Finding Clarity with Tracy Timm | IT 024

Jun 10, 2020

Do you hate your job? Are you wanting to make a switch? How can you find clarity and define who you want to be?

In this podcast episode, Kathryn Ely speaks to Tracy Timm about discovering your value, finding clarity, and defining who you want to be right now.

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Meet Tracy Timm

Tracy Timm is the founder of The Nth Degree® Career Academy, the proven career clarity system that helps high-potential professionals discover, define, and drive careers they love. She has a degree in behavioral psychology from Yale University and studied design thinking with the founder of the d.school at Stanford University. Tracy left a successful but unsatisfying career in finance, traveled once around the world on Semester at Sea, and discovered her ideal career. For more than five years, she has applied these lessons in her career advisory work with hundreds of individuals and over one hundred fast-growing companies. Tracy lives in Dallas, Texas.

Visit Tracy’s website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Limiting beliefs
  • Scripts
  • Why people don’t want to leave their comfort zone
  • Being enough
  • The Nth Degree

Limiting beliefs

Tracy’s first story she shares is that of a 59-year old woman who she recently spoke to. The woman told Tracy how she’s feeling lost and she’s feeling tension, stress, and conflict, mainly because her children are growing up and this is the last summer before she becomes an empty nester. 18 years ago, she and her husband made the value-based decision that she would stay at home with the kids. At the time, that was what she valued most, but now she’s living with two simultaneous realities:

  1. She can’t go back and she’s asking herself if she made the right decision.
  2. She’s beating herself up because she’s starting to think about how things would be different if she had chosen differently.

As soon as you set those things out into the world, you create that reality. Your words become your world. We latch on to some things and let go of others, but once we latch on to something, we look for the things that confirm it and make it true.

Scripts

We write these mental scripts of how the world works. Think about how we assume restaurants work. There’s not usually a sign that tells you how it’s all going to go. Stand here, wait for a waiter or host, go to your table, sit down, etc. We learned that over time, we feel confident in the moment because we know the “script”, but if you go into a restaurant in Thailand for example, that may function totally differently and you’re going to feel really uncomfortable, stupid, or embarrassed because you don’t know what’s going on.

When you change your identity, it’s the same script that you’re having to challenge. You’re going from mom to professional for example, you’re uncomfortable, you don’t know where you fit in and you don’t know how the script has changed since you were last there. You need some flexibility, courage, and the willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new script.

Why people don’t want to leave their comfort zone

A lot of it is fear of mistakes and not being perfect. You hold yourself to a standard of perfection and beat yourself up when you think you’ve made a mistake. It’s often driven by a negative core belief of feeling inadequate and trying to prove to everyone else, but mainly yourself, that you are enough. When you do things well, it’s an affirmation that you are enough, when you make a mistake, it’s an affirmation that you’re not. Your brain keeps you stuck and keeps you from trying because it’s protecting you from failure.

Being enough

If I have lived what I value today, if I have treated the people in my life the way I want to treat them, if I can look at myself at the end of the day, and I’ve been the person that I’ve wanted to be in my interactions, I’ve worked toward my goals, regardless of what the actual progress is that I can see. I can feel satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day.”

The Nth Degree

The process is called “The Nth Degree” and it is the basis for all of the programs at The Nth Degree Career Academy. All of their programs are centered around delivering three things:

  • Clarity
  • Confidence
  • Certainty

They take people through three major phases in the Nth Degree process and then break those phases down into seven steps, all starting with the letter “N”, hence the Nth Degree. The three phases are Discover, Define, and Drive, and are broken down as follows:

1. Discover – Discovering your true value as a professional. What are the puzzle pieces that make you, you, and make you stand out.

  • Now – Owning where you are in your life, owning what your circumstances are, and creating your set of values and your set of commitments for this moment in time.
  • Nature – How you can add value with the things that come naturally to you so that it leverages your personality, behavior set, giftings/talents/aptitudes.
  • Nurture – How can you add value with the things that you have learned. Knowledge, skills, expertise, languages, intelligence. Basically, anything that you’ve got from work or life experience that has allowed you to grow and add to your toolkit.

2. Define – Defining your genius zone, your unique, best, highest rate, Olympic level gold medal level zone of professional genius.

  • Niche – The goal is very singular… defining your unique professional niche.

3. Drive – What are the strategies and tactics that you need to drive your career forward, to drive that vision into your reality.

  • Network – Teaching you how to advocate for yourself, how to pitch your niche, and how to leverage the real power of people.
  • Navigate – Shadowing, informational interview, volunteering, freelancing, even Googling, to find out if something is the right fit for you.
  • Nourish – People need a system to nourish themselves along the road. If your cups not being refilled then your ability to fill other people’s cups is diminished. You need a support system, or a bank of motivation, a deep understanding of your “why”, so that when the going gets tough I’s not super easy to just give up.

Click here for Tracy’s free gift!

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful links:

Kathryn Ily

Meet Kathryn Ely

I’m Kathryn Ely and at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds” like “women should always care for others” and “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.

As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.

Thanks for listening!

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Imperfect Thriving is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[KATHRYN]:
Imperfect Thriving podcast, episode 24. Finding Clarity with Tracy Timm. In today’s episode, you’re going to discover your value, find clarity, and define who you want to be in your life right now. These are all things that we discussed with Tracy Timm today on the podcast.

Welcome to the Imperfect Thriving podcast for all of us women in midlife, to discover your self-limiting beliefs, determine exactly what you want your life to look like, and the imperfect actions to get you there.

There are many ways to keep your practice organized, but TherapyNotes is the best. Their easy to use, secure platform lets you not only do your billing, scheduling, and progress notes, but also create a client portal to share documents and request signatures. Plus, they offer amazing, unlimited phone support. So, when you have a question you can get help fast. To get started with practice management software trusted by over 35,000 professionals go to therapynotes.com and start a free trial today. If you enter promo code JOE, they will give you two months for free to try it out. Again, that’s therapynotes.com, promo code JOE.

Friends, I just want to check in first to see if you’ve joined our Imperfect Thriving Facebook group yet. We have created a community, sharing knowledge that’s helpful to us in all eight domains; a community that will lift you up and nudge you towards your best life. We are not about comparing and breaking each other down. We are all about lifting each other up, helping each other to get closer toward our best lives. And this is a free Facebook group that we are having all sorts of fun events in our group. So, if you haven’t joined it, join the Imperfect Thriving Facebook today and tell a friend.

Now in today’s episode, we’re spending time on showing some love for our pursuit and finances domain. Your pursuit is your one big thing outside of your relationships that’s just for you. It’s your purpose. It’s your passion. It might be a paying career. It might be a volunteer position, but it is your passion. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning, and we all need a purpose to live our best lives.

Today we have Tracy Timm. Tracy is the founder of the Nth Degree Career Academy. The proven career clarity system that helps high potential professionals discover, define and drive careers they love. She has a degree in behavioral psychology from Yale University and studied design thinking with the founder of the D School at Stanford University. Tracy left a successful but unsatisfying career in finance, traveled once around the world on Semester at Sea, and discovered her ideal career. For more than five years she has applied these lessons in her career advisory work with hundreds of individuals in over 100 fast-growing companies. Tracy lives in Dallas, Texas, and we have Tracy on the show today. Welcome, Tracy. I’m so happy to have you here.

[TRACY]:
Thank you, Katherine. Thanks for that great introduction. I am super pumped, and we have so many fun things to talk about today.

[KATHRYN]:
I know, I can’t wait. So, let’s dive right in. Why don’t we start by you telling our listeners a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today?

[TRACY]:
Yeah, I’m happy to. I love my story because, like a lot of entrepreneurs, your life story or some sort of personal problem leads directly into the work that you do and why it matters to you so much. And so, I love telling my story, and I’ll keep it as brief as possible. So, I’m a born and raised Texas girl. Grew up in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. But from basically my earliest memory, I was a performer. Meaning if you gave me a bar, I was gonna jump that high. So, the minute I got into school, it was all about grades. The minute I discovered sports, it was all about being the best, and varsity level and the minute… I mean, even in middle school, when I picked up an instrument for the very first time, in sixth grade, I had to be first chair. So, I’ve always been driven by this sense of being the best, and frankly, as an only child, I was also rewarded for being the best. I would get attention and I would get praise and I would get promoted to the next level, so to speak. And so, I lived my life up until college with this yardstick of, here’s how you judge whether you did good or not good; if you did good, then you were the best right? And you were at the top of the pile and if you didn’t you were anything below that. It was sort of like, second is the first loser kind of mentality.

[KATHRYN]:
Like Ricky Bobby says, if you’re not first, you’re last.

[TRACY]:
Exactly. If you ain’t first, you’re last. Yeah, I really lived like that. And it served me in a lot of ways. I graduated fourth in my class. I was a varsity athlete from day one in high school and I got recruited by a bunch of really interesting and really impressive universities. And one of them was Yale, and so I actually ended up, despite being born and raised in Texas and having two parents who went to public school in Illinois for college, I went to Yale, which was just this huge thing that my family never expected. But I was like, oh, my God, freedom, like, I’m gonna study whatever I want. I’m going to do whatever I want. And that didn’t mean going totally off the rails, but it did mean instead of taking the math and science and history and whatever that I had been used to and been on the conveyor belt for, I just started exploring, and I’m a huge nerd. I like school supplies, is my nerdy tendency. I don’t know what yours is, but I think we all have one. And so, I just started dabbling in all these fun and interesting sounding things, but they all had one thing in common and that was people. So, I started… I took a philosophy class; I took a sociology class. And then I stumbled on psychology and I took basically like Psych 101. And that’s when I realized that my lifelong passion and really, interest, which I had never really identified, let me be frank, like, if you’re thinking Tracy knew from five years old that she had a passion for people, I did not. It wasn’t until I took this psychology class that I realized, oh my gosh, there’s this whole world of study around storytelling and behavior and motivation and personality and all these things that I inherently just loved to talk about, or do, or explore, could be my field of study, and I was like, yeah, see, this is amazing. Now I wasn’t super into the research side, but I was really into the people side and so I would take the classes on emotions and human behavior and personality and the kind of stuff that I was really interested in.

Now, Yale is a great institution for learning. It’s academically rigorous, it’s obviously super higher ed. I mean, we learn to question everything and accept nothing. However, what I felt like it lacked was in a bit of practicality. So, when I was about to graduate, I had no idea what I wanted to do professionally. And I was going into this big unknown, quote unquote, real world where there’s no more yardstick, right? You don’t either win or lose by getting an A or an F, you have this whole spectrum of winning and losing and, as you would probably call it, defining success, which we talked about before we got started, and so I was looking at this abyss basically, of like this cliff that I was about to jump off of, and had no real sense of what winning looks like. And so, no sense of what I wanted to do. And I thought about the practical stuff, you know, the let me be a counselor or a therapist or a sports psychologist or whatever, and just none of that resonated with me. And the idea of living it every day didn’t either, but I knew I also didn’t want to just stay in school. I really wanted to get a job.

So, Yale’s a great place to get recruited from as a senior. So, I went to career fair, I did the whole resume, vomiting over everybody and I wound up, long story short, applying for, interviewing for, and getting a job on Wall Street of all places. And so my very first job out of college, despite loving people and despite studying people, and despite having taken a grand total of two math-related classes in college, I worked on a trading floor for two and a half years. So, I was a salesperson and I was selling and facilitating the trading of bonds and loans in the high yield sectors like, junk bonds is what they used to be called. And I probably knew like six weeks into that, that that was not my dream job. And, frankly, that it was a horrible fit. But instead of making a change, I was like, 22, 23 years old, I was terrified. I thought this is what successful people do. I’m making a bunch of money. Everybody around me is super high powered, like, I have to make this work. And so, I worked through like a lot of anxiety and inner tension. But at the end of the day it ended up being like Einstein says, it was like a fish trying to climb a tree and calling itself stupid. I was beating myself up for not being amazing at something that I was just not equipped for. And that was nobody’s fault. It was just it was a horrible fit from every perspective.

So, the reason that I do what I do now, the reason that career clarity is at the core of my business and at the core of all the programs that I’ve developed, and that I now help people facilitate, is that I believe that every single bit of mismatch that you’re experiencing professionally, is due to a lack of clarity. And so I started looking around for not a system that would help me or a person that would help me with my resume or with LinkedIn or with cover letters or with interview strategy or job searching or whatever, I wanted help figuring out who I was, you know, and the value that I add and how that’s unique and different and how that could set me apart. And, frankly, Kathryn, I just wanted to be happy. I was miserable, right? So, I reached out to the normal outlets, like you go to your parents, and they’re like, don’t quit your job without another one. Then you go to your friends and they’re like, we’re just as miserable as you, and then so I went to Yale, to Career Services and asked if they had anything that was, again, specifically clarity focused. And again, I was bumping up against a dead end everywhere I looked. And that was the first time I remember thinking, you know, I can’t be the only one with this problem. And it’s got to have a solution out there somewhere. And so, I just decided I didn’t want to live that way anymore. So maybe I’m a rare person, but at 25 I up and quit my job and I decided I’m going to figure this out, I’m gonna… come hell or high water or I’m gonna die trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

And so, I spent the next really two years doing a lot of that work. Taking jobs that I was horrible for, you know, I went on that trip around the world you mentioned; I enrolled myself in school and went on a Semester at Sea, which is usually an undergraduate study abroad program. And I went at 25. So, I was like, mama bear to everybody. And then, of course, I was so jaded that I was like, never graduate, just stay here, and just had these really incredible, life affirming experiences that reminded me of three things. The values that I have were unique to me and really mattered. And if I wasn’t living true to those values then, at the very foundation of my life, I was out of alignment. The second thing was that I actually had a lot of great gifting and behavioral perspective and a personality that was going to be really good at some things and going to struggle at other things. And so, if I wanted to be successful with the path of least resistance, then I should probably figure out what those things were, right? And then the third piece was, I could actually pool all of my previous experience in such a way that I didn’t have to go back to school and I didn’t have to start my career and my life over from scratch, I could actually leverage those previous experiences in a way that they set me up for future success already. And once I had that combination, you know, I realized that this is really what I wanted to do. I wanted to work on people, with people. I’m a maximizer, so I wanted to take something good and make it great. I wanted to help unleash professional potential. And frankly, at the end of the day, I wanted to alleviate the problem that I had gone through, which was not knowing myself, not knowing my value, having all these limiting beliefs around success and other people’s expectations. And unleash my own potential, so that I could then help others do the same. And so that’s what my business does now. I mean, there was a long five-and-a-half-year road to get from Tracy knows what her niche is to exactly where I am now in the business I have. But that’s really the Genesis story and I’d love to continue it, let’s go deeper.

[KATHRYN]:
Well, first of all, you’re speaking my language, because I use Acceptance Commitment Therapy with my clients in my counseling and consulting business, and it’s very value based. I say that, when you discover what you value the most in your eight different domains, that is your compass for everything in life. And if you follow that compass, and you stay on that path, you will be satisfied and fulfilled in every area of your life. And that’s what this podcast is about. I mean, it is about helping, specifically women in midlife, but it applies to everyone and anyone and everyone that, if you can figure out the beliefs that you have about yourself that have been holding you back, find that clarity of what exactly you want your life to look like and what’s most important to you; let go of perfection and being completely result oriented and focus on the process of living what you value, then to me that is success.

[TRACY]:
Totally. And what you said, I mean, you and I sitting here, sort of in our ivory tower going this is how you do it. We just jumped over so many hurdles, right?

[KATHRYN]:
Oh, yeah.

[TRACY]:
The hurdle of what you want is okay, and it doesn’t matter what other people want, and how comparison kills your joy. And the hurdle of you know… each and every step, I think, in the model you’re talking about, requires a person to challenge a lot of deeply held beliefs, and I do that every day. I was on a podcast a couple weeks ago, and it was also about perfection. In fact, it was called F Perfection, which I thought was just perfect. And isn’t that ironic? Anyway, they asked me like, have you redefined your definition of success, and what is it? I was like, y’all, I do that on a daily basis, depending on how I’ve lived up to my own expectations at times, so I think it’s a constantly evolving thing and a moving target. But to your point, if you can find the way you want to live, as opposed to setting your expectations of how you want to feel on the outcomes in your life, that’s when you make a huge shift towards living with joy, and having your joy be defined by what happens to you.

[KATHRYN]
Absolutely, absolutely. So, right before we were recording, we were having a conversation about a couple of calls that you’ve had recently that really fall right into what we’re already talking about. Can you share those stories with us?

[TRACY]:
Yeah. So, you mentioned… and my heart goes out to you. If you’re listening to this, then you’re listening to a woman who speaks about limiting beliefs and about major transitions in your life causing crises. And so, when she told me that I immediately thought of a woman I spoke to literally yesterday, who is, fingers crossed, going to join our Career Clarity program. She’s still making that decision, but on our introductory strategy call she told me… she gave me the breakdown of her life. She’s like, I’m 59 years old, I’m probably not your core demographic. I was like, no, you’d be surprised. She’s like, the reason that I’m so lost and really feeling tension and stress and conflict is that I’ve got a daughter who’s a senior in college and a son who’s a senior in high school. And this is my last summer before I’m an empty nester. And she you know, 18 years ago with her husband, made a very values-based decision for her to stay home with the kids. And in the moment that was what she valued the most, right Kathryn?

[KATHRYN]:
Absolutely.

[TRACY]:
She looked at her values and she said, this is how I’m gonna spend my time and this is how I want to live my life and this is the experience I want my children to have. But now, 18 years later, she’s living with two realities simultaneously. The one is that you can’t go back. And so, she’s having to sort of evaluate, did I choose well? Did I make a good decision? And she’s beating herself up at the same time because she’s starting to think, if I had chosen differently, how would things be different? Did I miss out on income? Did I miss out on this dream career? Did I miss out on being high powered and important and having status? And so unfortunately, because she’s questioning that decision, she’s entertaining alternative realities, and that’s causing massive tension and stress and anxiety, right? Because it’s, you know, cognitive dissonance 101, did I do the right thing? Because you can’t change it. And so now you’re just beating yourself up. You’re like, damned if you do damned if you don’t. And so, I mirrored that back to her and she was like, you know what, that’s all true. But the biggest thing that’s making me fearful and keeping me from accessing any sort of clarity is that I’ve defined my success as a person and the value that I add in the world as how good of a parent and a mother and a spouse I am, and how much I have positive influence on this smaller circle of people. She’s like, now I really want to get back into the professional world. I want to work for 10 maybe even 20 more years, but I don’t know where I fit in anymore. And then she literally, like, vomited this set of limiting beliefs all over me. She’s like, who’s gonna hire someone at 59? I don’t know any of the technology…

[KATHRYN]:
I’m too old, I don’t know the technology. Yes.

[TRACY]:
And I was like, no, like, stop… I guess, as soon as you set those things out into the world, as soon as you say, who’s gonna hire a 59 year old and I’m going to be so behind in the technology, you create that reality. Like I truly think your words become your world. And so those things were true for her. They were no longer theoretical. But she was so afraid to say, they will hire me and, I am ready. And I do have an expertise. The backstory is that she’s actually been in interior design and architecture her entire life and career and she had a career she loved up until she had kids; she made that values-based decision to make a change. And then for the past 8 to 10 years, she’s actually been dabbling back into it, doing some adjunct professor work and doing some private projects here and there for universities and what have you. And so, she’s still got the skills and the knowledge to be super dangerous. She’s not allowing herself to see it to its fullest.

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah, she’s just telling herself, she does not.

[TRACY]:
So, I was just so fascinated when you were talking about limiting beliefs and how that’s affecting people in their careers. But I had literally just had that conversation yesterday and said, you know, listen, until you allow yourself to access an alternate definition of how the world works, you’re right, and you’re gonna continue to… and this may be like, jumping the shark a little bit, but I really think that once you hold that belief, anything you experience in the world goes through that filter. So, you’re going to experience a world that’s going to confirm that belief, whether or not that belief is true, right?

[KATHRYN]:
Totally. Yeah. We establish these pictures of ourselves starting at a young age, really a story, right, and we latch on to some things, and we let go of others. And once we really latch on to something, we look for the things that confirm it, that make it true.

[TRACY]:
Totally. And you know, my favorite thing when I was learning about psychology in college was when they started talking about scripts, how we write these mental scripts of how the world works. I think a really easy way to access this, if this is the first time you’re hearing this type of psychological based argument about how we think and how we experience the world. The one that really nailed it for me was how we assume restaurants work. Because like when you think about it, there’s no signage when you walk into a restaurant that says… well, maybe not all the time, like, stand here, wait for a waiter or wait for a host; when the host comes, they’re gonna walk you to your table, you should sit down. Like, we learned that over time and then we feel confident in the moment because we know the script. Does that… That makes sense, right? But if you were to walk into a restaurant in Thailand that may function totally differently, you’re going to feel really uncomfortable, and you’re going to feel really stupid or embarrassed or like, you should know what’s going on when you don’t. And that’s exactly the script you’re having to challenge when you change your identity. Like, I’m going from mom to professional again. And you’re uncomfortable, you don’t know where you fit in. And you don’t know how the script has changed since you’ve been there. All it requires, though, is learning a new script. But if you hold on to the old one, you’re always going to feel uncomfortable and out of place and embarrassed and potentially run away from that.

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah, absolutely. It requires some flexibility and the courage and willingness to step outside of that comfort zone that you’ve been in for so long.

[TRACY]:
Totally. Can I ask you a question, Kathryn?

[KATHRYN]:
Yes.

[TRACY]:
Have you seen in your practice a reason, like, a resounding maybe one or two reasons that always come up why somebody doesn’t want to leave that comfort zone? Like, what’s it doing for them? Because I’m not a trained psychologist, I’ll go ahead and throw that out there. But I’ve been in a lot of therapy. And so, one of the things that my very first counselor said was, these beliefs, we hold them because they serve us in some way.

[KATHRYN]:
Right. They protect us.

[TRACY]:
Exactly. So, what have you seen that your clients say, are the reasons that they hang on to these limiting beliefs or that they won’t push out of their comfort zone, even though they’re miserable sometimes?

[KATHRYN]:
So much of it is a fear of mistakes and of not being perfect.

[TRACY]:
Okay.

[KATHRYN]:
And not even accomplishing everything perfectly, but it’s holding yourself to this standard of perfection and beating yourself up when you think you’ve made a mistake. And a lot of times that’s driven by negative core belief of feeling like you’re not enough.

[TRACY]:
There it is.

[KATHRYN]:
Always trying to prove to everyone else, but mainly to yourself, that you are enough. And when you do things, well, that’s affirmation that you are. If you make even the tiniest mistake, it’s affirmation that you’re not and that’s crushing. So, your brain keeps you stuck and keeps you from trying because it’s protecting you from failure.

[TRACY]:
Totally. I see that a lot too. And I have to say, it’s funny that you said the word enough. I think that’s at the core of a lot of this because, I’ll be totally honest, I’ve had moments in the last week, where I’ve fallen asleep questioning like, why don’t I feel good about the effort I put in today? Like, why don’t I feel like I did enough? Or I am enough? I’ve even questioned in my own business, am I the best… Again here, go back to the best, right? I’m so black and white. I’m so all or nothing. Am I the best steward for what I’m putting out in the world? And I’ve had, thankfully, I’ve had so many really incredible conversations and mentors and things like this that come up where I’m like, oh, like-minded person, get me out of my own mess. And one of them said, okay, I see the framework you’re working in, and maybe you aren’t the best, but do you have to be the only? And it really started to challenge my thinking around, oh, maybe I am the best but I don’t have to be the only… or maybe I’m not the best but I don’t have to be the only, and both of those things are okay.

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah, exactly. I used to be extremely result-oriented, extremely… like you were growing up, measuring yourself by standards and results.

[TRACY]:
Yep.

[KATHRYN]:
The switch over the last few years that has made me be able to enjoy everything in my life and get to the end of the day and be satisfied, is switching from being result-oriented to process-oriented. If I have lived what I value today, if I have treated the people in my life the way I want to treat them, if I can look at myself at the end of the day, and I’ve been the person that I’ve wanted to be in my interactions, I’ve worked toward my goals, regardless of what the actual progress is that I can see, I can feel satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day.

[TRACY]:
Wow, I really like that. I have to tell you, that’s probably one of my biggest hurdles, personally, is that I am a… Oh man, I remember the first time somebody presented the concept of surrender. And I was like, yeah, that’s what lazy people do to excuse their inaction. I was like, what do you mean, surrender? The whole reason I’m working this hard is to have a specific outcome or it’s to win or it’s to make money or it’s to grow this business or it’s to impact a certain number of people. And I either hit that or I didn’t. You know what I mean? And so even today, I would say that’s one of my bigger challenges, is that I’m not a process-driven person. I have people in my life and in my business, who are. I have a head coach; her name is Priscilla. She facilitates our 30 Days to Your Dream Job program. And she lives for the process. She’s actually a classically trained actress, and so they’re drilled and trained and taught from day one, that there is no end, if that makes sense. Like, you can always go deeper into the character, you can always let go some more, it’s always a constant process of improvement. And they live to do that consistently. And so, she loves holding hands, she loves holding space, she’s amazing for our clients; she has yet to not get a 10 out of 10 in her surveys after people graduate. And it’s because, I think, that she lives for the journey. She lives for the process. And I am so antsy, and have such a high sense of urgency that I’m like, but what was the outcome? Like, what was their niche? How long did the program take? Like, did they do this, this and this? And she’s like, chill. It’s a process. So, I would say that that’s a huge opportunity for my own growth. And so, if you’re listening to us and thinking that we have all this down just because we’re talking about it, it’s just not the case. And I think that’s a living breathing example of how it is a journey and a process.

[KATHRYN]:
It is a crazy difficult balance that I struggle with every day because I’m also goal oriented. But here’s the thing. You never reach your values. You reach your goals. And as long as your goals are on the same path and align with your values, you can have both.

[TRACY]:
Yeah.

[KATHRYN]:
You can have that process driven valued life, while also achieving goals that really feel good to you and keep you motivated.

[TRACY]:
I like that.

[KATHRYN]:
Crazy difficult. But I want to learn more about your program; the process that you’ve created. Can you tell us about that?

[TRACY]:
Yeah, absolutely. So basically when I realized this is what I wanted to do, I actually did have a moment, like, a literal come to Jesus moment where I was like, just tell me what you want me to do with my career. And I really was driven to go back to that moment of I can’t be the only one going through this struggle, and so I did. I set out five and a half years ago, it was September of 2014, made my little LLC, hung my shingle and said, you know, I want to help people discover their ideal career and not be a fish climbing a tree and feeling dumb and not be a cow in the ocean trying to swim around and stay afloat. But to actually be… if you’re Michael Phelps, to be in the pool. And if you’re Usain Bolt, to be running the… not any race on the track, but the hundred-meter dash. To get to your best and highest professional value and to live it. And so I spent the first three years in business really trying to develop my own approach to that and I did that through a lot of R&D, I did it through a lot of personal learning, I went and looked back at my two years of self-discovery. I was using a behavioral assessment at the time and implementing it in companies as a human capital advisor. So, I used a lot of the learning from those engagements and, three years in, I realized, huh, I have this system now. It was something I was using with all of my one on one clients, and it was getting really consistent results.

So today, what that looks like is you fast forward two and a half years, so you get all the benefit of the beta testing and all the people who were through it early on. Now it’s really efficient. And it’s very clear what we do. So, the process is called the Nth Degree, and it is the basis for all of our programs at the Nth Degree Academy. And at the end of the day, we exist to provide career clarity. And so, all of our programs are centered around delivering three things: clarity, confidence, and certainty. And we do that by taking people through three major phases in the Nth Degree process. And then those phases are broken down into steps, and there are seven steps and they all start with the letter N, which is where actually the original motivation to call it the Nth Degree came from and no, I did not name that; my mom did.

[KATHRYN]:
That was gonna be my next question.

[TRACY]:
I was beating myself up, Kathryn. I’m like, what am I going to call this thing? I have all these N beginning letter words and like I have these… like, what is this thing? And my mom just took literally two seconds to look at it, and she’s like, I don’t know, why don’t you call it the Nth Degree? I’m like, why didn’t I think of that?

[KATHRYN]:
It’s such a fantastic name because not only are they all N’s, but the Nth degree means you can always change, you can always evolve. There is no end.

[TRACY]:
Yes, it’s your limitless potential, and possibility. And so, I just… I remember throwing paper in the air and running out of the office and being like, can we go celebrate? Is there champagne anywhere? So anyway, the process can be broken down into three major phases. We call those discover, define and drive. So, what we work people through is the process of discovering their true value as professionals. So, what are the puzzle pieces that make you and that make you stand out? And we separate that from the second phase, which is define because we can’t go into definition and we can’t go into figuring out what your niche is without all of the data, without all the pieces, right? So, we discover your true value, and then we define your genius zone. So, your unique, best, and highest, Olympic gold medal level zone of professional genius. And that may sound a little outlandish, but it’s really not. And I’m going to go into more detail in a second. And then the last phase is what we call drive. And so that’s, what are the strategies and the tactics that you need to drive your career forward? To drive that vision into your reality, so that it’s not just a vision of your ideal career, but it’s your day to day. It’s you living your value.

And so, if you break that down into its steps, the first three steps that make up the Discover phase, I call now, nature and nurture. The now piece you’re going to love because all of that is getting clear on who you are in this moment in time, and what you value now. So not the person you want to be in 10 years, not the person you wish you were 10 years ago, but owning where you are in your life, owning what your circumstances are, and creating your set of values and your set of commitments for this moment in time. And that is step one for two reasons. First of all, I think it’s incredibly foundational. So, it literally gives you the bare minimum of what is viable for you going forward. Because if you’re not living your values, you’re not living in alignment, it doesn’t matter… The rest of it doesn’t matter. And the second thing is that when I was working within companies as a human capital advisor, people were an astoundingly amazing fit in businesses when they aligned with the company’s values. And I actually should say that in reverse: when the company aligned with their values, it allowed them to perform at their best, right?

So now is the first step. Nature and nurture are steps two and three, and so we’re still in the Discover phase. And in nature and nurture… I remember in psychology in college, there was this class called nature versus nurture. And literally every day it was, is it nature or is it nurture? I dropped it after like two days because I was like, I think the answer is it’s both and I’m done. So anyway, nature and nurture, I like to think of as the opposite sides of the same coin. And that coin is, how do you add value as a professional, and you can add value in a way that comes naturally and easily to you. So, leverage is your personality, leverage is your behavioral set, leverage is your giftings, like talents and aptitudes. Or you can add value in a way that you learned to add value. So that can be knowledge. It can be skills, it can be expertise, it can be languages, it can be intelligence, right? It could be basically anything that you’ve got from work experience or life experience that has allowed you to grow and add something to your toolkit. Okay?

[KATHRYN]:
Yes.

[TRACY]:
So, we’ve done the full discover piece when we’re clear on your now, your nature, and your nurture. And all it really requires in my mind is doing a deep dive, like, take some assessments, get some feedback from friends and family and then look at your work history, your education history, and what I call your ninja skills, which is like, who are you when you travel? And what hobbies do you have? And what are your extracurricular activities, and do you volunteer, and like, what are the things where you’re adding value when you maybe even didn’t realize that you’re learning to [unclear]? So, all that’s the Discover phase. And once we get all those puzzle pieces, then we’re ready to put the pieces together. And that’s the Define phase.

So, in the Define phase, there’s only one step, and it’s called Niche. And the goal is very singular; it’s let’s define your unique professional niche. And we go through a process where we sort of like sharpen the sword down to its tip, meaning… I always like to use Olympic athletes, because I think that it’s a really easy way to show how like one person is made for one event, and one person is made for another event, and they’re both high level performers, and they both work really, really hard. But if you were to swap them, they wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

[KATHRYN]:
Right. Yeah, you can’t take a fast twitch muscle person and make them a distance runner, just like you can’t take a distance runner and make them a sprinter.

[TRACY]:
And just like you can’t necessarily take a manager, or like a really high performing individual and make them a manager and expect them to be competent. You know what I mean? But we do that in business all the time because what it takes to be successful in a certain role is not as obvious as what it takes to be successful in, say, a swimming event versus a running event. You know what I mean?

[KATHRYN]:
Right. Yeah.

[TRACY]:
And the same is true for animals. I think it goes from animals being really obvious what environment they thrive in, to then athletes being really obvious. But then when we get to the professional world, it’s like, nobody knows what they’re doing, and nobody knows how to differentiate, and everything looks similar. Because what it takes to be Suzy in accounting, versus Rob in operations, isn’t obvious to us. You know what I mean?

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah. When we limit ourselves based on what we think we learned in school, well, this is what I studied so this is what I should be good at.

[TRACY]:
Right? And you know what, to take that, the ‘yes and’, so that is, then you limit what’s possible for you, because you assume you have to go back to school to do it. Oh, can I tell this quick story?

[KATHRYN]:
Yes, please.

[TRACY]:
This just happened yesterday. I mean, yesterday was a big day. We had a graduate. So, our 30 day program takes you through these three phases that we’re discussing right now, and at the end we have this great graduation call where I come back in, Priscilla, your head coach comes in. And we do a one on one, like, how have you grown and evolved over this time? And what’s your niche and what’s your 90-day plan, etc. And literally the woman who graduated yesterday, her name’s Shauna, she gave us permission to tell the story. She was like, you guys, I’m so excited. This is my niche, and you want to know the best part? And we were like, what? She’s like, I don’t have to go back to school. She’s like, you literally put – and this was a quote – you literally put $40,000 back in my pocket. So, thank you. And both of us were nearly in tears, cuz she had assumed and had this limiting belief that once I figure out my dream job, because I haven’t been doing it, I’m gonna have to get up to speed if that makes sense. So, like, go back to school, get a certification, whatever. And because inherent to the discovery process is your nurture, is your previous experience, you’re already gonna be ready when we define your niche. It’s the next thing logical step based on what you’re already good at, what you’re already dangerous and doing.

[KATHRYN]:
And so, while we’re talking about this, do you find… I often find in my counseling and my consulting practice, that it’s the parts of our personality, our unique things about us, that oftentimes we see as flaws that are actually the things that we were meant to share and do something else with.

[TRACY]:
I love that. I agree. I think we see them as flaws or as just in-valuable. Like, [unclear]. You know, like, that’s not special. Why would that matter? When, in reality, there are people going… I remember the first time I realized that speaking was special. I’ve been a speaker my whole life. When I was five, I was like, I’ll happily stand up in front of the class and give the speech. I remember… this is so nerdy. I can’t believe I remember this except that I got 100, and so of course, I remember it. There was a speech class in high school that we all had to take, and we had to take it freshman year, so that if you were giving presentations the rest of your high school career, you’d at least gotten the tools to be like minimum amount dangerous at that. And I freaking loved that class. I would stand up there and give these speeches with my one little note card if I needed it, and I just had these people in my palm. And I got a 100 in speech class. But I remember thinking like, oh, well, like all that’s gonna help me do is presentations in high school. You know what I mean? I had no idea that more people fear dying than… or, sorry, more people fear public speaking than dying.

[KATHRYN]:
Right? Because if we can do it, it must be easy. We discount the things about us that are special, exactly. Well, I’ll tell you, as good as you were at it, I was scared to death. I mean, I was in my last semester of going back to school in clinical mental health to become a counselor and found out, on a Sunday afternoon, that I was going to have to talk to a group of educators in an auditorium, and I was ready to quit. No lie. I was gonna say, well, this is the end of the road for me. I’m not going to graduate because I’m not gonna do that.

[TRACY]:
Yep. I thought this was for me, but not so much.

[KATHRYN]:
I’m on the opposite end; I’ve come a long way since then, but I completely understand that step. Okay.

[TRACY]:
Yeah. And so, what’s cool is sometimes, and we were talking about this story too before we hopped on the call, is sometimes it’s that exact mechanism that will allow you to challenge a limiting belief. So we just this morning had a niche crafting call with a client, which is something we do about halfway through the program. And it’s when we get to this define phase and we’re going to define your niche together. And we go through this 90 minutes of drilling down in every area of discovery; of now nature, nurture. And at the end, I was just as happy as I was frustrated because she was like, you know what, I think – this is our client – she’s like, I think I’ve known all along what I wanted to do, I just needed to hear it from an objective third party. I needed to hear that what I knew, sort of innately, was valuable and worth it. And so, at the end of the call I was like, what do you mean, you’ve known all along? This was a 90-minute call we could have not done. But truly, we had to do it, because until she heard from two other people who had no skin in the game, and no reason to blow smoke, that this was a valuable thing that she could do in the world. It was really hard for her to access that. Yeah. It was crazy. But I’m so happy for her because now she’s like… you could see her physiology change. Her shoulders kind of went down a little bit, she like tilted her head; she just looked calm and very at peace with it, like she just took a deep breath, a sigh of relief almost. You know what I mean?

[KATHRYN]:
Yes, that is absolutely huge.

[TRACY]:
It was cool, yeah.

[KATHRYN]:
Where were we in your process when I interrupted you?

[TRACY]:
Yeah so, it’s perfect, because we were at define. And so, when we do the Define piece we’re going, okay, are you… we drill down to the sort of athletic level; are you a summer or winter athlete? Alright, you’re a summer athlete. Well, what sort of events? Oh, you’re track and field. Okay, well are you more track or more field? Okay, you’re track. Okay, if you’re track or are you a runner? Perfect. What distance is best? And so, we drill all the way down, like, you’re either the Usain Bolt, or you’re the guy who’s gonna break the mile record, or whatever, right? And so that’s what we did for her. But then, you’re not done. I once had this priest… I was like, really angsty when I was working on Wall Street, but I was also super frugal because it was my first job and I’m the daughter of a very frugal person. And so, I would use confession as free therapy, I would just go for like 20 minutes and just spew all the things that were wrong with my life. And I remember one time I said something along the lines of like, I just want to know, like, I feel like all the tension is gonna be alleviated when I just know what I want to do. And I love-hated this answer because the press was like, yeah, knowing is great, and you’re gonna feel a lot of relief, but then you’re also gonna have to go do it. And I was like, oh…

[KATHRYN]:
Oh geez, there’s something else.

[TRACY]:
I know. I was like, well, crap I thought knowing was it, but knowing is half the battle, then if you really, really believe in it, the goal is then to go make that your reality. Right? And there’s always some tension there. I think part of the reason we’re afraid to access what’s possible is that actually, not knowing is an excuse for inaction. It’s easy. It’s easy to not know in a sense, because then you don’t have a commissioning. You don’t have anything to go do; you just live in the ‘I don’t know’. And that gets really comfortable. There’s a great… I love this coffee table book: If life is a game, these are the rules. It’s by Dr. Sheree Carter Scott. And it was first published in… what’s that book, Jack Canfield – Chicken Soup for the Soul.

[KATHRYN]:
Oh, yeah.

[TRACY]:
Yeah. As an anonymous list of 10 things, and then he found out it was her. And she wrote a whole book about it. And anyway, she tells this crazy story where she finally got her… she went through the same thing as me and clearly we’re kindred spirits because she was like, please universe tell me what I’m meant to do. And she the way she describes it is, she got these three messages about what she was meant to do. And one is like, you were a catalyst for change. And one is, you’re going to help people and yada yada yada. But apparently, instead of being super happy and excited, she cried for days. And it turns out that she was like, I realized that now I had to go do it. I had to grow up in a sense, from my childhood, I don’t know, comfort, to alright, now you got to go out in the world and make it happen. It’s up to you. You’ve been called, in a sense. And when I think about a lot of my clients, and what holds them back? Actually, I should… I misspoke. When I think about the people who don’t work with us, the ones who I hop on this clarity call with and we talk for 50 minutes, and they decide, no, I’m not ready. It’s not for me. Frankly, I think one of the scariest things is that they’re going to have to go do it once they figure it out.

[KATHRYN]:
Oh, absolutely. It’s our fear of failure, right? Our brain wants to protect us and keep us safe and comfortable. And if we go do it, there’s a chance that we, and I put this in quotes, won’t do it right. And that is so scary to us.

[TRACY]:
Yeah. Totally. Or for me, it was like, I won’t be the best. Which is, by the way, a horrible metric because like, there are 7 billion people in the world, like, I’m never gonna be the best at anything.

[KATHRYN]:
And what is ‘best’?

[TRACY]:
Right. It’s totally subjective. But unless you’re measuring it by outcomes, in which case again, you’re setting yourself up for failure, right? Which we’ve already [unclear]. Yeah, so I’ll just finish the last piece, which is drive, which is what we’re talking about. So it’s, how do I go out in the world and not only discover where these jobs exist, where these unique opportunities are, but then how do I get chosen as the person who’s the best for it? So, we have three steps in this last phase of drive, and I call them network, navigate, and nourish. So, in the network piece we teach people how to really advocate for themselves. So how do you pitch what you just discovered your niche is? And how do you have something ready for like, you run into somebody at the grocery store and they’re like, what are you up to? What would you say? In the same way as how do you prepare for like a pre-planned networking conversation or informational interview, right? And then, how do I leverage the real power of people? Because you and I both know, it’s all about not who you know, but who knows you, right? And who knows what you’re looking for. And so, we teach people how to share that with their network.

The navigate piece is… One of the other major fears I hear from people is, what if I do all this work, and I go to this place that I think is going to be my dream job, and I hate it? And like, wish that I had never left the thing that I had, like, the grass isn’t greener. And the navigate piece is there to help people avoid that scenario. Because as you mentioned in my bio, I did some studying into design thinking which is actually a process for creating products where you wouldn’t invest $100,000 and a year to build a product before you put it in front of a human to see if they actually like it and want to buy it. You would make small, minimum viable prototypes. And you’d put those out for test, like a beta test, with a group of people and you’d get feedback back. And then you’d iterate the product and you put out another prototype. So, you can do the same thing with your career. You can shadow, you can informational interview, you can volunteer, you can freelance, you could Google search for crying out loud. And you could find out, wow, nobody likes working at Amazon and maybe I should dodge that bullet. You know what I mean? There are ways to… and wow, I probably shouldn’t have just said that. But I did. There are ways to investigate and inspect what you expect out of an opportunity or career or even an office. You know what I mean? What is this office going to be like to work in? And that’s the navigate piece.

The nourish piece is the most recent addition to the Nth degree family. And it’s because… I added it because I realized that… This is something you do really well with the kind of therapy that you do: I think people need a system to nourish themselves along the road. Because if you’re not, if your cup’s not full or being refilled, your ability to fill other people’s cups with whatever you’re giving is diminished. And if you don’t have a support system or a bank of motivation or a real deep understanding of your why, then when the going gets tough, it’s super easy to give up.

[KATHRYN]:
Yes.

[TRACY]:
And so, nourish is this crucial piece of, how am I going to keep my cup full through life, and specifically through this career search process. So that’s it, that’s the Nth degree. It’s now, nature, nurture in the Discover phase, its niche in the Define phase, and then it’s network, navigate, and nourish in the Drive phase. And it’s so cool to see people, like the woman who graduated yesterday who was like, you put $40,000 back in my pocket. I went back and looked at her intake form because I have people fill out this questionnaire, so I have some background before we hop on the phone. And I ask everybody the question, what do you think it’s going to take for you to discover your ideal career and feel unstoppable, or to feel unstuck even. And she just wrote ‘A miracle’, period. And then we also had her evaluate herself on a scale of 1 to 10 of how clear and confident and certain she felt about her life and her profession. And she was 1s literally across the board when she started. And so, we just looked at that again yesterday and she reevaluated, and she was an 8, a 9, and a 10.

[KATHRYN]:
I mean, there’s just nothing better.

[TRACY]:
Isn’t that cool? I got the chills, you know. I just realized that we had taken this person in the span of what, five weeks, and she is on fire. She’s excited. She had a list of like, 30 people she was going to contact already and exactly the job she wanted to do. And she didn’t need us anymore. You know, and that’s kind of a… while that might not be a lovely business model, it was a beautiful moment for us.

[KATHRYN]:
Exactly. And I love how you’re really collecting data along the way that shows how successful your program is. I mean, and that’s what I try to do with my clients. What are your goals? I do some assessments at the beginning, and some assessments at the end, and it’s so crystal clear to you and your client when everything is successful.

[TRACY]:
Right, yeah. And I love that you’re doing that in the therapy sense because I think a lot of people… and this was my assumption about therapy before I really got into it, was that your problem is never solved, right? Like your counselor or your therapist is gonna come up with something that happened in your childhood that’s gonna substantiate another six months of therapy and like, you’re not done, you know what I mean? And I love that you have goals for them, and that you have ways of evaluating it, because I think that just makes it so clear that you’re trying to help them.

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah, I was telling my husband last night, I was looking through all of my files of current and former clients and assessing where we were, and how they were doing, and I told him, I have a terrible business model, because unlike some counselors who have clients that come to them for the year or two, we might be finished in 12 weeks. I’m doing something right in one aspect but very wrong when it comes to business.

[TRACY]:
Well, you know, the other thing too, Kathryn, is, I think the right people are gonna resonate with your message, and they’re gonna want it for life. So, one of the mechanisms we’re trying to build in, and when you see the Nth Degree, the method as a visual, it’s in a circle; it’s not linear. And that to your point is how you keep growing and evolving, our lives are going to grow and evolve and change constantly. It’s really, the only constant in life is change. And so, we encourage people to come back regularly to the Nth Degree process, like minimum once a year, unless you have something big and life-changing happening and then you do it again, to reevaluate, you know, how have I grown over the last year? Have my values evolved and changed? Have my goals changed because I’ve changed? And so, our hope is to build a tribe of people who – and tribe is not my word, but a family of people who want to live their life by the Nth Degree. Does that make sense? And you can do that for your clients too.

[KATHRYN]:
Absolutely. And I’ve started a Facebook group doing that as well, for sure.

[TRACY]:
That’s awesome.

[KATHRYN]:
So, I have heard or read that you have something to offer our listeners today.

[TRACY]:
Do I? Yeah, of course. So, what I’m going to do is, I’ve had my lovely tech people, who do everything that I cannot do, create a landing page on my website just for listeners of this podcast. So if they go to tracytimm.com, so my name is T-R-A-C-Y-T-I-M-M, it’s only nine letters, .com/imperfectthriving, so in all one word, they’re gonna get to a landing page that has a handful of really cool stuff. So first and foremost, there are a couple downloads, guides; one of them is 4 Places to Find Your Dream Job. One of them is 5 Ways to Get Unstuck Immediately. And then there’s also a link to this thing that I just recorded that I’m really excited about. It’s a four-part video course, and we’re calling it Journey to Your Dream Job, and it’s really a nice jumpstart. So, if you’re just dabbling in this area, you’re starting to think critically about what you want to do, or you just feel stuck and miserable. This is a good jumpstart for getting unstuck and less miserable, and hopefully happy. And then if you’re also… I mean, listen, if you’re resonating with me specifically and how I do this and you like the Nth degree as a process, and you know that maybe a program, where you’re taken through it with a coach is in your future, then you can book a free strategy call with me on that page as well. And so those are 50 minutes long. And we’ll go into what’s keeping you stuck, and if you’re a good fit for the program, obviously we’ll make an enrollment offer, and the whole nine, but it’s just a really nice free way for us to see if we’re good to work together.

[KATHRYN]:
That is so generous of you. We really appreciate that.

[TRACY]:
Oh my gosh, absolutely. Yeah. Those calls are fun, and what’s fun is my team is growing. So, there’s a chance that you could get one of my enrollment coaches, who’s gonna start pretty soon doing one of those calls as well. So, I’m just really excited that we’re growing and there are people out there resonating with something that I thought was a pipe dream for me to create. And here we are, you know, five and a half years later, and it’s just amazing to say things like, I have a head coach, and we’re hiring.

[KATHRYN]:
Oh my gosh.

[TRACY]:
You know what I mean? Like, it’s crazy.

[KATHRYN]:
Yeah, absolutely. So, besides tracytimm.com, where can we find you on social media?

[TRACY]:
On social? Yeah, so our company’s social media is @journeytoyourdreamjob, but all of my personal social media is @thetracytimm, and that sounds douchey, but it’s just because I didn’t want to add numbers after my name. So, it’s @thetracytimm.

[KATHRYN]:
Okay, cool. So, I ask this one question at the end of every podcast, and if you could recommend to our listeners one imperfect action that they could take to move closer to their best life, what would that be?

[TRACY]:
So, I can’t remember if this is exactly what I told you I would say, but this is what I’m going to say in the moment: it’s that I hear consistently, regardless of competence, regardless of level of clarity, regardless of certainty of outcome, almost every single person I talk to has a fear of sharing their vision for their life and their career with somebody if it’s not fully buttoned up. If they don’t already know the answer, they’re really afraid of sharing any half-baked idea, if that makes sense.

[KATHRYN]:
Mm hmm. Absolutely.

[TRACY]:
I think if you could do one thing today, let alone every day, imperfectly, it would be to share that vision with another person, even if it doesn’t feel clear to you. And even if it’s half-baked, and even if you’re nervous, and even… even if all the things. Even if they’re like, wow, you could never do that, or, you know, regardless of what you’re worried about, I think that imperfect action… If you’re stuck in your head, you’re never going to get new information. And the only way I think that we get new information is by taking action. And the only way we move forward is with new information, right? So yeah, I would share your vision with at least one person, and I would just listen to, and be open to, their interpretation of what you said. Because one of the things that I tell my clients all the time is that, we’re going to discover your niche, but your niche very well may be something you have never heard of, and you didn’t even realize existed.

Like my head coach, Priscilla. She was a client. She had no idea career coaching was a thing. She didn’t know that was a job she could have. But, lo and behold, because I was the one helping her find her niche, I was drooling when we were doing her niche crafting call, you know, and if she’d been afraid to share that vision with me… she’s lucky that I was there, I was a captive audience. But if she had been too afraid to share what she wanted to do, she would never have known that that’s a job she could have. And today, I’m not joking, she tells me minimum once a week, if not every day, I love my job. I can’t believe I’m doing this. This is my dream. I love working here. I mean, every day, almost every day. So, I think the imperfect action is share your half-baked vision with at least one person and ask for feedback, and learn something new. That’s what I would do.

[KATHRYN]:
So, Tracy, I have absolutely, first of all, love that answer, but I’ve absolutely loved having you here today.

[TRACY]:
Thank you, Kathryn, I love… I adore you actually, your voice is so calming. You’re doing such a great thing for people. And I love that you’re coming from a really scientific perspective. Because, you know, for all of you non-believers out there, it can be really tough when people start getting really woowoo about this kind of thing. But there’s so much psychology, and there’s so much cognitive science that speaks to exactly what Kathryn is saying, and it can be so valuable to a life well lived. So, I just appreciate the platform so much. And I think what you’re doing in the world is really, really great as well.

[KATHRYN]:
Well, I love what you’re doing, and I hope that we can work together again.

[TRACY]:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

[KATHRYN]:
As we wrap up everybody, I’m just going to reiterate what Tracy said. Your one imperfect action that you can take today to get closer to your best life is to share your vision. Remember, if you wait until it’s perfect, you’ve waited too long, right? So, go share it with a friend. Not only can you get feedback that can take you in a direction that you never knew existed, I think it’s you’re 70-something percent more likely to succeed in your goals when you’ve shared them with someone. It holds you accountable and helps you along. Until we meet again, until we’re back here again next week, go out and take imperfect action toward the life that you want to have.

Imperfect Thriving is a part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

If you love this podcast, will you rate and review it on iTunes, or your favorite podcast player? Also, I have a free, nine-part Blueprint to Thrive email course. It’s a step-by-step guide to find out what you want your life to look like, exactly what’s holding you back, and how to get to that life you want. Head on over to www.imperfectthriving.com/course to get the course today.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, I encourage you to reach out to one.

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About Kathryn

I’ve created Imperfect Thriving to help you get back to who you really are, and live your best life possible, imperfectly.

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