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The Power of Facing Your Truth



Episode 55 Transcript


[00:00:00] Hi, I'm Arivee Vargas. I believe we're all so powerful beyond our wildest imagination. We have the ability to overcome the fears, self-doubt negative beliefs and all the other roadblocks that hold us back from having the life and career we really want and deserve. That's why I created the Humble Rising podcast.


[00:00:29] I want to help you get clear on what a joyful and fulfilling life and career looks like for you. And help you go after it with all you have each week, we'll talk to bad-ass inspirational women sharing their journeys. We'll dig into their successes, their failures, challenges, the different shifts and their careers and personal lives.


[00:00:51] And so much more. Be inspired, get motivated and get ready to rise. This is the humble rising podcast.


[00:01:13] it feels like there's a thin line between being okay and not okay. And one false step. And it's it's. Based on where we are and the culture that we live in, there are some realities to systematic oppression that can create that. Right. But we can decide that we're not going to limit ourselves internally.


[00:01:31] We're going to resource ourselves. We're going to be in community. We're going to get support. We're going to start thinking differently and taking actions differently to create those dreams and those successes. We can start to do that. And my excited to bring to you this conversation. With Toya Gavin, who is the founder and CEO of legally bolt and woke up worthy.


[00:01:56] She's a coach, she's a career expert, helping attorneys and professional women of color clarify those next steps of their careers. So they never feel overworked, underpaid. Or unhappy again, Toya holds a Juris doctorate from the George Washington university law school ends up bachelor of science and industrial engineering from Rutgers university.


[00:02:22] She is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. After law school, she worked for several years as a city government attorney, a prosecutor and owned her own practice before starting legally bold. When she's not helping attorneys and professionals of color as a coach, she can be found loving up on her family and friends.


[00:02:45] She loves to work out watching any show created by Shonda Rhimes. Learning all about the wonder that is natural hair from YouTube university or enjoying a good book. And in this episode, Toya and I talk about her journey from practicing law in the government space to owning her own law practice and the depression and burnout she experienced.


[00:03:08] And what led her to become a coach, to attorneys and to professionals of color Toya. And I dig really deep into what it truly means to take care of your wellbeing, what it truly means to face your truth about what you need and what you want and who you are, including. If the truth is that you're not happy with where you're at.


[00:03:31] What do you do with that? When that is the truth and you face yourself and you come to that conclusion. What do you do next? And we talk about her journey and all those different pivots she had. And when we talk about the work of introspection and changing your life, she says that the work is standing in your truth and coming home to you.


[00:03:51] And so I'm really excited for you to hear from Toya and for you to hear this conversation with that. Here's my conversation with Toya, Toya. Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I am so happy you're here and I'm really looking forward to our community.


[00:04:09] Hearing more about you, uh, your story and the work that you do, because I am going to bet. That there are so many people who are going to see themselves in your story and interview. And that's why I'm just really excited for you to be here. I would love for you to start with sharing your story of how you went from practicing law to starting your own practice.


[00:04:39] And you can, you know, you can definitely share what you do now. And how you got there, but I would have loved for you to dig deep into that transition, that decision from practicing law and to starting your own practice. I think when I entered the law profession and I think a lot of women of color and first-generation people who enter the log, it's really like that fight for justice.


[00:05:01] Right? We're a little girls, we see injustice happening at our community. And so we go to law school with these objectives. Right. So, okay. I can make it. And becoming financially stable in my life, right by with this career field. And so that was really like my intention in going into the law. And like many of us, you go to law school, you need loans.


[00:05:26] So then that intention is like, well, I don't really know how I gotta pay this off. So how do I do. And, and all of that. And what ends up happening is you end up working and you are also trying to serve those civic ends and you'd burn yourself out right in the process. So you're working really hard.


[00:05:44] You're doing all the things as I was working, I was a prosecutor for a long time. And so I had really interesting and emotionally trying cases and things like that. Had taken a course, actually in entrepreneurship, it was like a young entrepreneurs program that really spoke to me. And I really kind of said like, huh, like this is very interesting.


[00:06:06] And then had run some research on just people of color and black people in particular, really finding freedom and the ability to put forward their purpose and their passions through entrepreneurial. And I'm not going to remember the statistic, but it was a very high statistics. So through that program and reaching into those different statistics, I've said, okay, you know what, I'm going to leave my job in, open my practice right now, the journey.


[00:06:31] Didn't that idea to actually do it. It's a scary one then. Right. I've had a job since I was 14 years old and no coming from our backgrounds. It's really hard to explain to your parents, like, listen, I know that I have this very good job. Great. That you would have been like dying to get a, but I don't feel good.


[00:06:51] I'm not happy here. I want to do something different. And my parents were very concerned. They always, always. But I felt the need to, to make that transition anyway. And so I went from criminal law to serving the needs of small business owners, doing trademarks, copyrights, contracts, that kind of thing, and wanted to meet people who were homeless.


[00:07:17] And in criminal law, you tend to meet a lot of people who were at their worst, the worst moment in their lives. And it's just a lot it's heavy. And when you combine that with your own emotional journey, as a professional, you know, you just kind of want to get to a different speed. So that's what sort of led me to do it, but what really pushed me, I guess, already did, because I had been talking about it for so long and I'll never forget it.


[00:07:38] Three meet good friends, good girlfriend. I was on the phone with one of my best friends and talking to her about it again. And then she's like, oh, okay, you're going to leave your job. You're going to do this thing. She's like, when are you leaving? And I just picked a date like, oh, December 31st, I'm leaving.


[00:07:52] This was like June. And so she was like, okay, she let him talk to, let me talk. She was like, listen. So you're leaving December. You're putting your, was that your letter of resignation that day? So she tricked me. What she did was she was like, oh, this is great. Write your letter and send it to me. So I wrote it and sent it to her and then she was like, yeah, great.


[00:08:11] If you don't do this this day, I'm going to send it to your boss. Then you don't want to be embarrassed. You're going to do this thing. Right. So I was like, okay, great. But I totally thought she was bluffing. Right. I was like, she's never gonna do this, whatever. So the day was approaching and we kind of like, hadn't talked about, we kind of had, and I was like crying, getting ready.


[00:08:31] But in my head, I thought I have more time. Like she's not going to do this the day of, she called me that morning. Like, are you ready? Like you have to do this today. You have to leave. She's still my best friend to the day. Cause sometimes you need that. Just taking a jump. It's scary. It's really, really scary.


[00:08:48] So that's my true, true, true story about how it happened. And it was totally, I would have been laying to do it for years. I totally, and I would love to dig deeper there because you mentioned you took this entrepreneurship program. Right. But what made you take even that step? Because a lot of people who are in their jobs right now, Are thinking about this doesn't feel right.


[00:09:11] Or I'm in a really negative space or this doesn't seem to align with who I am and what I know I want to do or what I think I may want to do, but they don't take another step to lean into their own even curiosity. Right. So I'm wondering what made you go from some, is that right? To let me go do that.


[00:09:31] Yeah, I think there are a couple of things. Right. And so I always talk about like self-help books, right? Because you can do that yourself. Right. You can read them. No one has to know. You can speak to the bookstore, right. Books only get you so far. Right. And when you're trying to change your life, when you're trying to make the changes, particularly as women of color, do you need to be in conversation with people you need to be in.


[00:09:59] You need that support of other women who are, or other people who are taking that leap with you. So. You should feel like you have a base of support as you launch yourself before doing that? The entrepreneurship program, I had been reading the books and hiding them and, you know, trying to talking about it with my really, really close friends, but not really.


[00:10:19] And there was this conference that were like, had some really corny title. It really changed your life, but I was just like, it was attractive to me, but it felt really, really like, uh, what is this? Yeah. And it was. And same friend, your good friend, same friend was like, you know, you've been talking about these.


[00:10:40] You're really interested in this. You never know who you might meet there. I think you should go. And I had never spent that much money on anything that wasn't related to a certification for a job or education or anything like that. I had never spent that much money on something that was just about me feeling good.


[00:10:57] Right? Like Nico. Claiming myself and thing, like, yeah, I know I'm this young attorney and I go to the brunches and I do the yoga or whatever, but deep down, like, I am not happy. And going to this conference meant I had to admit that to myself. Right. So there was like the barrier of that, but I did and the conference was great, you know, it was inspiring.


[00:11:22] And I would say like each change my life. I started to change my life. From that inspiration. And so going there made me less of free to kind of lean into, like you said, those curiosities and a friend of mine had gone through that entrepreneurship program. I had kind of had entrepreneurship in the back of my mind.


[00:11:41] And then I was like, okay, let me do this. And that's how it happened. And I just want to emphasize that for people who that moment, right. Where you're like, I don't go to this conference. I mean, and then in the moment of you admitting to yourself, like, Actually admitting to yourself that you're not happy.


[00:11:57] And I'm curious about that because one of the things that I know you talk about, and I talk about too, is the need to check in with yourself and the need to not wait for that external event to happen to you. That pushes you sometimes and to, or that it can bring it to your knees or like pushes you. And you want to change immediately because of some external factor and the power of generating.


[00:12:21] Uh, self check-in from within versus one. That's the result of some external event. And I'm wondering for you when you were going through that period of introspection and you're like, I gotta admit that I'm not happy. I'm wondering, do you think that is what really propelled you into like beyond the conference, like really propelled you and pushed you.


[00:12:42] To continuously read the books and like yesterday the program and then to really say, okay, my friend, I'm going to resign. Like what was really pushing you internally beyond the, you know, I'm not happy. Like what else was happening there in. Yeah. So it kind of like that internal switch and that internal sort of like self-reflection moment happens for me in two phases.


[00:13:07] Right? So I would say the entrepreneurship program, the leaving my job, that was like the first phase of it. And it led me to my practice. What I didn't address during that time is that I was born into this high achieving women of color thing. So even when you start your own entrepreneurship, I was going, I was like up at five, working out, running around, getting clients like I was not sleeping.


[00:13:35] I was not taking care of myself. I was running, chasing this idea of success. Um, and I had really not dealt with the emotional baggage of my life. You know, I think we all are affected by just personal issues. And also as people of color or as marginalized groups, there are real racial traumas that we just brush aside and keep going.


[00:14:00] And when you are an entrepreneur, eventually those things catch up with. And so that's what happened to me. I was running my practice and all of that, and it was getting to the point, like, I was like crying every day and I was like sleeping and I had gained like 20 pounds and nine months I thought I had a brain tumor.


[00:14:20] Like I thought all of these things and it never clicked with me that really what I was suffering from was I was experiencing ref first bout with major depression and anxiety. And so I sought the services of a therapist. And she was talking with me and she was like, you're going to need to address your mental health.


[00:14:41] It's serious. And men need you to like slow down. Like, do you think you could take like a break for a while? And I was like, we don't take breaks, lady where we pushed you and we keep going and it's in our blood. Like what our ancestors didn't take breaks and where's the, they should be, would feel so privileged and lucky to even be here.


[00:14:58] Exactly. Everyone listening. I'm not yelling at Toya. I'm explaining what goes on in all of our minds. When we want to take a break, even a break cation. We're like, no, no, we don't need it. No, we're strong enough. I'm weak. If I do that, all of those, Ooh, that gremlin is so nasty inside of our minds. Yeah. And then the gremlin of like money.


[00:15:19] Right. So my, my parents are. I would say, you know, we were never rich, but I was never like poor either, but I always felt like one false move. I'm a be hauled list. You bet driver. Hearing her say that look, we had a bunch of conversations. She, she was like, look, I'm gonna, I'm gonna level with you. You can keep going.


[00:15:42] Or just like you were saying, there is going to be something, some external force that's going to be very unpleasant. That's going to stop you. Then you're not going to have a choice. And that could be you messing up a case and losing your law license. That's what people go into addiction issues. She was like, I'm telling you, let's talk through this.


[00:16:00] Do you think you can take a break? And so we talked through it and I remember. Leaving her office and saying, okay, I'm having like the choice here. Right. I can either keep going and it's not going well. Like I had clients, but it was like one of the worst times in my life. Or I can just take a chance and stop.


[00:16:19] And I think that was the first time, like you said, you listened to yourself in a moment of self reflection and that said like, I'm going to stop. Like I need this. My mental health is calling me. I mean, I'm bargaining with her. I tried to do, she was like, you are so hilarious. I was like, is there like a four week, eight week plan?


[00:16:35] Like, is there.


[00:16:40] Do you know, somebody there she's like, that's not how this, can I tell you? I have a therapist too. And I, I always tell people to have therapists and coaches. Right. It's really important. And I'm always talking like that to her. She was like, ADV, ADV. No,


[00:16:59] I'm like, listen, them all being efficient and achieving the goal. And she's just like, this is the problem. This is the problem. Exactly. But like, can you, I know this is deeply. Can you describe, because I think a lot of people are going through depression, anxiety, and don't realize that's actually what it is.


[00:17:20] And I don't know, people say like, oh, I have anxiety. I'm like, no, no anxiety is actually the diagnosis. And actually it can really impede your functioning. Like this is about the happy little function at that level that you are, you usually are functioning. And I wonder if you could like share with people, what did the days feel like that you knew something is not right?


[00:17:40] Like, this is not like pushing, like I used to push through when something was happening. This isn't feel that way. Like what made it feel different from other times where you had a hard time and you, and you were resilient and you were able to move on. What made this period of your life different? You knew.


[00:17:56] Something is actually going on that I need to get help for. Yeah. I say major because I think, you know, there's like anything else, there's a spectrum. And so sometimes it's, I, you know, because we're on this podcast, particularly as women of color, we don't seek treatment until it's major. Right. Cause we're not paying attention to the signs before.


[00:18:15] So what, the major thing that was happening for me was several things. So I mentioned the weight gain. I was sleeping. I would come home on the weekends and like, man, I get out of bed and I just thought I was tired because I was working so hard. Yeah. It got to the point where I had to get up early because we are where we are.


[00:18:33] I would like, I knew I was going to cry in the morning, so I would get up an hour early. So I would be crying and couldn't stop cry. There is an executive functioning part of it. So as lawyers, you have, you're very analytical. You have to. And I couldn't think quickly, everything became sort of confusing. It took me longer to write briefs.


[00:18:51] It took me while very, to do motions. I had to hire another attorney who was actually like a friend of mine. I was still anxious. I couldn't open my email. So emails were piling up and you have to communicate as an attorney. So I literally paid her to open my emails and read them to me and respond because I could not.


[00:19:13] It felt like every day, just getting up, like I was underwater and like everyday I had to cross this Olympic size pool underwater with no breaths, just taking a shower. That day felt away. That's all I had. Like, that's all the energy I had. And so that's what, like the major feeling, I would say, um, depression.


[00:19:33] I think from my clients, because I have several clients who have mental health issues, anxiety, and depression, and we tend to overlook the signs of, of those like, okay, I need to pay attention here. I need to push. And so where I think, and I'm not a clinician you'll hope, but where I think that stems from in us is that because we are sort of told you have to be excellent.


[00:20:00] Like you need to be Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Serena Williams. You need to be well Koreans all the time that no matter how good you are, how much you do, how much you never feel like you're doing. And so there is a constant chatter in my brain around anxiety of, is this the right move? Should I do this or do that, that might do this.


[00:20:26] And this might happen in . And I think over time, and again, I'm not a clinician, everybody toilets personal Jake, but I think over time, my mind and my body were like, when are we just going to be okay? Like when is it just going to be like, okay, for us to do this thing and we don't have to. Question ourselves or mistrust ourselves.


[00:20:50] Like we're tired. We can't keep up this pace with you. And so that's, that's how I knew to answer your question. It just became something I couldn't keep up with. Yeah. And you raise a really good point about the constant striving. It's never enough. There's a constant striving for more and more and more.


[00:21:07] And then the sense of like, this could go away at any moment. And you have a sense of this like responsibility of, oh, but I have to do this and I have to do this and I have to work twice as hard. And then I have to, and I think people who are not of color, especially black, Latin, X woman, it's hard for people to understand and people who are not first gen hard for them to understand.


[00:21:28] The weight and responsibility. We feel just based on where we're from. Like, there is such a weight and responsibility that we feel of representing, and it's not that our community has called us and said, huh, please be sure that you push through at every moment and that you become this and become that.


[00:21:46] No one's telling you that it is not about that. It's because we don't see people looking like us doing certain things. And when we become the first people to do that, there is no manual for us. There is no, there doesn't exist for us. And so we are the ones paving a path, obviously on the shoulders of those who came before us.


[00:22:05] It can be really challenging because you're encountering things that you have to deal with. Like what you were talking about. There are microaggressions, there are things there, there are traumas that you go through and you basically have to clinical, suck it up. That's what you are taught. Right. And not taught again in a direct way all the time.


[00:22:23] Sometimes. Yes. But I feel like oftentimes in our offerings and our experiences just going through, you know, life, we get the message. You know, you have to suck it up, right. Because people aren't gonna, people are gonna care about your mental health. Like, you know, why people are going to hear, because if you don't do well on that project or that brief, like you're going to make us all look bad too.


[00:22:42] Like it's, it's way more pressure than people think. It's not just pressure of work. It's pressure of everything. Right. Right. It's the perfect example recently, you know, the nominations of judge Brown for the Supreme court. Right. What was so interesting is it's like oppression even the what's up. Cause it's kind of like a.


[00:23:02] Um, for lack of a better word, internalize positive message. Like everyone would like look at her poise as there, you know, the indignities that are coming at her, look at her poise, look at how she's handling that. She's amazing. She's excellent. And so we all want to be there, but at the same time, oppression rhymes, you have the ability to experience and express the full range of human emotion.


[00:23:24] What they were saying to her. Was it. It was angry. She should've been able to get angry. She should have been able to say, this is it you're trying to, this is not dignified. You know, if you think about, I think it was judge Kavanaugh, uh, justice cabinet at his last year, he was yelling and he sent it his, his hearings.


[00:23:42] Right. She knew she wasn't allowed to do that. And when you don't allow people, the full range of their human emotions lands was what happens to us. It causes this whole twist of. Am I allowed to be human. Yes. It's who I am right now. The full range of my human emotions, the good, the bad, the ugly is that enough.


[00:24:07] And that's where I think our work, you and I look at as coaches is like, I want people to say, like you have, you're here full human being. I know there's there's laundry on the floor. You don't have the Pinterest page. You know, there's an. You don't need to get your shit to get I'm sorry. I know you okay.


[00:24:28] Right. Just as you are, let's get what you want just as you are. We get to be fully human and I feel like oppression robs us of that and I'm like, I'm over it. I'm over it. Yeah. My sister always says, sister always says F white supremacy. She does again. And, and I, and for the, you know, and I will say this, that the confirmation hearings, like, honestly, that's like racism 1 0 1, like this is, you can see it on full display.


[00:24:56] That's what that was about people. It's not just that people were being quote unquote, rude to her. No, no, no. This is what it looks like. When someone like justice Kavanaugh can say whatever he wants and can be loud and he can do whatever he wants in response to a question. And frankly, refuse to answer.


[00:25:12] And it's okay. But she, she knew, like you said, she couldn't even go there and shadow that. If she was going to go through this process, she would have to just take it. And people are tired of just taking it. People are tired of that. Um, and I think that's what you're, you're channeling to, to get back to kind of like all of that, that build up.


[00:25:32] I think we all, it may not be, we're not, you know, now made it for a Supreme court justice. Well, there are those moments that are socialized in us where we feel like, okay, we have to be perfect here. And we don't even recognize it as the language of perfection. That that's not what we say. It's like in the black community.


[00:25:52] It's like we work twice as hard or as much like you need to be excellent. Right. And I think each community has their thing that they say, but really it's saying you have to be some other thing is some stupid. Human superhero woman with the Kate. Yeah. You don't get to experience full humanity and I'm like, no, Nope.


[00:26:13] I'm against. No, no. Yeah. And there's, and there's so much to people, especially I, especially, again, women of color. Feeling like if I actually go through what I'm going through and recognize I'm going through something and pay attention to it and take a step quote, unquote back or move through, I will be seen as weak because it shows that, oh, see, I wasn't strong enough, but I am a stronger.


[00:26:40] And I think that is really hard. And I've struggled with that. I've struggled with that of feeling it's weak to ask for help. It's weak for me not to go to push through because I've been able to push through before I've been through a lot of things and, and I can be more resilient. And what do you mean I've been through a lot I've survived and then you, sometimes you hit a point where there's like a block.


[00:27:00] I don't know how to explain it, but there's like a block in your brain that literally. Doesn't allow you to do certain things. And everyday becomes hard where it wasn't like that before. And I still think there's this pressure women of color put on themselves to say I got it. I got to keep going. Like I'm strong.


[00:27:16] Like I, people will be lucky to be me. People will be so fortunate and I, and I'm so fortunate and I should be grateful. I need to be grateful. I need to be grateful. Right? There's this like all this push and pull it's very complex. I think when you should start off as a young woman of color, it's like you're running from the stereotype, right?


[00:27:34] So there's whatever the stereotype is, you're running from it. You're on a sprint running from it from the time you're you can, you can walk. It's like I'm running. And it feels like one false move it's over and it doesn't allow for, am I okay here? Is this enough? Right? Am I worthy now? Yeah, it doesn't allow for that.


[00:27:56] And that's the way we're socialized and just the oppression and the white supremacy that we face doesn't allow for that. And I hope with this podcast and that I love your podcast and all that, that these conversations can say. You are numb just as you are. And these, the Persians that we're chasing these versions are not even our old versions.


[00:28:17] We're just figuring out what our own versions are, what we want. And they phase over time too. Like, no, what you want and who you are now, you're going to evolve as time goes. And then those interests may change. And Toyota for you, you had your own practice and then you went to start your own business, right?


[00:28:37] Like in terms of your coaching business and your consultant is business. So you went from like one type of entrepreneurship to like a different type of entrepreneurship. And to me it was all because you were totally aligning your purpose and what you wanted to do and who you were and the work you wanted to do.


[00:28:53] I would love for you to talk about that transition and that decision, because I think that is one of the greatest transitions that you would, anyone will ever make is actually going into kind of this field of coaching consulting. Full-time where you're like fully in your, to me, like fully in your purpose.


[00:29:09] No, I had mentioned that I decided to take the sabbatical and I remember at the time when I had my practice, I was writing for a platform called solo practice university. And so I like wrote this post, like I'm a black woman with depression and I'm about to take a sabbatical. It's probably over for me in my law.


[00:29:26] Like, it was very much like, oh, but this is why I'm doing it, but I'm scared and all this. And I joked, but I wrote it to kind of feel into whatever was happening for me. I was like, let me be transparent. I'm scared. I don't know what's going to happen next. I know I need to do this, but I don't know. And I got responses from like lawyers all over women, men all over, who were struggling with different things who were afraid to just take some self-reflection and say, I'm not happy here.


[00:29:52] And how can I figure out how to make myself happy? What do I do next? And I hadn't had the benefit of coaching business coaching from my law practice. And after being contacted by so many attorneys, I was like, listen, I, I really liked that. And I think I can help people here beyond just getting on the phone and kind of chatting with them.


[00:30:12] There are skills there. And so that's what led to my coaching and consulting business called legally bold for a lawyer. And that's really about helping lawyers who tend to be very unhappy at their jobs, the phone. Um, and it's really about reinventing your careers so they can redefine themselves hopes and they never feel unhappy overworked or underpaid again.


[00:30:40] Right. A lot of lawyers feel that way. Right? I know the lawyer, there's a whole, we hear about all the, everybody's making $800 million, but like that's not true. Metro, particularly not true for women of color and first-generation women, particularly because we go to law school again, we are trying to help people.


[00:31:00] So we tend to take the jobs that are about helping our communities and those jobs. Aren't paying $800 million, right. They are doing the work with very limited resources. And so figuring that all out became what sparked legally bold and, you know, the clients that I get to work with, um, in that platform.


[00:31:21] So yeah, that's what it, that's what started that transition. It seems like it was on the heels of, you know, your sabbatical and that, that, that process. What was happening in terms of, in your mind, right. What kind of process did you go through to say, actually, this is exactly what I want to do. You talked a little bit about that.


[00:31:39] Like, oh, I found that I liked actually the coaching aspect and the kind of counseling aspect and that you could really engage in this way and you like that. And then you want it to leverage all of your experience to do that, but I'm wondering, how did you really decide, like, okay, I'm going to pivot where you really sure.


[00:31:55] When hesitant. Did you wonder, like, wait, so I'm not going to be like practicing law the way that I was before. Is that it, was that a concern for you? Yeah, so, no, that was not really sure. Right. And I think this is why it's important to be in community and be in community with people who are newly supporting the best in you.


[00:32:18] So at this point, you know, like I said, I had gotten coaching. I was in a entrepreneurship incubator program. And a lot of the women in there are coaches. And what I love about coaching. Is that they are a stand for what you want. Right. So, and you say, you know, I can put a post on guide. I'm scared, but this is what I think I'm going into.


[00:32:38] And I don't know how this is going to look. I used to be a lawyer. Now I'm going to say, I'm a coach. That's going to be weird. And then you have women who were like, no, this is exactly what you're supposed to be doing. This is great. Let's get on a call and strategize. Let's talk about it. We can help you.


[00:32:53] You lead people when you're making these like. You need people who are going to be in your corner, because you already have all the doubts in your head and you don't need those doubts. We enforced by the outside world and they're going to be reinforced by that world. Like my mom loves me, but she already thought I was crazy because I wouldn't leave in my job.


[00:33:13] She doubly thought I was crazy to become a coach. She's like my daughter, what is happening? What's going on? She's very supported now and has been for some time, but it's like, what are you, what are you doing? Right. Yeah. And so, no, I wasn't afraid. And I think that's important for people to know, like it's never going to feel.


[00:33:37] Yes, I'm sure. Yes. And people, and, and I think like from an, you know, even who, you know, the woman I speak with, I feel like they're waiting for the right moment. They're waiting for it to happen. And then they'll know, and then they'll do the thing. There's so many women I talked to who they know exactly what they want.


[00:33:56] They come to me with like this sort of leaking around. This is what I want to do. Like I really want to do it. I'm like, okay, so what will happen? You. Well, and then it's that, well, what if so-and-so needs this? And what if so-and-so wants that? And what if I disappoint so-and-so and I'm like, yeah, but you just laid out for me very clearly that this is what you want to do.


[00:34:15] It's like, there's this one step they have to take in it's daunting. Right? They've gone to introspection, they get it. They're clear. They know exactly what they want. And they're like, but, but, but I'm going to wait six months. What's different in six months. Well, maybe I'll get married and I'm like, Well, what's the money worth to you?


[00:34:34] Like, then we're going to get to that. Right. So, right. But you want right now. And why do you want that? You were very clear that you weren't thinking about the money and then we talk about, wait, what's holding you back and it's, well, maybe I'll wait six months. And I'm like six months, right. Time for you to be in resistance with yourself for a long time.


[00:34:49] Right. But to your point, so I had coaches and people when you're, when you're in community with other people who are in that space, what's so powerful. It's a grounding and re-centering you go left to go a little blood. They, they bring you back to what leaves that you want. You go a little bit, like they bring you right back to what you said you wanted, because what you want is grounded and like who you are and who, you know, you're meant to be.


[00:35:13] And it, and you know that, and since you just to be reminded quick shifts, remind quick shifts remind. Right. Great. That's why community is so powerful. And that's why coaching is so powerful. I agree. I agree. 100%. I couldn't have said it better. And going back to like my friends setting, you know, the deadline for me now, I use that as a tool for myself.


[00:35:32] Now I just set deadline. It's like, this is what's happening. You know, even the state, this is this date, this is what I'm doing. Like, okay. The business starts this date, right. Then this is what we're doing because it's never, like you said, you need to be in community and it's never going to not feel scary.


[00:35:48] It's always going to feel that way. And I'm sure you feel this way too is so worth it. Oh, was it even everything like, so even though, even as podcast, you don't even know Toya. And the, obviously people listening don't know that every time I do an episode, it's very hard for me because I am one of those people who I'm like, it must be 1000%.


[00:36:11] Correct. It must be 1000% per game. I used to rerecord in shows like 10 times until it was like, until I thought it was good. Quote, unquote. And then I said, I don't have to. And I would talk, I have an editor for those who know, I do have someone who helps you edit the episodes. And I remember me sending him one time.


[00:36:31] I sent him a note saying, Hey, I did the ancho. Sorry. If I fumbled. And you know, I just, I'm not doing it again though. And then he called me and he was like, ADV, you're way too hard on your. That's like, it was, it was great. Like, why are you so hard on yourself? Cause I often email him, like, can you edit this, enter this?


[00:36:50] And he goes, nav people don't need you to edit everything. Like you, it's fine. Like again again though, and he's more of like a business coach editor kind of person, but like again, having someone there to be like, Hey. Hey, can I speak to the inner advocate in you and not the inner gremlin and you for one minute?


[00:37:09] Like, it's so powerful to have people around you that can do that for you because you're right. Like there's this need for us to be like, it has to be perfect. I can't do it until I know 1000% it's the right thing. And until I know that 1000% it's going to work out exactly as it should. Listen, it's never going to work out exactly the way you want, because you can't predict the future, but still toilet that is still hard.


[00:37:33] Like we know that logically, but then we still act a different way. Right, right, right, right. Right. You're your editors slash coach sounds amazing. And he said, And yeah, it's never going to be that way and you're never going to know the full strategy. Right. You're never going to know that. And so what's the challenge, but I'm sure you face this with your clients is like, okay.


[00:37:57] Like we know what we know for sure. It's that one. So can we just take that one? They're like, I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen in year five. I plan. She wants it and report the five is a mystery it's like listing. Let's just, can we just take step more? Can we just send an email? All I'm asking you to send the email and I think that's the way we're wired.


[00:38:19] No, no, no. I need to know that my effort is going to work out and not in year two. I'm good in year three. It's exactly what I wanted because I've been working hard and I'm an achiever and I've worked really, really, really hard. And I think that's hard for people. I find that like, one of the most powerful tools is to have, he'll be honest with themselves about the season of life that they're in right leg.


[00:38:42] But where are you? What do you need right now? None. No, not enough. Five years because women will say to me, yeah, I want to have kids and I'm like, Well, yeah, like in five years, like I, you know, and they they'll say like, I want to get married. I'm like, but you don't even have like a significant other right now.


[00:38:56] Like what are you talking? You're not even that's way in the future. And you're planning for that, but you're making decisions today based on something you don't know is going to happen. Like, if you want that, I hope that happens for you, but we need to be in this season right now. What do you, what do you need right now?


[00:39:11] Like what are you looking for right now? And I think people. Have a hard time to not be. So future-focused like that like five, 10 years, because they've always been wired to have the quote-unquote. I have this plan, I work four years, three years in school to do this and to do that. And I think you get, when you get to the professional world and you're done with school, I think a lot of people are like, oh gosh.


[00:39:34] So what do I do now? Like, it's very different because now you're in it. Now you're in the whole real world that you are quote, unquote, preparing. In school and school, doesn't actually prepare you for run life from life. I love that yet. We could do a whole sermon on dating. We could do. I love what you said if I hadn't heard that.


[00:39:58] So go a lot of the dating situations. Uh, it could have been eliminated. And then if I had had coaching years before I could have enjoyed where I was, instead of feeling like, okay, I'm here in five years. I need to be here, here, here. So I'm going on a date looking at this guy, like, boom. No, because he's not going to be, it's just, I know what you're saying.


[00:40:22] I know exactly what you're saying. I'm 100% there with you. Yeah. And so what do you find with your clients? What do you think are the key things they're looking for in their lives and their careers? Like what are the things they're trying to go after? I think because I'm a woman of color, the majority of my clients tend to be women of color on the legally bold side because I do service just women and men, like people will come to you generally.


[00:40:49] But I think really when it boils down to it is that they want permission to really go after what they really want. And they want to know that they're going to be okay if they do it right. And that okay. Could mean like, okay, like my family's not going to shut. Okay. Like this doesn't mean like I won't ever dictate or guys won't let me or whatever, you know, that, that inner gremlin that you called it, you know, whatever society and what we've been socialized to believe is going to happen to you.


[00:41:19] If you do this thing as a woman or whatever, whatever, that's, that's really what they want. And they want to know what, that they can sustain themselves doing this thing as a great thing about being in our time and this internet age, which I've, I. Is that there are no gatekeepers. You know, our parents' generation, there were literal people engaged in their path to creating something, to do something new, had to go through these particular systems in order to access meeting clients or this or that.


[00:41:55] There are no gatekeepers with social media. There are no gatekeepers with the internet. You want to do something. If you want to, uh, I'm an attorney and I want to be in Marine biology. We didn't go on LinkedIn today and meet a Marine biologist and start talking to one. Do you know how many levels of work our parents would have had to go through to just meet a Marine biologist?


[00:42:19] Right. So taking advantage of that, that, that space that we're in and sort of saying like, okay, this is what I want. This is what I'm passionate about. And I'm going to figure out how to make it work. And I'm going to use the tools that are available to. To create a life that I want for real. That's what, that's what all my clients run.


[00:42:40] That's what they want at the end of the day. They just want to feel like they could. Yeah. And it sounds like, you know, the freedom piece, I think there's a lot of freedom and entrepreneurship, right. And the power that you have to create your own path, your own schedule, your own, all of you create, you literally are creating this.


[00:42:56] Right. It's amazing. And then I, when I think of permission to when you're talking well, they it's like, they want the permission to actually get the thing they really want and they want to know that they're going to be okay. I see that as almost like inner peace, like a piece within of like, you know what I mean?


[00:43:11] It's going to be all right. I love that because I think we exist for large portions of our lives. Not really sure if it's going to be okay. We're very unsure. It feels like being okay. Is what is it? The thin line? Like there's a thin line between being okay and not okay. And one, one move one false step.


[00:43:36] And it's. Based on where we are and the culture that we live in, there are some realities to systematic oppression that can create that. Right. But for us internally, we can decide in ourselves that we're not going to limit ourselves internally. We're going to resource ourselves. We're going to be in community.


[00:43:55] We're going to get supported. We're going to start thinking differently and taking actions differently to create those dreams and those successes from our own terms ourselves. And we can start to do that and it just feels good. Like you said, whether it's entrepreneurship or not, it feels good to kind of say like, this is the life I want to live and this is what I'm going to do.


[00:44:14] Yeah. Yeah. And I do think people can sit more comfortably, not totally comfortably, but more comfortably in. When they're clear about it when they know that what they want is actually what's inside. They know that so well that they're like, look, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to have that thing. I think the clarity is so powerful, but the clarity comes from engaging in the work and there's a whole process there.


[00:44:40] But I do think that there are a lot of people who wish things were different for them. But they're, they're often the same people who aren't willing to put in the work to make it different for them. Meaning not even one small step. It's like, well, you have to do something and we're not asking for everything, but do something.


[00:44:57] If you don't like your situation, you always have some choice. You may not have great choices, honestly. Right. If you ain't got, you got some choice in there in some way. And I think it's, like you said, reframing that mind. Of seeing what the choice actually is, and not just seeing like a brick wall. Right, right, right, right.


[00:45:17] And I think it's very important, you know, when you talk about the work of things, right. Understanding like the work that we're talking about here, because I think a lot of people kind of follow to the whole hustle culture thing. Like, well, I'm just going to stay up later than everybody. And you know, everybody's willing to do that.


[00:45:35] I know people think it's like, oh no, I'm just willing to work harder and stay longer. Everybody's getting in before their boss everybody's even an engineer fonts. Everybody's doing that, right. That's not the work we're talking about. The work we're talking about is standing in your truth and coming home to yourself.


[00:45:52] And that type of work might mean like, I need to leave this relationship. Because this relationship is not serving me. That's hard if you've been dating somebody for five years, since you were 16, right? The work is, I am an attorney and I am depressed and this looks real good to the outside world. Right?


[00:46:11] It's a real ego boost, right? Ask that I took medical and it's embarrassing. When you said the work is standing in your truth and coming home to yourself, Toya, that's exactly what everyone's afraid of is being honest with themselves. It's what will I do with this honesty and this knowledge, right? Like you said, like even relationships, your job, whatever it is, it's like, what do you, what do I do when I get honest with myself, shoot.


[00:46:38] Now, if I don't do something about it, that's a choice too. And I say, I want something different, but I'm making a choice to say. I will say that from my conversations with so many women, it's that it's like they, they get on X, but then they're like, but, uh, I don't know what to do with this. You know, when they say like, I don't know what to do next or to do with that.


[00:46:58] Like it goes back to, we always know the first step, but we're afraid of what the first step leaves too. Right. So going back to the example I gave with, like, you need to lead their relationship, like the first step is having a conversation with your partner. Like, this is what I mean now. We've been together and I was 16.


[00:47:13] Now I'm 25. I have different needs and this is what I need right now. You know, can you give this to me? Are you able to do this? And the fear there is, is that person is not going to hear you or see you or to want to realize like, no, they can't give this to me. Okay. So that's why we don't do the first step, you know, the first step, but we also know a little bit, the first step leads to, yeah.


[00:47:37] It could lead to you having to make a different call. And that's, that's really hard. We make decisions in the present based on wondering if it's gonna work out in the future. Like wondering if the thing that we need is going to happen for us. But the thing is, we're not going to know what the answer is until we actually go try to find it.


[00:47:55] Like you said, like having the conversation right with the. And then if that person says, I actually can't do this. And then it's like, well shoot what I do with that. And it's like, well, then that's a redirection. That's very hard to accept though, in the moment, like it is the first to say, I know rejection is redirection.


[00:48:13] I know who will say it all the time. And I totally agree. That is so hard at the moment and the transition period of redirection and rejection. It's the transition of that. All the emotions that better, so difficult for people. It's not that people don't know logically. That's the truth. Of course we will know logically.


[00:48:31] Yes, of course. If something doesn't happen the way I want, of course I'm redirected to something else because honestly, You will always be very directed to something else. Right. Um, but it's the, that whole transition period, right? Like the, what you said, having the conversation, realizing that, okay, then I have to leave and then it's well, what does that mean for me?


[00:48:49] What does it mean for my identity? I vote person for so long. Like all of those things, all of those things come into play. I think what's great about doing this self-reflection work is that as you get better at it, you get better at paying attention to yourself. So the transition doesn't, it can feel more incremental, right?


[00:49:09] Because it's the reason why you get in these stages where it's like the heart is because you're so deep into it. Right. So I'm going back to this example with the dating, but there were probably was a time when you, if you started dating, did he go out? Are we okay? We're good. Okay. Problem was the timeline when you started dating somebody at 16 and maybe you were 18 and you were like, Hmm.


[00:49:33] This is totally honest. People know who are listening right now that you dated someone at 25 who at 26, you were like, oh no, you come them at 28, 29. You were like, oh no. Yeah. You'd know, you know, it's in your twenties. And. So I have definitely had so relationships in my twenties and thirties that I knew.


[00:50:01] I was like, no, but the work of this coaching in self-reflection, as you mentioned earlier, is you start to listen to yourself. You start to listen to your feelings to your body. You come home to yourself and you're willing to make the step. To be in alignment with yourself a lot quicker. It doesn't make it easier, but you learn to make them a lot quicker.


[00:50:25] And you learned that you can survive the emotional upheaval. It comes as a result, right? You can survive it. It's going to lead you where you need to be. It's going to take you where you need to go. And that's what you learned in this process. But when you first do it, whatever it is dating a job career.


[00:50:43] The finances, whatever is going on that first is going to be like, okay, that's why you support, like, okay. Yes,


[00:50:56] you're going to be okay. Which you're going to be okay. Yeah. Yes. I told you, are you ready for our rapid round? Yes. Okay. What's your favorite book? And it was a lot, but. Favorite one right now as to be a reading minor feelings by Cathy park, Hong, she is an Asian American poets and writer, and this book has won awards and she talks about the sort of subtle oppression and what that feels like internally in different situations in her life.


[00:51:27] But it's so beautiful. Um, please read it. Come on yeah. That's my favorite one right now, person who inspires you the most, the person who is actually people it's, it's my nieces and nephews who I love. And as I mentioned earlier, I feel like oppression robs us of the ability to really be fully human, the dignity of all of our emotions.


[00:51:53] And so I'm doing this work because I want them to grow up and be able to do. Like, I will let them there at the Supreme court there to be confirmed. Senator is inappropriate. I want them to be able to say, this is inappropriate and you cannot treat me this way. And it doesn't mean they're going to lose their livelihood, or they won't have access to that position.


[00:52:13] Then they can be fully human all the time. Favorite mantra or saying my favorite mantra is saying comes from a song, my family is deeply religious and, um, Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. It's on 30 and I do this and I tell my clients to do this when things are, you're just like, I don't know what's going on.


[00:52:36] Everything's wrong. I take a nap. I go to sleep a lot of times you're tired. You're exhausted. And when you just take a moment to rest, when you wake up, the situation might still be there, but you'll have a different person. And I take that song literally like nipping made door for the night, but joy comes in the morning, so I'm like, okay, let me sleep on it.


[00:53:01] Do you remember that? That is an MRI. No, I think it's in her. Oh my gosh. People are going to get so mad that I don't know this. I don't know if it was emancipation of Mimi, but it was one of her more recent albums. She usually does like one song that incorporates her faith. And I think one of them is that there's like a whole song, but she pulls from different parts of the Bible and she incorporates them into her lyrics and that's, and that's one of them.


[00:53:27] I'll find it. I'll send it to you. Okay. Okay. Okay, great. Great. Okay. Second to last question, Toya, what does humble, rising? Yeah. Humble rising to me, is that basically what I said earlier, right? That being true to yourself, coming home to yourself, it is fighting through all this stuff and things that take us away from ourselves to someone else's version of success and humbly saying rising into this person who you're meant.


[00:53:54] Who, you know, deep down your Mitsubishi, like that's what it feels like when I think about that in the title, I'm like, yeah. That's what it is. I'm rising into this. Yes. Yeah. Oh, I love that. If anyone would like to connect with you or find you. How would they find you on social media, your websites have anything coming up that, you know, you want to share with this community?


[00:54:16] Yes. So what's very exciting is we talked about legally bold, which is my pet for lawyers. But this month, April, I am launching a life coaching platform for women of color called woke up worthy. And it's all about helping us confront internalized oppression. So that we can stop chasing someone else's dream and start living our dream today.


[00:54:38] And I am excited about it. I have been thinking about this and planning this for two years. It seems like, and you can find me on my website, niggly bold, woke up worthy. The website will be launching this month and then on social, on Instagram, on it. I am twig Gavin. Amazing. Well, thank you toy. Thank you so much for joining me.


[00:55:00] Well, well, you're probably come back. We'll have other conversations because it's almost like in, in your listening, we could go even deeper on some of these topics. Right. So you'll probably be hearing from toy again. So it's all, you'll probably you'll, you'll, you'll be coming back to me. Let's be honest.


[00:55:15] Okay. Yes, because I would love to talk. I have lots of things. We can do a primary cat Comcast, and I'll tell you my date and drama, but it has to be private. This. Thank you so much. You're welcome.


[00:55:40] thanks so much for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast. So you don't miss one single episode. If you want my biweekly doses of inspiration, motivation, and coaching. Click the link in the show notes to subscribe until next time my friends keep stepping into how incredibly powerful you are.


[00:56:01] You got this .


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