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Freedom Is Not What You Are Seeking

Feb 03, 2021

Season 2, Episode 5


Is ‘freedom’ really the answer you’ve been searching for?

In 2020, Freedom was my word of the year.
I craved freedom in all aspects of my business. From who I worked with to when I worked, I wanted the freedom of my own choice.
And then, my desire for freedom ended up being the thing that was holding me back.

In my latest Champions of RISK episode, Freedom is Not What You're Seeking, I share how freedom held me back from reaching my full potential and how you can distinguish what freedom means to you.



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Michael Kithcart: 

Hello, I'm Michael Kithcart.

I'm a high performance business coach and entrepreneur who left the corporate world to help more entrepreneurs and sales leaders become unstoppable.

Welcome to the Champions of RISK Podcast, where we examine the many aspects of risk so we can all face uncertainty with more strength and courage together. Today, I want to make a bold statement.

Freedom is not what we're seeking.

That's right.

I believe that whenever any of us say that what we want is freedom that that is not actually what we mean. And so let's dig into this because freedom was my anthem for years.

I mean, I can sing Aretha Franklin's Think, you know with the refrain Freedom, or George Michael's Freedom Song at the top of my lungs, which I have done on many occasions in my car when I used to drive a lot. Janis Joplin, if we go back farther, famously said that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, which, you know, like, actually, Kris Kristofferson wrote that, but the words and the way that Janis sang, it just had so much meeting, right. So look, it's a popular word.

It's been around and has been used in lots and lots of contexts. So I want to dig in, to really discover what it is we mean, when we talk about freedom, because freedom was actually my word of the year in 2020. And when I look back at it, I realized that what I was really getting at is I wanted to create my business the way that I wanted it to be, to really be intentional about the people that I worked with. And then it was because I liked and I respected them.

And for a period of time, like just that word, I still it connected with me, you know, it gave me confidence, it reminded me that, hey, I'm my own boss, I have my own business, I'm independent. And you know, I should be out there speaking my mind. And, you know, that worked for a little while, and then it just kind of fizzled out.

And I wasn't really sure why all of a sudden, I just wasn't connecting with that word anymore.

And then it was kind of toward the end of 2020, when I listened to a podcast by James Wedmore.

And he was explaining that he wanted a lot of freedom to he's an entrepreneur, businessman makes 10s of millions of dollars, he really thought that he Well, he was stating very vocally that he wanted freedom.

And then what he discovered is that that word was actually blocking him from gaining more business. So on one hand, he was saying, I want freedom. And on the other hand, he was saying, I want to grow my business exponentially.

He wanted freedom over his time.

And so he was at a, you know, I was at a crossroads, there was this tension, because he didn't want clients to be taking up all of his time. So in a way, he was kind of contradicting himself.

And so that really kind of connected for me, because it made me start to realize like, oh, maybe for him, maybe for me that what we thought we wanted in you know, quote, unquote, freedom wasn't really that at all for him for James Wedmore.

It was time and for me, when I really like started to dig into it, it was just to remind myself that I did have independence to design my coaching business the way I wanted to, because if I was really being honest, how I had built it up to that point was based more on the way that I thought it had to be in order to make money.

So once I noticed this, I started hearing my clients talk about wanting freedom in different areas.

And like, let's just be honest, my reticular activator was in overdrive, right? Because like I was noticing it everywhere. Once I realized this, I stopped down and I started asking people, I wanted to dig in a little bit deeper. When you say you want freedom?

What does that look like? What does that really really mean to you? So before I share the wide spectrum of what freedom represented to them, I want to ask you, dear listener, even if freedom is not your word for the year, chances are highly likely that you've used that word or a similar word in some context. So when I asked you, what does freedom mean to you, what would you say?

And if I asked you if you wanted more freedom, and you said yes, where in your life would you want it?

And when you're really being honest with yourself, what is it really that you're seeking because I I'm challenging, that we all want freedom, I'm saying that it's not actually what we're seeking. It's actually something more specific.

And before I go any further, I want to put some, like framework bumpers around this because I also know that freedom is a loaded word, right? Like it has a lot of meaning, a lot of meaning, it does mean something different to all of us.

Some of you might be listening to me right now and getting a little agitated about it. Because I'm not talking about this in a political, religious, a social realm at all, I fully acknowledge that we are not equal in our freedoms, not in the United States, not around the world. I am not trying to oversimplify this, I want to look at it as a state of being, because we use the word in a lot of different ways.

It has different meaning to each person based off of experiences, and what actually makes us feel free, if that's indeed what we're seeking in one shape, or form. Essentially, we are all free in and maybe this is the only possible way that we really are.

But we are all free. In our minds, we have freedom to choose how we think.

And oftentimes what actually has the ability to set us free is the thing that currently limiting us, right? I'm talking about our thoughts here. How many times have you been restricted by your thoughts, and that's made you want the freedom, like you want freedom because of your constricted thinking, to think about that? Hmm.

When I ask clients what they want open ended, like, if you could be granted one thing in your life, what would it be overwhelmingly, like it comes out in a response of freedom. I want freedom.

Okay, what in the world does that mean?

Okay, I asked you as you're listening, see if what you came up with sounds like what some of my clients have come up with, right. So when I dig a little deeper, they say what they're really looking for is flexibility in their schedule, they don't want anyone telling them what to do.

They want to be able to travel where they want to travel, when they want to travel, they want control over their schedule, or their time or their calendar, right. You know, it comes out in a couple of different ways. It also sounds like I want to work with the people that I want to work with, or I want to do the work that I love doing.

For some, it's about having abundant wealth for others, it's to learn to be able to express themselves to have a creative outlet.

And hey, the last year has tested our understanding and our definition of freedom, because in so many ways, we have been told that we can't do things, or we can't do things a certain way.

And so it's also curious for me to examine this in the timeframe that we're in, right. So I want to say that what we actually want is flexibility and choice. And I'm going to go further and say that all of that can be provided by the way that we think about and see or situation, it's like the perception of how we see things is very, very powerful.

And shifting that perception, not only can it change an outcome, it can foundationally change the way we feel about it. So let's do an exercise here to illustrate the point.

And perhaps even provide clarity for those of you who are thinking that, hey, I want more freedom in my life. And even if freedom isn't the word, I want you to think about something that you often say that you want, but you don't currently have.

Okay, so first of all, what is it that you want that you currently don't have?

Or you feel as though you have no control?

And then ask, why is that so important to you? Once you've identified that, it's like if you had it, whatever it is, what would it provide to you? And what makes you think that you can't have it? If you could have it?

What would it look like? Really get clear here, if you could have what you think you currently think you can't have. But you actually could, what would it look like?

Get a clear, vivid image, and for some of you, you might even get a sense or a feeling around it.

Now I'm not just saying voila, there it is. Here I've wave my magic wand. I'm not saying that by just visualizing, it's magically going to happen, because there still action that needs to be taken.

But you might have to make some different choices in order to get what you want, it might look differently than it used to, if you want to travel exactly the same way you used to travel in 2019, or prior, and you want to do it next week, that's not going to happen, right.

But if you change the visual that you connect with wanting to be able to get on a plane, that right there can open your mind to possibility.

Maybe initially, you're getting upset, thinking it wasn't possible, because you're only thinking about it. If you got on the plane, we can travel lots of different ways.

And so shifting and seeing what actually is possible can give us choice, flexibility, and some semblance of having what we previously thought we couldn't have, it actually becomes possible along the way, look, you might have to act differently, chances are pretty great, you're going to have to shift some behaviors.

But wouldn't that be worth it to be able to have more flexibility, more choice, more freedom? So I am so curious, for those of you who went through the exercise and answered the questions that I just posed to you, let me know what you discover.

Tell me how did that start to shift the way that you were looking at your current situation, put it in the chat sections, wherever you saw this podcast promoted?

And I can't wait to see your responses. I will, I promise I will answer every single, and I will respond to every single remark that is made. And I will catch up with you on the next Champions of RISK podcast. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast.

If you've been getting a lot of value from these episodes, would you please please be sure to subscribe, and also rate the podcast on iTunes, I would so appreciate it. And I'd also be really grateful if you would take an extra minute or two and leave me a review.

A positive one, please. That would really be appreciated. And also, I have one more big ask for you this week. And that is would you please share this podcast with your friends and network on social.

That way I can help more people and I can also amplify the voices of the great guests that come on this podcast. Thank you in advance and thanks for listening, and I'll catch you on the next episode.


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