November 20, 2019

Embracing Your Authentic Self With Life Coach Sarah Brody

Sarah Brody

We all aspire to lead purposeful and meaningful lives. But, sometimes we struggle to rise above our fears. Sometimes, we allow our limiting beliefs to take the driver’s seat and we are left feeling miserable, stuck, and unfulfilled.

 Life Coach Sarah Brody is transforming women’s lives by helping them align with their true selves. Through Sarah’s signature Authentic Confidence Coaching Program, women learn to step into their power so that they can attain greater levels of joy, discover their purpose, and achieve success on their own terms. 

I interviewed Brody to learn more about her journey through becoming a life coach. She graciously offers valuable mindset tips intermixed with useful entrepreneurial advice to help guide you on the path towards living the life of your dreams in the interview below. 

JJ: Tell us about your Authentic Confidence Program for those who many not know?

Brody: Absolutely! My coaching program is designed for women who struggle with self-doubt and imposter syndrome, and looking to increase their confidence. I work primarily with private clients, where my coaching is 100% tailored to their needs, whether that’s working up the confidence to quit a job that isn’t making them happy, setting boundaries in order to better protect their time and energy, learning to get comfortable saying no and stop people-pleasing, making perspective shifts to be kinder and more loving to themselves, or simply figuring out what it is that they’re passionate about!

I also just rolled out a new 6-week group coaching program called the Authentic Confidence Masterclass, where participants are immersed in several in-depth course modules to learn and apply new concepts. The group setting for the masterclass also offers participants the opportunity to form tight connections and support one another as they go about implementing these difficult changes.

JJ: How did the idea of your Authentic Confidence Coaching Program come about?

Brody: Having started my career in the tech world, I know exactly what it’s like to spend every day in a fast-paced, prove-yourself, pressure-to-always-be-improving kind of environment. I’ve experienced that constant tendency to compare yourself to others and wonder if you’re good enough. And I looked around and saw that nearly every other woman (even outside of tech) was struggling with these same things.

As I was starting up my coaching business and deciding where I wanted to focus, I quickly realized that this confidence issue is one that, unfortunately, is incredibly pervasive among women, and is also one that I’m very passionate about solving. I fiercely believe that above all else, you should be doing what makes you happy, and you should feel beautifully confident doing it!

So I designed this program to help women get to a place where they can show up in their lives and careers with genuine confidence – without having to “fake” it – by guiding them through the deep inner work it takes to truly know with conviction who you are and how you want to live your life.

JJ: What strategic steps did you take to transition from your tech job to your coaching program?

Brody: Well, I’ve been working independently as a freelancer/consultant in the digital marketing space for several years now, so thankfully, I was already somewhat set up for success because of my experience already having run my own business. Aside from that, though, everything else about building a coaching business has been totally different!

The reason I became a life coach was because I was finding that marketing just isn’t where my passion is, and I was ready to pour my heart into something that felt more aligned with my values. So I would say the biggest change I made in starting my coaching business is that I gave myself permission to lead with my heart in everything I do. I don’t “do sales and marketing” – I have deep conversations and hold space for people to show up vulnerably. I don’t focus on myself or what I need to get out of it – I always put helping the client as my number one priority (which occasionally means telling them that my program is not going to be the right fit for them). And to be honest, when I do this – when *I* show up authentically for them – the rest follows. So I don’t have to worry as much about strategy – I simply tell people what I do and why I love doing it, and offer to help them!

JJ: What does a day in the life look like for you as a life coach? 

Brody: Hmm. Usually I have a couple coaching sessions each day, with a bit of prep beforehand. I also send a follow-up after each session, with resources and journal prompts I custom create for my clients so they can keep up their momentum and progress throughout the week.

I’m also partnering with a number of local organizations to offer workshops, speaking at conferences, and running my own events as well — so there’s typically some time spent on these.

Beyond that, though – I get to enjoy one of my absolute favorite things about being in business for myself, which is getting to do whatever I choose with my time! I always make time during the day to get outside, which keeps me grounded and helps me recharge. Since the nature of my coaching is supporting others, I’m very intentional about creating a balance where I’m also supporting myself and giving my heart, mind, and body what they need (which also sets an example for my clients to do the same).

JJ: How do you go about teaching your clients to gain confidence in themselves? 

Brody: There are really two big parts to this. The first is getting to know yourself on a deeper level. Understanding your values, making shifts to meet your needs where they are currently unmet, recognizing your strengths, figuring out what really makes you feel happy and alive and starting to look for patterns here. As we work together and you start to uncover these things, you get a fuller picture of exactly who you are, and you start to develop a genuine conviction around your values and the choices you’re making to align with them.

The second big piece is breaking past the things that are holding you back. Reframing limiting beliefs, recognizing where you don’t have control and letting go of the pressure to have it, changing old stories and patterns, actively choosing your thoughts and feelings. This stuff is really hard and takes a lot of time and patience, but as you start making these shifts, you empower yourself more and more to free yourself from your doubts and really step into your confidence!

JJ: What do you suggest people can do if they are feeling stuck, unhappy, and overwhelmed with their current life? 

Brody: Work with a life coach! 

In all honesty, going through this process – getting unstuck in a way that feels right to you – is hard work. I tell that to every single one of my clients before we start working together, and continuously throughout the process. But, my true belief is that you won’t get to where you want to be without doing this work. And it’s not easy to do alone. I worked with a life coach to get unstuck myself!

None of us can see our own blindspots. So working with a coach who can point those out for you, who can hold up a mirror for you, who can ask you tough questions and guide you through this discovery process can be a really helpful way to start feeling unstuck and gaining clarity.

JJ: You have mentioned how crucial it is to tune out all the noise around what you SHOULD do and  instead learn to listen to yourself. What are a three ways you believe people can become deeply connected to themselves so that they can live life on their own terms and step into their true selves? 

Brody: Yes! When we live life based on what others want for us instead of what we want for ourselves, we’re left with an underlying tension, and this is often what causes people to feel unhappy or unfulfilled.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to start living on your own terms and step into your most authentic self:

1. How much of my identity has been determined by what society or others say I should do or how I should be? How much of my identity has been determined based on how I believe others will perceive me or whether I believe others will accept me? What emerges when I let go of the pressures that others have put on me and that I have put on myself to live a certain way, and give myself permission to choose what I want?

2. What are my values? How do I want to design my life in order to live in alignment with these values?

3. What do I stand for? What can no one else take away from me? How do I want to design my life in order to live in alignment with my purpose?

JJ: Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are very common struggles that deter a lot of people from truly living a happy and fulfilled life. What mindset shifts do you suggest will help in controlling imposter syndrome and self-doubt? 

Brody: Absolutely. There are so many mindset shifts you can make here! One that’s really helpful to start with is reconsidering your definitions. When it comes to concepts like: success, failure, accomplishment, good enough, etc. – how are you defining them right now? Is that definition serving you? How would you choose to define these words for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks?

When we choose what success means to us (instead of our boss, parents, partner, or whoever else we think we need to please) – we give ourselves permission to live in a way that’s in alignment with our own values and priorities. Try it! See what changes for you.

JJ: Jealousy is as abundant as ever, especially with the growth of social media platforms. We are constantly exposing ourselves to the highlight reels of people’s lives. How do you believe we can stop comparing ourselves to other people and transform jealousy? 

Brody: This is such a tough one, and I think everyone struggles with comparing themselves to others in some way, especially in this instagram world we live in! One of my favorite coaches calls this the “compare and despair trap.” So, how do we get out of it… or avoid falling into it in the first place?

First — recognize that if you’re experiencing negative feelings based on what you see someone else doing, it’s actually not about them. Most likely, this reaction is because you’re not feeling confident or satisfied with that area of your own life. Instead of focusing negative energy on someone else (who you can’t control), why not choose to look at this as an opportunity to get really intentional about making positive changes in your own life? This is actually incredibly empowering, because when you have confidence and conviction in your own values and priorities, there is NO NEED to feel negatively when you see what others are doing!

The other thing I like to do when I find myself comparing to others is to choose different questions. What would it look like to choose to support / be happy for this person instead?

What would change if I were to view this person’s success as inspiration or proof that this is possible for me, too? I LOVE to see life coaches making millions of dollars and being wildly successful because then I can say, “YES! I could do that too!” It’s such a powerful reframe.

JJ: Again, because social media doesn’t showcase our true reality, we don’t realize that every single one of us has our own struggles we are dealing with on a daily basis. Even the successful influencers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and coaches who appear to lead “perfect” lives  have all experienced failures that ultimately led them to success. What have been some of your failures, and how has it helped propel you towards success?

Brody: I’m SO glad you said this — I’m the first to tell people that just because I’m a life coach does not mean I’m perfect or don’t have struggles of my own! I think everyone can benefit from doing this work, and I’m absolutely practicing these things in my own life too.

One of my biggest missteps was joining a small startup that ended up being a really poor fit for me. I went in with tons of confidence, and a few months later, I was wavering on my worth and my value, and struggling to feel happy even outside of work. It took me some time to take action to get out of this bad situation, shrug off the self-doubt it created in me, and regain my confidence. But I did! And that was a huge part of what led me to discovering my passion for helping other women do the same, so I now choose to look at the experience as a gift.

JJ: Let’s talk a bit about the business side of your Authentic Confidence Coaching Program to help provide insight and inspiration to future entrepreneurs. What tactics have you used to grow your coaching clientele?

Brody: Because coaching is really centered on trust, I’ve been focusing my client building efforts on conversations. I’ve made an intentional choice to move away from the volume-focused marketing strategies (social media, blogging, etc.) and spend my time having 1:1 conversations, or running workshops that I cap at 10-12 attendees. By offering each woman the space to be real with me or with a small group, I’m giving her the opportunity to try being vulnerable (maybe for the first time in her life), and to start showing up as her real self. And not surprisingly, this is far more likely to lead her to trust me and want to continue this work together than hoping someone clicks on my Facebook post!

JJ: We would like to leave readers with a little nugget of inspiration. What has been your greatest inspiration? Is there a particular quote, life motto or mentor you look up to that has given you unforgettable advice that you’d like to share?

Brody: My dad always loved the quote “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead.” I feel like it’s the perfect fit for my coaching philosophy, and I try to embody it in my own life as much as possible. After all, there will always be challenges, and you will always have the choice to let them hold you back or not. So, why not go full speed ahead?