Do you still want to go through with this? Even though that bonus was how you were going to pay your editor? And I remember just going to my husband and going, I got to do this. I have got to bet on me for once. I’m going to use some of my savings. I mean, it wasn’t his money, so I wasn’t asking for permission, but I just wanted to acknowledge that I was using this money. And he was like, okay, do what you got to do. He’s like, I just want to see you happy. I just want you to be Happy Karen again.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yes, it is. But it’s also that heartbreaking thing again for me because when we’re in the midst of that teeth grinding, acid reflex place, we don’t realize that people who care about us see it. Because we tell ourselves that in order to get up and continue to do stuff that is sucking the very life out of us, that we have to put on a mask and we have to show up and be fake. And we don’t realize that we’re not that good at it. And since you trained as an actress, you’re thinking, oh, I’m killing this. Nobody knows I’miserable and then your husband says, yeah, I’m looking for happy Karen again, and you’re like, crap on a cracker. He knew this whole time. He knew I was not myself, and.
Karin Freeland: He felt so bad. He wanted to help me, but he couldn’t help me, right, other than just to be supportive. But he didn’t have the answers either. Again, that’s where it comes to turning inward and just getting really serious with yourself about what you want.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Love. I think the other important thing is that while you were yet in corporate, you started, your first thing was do something different. So you started doing that right away, and then you turned inward while you were still there, right. And then you decided to write the book while you were still there. I speak with women sometimes who feel like life is like a faucet that is on or off. So either I’m here, I am all in, or I turn away completely and go do this other thing, and they’re panicking about all that they’ll have to give up. And my question is always, okay, who says you have to give everything up?
Karin Freeland: Yes.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Let’s start there. Who is this mystical being who is telling you that life is either black or white? Because I would like to talk with them.
Karin Freeland: Yes.
Allegra M. Sinclair: That hasn’t been my experience. Right. So you started these things while you were still in your current gig, which I love. You don’t have to give up everything to figure out what makes your heart sing.
Karin Freeland: Exactly.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So you turned inward, and the way for you was journaling, spending time alone, really getting comfortable again, or getting reconnected with a bunch of different ideas, like, what might I like to do? What could my next chapter legitimately look like? What did you do next?
Karin Freeland: Yeah. So as I started, it sort of happened organically from there, right? Because now I’m writing this book, and all of a sudden, I have this, like, fire in my belly again. I’m like, life is awesome. My job is a means to an end. It’s funding my dream. Like, I can get with that. Let me go. Just do the bare minimum right now. I’m not trying to be this A plus plus star performer. I’m delegating stuff to my team left and right. They’re getting stronger. They’re like, oh, she’s finally trusting us, right? Which I didn’t realize was the signal I had always been sending to my team, because I was keeping a lot of the work to myself. So almost, like, created this own self fulfilling prophecy, like, oh, I’m so busy, and I have no time. And so I would just take on more, take on more and make myself have less time and be operating from Scarcity instead of standing up and being the leader that I should have been and been like, no, you take that call. You can handle that. I don’t need to be a part of every single thing. And so as I started to do that, to prioritize working on the book, my eyes became open to the possibilities, and I created my website, and my editor was like, look, you got to build a platform. You’re writing a memoir. Who’s going to buy this book? You need an audience. And I was like, okay, what am I going to do to get an audience? I know I’ll speak. I love speaking. Speaking is fun for me. It’s easy. Okay? And so I end up going through this whole process writing my signature talk, and I thought, I’m just jazzing these women up. And then I’m like, good luck. I’m like leaving them, and then I don’t actually teach them how to change. I thought, well, that’s not fair.
Allegra M. Sinclair: All of a sudden, you thought, hey, I’m ripping off the Bandit and saying, hey, go in love.
Karin Freeland: Yeah, right. Exactly. And I’m like, this isn’t going to work for me. I want to actually usher women through this process, right? And so I started exploring different kinds of coaching, health coaching, physical training, because I do a lot. Like, I love to work out. I’m very physical. And someone was just talking about life coaching, and I thought, Well, I could do that. I could think I would be a good life coach. So I ended up getting certified, fell in love with it, and I was like, that’s it. That’s what I’m going to do now, mind you, while all this is happening, I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My company has acquired another company that does this magical reverse takeover that I’ve never seen before in my corporate career. And I’m like, they’re going to lay me off. They’re going to lay me off. So as I got closer to knowing that this was inevitably going to happen, I was like, this is great. All of my fantasies are coming true. I’ve always wanted a severance package. I really need better fantasies.
Allegra M. Sinclair: You know that is not an average response to that situation, right?
Karin Freeland: No, I know. Well, it is, but it isn’t, right? I think a lot of us secretly are kind of like, oh, my gosh, I would be so relieved. But we don’t want to admit it or say it out loud because of what we think it means. It feels scary. It feels uncertain. But for me, it got to the point where it was just so painful to work anymore, and I was getting so much joy from these other avenues of my life. I’m like, I got to just step into this completely. And the universe knew that. The universe knew that I would get to the end of the year and be like, well, why not hang on a few more months and get that bonus money, right? I would always be moving the end date because of my own fear, my own self doubt. And so the universe was like, we’re done here, girlfriend. Job over. You need to step into this fully and just go follow your heart.
Allegra M. Sinclair: I think it’s fascinating how the universe conspires to make our deepest dreams come true, despite sometimes our best efforts to block the blessings, right?
Karin Freeland: Oh, yeah. I don’t know if I told you this when we first talked, but that book, I started the insanity outs of my vagina in 2009. So this is now 2020 that we are talking about me losing my job, and I’m writing and I’m working with the editor, and the book ended up launching in 2021. So I fully believe that the universe is never going to let you miss your shot, right? If you block it like I did. I mean, I was in corporate, and every once in a while, that book would pop up in my mind and I’d be like, I’ll write a chapter. I’ll get around to it. Someday. Someday. And finally the universe was like, no, it’s now. There’s no more someday. Like, we got to do this. And I thankful for that.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So I have a question, and when we were talking about the minute I heard the title of your book, I think we both giggled for, like, five minutes because of my inner child. My inner five year old was like, yes, vagina. But did you have any qualms when you were still fully immersed in corporate about writing a book with that title?
Karin Freeland: Oh, yes. I actually hid everything. That is why everything with my book is in my maiden name, because I was worried about my kids and my husband and what people might think. I had a lot of fear around that and actually. After the book was all written, ready to go, everything was pretty much done. I sat on it for about a good three months before I did anything with it because I thought, am I really going to do this? Am I really going to tell people my most intimate moments? And, yeah, I did. And then I did.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Was there one conversation or one thing that made you suddenly say, you know what? I’m pulling the trigger on this because I absolutely understand the reticence. First of all, writing a book and putting your book out there is there is fear built into that because suppose the world hates it. You’ve just spent all this time birthing this baby, and the world tells you your baby was ugly. So there is that fear, right? But then there’s all this other stuff. Like when you leave corporate at all, there’s all this, oh, what will people say? Do they think I’m crazy? Do they think that I really just couldn’t? I mean, there’s all this drama that comes with leaving a corporate role and a corporate title, right? So leaving corporate now legitimately, your job was ending, so you needed to do something different. But there’s just a lot wrapped up in putting some art that you have created out in the world, but then you also think specifically of the title. Does that fit with who people thought you were in the business world?
Karin Freeland: Yeah. And part of me was like, this is so great. This is such a mic drop moment just to be like, forget you all, check out my book.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Like, peace out.
Karin Freeland: So there was definitely that fighter in me that was like, yeah, I got you. I won in the end. But no, I think that pivotal moment that got me over the hump was my coach. And so, yes, the coach has a coach. I love coaching. I’m a believer of coaching. I have my own coach. And in talking with her and sharing a lot of my fears around why I was being hesitant around the book, she really poked a lot of holes, asked me a lot of those deep questions. And the biggest question, she said, what do you envision for this book? Like, let’s say you put this book out there. What’s the best case scenario? And I was like, oh, my gosh, it becomes a bestseller. And I make a TV show out of it. And I just got all excited about all the possibilities. And I’m raising money for alliance for Period Supplies to help end period poverty, and like, I’m going to change people’s lives. And this is so amazing. And she just looked at me and goes, okay, I’m not telling you what to do. That’s not my role as your coach. She goes. When this call is over, I want you to go back and watch the video, and I want you to look at your face and the way you light up when you talk about this book. And then you tell me whether or not you want to launch this. And are your fears worth giving up everything that you just talked about? And I went back and I watched the video, and I was like, she’s right. I hope I can say the D word.
Allegra M. Sinclair: I’ll just edit that out.
Karin Freeland: I was like, Dang it, she’s right. I got to do this. I really was just holding myself back because of that fear, because of what I was afraid people would think about me. But what about all the people that were going to read this book and go, oh, my gosh, I felt alone. I have felt like my body was dysfunctional my whole life, or I thought I was the only one who just had a miscarriage, or all the different things that I talk about in there that go along with your body. I thought, if this book touches one person, my gosh, then it’s worth it. It’s worth all of it.
Allegra M. Sinclair: There is that magical moment when, as coaches, our client shifts. They like, transform in front of us. And you see. I mean, it’s hard to describe until you witness it, but the voice change, the energy change, like everything about them, they sound like almost a different person when they are ready to step into what they really want to do. It is mind blowing, and it’s such a privilege. It’s one of the things I love about being a coach. I feel like I’m an anthropologist almost, and that we’re unearthing what people have been hiding, like what they have buried in the ground, and we get to be there when the spade hits the box, and they’re like, what is this thing down here? Like, all that joy and anticipation that is magical. But I was laughing so hard. You’re like, you went back and watched. You’re like, oh, she was right.
Karin Freeland: I know. I’m like, okay, I have no more excuses.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Okay.
Karin Freeland: Got to do it.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Oh, I love that. So we talked a little bit about the fears of publishing a book, period. That fears about what people would say. And I think often women in particular are socialized to think about themselves, what other people think about them. So I sometimes don’t know how I feel. I’m not saying this is my current truth. I’m just talking about women. We don’t know how we feel about something until someone else tells us how they feel about it.
Karin Freeland: Yeah.
Allegra M. Sinclair: And I think they train that into us. So as children, we are very opinionated, both genders. Right. But I do think that little girls then get to be socialized in a way where they’re supposed to wait for someone to tell them what they think about something before they then say what they think about something. So it’s not unusual or not unexpected that you would be so worried about what people would say. But the thing that I am fascinated by is everybody’s opinion doesn’t hold the same weight.
Karin Freeland: True.
Allegra M. Sinclair: It’s like one of the joys of being over 30, right? There have to be some can’t all be dry skin and droopy boobs. There have to be good things to being over 31 of them. Is that you just realize that some people’s opinions legitimately don’t matter to you. Right. Your circle gets much smaller. The people who have influence over you get much smaller. Hopefully as we grow and become more and more of who we’re supposed to be, we realize that there are people’s opinions that legit don’t matter. So what would you say to someone who’s listening to us right now who maybe it’s not a book that they want to write and maybe they don’t want to leave corporate. Maybe they want to leave the area that they’re in within their company and go do something completely different and they’re feeling stuck there. Maybe they work in marketing and they want to work in HR. Maybe they work in HR and they want to work in sales. Right. There are a lot of ways we can be stuck. So what would you say to someone who’s listening to us, who is stuck right now and feels like she’s going to stay stuck because of what other people might say?
Karin Freeland: Yeah, it’s a choice, right? We make a choice. We decide whether we want to be stuck because indecision is a choice. Deciding not to do anything is a choice. And that’s why I encourage people earlier. Just do one thing different. Go shadow somebody in that different department. If you do want to write a book, just do a little research on what it would take. Start writing, like literally, just start putting words on a piece of paper. Do that one thing. Take that step. Because you are making a choice to do nothing and to stay stuck. And that’s hard to hear for a lot of us because I didn’t think that was true of me. I was like, no, but you don’t understand my situation. You don’t understand the bills I have to pay. You don’t understand the taxes I have in New Jersey where I was living at the time, right?
Allegra M. Sinclair: Right.
Karin Freeland: And it wasn’t until I watched the movie The Secret where I really started to understand manifestation, and that my negative thoughts were perpetuating negative situations, and that if I could retrain my thoughts and I could be grateful and I could be more positive that I would actually attract positivity. And it was just the right timing because I think we’re all ready to receive messages at different times. And I finally was enough at rock bottom where I was like, well, I’ve already tried this whole being miserable and staying stuck and nothing’s getting better. What do I have to lose? I can just keep going down this path and like the definition of insanity, expecting something different to happen. It’s not happening. So why not try this manifestation thing, why not try thinking good thoughts and taking a step in a different direction? And it was from that moment forward that really everything started to change. So what are you waiting for?
Allegra M. Sinclair: So it’s interesting to think that our refusing because you’re right, even not making a decision is making a decision. Right. You have made a decision not to do something, right? That is so true. But it’s interesting when you think about the bigger impact of your choosing not to do anything because somebody it’s kind of like when you were talking about how you were thinking, if I don’t write this book, there’s somebody out there who won’t get this message. There’s somebody out there that will continue to feel alone, that will think they’re the only person who has experienced these things. And I was remembering that when I was looking at your website before, I think it was on your website where you said that there’s a report that posits that 98% of people it just gives me goosebumps to even say this out loud. 98% of people die without living out their dreams. And I think that was showstopping heartbreaking in all sorts of other ways. And I thought that’s the genesis of my journey with confidence, because I thought, I have to figure out how to grow confidence so that I’m not one of those 98%.
Karin Freeland: Yes.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So it took a lot of confidence to do several of the things that you’ve talked about. So shifting from the organization where you were bored to a new organization, that took confidence. Right. Because you said in the beginning you were thinking, oh, I’m only good because I’m here. And because I’ve been here so long, I know where all the people are. Like, not where I know where the body’s buried, but I know where the people I know where the people but I know where the people are who can help me get stuff done so that I will be better at my job. Right. So you had to find confidence to move from that organization to a new one, and then you had to find the confidence to take the time to figure out what you wanted to do next. Do you have any hints or tips on how you develop confidence?
Karin Freeland: Yeah, absolutely.
Allegra M. Sinclair: It is a skill. Right. We think that it’s something we were born with or we were not, which is not true. It’s a skill. So how did you develop the confidence to make some of those big changes?
Karin Freeland: Sure. So I think number one was owning my current status, my current capabilities, and being accountable for where I was at that stage of life. So many times we think, well, I can’t start a business because I don’t have experience running a business. Well, everybody has to start somewhere, so just own the capabilities that you do have. I’m a fabulous marketer. Great. I’ll know how to market the business. Why don’t I go meet with some people who already know the operation side of a business or something, right? Or the tax side of the business. Okay. Get those people in my circle. But I had to own what I had and stop looking at everybody else like they had something that I didn’t. And a lot of that meant clearing out the lies in my head that I wasn’t capable of doing those things or I wasn’t any good. And going back and reading just, like, a tangible thing you can do right now. Go read the recommendations on LinkedIn on your profile right now. What have people said about you? Those aren’t lies. People didn’t put that there because they weren’t sincere about it. I did that the other day. I read my podcast reviews because I have a big presentation coming up at a big tech firm, and I was feeling a little nervous about it, and I was like, Stop. I’m going to own my capabilities. I know I’m capable of this. I’ve always done a good job speaking. Why would this be any different? And I was reading the podcast reviews of people saying, karen, next level guest. Have her on your show. So much energy. And I’m like, well, why would that not translate, then to this presentation?
Allegra M. Sinclair: Love that so much. That’s a great tip.
Karin Freeland: Thank you.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Love that.
Karin Freeland: The other thing I would say is you’ve got to face your fear, because we all have fears, and that’s okay. That’s normal, right? There’s no such thing as fearless. To me, what fearless really means is doing it in the face of fear, being scared and doing it anyway, taking the leap anyway. So when we keep our fears in our head, they become this, like, scary, hairy monster that has all grown all kinds of tentacles and become this wild, crazy, imaginary thing.
Allegra M. Sinclair: But what super powerful. It’s like one of the Marvel Universe characters.
Karin Freeland: Exactly. And you’re like, well, of course, that feels, like, impossible to overcome. And then you write the fear down. Like, I’m afraid people won’t let their kids play with my kids if they know about my book. Well, if they aren’t going to not let their kids play with my kids because of a book I wrote, well, I don’t want my kids playing with their kids anyway. Okay, never mind. Fear checked off, right? Like, not a thing. Okay, maybe there is a fear. Well, then you can come on to step number three, which is make a plan. Don’t we all feel better when we have a plan?
Allegra M. Sinclair: Absolutely. Even if we don’t like it. Having a plan versus no plan is magic.
Karin Freeland: Completely.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Yeah.
Karin Freeland: But a lot of us think, well, I want to do this other thing, but we don’t actually come up with a plan. Okay, you want to get promoted. Great. Well, what steps are you taking to get promoted? Are you signing up for extra projects? Are you networking with the leadership team that’s going to sponsor somebody into that role. What are you doing to make it a reality versus just sitting there and feeling fearful about applying for the next role that comes open? If you have a plan, you’re going to be more likely to execute. The problem is most people don’t get to the make a plan phase because they’re stuck in the fear phase, right? So they’ve never gotten that far.
Allegra M. Sinclair: That is so juicy. Most people don’t get to the planning stage because they are still stuck in the fear stage. Now, I know you have a gift for my listeners that has something to do with how they don’t have to stay stuck. Do you want to tell us about that? Maybe there’s some secrets.
Karin Freeland: There are six secrets, actually. So, yes. I have a free e guide on my website called Six Secrets to Get Unstuck. And if you employ these six secrets for 30 days, I promise you, you will start to get unstuck and be able to move in a new direction and start gaining that confidence that you need to make those next steps.
Allegra M. Sinclair: So this awesome guide that has six secrets to get unstuck, you can get it off Karen’s website. The link is in the Show notes, but you can also go to allegrity.com sixsecrets that will take you right to Karen’s site. So it’s allegrasinclair.com sixthenumeral sixsecrets to get this amazing guide. This has been so awesome and I just feel like I could go out and leap tall buildings in a single bound right now. And there’s so much I took from this that I know I can apply to my own life, which I love. That’s why we have coaches, right? Coaches have coaches because we always know that we can be improving and then having a greater impact on other people’s lives. Is there anything else that you just want to pour all over my so grateful audience that you haven’t had a chance to share yet?
Karin Freeland: Yeah, I will just speak to that coaching thing. I mean, it is so empowering when you invest in yourself and you prioritize yourself in that way and you get that third party guidance, somebody who is unbiased. And I just see so many women that they want to get a coach, they want to advance their life and level up, but they’re afraid to invest in themselves. And I just want to let you know you’re worth it. You deserve it. And go ahead and bet on yourself because it will change your life.
Allegra M. Sinclair: That is awesome. And the magical thing about you changing your life is when women’s lives change. When women’s lives I cannot say that. When women’s lives change, the world changes.
Karin Freeland: Yes. Oh, that is so beautifully said.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Thank you so much for being here. I know everyone’s going to fall in love. We’re going to have the link to your website in the Show Notes. Can you tell us real quick what’s your favorite social platform if they choose to come play with you there?
Karin Freeland: Absolutely. So my Facebook group is a great place where I hang out a lot. It’s called successful working women rocking. Reinvention. And I’m happy to share that in the show notes too. And so come hang out with us. Otherwise, you can find me at karen freeland on Facebook or Instagram.
Allegra M. Sinclair: Perfect. Thank you so much for being here, everyone. I’ll have the links to all of the resources Karen shared as well as full show notes with some of these great quotes. Because I was writing so fast, I was like, oh, that should be a t shirt. That should be on a mug. Oh, that’s just delicious. I was writing this whole time, just making sure I captured all these tidbits. But everyone also knows they could come back and listen more than one time. That’s the joy of podcasts. So we’ll have all that available for you in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining us. We will catch you next time.