March 17, 2021

Embracing Selfishness (yes, really) with Naketa Thigpen

Embracing Selfishness (yes, really) with Naketa Thigpen

“Stick with the definition [of selfish] if you want. If you want to say that it’s to fill your ego because it’s all about you, stick with it. I’ve redefined it as a personal intimate gift to create my joy. It’s that space that I need to do what I need to do for me, call it selfish, so that I have more to give freely.” - Naketa Thigpen 

I’m so excited to be bringing today’s guest back to the podcast, because her first appearance on Brave By Design was one of our most popular and talked about episodes. You may remember Naketa Thigpen, who spoke about work life balance and overcoming addiction to stress in that episode that aired early last year, and what we talk about today almost feels like a continuation of that amazing conversation. 

Naketa R. Thigpen, LCSW, is regarded as the #1 Balance & Relationship Advisor in the World, is the President & CEO of ThigPro Balance and Relationship Management Institute, a global personal development company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA that's revivifying the industry.

In this episode Naketa reveals how having an addiction to stress led her to redefine what being “selfish” really means, and the way being selfish can play a huge role in your personal and professional life. What she shares here is fascinating, and I hope you find it informative, and timely, during these challenging times. 

Connect with Naketa: https://thigpro.com/

Remember to hit SUBSCRIBE wherever you listen to podcasts!

What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • How the word “selfish” was, and still is today, weaponized against women [3:30]

  • What are some of the detrimental effects of not doing anything for yourself [6:56]

  • How do we start to be more selfish [15:51]

  • Why you need to be completely open and honest with the people in your life about your boundaries [21:57]
     
  • The key difference between being “nice” and being “kind” [28:31]

  • Actions steps you can take right now to slow down and assess what is going on in your body [38:45]
     
  • Ways to be kind to yourself, starting now [40:39]

  • Naketa’s thoughts on admitting what you really want, and the role that self-pleasure plays in being selfish [41:23]

Additional Links & Resources:

Tired of choosing between energy for your business and energy for your marriage? Join Naketa for her Free 5 Day Experience: The Joy Map Method Masterclass for Married Women Entrepreneurs Who Want More...

Register here> www.asknaketa.com/joymapmethod-masterclass/

Her Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn

Naketa's First Appearance on Brave By Design

Her Books 

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

Transcript
Naketa Thigpen:

Stick with the definition if you want, if you want to say that it's to fill your ego because it's all about you sure, stick with it. I've redefined it as a personal intimate gift to create my joy, that space that I need to do what I need to do for me call it selfish, so that I have more to give freely.

Laura Khalil:

Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking big, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Everyone, I want to welcome you to this episode of brave by design where we are bringing back one of our most popular guests most listened to episodes. Nikita, run pig pen is back in the house. Nikita, I got an intro you first so hold on one second. Okay. So first of all, it's like episode seven or something with Nikita, go back and listen to that as an in addition to this one is all about work life balance and overcoming addiction to stress. I hear from y'all about that episode. Today. I hear about that episode, constantly. And I knew we had to have Nikita back. So who is Nikita for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing this beautiful woman. She broke the barriers and glass ceilings nearly 10 years ago when she architected her professional skill set. As a psychotherapist, trauma specialist sexology and relationship expert with strategically infused tenants of breakthrough success coaching to race and create ripple effects inside the personal development industry now regarded as the number one balance and relationship advisor in the world. Nikita has become the go to for fast scaling, married women entrepreneurs, and power couples seeking to balance love and success without dimming or apologizing for their spirited ambition. Nikita, you just wrote a book called selfish. We're gonna talk all about it today. Welcome back to the show.

Naketa Thigpen:

Thank you, Laura. I am privileged and honored to be here. You are so fun. Say more like a week on and off camera. Okay. best conversations.

Laura Khalil:

We know we're off camera now. You know, and that's one of the greatest pleasures I've always found with podcast guests is when you can connect with someone. And you know what we connected so deeply on this episode about overcoming addiction to stress and it really struck a chord with people. And so I feel like there was something in there. This is feels almost like a part two to me of like, yeah, that addiction to stress that you really learn to identify is part of that. What led you to become more selfish?

Naketa Thigpen:

Absolutely. I was about to ask some expletives right there. And that's intense.

Unknown:

Exactly.

Naketa Thigpen:

Absolutely. It's for me. And you know, because you've had an opportunity to read the book and all that there was the reality that I wasn't being selfish because I had ties to the way most of us have ties to the word until we do the research and understand and it's a very antiquated word that was defined that way by right antiquated religion, and all the things that kind of layer into that. And then when I say antiquated religion, I mean, the original philosophies behind Pentecostal and coholic religious backgrounds, right, okay for people who come from that. So to give a little context for anyone who's listening to it now, and somewhere between 1620 and 1649, because the information changes based on which journals and articles you read, there was a Pentecostal Bishop, some say Catholic, some say Pentecostal, who basically said selfish was a bad word. And it went into the lexicon, because if you know anything about religion, someone of that stature who saw thing becomes a thing. They say a thing, it'd be classed as truth. Right? It's true automatically. And going further into the research for like, where why was it bad? Where did it come from? Women of that time, and the 1600s, as many of us know, had to get permission for everything in anything, including to justify their feelings of not wanting to have sex with their husbands just because the husbands demanded it because they were married. So when they asked for forgiveness around this horrible feeling that they were having to get some clarity on what they could do next, how they could resolve it and bring a solution. The solution was said, well, you are selfish. If you don't do it, you do whatever your husband asks you to do. Carry it and a discussion. God, I have a problem with that word.

Laura Khalil:

I mean, to think that it was used against women who, at that time, were trying to to liberate themselves from, you know toxic relationships or things they don't want to do in a relationship, and to see it continue to be weaponized, it is against women in 2021. And I'm sure you know, with your help, we're going to start seeing some of that change. But it is a four letter word.

Naketa Thigpen:

It is. Absolutely. And it's, it's one that we held on to, and we bought into as being wrong, you know, we say to other women, oh, what do you mean, you're going to say no to him or her or you're not going to bend over backwards and pull yourself into exhaustion. That's what we do. If you took on a title of wife, if you took on a role of mother, if you became daughter to elderly parents, this is what you do, period. And there's no discussion, there's no end to the conversation. Because we've bought into if you don't do what the world has said, is expected. Even though those expectations are completely outdated, and self serving for so many reasons, and are not helpful to our mental health. And our well being, then you're considered selfish, and we like to play the game of semantics of up self care isn't selfish. It's self less. It's what you do. Like No, actually, it is. It's totally selfish to stop breastfeeding the world for a moment to stop. Oh, right. So stop nursing, everyone who suckling from your energy, from your resources from your bandwidth, the little bandwidth you might have left at the end of the day to stop that and say, no, not right. Now. Technically, that's selfish, because you just cut them off at the knees and said, I need to fill up first, I need to fuel me. And I say that's okay.

Laura Khalil:

That seems when you hear you describe it that way. It sounds very straightforward. Like Of course, I need to like recapture some of my energy. Of course, I need to take time for myself. But women have so much trouble doing that. So Nikita, someone comes into your office, and they're coming to work with you. What are some of the byproducts of let's say, selflessness? Yeah, that you see in your clients? That is, I don't know, what are the detrimental effects of never doing anything for yourself?

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, you get beyond this, the surfaces, you know, I feel overwhelmed, I feel exhausted. Those are the surface things because those are the things that are kind of easy to say, and not necessarily easy to connect with, but easy to say, we'll use terms like I'm burned out, or I just don't have anything left. But how that shows up. If you're an entrepreneur or a high level career professional, that shows up as you being very tight and non communicative with your team, with your peers, with you coming off as like the queen bee in the group if you're a woman, and men can show up this way to like if they're over giving and overstretching themselves, because they're not being selfish intentionally, so they can feel up and then have something left to be selfless with. So for humans, male or female, if you're doing this, it's going to show up pretty much the same, we'll just have different terms for it. If you're a woman, you know, we give other letters to it, right? Starting with a B, and it's not Queen B. If you're a man, we usually call you an S, right? Like, oh, he's just, he's just horrible. He just this person. And you could be all of those things truly, but much of the time is coming from this space of you've been overstressed. You're exhausted, you're burnt out. You're having stress induced illnesses, you're having somatic symptoms in your body. really extreme, you can end up with a stroke and heart attack right now for eating behaviors, your libido is impacted, your cortisol levels are all over the place. And your parenting if you're a parent is affected if you're a puppy parents, an animal parent, you're not loving, and you're not caring, and I'm not comparing children to pets. Sure it you know, if you're nurturing normally, but you're not being selfish and filling up that tank. You're literally moving from exhaustion and resentment. And that's not how I would want to receive my loving friend Laura. I don't want her to show up for me saying, Oh, yeah, Nikita, I'll be there at this event or this birthday party or whatever. And the whole time you're there, you're like, will this thing be over? Like I had no dinner to cook, I thought this is you know, your checklist

Laura Khalil:

or not even present? Exactly. You don't negate it, you said something really interesting. And I want us to just drill into this a little because you said sometimes when you're not being selfish, you can show up as an ass or a bitch. And I think that might be very surprising to our audience, because a lot of times I think people misunderstand those cues as actually being selfish. So can you tell us a little bit more about that for people who may think well, wait a minute, aren't they selfish for acting, the way they're acting and you know, steamrolling me or whatever?

Naketa Thigpen:

No, no, that's a great point. So context, there's a continuum, right? There are people who are genuinely Not nice people. This isn't a lack of cup filling situation this is right, the unfilled I don't want to heal, this is who I am I accepted move out of my way I'm bulldozing, you know, through life. And then there's people who have literally given to the point that there's nothing left in the cup, it's residual, I don't have an empty cup, I have a water bottle right now. But imagine this as a cute cup, not a funky bottle, empty with the way that most of us have, when we use our glasses without our our fingerprints on the cup, you know, from the oil in our skin, it looks a little grimy. At the end of the day, if you had the same kind

Laura Khalil:

of gotta wash it, clean it up,

Naketa Thigpen:

you would hope but imagine that this cup is constantly being used over and over and over again and never actually being scrubbed clean. And never actually being full. Just Just like a little bit like you did a little devotional reading. Yeah, your read a self help quote on Instagram. Yeah, you know, you had a 10 minutes that you kind of sort of listen to your coach or your advisor or your therapist, and you're just constantly getting a little bit here and there. But you're reusing this grimy, yucky cup all the time. At some point, you get disgusted by sifting from it, you turn it to the point where you're like this is this is horrible, but you're too exhausted to go wash the cup and to refill it appropriately. So you keep using it. So imagine now someone visits your house, someone you love, and you say, oh, here use this cup. The same. Like that's that's exactly what we're giving giving them

Laura Khalil:

a dirty, overused, empty.

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, absolutely like that when we show up completely empty, because we're not being selfish enough to take care of myself. That's why they get the yucky, they get the attitude. They get the I don't feel like dealing with this. They get the lack of empathy, they get the non compassionate part of us that looks like we're being a bitch. It looks like we're being asked, right? It looks like all these negative things. And technically, the cup is dirty. The cup is sticky, the cup is grimy. You really are not being nice, right? Like it really is coming out your way. But it's because you're not filling up. It's not because you're inherently that person. It's because you haven't slowed down enough. You've mentally told yourself, Well, this is what I have to cook today. just happy to get something from me. And the truth is, are there are people who just they don't care. They they're like, I get a little bit of Laura, I don't care that she doesn't have anything left. I don't want her to slow down and take a break. I just want her to give it to me. We

Laura Khalil:

call them energy vampires. Okay, so that's an energy vampire. They will take whatever little thread they can get whatever crumb they can get or drop they can get and they don't care if it sucks you dry.

Naketa Thigpen:

They could care less because it's all about what's in it for me. Now. That is the old definition of selfish, right? Like that's a lie. My ego just filling up. And you know, I don't care that you don't want to have sex with me tonight. I want what I want, you're gonna roll over and give it to me. That's what that energy I believe that's

Laura Khalil:

called rape Nikita.

Naketa Thigpen:

Exactly. And that and that's exactly what it feels like, you feel like you're being great. But yeah, you know, energetically, right? Yes. But how dare you say no? How dare you stop giving because if you do, then you are now labeled and shamed as selfish. Where if we reclaim the word and understand like, Yes, I don't need you to redefine it in a traditional sense. Stick with the definition if you want if you want to say that it's to fill your ego because it's all about you sure, stick with it. I've redefined it as a personal intimate gift to create my joy that space that I need to do what I need to do for me call it selfish so that I have more to give freely without resent without regret without wishing I never met you because you, you know, I allowed you to emotionally and energetically rate me right when there is no consent to rate which is the other part. But we've been brainwashed to think that this is what you're supposed to do, at least in the American culture. Why I can't speak for all the cultures. But

Laura Khalil:

that's a really, really powerful statement. And it's I just feel like feel like taking like a big breath right now and just sort of for those who are listening, like breathe through that and hear what Nikita is saying because when our energy is stolen from us that way, it is violating Absolutely.

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, absolutely. And we hide from it. We'll never we'll never tell someone unless you you know happened to have someone that really really supports you in a sacred container, a sacred space like the way you and I create those spaces for people. Most of us won't be honest and say you're not I feel like they're just taking from me because there's shame around even admitting that that's happening. What do you mean you're not a superwoman? You're not impenetrable. Like you can do 55 things in 22 minutes. What in the world is wrong with you? I superheroes take commercial breaks to like, that is the reality. There's a commercial, the movie has an ending, there's a stopping point so they can heal and refuel, and come back and do whatever the greater good they're supposed to do, or else, the superheroes as for any of us, who are comic geeks, you know, some of the good go back, and why do some of the good go bad? Because they're not appreciated. And they're overuse, and they feel like, what's the point? I have more freedom, being bad and being nasty and being mean, because I get to put up a boundary that people now expect, and they don't shame me for the boundary. When boundaries are good. They're meant to be good. But we get to do that if we're mean or like, Oh, yeah, I expect her to say no to everything. Right. But if you're if you're nice, and you smile, and you're pleasant, well, I thought you would give me everything in your bank account. How

Unknown:

dare you not? You know, Nikita, this

Laura Khalil:

brings up a couple of interesting points. So a couple things I want to touch on. The first one is, how do we start to be more selfish, in ways that you know, even if it's just taking baby steps? And the second one is, as the person who's on the receiving end of your selfishness, the one who may be experiencing the boundary you're now holding? How can we be better friends to you? How can we understand? So let's let's start with first, how do we take a step towards being selfish, when it has been so demonized, we have been made to feel bad about it. And all that stuff?

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, I'd like to give people a really hard switch. Which is because it is really hard. And it's mind shifting to go from that space of completely living in a space of exhaustion all the time is what you're used to is it's normal, you expect other people to do it to into really reclaiming the honor of your body, the honor of your time and your bandwidth. So I give them the switch of Okay, you want to keep saying yes to that. Okay, no judgement. Let's start there. No judgment. I'm not here to judge you. I am going to ask you, what if today was your last day on earth? Would you still say yes to that? Would you still keep allowing that person to call you 20 times in the day as an example, when they know you have a major project yet? They just have to tell you one more thing. They just need to have access they need to get through? Would you continue to do that? If your doctor said you got 12 hours, Lord, I said 12 hours and it's done? How different would you live your life? How many more yeses and noes? Because it's not just about a no, right? It's about your yes to how many more of those would you give? And to whom would you choose to give? If you knew that there was no penalty tomorrow, because you wouldn't be here. So usually, like having that big visual shift in their body, it completely switches their energy, like, are you serious only have 12 to 24 hours yet, that's all you got. There's no miracle, there's no cure. There's nothing out there, like, time is ticking. And you'll have the same amount of energy you have right now. And it won't it won't go down the same road because some people hold on to being sick, right? Like there's a while if I'm sick, and I look sickly, and you know fevers and breakouts, and rashes, and other people will automatically understand I don't have to explain, well, what about the invisible illness of burnout? Right? Well, the invisible illness, for some people before it becomes pronounced cancer. It's very invisible for many people until it hits a point, auto immune illnesses, blood disorders, there's lots of horrible illnesses that are going on that people don't show on their physical being and then their energy. And unless they told you the label that they carry, you wouldn't know to give them an exception, and many of them won't tell you because they don't want the exception. So like looking at that, how does that flip your dynamic because most most people, again, it's always a continuum don't want to be pity. They don't want to be pity. So they won't tell you that they haven't slept in six months, they won't tell you that they're grieving someone in their life or a loved one that passed away three years to the point that they can't bring themselves to bury them. They won't tell you that they haven't had sex in a year, you know, and there's no medical reason not to, they won't tell you that because they're ashamed and that they don't want to be looked at different and pity. But what they will say is, well, you know, everybody in my life gets on my nerves. superficially, they'll give us justifications. So one of the things that I say is look at what you want more of, instead of looking at what you want less of what do you want more of so we can make room for it. And then we can work backwards kind of backwards from the outcome, like how you work with women who are trying to find their voice and, you know, you're starting potentially with podcasts. Okay, well, you want to make space for podcasts if you really want to share your voice with the world and there's content and editorial calendars, and there's all that stuff. But more importantly, how often do you want to do this right? Oh, well, you want to do this once a week but you just said you work 80 hour weeks? How do we make them What can we do? Yeah,

Laura Khalil:

absolutely. And I will echo what you're saying through my lens, which is at any time we want to grow, and we want to move into something or we want to move into different networks of people or different careers or jobs that are more fulfilling, you have to be willing to let things go. You cannot. It's like carrying, I'm going to be 41. This year, it's like me carrying 41 years of luggage behind me, as I try to like sprint or do a marathon into the future. How are you going to do that? When you're carrying all this junk behind you?

Naketa Thigpen:

You don't want that weight? Absolutely, that weight has to be like, oh, and we have to deal with the fact that you don't want to let go the weight because you're like a pack rack. like, Well, wait, there's something in there that I might need, right? Like, and might need that can have aerosol spray that I haven't used in 25 years, but it might come in handy. Right? Like you

Laura Khalil:

convinced yourself to my mother right now.

Naketa Thigpen:

It's like me holding onto a flat iron a miss, like, seriously, like, you don't have any hair man, like you cut your hair like 10 years ago, what's what's happening? You never know. Exactly right. Like, well, I have to hold on because just in case one day as if you can't replace the $25 exam iron, right. But we do that with so many things in our life, the siblings that we still communicate with regularly and invite to our houses knowing they disrespect us, the cousin that doesn't feel good. And we've resent seeing because we're holding on to the fact that they used to be our bully at some point. And they're still trying to show up as the bully in our life, who now looks like the person that we work with at work, who now looks like the person we started to date. Oh, we invite it right like that energy travels. And part of it is because we've chosen not to let it go. So a lot of it is love ownership for that.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, so let's talk then from the perspective of the person who is experiencing your selfishness, who's experiencing Wow, maybe they put up a boundary, maybe they aren't so available? Is that also for them? Like a reckoning moment of realizing, wait a minute, someone else is putting themselves first? Why am I not doing that? No, it's

Naketa Thigpen:

funny you say that. So it really depends on how they look at themselves. And if they have any self awareness, because not everybody does as much as we'd

Laura Khalil:

love to think they do. Don't even get me started. You know, I'm dating, don't get me started. You know how you sound right now?

Naketa Thigpen:

Right? Like don't go down that. So it really depends if they are even open to being self aware. So some people will personalize your boundary as a What did I do wrong to make you put up the boundary? Yeah. Okay, I think it's about them, which that really is their issue, right? And depending on who they are, you can educate them. Like, you know, what, Laura, the reason that I said that we can't talk every week is because my bandwidth is limited. So I could explain. Or I could say, No, I'm just not available for six more weeks. Right? Like, yeah, it depends on our relationship and the kind of the context of where I want to be. So you do have to connect with yourself with what position do people play in your life? Because we'll explain everything because of the people pleasing? Like we want to justify our no instead of having no have a period at the end of it, right. So some people in our lives like your closest people, your loved ones, your lovers, your parents, your siblings, people that you really do feel like I have a need to understand the change, because they now have to have a behavioral change to your change. Absolutely. Feel free to explain that over and over again. But to help them understand that you're transitioning into in yourself growth, and to give them some context. So they're not just seeing it as Oh, like, Whoa, what happened? boundaries? Right? I call my cousin Laura 20 times in a day, and now she's not answering my call at all right? And just being mindful, because you've trained cousin Tina, to know that it's okay to call you 20 times because, right, right.

Laura Khalil:

So what I hear you saying is you may have to retrain?

Naketa Thigpen:

Yes, it will have to treat you it is absolutely retraining and part of the retraining is in whether or not you explain what you're doing. Because if you explain to someone whose position is let's just say, three circles out from your inner circle, if you're explaining to that person three circles out, well, now they expect you to explain everything that you do anything that's different than then what they would have known for you to do before. And maybe you don't need to do that. So if you and I met at a networking circle, and we had a nice virtual team, and it was all good, there was a connection, and the next time you're like, oh, Nikita, can we jump on a call tomorrow? And I'm like, No, tomorrow doesn't work for me. How such a such time. If I've already given you the impression that you have a different position in my life and you do. Well you might now pull me into your rabbit hole and say, well Nikita understand what I mean. Like how busy Are you that you can be available for 20 minutes tomorrow, like, yeah, so my husband, I might explain that right to my daughter to, you know, to my friend, Laura, to this woman, Lisa, that I just met last week, you know, get an explanation. Because I'm giving you the impression that you have a different place in my life a different position. And part of that is the miscommunication of where we allow people to think that they could be with us, Nikita,

Laura Khalil:

let's talk about I am just hearing listeners who are like, Oh my gosh, I love this. I love this. I'm so scared for people not to like me.

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah. The people pleasing rises up strong, right with that. So my pushback for everyone who's listening and who's feeling like, Yeah, but so many people, they just, they know me to be this, I built my business off of being likable, like all of this, you're also allowed to evolve. Right? evolution is what we would hope for, from people that are in our circles, and is what we should expect of ourselves to give us from to evolve. And so the the selfish behavior isn't about being egotistical or mean, or rude to people, it looks like kindness. And kindness is authentic versus being nice. So being nice is what a lot of people who aren't used to being selfish do. They're nice and nice is really superficial. It's nasty. Actually, when you think about it, like you walk down the street, and you might be nice to someone who's on the street panhandling, you might be nice, like, Oh, you know, I hope that they have a good day, or I gave them some change, being kind would be stopping to have a conversation. But you're not necessarily and I'm not just talking about cuz you're rushing to a hospital or to work or something, right. But there is a difference in it. And so many of us aspire to look nice, because we don't feel connected on the inside to be kind enough to be realistic with what we truly want in the world, in all of our relationships. So let me be kind with my forever love with the person that I'm dating with this new potential power partner that I'm working with, let me be kind by setting up the expectation and advance when I can. If I've already had them in my world, then let me be kind to myself and say, You know what, john, Jane, whoever it is that you're with at the time, I just want to say I'm going through a little something. And I'm noticing that I have less energy than I like. And I would really like for us to be able to use my energy in a good way. I want to have great orgasms. I want to have good passionate sex. I want fun. Yeah, we have you know, friendship time or date time or whatever I want to really be present with you. In order to do that, I realized that I have to stop some of these other things. Like when you come from that strength based perspective, people hear you more because you're being kind, you're being authentic about your why and what's going on with you versus you just looking like you're putting a big wall and that communication. Wow.

Laura Khalil:

I mean, imagine someone coming to speak to you with that level of openness, vulnerability, clarity, empathy for themselves and for others. I mean, that is an impressive skill. I could not agree with you more about the difference between being kind and nice. I want to touch on something you said I'd love for you to dig into this. Yeah, that's something really interesting about niceness, being kind of like a veneer that is related to a disconnection with the self, if I understood you correctly, absolutely. Tell me more about how being nice may be indicative of not truly being connected to ourselves. Yeah,

Naketa Thigpen:

it's Middle School. Right? So most of us listening to this podcast are well past Middle School ages. And you know, in middle school, it was really important for you to not get in trouble even though you could be nice nasty, depending on which club you were in the grandkids club, the geeks club, the nerds club, you know, whatever

Laura Khalil:

I was in band. Imagine where I was.

Naketa Thigpen:

Right. But even within band, there was cliques. Yeah, right. Like there was cliques within cliques of always and there was this this need to separate belittle and put people in hierarchies that happens across but in middle school, we see it a lot for those of you who are listening who don't have children and can't remember back to middle school, middle school, somewhere between 11 and 13, maybe 14 depending on your your school district and your system. So just remember that 11 to 14 year old age where the risk for being bullied is highest. The risk for pregnancy is highest. The risk for being kidnapped is highest. Yep. Oh, and the risk for suicide, actual completion of suicide, not just ideation is actually high among that age group, not just age range, not just because of hormonal and metabolic changes, but because of the environment and the context that's happening now. That's when most of the friends were nice nasty, right. I'll be nice to Laura while we're taking this test because I know She's the nerdy one, and she could help me pass. But as soon as we're done, and in fact, I'm probably a little bit mean along the way, because I know she really wants to be my friend. I just want to make sure that I said, Hey, you want to help me with this? And then as soon as we're done, the test is like, Get away from me nerd, like, why are you here with me, this constant push pull, that's happening and pushing people into bubbles, it happens when we're 30. It happens when we're 40. And when we're 50. And beyond, because that middle school dynamic doesn't really go away, especially when you don't have good strong boundaries, because we live this space of just look nice. Just be nice. That's the mask, just be nice. While the adults are here, just be nice. And as soon as the adults move away, then you push and you poke the nerdy kid or the person who is as cool or that's not an athlete, right? We do it in all layers of our relationships until our 70s and beyond.

Laura Khalil:

What

Naketa Thigpen:

it's horrible,

Laura Khalil:

and there's this fear, I'm imagining of just being yourself, because you were probably at that age attacked in some way for being new. So it's not safe to be you. That's what I hear you saying?

Naketa Thigpen:

Absolutely. I mean, you're smart, you're musical, you're talented, but you're also not necessarily as fashionable carrying around a big bozo, or Oh, Joe, or whatever, like, I can't even pronounce his name. But whatever the big instrument is, that does not go with your outfit. Like, really, that's really awkward to be the super fashionable, you know, sleek, kid, blond hair, blue eye, whatever the representation is cool, and your culture and your community, when you have this other part of yourself and for even kids that and adults that don't play big, bulky musical instruments, they feel like that about their skill set. They feel like oh, well, I'm not a fashion model. I'm not an influencer. I'm not a, you know, a two pound toothpick. And even the two pound two pittsville like, well, I don't have the curves. I don't have the outline. Like everyone wants what the other one hand, it's middle school all over again. And it shows up all the time. Because we're constantly looking at how are we supposed to show up for people in the nice way, versus being really honest with ourselves and saying, You know what, I don't like those people. And I'm okay with that. Like, you don't have to like everyone you have to love people write love, be respectful. But you do not have to like, I get pushback for this all the time. I can imagine your listeners are gonna go crazy. But I say this about my own kids with the most immense love in the world. And I say it on stages of 5000 plus people. I love my children, and they are now young adults, almost 25 and 20 years old. We are grandparents now. I love them to life. I do not always like them. I simply do not always like them. And it is okay to be okay with I don't like everyone that I need. I'm going to love you with a love of the Lord. I'm always want to be respectful. I'm also want to let you know if need be. I'm a warrior first, please don't cross the line. Okay, like, I'm still gonna love you. I'm not gonna pull out a sward just to be mean. But I am gonna love you with kindness until you give me a reason not to, but you will never see me as being nice to anyone. Because it's an authentic.

Laura Khalil:

Well, that's what's gonna say, isn't that the marker, though? have great relationships, as people know, Nikita, I know, I can come to you, and you're going to be real with me. You're not going to lie to me, you're not going to be a yes, man. Right? You're going to tell me? Well, here's my perspective on the situation. I just want to be honest with you. I mean, you and I had a discussion last week, that very much went along these lines where we were catching up, and I was sharing some stuff in my life. And you say, hey, I want to just be real with you about you know, my opinion on that. And I respect that because I respect you. And I know you're not going to lie to me. I know like, you know, I mean, that seems, but I think a lot of people are scared. I think there is a dreadful fear of people hearing something about themselves that confirms their worst fears. It is.

Naketa Thigpen:

Absolutely the confirmation of inadequacy is huge. If you feel like you're going to be exposed because I mean, God knows we know this as entrepreneurs. It is the most exposing industry in the world as a high level classification of an industry. When you become an entrepreneur and this is no shade to anyone who loves being a high level or just whatever level professional right like being in kind of a system. When you go into entrepreneurship, you discover flaws You didn't even know existed. holes you didn't know you had air starts passing through parts of your body that was filled up there. Right. And part of it is because you are pushed into learning all new layers of yourself. as a clinician before, I'm still a clinician, but I worked in systems, I picked up a phone, someone was referred to me, boom, they're a client, there was no networking, there was no shaking hands and kissing babies, I didn't have to be nice. I just had to answer the phone. That's what has to do. And as an entrepreneur, it's no no one knows you, you can't use the moniker of this organization or its credibility, you know, you can if they like, look you up. But outside of that, you have to walk in authentically as yourself. And people are afraid that in their relationships, they won't be seen as awesome and amazing, because in their skill set as a professional, regardless of the title, they were, they're truly, really, most people are really, really good at what they're good at, regardless of whether or not they found their purpose, or they've created it. Their skill sets, they're really, really good at what they're afraid is that people will see this I'm not good at the parts that they want to show up as good at. So if I have a conversation with Laura, my friend who's intuitive, and I'm scripted and honest and raw, she's gonna be like, Huh, hon Nikita, you're you're dope diagnostician good clinician, all that good stuff and relationships. But the last time when we were talking about money, man, you can't count might call me out on and be like, Girl, like, you can't count. And maybe I don't want you to know that about me. Because now I think you'll see me as less of all the other things that I really am. Because of this one flaw, instead of appreciating that my good friend Laura, who's intuitive and, and pragmatic, and very thorough with listening to see how can I help Nikita be stronger. And part of that is pointing out not a flaw. But there's an area here, Nikita your mathematical area, that if you want to, I think it's something you might want to pay a little bit more attention to. So you can get stronger than that. So no one jumps you out of you know, your invoices or something. I'm picking on something random, but

Laura Khalil:

yeah. And what I love about that is that is an expression of love on the part of the friend is to say, I see something about you, that may be an area of improvement that maybe you've expressed having challenges with, I love you anyway, and I love you enough to tell you,

Naketa Thigpen:

you hit the nail on the head. I'm trying so hard not to grab on the rockers and make your own engineer very upset with me. I want to shake them right now. So hard. Okay,

Laura Khalil:

Okay, wait, thank you. Let's do it.

Naketa Thigpen:

But you just you hit the nail on the head. And I had to celebrate that moment. You mentioned the and like, I love you anyway, because it's an and you can be phenomenal at all these things and a hot mess in that other area. And I see you holy, I'm not trying to pull you apart because we do have people or may have met people, for those of you who are listening, that you've had in your life that were pretty incredible. But all they wanted to do was walk in your relationship and fix everything. They didn't want to see you as whole. They only wanted to see the problems. Now that is an issue. If you have people, sisters, platonic friends, brothers lovers in your life, that only want to point out the flaws so they can become the teachers of you in that area. Well, that's because they're hiding and being a fixer. They're hoping that you won't see their flaws if they just constantly point out yours. That is a very different situation than someone who sees you wholly and sees in the wholeness of you like her. There's a little crank right here. There's some cellulite show in through your shorts right here. Right? Like,

Laura Khalil:

you know, you

Naketa Thigpen:

want to let it hang or do you want to cover it up? Let me know girl so I can help you out.

Laura Khalil:

Right. That's it. But that's the truth.

Naketa Thigpen:

Let me have your back. Yeah, yeah.

Laura Khalil:

I love it, Nikita. For our listeners who are just soaking all of this up, what are a couple actionable takeaways that we can give them to move forward?

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, I would say first, I'm glad that you asked that truly. The first is to give yourself permission to slow down. So you can speed up like I always say permission to pause but sometimes it's not just about the pausing. It's just slowing down to assess like what's going on with you. Are you over giving, are you overstretching? Are you pouring from a sticky, dirty yucky cup, right like just slow down enough, you know, put a block of time on your schedule, preferably at least once a week for somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes where you can have some self assessment and reflection time. While that looks like you sitting on the couch, wiggling your toes looking up at the ceiling saying okay you know I'm talking to you subconscious what's going on with you with what's happening and doing a body scan from head to toe to really get kind of a connected feeling of Where are your your pains coming from like what's tight, what's feels loose, but what feels good, what feels stiff and stuff and asking yourself on a deeper level what what is that connected to that So if I'm having lower back pain, that's typically because I'm feeling unsupported. Now, you may not necessarily know all of those things, but you can ask your body, you can ask your subconscious. What's coming out? Why am I having lower back pain? Why am I having shoulder pain and like, sit and listen, you got to sit with yourself, though, this isn't the version of meditation that most people are used to. But this is meditative for you to just take that time to take stock in what's going on with you is huge. Have a pen and a piece of paper or a journal with you and and write down like what's coming up for you. And reflect back, that would be the first thing that I would do. If you're just spinning and you're constantly going, I would also be kind to myself. It's okay,

that prior to 4:

44pm, you know, this particular day, yeah, prior to this moment, I wasn't kind to myself, I wasn't these things, I allow these other people, these energy vampires in my life, it's okay, that that happened. But for 44 going forward, now that I heard brave by design, I'm no longer going to allow that, right? Like just being kind to yourself instead of penalizing yourself. Because we do that. We'll bash ourselves for all the mistakes, and then we're too exhausted, to pull ourselves up and do different going forward. Because we're tired. We just pummeled ourselves. So instead of doing that, being really kind to yourself would be helpful. And I would say like, no kind of next tangible step is admitting what you really want and creating some boundaries, so you can get it. That's, that's all balances you. And I talked about that admitting

Laura Khalil:

what you really want and creating boundaries. So you get it, folks, listen to that. Yeah, admitting what you really want. That is very hard for people to do. Yeah, truly, Nikita, I've one more thing, I almost forgot about it. I have to bring it up because of your work in sexology. What role does self pleasure play? In being selfish? We have not even talked about it. And I just want us to be able to touch on that. Because I still think for women masturbation is so taboo. It is, and I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

Naketa Thigpen:

Yeah, you know, for those of you who don't agree with this, you're not gonna like my answer, it is huge for you to be able to create intimacy with yourself. And intimacy is 360 degrees, it is emotional intimacy, being able to look at yourself in the mirror, the same way you could look at your forever love or you know anyone in your life and not feel like you have to stand back and just give them a side eye because you can't truly look into the eyes of their soul. It is physical intimacy, being able to communicate what you want, the way that you want the way that you like it. Also, being able to receive communication, when someone is telling you Hey, I like it like this. I don't like that without personalizing and being offended. And it's really hard to do that if you don't know what you like, if you don't know how you like to be touched or stroked or what your trigger zones are. Many of us who come from spaces where you may have been violated in your past, especially physically, as a child and or as an adult, you do have trigger zones on your body that actually bring up tension from your trauma, you want to know what those are. And part of how you find that out is doing that body scan that we talked about head to toe, but also touching while you're doing that body scan head to toe and feeling like Oh, I got tense, when I touch the nape of my neck and checking in, well, Where is that coming from? And it doesn't mean you have to go all the way back to the violation. But you immediately feel like the creepiness or the shakiness or the stickiness of that moment and saying, Okay, well, this is not a place that I feel good when I touch. And now obviously, if you want to go further, you want to go to therapy, you want to have an advisor that you can explore and correct that sensory issue that you're having. But just to know where it's coming from is really important. On the other side, the non traumatic side, being able to touch yourself and know what your erogenous zones are, is really helpful and sparks so much passion in the bedroom, when you have someone that you've consensually invited into that, you know, experience with you, where you can say you want to make this an experience or you want to make this as a mind blowing experience that will make you not want to leave this room for the next 364 days. Because if I know what I want, I can show you how to please me and if I'm happy, you're going to be extra happy, right? That's right. So it is really important to be able to do that with yourself. Now, there's a religious context to this because I know there's a lot of people and for those of you who are like, Oh, she's special, and she has a cup of cussing. I actually am a minister too. So I'm an ordained minister.

Laura Khalil:

Oh my gosh,

Naketa Thigpen:

I'd say well, I t's I get kicked out of churches all the time because I'm too honest. But for those of you who have religious limitations, and you may see it that way. So it's a little bit subjective statement for me to call it a limitation. But if that's something that's really strong for you, then I have no judgement about it. That's for you and your God and your community and your organization. But understand that other people don't necessarily resonate with that. I'm one of those people I know physiologically It is very helpful to understand your own body and to be in touch with your own body and create intimacy with your own body, physically, emotionally, spiritually, all of the things sexual energy as a transmutation energy that you can use to power you up to do so many amazing innovative things at work. have an orgasm at 7am and report the work by nine and you tell me that you won't work circles around that Excel spreadsheet. Okay. Listen,

Laura Khalil:

I love it. Well, you know, you know how I feel about this stuff. I mean, like I couldn't agree more fully about the power of doing this. And I want people to hear it from you directly. Because you're really the expert in this area. So they kiddo love having you on. I don't want to and you have a masterclass coming up, correct?

Naketa Thigpen:

I do the joy map method masterclass. I'm very excited about that happening March 22.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, and how can people learn more?

Naketa Thigpen:

I'm going to say we will make sure that the link to register for I keep wanting to call everything's an acronym in my world right the jmm the joy map method masterclass is available to you it's free. It's five days it's an hour a day, we want you there live, there's incentives for being there live but we understand you have full and productive orgasmic lives so you may have to catch the replay and that's okay too.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, so everyone check the show notes. For that we will have that listed. Nikita, it has been such a pleasure to have you on brave by design.

Unknown:

I love you so much. Thank you.

Laura Khalil:

I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode. Please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave