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May 14, 2024 | Podcast

Your Permission Slip to Dream Bigger

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About the episode:

In this episode of the Prosperous Empath®, I’m jumping back into the mini-series on mindset blocks and obstacles that empaths and HSPs often struggle with on their entrepreneurial and leadership journeys. By nature, empaths are often people-pleasers and permission seekers. We tend to ask other people for their blessing before we make big decisions and even tame our dreams when they make our loved ones uncomfortable. In this conversation, I’m sharing insights and practical strategies on how to cultivate self-trust and start enrolling others into your vision instead of asking for their permission so you can own the full expression of your desires and dream bigger.


Topics discussed:

  • Catherine’s journey with permission-seeking and how she cultivated breakthroughs and self-trust
  • How to own your potential and start trusting yourself without having proof or guarantees that you’ll achieve your vision
  • How to make choices for yourself based on where you desire to be and speak from that place of already knowing who you’re capable of becoming
  • Enrolling others into your vision and how to start seeking participation instead of permission


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode


Catherine A. Wood  00:00

Hello, hello, welcome back to the prosperous Empath cat here. Today we’re jumping right back into our mini series on the common mindset blocks and obstacles that I noticed empaths and highly sensitive commonly struggle with in their leadership and entrepreneurial journeys, these have all been topics that have been huge areas of growth and up leveling for me. And I’ve really been enjoying recording this mini series, because these are conversations I have with clients all the time and have been having for the past decade. And so it feels just really intimate and vulnerable to share some of my own personal experiences, and some of the common Coaching Questions and places that I look with clients in these areas. And today is the third episode in this miniseries. And if you haven’t listened to the first two, I again, I highly recommend them, they have been some of my favorite solo episodes to record recently, I think it’s just because they’re so close to my heart. The first episode was about dreaming and manifesting for sensitive empaths living in a loud world. And the last episode was about expanding your capacity to receive in business life and love. And gosh, they were they were really heartfelt episodes for me to share and record and reflect on and I think that you’ll love them. So we will drop the links to both of those episodes in the show notes. And without further ado, let’s jump into today’s conversation. Because today we’re going to be digging into the topic about giving up asking other people for permission and taking the leap to dream bigger. And I think this is a really relevant topic for empaths in particular, because by nature, we are people pleasers. So by default, we’re permission seekers, because we want to make other people happy. So we have this real natural orientation and predisposition to want to please other people and ask other people permission and further blessings when we’re when we’re taking leaps and jumps. And when we’re making brave moves. And the thing is, is that typically, when we’re making big leaps, we’re uncomfortable and other people can, can sense and project that fear. And oftentimes they can, they can, they can get that fear on us, right like rather than hold a vision for our dreams, and have remind us of what we said we wanted in the face of our fear, they can make us doubt ourselves or, or hold back and linger in our comfort zones, rather than stretch and grow. And I think that this is a lot of the work I do with clients as a coach. And I think a really effective coach has a really skilled muscle at reminding our clients of their capacity to dream. And helping them believe that their dreams are possible. Because truly, it’s when we believe that our dreams are possible, that we’re willing to take the actions necessary and required in order to follow through and make it happen. So, I want to start today’s episode with a story because permission seeking has been a huge part of my journey. And I’m so proud of where I’ve where I’ve gotten to in my relationship with permission seeking. But I think that, you know, when I think back to the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey back in 2014, I was such a people pleaser. I really wanted to make my family and my partner and my coach, happy and proud. And it was such a source of motivation and inspiration for me. And I think that’s very common. I think we’re oftentimes inspired and motivated by other people. Which is great to an extent. But what happens when our dreams make our loved ones uncomfortable, or what happens when our dreams make us uncomfortable and our loved ones become protective. So this is really the story of my own transition outside of the federal government into full time self employment. And if you’ve been tuning into the podcast for a while, you’ll know and you’ll remember me sharing the story that my journey was a bit of a long and winding road. I, there’s a framework I often speak about when I relate to changemakers. And it’s the idea that some of us are bridge burners. And some of us are bridge builders. And what I mean by that is that, you know, whenever we’re looking at dreaming big, we have to paint a vision of what’s on the other side of the bridge that we want to walk towards, that we want to lean into. And some of us fall into the camp of being bridge burners, where we see exactly what we want, on the other side of the bridge. And we leap up and over the bridge, and we burn it up after us. So we have to make it right, it’s like, ride or die. We are, we’re willing to like put ourselves to the fire and discover who we are in the process. Now, I work with a lot of clients who tend to be bridge burners. That’s not me. I am a bridge builder, I am one of the people who see something that they want for themselves on the other side of the bridge. And then they safely and smoothly lay planks so that they can more comfortably walk from one side of the bridge to the other. Now, of course, there are pros and cons of being both. I think one of the really loud proponents of being a bridge burner is that you often arrive, you often jump headfirst into your dream quicker. And with a bridge builder, your journey oftentimes takes a little bit longer, and it might be a little less painful getting there. Now, I think that that’s certainly been my experience. I started coaching in 2014, I didn’t transition to coach full time until 2016. So that journey took a little bit longer. But what I really want to share is the journey, how I got there, how did I really overcome giving up that need to gain my my family and my loved ones blessings and approval, before jumping into the next thing before jumping into my own business and being my own boss full time and giving up the comfort of a pension. And honestly, I can still remember the day I told my partner, gosh, it must have been like the 15th 20th time that I was done. And I was ready to resign from my economist job to pursue coaching full time. But this time, it it felt different. This time, I simply got an OK response from him. Nothing else. That was it. And I was stupefied. As this was after weeks, months, honestly even years of telling him that it was ready to quit. And him responding something along the lines of not yet you’re not there yet. And honestly, it was probably some days later when I finally got the the chutzpah to actually ask him what was different that time from the dozen others of my telling you that I wanted to resign and then I was ready. And this is what he said. He replied, I was just waiting for you to be ready. And that’s just it. All those other times I was begging, pleading, mostly with myself but out loud to him to give me the permission to quit, not because I needed his permission. But because I did not have that confidence to make the decision for myself. And that’s what we do all the time in business, and leadership. Often in love. We’re scared to hold our ground and truly stand for what we want and enroll people in why we want it. So instead we ask for their permission. And we might say what we want as a question, rather than as a statement as if someone else gets to make that decision for us. I can remember a recent conversation with a client who wanted support around negotiating for a promotion at work and she didn’t feel confident in championing herself in this area. And honestly like a lot of the women clients I’ve worked with over the years and so many Empath printers I’ve worked with. So She was so much more confident to speak boldly about what she had already done and accomplished in her position in the past already, then why she deserved her boss’s position and what she could do in that position moving forward. And I see this all the time with Empath printers. And what I noticed is that it comes down to speaking from a place of evidence, versus a knowing of worthiness. Now, evidence based speaking is more comfortable for so many of our listeners, I imagine. Because we have facts and figures to back up those claims those ideas, we have proof reasoning justification for why we’re such high achievers, why we’re such gifted givers why we excel so naturally at being of service, because it’s all based in the past and what we’ve done. But worthiness based speaking requires an inner knowing of why you’ll be great at some new role that you haven’t yet stepped into. It requires you to own your greatness, own your potential, and acknowledge who you are and what you are capable of. And ultimately, it requires self trust. And the thing about self trust, is that it does not come from evidence and proof. It requires an inner knowing this is something I talk about a lot with clients. The thing about a breakthrough in self trust, is that it requires you to trust yourself in the face of lacking evidence in the face of not having the proof, or the justification or the data to back up why you can do it. Now that requires having a willingness to, to, to step outside of our comfort zones in a huge way. And the thing about breakthroughs and self trust is that the more you choose to trust yourself in the face of not knowing the more skill set the more. The more skill set the the bigger game, you can play in what you believe yourself. trust worthy of what you are willing to declare what you are willing to dream. breakthroughs and self trust are an iterative process. This is one of the reasons why coaching is so effective in a long term container. Because as we generate more self trust within ourselves, we get to lean into the container and that relationship to dream bigger, to dream larger to play a bigger game. It’s like it never it never stops. So again, self trust, it does not come from evidence and proof. It requires that inner knowing. And it also requires you to negotiate for yourself, based on who you are based on who you know yourself to be versus what you have demonstrated, already proved or already done in the past, you need to get to a place where you can have a future based conversation both with yourself as well as the people you’re enrolling yourself in versus a conversation based in the past on what you’ve done on, on what’s predictable on what’s likely, that’s just not the most powerful place to dream bigger. Now, this all comes down to really what I learned that day when I finally got my partner’s Gosh blessing permission approval agreement to resign from my nine to five. I learned that you have to be clear about what you want before you try to enroll anyone else in it. Now, many of us when we’re trying to enroll other people in our dreams when we’re trying to enroll ourselves in our dreams. We start with a plan. We think we need a business plan. We think we need a strategy. We think we need a list of all that there is to do. But the thing is that we don’t remember Martin Luther King’s speech. We don’t remember Martin Luther King Junior’s I Have a Dream speech because he had a stutter. To plan, we remember it because he had a dream. And we could get behind that dream we could see something for ourselves in his dream. So if you’re struggling with this first step, if you’re struggling with this idea of how do I get clearer about what I really want, how do I allow myself to grow my capacity to dream to connect with my desires, my longings, my yearnings, I want you to start here. These are some common practices that I offer clients is places to start. Now, I’ll also I will also add that the first episode in this series on manifesting and dream bigger will certainly help and here are a couple others. So the first one is I want you to start visualizing yourself in the role you seek. So truly connecting with the future version of yourself already having stepped into that promotion, that self employment, that marriage, that partnership, whatever it might be, I want you to start visualizing yourself already there. So you might consider sitting down and closing your eyes and just starting to imagine yourself already having achieved what you want. How does that version of you act? If you got the promotion? What is your office look like? What’s your view out of your window of what’s possible for you having already achieved that role? Having already created that future reality for yourself today? Who are you in that future version of yourself? How do you dress? I really mean it like what’s the power play outfit, I have a lot of clients who are natural extroverts, they’re, they love public speaking, like they love being out on stage in the center. And that’s not me. But a lot. A lot of times they’re powerplay outfits, or they look like wearing heels to the office like truly dressing up and looking the part. Now for me that might look like leggings and a cashmere sweater. Because that’s truly my future version of what I want for myself. But whatever it is for you. Connect with it and start dressing as that version of yourself now get super clear and connected with who you already are in the position without seeking position, or excuse me without seeking, Get really clear about who you already are in the position without seeking permission. Now, this is really important because our capacity to envision to visualize what we want, creates clarity and forward momentum and inspired action to get there. So it’s not like you’re just going to visualize and that’s going to be it visualization is not sufficient to have you realize your dreams. But visualization is huge, and a necessary step to set yourself up to be in an embodied empowered place to do what it will take to follow through and to take the action sufficient to get there. Okay, so that’s the first one. The second one is a practice that I so often offer clients and it’s the invitation to just create a folder on your desktop and call it your love letters or testimonials. You can use whatever cutesy or fun name for you that you like. But then I want you to find testimonials and evidence of your success already. So as a coach, this is really easy, right? Anytime a client sends us a nice email or records us a voice memo or sends us a DM and Instagram or LinkedIn. Like I literally want you to screenshot those, those testimonials those kinds of remarks, those kind words and put it in that folder, put it in that place where anytime your confidence and your self trust plays peekaboo with you. You can revisit your love letters and reconnect with who you really are and the evidence of your success already. Now this is something you can rely on other people To help you connect with and it’s also something that you can do for yourself, you can write down all the accomplishments that you’re most proud of that, that you want to acknowledge yourself and celebrate yourself for, I think it’s, um, it’s oftentimes just as powerful to acknowledge our accomplishments to ourselves, as it is to share our accomplishments with other people. Because I don’t know about you. But I noticed that when I share what I’m proud of myself, for with my trusted loved ones, it helps me embody that self pride just a little bit more, it helps me really feel it in my heart, and connect with it on a real soul aligned level. The last place is, I just want to say it’s an iterative process. It’s not going to happen overnight. But I want you to get to a place where you’ve already made the choice for yourself. And this is so key. So the reason that it took me so many years to not only jump into self employment, because honestly, I could have made the transition sooner I would have discovered who I was in the process. But I hadn’t made the choice yet. For myself, I hadn’t. I hadn’t built enough planks, to feel safe to really take that final leap to get to the other side of the bridge. And once I had, I was different, I occurred different in that conversation with my partner, when I told them I was ready. So without this step, you will only ever be able to convince or persuade others, rather than truly enroll your loved ones, in a vision that’s larger than you. So I want you to practice getting clear about and making choices for yourself, based on where you desire to be, and the future you’re creating for yourself. Versus basing your decisions and your current circumstances or your reality. Now, this may sound easier said than done, and I think that it is. But something I have really come to appreciate is that life is precious, and life is short. In the last couple of weeks, in my own circles, I’ve both lost loved ones, and welcomed new loved ones into the world. And just so present to the cycle of life and how for many of us are, our lives are a lot shorter, or a lot more precious than we sometimes allow ourselves to acknowledge or connect with. And I think when we think about the preciousness of life, it can connect us with the potency of our dreams a little bit more quickly. It can help us visualize our dreams coming to life a little more realistically. And it can help us to shorten the timeframe with which we’re willing to think about something to which we’re willing to act upon something. So whatever it takes you to get to that place where you’ve already made the choice for yourself. It is so important because when we speak from already knowing from already having that embodied sense of what we want, and who we know ourselves to be capable of being and doing an acting upon, that is a powerful place to speak from. That is what dreams are made of. That is what enrolls other people in your visions. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about in the second half of this episode. So getting clear about what you want is really important, but it’s not everything. Because you likely need to enroll other people in your vision. Right? Like if you’re married, if you’re if you have a family, there’s likely other people that depend upon you. And that need to be on board with your dreams and visions, in order for you to have that community and that support system, to take a leap to take the brave and courageous steps that it means to be a change maker. So, listen, your vision could be anything, it could be stepping out into business for yourself, it could be getting that promotion, it could be selling your business up leveling your business in a huge way. You ultimately you don’t need permission, what you need is to get others on board with your ideas, you need to enroll them. And enrollment is about bringing others along with you into something that’s larger than you are loved ones have to see something in it for themselves. In order to become enrolled in our vision, they have to be able to connect with what we want on a heart level to feel that authentic, heart centered desire, Dream longing, that is powerful. And honestly, it’s why our dreams are so compelling. And our plans aren’t. So at this stage in the game, you’ve probably done a lot more of the mindset work some of that real, clarifying work to get clear on the what. And now you need to learn how to be able to communicate that what to other people, and you have to have the language required when you talk to others to get other people on board with your vision. So at this point, you are truly you’re no longer seeking permission. Instead, you’re seeking their participation. Now, this is a little bit more tactical. So there’s some real key steps in having an enrollment conversation with other people. So here, here’s some. So I want to share a framework for enrolling other people in your vision. And I want to be super clear that at this point, you are truly no longer seeking other people’s permission. Instead, you’re seeking their participation. This is not a yes or no conversation. This is not a, I want your blessing, I want your permission. This is an active iterative process, an ongoing conversation, to discover what it’s going to take to get your loved ones on board with your dreams. So



it’s only now been popularized around I think 68 million now. But even though provincial heads.


Catherine A. Wood  28:46

So this is really a three part framework, the first part of the framework is really going to speak to what’s in it for you. Why is this so important to you? Now, this is really powerful. We so often start with our plan, the how, how we’re going to get there, what it’s going to take. And I really want to be clear that when we’re speaking from the how we’re often speaking from that fear based security needing place, which is not enrolling. It’s not a powerful place to start the conversation from what is powerful. What gets people excited, what has people want to support you and really dream bigger themselves, is when they can hear why this is so important to you. So you need to get you need to really know like, why do you want to become self employed? Why do you want to become your own boss? Why do you want that promotion? Why are you perfect for the role? What’s possible for you in that role? What do you want to bring to life? I’ve through stepping into that next level of leadership. You can also speak to some of the how to like how you’re the perfect candidate for the position like how you’re already performing in that role. But what I want you to be really clear about is that you’re speaking from an embodied place of knowing why this is important to you, of knowing why you want it, of knowing what’s in it for you. And ultimately, of from this place of having already made the decision for yourself, and now wanting to get other people on board with your decision, to have their active participation and to really have their collaboration, which speaks to the second part of the framework. The second part of the framework is to really speak to what’s in it for them. So why would your husband or partner or wife, or family, why would they want to support you with becoming self employed? Why would they want to see you take that really uncomfortable leap? From giving up a pension or a steady paycheck to ultimately creating your own? Like, how has it been? How is in service of them? How can you? Excuse me? If you’re trying to enroll your boss in that promotion, how would they benefit from your promotion? Like how are you setting them up to win also, right, because this is we’re really looking for though, like the triple win here, right? Like, this isn’t just a win for you, it’s also a win for them. And it’s also a win for the world. So again, this is the the three part of the framework, we don’t want to cut that back. Wait, Haley actually want to go back and start with the framework all over again. So this is a three part framework of how to enroll other people in your vision. And really, it’s, it’s pretty simple, like the the framework is we’re looking at creating a triple win, what’s in it for you, what’s in it for the people, you want to enroll in your vision, and what’s in it for the world. So what’s in it for you, you need to be able to speak towards why you’re perfect for the role, why you’re ready to stop, step into self employment, like what’s possible for you as your own boss, or in that promoted level of leadership. You can also speak to how you’re the perfect candidate for the position, how you’re set up for success in self employment, but you really need to speak from this embodied place of knowing and owning, and really believing yourself deserving and worthy of having what you want. And that is a really powerful place to speak from. The second part of the framework is what’s in it for them? Like how is this in service of the people in your life besides you? How do they benefit from your promotion from you becoming your own boss, like maybe they’ll get to see you more often or have more access to you, because of all the additional time freedom you’re going to carve out for yourself not having to work a nine to five like this is really where I also want to be clear that when you’re speaking to how this is in service of our loved ones, and your boss or your colleagues, like we’re not, you’re not trying to convince them right like this is actually going to require you speaking from an embodied authentic place of how this is in service of others, like how this isn’t just for you how this will actually benefit them. And then last, lastly, like when we’re really speaking to the triple, when which as Empath printers were a constant, constant stand for this. It’s how is this in service of the planet? How is this in service of the larger purpose, your larger commitment and contribution to the world? I think this last piece is really that higher altitude conversation about how an enrollment works in everyone’s best interest. Like, truly, when you’ve created a win win for everyone, it becomes a no brainer how to proceed. And when we are that connected with our dreams, not only what we want, but why we want it, and the difference that it will make to the planet and our commitments and our contributions from having it, that is a really powerful place to speak from, to partner with. And that’s a really powerful place to speak from, to co create from and to partner from. So I hope that you’ve enjoyed this conversation. I think that enrollment is a really distinct way of thinking about dreaming bigger, specifically for Empath printers, because I think that we really do have this predisposition to seek permission rather than seek participation. And one thing I want to just add as in. Okay, I want to cut out that last little segment, and this is the closing. As Empath printers, everything we do is from a place of service, and commitment to contribute and to make a difference. And I think that when we can connect our dreams with that higher purpose, when we can connect our dreams with what we stand for, what we want to contribute what we believe in. It is so much more powerful and more aligned and easeful to enroll not only ourselves, but also the people in our lives in our dreams. I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation. I look forward to seeing you next week. And I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation. Thank you so much for tuning in, and we’ll see you next week.


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Trigger warning:
This episode may contain triggering content for some listeners affected by child loss; please review the show notes to know if this episode is proper for you now.

As an empath, it can often feel like we’re living in a world that’s grieving hardship and heartbreak. This is why I’m grateful to sit down with Jenn Andreou, an Executive Coach and Grief Recovery Method Specialist. In her work, Jenn helps grievers who feel stuck in the pain of their losses to move through grief and take action to regain their wellbeing. Throughout the episode, we talk about living with grief and allowing yourself to feel pain, sadness, and sorrow instead of fixing or bypassing them. After living through two tragic losses, it took Jenn seventeen years to truly begin to heal and find her way back to joy. Why? Because while grief is emotional, we as a society often intellectualize it and don’t allow ourselves to truly embrace and process our feelings. Jenn joins me for a heartfelt discussion on taking action (not the kind you may think), becoming more honest with yourself, and embracing the idea that it’s okay for things to not always be good so you can heal and move forward.

Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

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