Episode 127 // The Comparison Trap with Vasavi Kumar

June 6, 2017

As creative entrepreneurs, it’s easy to play the comparison game and get stuck in the comparison trap, so we’ve got coach, Vasavi Kumar, joining us to talk about how to manage that comparison game and cultivate an unshakable sense of confidence—whether you’re comparing yourself to someone more accomplished than yourself or paralyzed by the guilt of your own privilege.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"You can create anything you want, and when you know that, it's pointless to compare yourself to other people."
- Vasavi Kumar

Discussed in this Episode

  • Vasavi's path to entrepreneurship & coaching
  • Urgency as an entrepreneur
  • Getting caught in the comparison trap and dealing with fraudy feelings
  • Breaking down the comparison trap to continue creating what you want
  • The reverse comparison trap—becoming paralyzed by privilege guilt
  • Using creativity to contribute positively to the world

More from Vasavi Kumar

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Unknown Speaker 0:04
a podcast for creative

Emily Thompson 0:05

I'm Emily Thompson.

Unknown Speaker 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Vasavi Kumar 0:10
I'm bosavi and I'm being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
Alright bosses today we're talking about the comparison trap, cultivating confidence and so much more with philosophy Kumar. As always, you can find all the tools books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club. Alright you guys I want to put an end to any myth is that money is evil. Money is difficult. Money is hard. I'm not an accountant. Because fresh books cloud accounting has made it so easy for small business owners freelancers side hustlers, to keep track of their expenses, to send out invoices and to get paid faster. And honestly, that's all it comes down to. One of the things I personally love about freshbooks is that they've designed it for creative entrepreneurs. Whenever you log into your dashboard, you can see exactly what your business is up to. You can see how much money you've got coming in, and what you've got going out. You can easily pull reports to see what your profit and loss is. You guys, if you're not staying organized with your money, you're going to have bad feelings about money. So I want you to get organized with your money today. Try out fresh books for free they're offering our listeners a 30 day unrestricted free trial to claim it Just go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Alright, back to our episode. And you guys hear it being boss. We don't draw strict line between work and life. And sometimes that means we're bringing our personal stories into our professional experience. And as you'll see in today's episode with vasavi Kumar that means we're bringing our spirituality into our business to cultivate the kind of confidence it takes to face the uncertainty and setbacks that creatives are bound to bump up against. Philosophy is often described as your kick in the pants guide in route to your desired destination. She is a licensed social worker, special education teacher and certified coach philosophy holds dual master's degrees in special ed from Hofstra University and social work from Columbia University. She's a pro at attracting media and works with her clients who create and go after opportunities that are aligned with their brand values. And I can't wait for you guys to listen to this episode. Because if you need that kick in the pants, if you need a little boost of confidence. Today's show is for you. All right, vasavi. We are so excited to have you on the show today. Thanks for joining us.

Vasavi Kumar 2:43
Thank you so much for having me here. It feels like forever. I've been listening to you guys. And it just feels like today is a very good day to be on the show. So thank you so much for having me.

Kathleen Shannon 2:55
But we'd love to introduce you to our listeners. So can you tell us a little bit about your path to entrepreneurial ism and being boss, we want to hear your story. Okay,

Vasavi Kumar 3:05
so I would say my story started on Long Island in New York as the daughter of two Indian immigrant parents who came here from India. So my mom's a cardiologist, my dad's a CPA, and they've always worked for themselves. And I think from a very young age, I witnessed them having a lot of freedom and being able to do what they wanted when they wanted, being able to create as much money as they wanted. I grew up in a very healthy house as far as money was concerned, you know? So I come from a Hindu background. So my family's Hindu and and in our faith or in our religion, we view money as goddess. So we have a lot of reverence for money.

Kathleen Shannon 3:47
Yes. And we don't Amen. Yeah. Was an Amen moment. But I don't know if that was no,

Vasavi Kumar 3:53
no, no, I rarely get offended. Please try to offend me. I would love for you to try to offend me. It's okay. I don't get offended. But yeah, so I, I mean, I mean, we literally have holidays that worship the Goddess of wealth, who has Goddess Lakshmi, okay. So I grew up feeling like money's great. Like you, we need money, money equals money. Like I grew up not having any emotion around money ever. It was a very logical thing for me. So I think in addition to just being an entrepreneur, you guys, I used to go back to India every year since I was a kid. And the first first time I witnessed extreme poverty, I was probably around four years old. I saw this man eating a banana peel out of a dumpster. So like, it wasn't even a banana. It was like a banana peel. Alright, so that's the height of you know, not having anything in life like, like, here you are eating, appeal. And I remember saying to myself, no one should have to suffer like that. If, if I don't have to suffer, how come you have to suffer? Right? So I just started questioning things from have such a small age, and I just made it my resolution, no matter what I did in life, career wise how I treated anybody in life, I will make sure that your life is better off because I'm in it, rather than make you feel like crap, right? So I think all the choices that I made in life, education wise, so I have a master's in special ed, I have a master's in social work, every single thing that I ever chose in life was always based with that foundation that I'm going to make your life better, I'm going to in some shape or form alleviate your suffering. This is not having that God complex. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying, if you have the privilege of being put face to face to somebody with somebody else, then it's your duty, and it's your obligation to try to make their life better somehow. Right. So after I finished my second Master's, I got introduced to the field of coaching, right. And as someone who had been in therapy since the age of 12, who'd always been on the patient side, and who had always been kind of focusing on the past, I really loved coaching because it was so much more present and future based. So there was much more power in that for me, as someone who was in therapy since they were 12 years old, you have to remember I'm about to be 35. So like I was in therapy for a very long time. So, six years ago, I started my coaching business, I started working with people on really questioning their thoughts, questioning their mindset, questioning their beliefs, and also using that therapy training to understand your childhood, right, like most people don't want to understand their childhood or or it's too painful to look at it. And for me, when you understand how you were raised, and you understand the conditioning that you went through, you have a lot more power in your present as far as how you want to operate moving forward. And then as far as building my business, you know, I am a learner I am I want to learn I am hungry for learning. I grew up probably in a very critical household, right? Like I was always told you're not good enough. Okay, straight up. Like what you got a 95 once you got 100 like I was never coddled, growing up. It was never there was no praise. And it may sound like abusive, but I have to be, you guys are probably like, wow, you probably still need to be in therapy, which I am. But But no, no, no, I am truly grateful for that. Because I'm, I'm so grateful that my parents never let me settle ever, ever. And so now being the age that I'm in, I've had to find that balance between good enough and also still pushing myself. Right. So I was on one extreme, whereas I was never good enough. But that was my driving force. Right? Like, I'm not one of those people that's like, Oh, I hit this goal. Okay, cool. I'm gonna go, like hit the sack and sleep now. It's like, Okay, great. What's next? What's next? Like? That's my Hi. But we can

Kathleen Shannon 7:51
relate? I cannot. Yeah, and I think that I'm sure a lot of our listeners, I mean, I wonder if this is something that a lot of creative entrepreneurs, whether it's been an idea that was in first initiated from our parents, or just our own drive, and I love how you started talking about that, because I'm trying to find the balance now, too, between being driven by not being good enough for a lack of better words. But for me, it's almost shows up as a sense of urgency, like I have so much I have to get done. But then with this idea that like, this is enough. And today, this is enough. So do you have any tips or tricks or tactics or tools that you've gotten your tool belt for dealing with that balance of like, balancing drive and motivation and a sense of urgency with the idea that like, let's give ourselves some Grace?

Emily Thompson 8:42
Or Or are you just riding the wave?

Vasavi Kumar 8:45
You know, I don't think I gotta be honest, I don't think I ever ride the wave. I don't. But I will say that some people would say, oh, boss, you're like, like, so masculine in the way you do things. But I'm also very feminine in some other ways. Here's my thing, okay. People are always going to talk shit, people are always going to say you should be this way, you should be that way. And the way that I have come to is, I only have to answer to one person and that is myself. So when I feel like I'm getting burned out, which I know myself very well, I will chill out. I will Netflix and chill. You know, I will, I will, I will just hang out. But that urgency that you're talking about, like if you want to get deep, here's my thing. I have witnessed so much of my own personal suffering, and, and so much suffering. Just in general. I don't have time to Putz around. You know what I mean? So I don't feel bad about the urgency anymore. I used to help people around. You make me feel inadequate. When I'm in your presence. That's not my problem. Right. So so it's like, it's like good for you if you feel urgent, but I think there's also that level of having to understand yourself and and just ask yourself, Well, why am I feeling so driven? It's because I feel uncomfortable. Still right now, right? So these are all the questions that I can't answer for you, right? Like, you have to answer that for yourself. Like, there are times where there's that Nxd, there's that nx. And so in that moment, I have to slow down. And I have to intentionally slow down. But I would say, for your listeners, who feel driven, and they have that that's a good thing, because most people are not like that most people are okay, just floating. And I'm not a floater.

Emily Thompson 10:28
I was reading an article, and he was ink magazine recently. And it was one of the Williams sister it was, I think it was surina. And the article was about her going from tennis to being an entrepreneur. So starting starting an athletic clothing line. And in the article, she talks about how, how hard it is, for her to even consider sitting down to watch a movie, because the thought of sitting still for an hour and a half, two hours is just incomprehensible for her like she cannot, it would be harder for her to force herself to sit still than it would be for her to do the things that she wants to do. Like she just has that high of energy. I think whatever. Obviously you train that hard for that long, yep, it probably is really hard to bring it back down. And so I also find myself in a place sometimes where I don't love watching TV. I hate just sort of sitting there looking straight, I

Unknown Speaker 11:26
just sold my TV. Okay, so

Emily Thompson 11:29
I would love to sell, I just saw that.

Kathleen Shannon 11:34
I want to mention something though all my friends that don't own TVs all seem to want to come over to my house.

Emily Thompson 11:42
on Game of Thrones night, the TV is definitely on and we're all sitting in front of it. But like

Kathleen Shannon 11:48
I'm rocking the team, just throwing that out

Vasavi Kumar 11:50
there to you. And you know what? Good for you. Right? So there's no right or wrong here. Right?

Emily Thompson 11:56
Right. But everyone has their own, like energy levels, like everyone has their own like place of security and well being and it's different for absolutely every single person and I'm definitely not on the level of Serena Williams by any means. But I loved hearing that story and how me hearing that didn't make me obviously think any less of her. It's just it was for me appreciating appreciating, I think the level of training that entrepreneurs have in the hustle in that like we are trained to energetically perform higher than people who aren't entrepreneurs. And if we can't bring it all the way back down. That's not a bad thing. So I love I love talking about this because I think I think sometimes I feel a little apologetic about how hard it is for me to like, take a super restful vacation. Like if I'm on vacation, take me hiking, do something I can't sit there and bed all day. That's really hard for me. And I do force myself to do that occasionally because it is important. But But we do all energetically live in a different place. And in that article for me it just really hit home.

Vasavi Kumar 13:11
I love that. I love that because that is it's not about feeling guilty. It's about life is see so so here's the thing you guys like we don't know what Okay, so I'm not trying to sound morbid, right? Like, I don't know when I'm going to die. I could die tomorrow. I could. And I don't ever want to pass knowing that I didn't give it all so you know, every morning I pray every every morning I say to God does use me use me up use me up use me up because that is why I'm here because there's a reason why some people are born and some people are not. Right. How come I made it onto this planet? Right? And and how come there are people who didn't? So as long as I am here, then how dare I waste my life? Now I know that sounds extreme like I am here preaching on a Wednesday or whatever, right? But but it really is. You know, it is everyone's own path and decision how they want to live their life. That's the thing. Like I'm not saying this to make anybody feel bad. I'm saying this because you got to do you at the end of the day for me, I cannot lay in bed all day. I'm like right there. I'm like, soon as I get up that bed is made out done. Let's go live because I have not lived for so long. Right? And so and so once you finally wake up and you're like, Oh my god, I can do so much and there's so much potential and I'm not going to waste another minute of my life. Then I just think that everything changes.

Kathleen Shannon 14:44
So vasavi It's so funny because we just wrapped up our first draft of the being boss book. And we're about to hand it in to our publishers but as Emily and I were writing I was like is today the day that we write about deathbed because we are constantly talking About carving out the life that we want to live in that happens every single day. And so the deathbed is how we reference, you know that last day of saying, Okay, did I create what I wanted to create? Did I say what I wanted to say? Did I do the things that I wanted to do? And that's certainly where my sense of urgency comes from. And I can get very morbid very fast about that. So we we really wanted to bring you on the show to talk a little bit about the comparison trap. Yeah, so one of the things that our listeners struggle with, and even something that we struggle with, from time to time, we often call it frosty feelings, is falling into the comparison trap. So the first thing I would like to ask you, before we get into, like, advice for staying out of the comparison trap, or staying into your own lane is like, how do you know that you've fallen into the comparison trap? Because then there's I think it can sneak up on us. And it might we might be down in a hole that we don't even realize that we're in so could you tell us some like symptoms to look out for? Of course, I'm

Vasavi Kumar 16:07
a therapist, I can totally tell you symptoms all the time. Yeah. So the minute I know, I have fallen into the therapist assigned to the therapist, sorry, well, in into the comparison trap is, if I were to look at somebody's Instagram, you're looking. But then it's immediately the thought that follows is she's better, or I suck, or how come I'm not doing this. So all these freakin thoughts that you have about yourself, it's one thing for me to just look and observe. It's another thing, all the meaning and the attachment that we have put around it. So that's the number one thing, if you want to look at somebody's blog, great, if you want to listen to somebody's podcast, great, what are you making it mean, after that? Are you making it mean that you're inadequate, that you're not good enough that you're not pretty enough that you're not skinny enough, you know, all of that. So that's the first symptom, I would say. Feeling like basically making it mean something about you, after the fact. So that's by far the number one symptom that I have. I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at somebody else's stuff. I think it's what you make it mean, that's gonna kill you anyway. So

Emily Thompson 17:20
I agree with that. And I always like to think of like, especially when I'm going through Instagram, and or, I don't know, watching people's really awesome YouTube videos, or whatever it may be, like, there's such a fine line between being inspired and being envious, like, and it's just like a little bitty mindset shift that you have to make. But I think the more mindful you can be about what side of that line you fall on, whether you see that as inspiring and you want to, I don't know, paint your walls white, because that white shear is beautiful versus being mad at that person because their walls are white and yours aren't. Yeah, like that's this smallest bit of mindset shift. And the more you can be mindful of that the more you control you have over, over being able to, you know, gain whatever it is that you are aspiring for, or just cycling down into anger and bitterness,

Vasavi Kumar 18:13
just hating yourself and just total self loathing because that's the truth right there, like, like it does boil down to self loathing. And so there is a way to get over that. But I just want to hand it over to you guys to make sure you have any follow up questions.

Kathleen Shannon 18:25
I have like a couple of things. For me, I've noticed that the comparison trap, one of my biggest symptoms shows up as impatience. And again, it's that fine line between motivation and drive. And this sense of urgency spiraling into a bad place of like, why haven't I gotten there yet? So I think that's how the comparison trap probably shows up for me. Um, but I also think that and I would love to hear your thoughts on this is I think that the comparison trap kind of places you in the role of a victim and that you give away a lot of your power whenever you fall into that comparison trap whenever you start making it mean that you suck because you don't have white walls. And your favorite blogger does. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 19:14
right. Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 19:16
you have ultimate control, you can go buy some white paint. So like mine was always and we I've shared this with you and a few of our listeners before but mine was always feeling like comparison trap and jealous whenever I would see other creative entrepreneurs that I admire and I have great feelings for celebrating their most recent launch with like mimosas. Yeah, I'd always think oh, like why am I not celebrating with mimosas? I could go out and buy myself some orange juice and champagne. Like it's not that hard. No, it's not. Yeah.

Emily Thompson 19:49
Right. Like when you when you get to that place like your ability to solve problems stops like completely and utterly stops. You're totally blinded by anger or whatever that negative emotion is that you are incapable of seeing beyond it and recognizing the power you have over your own situation. Alright, so

Kathleen Shannon 20:10
how do we stay out of it? How do we stay out of the comparison trap? What do we do?

Vasavi Kumar 20:14
Okay, so here is and I'm not trying to, you know, once again, bring faith and religion into it, because I'm not trying to convert, I'm just sharing how I was really good. We are

Kathleen Shannon 20:23
so woowoo over about all of it. We're constantly blending the spiritual, okay, practical with the professional

Vasavi Kumar 20:31
goal. Okay, good. I just want anyone, okay. So, in the Hindu religion or faith, there is a saying in Sanskrit, which is that one a See, which means I am that, right. And so, we were never taught, I was never taught my sister and I were never taught that you are here, and God is somewhere out there. Right? Like, literally, as a child, my mother would say to me, You are God, right? Like you are the creator. And so from a very young age, the most powerful thing for me was, I can create anything, right? I can, I can literally create anything. So for me, the the way I get my power is to say, I want this, I'm going to make it happen. This is how I'm going to make it happen. And then I make it happen. And then look at me. So if I look at someone with white walls, she has white walls. I want white walls. I'm going to go to Home Depot, I'm gonna get some white paint. I'm gonna paint my walls. And there you go. So for me, I know it sounds really crazy. Like some people might be like, Oh my God, this chick is crazy. I don't really care though. It's fine. But it's also like, I am the creator of what I want. Right? So why the hell am I gonna look at you feel sorry for myself, hate myself, hate you think I'm powerless, when in actuality, I have the power to create anything that I want. Like, you guys, I kid you not you can create anything that you want. And when you know that, then it is pointless for you to compare yourself to other people. And I and I actually do thank my mother for that actually, today's her birthday.

Kathleen Shannon 22:11
Happy birthday to you?

Vasavi Kumar 22:13
Yes, yes. And I actually like sent her like this video, YouTube of me just thanking her for because of you, you taught me that I am the most powerful person in the world. I am extremely powerful. And I can do whatever I want. This is not like in this narcissistic way, kind of maybe. But it's it just he always put the power back in my hands. She always put the power back in my hands. She was like, why are you comparing yourself to other people? If you want that? Why are you hating on them? Why don't you look at yourself and ask yourself, what can I do about it? So yeah, there are a lot of awesome instagramers and YouTubers and first thing I say is good for them. What can I learn from them? And then how do I want to do it? Screw them, what am I going to give them my attention? Honestly, why am I going to pay attention?

Kathleen Shannon 22:58
So we talked about white walls, though, and that's kind of the easiest, boil down way we can think about like probably one of the easiest things that we could kind of truly change in our lives. Yeah, and if you're renting, you can whatever, paint it back, your landlord is gonna love it anyway. That's when and that's an easy thing. But what about the things that feel bigger? Like, what if my comparison trap is beyond say, like, what do I do with that? What do you do whenever it's whenever you start getting like I get a case of not being Beyonce from time to time, but on a smaller scale. Like obviously, I don't think I'm become Beyonce. But if you have the answer I would love to hear I

Vasavi Kumar 23:37
would love to tell you my Okay, so I thought to answer it's like okay, so first I'm gonna have you do is what are all the things you love about Beyonce? Let's just talk about her presence. Her body.

Kathleen Shannon 23:48
Oh my gosh, she's beautiful. She is talented. She's a triple threat. She seems like an amazing mom and a strong woman but also a total boss. And did you see lemonade? Like the creative force behind her brand blows my mind. She's an entrepreneur. She's launching a clothing line. She's launching a workout line. She's doing all the things I've seen. She's incredible.

Vasavi Kumar 24:15
She is incredible. You're absolutely right. So using her like she's the ultimate creator, in my mind ultimate like she's like, like that chick knows how to create, right? So it's taken all those qualities. I don't think you necessarily want to create a workout line. But I mean, maybe you do. I don't know maybe like a being boss. Maybe, but what I love

Kathleen Shannon 24:36
the boss sports bra

Vasavi Kumar 24:38
that was so there you go, right. No, but no, but it is like what are all the things that she has tangibly created, but then what are the qualities that it takes to create that? And then asking yourself Well, what do I want to create in my own way, and then you go into it, one by one by one because obviously she did not happen. Overnight, right? But it's what if I could emulate anything about her? She is so focused, and she is so clear on who she is. And she does not let anyone control her creative process. Right? Like she may have people around her like kind of give her ideas. But at the end of the day, she is so clear. And she is so humble when it comes to her creative process that she's unshakable. Right? It honestly is that unshakable Realty. And that is what I think I think all of us women want to have, you know, so it's like,

Kathleen Shannon 25:32
yeah, it's so funny, because like, right now, I mentioned that we're working on this book, and we just had a meeting with the designer over at the publishing house. And I was like, Listen, I'm gonna get real specific about what I want. And it's because I went into the meeting thinking, what would be on say, do she would not hand over that total creative control? Yeah, I'd say, this is my vision. How can we work on it together, and I literally drew on Beyonce, and that vibe, and I think that's exactly what you're saying here too, is that you can draw on those qualities to start to create the things that you want to create the maybe even better than Beyonce. Yeah, I'll never be better than Beyonce. But

Emily Thompson 26:10
you may be actually I'm Oh, game for that.

Vasavi Kumar 26:13
But you may be better than the version. Right? Like, so it's not about being better than Beyonce. It's about being better than the version that you are now. So maybe in the past, you would have gone in and, and and like, maybe you would have had your publisher kind of like question you and you'd be like, okay, yeah, you're right. But Beyonce wouldn't do that. Beyonce would say, No, Hell no, this is what I want. That's, that's better than the older version of you. Right? Totally. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 26:39
Yeah. All right. I'm seeing how this works. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 26:45
Good, unstoppable. I'm

Unknown Speaker 26:46
excited. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 26:47
All right. So you know, thinking about beyond say, it can be paralyzing. Let's talk about Beyonce. I mean, I know truly like, and not just Beyonce, but anyone who is having a successful creative career, it's easy to put them on a pedestal and become paralyzed. So whenever people aren't able to draw on those qualities or characteristics to inspire what they're doing, when instead they're getting, I don't know, yeah, paralyzed by it. And, you know, what's, what's the easiest way to get past that paralysis? One word?

Vasavi Kumar 27:26
I mean, I, it honestly. It just boils down to prayer. For me, I'm gonna be really honest, that's that that's the only that is the only way that I have been able to not put people on pedestal is that I pray because the minute you put the minute you put up human being on a pedestal, you what you're saying to the universe is that the buck stops at this human, when actually there is something bigger than that human. And so you need to you need to, we need to, we all need to surrender and humble ourselves just a little bit and be like, why am I putting this human being? You know, this flawed human being on a pedestal? And how dare I lesson myself because of that. So like, what does that say about you and how you're treating yourself? I do not put anyone on a pedestal like that. I could say with 100% conviction conviction. I refuse to put anyone on a pedestal because I know that there is bigger than just us humans. And I just think it's like the ultimate act of disrespect towards yourself and a higher power for you to put other people on a pedestal like no, you're not better than me.

Kathleen Shannon 28:35
I'm not better than you. No one's better than anybody. Oh, my gosh, this makes me think about a girl friend of mine recently got back into the dating game. And she was seeing this guy that she really liked, and it didn't work out. And she's like, well, I guess I'm done. And I was like, wow, you put a lot of stock like you put a lot of power. Yeah, in your own life over to some dude. Right, like, so it's kind of that's what you're saying here? Not to relate it back to relationships. But no,

but it's all the same it ships Yeah.

Emily Thompson 29:06
Um, so hold on, though. I want to go somewhere else for us,

Unknown Speaker 29:11
please. So

Emily Thompson 29:12
let's work with me. While I try to put this into words. I want to like flip the script on the comparison trap, though. And especially like the world we're living in today, and even something you said like your origin story, almost like think about the opposite of that and think about the man that you saw eating the banana peel out of the dumpster. Like I think there's just as much to say about the opposite comparison trap, where you feel yourself unable to do the things because of all the pain in the world because you are you've almost put yourself on the pedestal like above everyone else. So let's like dive into that. For us. This

Kathleen Shannon 29:51
is huge, and also other creatives becoming paralyzed by the pain like but whenever you saw that man eating the banana peel out of the trash can the That experience could have easily paralyzed you. And Emily, I don't know if this is exactly what you're talking about. But we're seeing creatives who are wanting to stop creating art because of the current state of politics for

Vasavi Kumar 30:13
bullshit. Excuse me. Sorry, Cory.

Emily Thompson 30:16
You can leave that in there.

Unknown Speaker 30:18
Yeah. total bullshit. Yeah. Okay,

Vasavi Kumar 30:23
so how I feel okay. Yeah, I'm so happy. You said that about the opposite about being put on the pedestal. So let me be straight up. Have I ever felt guilty that I was born very well off? And I have the intelligence that I have, and I have the life that I have? Do I ever feel guilty? Absolutely. Okay, so I am not gonna lie. I see homeless people, I'm gone. Like, why do they have to suffer? And how come I have, it's so good. So I've had that. But then I think this is where having to let go of back control. C, it's like, I can't deal with the pain of other people being in pain. That's why I've always been in codependent relationships with men, I'll just be really honest, right? I've always been in relationships with men who are slightly just kind of in pain and depressed all the time, because I feel so bad for them, and I want to save them. So I have had to work through that. My point is that I now am at a place where my pain is my pain. Your pain is your pain. I am not emotionally responsible for saving your ass anymore. So I've had to draw a very fine line because I am a very empathetic person and I go towards the pain. I don't shy away from the pain. I don't feel guilty, I feel it is a it is my duty, it is my obligation. If I am a creative who's painting or whatever, you know, it is my duty and obligation if my art is going to help someone or put a smile on somebody's face, and I'm using the excuse of politics not to put my shit out there. Are you kidding me? When you know that your stuff would possibly help somebody else? That's an excuse right there. So I think instead of feeling this kind of entitlement guilt, right. I know my sister is someone who feels very guilty about the fact that we grew up very well. And so she always feels like she needs to like lesson herself always like she feels guilty about how educated We both are. I'm like, I don't feel guilty that I went to Columbia University, I worked my ass off to get there, right, I don't feel guilty about it. The only thing that I can do to pay it forward is to use my knowledge, use my gifts, and just help somebody else. But you better believe I'm not gonna sit there and feel sorry for you. Because of the life that I've had. If anything, I'm going to feel grateful for what I have. And I am going to try to pay it forward. I don't know if that makes sense. But

Emily Thompson 32:46
for sure, and I love the thing that you said just a second ago about like relinquishing control like, just because you are unable to help you know, the kids on the news, or whatever it may be that like in this moment is causing you pain, doesn't mean that you're not here to help someone like you have no control over who it is that you're here to help. You just need to use the skills you have to help the people who will be helped by it. And I think that whenever you can let go of that like and let that pain fuel your creativity or whatever it is you need to do to like process and let go of the control of who it is that you're here to help. I feel like I don't know, you can just more freely do what you need to do. And I even want to go back to this idea of like, you're here on this earth, not even like not even you here. But you here now. Yeah, for a really good reason. And if you are not doing the thing that you are capable of doing because of some negative emotions, that you are building up within yourself, then you are doing yourself and everyone you're supposed to help a disservice.

Vasavi Kumar 33:56
You are doing a disservice. And here's the truth, there is a lot of pain in the world. And if I allowed myself to get caught up with kids who are starving with kids who are being molested with, with women who are being beaten with people who are being treated if I allowed myself to truly sort of soak that in on a daily basis, I would not be able to get out of bed. I wouldn't cuz it is a lot of pain. When you think about how much pain people go through every single day. Like even as I'm talking about in my heart hurts. If I allowed myself to feel that every day, I wouldn't be able to do the stuff that I do in the world. So there has to be an acknowledgement of the pain. You realize that it exists. You can feel it, but then you say, Okay, what am I going to do about it? You don't have to help the whole world. You don't have to help the whole world. But if you're going to go to a restaurant, and your waitress is serving you be nice to her. It's that simple, right? If if you're getting your car washed, don't be a cheapskate Am I tip them? $1? You don't give them a little bit more. Right? It's, it's, it's, and it's just about what part can you do to alleviate or? Or to just be kind in every single moment? Every or to not add to your pegs at all? Yes, yes. Thank you not at least not add to it. Yeah, at least add to it. Because my dad always used to say to this, like, he would always say this, like, if we ever got like, whatever, like, so service at a restaurant, and like, I was a kid. And like I say to my dad, God, she was so mean, whatever, bah, bah, bah. And I know, my dad would say, you don't know what she went through that whole day? How do you know what her life is? Like? Like, how do you know what she went through? Right. So I that that always stuck in my head, that it's like, I can do my part. And that's it. And that is all I can do. Which, which for me is very hard. And I'm like, oh, powerful. I could create everything. But then it's also like, wait, I also don't have any control either. Right? To an extent, to an extent about other people's pain. So it really is that fine balance, guys. I mean, sucks. I'm, I'm not gonna lie. I am such a control freak. And it is so hard for me to see how much there is out there. I mean, anytime I say yeah. So

Emily Thompson 36:15
but you can only do what you can do this period. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 36:17
My thoughts on it skew also a little spiritual. Yeah, in a way where I think that if we are all serving, creativity, and I'm not even saying our passion or core genius, because you might not even know what that is. But if you are being creative, every single day, the opposite of destructive, not only in your mindset, but in your habits and routines, and maybe in your work, and maybe in your home, whatever that looks like for you, if you are being creative every day, and you are serving creativity. First. It's going to, you know, maybe karmically I'm not even sure if I'm using that correctly, or make the world a better place you are into the collective consciousness, adding good vibes, you're adding creativity. And while that might not directly help the bad stuff that's going down. And sure you can directly help the bad stuff that's going down by volunteering time, money, resources, energy. I'm not saying that you shouldn't do those things if you are compelled to do those things. But if you are serving your creativity and listening to this podcast, like your creative entrepreneur, and if you're serving that you are adding good vibes to the collective consciousness and to the whole world, that's just my personal Yeah. Kenyan spiritual belief on it.

Vasavi Kumar 37:36
I love it. Because why I love it is because I think as entrepreneurs, we want to help everybody, which is great, right? It's great. So noble, I say, start with yourself, before you try to help somebody else. Ask yourself, am I helping myself? Am I treating myself well, right? Like, I think it's really, really important. I think it's noble, if you want to give back to other people. But make sure you're starting with yourself first. Because there's only so much you can give to others. If you're not giving it to yourself, right, like so I love what you said about creating versus destruction. Because it's so true, right? Like you're either creating, or, or you're either birthing something, or you are slowly destroying yourself in some shape or form. Like I have a girlfriend who was like, I really want to paint, like great. When's the last time you painted? She's like, Oh, my God, it's been a while. I'm like, Okay, do you have an easel? She's like, I have an easel in my garage. When's the last time you've made time to do that? Oh, my God, it's been forever. So my thing is, like, if you say, I really want to paint, I've really been wanting to do this. If you don't honor that want inside of you? What the hell are you doing? You know what I mean? Because then you're just talking about it and talking about and talking about it, but it's like, then you got to do something, it is as simple as taking the time because when you take the time to do something that actually matters to you, you know, then then that energy that you're putting out there his mind needs, wants, desires matter. And even more than that, that like you are paying homage to your creative process. You know, so and also I actually do want to say something about the word karma. Because people always say, karma is like, What goes around comes around. No, that's not what it means. What karma means is that you take action, without any sort of attachment to the outcome. So my father says, and I know I am like, totally, like a daddy's girl, but he did. I mean, I mean, obviously now I'm like, I have such daddy issues, but it's great. He taught me a lot of lessons, but it's fine. It's okay.

Emily Thompson 39:40
Sounds like a smart man. He's

Vasavi Kumar 39:42
a very smart man. But he's he was also very much an enabler growing up, but that's a whole nother episode. Totally talking about codependence. He always used to say, you know, do things out of like, it's your duty to do something right. So if you know you have a gift, or if You know, you want to do something, don't worry so much about the result. Just do it. Just do it because it's your birthright because it's your duty to do it not out of obligation or like, Oh, I have to, but like, you guys want to write a book, right? And you listen to that, and you did it, and you're putting it out there. And now how many freaking people are going to be able to get that knowledge? Now, if you guys hadn't done that? How many people would have missed out on that? Right? So it's just like, you guys don't know if your book is gonna be a best seller or not? That's not why you went into doing it. Right? Oh, it is? Oh.

Kathleen Shannon 40:39
They told me. Okay, so then then, you know, we're

Vasavi Kumar 40:42
not the gods here as it is. But you know what I'm saying, right? Like,

Emily Thompson 40:45
he was definitely out of desire. And if we had done it out of obligation, it probably would be a pretty sucky book.

Kathleen Shannon 40:51
I also think that if we had thought about it being a best seller, or the amount of work that we go into having that finish printed book, even just that, we probably would have gotten paralyzed, our confidence probably would have been a little shaken. And so we had to start, like one

Unknown Speaker 41:09
one at a time with the easel.

Kathleen Shannon 41:11
You know, like, your friend has to start her painting by putting the easel up, putting a canvas on the easel, getting out our paints, dipping the paint, brush it

Vasavi Kumar 41:21
down on the bench, like

Kathleen Shannon 41:22
putting it on the easel. You know, it's like not, it's not complicated. And I think that it's so easy for us to overcomplicate all the things that we need to be doing because we're so obsessed with the outcome. Yeah. So what is like your number one piece of advice whenever it comes to cultivating the kind of confidence, you know, this like unshakable confidence to just take that first step?

Vasavi Kumar 41:48
Yeah, I feel like already said it, but I actually want to go more into depth. Yeah, that the unshakable confidence for me, I know my unshakable confidence is, I have evidence and I have proof that every single time I've said, I'm going to do something, I do it. And by the way, this actually works negatively, too. So anytime I've ever want to self destruct back in my 20s. It's like, I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna get back guy, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna get, I mean, anything, anything I've ever wanted to do, quote unquote, bad or good. I have made it happen. Because I said so. Right. So that unshakable confidence comes from, because I said, so. It's like, because I said, I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it. Now, obviously, as humans, we have freewill. And we get to choose what it is that we want to put our focus on. But now that unshakable confidence comes from I said, I'm going to do it, I'm going to listen to that voice. I'm going to figure it out. I do not tell myself I don't or I can't, I cannot stand those two. I don't know how I can't like no does not exist in my vernacular at all. That unshakable confidence is not going to happen overnight. By the way, peeps, it's not it's going to come from evidence, it's going to come from proof that you can, and you got to start somewhere. It starts from, I want to do this. I said, I'm gonna do it. And that's it.

Emily Thompson 43:09
So his decision and process, so it's not just like deciding you're going to do thing, but it's also if I may, doing the work to actually make it happen.

Vasavi Kumar 43:19
Yeah, it's also doing the work. It's not enough to say, I'm going to do this. Okay, cool. And I'm just going to like, wait around. It's that urgency that you guys were talking about? Right? Like, I've been thinking about it. I have been sitting on this for so long, I'm going to do this, what is the first step, just even taking that first step? Because I people don't get it even when you just take that first step? what you're putting out there is it matters, my creation, my thought it matters. And if you don't take that first step, then then I think what's gonna start happening is then you start to kind of just like whittle away at your confidence, right? So it's about I want this, what's the first step? And then from there, it will have a snowball effect and then not stopping. It's it's that drive. It's that urgency, it's that stopping at no matter what.

Kathleen Shannon 44:09
Yeah, so that's what I was going to ask you about is that a lot of creatives and people in general might say that they're going to do something like I'm going to do a whole 30 I'm going to eat clean for 30 days. And then by day two, I totally fail. And I keep getting this evidence at me that I'm not following through on the things that I say that I'll do. So what do you say to someone who keeps having these false starts whenever it comes to making the decision, but not really following through and they've taken a major hit to their confidence? What would you recommend to them?

Vasavi Kumar 44:42
I would say, um, ask for some help. I mean, it's honestly that I mean, like the for me, you know, the buck doesn't stop at vasavi. Right? Like I I don't think I have all the answers. So I will go to someone or I will read an article or I will Google it. Hello, how to start this how to start that, like, if you don't feel like you know where to start then go to someone who can help you period. I mean, like you don't have to do it on your own all the time. So

Emily Thompson 45:14
for sure, and this is where like having a really great accountability partner or especially in business a business bestie super comes into play someone who will help see you along the path and not and sometimes it's not even helping it's just like, walking behind you like with their finger in your back to slowly pushing you along. In case you can't do it all quite yourself.

Vasavi Kumar 45:36
Yeah, I think this is why it's so important that who you associate with?

Emily Thompson 45:42

Vasavi Kumar 45:43
yes. Who you associate with matters because here's the thing, so. So it's a lot easier to be kind of sucked down and dragged down than it is to be kind of brought up, in my opinion. So and, and it's not about levels. It's just about who you're associating with, right? So I have girlfriends, that they look at me like, I'm crazy. They're like, they look at me like I'm crazy. Yeah, so like, I may hang out with you. But I'm not gonna talk to you about my dreams and desires. Right? Like there are people in your life that you can go out Have a drink with have fun with but when you're trying to jam with people about your dreams and desires, you probably want to hang out people who get you and and who also want more for themselves in life. And if you don't have that, then yeah, then obviously you have to go get that because it is going to be much harder if you are hanging out solo dolo and, and like you don't have anybody who gets you Yeah, you're gonna feel like you're crazy. That's why it's so important to have a community have like one or two, even like, like even like two good friends in your life. Right who are like, Oh my god, I believe in you. I totally get it. This is what I did blah, blah, blah. Rather than like, What are you talking about? Why don't you just want to like go out and like, whatever you know what I mean? Like it's okay to have that friend that you will get a Mani pedi with it's okay to have that friend that you go out and have a drink with that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to get you or if you're lucky. You can also have that friend that you have a drink with and Amanda Patti and she gets you right so it's it's it's so important that if you feel stuck and you're like I just don't even know where to start. That's where you either google it or you just have to find a community of people that you can reach out to I love it

Kathleen Shannon 47:27
all right, what makes you feel most boss

Vasavi Kumar 47:32
I'm gonna say it again I'm gonna say it over and over what makes me feel most boss is that when boss and he says by the way I do love talking about myself in third person. But what I do I do it all the time and I say I do want to give one tip to your listeners at the end. But what makes me feel most boss is that I can create anything and I know that 100% no doubt what makes me feel most boss when I say I'm gonna do something I do it and I am from the east coast. So this one East Coast term that we have is word is bond. So word is bond basically means that your word is everything so what makes me feel boss is that one boss of me says sorry I always want to rise up in third person it's so clutch though I'm gonna I'm gonna tell your listeners why it's so clutch to be able to talk about yourself. Well makes me feel bosses when Vasa B says she's going to do something when Bobby says she is going to show up somewhere. When Bobby makes a promise to herself or to somebody else she does it no matter what hell or high water that's it? Where does Bob have it? And so the one thing So the one thing I do want to say to your listeners, people ask me like you know just kind of like my own spiritual practice. I kid you not I talk to myself about myself every day out loud in third person. So if I feel crappy about myself, Oh my god, boss, you should have like, worked out today or something. I feel like most of you don't want to stop being so hard on yourself. Just get home, put on your sneakers, take the dog out for a walk. It's not that serious. I will I talk. I like say the main thing that I'm saying about myself out loud. And then I like soothe myself. I don't know why it helps. Because it's also like, I would never be mean to you guys. I would never say something mean to you guys. So why the hell would I talk about that? You know, kind of like to myself so I am I am going to I I want to invite your listeners to start questioning their thinking and the way they talk about themselves. Say it out loud in third person, I'm telling you, it has been my saving grace probably for the past 15 years, possibly What's going on? Talk to me what's going on? Like I literally talk to myself about myself, because what it does is it actually separates the physical body self from that higher self that observer, you know what I mean? So that, so that so then you have that observer that's like what are you doing? Why are you talking about yourself that way? Right? So that helps me every day. All the time.

Emily Thompson 49:57
I love that. I'll do that. Okay, then I'll let you guys know whenever David puts me in to appropriate Yeah.

Vasavi Kumar 50:07
I have certifiably crazy. I have no problem with that. No problem. Yeah, no, I

Emily Thompson 50:11
really, that sounds like a super powerful tool. If you can say those things out loud to yourself that you're saying internally to yourself, and you're appalled that you said those things out loud, then, you know, immediately that you probably shouldn't be saying them. Yeah. And I think that whenever you can also use that voice to see the other side. It's probably easier for you to weigh which one is going to be most productive.

Unknown Speaker 50:36

Kathleen Shannon 50:38
Love it. All right, tell our listeners where they can find more of you.

Vasavi Kumar 50:42
Sure, well, you can always head on over to vasavi kumar.com forward slash focused action, I have a free video training on how to pick one idea and take action in less than 20 minutes because we all know how many ideas we have all the time. So actually walk them through the six step process on how to write down all your ideas how to pick one and then keep it moving. Love it.

Emily Thompson 51:04
Yeah, thank you so much for coming to hang out with that.

Vasavi Kumar 51:06
Thank you so so much for having me on here.

Kathleen Shannon 51:12
This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books, cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 51:33
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support, monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss dot club flash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 51:57
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indie shop biography,

Emily Thompson 52:15
do the work, the boss and we'll see you next week.