Ignited by a Prejudiced Therapist:
An Interview with Alyssa Hall
So and then this will all be edited. And I also I might, I might say something to Kevin who’s gonna edit the sound. So if I say the name Kevin like, I’m not talking about Natalie’s dog.
I just thought of that.
That’s like the Kevin that Kevin Miller, but like, Kevin Miller specifically popped up into my head, which is so funny. I don’t even know that.
I never thought about that. I’m so sorry, Kevin. I don’t I’m not trying to.
Um, yes. So.
Yeah, I’m gonna start with the quote. And then I’ll say a little something about you. And then yeah, I really feel the podcast is meant to be very conversational. Like, oh, if you’re just like sitting in and you’re hearing to women have a conversation. It’s like, the vibe. So that’s perfect.
Oh, and I should let you know, I’m there. Maybe, oh, we’ll use like, a little bit of video. Like some clip of us might go on to YouTube. But I I don’t want like the whole thing on there. I feel like it’s distracting. like watching people I like really want this to be a listening experience. So but YouTube is a place people are so so it’s, it’s I agree. It sounds like a good plan to have a little clip that’s just like a, here’s a preview of this. These two people dialoguing to hear the whole thing go there.
that’s why I’ve never seen someone do that. But I’m like, that’s actually really smart.
I know. My assistant, Chris is just like, she’s got all the good. She knows all the good stuff. I’m like, Oh,
that’s a great idea. Let’s do that. I don’t know what I’m doing. Like, I just want to have dialogue with people. That’s That’s all. All right.
All right, Kevin, can start
Everything is figure out double. Marie Forleo said that. And today, I’m really excited to welcome an amazing coach named Alyssa Hall. She is an African American, Cuban woman and a life coach. She was my life coach, my anti racist coach this last year. And just to let you know a little bit about her background, she upon completing her training at the Institute for professional excellence in coaching. She began her business coaching corporate leaders, business owners on mindset and leadership. She now uses those same skills to coach on antiracism. Her main area of focus is strengthening the leadership skills needed to have an anti racist environment, as well as focusing on the personal growth each individual needs to go through to become anti racist themselves. Welcome, Melissa.
Hello, I’m so excited to be here.
meet you. I my experience of you has been where you’re asking me questions. You’re listening to me and about my life and my struggles. And so this feels like such a gift to be able to learn more about you and your life and your journey. So first of all, we were just talking before about this, like, Where in the world are you right now? I think it’s a little bit of a wild story. Like your recent story. Maybe we can start there.
still getting used to this. But as of like the last three months, I have been in Texas. I’m right next to Houston and a town called Katie. And as we’re recording this, this is a week after the Texas winter storm that we just had. And I’m just like so incredibly grateful that like I came out with just like mild inconveniences. All we had was just no power for a few days, but I’m just like, my brain would not have been able to take it. Anything else would have happened. But I know a lot of other people do not have the same experience. But that’s that’s where I am now. Now. I have a little interesting thing to say when I tell people I’m from Texas.
Yeah, yeah. Well, I think about that, you know, it’s it’s big to move. I mean, whatever the move, you know, it’s a lot It takes a lot of energy. There’s a lot of adjusting and then to move and then soon thereafter go through, you know, one of the biggest natural disasters Texas has seen in a really long time. Yeah, like Welcome. Welcome to Texas, right.
Yes. Just Just for context, like I moved here from New York, and I moved in the middle of November, and I took a picture, literally, sometime in mid December. And I was just like how all my New Yorkers, you enjoying the snow and it’s like, me and my daughter and like short sleeves and bike shorts, just living our best life. And then two months later, I’m just like, Oh, my bet that was so funny.
I hear I, I can imagine what your new yorker community is thinking about you.
What was that?
exactly that. So yeah, it’s been been humbling, I think.
Hmm, I bet. I bet. Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. Well, I, um, you know, from where I sit, it’s like, this has always been your work. That’s all I’ve known is Alyssa Hall, the anti racist coach. And, and I love that, you know, that the work that we did was very much life coaching. You know, that, like, anti racism is life, right? Like, that’s ideally, right. We, like, I tell you, we’re all moving in that direction. Right, to to unlearn racism that’s within us. And you definitely helped me, you know, peel back another layer, I believe, and it’s ongoing work like, like life itself.
But gosh, you How,
how is it that you came to become a coach at all?
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, I had never I barely talked about that story. That’s fine. No one ever asks. Really? I
mean, we’ve heard about the evolution, right, you’re coaching and then you’re noticing like, oh, leadership and who, you know, I, which? We I’d love to hear more about that story, too. But like, let’s start even before that, like, how do you even get into life coaching? Yeah,
yeah, it was very, extremely random. But I am someone who I call myself just like the person who’s had like, a million jobs. And that’s just like what I was doing. I had just had my daughter. And I was just flip flopping through jobs, hating every single one of them. And my friends and family were like, Alyssa, could you just stay at one job? And I’m like, I don’t care about these jobs. Yeah, I don’t understand. I’m just here so I can work and like feed my daughter and get through school. That’s literally All I’m trying to do. I have a long term goal of becoming a therapist. So I have just been like, okay, so these are the things that I’m going to do. I’m just going to do these random jobs until I become a therapist. And I went to one job. And on my first day, it was someone’s like, last two weeks. And she was just like, Oh, my gosh, so excited that they hired you. I am, I’m a life coach. And my business is finally taking off, and I get to leave. And I was just like, Alright, girl, whatever. Like, I don’t know what that means happy for you. All right. And for people who aren’t coaches, I feel like I had this like, vision in my brain of like, What a life coach was just like, very spiritual, very, like, quote, unquote, woowoo. Like, and that she embodied that and I was just like, Alright, go, you do your thing. But I also loved helping my friends on things. And now that I know what coaching is like, that was more of like consulting kind of work that I was doing with my friends, consulting, mentoring, and one of my friends was like, you should become a life coach. Oh, my God, this is so amazing. I was just like, this is like the second time I’m hearing about this in a short time period, what is this? And then I looked it up. And I was like, This is baby therapy. Oh, my
I never heard that description of coaching before. That
was the way that it looked to me. And I was like, This is perfect. Oh, my God, I get to leave these jobs. And then I found my coaching program. And it was $11,000. And I was just like, Hmm, well, I can’t do that. So that sucks. And then I just like, push it away. And then for a full year, I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was still hopping in and out of jobs. And I was just like, I don’t want to wait until after I become a therapist to do this. I want to do this. Now. I’m tired of just being unhappy until I’m just allowed to be happy. And then I was like, You know what, let me I’m just gonna do this. I at the time, I was making like $16 an hour and had a child and I was just like, just, you know, I’ll just I’m just gonna do it, whatever. I’m just gonna take out the loan. They said I don’t have to pay it for a year. It’s fine. I’ll do it. And then I finally enrolled. And then day three of the program, I became a single mom. And I was like, Are you joking? once a day? It was just like this whole like moment of Okay, do I continue because those first two days were magical and eye opening. But I’m like, I don’t know how I’m gonna pay this in a year. And then I was just like, I owe it to myself. I’m, I’m tired. Like, I’m not going to live for anyone else. At this point. me. I keep wanting to say divorce. I’m not a divorce, but like a divorce. But me breaking up with my daughter’s Father, I feel like what like kicked off in my brain was, I’m going to do things that make me happy. And I’m just going to live for that, and hope that things are going to fall into place. And then I decided to stay. Wow.
Wow, you really like to jump in?
I love it.
I love it. And it sounds like possibly the order of things was perfect. Right? Because maybe you wouldn’t have jumped in? Had you been a single mom first?
Exactly. And that’s what I always think about. I’m just like, Oh my gosh, if I had waited, literally I started in I had enrolled in April. And in July is when I broke up with her father. So if I had waited for like the next round, even, I would have just pulled out my application and not gone through with it.
Wow. That’s amazing.
So do you still want to be a therapist?
Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m like, I still. And even like this move to Texas, I was just like, I just want to get out of New York is so expensive there. I’m just gonna stay here for a little bit, and then go to wherever I get accepted for grad school. But yeah, I, oh, my gosh, I badly want to do it. But I want to serve a different population. So I think that’s what also gets me excited. It’s like, I don’t want to do the same work with therapy. I want to serve teens and young adults with therapy.
Yeah, that’s awesome.
To hear. So cool to hear. And I think the the story that I’ve heard you tell, though, is about how your experience of therapy really got you into the work that you’re doing now? Maybe not everyone’s heard that story. Let’s hear that story.
Yes. Oh, my gosh, I feel like it’s so interesting how everything just decides to intermesh itself into everything. But yeah, my experience with therapy literally fueled the work that I’m doing now. Because when I was like maybe 2021, I’d had a really, really negative experience with a therapist, she was extremely prejudice. And at the time, I was having like really severe depression, really severe anxiety to the point where it was hard for me to even like walk into my class, if I were like, laid, it’d be like, so difficult. And I had like, a small stint of also having PTSD. All of this was within like, my first three years of college. And at this putting the cherry on top, I was also pre med at the time.
So Whoa, yeah.
Look, the things that you could imagine for a college student, and I had been going through it for like, a couple of years. And I was like, You know what, I’m just going to finally see a therapist. And I found one near my job. And I was like, Okay, this is perfect. And I go to her for the first appointment. And it was the literal worst. She I started telling her what my issues were like, why was there essentially, and she essentially stopped me when I told her like, oh, school is difficult, because, and I was going to say it because all of these things, all this mental stuff. And she was like, Okay, well, you know, you say you want to be pre med. But obviously school is just too hard for you, you should just drop out of school. And you should just go to a community college and get like a little nursing certificate, and then just work for a little bit. If you decide you still want to go back to school, just do that. But clearly school is too hard for you. And that that was also like my first very real experience with someone who had like very deep prejudices. I’ve dealt with microaggressions before and at the time, I didn’t even know what they were. But this one I knew had nothing to do with me because number one she hadn’t even heard me. But number two, I also knew that I was very smart. I’ve always been extremely smart. But like in high school, I was the kid that would get like very high B’s but it’s because I didn’t do homework. My Grades We’re only just from test scores. But that’s that’s who I was. And I’m just like, I know that I’m a smart person. So for you to tell me that school is hard for me, just because I’m not good enough, there’s clearly something going on. And when it comes to this work that I’m doing now, I always think about that moment, because I’m just like, clearly she was a trained therapist. It’s not that she’s an educated, but her prejudices, follow her into her work. And I can imagine what that’s like for other people as well. Even well, meaning people that literally have no clue what’s going on, I doubt she knew what was going on either. But then the person on the receiving end, like after that, it took me years to finally feel comfortable. Like even seeking therapy again, because I didn’t want it to be that experience. So that really fueled my work that I’m doing now a lot,
huh? Yeah, yeah, I
bet. Yeah, it is.
Just as you’re, as you’re describing, that I’m, I’m reminded of when I was in high school, and I met with a guidance counselor, and we had just taken this assessment, like, sort of, like, what do you want to be when you grow up kind of a test, you know, and, and mine, came back really high in a lot of things. And so she our appointment was to kind of narrow and decide, you know, look at what could be a next step in terms of education, or what the next steps might be. And so she was looking over and she’s like, well, you scored really high in math and science, but those are gonna be too hard for you. So you’re also pretty good at writing. Have you thought about being a journalist? That was literally like, I didn’t say a word, right? I’m just sitting there, like, so luckily, I was I was raised by feminist. Yes. So I didn’t, I didn’t buy into her story. But it was hurtful, right. Like she was someone I had looked up to and look to for guidance, genuinely. And so it did hurt. And it did help me question a bit around like, well, what, you know, what is it? And I, I mean, I really recognized later, especially talking to male friends at school, that that that was an approach he was taking only with girls.
Yeah. So and because like, especially like, because of my pre med back on, I’m like math and science. People would kill to be good at math and science. And she’s just like, yeah, just put that on the backburner. Why don’t you girl? Oh, my gosh, wow.
Yeah. And then, you know, it’s really funny.
I said, No, I don’t wanna be a journalist. And then she said, Well, what, what else? What would you like to do? I was like, I don’t I don’t know. I was probably 15. I don’t know. And she goes, Well, if you could just if you could do anything, what would you do? Which is a great question. I actually really loved that. She asked that. And I said, I, my ideal thing would be just to sit down and have really meaningful conversations with people. Wow. And she was like, well, that’s not a job. Think of something else. So I think about her sometimes, and I’m like, I’m a little like, though, my, my nose you know?
This is absolutely a job and, and I took a ton of, especially math classes in college just just for fun, like, yes, for the learning. Like,
I’m in calc two, and all these people are stressed out and I’m like, this is awesome. Like, what if? What if we fail the test? I’m like, Who cares?
Oh, my gosh, if more college students had that brain of like, Oh, your life will not collapse from not failing this test. Oh, my board needed to have more coaches in college or just like something?
Well, I was an art student.
So I didn’t
you know, I was like, This is not I’m you know, my grades are not gonna matter to anyone out in the art world.
that gives you so much freedom of just like I can do what makes me happy. And not feel like everything is a life or death situation.
That is so good. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s good.
Yeah, so So getting back to you, Alyssa. You Yeah. So you, you have this person who was supposed to be providing for you but had some deep prejudice and doubted you and your abilities. And so now, can you say some more about the work that you you aren’t doing?
Yeah. So I feel like the the work that I do now is really twofold. Like on one end, it’s about really That that life coaching, of just diving in and doing the work of understanding what are the stories that we’ve carried with us, and what have we been taught is the absolute truth of the world. And breaking that down and doing a lot of unlearning and looking within ourselves to to see what prejudices that we have. Because regardless of what we look like, where we grew up, we’ve all been raised in the exact same society. And it’s about when did we start our journey of unlearning all of this stuff? And I also say that so that people don’t feel like oh my gosh, like, how could I not have known, it wasn’t designed for you to know. And that’s what’s so important. And like, that’s the one half of like doing that personal work. But then going back to the fact that it’s, this stuff is everywhere, when we create our businesses and create things for our business, whether it be program pricing structure, like literally, that foundational piece, everything that we make decisions based off of, there’s going to be a lot of what we learned from society, a lot of what we learned from random marketing classes is just from from everything that comes within that, and being able to create a business with an antiracist structure. So that every single thing that you build from that that is your foundation, and you’re not continuing to perpetuate all the racist and white supremacist culture that is just literally everywhere. And you’re creating that that safe space. So now when people are able to do whatever work that it is that you’re doing, they’re doing it with someone who understands and who has worked through their own biases and prejudices and can help that person in the way that they need to be helped.
Hmm, yeah, yeah. Okay, there’s so much I want to like, unpack further and what you said, so let’s start with this idea. So it’s like, we’re, we’re all in this society. Right, that is white supremacist. And I want to just say a little bit about that, because I know that term can really sting. Right? I know, as a white person, it has stung me before, it just felt like ooh, Is that me? Ouch. Right? Like, yeah, I
don’t walk around thinking I’m supreme from everyone.
But in some sense, I do. Right? Like there is this? And I’ll just say a couple examples. And then I’m, I’m curious what, what you have to say, around this term, or how how you invite people into that dialogue. But it’s like, when I’m watching movies, when I’m watching the news, like, I really pay attention, I can see where whiteness is held above all colors of skin, right? If I really pay attention to that. And what I also acknowledge is like, well, that’s not my fault. I didn’t create that I didn’t set that up. It is absolutely I’m a part of that society. And so it is my responsibility a shared responsibility to, to change that, to do something about that.
Yeah, oh, my gosh, okay. I actually love the example that you use, because that’s what I feel like, is the best way to describe it in a way that’s not villainizing people, but it’s really being able to look at what that looks like. And it’s just about understanding that when it comes to thinking about like, white supremacist culture, it’s about making it so that white people are like, quote, unquote, the norm, or the default, and everyone else is just an other. So we have to do extra things for that person. Or we have to figure out something else for that person, but every other default, is, it’s just the white people. And what makes it so frustrating to break out of is that when we’re trying to do when people are trying to do like diversity and inclusion strategies, we have to then almost, it feels like it feels like you’re still bothering people. But in reality, you’re just taking into other the other groups of people and making it more part of the normal conversation. Versus Oh, this is a person and this is a black person. It’s this is a white person and this is a black person or they’re both people, whatever. But noticing how that language looks and I feel like a lot of people. They feel like they are being other when their own identity is being mentioned. But it’s about making it so that we’re making it normal that people are different from each other. I hope that makes
sense. I think
so i think so. And actually, on a future episode, The topic is going to be around the patriarchy. And so, yeah, it’s juicy.
and one of the things that came up in that conversation is, oh, gosh, so much came up. And it just flooded my brain is around this idea of like, the, well, for example, we were just talking about this before we started recording, which is, I hope you don’t mind I mentioned this Alyssa, but is our menstrual cycle, right? Like this is? And this is something that is, you know, even even there, I was like, apologizing, like, Is it okay to talk about it? Like, yeah, right? Because the default is men. And for a man who doesn’t have a cycle, it’s weird to talk about it. Right? Right. So the default, and we were talking about how the default hormone fluctuation is the 24 hour. That’s the primary hormone, like men are tied to the rotating of the earth, like their hormones go up and down with that, that’s their primary one, right? We’re all connected to that. Obviously, we sleep at night. We tend to if we’re, you know, let’s get to work at night or something. But given you know, our natural state, that’s what we do. But women, we are have more of a connection to the moon, our default hormonal fluctuation is with the moon. That’s the primary. I’m saying default, I mean, primary. And so what that looks like is we’ve created a work structure that is wrapped around this 24 hour cycle. And the expectation is that day after day after day you perform and produce the same amount. Women do not that is like, literally killing us trying to do that. We’re not meant for that.
Yes, yes. Oh, my God, that is, and it’s so I’m actually glad you brought that up, because that’s something that I didn’t even think about, until maybe a few months ago. And I was just like, why are we doing this? What is happening, and especially like, knowing myself, when I was a teenager, my period was just, it was, I have just like memories of myself, like crawling to the bathroom, because the cramps were so severe. And now after I had my daughter, like, it’s not that bad anymore. Like, I just had one. I’m just like, sitting here and I’m fine. But now what’s replaced is it’s with like, fatigue, and I’m just like, Well, you know, it’s, it’s a day of the week. So I have to just like girl is not a wreck, your body is telling you to take a nap. And we’re going towards this like very, it’s kind of oppressive. It’s like you’re supposed to still show up, even though your body is on on 40%.
Exactly, exactly. And I think that’s where, what you’re saying, um, you know, bring it back to being antiracist is like, okay, so when we expand, you know, like, what’s possible, or who we’re including, when we’re when we’re looking at making decisions about how we structure things, or, you know, whether it’s the workday or whatever it’s like, as I see it, it benefits everybody. The more that we open that up, right like it, like, of course, if we built the working structure around the cycle of the moon men would also benefit
from having rest time.
Exactly, because they also feel this ridiculous guilt of I am not feeling and it’s not like, Oh, I have a headache. Oh, I’m ill, but like, hey, my body energy is depleting. But since it’s not a physical illness, I still have to go to work. No, stay home, take a nap. If we had that as the norm. It would benefit everyone even though where we thought of it from was thinking about women.
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So I’d love to hear some examples from your business or from perhaps your clients businesses, like how what are some ways that you’re structuring things to be anti racist?
Yes. Oh my gosh. So it’s this is actually perfect timing. I literally a couple of hours ago, I did a training about di and marketing. And it’s for coaches but like marketing their business in a way that’s focused on that and I feel like that is one place where I think I see people missing the mark all of the time. And for myself, I have like certain people who are just like very active on my social media, like they’re always like commenting on myself, or they’re always like, responding to my stories or whatever. But then like talking about how much of the work that they’re doing. And I can literally just like, click on their Instagram and click on a random post, and I’m just like, Nah, girl, you still need work. And it’s the marketing is like the red flag for me. But it seems very, it’s like, again, we’re going back to looking at who is the default. And I’m glad that like that was brought into the conversation, because that’s really, the key is that we don’t realize it. But usually, when we’re talking about who we’re talking to, white women are the default when it comes to like coaching. white women are the default people that we are talking to. And that is it. And we’re hoping that our message will get to everyone else. But especially when it comes to the coaching industry, the way that we get people to, you know, be interested in us is that we are specific to their problems. And this one example that pops into my head is there was this style coach, that I think she’s a style coach or business coach for stylists something regardless, she posted up something and it’s always like normal to like we tell a story at the beginning of our posts. And then at the end, we talk about how that relates to our program somehow, whatever. So with hers, she started off her post, like trying to make it like engaged. And she was like, Oh, is it a dry shampoo day? Or is it a wash day? And I’m just like, it’s neither for me. I wash my hair once a week. So it’s not the sort of question that I’m like, yeah, that’s not for me. And I don’t have any negative thoughts about it. I’m just like, Okay, well, this post isn’t for me, girl. Yeah. And that is what is happening. And that’s what we don’t realize, because that’s her norm. She is a white woman with straight hair, and straight hair gets greasy or so then you’ll have to wash them off and blah, blah, my hair is dry. And it’s actually naturally curly. So if I wash my hair every single day, I wouldn’t have any hair. So it’s a different thing. But it’s not about What should she have talked about in regards to hair. But it’s more about how can you make it so that your post actually talks to more people versus that specific person that you don’t even realize? You’re talking to a specific person, it feels like you’re talking to everyone, but it’s because white woman is the default?
Beautiful. So what I heard in that is that noticing what you assume is the universal experience in your marketing.
Yes, yes. And what is so fun, honestly, about doing this work is that when you start learning about other communities of people and the issues that they’re facing as it relates to your work, it’s that then you have more things to talk about, you are talking about even more things that you never would have even thought about. And your your programs become so much more helpful. And just it just, I’m the type of person who I’m just like, I feel like I run out of things to talk about, which is nonsense, because things happen every single day. But if I had now a list of 20 more things to talk about that is great. That’s That’s cool. So yeah, yeah.
I love that. I love that. And now, in full transparency, that’s exactly why I hired you. is, um, you know, Summer 2021,
is kind of, but, um, you know, especially late spring and summer of 2020 I think a lot of it really reawakened or weakened for the first time a lot of folks around the problem of racism in America. And, and certainly for me, it was a reawakening and noticing, like, just going, like looking at my own marketing materials and my website with fresh eyes and going, Wow, if I wasn’t a white woman, I wouldn’t see my place here. Like, I gotta do something about that. Like, yeah. And then also recognizing, like, Oh, yeah, and as a white woman, I can recognize that but I’m gonna need support just like anything. Like if I want to grow my money mindset, if I want to learn new marketing techniques, if I want to learn next level business skills, like I can’t teach that to myself. Great. So with that, um, yeah. And then I happen to see you post something about exactly that on the day I was ready to do something. Yeah. How that works.
Yeah. And I actually love that you brought that up too, because especially when we think about like money, for example, we can have all the intentions. I feel like that’s, that’s, you know, to solve our intentions, let’s make more money. So we can do x, we can have all those intentions. But if we don’t know how to do that, we’re just sitting there with our happy intentions, not even doing the right things. So I feel like it’s the same thing with this work, too. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 35:32
yeah. Yeah. And I think I’ve, I’ve really recognized to that. It’s not because I hear this a lot, probably due to is like, this idea like, Well, I’m not racist, as though it’s a fixed identity, and something that you can just remove from yourself. And I actually, yeah, I, I forgot who it is. But there are some when I was reading recently, he was talking about the distinction between racism as a label as an identity, how that’s really faulty. And so of course, no one wants to be stamped with that label. Yeah. As opposed to it being an action, right. So like, is the result of my action racist? Being the question? Yes.
Yes. That is,
you, for just doing all this for me. That’s exactly.
I had a good teacher.
But that’s exactly it. It’s about like, and I feel like it’s harder to especially when people think about maybe their loved ones. And it’s just like, we’re not telling you that grandma is a horrible person. We’re just telling you that these things that she is doing are racist. And they come from a belief or a thought that she has about certain people. And when you’re able to look at it in that like outside point of view, then it’s a little bit easier to reckon with it with yourself. Because what makes it hard is when someone tells you Oh, hey, what you said there was prejudice or where you said there was racist. And then we think that we’re that, like, they’re talking about us as a human is like, no, but I’m a good person. I’d say you were terrible. To say this action is racist, this action is harmful is another way to like boil it down to
so good. I want to jump topics. And ask you, personally. How do you define success in your in your life?
Oh, my gosh, that’s a good one. These are fun questions. No one asks me these anymore. Oh, my gosh, how do I define success? I define success as being stable. And I feel like that just comes from my years of being a single mom. And stability not being a thing at all. And for me, it was always, all I want is just to be allowed to exist is what I would always tell myself and just like, why can’t I just just exist in the way that I want to just like normal people, they get to pay their bills, they drive their car, they go to their little yoga practice, their kid is doing things like, I want to be able to have normal people problems, not how am I going to pay my bill tomorrow problems? Like I just I don’t want that. Right. And that’s, that’s what I feel like I defined a success. And as I look at what that looks like, in the future, I’m always, always always thinking about how can I help other people? And it’s just like, what if I could have stability, and I can do things for other people. I can create things like I have so many, like, really exciting, like 10 1520 year goals for things that I want to create. And then I feel like Okay, once I get that, I’ll feel like I’ve made it. I can die tomorrow and I’ll be fine. But for right now, I feel like stability is just like, that’s what success looks like to me.
Yeah. Wow. stability. Yeah. So do you are you experiencing success?
Depends on the day that you’re asked.
Now that your electricity is back on
and it’s just, it’s wild. And it’s, I don’t know, I always think about like, You are prepared for where you are right now because of the unique experiences that have brought you here. And I feel like my time as being a struggling single mom has allowed me when things don’t feel stable for me to take a step back and be like, Alright, so let’s let’s be a little bit realistic right now. What neat, what is the need to what is a want to? What is a, this could actually be enabled some other kind of way? What are all of these things for you, so that I can create the stability because as a coach, you know, like 90% of what’s like, what will attribute to our success is our mindset. So if I’m sitting here panicking about a bill that I could have actually just call these people and told them, Hey, I don’t have it this month, and then they can push it. Maybe that will be better off than me panicking until the day before. So I feel like I’ve had to shift what that looks like for me. And I’m a future person, like in my strengths, like future is like one futuristic is like one of my top. So I have to get out of that mindset too. Because I’m just like, but then if I don’t pay off all my debt today, then in five months, when I want to buy a car, then I’m gonna have a higher APR. And she’s like, Girl if you don’t calm down. So that’s where I’m at right now. I don’t know if that I hope that.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So it’s like it’s a journey. Not a destination. Exactly.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that.
Um, so I also here along this, this journey that you? Well, you said you’re, you’re futuristic, right? So the downside of that, right, is you’re, you can think of all the things that could go wrong
in the future. Sounds like,
but it sounds like you also, you can hold the vision for maybe something you’re not experiencing yet. But you know, that you can.
So what as you, as you reflect on on your life journey thus far, what do you think has really supported you helped you to keep going even when, you know, you find yourself in Texas in a disaster, or you have a therapist to encourage you to quit?
Yes, what has helped
you? Yeah, that, I love that question too. Because I’ve always like, thought about myself. And I’m just like, it’s so wild, especially when I think of all of the the pitfalls that I’ve had. And they’ve been so many. And they’ve been like, they’ve always been like, back to back to back to back to back. But I feel like I don’t know if it’s stubbornness. I don’t know if it’s resiliency. But I’ve always just had that vision. And I think of my years, early on in college, where I was going through that, that severe depression, that severe anxiety, and I would be enrolled in five classes. And the only classes that I would pass would be my psych ones, because I liked my teachers so much, that I’d be like, I don’t feel that panic when I go in there. But then the other classes, I would get F’s, I’d get Ws. And that was like semester after semester after semester. But I never once told myself, yeah, but I’m not going to be a doctor. And when I even when I went to my doctor, I was like, I had an emergency c section. And they gave me my daughter. And they were like, wheeling me out. And I was like crying asking my doctor to think I could still be a doctor. Like I literally, that was my thing. And even now when I’ve switched to therapy, it’s not it’s never been because I don’t believe I can do that. It’s more of just like, I’m realizing I’m actually more in love with psych than anything else. And yeah, I can be a psychiatrist. But I don’t want to deal with calculus, like I love math. I don’t love calculus, I don’t want to do biochem I don’t want to do those. I’m fine with getting a Psy D and calling myself a doctor that way. Um, but it’s always been about, it’s going to happen. It’s clearly difficult to happen right now, or it’s clearly not going to happen in this moment. But when I have the opportunity to start from zero or like I think about like a new semester, I’m still going to go for that same goal. And I think that is what has allowed me to just even in business to keep going I’m just like, well, I said that this is going to be the life that I want and now that like I’m in my own apartment, I’m doing things that make me happy. I don’t have time to like, decide that I’m not going to try and we’re going to figure it out. And it’s because I hold those visions so clear for myself. And I’m just like, we’re gonna figure it out somehow, huh?
Everything is figured out. Yes.
I love I love that phrase as well, because it’s true. It’s really like, I was just having a conversation with a client earlier today around this, that really like holding the vision and seeing yourself as capable. That’s the that’s the, that’s the heart part. And everything else. You can figure out or desire someone or you can, you know, like, someone can help make that happen. Right. But this, this belief inside of you have your own capability. No one can do that for you.
Yes. And what I love about like, that phrase, just like everything is figured out about it’s that I feel like when people talk about it without the lens of equity, or without the lens of looking at lower income people, they’re just like, oh, they can find the money somehow. And it’s just like, that’s that’s not it. When I say everything is figured out about what I mean is I have Amazon due tomorrow. I don’t have the money today. Is there a way I can pay with it with another credit card? No. Can I get a? What are those things called where you take money out of a credit card a cash advance? No. All right, well, we’re gonna call Amazon and that bill is going to go away. That’s what I mean by figure out a bill is that that bill is no longer going to cause me trouble tomorrow, it’s going to go away somehow, whether it’s paid by actual money, or whether it’s going to be pushed off to another month. But I’m not going to be like in the streets because of my Amazon card. And that is what I feel like that that phrase has done for me, it’s allowed me to figure out what are like the ways that I can wear myself around to still hopefully, strive for that stability or maintain that stability? Mm hmm.
Yeah. Yeah. And I wonder if you could, along those lines, touch on mindset, and racism?
Yes. Oh, my gosh, that is, this is all coming so perfectly, that the stars wide for everything to happen perfectly. Because that was a question that was asked in the training, I just did too. So it’s fresh in my mind. But the way that, like normal, like mindset work is done is more of just like everything that you’re experiencing, or whatever it’s because of what’s going on inside of you and your thoughts about yourself or your your situation. And when it comes to things that are outside of us, I feel like that’s the key, it’s like, remembering that there are things outside of us as well. And that we’re reacting to what has been told to us from the outside. And what makes it hard, especially with people who aren’t familiar with this work is like for example, let’s, let’s say with my experience with a therapist, that was clearly a very prejudiced experience. And I remember when I left that appointment, I was I was talking to my boyfriend at the time. And I was just like, I am glad that it was a good mental health day. Because if I had went in there, on a day where I was actually depressed, I may have actually believed her. And I wouldn’t have gone back. But I would have like internalized what she said. And that is where mindset interplays with the outside world. And so for someone who’s not familiar with how that looks, they’re just going to attack the mindset and say, like, see, you do have negative thoughts about yourself. But it’s, it’s just being heightened or fueled by whatever is going on in the outside world. So it’s like, if I have a small.of thoughts that are negative about myself, because of everything in the outside world, now it’s this large ball. And we have to understand that it’s always going to be surrounding it. So we have to address that. So that we can really empower ourselves and empower our clients with just like, Okay, this is a reality. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not because when we do pretend that it’s not a reality, then we’re just blaming ourselves. And that is what people don’t realize, especially when thinking about doing mindset work with people. It’s that your client isn’t going to tell you hey, this mindset works. It’s making me they don’t have that language because they’re, they’re not the experts in it, they’re just not going to feel good about themselves, and not really understand why and you’re just gonna be going in circles forever. But understanding that like racism, sexism, homophobia, those are all things that are always out there. And we have to address it in order to actually do deep work, deep mindset work with our clients.
Mm hmm. Absolutely.
Yeah. And I think it’s like, I have found it freeing. And I know a lot of my clients have found it freeing to identify those things, so that you can really distinguish between what’s yours and what’s not yours. Like, there’s this belief out there. And it’s really easy to internalize until you and the first step is to notice that they are two different things. Right? Yes, your inherent value and how society values you are not the same. Like, exactly.
Yeah. And then it’s like building up that resiliency within them of just like, now that we know that this is what society is going to do to you. How are you going, let’s let’s build that up within you. So that you can continue hitting against it. Because it’s going to happen just because you’ve built up. That’s another thing too, with the mindset work is that sometimes it’s taken as Oh, once you build it up within yourself and other people, like this law of attraction kind of thing. But when it comes to things like racism, law of attraction is not a thing, they will still be very firm in their beliefs that you’re not worth being paid, you’re not worth whatever, regardless of how confident in yourself that you are. So it’s about Okay, you know that that’s a thing. You know that because that’s the thing, instead of trying 10 times, you’re gonna have to try 30. And we’re going to build up that resiliency so that you can try those 30 and actually get what you deserve to get.
Yeah. Yeah, I heard it somewhere. Like there’s more than one law that governs the universe, right, like,
let’s keep Yes, yes.
Yeah. Um, oh, my gosh, Alyssa, this is so beautiful to be able to connect with you in this way. And I’d love to if you have some time, let’s continue this conversation and do a short little, we’ll have a next episode together.
Sounds good. So we can get to it. Yes, I
think so. So for right now, just to wrap up our conversation in this moment today. I would love to hear what you are reading right now.
This is so fun to talk about.
What is this? Okay, so,
I have to like, pull up my phone because like, so I just finished reading this one book. And it’s funny later on tonight, I’m going to a book club with the author. So it’s going to be very fun. It’s called Black Book. And it’s they they qualified is like a satire of this black man going into the sales world. And being the only black guy at his company, but he’s like, 23, and it’s just like, all this stuff. And I read it in two days, I listened to the audiobook in two days. So that’s what I just finished reading. And now what I’m reading is I have another book club meeting on Saturday, is Trevor Noah’s memoir, and I’m also reading the audiobook.
Yeah, I just I just listened to the audiobook. terminos audiobook, and oh, my gosh, it’s hilarious and heartbreaking all at the same time.
shocked at how like heartbreaking it is. I was like, wait a minute, I thought this was gonna be funny and jokes all the way through what is
going on Greg? Yeah,
so I’m glad I’m not
beautiful. And then for anyone listening who would like to know more about you how to work with you. And we’ll put some things on the podcast site of course with links, active links, but just for listening, where where can they go? Where can they find you?
Yes. So I’m very active on Instagram. My Instagram is at Alli the life coach, and the amount of stuff I put on that Instagram. People have told me it’s just like you’re putting too much out there. It’s like a free course. I’m like, I don’t I don’t know how to not I’m sorry. So
I I love it. And love it. Yeah, I’m like, sometimes I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to post on Instagram but I’ll see what’s going on and then I see you posting I’m like Okay, get off your butt blue
Alyssa already posted 12 times today so I can do one.
Yes. And so that’s the best place to find me and especially like on the Instagram stories, I’m of course talking about racism stuff and but I’m also just being my regular self and just talking about whatever nonsense. So don’t I don’t want you to feel like it’s just like heavy stuff on there. But yeah, that’s the main place to find me. And then my website Alyssa Hall coaching calm is where I talk about my coaching program.
Beautiful. All right, thank you so much, Alyssa. such a joy.
Thank you for having me.
All right, Kevin, we’re gonna stop right there. And then I just wonder if you have time. I know, we’re kind of over the time commitment already. So totally get it if you need to run out of time. But I love to just record like a little 10 or 15 minute bonus episode that we can just like release the following week. So someone might just want to listen to that, or the whole thing or both, you know?
So I just wonder if there’s anything that we didn’t touch on or like a story from your life or something really juicy, you’d like to?
Okay, guess it just hold on. Let me like, there’s this one story like to tell it. I’m like, I need to remember what the foundation of Oh, yes, actually, I do remember. And I think that kind of relates, but just talking about. I feel like when people talk about just like success and wanting to like go after whatever it is that they want. There’s always like this very rosy conversation about it. And especially like once people start hearing my story, and like bringing me out to talk about it. It’s the the conversation around like, Oh, well, it was hard for you. But you still were able to make it like as a single mom, you were still able to make it and it’s just like, cool. But that’s actually like, it’s not as easy as it seems. And it’s not as like, Oh, I just put my mind to it. And I just made it. But I always like to really talk about the realistic stuff that was going on behind it. And like yes, I was a single mom when I decided to like I in what year was that? Oh my god. 2020 was so annoying. I my brain does not like calculate that that was an actual year as a whole year. But in 2019, I can hardly see it. Earlier I was like I can’t see. Okay. But like in 2019 I had quit my my full time job. My very first like grown up full time job outside of the restaurant industry. And I just up and quit it and decided I’m going to try to do my business. And
right after I did that, I’m going to ask you to hold that thought. Yes, it’s so good. I want you to say it like fresh like this. Okay, Yes, go ahead. So Kevin, we’re gonna start the bonus episode now. All right, and we’re back with antiracist coach Alyssa hall for a little deeper dive into her life. And she was sharing that, you know, one, one version of her life story could be taken like, well, she’s overcome challenges and, and Isn’t that great? And she can do it. So why can’t you? You know that that’s often a marketing tactic to is like, I overcame this. So I can leave you and doing that, too. Oh, we just want to spend a little time diving a little deeper into Yeah, what those struggles were for you. So you’re starting us off in 2019? I think so.
Yes. Yes. So in 2019, I had quit my job, my first real people nine to five, nine to six. Job. And I had quit my job and decided that I was going to try to pursue my my life coaching business. I had just finished the program like three months before. And my job was the hours were so long that I was only able to be with my daughter on the weekends. So Monday through Friday, she was at her dad’s house and Saturday, Sunday she was with me Monday morning, he’d come and pick her up. And that was the actual reason why I quit my job because I had such a bad like depressive episode one Monday morning. And my daughter was like, two three at the time. And I was just like, I can’t do this. This whole seeing her two days a week. Like I didn’t sign up for this nonsense. And then I just quit. I was like You know what I have this this business that I’ve been like playing around with, it’s taken me like four months to try to build this website, I’m going to finish the website, I’m going to do my podcast, like do my YouTube channel, I’m going to like go after my business, and a month into that I had spent $2,000 on a business coaching business program thing. And I feel like people are able to look at that and be like, Oh, look, she didn’t even have a job. She was a single mom. And she just made this investment. And she went after what was important to her. And yes, but like, the real thing that ended up happening to was that the only reason I was able to do that was because in March, I got my tax money and paid off all my debt with my tax money. In June, I got my very first clients, and I was so proud of myself. But it was at like, $150 a week. So like, not really much of anything. But there were moments where I was like, I had no money for my bills. The child support arrangement that I was going with her father was that he was going to pay my rent, and everything else was on me. I was like, okay, that’s fine. I’m like, whatever I had no, I had no money to pay for anybody. But then there’ll be moments where it’s like, oh, Hmm, this $150 a week is not covering all my credit card bills that have now stacked up again, because I’ve made all these investments. So then I had the ability to ask him for money. And that’s not the normal single mom journey. My mom was also a single mom, she just got her child support check every two weeks, I’d see my dad every two weeks. That was it. For me, if I wanted to go to a networking event, I’d be able to call him up. And he would literally he worked in the restaurant industry. So he would either call out of work that day, so I can go to that networking event. Or he would like drop my daughter off at his mom, so I can go to that networking event. There’s so many levels of support and privilege that I had at that moment that I don’t I hate that that sort of Oh, look, she was able to do it. So you can do it. She had these specific identifiers. She was a black female, single mom. And it’s like, cool. But what did I have behind me that was allowing me to be able to do those things. Even months after that the lease was ending. And so I went to go live with a family member, I had a family member to actually be able to live with. Not everyone has those things set up for them. And even still doing that. I had to then go and get a part time job. Not everyone has like an immediate part time job, they can run and get the restaurant that I’d worked at for like three years. I’m just like, okay, yeah, sure. Whatever, assigns paperwork, and you come back tomorrow, it’s literally how it happened. No one has not everyone has all these things set up. And I want to tell that story. Because I feel like it’s important. Number one, when people are looking at other people and comparing it to themselves of Oh, well, why can’t I do it? And knowing exactly like you said that it’s also a marketing tactic of, Oh, well, she did it. So you can do it. But it can also cause a lot of shame for people of just like, Well, why can’t I do it, then what is wrong with me? And it’s like, Girl, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s just that this person has things that were set up for them that no one really talks about? Because it’s not it’s not quote unquote marketable.
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I, I really appreciate that. It’s like I think we were talking about on on the previous episode about the universal experience, right. So they’re making assumptions about So okay, so your experience equals the experience of every black single mother in America, right like that. I mean, that’s not true for anyone. Like, let’s get over that. And and that the solutions for you are not the same as the solutions will be for anyone else.
Exactly. Exactly. And I feel like when we think about that, I love the way that you talked about, you’re just like, that’s not the not the truth for everyone to have this one. Same exact experience. And I feel like what people don’t realize is that the only thing that I feel like we would have in common is the way that our brain functions. And it’s tuned more into, like, survival versus like, I don’t want to say the word abundance but like survival versus trying to get all the extra and it’s just like, Can I just skate through? Do I have enough because we are one individual and as a single mom We have to now provide for two individuals. That’s two times the food two times the rooms in your house, like so many things. So it’s just like, Can I make whatever it was that I was making before and make it for two now? And that is what that brain looks like. It’s just like, even when we get there, can we sustain that for the two? Or for the three or whatever? And versus someone who has something behind them? Whether it be another person, whether it be money somewhere, it’s not about Can I survive? Because that survival is already back there. It’s more about what else can I do. And that is what I feel like people don’t address when they’re trying to talk to people in a place of not having that stability. It’s understanding that there’s that Maslow’s hierarchy, we need to talk about the foundation, and allow that person to have their foundation instead of trying to talk people into understanding why like that fifth level is important. It is important, but they need to be allowed to meet their own needs first.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, it reminds me of I did mentoring for health coaches, new health coaches for about five years. And yeah, just like, so many people from all over the world, all walks of life, it’s really interesting, who gets attracted to this industry, right. And, and I remember many times where people would look around them, and they’d see their, their fellow students were quitting their jobs and going full time and how exciting it was, you know, and then my job as their mentor, you know, I’m walking on the journey. So I know a lot more about their specific details we begin with, I’m trying to just understand where they’re coming from, what resources they have available, what time you know, in terms of time and energy and things. And, and they, you know, I remember, I mean, I don’t know how many times over the years, but I’m thinking of one, we’ll just focus on one for right now. One woman saying, talking about that she was single mom, and how she just, you know, she was really her job was really stressing her out. But the thought of just getting a different job just felt like it wasn’t really the, the workplace itself, it was the whole industry she was in she really she was there to get into coaching, and how to take the leap? And did she think I should, that she should leap and quit her job and what that, you know, maybe then she would like kind of sink or swim and hopefully swim. And she’s like, I really want to get out of this mindset that like, I have to keep my job. And I said, Well, what, what’s important about keeping your job, and as she was speaking about, it was like, feeding her family and, you know, keeping a roof over their head. And and I was like, that’s real. Like, yes, let’s, let’s let that be real. That’s a real thing. And then, and then we moved into, well, what if you think of yourself as a coach, who is feeding your family by doing this work? Like you are not this worker? Like, let’s let’s start to unwind that, that identity? That’s good, like, let’s spend time on that. But this idea that you can’t claim your new identity without taking this big leap? Because someone else did. Like
that? Oh, like I’m like, Yes. And that was my journey to like, when I finally was able to do the part time job, I was just like, I am here, just to make my bills. And this place is flexible enough that I’m allowed to write content when I’m here. So that’s what the point of this is. And then this as soon as I clock out, I’m a coach.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. So good. All right. Well, any other thoughts like, oh, here’s a question. What if there’s like something you could just like, let everybody know, something you get to impart? Like all the humans?
Yes. What my
I feel like I just want everyone to like the first thing that’s popping up into my head is like, please stop gaslighting yourselves just like, allow your situations to be real, and understand that they are real. I was coaching someone the other day. I do business coaching in a side of another coach’s program. And she was just like, yeah, I mean, I have I have three kids. One of them’s a toddler. And two of them are like five and six, and they’re all home during the pandemic, but you know, I don’t understand why I can’t just do this isn’t and I know it’s just a thought I might grow but what do you mean it’s just a thought, and then literally on the call then the three year olds came and was like screaming and like on her shoulder. And I’m like, that’s
Yeah, that’s not a thought. Yeah,
it’s a real thing. Stop acting like your physical situations are just a thought, because you’re not going to allow yourself to do anything, because you’re just shaming yourself all day long.
Mm hmm. Yeah. Oh, I love this light. I mean, as a coach, and I know not everyone listening is in this field. But I think it applies to kind of communication in general is that, that, that there is it’s a layered thing. It’s a complex thing between, like, our thoughts and how we view the world, how we react to the world. And then the reality of what, what the real challenges, right, the real things that are occurring in life, like we, I say to my clients, like we live on two planes of existence simultaneously. We live in the physical plane, and we live in the spirit, you might call it spiritual plane or energetic plane, just different, you know, whatever language works for you. But that sense of like, we’re on the we operate in these two simultaneously. They’re both they’re equally important.
Exactly. Exactly. And when you’re able to put that importance there, then that’s when you’re able to actually move forward and do things in the way that you’re hoping to, but you have to pay attention to that that physical piece. That’s a part of it.
Thank you, Alyssa, for such a rich dialogue. And once again, where might people find you for even more? Alyssa?
Yes, everyone can find me on Instagram at Ali, the life coach. And on my website, Alyssa Hall coaching.com. All my program information stuff is there and just more teachings and learning and concepts. You’ll find that all on Instagram.
Beautiful, and we’ll have all the links posted on the site. And thank you so much Alyssa, for being my coach and sharing your wisdom here with me on this podcast
course. It’s been my pleasure.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai