Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast!
I’m your host, Cindy.
Here in Episode 92 I talk about the importance of addressing privileges, especially in the self-help industry.
Here we go…
Episode 92 Show Notes Links
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Episode 92 Transcript
This is the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast and I’m your host, Cindy. I gladly welcome you to this comfy, cozy space for introverts, highly sensitive people, and solopreneurs who help and heal. This is the place for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. Gather around the hearth, get comfortable, and settle in. I’m glad you’re here.
Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast! I’m your host, Cindy. Here in Episode 92 I’m going to talk about the importance of addressing privileges, especially in the self-help industry.
I know that many listeners of this podcast have their own businesses in the helping and healing fields. And many of you are coaches like me.
I’m sure you’ve noticed over the years the abundance of coaches who shout their successes from the rooftops without ever addressing the privileges they hold that supported them all along the way.
I’m not here to say that you can’t start from the “bottom” and make it to the “top” with some hard work and dedication. That’s not really what I want to talk about here.
There’s a lot of secrecy, manipulation, and downright gross marketing tactics in the industry that prey on people who are just wanting some support and guidance in their lives or businesses.
There are so many areas on this topic that I want to address, but for today I’m going to focus on privilege and why it is of utmost importance that leaders are including this information about themselves alongside their successes.
Now I’m going to read a post that I recently made on instagram. It goes…
“If you are following a coach or other industry leader that is spewing their success stories, are they also talking about the privileges that supported them on their road to success?
If they’re not, don’t let them gaslight you when they say ‘If I can do it, so can you.’
Won’t you join me in acknowledging your own privilege in order to show the real inequities that exist? Everyone does not have the same foundation on which ‘success’ is built.”
So, that post came about after seeing the lack of privilege acknowledgements accompanying success stories. And I’m not here to point fingers because I also noticed this about myself, so I am also calling myself out for not doing this sooner.
Remember the sentiment from Maya Angelou – when you know better, you do better. I’m not here to shame anyone. I just want to point out some of the areas that we as coaches have been overlooking due to our own privileges.
I want to take a minute to share some examples of areas of privilege.
There are privileges related to race, skin color, and ethnicity. White privilege can be an example of this.
There are privileges related to gender, gender identity, and sexuality. Being cisgender and heterosexual is a privilege.
There are privileges related to ability, class, and body size. Being ablebodied, thin, and having access to education are all privileges.
There are environmental privileges that include living in an area with clean drinking water and a lack of pollution.
And expecting to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays is an example of Christian privilege.
I could go on and on, but I invite you to take some time to explore your privileges and how they relate to your experience as you go through life, as well as how they have had an impact on your business.
As you can see, there are countless privileges that people can hold, and this is just a tiny list. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed and think that you have to write an essay about your privileges. You can just start with a simple acknowledgement that includes a few of the privileges that you believe are the most relevant to your work and that have helped you the most with your success.
To include a mountain analogy, we’re all trying to reach the summit of the mountain for that beautiful view. But some of us started our hike already halfway up the mountain with a pack filled with all the best survival supplies.
So if you can relate this analogy to your business, where on the mountain did you start? What was your pack filled with? Can you share this information with the other hikers who started at the bottom of the mountain with limited supplies.
By you being transparent about your journey you can avoid gaslighting others into thinking that there is something wrong with them, or that they didn’t follow your success formula correctly, or that they’re just not trying hard enough, or that they just don’t have what it takes – when all those things couldn’t be further from the truth.
For this last section I’m going to share my instagram post about privilege that I am now sharing regularly. Here goes…
“It’s important that we all take the time to acknowledge the privileges that we hold.
This is especially important in the coaching & entrepreneur space because it is privilege that can account for a lot of the success stories that you only see the surface of here on social media.
I would like to take the time to acknowledge the immense privilege that I hold in this incarnation.
Holding these privileges have made my life on this earth pretty darn easy as compared to the global population.
Here’s a short list of a few of my privileges… (this is by no means an exhaustive list)
WHITE, CIS, HETERO, THIN, & ABLE-BODIED: I am a white, cis, hetero, thin, able-bodied woman who has never been discriminated against or made to feel unsafe based on my skin color, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, or body size.
BORN IN THE UNITED STATES: Although the US certainly has A LOT of problematic issues, I have felt safe (because of the color of my skin), I have had educational opportunities, access to food and clean drinking water, and grew up in a beautiful area where I was (and still am today) deeply connected to nature.
SAFE, LOVING FAMILY & HOME LIFE: I am an only child born to immensely loving parents. My home life was safe, caring, comfortable, and loving. I was never abused or mistreated and I have never doubted my parents love for me. I always had what I needed and more. Although both of my parents came from poor families, they were hard workers and we lived what I would consider a middle-class life in a rural town.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM FAMILY: My parents both worked very hard to provide me with the opportunities that they did not have as children. The financial support from my parents covered my undergraduate education, my vehicles, a portion of my graduate school tuition, and my first home. I know that if I were to lose everything that I could always go back and live with my parents, which provides a safety net when making decisions and taking financial risks in my business.
SUPPORTIVE SPOUSE: I have a very supportive spouse who I know that I can count on. We share the financial responsibilities in our household, but I know that if there were to ever be a time when I couldn’t come up with my share that he would be understanding and supportive – and have my back.
NO CHILDREN: I do not have children (a conscious choice) and that affords me great privilege as a solopreneur. I have no one to worry about other than myself. I don’t have the added responsibilities, commitments, and financial expenses that come with having a child. Therefore, I have immensely more time and space in my life to run a business that also allows for rest and free time.
AND… I don’t want to minimize what I have been through to get to where I am today. I’ve taken risks, I’ve been really scared, I’ve challenged myself, I’ve laid on the floor crying, & I’ve worked really hard. But my privileges have made all these things much easier for me than for someone without the same privileges.
REMEMBER… Taking the time to acknowledge your privilege is an important part of deconstructing the harmful aspects of the coaching industry. It gives you a peek behind the curtains and proves that there’s nothing wrong with you and that you don’t just have to manifest harder or think more positively to be “successful.” There are real inequities and they need to be recognized and acknowledged.”
So that was my privilege post. I’ll be sharing it regularly and will be updating it as I continue learning.
I hope this has been a helpful episode as you begin to explore the topic of privilege and how you can use it to better lovingly serve your clients in a more open and transparent way.
ACORN (Tarot Card Pull)
Welcome to the acorn segment. With each solo episode I’ll be drawing a tarot card to help provide some magickal inspiration and insight.
The card for this episode is Judgement.
I’ll describe the card for those of you who may not be familiar. This card features people standing up in their caskets, looking to an angel in the sky blowing a trumpet.
This card represents rebirth, renewal, judgement, inner calling, restoration, and absolution.
What an appropriate card for this episode. I feel like it is reflecting much of what we have talked about. We can relate it to learning from our mistakes along all the different stages of our journey.
We can relate it to shedding our old skin and becoming a renewed person. A person who now knows better, and as a result is doing better.
There’s also a theme of forgiveness with this card and in relating it to this episode, maybe you can forgive yourself for any past mistakes and make a commitment to continuing to learn and be the best person that you can be.
This card is also encouraging you to allow your self-limiting beliefs to be washed away. It’s never too late to refresh yourself and start anew.
I’ll post a picture of the card along with the message today on my instagram @mountainpracticejourneys so head on over and let me know if this message resonates with you at this time.
Thank you so much for joining me today. This episode concludes Season 10 of the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast. I’ll be taking a seasonal break and will be back before you know it with a wonderful Season 11 filled with helpful topics and inspiring guests.
I’m truly grateful that you choose to join me here for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. For more inspiration and to see what I’m up to, join me over on instagram @mountainpracticejourneys If you’re enjoying yourself here, please head over to Apple Podcasts and hit those 5 stars and I’ll be over the moon. If you’d like to work with me, join me in Forestmind, my cozy, supportive, small-group mastermind for introverted, highly sensitive solopreneurs who help and heal. And I’d love to see you at a Tiny Retreat sometime. May the forest be with you.
I Want You To Be Successful In Business & In Life!
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is a big deal. It's super-exciting and super-scary all at the same time. I created Mountain Practice Journeys to support you through the difficult and muddy terrain, and to celebrate with you when you have reached each summit of the many mountains you will conquer on your journey.
Happy Climbing, Cindy