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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





As Kate Carter says, “The only limits that exist are the ones in your own mind.” And boy, did we shatter some of those limits today!

In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kate Carter, who is a certified Fearless Living Coach and International Speaker & Educator. We dove deep into the world of mindset, unpacking the habit of self-sabotage that so many of us women entrepreneurs face.

Kate’s wisdom on building confidence was a game-changer, especially her take on micro risks and stretches. We also tackled the big, scary monsters of public speaking and imposter syndrome, and let me tell you, it was empowering! We laughed, we shared stories, and we even got real about the fears that hold us back. So, if you’re ready to break through those barriers and make a bigger impact with your business, this episode is a must-listen. Join us to hear all about:

  • The psychology of self-sabotage and how to overcome it
  • Strategies for building confidence as a female entrepreneur
  • The importance of taking micro risks to achieve growth
  • Navigating the fear of success and where that fear stems from
  • Understanding and combating imposter syndrome

This conversation with Kate was not just enlightening but also incredibly motivating. It’s clear that the journey to self-improvement and success is paved with the courage to face our own inner demons. Remember, the only limits that exist are the ones in your own mind. So let’s push those boundaries and soar to new heights together.


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

Kate’s Worksheet: 3 Steps to Busting Imposter Syndrome

Kate’s Video Instructions: 3 Steps to Busting Imposter Syndrome


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Kate Carter (00:00:00) – Somebody came up to Gandhi once and said, I can’t do what you do. I don’t have the courage. He said, you don’t need courage. You need love, love, prudence, courage. And so really, if a woman wants to start building her confidence, we start with self-love and compassion and use this gradual step process. And by doing it that way, you can intentionally take these smaller risks into bigger risks as you go with support, and you build genuine inner confidence that nobody can take away from you. A lot of times we look outside or we look for an external achievement or something like that, and those do help, but they can’t fix something on the inside. Confidence is an inside job. 

Chloe Dechow (00:00:42) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:03) – This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business. This is the Bright Voices and Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today I have Kate Carter here with me, and I’ve been really looking forward to this conversation because about two years ago, I got really into all the mindset work. And this is really Kate’s specialty. So to give you a little bit of background on Kate, Kate Carter is a certified Fearless Living coach and an international speaker and educator. Her specialization is empowering women to stop self-sabotaging so that they can build businesses and lives they love. Hi Kate, thanks for coming on.

Kate Carter (00:02:05) – Hi. Thanks so much for having me, Chloe.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:07) – I am really excited for this because anytime we think about doing something new or different, even the most seasoned entrepreneurs or most seasoned experts, anytime we do something new or different, our brain is wired to put up objections, come up with reasons not to do something, and this is really your specialty of helping knock down those objections so that people can pursue their dreams.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:30) – Yep. An example of that comes up for me when I think about thought leadership is when women want to pursue something like keynote speaking, and maybe they’re absolutely terrified of public speaking. Where do you feel like that fear stems from?

Kate Carter (00:02:47) – It’s going to be different for each person, although to support anybody out there listening to this, public speaking is people’s number one fear across the world. It’s not dying, it’s public speaking. So have some compassion for yourself. If this is coming up right, it can come down to a lot of things. And if someone’s, you know, could be the different reasons for public speaking. I imagine if you’re working on becoming a thought leader, you have this, you know, sort of desire or message in your heart that you want to share with the world. You’re really passionate about it. Some of the things I’ve experienced and I’ve heard my client say, are you thinking about doing it and it’s like, well, who am I right to say this? Or I don’t know everything about this.

Kate Carter (00:03:27) – So I feel like I can’t say anything sort of all or nothing piece. There’s the whole technical side to it. What if I make a mistake? What if I look stupid? Or what if I really care about this thing and everyone’s like, oh, that’s so basic, right? So we have all of these fears that come up. And I love how you started off your piece that you just talked about saying even seasoned business women, even people have been in the game a long time because Forbes put out a figure about a year ago that 75% of women in executive positions experience imposter syndrome, which is one of the forms of doubt and self-sabotage. Right? And so just to make that really clear, 75% of women at the top of the food chain, the top of the professional food chain, doubt themselves, feel like maybe they’ve just had a lucky streak or any day someone’s going to see they don’t know what they’re doing. And one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves when we feel this is just pause and process it, right.

Kate Carter (00:04:26) – So the best thing to not do is not to judge it, because right away we tend to associate this with a flaw. We’ll look at Sally, she gets up there and talks. Or you know, Brené Brown has it all together and Brené Brown is the first one to say, no, I don’t. I’ve got stories like that running through my head all the time. Right. It’s not about getting rid of this. It’s about managing it. Which is why women still at the top still manage it. We think we can get rid of it. It’s brain wiring, and you actually don’t want to get all the way rid of it because we want our fear wiring to work. We just don’t want it to be quite as hypervigilant as it is. It thinks everything is a tiger that’s going to get us.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:01) – Yeah. So 75%, that’s a huge number. And I think you make a good point that we tend to think that women who are very successful in their careers, C-suite, seasoned entrepreneurs, they’ve overcome this mystical creature of imposter syndrome.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:20) – And what you’re saying is no, they don’t. They’ve learned actually how to better manage it.

Kate Carter (00:05:26) – Exactly. Because just what’s the difference between thinking, I’ve got to overcome this, or I’m going to learn how to manage this. The second something shows up, you’re going to feel defeated. If you feel like you have to overcome it, you can feel like you’ve done something wrong. That’s really, really important. If it’s managed like. Oh, here it is. I’m going to deal with this.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:42) – Yeah. So how does someone start dealing with it? It sounds like self-awareness is important.

Kate Carter (00:05:47) – It’s huge, it’s huge. And we’re so much better at it than we’ve ever been. And yet we’re busier than we’ve ever been. So it’s like, yeah, we’re better at it. But the degree of difficulty has gone up on it too, because we’re flooded. So first thing, just pause, pause and acknowledge what you’re feeling. If you’re in a space, you can let it come up and in a non-judgmental, compassionate space, right? Because we have this myth in our society that I’ve got to push myself harder.

Kate Carter (00:06:13) – I’ve got to be tough on myself. And I imbibed that to the nth degree, you know, internalized it as a kid and growing up. And they’ve done tons of studies on this now, and they realize that, yes, judgment and harshness, you know, just kicking ourselves does work in the short term. It will get a short term result. It will give us some success. It is not sustainable long term. It greatly impacts our physical emotional well-being and actually doesn’t bring us to our highest success. It keeps us shy of our greatest potential. So first of all, just slow down, get as gentle as ourselves as we can be. And for some people, that’s the most vulnerable thing. Not judging themselves as one of the most vulnerable steps they can take, right? Feel and explore it. Just let it come up. Let it be. Empathize with it. You can pretend it’s a friend of yours saying this to you. Especially women. We tend to be much more compassionate with our friends then we’re able yet to be with ourselves, and then try and create some separation between you and this feeling or this thought, because it’s not true.

Kate Carter (00:07:16) – It’s not true. Our brains and our thoughts lie to us all the time. All the time, all the time, all the time. We know this so well until we’re in a really vulnerable spot. And then all of a sudden, it feels true. The volume goes up to a million inside our head. It’s like I was insane to think I could do this. I cannot do this. And that’s not true. It’s not true, but it feels true. So trying to get some space. So the first step to do is to go inside. Right. To go inside, take a look at what’s going on, be compassionate, gently take responsibility. But not as a personal flaw. Just as, oh, I’m experiencing this. I’m experiencing this. Okay, I’m going to give myself some time and space. Then we can talk about other steps. But the very first step is to go inside and take care of yourself and not believe it, because it’s a lying bugger.

Chloe Dechow (00:08:05) – Yeah, let’s talk about that because I know we’re meaning making machines right as humans.

Chloe Dechow (00:08:10) – And so we create almost pretty much anything we think of as some sort of belief. And we all have our own set of beliefs. We all make assumptions or calculated judgments based on our circumstances or our past experiences. And with these beliefs we search for evidence to back up our beliefs. You know, so when we talk about the imposter syndrome or the fear or the negative self-talk and knowing that some of that is really there is evidence that we’ve found whether or not the evidence itself is true, but we found evidence to back up these beliefs that we have that are not serving us. And so can you talk a little bit about your experience working with women and how they can kind of shift this evidence in their favour?

Kate Carter (00:08:58) – Well, yes, I will. And first of all, I love what you said about if we want to find evidence about something we can. Right, because we’ll put a lens on. And have you ever had someone you’re like, oh my gosh, why did she look at me that way? On a day you’re feeling vulnerable, everything will look wrong.

Kate Carter (00:09:12) – Everything will feel wrong because you’ve got this lens on that. You’re expecting to see it or that’s true. So yeah, one just if you want to find it, you will. So let’s try to find different evidence. Right. So yeah women I coached so often what goes on with fear. And this goes on in all of us. And again the more we learn to manage it, the smaller and smaller the sort of the speed bump can become until it’s just this little snap and you’re through it. But when our brain wants to slow us down, this happens for everybody. We have a fear trigger. So if we’re going to go outside of our comfort zone. Which is where fear feels really happy and safe because everything is known. So the second we’re going to go into new territory, something unknown, something that’s a risk our brain is wired to go off and physically it goes off to keep us physically safe. Right. Put your hands on a hot stove. Take it off. Emotionally it goes off.

Kate Carter (00:10:04) – If there’s some way we might not be emotionally safe. And this is where that perception, those lenses, that imagination comes in, right? Oh my gosh, what if I try this and I fail? What if I try this and I’m like, I realize I’m not as good at this as I thought I could be, or I look stupid or people think I’m a disappointment. They’re all these things that come up, and the way emotional fear stops us is to flood us with feelings of inadequacy, of defeat, of overwhelm, of confusion. And so every woman I’ve ever worked with has had this experience. And I would say, depending on how much work each of us has done on ourselves, most of us, and I’ll still get hooked in this, honestly, now we can. It can always sneak up on us, especially because the more we step out, you know, fear gets smarter, fear gets as smart as we are. It’s got access to everything inside. So. But I don’t know a better way to stop us than making us feel horrible about ourselves.

Kate Carter (00:10:59) – And then what do we do? We identify those feelings as flaws instead of realizing, oh no, that’s just brain wiring. It’s not a flaw, it’s brain wiring. You know, how would our days be different if when we got overwhelmed instead of feeling? Oh my gosh, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? Everybody else seems people do it. We be like, oh, look at that. My brain’s trying to stop me. Okay, I’m going to deal with it.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:21) – I love that because what it does is it makes it about science and not about these intangible things that are hard for us to name or put context around.

Kate Carter (00:11:31) – Yep. And we crumble with it. Right? There’s I don’t know what it is about the women I work with in my own experience, and I think it resonates for a lot of women. When I give a talk, people like, yes, yes, yes, you were inside my head, oh my gosh, how did you know that? But we do.

Kate Carter (00:11:45) – We just tend to personalize and take responsibility for something. I mean, before it’s even fully, you know, process like, oh, I can’t do it. We crumble. Yeah. So to get a footing like a solid footing on that’s actually not me. That’s my brain doing something. And if I can learn the way around that, I don’t have to sit in that space. It’s all about taking the misery out of growing, because it really doesn’t have to be a miserable process. It’s always going to be a little bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. Scary can be exciting.

Chloe Dechow (00:12:17) – Yeah, I love that. I know I’ve heard people say when they’re going to do something scary, like maybe it’s a presentation or a podcast interview or whatever it might be, and they actually try to trick their brain to believing that their pounding heart is excitement instead of fear, which I think is a really beautiful kind of perspective shift to take in those situations. Yeah. Can we talk a little bit about physical fear versus emotional fear? Because I know sometimes we are afraid for good reason.

Chloe Dechow (00:12:49) – Like you mentioned earlier, it’s part of our survival wiring. And so how can someone tell the difference between when they are actually in a situation where they should be fearful, versus when they are in a situation where their brain is trying to keep them safe from a maybe more of like an emotional standpoint, so to speak. Yeah, I’m.

Kate Carter (00:13:09) – Definitely not a physical fear specialist. Like I’m never bungee jumping. I’m never I’m not a physical thrill seeker. So if you’re looking for that, I don’t have it for you. But emotional fear. The woman who taught me to coach Rhonda Britton taught me this. And I just think it’s such a powerful way, because how many times have you heard women say, like, I don’t know if I’m enough, right? I mean, that’s why Barbie was so popular. I’m kind of right. Like, men can experience that piece. I’ve seen those sweatshirts everywhere. But yeah, so it’s when we’re risking that we might not feel like enough. Now, there are real risks that go along for thought leaders, right? If you’re a thought leader, it implies that you are putting something new out there, even if it’s just a tiny bit new.

Kate Carter (00:13:48) – Right? Because we’re all building off of each other. And so there is real risk of failure. We don’t take that out of the equation that you could fail. I think it’s what the failure means to you. Are you failing forward or using that failure as an opportunity? I mean, you know, you’re saying like I mean excitement and anxiety, two sides of the same coin, same thing with failure and success. Every failure can be a step to a new thing. So I think whether it’s a real emotional fear or not, that’s a challenging question. I’m not for me, I’m not sure that’s the most helpful question because it feels real. And I think taking care of it is more important. I think what might be more helpful is what’s a step you can take instead of like, is this real or not? What’s a step I can take here? And you’re not going to go for the, you know, the hugest mountain climb on your first goal, you’re going to take, you know, do a little hill, you’re going to break it down into, into doable steps.

Kate Carter (00:14:43) – Because I don’t think we always know. I mean, you can know that if you’re trying to do something new and you’re afraid of it and you’re projecting like, oh my gosh, what if I look stupid? But those are real fears. We have a real need to belong and to be seen and to be loved, right? So those are real fears, but they don’t have to stop you. Real fears. Right? It’s not like there’s a tiger in the room and I need to get out. That’s just a different level. Right? But social rejection or failing at something, there’s a real vulnerability there. I think it’s about breaking it down into the first step of what you can do. You know, people like Mother Teresa, if they knew what they were going to be when they started out, she wouldn’t have been able to do it. It’s too far along the road. You just take the step in front of you.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:24) – Yeah. And I know, Kate, you’ve used the term like stretching before.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:28) – Like taking these, like, stretches. Recently I heard someone call them micro risks and I was like, oh, I love that term. So can you give an example of kind of these stretches or micro risks that might be along someone’s thought leadership journey. Yep.

Kate Carter (00:15:44) – And yeah. And so outside of our comfort zone, we always think of it as like our comfort zone and outside of it, which it’s not right. There are certain things we’re ready to do. Like we were just saying small steps and certain things like, okay, like maybe in a month I can be ready to take the bigger step. So yeah, get it down to a small stretch. And my coaching and this is from Rhonda Britton. She calls it a stretch. And a stretch is something you know you can do. You’re just not doing it. This space outside of our comfort zone could also be called the beat ourselves up zone, because we tend to be very hard on ourselves when we don’t do these things. So one of the things in my life, I’ve been trying to take better care of my physical health because for lots of reasons, I sort of let it go for a little while.

Kate Carter (00:16:20) – And, you know, all fall. I’ve been trying to get back into resistance work and trying to do it in in my gym downstairs, because I’ve got a gym in my apartment building and it’s really nice. And I went like twice, I’ll fall. That’s an example of a stretch. I know I can go, I know there’s not a tiger down in the workout room, right? And it’s very friendly community here. I’m just not doing it now. Here’s also another trick about honoring our stretches, because it’s very easy for me to go like, well, I shouldn’t be able to do it. Why aren’t I doing it? I know it, you know, if you’re not doing something, it’s outside of your comfort zone. That’s one of the ways to tell, and you don’t need to bring any judgment to it if you’re not doing it, it’s outside of your comfort zone. And so I realized I needed more support. And the woman who taught me to coach Rhonda always say. As anytime we’re out of our comfort zone, get support, get support.

Kate Carter (00:17:06) – And so, you know, I was asking myself, as the new year started, I was like, this is really important to me. I don’t seem to be able to do it on my own. I absolutely believe in supporting people because I’m a coach. And so I, I asked my friends about gyms and I signed up for a gym three weeks ago, and I’ve been going twice a week, and I had to find the right gym for me, not a class. I had to find one where there no if I showed up or not, you know, and it’s been amazing and I feel great. So it’s about finding the step you want to take, about what level that’s at for you. Micro risk stretch I love that term micro risk. Asking yourself can I take this step a Mary takes if and if not, what support do I need? What support do I need? It’s about how you take it, right? How you get there, how you get to take it. Not necessarily, I don’t know, muscling up or something.

Kate Carter (00:17:52) – And this is actually how we build confidence. I mean, confidence comes after we take the step, not before. We’d love for it to come before, but if any of us think I’m areas of our lives we’ve really grown. We risked first we took that stretch or risk first.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:05) – Yes, I love that. I often like to share with the women I work with. That courage is what starts like leaning into your courage. And when you continue to do that, that’s what builds the confidence. I think there can sometimes be this dichotomy between women who are like, I’m naturally confident and like they’re just born confident and they’re running around. And then there’s the rest of us who are like, how’d she do that?

Kate Carter (00:18:28) – The rest of us, right? Like we’re all like, well, that’s not me.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:33) – The reality is, is that there’s probably something to do with parenting and conditioning that that’s in personality. Yeah, personality that’s involved. And it’s likely that because of that, they have taken more risks and grown their confidence through courageous acts.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:50) – So yeah, I’d like to demystify this whole confidence thing because it can feel I feel like I’m using this word a lot for a lot of things I’m talking about these days, but it can feel really elusive, like you’re either confident or you’re not confident, right? And really, you can grow that confidence through courageous actions. And what I love about what you’re saying is it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be. You’re hiding behind a keyboard one day, and the next day you’re doing a keynote on stage.

Kate Carter (00:19:17) – You’re at a Ted talk.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:19) – Right? You’re doing your Ted talk. You can work your way up to it.

Kate Carter (00:19:22) – And I like you. I have a ton of courage. Confidence is different for me, and that’s one of the reasons this coaching model really appealed to me. And mostly because also in building the confidence, this model, what how I work is it’s self-love and compassion at the base of it. So I’m a huge non-violence fan. I used to teach it and all sorts of things.

Kate Carter (00:19:42) – Somebody came up to Gandhi once and said, I can’t do what you do. I don’t have the courage, you know? And he said, you don’t need courage. You need love. Love brings the courage. And so really, if a woman wants to start building her confidence, we start with self-love and compassion and use this gradual step process. And by doing it that way, you can intentionally take these smaller risks into bigger risk as you go with support, and you build genuine inner confidence that nobody can take away from you. A lot of times we look outside or we look for an external achievement or something like that, and those do help, but they can’t fix something on the inside. Confidence is an inside job. And so when you work with a coach or work with someone to support you in, you know, sort of taking those steps, you start really building an inner strength in you that nobody gets to take away and no circumstance takes away.

Chloe Dechow (00:20:37) – I have to repeat that confidence is an inside job.

Chloe Dechow (00:20:41) – That’s beautiful.

Kate Carter (00:20:42) – And it’s great news because we can work on the inside.

Chloe Dechow (00:20:45) – Yes. Yeah. It’s something we can control. Yep. So I know you mentioned earlier. So this gym example that you gave, I want to talk a little bit about procrastination and its role in all of this when it comes to fear. My experience is like procrastination can show up for a couple different reasons. One would be you signed up to do something that you actually didn’t want to do in the first place, and maybe you signed up for it out of obligation, or you adopted somebody else’s idea of what success looks like. And I’m guilty of that. We probably all are in some way, shape or form. And so then you don’t do it or you take your sweet time doing it. I’ve also seen people procrastinate because it’s something they could do, but maybe it’s not their zone of genius or their skill set or the best use of their time. QuickBooks. Anybody? I’m just kidding. That’s for.

Kate Carter (00:21:38) – Me.

Kate Carter (00:21:39) – Oh my God. So me and you know, I’ve.

Chloe Dechow (00:21:43) – I’ve learned the hard way that like, yes, I could put stuff in QuickBooks. But you know, it’s just better for somebody who actually loves to do that work to take that off my plate. But then there’s also procrastination out of fear because like you mentioned, with the workout experience, there’s some fear that’s residing there. And I’m curious for somebody who’s listening, maybe they’re procrastinating on something right now that they know they should do or should get done. How can they tell the difference between these different forms of procrastination that sneak in?

Kate Carter (00:22:16) – That’s a great question. I would think slowing down and listening inside, right? I mean, that first step is good for so much. Just slow down, listen to what you’re feeling, listen to the thoughts because it’s true. Maybe you are taking on something. Maybe your gut and your heart are telling you, we don’t want to do this right. I’m with you on QuickBooks. I hired an accounting firm this year for my business, and they had to call me last week and be like, yeah, we need to walk you through some stuff because they’re doing it.

Kate Carter (00:22:41) – But I hadn’t given him everything yet because I so like just I’ll get to it. I’ll get to it. So yeah, that is something like, you know, I just was not doing it. You can just notice what’s going on when you try to do it. Right now. I want to clarify a couple of things here though, because these are great opportunities for changing our mindset on something. Procrastination is a symptom of fear. So when we are procrastinating, it is a sign that our brain is in. It could call it scarcity. You know our cave person brain. We’re not in the wisest part of our brain. Our fear wire is triggered. You know, our fear wiring is working. And so one just when you catch yourself procrastinating, don’t judge, wonder, explore, be curious. Then you’ll get that answer if it is fear. Then you can start taking those tiny steps through it. Break it down into a smaller step. What’s the smallest possible step you can take? And the Y is really sexy.

Kate Carter (00:23:33) – Like, oh my gosh, but I want to know why. I want to know why. I want to know why. That’s a great distraction. It doesn’t really matter why. And usually as you take the steps, you figure out the why. One of the things I realized this is I get back in shape now. It’s like I was a college athlete, and I think I kept thinking like, I got to be at that level. I’m 53. I’m not going to be the level I was and a college athlete, but my mind was a little bit like, if you start, you’re gonna have to do it two hours a day. And no, that’s not what it is. So but I didn’t know that until I started it. So don’t get distracted by the why if procrastination is up, it’s absolutely your fear. Wiring is up and there’s usually a good reason. So get in there and explore and take the step you want to take. Whether it’s to say no to that thing. Which could be its own risk.

Kate Carter (00:24:13) – Saying no for a lot of us takes practice and as a muscle, we’re developing. Or it’s just to take your first step through. And again, I would break it down to a small as you need to. Any step forward is a good step forward. Any movement breaks through that paralysis fog.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:27) – Yeah, I love the way you said that, because maybe yeah, the fear is rooted in saying no or even even if it’s not saying no to somebody saying no to maybe a path you thought you were taking your life down. It could be so, for example, the procrastinating because it’s not something you should be doing. It could be fear from hiring somebody to do that work, or fear of letting go of the reins of something and letting go of some control.

Kate Carter (00:24:53) – And fear of success. We have to put that in there. For women, there’s real fear of success. What will happen if I do this? Oh my gosh, what will people want for me? Will I be able to keep doing it? What if you know all those things?

Chloe Dechow (00:25:04) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:25:05) – Let’s talk about the fear of success. So from your perspective, where does that come from? Why do we fear success sometimes?

Kate Carter (00:25:13) – Oh, I probably a million reasons. I don’t know if I have answers specific answers to that. But what I’ve heard, you know, in my clients and what I’ve noticed in myself is there’s an expectation around it where I’ll have to keep a certain amount going or I don’t know how to do that and have a life or that’s actually mine. As I say, that I can feel it come up in my body. People sometimes have childhood stories around successes. It’s so intricate for each person that it’s one of the reasons why slowing down and going inside is so important, because you want to hear what’s going on inside of you and honor that and take care of that, because it really it really could be different, you know, for you, fear of success might have its own story, but it’s definitely wanting to slow down something that could happen for some way. You feel like it wouldn’t be okay, or maybe you couldn’t handle it, or there’s more unknown there.

Kate Carter (00:26:05) – What if I’m really seeing we want to be seen and yet we don’t want to be seen, you know? Can my voice take that space? Can I take up that space?

Chloe Dechow (00:26:14) – It’s almost like a measuring up to something. That’s kind of what I’m hearing.

Kate Carter (00:26:19) – In our minds, right?

Chloe Dechow (00:26:21) – Yeah.

Kate Carter (00:26:21) – And the beauty is, we have so many women who have gone before us, thank God, and done this. When we take each of those small steps. It is an organic creation that comes from our heart and soul that is ours, and we can live into it. But you’re not going to live into where you’re going to end up from the first day, right? Like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, right? But yeah, so just those feelings, those are nothing. Those small steps is huge, huge huge huge. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:46) – So what I’m hearing is each of those steps, just trusting that each of those steps is preparing you for that version of success down the road.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:55) – You know, you’re going to learn how to handle it as you go versus being thrown into something and having to learn how to handle it all from nothing or. Yeah.

Kate Carter (00:27:03) – And my experience is you learn what it is as you go. Like a lot of times we have an idea and usually it’s from something we’ve seen and maybe somebody else we’ve seen, right? But as we go and live our own internal lives or our own passion with what we want to do, it teaches us what it actually is. I’m still, you know, I’ve been in coaching now for two years. I’ve had my business running for two years, and I’m still learning what this is that I’m doing by showing up every day. It’s teaching me as much as I’m, you know, sort of crafting it.

Chloe Dechow (00:27:34) – Yeah. I like to describe entrepreneurship as building the plane while you’re flying it. You’re never quite sure what exactly you’re doing or if it’s going to work and if this plane is going to fly. So talk about fear of being on a plane that’s not fully built.

Kate Carter (00:27:50) – That is another common fear for everybody, right? Yeah. Like, can we give ourselves permission to not have all the answers before we start to trust that, you know, that desire we feel in our heart is valid and it will show us the way. If we show up, it will show us the way. Elizabeth Gilbert has a great talk on this for how she showed up for writing after she wrote eat, pray, love. I think it’s a Ted talk. That’s probably the biggest work of her life. And she did it in her 30s, so like, that’s pretty tough to show up to write your next book, right? And she just showed up every day and said, okay, what’s happening today? What’s happening today?

Chloe Dechow (00:28:22) – Yeah. That consistency. And it sounds like sustainability is really important too, when it comes to that mindset switch of going after some of those bigger goals.

Kate Carter (00:28:34) – For me, it’s everything, you know? I mean, everybody operates in a different way. But to continually let go of the judgment and the push and to allow compassion and love to pull me through my days more.

Kate Carter (00:28:48) – One, it’s so much more enjoyable. This is coming out of both my training, but also I’m becoming a positive intelligence coach. And Shirzad Shamin, the man who designed this, you know, just talks about, yes, you can get a lot of success by push and by being harsh and by all of that, but it won’t give you happiness. And if you take this, you know, internal self-compassion root, it will bring you happiness and success. It attends to all of it. And I just more interested in that. I turned 50 and I said, I’m just here for the fun now. So that’s it.

Chloe Dechow (00:29:19) – I love that I’ve noticed if I put the lens of fun on things that I don’t really want to do, or that I’m scared of doing, I tend to show up a lot better for those moments. So whether that’s giving a talk or recording a reel or whatever it might be, bringing fun and honoring that value tends to make things a lot easier and joyful. I love this idea of pulling rather than pushing, so my experience in my career and success was really pushing.

Chloe Dechow (00:29:51) – I think I pushed the entire time, and so I’ve had to unlearn a lot of those habits of like pushing and driving and always having to take the initiative and make the ask and all these things. And it’s hard because, you know, I was successful. I became an executive at the agency I worked at at the age of 29. I was making six figures. I led a team for years. I became very well connected and even like this started all the way back from graduating college. Like I graduated kind of on the tail end of the recession, where everybody wanted five years of experience for an entry level job, and it was a great time. And I just remember being so committed to joining the agency world at the time that I started a blog, and I was interviewing people, and I hustled to find, like internships and all the things until I could land that agency job. And so for me, it’s a lot of like unpacking this belief that I have to work really hard to be successful.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:57) – And I think a lot of entrepreneurship in general is like a lot of unlearning all the things that we were told would be how we become successful. And so I love this idea of like being pulled or like magnetized almost through things, through kind of a compassion and love standpoint versus this pushing, because I think that’s, for me, one of my fears,, in all of this is pushing ended up causing health issues for me. Like really early on. I, you know, I was I burnout was very prevalent for me. I felt like I sacrificed a lot of the things that people normally do in their 20s for fun because I was working and at the time, I put a lot of stock in my success in that way. Like, I felt very successful from a career standpoint, and I had prioritized that. And then I became a mom. And as things do in motherhood, your entire lens on the world shifts and you kind of gain new perspective of what’s important. And and then that led me into my entrepreneurship journey.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:05) – And so I’m curious, like hearing my story, what advice would you give to somebody who’s like, I’m kind of scared of success because I don’t want to be pushing and sick all the time and dealing with these things. Now that I’m in a completely new chapter in my life, because I’m sure there’s listeners who can relate to that.

Kate Carter (00:32:25) – I would say get support. I don’t have a specific piece of advice. I would say get support, whether it’s a coach, a circle of women entrepreneurs, a therapist, you know. Anything. I think having company in these spaces, having people mirror back to us is incredibly helpful. Having people to walk alongside us. I would not have gotten even this far in my business without support I get coached. I’m part of several amazing business communities. I’m part of Ray nine, which we all know and love, and that has been amazing for me. So I think, you know, support is the most important thing we can give ourselves because it helps us step through those fears.

Kate Carter (00:33:04) – It’s so much more fun to have support on the journey than not. As far as specific answers to that, I would ask you specifically what’s going on in there? I would coach you, you know, and just go, okay, what? Let’s dig into that a little bit. What are those feelings? What makes you feel like it’s going to be the same? Right. And there’s a beauty in that because you’re taking responsibility. You know you made choices in the past, right? So the beauty is I don’t hear you blaming anything else. I don’t mean like the company made me work or, you know, this person or my parents always taught me this. I don’t hear any of that. I hear I made these choices and I want to make different choices. And so that’s coming from a place of freedom, which is beautiful because you’re not playing victim, you know, which I have lots of compassion for. We all get stuck in that space. But what steps do you want to take and what would help you to do that? And when you get stuck, who’s in your corner helping you walk through that?

Chloe Dechow (00:33:53) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:53) – Community is so big and all things really to me, it’s part of the whole reason we’re alive is connection with other people. Doesn’t have to be a connection with everybody, because not everybody is going to be everybody else’s cup of tea. But yeah, the right people in your corner.

Kate Carter (00:34:09) – I think so because each of our journeys is unique. You know, there is good advice out there. There’s all kinds of sorts of things. But I don’t know about you, but this journey for me, if you had told me in my late 40s I was going to start my own business, I would have thought you were insane. You know, it’s not a common narrative. You know, for me, it wasn’t something I thought I could do. And so I’ve never been so far out of my comfort zone in my life. And yeah, support has been the absolute reason why I’m still here.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:34) – Yeah. And I also think that to me, that normalizes getting support because you are an expert in courage and helping other women do this.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:43) – And so I think it’s important for people who are listening, who haven’t worked with a coach before, to know that coaches have coaches because we need mirrors back to us and what we’re, you know, seeing it’s really hard. You know, there is this thing called self coaching and you can do it, but it’s always helpful to have another person to say, hey, you know, I heard you just say this. Did you hear yourself or what about shifting and looking at it from this perspective? You know, there’s a value to having that. So what I’m hearing, Kate, is you’re not just talking the talk, you’re walking the walk.

Kate Carter (00:35:16) – I’m interested in real freedom. You know, Rumi, the mystic poet, says you can have prison reform or prison break. I want prison break, I want out, I want to just, you know, make it, you know, sort of better move the furniture around in there. I want it to be done. You know, that mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

Kate Carter (00:35:32) – I’m not interested in the mind being in charge anymore. I’m just not. Yeah, I’m interested in more fun and freedom and happiness and helping people. And it’s.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:41) – Beautiful.

Kate Carter (00:35:41) – Yeah. It’s possible. Right? That’s another thing we need to keep reminding ourselves. Like, that’s another way fear can jump in and say like, oh, that’s not really possible. Totally possible, totally possible.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:50) – What’s possible for Kate through all of this.

Kate Carter (00:35:53) – I always joke that I’m going to coach Oprah someday. For me, really personally, why I’m on this journey is a new way of living. A little bit like you. I had been, you know, working a lot. I’d been in nonprofit for 30 years, and I loved everything I was a part of, and I wanted something different. At this point in my life. I wanted to be a little bit more in the driver’s seat of my work, and I wanted to hone down a little bit more in the gifts that I really feel like I have, and coaching is really helped me discover that.

Kate Carter (00:36:19) – So it’s this place of, I mean, it’s real. I’m out of my comfort zone all the time. I’m getting support all the time because this is really pushing on all my buttons. But I just yeah, I want to create the next piece of my life, and I think I am creating the next piece of my life in a whole new way, where I’m getting to just, you know, really swim in what I love to do just all the time and, and just played. And I don’t mean a higher level, just at a totally different level for myself. Just imagine, you know, life in a very, very new way for me, for these next, I don’t know, probably I’ll probably coach for at least 20, 25, 30 years, maybe into my 80s. So I can’t see putting it down. I love doing it so much. But yeah, so I think what I said when I turned 50, I’m just here for the fun. I think I’m I think Kate’s future is fun to refer to myself in the third person.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:08) – I love it. Kate’s future is fun for sure. Well, I’m glad to hear you’ll be doing this for the next 20 to 35 years, because that gives me ample opportunity to hire you myself.

Kate Carter (00:37:19) – Yeah, yeah, I’ll be around. I’m not going anywhere.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:22) – Well, thank you so much, Kate, for coming on here. Is there any main takeaway you would love the listeners today to walk away with if they could remember just one thing?

Kate Carter (00:37:31) – Yeah. I would say, you know. When we get off a call like this, or we go to a workshop or we hear we’re talking, we’re like, I gotta do everything. Start small and practice self-compassion, right? And when you want to change something, this doesn’t come from me. This comes from Rhonda Britton, the woman I learned to coach with start. Like, let’s say you hit a wall. Start with compassion, then honesty, then personal responsibility. Compassion first, even before honesty, because honesty without compassion can be pretty mean.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:58) – Yes, especially if you’re a harsh judge of yourself for sure.

Kate Carter (00:38:02) – Oh my God, I’ve always said I have an inner critic who could, like, run a small country somewhere in a not in a very dictator way. Totally. Oh.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:08) – Me too. They would be,, in cahoots together, I’m sure.

Kate Carter (00:38:11) – Right. Very tight. Very locked down.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:14) – Yes. Well, you’re already bringing some humor and fun, that’s for sure.

Kate Carter (00:38:18) – Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:19) – Well, thank you so much, Kate, for coming on today. Thank you. Where could somebody learn more about you and what you do?

Kate Carter (00:38:26) – So my website katecartercoaching.com. There’s a few descriptions of what I do on there. And then there’s a contact me page if you want that. And anybody who’s listening to this podcast we’re going to have a gift for you. In the description we’ll have a link to a worksheet that’ll walk you through some of the steps we talked about today. And I’ll throw a video in with that. So I’ll walk you through it as you do it.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:48) – Thanks so much, Kate, for your generosity. I know that’ll be a huge help to not just my listeners, but also me as I continue along my journey as well. So really appreciate that offer that you’re sharing with us. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining. 

Kate Carter (00:39:04) – Thanks for having me. This has been great.

Chloe Dechow (00:39:10) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram @westhavencoaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at westhavencoaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership.

Chloe Dechow (00:39:53) – Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

The Courage to Be Uncomfortable with Kate Carter

April 4, 2024

empowering women, self-sabotage, mindset work, confidence building, public speaking, imposter syndrome, self-awareness, managing fear, micro risks, stretches, self-love, compassion, procrastination, fear of success, support, self-coaching, community, personal responsibility, self-compassion, authentic authority, thought leadership, personal and professional growth



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