Is it almost automatic for you to adjust to the needs and preferences of others just to keep the so-called calm? Are you afraid of saying no to things for fear of not having something to replace them in the future? Well, you’re very likely a people-pleaser, just like many of us. And as you’ll see in this episode, this people pleasing mode almost always comes with its sister, the scarcity mindset.
Clara Artschwager, a dating and relationship coach who helps women in their 30s and 40s, joins us today to share her exciting, expert insights on people pleasing as seen both in business and relationships. She also talks about the importance of knowing just who you’re a match for. Last but not least, Clara touches on how some people, regardless of our time with them, can actually act as vitamin infusions to our lives.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur looking to find the best match for you (in business or dating!), this episode is for you!
👂 Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
How people-pleasing shows up both in business and your relationships.
Why you shape-shift to please others and how it blocks you from what you truly want.
Co-creating with the universe to call in the quality of relationships that you desire.
Let me meet you where you’re at, whatever you need, and get you on your way and ready to go to the next thing! Apply now for one of 10 spots in my 90-minute Biz Clarity sessions!
Apply now for 1:1 Coaching with me - a copilot for all your creative entrepreneurial needs.
Join the waitlist for the next Diana Davis Creative Retreat!
Check out previous episodes on Pollen!
Attract your dream clients with my free masterclass!
Access other courses from Diana Davis Creative.
Use code "DIANA," for $50 off I Think I Like You: The Course
In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon by Dr. Joe Dispenza
We Can Do Hard Things Podcast with Glennon Doyle
Family Secrets Podcast with Dani Shapiro
🎧 Episode Highlights
[05:58] Clara’s Journey to Being a Dating and Relationship Coach
Clara never set out to be a dating and relationship coach. Looking back, she sees all the pieces that came together starting from her childhood leading up to her current career.
She used to work in marketing for early-stage companies for around 12 years.
Clara’s career got derailed when she got violently sick with a leaky gut in her early 30s.
Her coach at that time told her she could be a coach. However, Clara turned the idea down as she comes from a family that looks at coaching as “not intellectual enough.”
She feels like she surrendered to relationship coaching when she started to listen to her inner force telling her to embrace the career in 2017.
[16:52] Digging into People Pleasing
For Clara, people pleasing is mostly rooted in being in a distorted environment, like living with someone with mental health issues.
Those with people pleasing tendencies preserve their survival by observing the needs of others so they could shapeshift themselves to maintain a calm environment.
Clara has learned to give herself patience and grace because people pleasing is so deeply-rooted in her nervous system.
[19:40] “Our survival was rooted in basically feeling into and observing other people's needs so we could mold and shapeshift ourselves to meet them there and maintain that calm, homeostasis environment.” - Clara
[22:59] People Pleasing in Business
Clara feels like people pleasing will always be a part of her on the business side of things; she wants to give herself grace and acknowledge the struggle instead of expecting herself to never do it again.
Clara has ebbed and flowed in that regard, but she feels it has always been easy with the clients she knows she’s meant to work with.
Diana feels that being in people pleasing mode means not trusting the collaboration of the universe with us.
[29:51] The Siblings: People Pleasing and Scarcity Mindset
For Clara, people pleasing and the scarcity mindset are siblings, both in business and dating.
She has experienced filling the hole in her mind that worried about never meeting the right one for her.
In turn, she resorted to people pleasing, which ultimately led to her not being authentic with her partner and herself.
Clara went through the same thing in her early career when she still thought she needed to solve everyone’s problems.
[35:34] “We’ve been so indoctrinated into ‘if it’s good or it’s worthy, it’s hard,’ like we should have to struggle in what we’re doing. The most successful client relationships, to me, fee like breathing.” - Clara
[36:28] Different People as Vitamin Infusions
After coming out of a six-year relationship, Diana met someone who was full of green flags. However, the relationship ended because it didn’t feel right.
Clara feels like Diana’s experience is like having an IV session of vitamin infusions.
The relationship didn’t last, but it ended up helping Diana grow and learn more about herself.
[43:40] Knowing Who You’re a Match For
Diana uses the Cosmic Shopping List every time she dates someone.
For Clara, alignment with self is the first thing. She has a few things in her life she loves that are totally independent of her work.
The next thing is an individual’s curiosity and self-awareness to discover more about themselves. It’s important to her that they understand that there’s work to be done, and they need to show up and meet her where they are at.
The third thing for Clara in finding a client match is always making sure the individual she’s working with has a system in place for processing serious trauma, like depression or abuse, in a healthy way. It is also important that the individual has worked or currently working with a therapist.
[42:20] The Universe as Our Bartender
Diana loves the idea that the universe is our bartender and we’re in a cool mixology bar.
There, we can say what drink we want to the bartender, and they will spice it up by putting their own creative spin on it.
Clara agrees with this idea. She feels like people need to know the type of partner that’s going to best serve them, and the same thing goes for business clients.
But, the process takes time and the best results aren’t always the same as we imagine, but still what we desire nonetheless.
[51:51] “I spent a lot of my days dating with people that I thought I should like or I should be with, and that's all fine, that was part of the process. But we've got to get through that, and that's hard.” - Clara
👩 About Clara
Clara Artschwager is the founder of I Think I Like You, a coaching and content company and community dedicated to helping women build romantic relationships—but not at the expense of themselves.
She works with women all over the world, from New York to Australia, LA to tiny beach towns off the coast of Massachusetts. Her work has been featured in the Cut, Mind Body Green, Well+Good, Girlboss, and more.
She's also the host of the weekly podcast of the same name (I Think I Like You) where she shares content and conversations dedicated to helping listeners lift themselves out of the malaise of standard dating content and create nuanced and nourishing relationships fit to their terms. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband James and their two pups.
😍 Enjoyed this Podcast on People Pleasing?
People pleasing is just so ingrained in our nervous systems that we often express it in business and relationships. The scarcity mindset almost automatically follows through!
Pollen is a podcast for Creative Entrepreneurs—just like you! If you enjoyed this episode of Pollen Podcast, subscribe and help us spread the word by sharing it! Your dream life is there for you to take — and you can help others find lives they can love too.
Leave a review and share it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐If you enjoyed tuning in to this podcast, we'd appreciate it if you wrote us a review. You can also share it to help other creative entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram, @dianadaviscreative! You can also subscribe to my newsletter for travel updates, learn about special projects, and get tips and tricks for the creative entrepreneur life!
Connect with me on Linkedin: Diana Davis Creative.
Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources!
Clara Artschwager: I bet you look at that relationship that you, you know, you can say it's a fling, but like did that help you come into who you are as a person?
Diana Davis: Oh 100%. It did exactly what it needed to do. And that's almost more of a mindfuck because then you go, “Should I have hung on, should I have made that work,” you know?
Welcome to Pollen, the ultimate podcast for creative entrepreneurs. My mission: to empower you to make more money doing what you love, work with dream clients, and turn your creative gifts into a thriving business without the burnout. I'm your host, Diana Davis, business coach, Gemini, manifesting generator, macha snob, and full time nomad.
Here's the deal. I went from creating a six-figure photography business to helping amazing creative souls like you build your own empires. So, I've been there. I get it. Whether you're an artist, designer, writer, yogi, or anything in between, this podcast is your treasure trove of inspiration. So grab your favorite notebook, maybe a matcha, and let's embark on this incredible adventure together.
Welcome to another guest episode of this podcast. It is such a fun one. We're actually talking dating and relationships and hustle culture. We're getting into it. This is like real life stuff, not just entrepreneurship, but like personal development, life, relationships, how we are with other people, how we bring our bullshit to the table, how we interact, dating apps, my story, all of the above.
My friend Clara is going to just deliver here. It's like, again, just sitting on a couch with us having a glass of wine and talking deep subjects, fun deep subjects. So Clara is the founder of I Think I Like You, a coaching and content company and community dedicated to helping women build romantic relationships, but not at the expense of themselves.
She literally works with women all over the world from New York to Australia, L.A., to tiny beach towns off the coast of Massachusetts. Her work has been featured in The Cut, Mind Body Green, Well+Good, Girlboss and much more. She's also the host of her own podcast, which I was on — we will have to link that in the show notes — I really dig into my breakup on that episode. So you'll have to check that out as well. It's the same name: I Think I Like You.
She shares content and conversations dedicated to helping listeners lift themselves out of the malaise of standard dating content and create nuanced and nourishing relationships fit to their terms. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband James and their two pups and she talks a lot about her recent marriage and what that was like for her and crossing that threshold.
I also want you to know that she has a course which I highly recommend. It's a self paced course and you can use the code “DIANA” for 50% off. It’s the I Think I Like You: The Course so check that out. You're gonna love this episode. Come have a glass of wine with us on the couch cozy up and just have a listen.
Hi, Pollen. I've been hearing from so many of you for probably the last six months that you are really craving a one-on-one opportunity with me to just dig in, hard and fast strategy, 90 minutes, you're in, you're out, you're moving on and going and doing the thing. Think of it as like a biz tune-up, right?
Okay, so I've listened. I've done my biz clarity sessions before, haven't released any in a long time, and I am in celebration of the Pollen season two podcast. I am releasing 10 90 minute biz clarity sessions. You can use this for whatever you need in your business right now. It is a “meet you where you're at” strategy session, whether it's social media or pricing or product suite or boundaries, messaging. Anything you need, we can do it in this 90 minutes and get you on your way, ready to go to the next thing.
This is a great option for you if you're not really looking for a full three-month immersive program or a three-month immersive coaching situation, you're just needing a little tune up, a little bit of clarity. I'm here for it. So many people have gotten such great results just from these 90-minute sessions. So I'm gifting this to you. We are doing them for 555 instead of the regular 750. We are opening 10. That's it. So there are links below in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you.
Hi Pollen, you're in for another treat of an episode with a guest, and this time it's going to be more of kind of an expert episode and we're getting into dating and what that looks like with business. So that gives you a little teaser.
I have my friend Clara here, she is a dating and relationship coach. Hi, Clara. It's so good to have you here. All the way across the world, I'm coming in from Australia, you're coming in from upstate New York.
Clara: Yep. Yeah, Hudson Valley. Yeah. Hello, I'm excited to be here. It’s Tuesday where I am, it's Wednesday, where you are.
Diana: Yeah, time is so weird. I would love to just like, let's just dig right in. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? Who are you as a human? Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Clara: Hmm, well, I've never started a podcast this way. But I feel called to in this moment to share, I'm a Scorpio sun, a Leo rising, and a Sag moon. And I am a hardcore projector. I, who am I? I mean, it's funny. I just turned 37 last month and in some ways, I'm picking up my head being like, “I have no idea who I am.” And in other ways, I'm like, “I'm getting so much clarity.” So I feel like it felt a bit of that, like the older you get, the less you know.
Diana: Yeah, it’s a difficult place.
Clara: Yeah, it is. And I just crossed an interesting and new threshold in my own romantic life. I got married just about six weeks ago. Thank you. And that is, it's interesting. I was just texting with a former client last night and she said I would you know, I'd really love to hear about that when you get a chance. And I said I'll give you a cliff notes version. It didn't feel like an arrival. It felt like a beginning. Like I'm entering a new chapter, and not just with my partner, but with myself, which I think is like kind of interesting, right?
It's like you pair with someone, and yet I've had this like whole new kind of reckoning with myself as an individual, which was really unexpected. But how I got into what I do, very much like falling ass backwards, which, and listening to, you know, well in hearing your story and listening to the interviews with other people, I think it often is that way for us, when we end up on these paths that don't necessarily fit the quote-unquote, mold.
I never set out to be a dating and relationships coach. And yet, the more I look back on my journey from probably like age five, I see all the pieces adding up from that. And I think it'll continue to feel that way as my life sort of unfurls. But the very high-level version is, I spent the first decade-plus in my career, and in somewhat in DC, and then primarily in New York, working in marketing, mostly for startups. So going into early-stage companies.
I didn't fare that well in corporate America, though, I had my stints, here and there. And so I did well, where people were creating something from nothing, which I think really aids me in doing my own thing. But marketing was very much like a, well, this is just what you do. I did my undergraduate degree in philosophy in women and gender studies at Johns Hopkins. And I initially was gonna go to law school because my parents were both artists. And I was like, well, I don't want that up and down, you know, life, even though my dad was actually a very successful artist. So there was a lot of consistency there.
But I was very much like, no art, I'm not doing something creative. Which is an interesting thing to say now. And I know, I know, the joke's on me. So I was like, I'm gonna go to law school because I want a nine-to-five, and I want that structure, and I want that 401 K. And I never even took the LSAT. I don't know what sort of I was thinking back then, but I ended up in marketing, because when you have a liberal arts degree, that's sort of what you do. Sure.
I think that I was, I know that I'm not the greatest marketer. I was pretty good at like, reading what people wanted, which is part of my people pleasery and codependency, but I think in terms of the relationship between, you know, I'm a coach now, but it's very much about unearthing sort of like, what's at the root? What's at the base, what's going on underneath the surface? And how is that translating to a pattern that we do or don't want in our life? And how do we change things?
And I think when it came to marketing, and that sort of the umbrella of like, brand PR communications, all that jazz? It was how do I want to make people feel? How do I want to make people feel seen in a way such that they invest or subscribe or purchase the thing I'm putting before them,? Which sounds a little bit manipulative in nature, but I mean, it's most of what, what marketing is, and branding isn't, it's all rooted in storytelling, and all that kind of stuff, too.
Long story short, I did that for like, 12-ish years. And then, in my early 30s, when I was sort of at the pinnacle, the title, the salary, the whole thing, I got violently sick with a, I have leaky gut, feel like it's very, like, you know, 2000s to get like, you know, an autoimmune or a gut imbalance and then have you throw you off course. And that's what happened to me.
I had SIBO, for anyone else who had that. And it just, you know, you get sick because you're out of alignment and you don't know what at the time, but that was the thing that kicked me out of that job and that life and that career. And I had a coach at the time who was like, “I think you're a coach.” And I was like, “No, I'm not. No.”
Diana: Who do you think you are telling me that?
Clara: Yeah, totally. Which was also like, just racked in fear, because I came from a family that was like, “You don't do that.” That's, “You don't become a dating relationship coach, like that’s just not intellectual enough.” So I had a lot of resistance there. And that's why I say I kind of fell into it because really, when I started my coaching training when I was like, okay, fine.
I sort of threw up my hands, circa 2017, and was like, I'm gonna do this thing, it was surrender. In hindsight, it was like, I'm just going to start to try to listen to the greater force within me. And that has not always been easy, but it definitely like once I started to do that and lean into that, things just started to come my way.
The dating and relationship piece of things, and we can get more into this, but to try and keep this short is that because I came from an environment and I say environment, not just divorce, that just kind of a long history on both sides of my family were like, marriages just not work out. Relationships were not doing well, there was a lot of family history around like, dissatisfaction, cheating.
I just knew from a very early age like, this is not going to be an area of my life, that I'm gonna know how to do well, like I just, I just don't. And so, more so anecdotally, or personally, I was always passionate about love and intimacy and relationships and when things work and when they don't, why two people are drawn together, and how you could create a life with another from a very young age. But it wasn't until that kind of juncture, becoming a coach and that all going on in my personal life where I was like, oh, I’m meant to bring the two together.
That really started with, and I feel like for anyone who is, first it could be anything but pursuing something creative or building something like really what happened in 2017 and 2018, especially with like, just started listening to what needed to come through? Like what what was just like screaming to get out of me? And there was a lot around dating relationships that was and that that was the, sort of writing and sharing and kind of owning that that's what led me to where I am today. So yeah.
Diana: Yeah, so I've so many things that I want to dig into, specifically with dynamics between two people, whether that's dating or business. But I'm curious, what do you consider yourself a specialist in like? Is there a niche that you really focus on? Or is it just all love dating relationships?
Clara: Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, in terms of where I focus, and I'm sure you have some, like sense of this in your own business, but I tend to attract who I was slash I am, right? So it's like, I tend to attract women in their 30s and 40s who have a general handle on mostly work and career, but they're not coming at relationships from a place of like, “I'm desperate for this thing to complete me.” Excuse me.
It's more that, “This thing hasn't worked out and I've done a lot of work on myself, and I've named that therapy and that personal development, you know, whatever that looks like. And it's just still hitting a wall.” And for me, because of where I've come from, I've always needed, I need a lot of room to make errors in love.
I think it's a combination of both that woman who has one particular area or a lot of areas of her life sort of locked in, if you will, although I'm sure we'll get into this, it's all kind of connected. And there's the area of love and relationships is something where they just, it does not come into fruition in a way that either at all, or that I feel good about. And I think the piece around room to mess up and make error, that's more my philosophy, that's more of my like, I don't know, I can get pretty existential pretty quickly around, like, what is this thing we're all doing?
Yes, like the, you know, the practice and of marriage is, you know, very much based in like patriarchy and that type of thing. But when it comes to like, human-to-human connection, and relationships and how we thrive, like, what does that really look like? What are the different permutations of that both romantically platonically, and all that kind of stuff? So, I need a lot of room there.
I think by way of the women I work with, I give people a lot of room and also, I'm very, very big on because I tend to work with everyone, also on career, and just looking at the synergies between those two things. Both how they show up in their work, the nature of their relationship to their work, and how that's translating to the nature of the relationships they're having or are not having.
Diana: Yeah, beautiful. Let's dig into people-pleasing.
Clara: Oh, god, oh, I used to think I was a recovering people-pleaser and now I'm like recovering-ish. Like, I feel like it just feels like I’m discovering new layers.
Diana: Can I just say like a little tidbit relationship-wise, I'll drop, you know, I was like, podcast if you're here, if you're in Pollen, you're honestly getting the most raw, authentic version of the story, Like a lot of behind the scenes that I don't share. Hopefully, he never listes to this episode, but I just had a guy fly from Melbourne to Brisbane, no, from Brisbane to Melbourne to see me.
Great, awesome, fun, fling, whatever, rolling with it. He is a very particular person, really nice, really great, very particular, like things have to be a certain way. For example, sleeping, things have to be a very specific way for him to sleep. I grew up with depression in my family. And so I am like, highly attuned to when people are uncomfortable or like off-frequency.
He's having a hard time sleeping, like literally getting like two hours, all night. And I am so uncomfortable because he's uncomfortable, that my people-pleasing self literally slept in the guest room of my own Airbnb, just want to put that out there. Like what? You know, and I think we bend over backwards. And I would love to hear your people-pleasing definition. But we bend over backwards so that we actually feel comfortable.
It's more to like make them feel comfortable so we feel comfortable, which I love, I actually had a client say people pleasing is manipulative, because it's not really about that person having a good time or like being happy. You don't really care. It's more like your comfort level being around that person. So love to hear your thoughts.
Clara: It's such a good example. And it's funny because I'm a finicky sleeper. So there's a couple things you can touch on here. But I love that you brought up, just rooted in like, I grew up with depression. And we could insert so many different things in there, I could say I grew up around anxiety, or we could insert I had a sibling that was suffering from mental health issues, or I had a parent with a substance abuse, like something that was distorting the environment. So our survival was rooted in basically feeling into and observing other people's needs so we could mold and shape-shift ourselves to meet them there and maintain that like calm, homeostasis environment.
The problem, and I still grapple with this myself, you know, and it's something that you know, kind of like to recovering quote-unquote, people pleaser, I've now learned just how much patience and grace I'm going to have to give myself because of how deeply that stuff is rooted in our nervous system. So here you are, this person comes to visit. You know, you could have been laying there, Diana, and been like, I'm fully aware that my desire to go to the guestroom right now is because I am doing that for his sake, or I'm worried about him.
But your nervous system might you may not have been able to sleep either. Like you could have the awareness, and it's interesting because I'm actually the person occasionally, who will go to our guest room because I won't be able to sleep. And what I won't want to do is like jostle my husband and say like, stop snoring or whatever it may be. Because every morning that like we get up and I have like made my way to the guest room because I couldn't sleep. I'll say, “It was your snoring.” Like, “Why didn't you just wake me?”
Sometimes I'll be able to, like, disturb him because I'm not too worried for some reason about upsetting him, even though that would be his preference. And other times, I actually can't do it. Now in the context of someone who you don't know that well, or you've just met, right, and it's like, early days, like, I don't know, like I think that yes, you could say like I was appeasing him by going to the other room. But I could also see a world in which like, it's going to take time to almost like massage your nervous system in that way. Does that make sense?
Diana: Totally. Yeah. And that's just one example and I can fully tell you the whole weekend I was people-pleasing in many many many way ways. Just to like go with the flow.
Clara: I need to stop you there because, and this is something that happens all the time with clients where it's like, that is truly the only way that we learn. Like by being almost in a way like burning ourselves over and over and over and over again like I, barely two months? Two months. Two and a half, whatever.
Barely two months before I met my now husband, I was seeing someone. And I remember, he lived in Brooklyn, I was upstate at the time. And I remember standing in his apartment and having a conversation with him about visiting me upstate. And I remember the nature of the conversation was exactly like a really toxic relationship I had two years prior.
It was only in that moment, I was able to step back and be like, “I am literally reliving and doing the same thing.” Right. And so I just, I think, like, this is how we learn by doing the things so frickin wrong. Not wrong, but like, you know what I'm saying? There's probably a part of you that's looking back and was like, “Why did I do all of that while he was listening?”
Diana: Yeah, totally. Totally. So as it relates to business? Yes. Let's talk about that, too. Because I mean, literally one of the biggest topics, or not biggest, but just the most brought up topics is people-pleasing, right? It's like we want people to sign up for our programs so we're going to bend over backwards to get them in the door, even though it may be isn't the right fit. We're going to stretch our own boundaries to accommodate other people, because that makes us feel more comfortable.
We're not going to, we can't send the, raise the price email, because what if they don't like me anymore? You know, like, I would love to hear kind of your perspective on, you know, we've already dug into a little bit why we do that or some of the things behind that. But like, what are your thoughts on people-pleasing in general?
Like, maybe it is, I really love this fresh perspective of, it's actually okay to do that, as long as you're sort of reflecting and aware of it to like, relearn the pattern, you know, so instead of beating ourselves up, like “God, why can't I just be recovered from this people-pleasing thing?” Giving yourself some grace?
Clara: Yeah, I mean, there's probably partially projection on my part. But like, when it comes to, you know, I'll have clients who will say to me, and I get it, they're like, “When is this going to be over?” In the sense of like, “When am I going to reach almost that like state of Nirvana?” Or I won't have these like, uncomfortable and annoying and triggering, and like, rooted in wounds behavior in myself. And I think this comes back to like, the thing I was saying at the beginning, like, the older I get, the less I know.
I've just realized, it's like, luggage, I'm always going to be carrying like my codependency, my people pleasery will like mitigate and shift and ebb and flow over time. But it's like, it's always going to be with me in a sense of like, I'm going to be weighed down. But like, if I give myself the grace to be like, this is something I struggle with. And in that way, I'm able to give myself grace for managing it versus like, expecting it, expecting myself to never do it again.
There's that. On a business front, as you were like, going through all that, I was like, yeah, you know, I have, I've done that. I've been that person. You know, I have ebbed and flowed in that regard. But it just reminded me that, whether it's a relationship or a client, it's like, the people I am most meant to work with, it has been easy.
What I mean by easy, it's been like friction-less, that if I'm embodied and doing my thing, and creating content, or sort of sharing from a place of just like, quite literally what wants to be birthed out of me, then the people show up, who are most in alignment with that. And when we have that discovery call, or we have that initial conversation, it just flows. There isn't resistance.
When I have a series of, there have been periods in my business where it's like, there isn't that flow, then I know I must be doing something on the back end, where the way in which the people-pleasing manifest is more like maybe I think I'm supposed to be putting out certain content, or looking a certain way at the dating and relationship coach, or making my prices a certain amount when I really, like, out of integrity with them.
I use it now as like, an indicator. Like I know when there is friction and like I've had a series of calls or something like that where people are like, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Or they're like, “Yeah, sure,” like a light you know, then they totally ghost, right? I'm like, oh, what kind of energy am I putting forth? I'm curious how you kind of navigate that.
Diana: Yeah, I mean, it's so funny because I fully believe that it should be easy. Like, I'm such an advocate for working with your dream clients. Like instead of just saying yes, because that's where the burnout happens, right? That's where the hustle happens. It's not only, it's all about energy and boundaries at the end of the day, and communication.
But if you, you know, are forcing it, if you are convincing people, if you are saying yes to literally everything, even though you have that, like gut knowing that it's going to not be a good relationship, or there's those red flags from like, literally five minutes in but you say yes, anyway, that's when our burnout happens, that's when we're doing too much. That's when we're blocking ourselves from the right people, which, you know, in business, a little less pressure than dating, like we can work with multiple people. Right?
It's not, we don't have to find the one, if you will. But yeah, I think it should be easy, I think it, when it is right, it is friction-less, as long as you are showing up in your authentic self. Because if you're not, then you're attracting something different. Right? And that's a whole thing. And I think when we're in this people-pleasing mode, we're actually morphing ourself, away from that authentic self.
We don't have to be a bitch with boundaries, to like, have a good client base, or have people respect us and respect our time and respect the energy exchange of money and all of that. We can just hold fast on who we are, what we value, and be really clear on it. And I think the more clear we get in all of this, the more we attract what we want. And we just, we're not available for the thing.
There's also a level of trust, I think when we're in, like a people-pleasing mode, we're not trusting the collaboration the universe has with us, we're not trusting that we're going to find the one or the right client. It's like, oh, my God, let me do anything and everything to make you like me because I don't have confidence that someone else will.
Clara: In you saying that anything, it's like people pleasing and scarcity mindset could be sisters, or siblings in some sense, because it's like, I'm like thinking about my own behavior. And I'm like, I've never really had one without the other. And the same is true of dating as well, where it's like, let me mold and shift and mean, you know, it always helps me to like, ground into an example, like, think through, like, what were times where I did this.
I think back on, I feel like I can do it both, I can do it in dating and I can also do it in business. But like, people that I dated where the idea I had what like the relate, like we were just very clearly casually hooking up. I had an idea in my mind that this was going to turn into a relationship. But I wasn't paying attention to what was actually going down between me and that person and then also who that person was, that our values were very, very different.
Yet I was telling myself a story that, “No, no, this is good, this is fine.” I was kind of filling a hole for a period where I didn't, I could like shut off the part of my brain that worried about ever meeting someone, like so it could turn down the volume on scarcity mindset. But in so doing, I wasn't being authentic with that person or with myself. And I was working to please that person because I was spending time with them in a way that served more of their life than it did mine.
I know I'm trying to think of like an example with I mean, I've definitely had it where, this was an early years of coaching, where I was just so excited to get a client but I was like, Sure. And the interesting thing too, is that I helped those people at least. I was the least helpful to those people because we weren't, we weren't in sync, like so. Whereas they might want to get on a call and like, just revisit the same issue and complain about the same guy who still wasn't texting them, which is like, honestly, like nails on a chalkboard for me.
If you want to have that conversation, I'm not the person to have that conversation with, but I didn't know that at the time. And I didn't, you know, that it's kind of all like, you know, when you have something you're like, “Oh, it's all connecting. So at the time, I thought I was responsible for solving everyone's problems.
You have a dating problem? I'm a dating coach. I'm gonna solve that for you. But um, any coach would say this, like, sort of in your early days as you get your feet wet and really understand the dynamic, but I was overgiving in that capacity. I was just working to just work so hard to get him to see something that they actually didn't want to see. I don't know. I went off and like so many directions there. I feel like that made you think of something?
Diana: No. Yeah, absolutely. I think that's, I call that the sandbox time, right? Like, it's the same as I always say, I shot a bar mitzvah when I first started entrepreneurship as a photographer, you know, and it's like, I don't want to be shooting bar mitzvahs. But also, I wasn't sure that I didn't not want to?
Clara: A hundred percent. You need that.
Diana: You need to go into it and you need to know to, you need to eat the thing to know that you don't feel good after the thing, right? And then you go, “Okay, this is information, we're logging that, we're moving forward with this.”
The difference I think, with successful people is they use that information and actually put it to use versus just getting the same information and just like complaining about it, being the victim, why isn’t this guy texting me back? Why am I not getting any clients? Why do my clients email me at 2am or text me at 2am asking for said asset? You know, and it's like, you're not taking the information and moving forward? So again, yeah.
Clara: Yeah. Sorry, you just made me think of something that was like, you know, you asked me before you were like, what do you feel like you're sort of an expert in? If you'd asked me that a few years ago, like, I basically used to work with not just anyone, but I also took women in their 20s. And it's not to say that I won't ever take women in their 20s again, but what I've learned is that I really best serve the person that is either like more of an old soul, and in their 30s, and definitely, like into their 30s and 40s.
But me, making that shift required me to not lean into that, like, “Oh, my God, but if I'm not serving everyone, like, will I be cutting myself off from clients,” and again, like letting that scarcity mindset run the show. But like, I'm really, I mean, now it's at the point where if I get someone who reaches out in that capacity, I actually have another coach. I pass them off because I'm just, I'm just not the person to serve them. And that has felt like, really empowering to be able to do that.
It also required me to get from like a sales perspective, trust, you know, trust, and a permission piece to around to your point around like, dream clients. I guess it's an element of like, ease and pleasure in our work. And I have to imagine this is something you touch on, but it's like we've been so indoctrinated into, like, if it's good or it's worthy, it's hard. Like we should have to struggle in what we're doing.
The most successful client relationships, to me, feel like breathing. Like, we're just kind of in this like dance of conversation of when I work with people, we do live coaching, written work, and then, you know, Voxer, audio and audio notes and text messages as you as you know? But when they're really jiving and shifting and changing, there is like a synergy. It's like we're breathing these three things together, and I will listen to their voice note as if I'm listening to a podcast.
Then I respond, and so yeah, anyway, I just, it feels like breathing when there's that most alignment, and then I see that reflected in the client too.
Diana: Do you feel like it's the same with relationship where it's, because I think there's a lot of times where, even myself having, you know, for those who are just listening, I got out of a six-year relationship in May, moved out in June, started my nomadic journey, it’s a whole thing.
I dated someone kind of accidentally, you know, fell into this very serious dentally accidentally, you know, was there for a fling and then it just started to happen. For three months, the summer that was like the most healing relationship, there were so many good things about it, but somehow it still just wasn't right and there's that piece, kind of a mindfuck, where you're just like, “Should I try? Like, should I be okay?”
There's so many good things. There's so many green flags. But something's just off, like, is it just me? Or should I wait for the thing that feels like breathing? You know, like, is that true in a partner as well?
Clara: Yeah. Okay, this is really good. I'm like, there's 17 things in my head and I want to get them all. First want to say, so the one client I'm thinking of, in this context, I've worked with, I've known her for the better part of like, two years, and I've worked with her pretty consistently for a year and a half. So if you'd asked me that like a year and a half ago, I wouldn't have said the same thing, one, because I wasn't aware of it, two, because I wasn't at that point with that client and that becomes really important in the relationship piece.
On this fling that you had. I love this example. And I've heard you say it before wherein it was a really healing experience. Most women I work with, and we all kind of want this, right? It's like, we just want the relationship that's going to be the thing because we want to avoid all the like heartache and heartbreak and learning and difficulty in the in between. And I totally get that. But I really think of like, I think of relationships like that. And I have my own iteration of that.
Like supplements, like, think of, did you ever see those things in New York, I'm sure they have it in LA too, I think they're like infusions, like people would go and they would get these like IV drips that will just be like filled with vitamins? Like I think that's on, certain relationships and really any experience I have, and some of them were like, I remember, one guy that I dated for a few months, was never going to work out.
There were so many things in that relationship, namely that he was 15 years older than me, that were coming from a wounded place because my parents had a big age gap. But there were also nuggets in that experience that only lasted for like four months that were like those IV drips, were like supplements in really helping me understand myself and grow and shift who I was, like, come into who I was.
I bet you look at that relationship that, you know, you can say it was a fling, but like did that help you come into who you are as a person?
Diana: Oh, 100%. It did exactly what it needed to do. And that's almost more of a mindfuck because then you go, “Should I have hung on? Should I have made that work?” You know? Almost like that client wanted to pay me, should I have just like, I know, made it work?
Clara: So that a couple of things I think paired with all of this is like, and I think a lot about this now, I thought a lot about this in the last few years, because I just got married. And I don't know, I was 37 when I got married, or weeks shy of it. But essentially 37. And I sit here I think I do not know how I could have gotten married any earlier because I just didn't know myself. And even now, I feel like I know, like 5% of myself.
I think when it comes to the relationship that you're describing, there are, the ones I look back on as those proverbial supplements that I'm talking about. Now, this is on the other side. I didn't know it at the time. At the time, it was just like, why isn't this working? Maybe this could work like, is there a way our lives could sort of be interwoven forever?
At the time, it was just like, I've got to go or this isn't working. You know, this is all in retrospect. And the same with that client. You know, I had an interesting experience where last year, it was at the end of 2020 and I was having people sign up for 2021.
So it was like taking deposits for 2021 and I had a woman sign up and then I actually ended up overextending myself. And I was like, fuck, I can't I can't take on this client.
I entertained for a period having a coach work under me, that ended up not being something that I wanted to do. And so I had to go back to this woman and say, “I'm so sorry, I don't have capacity for you.” And she ended up coming back in we started working together this fall. So like give or take nine months later. Right? And I can you know, at the time, I just felt like shit. I felt really bad that I had taken her on, of course I refunded her deposit. But I was like, “Man, this feels really unprofessional.”
I can't manage the capacity of my business, like I just felt really bad. And I knew she was upset. Yeah, she came back and we started this work, and I can now see, based on quite literally a romantic experience she had over the summer. I'm like, thank God, we are on the other side of this. Thank God, because she needed that in order to inform the work that we're doing.
I guess like, I can see it in hindsight, right? Like, I don't know if any of this is like making sense. But I guess that's the way I look at it in terms of you know, we can get more into red flags and green flags. But right, I feel inclined to ask you like, yeah, there are all these green flags, but why did you have to go, if I may be so bold? Like, why did you have to leave this beautiful thing? Why was that right for you?
Diana: Yeah, I mean, a lot of reasons, I think. But I think just a lot of gut instinct that there isn't, this isn't the thing. Yeah. Right now. Yeah. Maybe, you know, same thing. And so yeah, you kind of, I even reposted this last night on Instagram. This post that said, basically, you know, I can't wait for you to see why God made you wait, you know, or the university to wait? Like, I'm so excited for you to see the reason, which sometimes we never see, right? But just trusting that these things are not happening, we have to trust our bodies and our instincts and these things.
I guess what I want to kind of wrap up that discussion with is that we have this idea of dream clients, ideal clients, even like our niche, these things that we feel like we have to be so black or white around. And we can just, you know, like, you're not going to fuck up your entire life for your business if you say yes to someone who isn't perfectly aligned, you know?
You're going to start calibrating, you're going to start kind of getting your algorithm going, your picker better, you know what you don't want. Yeah, you know, what you want, you know, that type of thing. But I do think there is a lot around just like knowing who you're a match for.
I'm curious if you have any takeaways or like actual tactical exercises around, whether it's relationship or clients, who you know you're a match for? Like, is there an exercise or journaling prompt to kind of start to figure that out? Like, I actually, I do the Cosmic Shopping List, I actually have a Cosmic Lovers List of like, every time I date someone, I'm like, not that. Not that.
I really need this, like, I really need him to, you know, be into and love music as much as I do because it's such a huge thing to me, cool, that's going on the list. Like, do you have any exercises around all of that?
Clara: Well, the first thing I want to say, and I think you do such a beautiful job of this in your work is really pulling back the curtain on like, how things actually worked, how long things took, I know, you've done it more financially with people being like, I had a six-figure month and it's like, but your expenses were 75,000, you know, kind of thing.
I just want to say part of this is, I mean, I am four and a half years, four-ish years, no, four and a half years into this, individually, like on a one-to-one basis, I worked with over 75 women at this point in time. And I've probably done at least double that of discovery calls. You know, so I say that with like, I've had a lot of experience and not, it's all gotten better, it's all been more refined.
Part of that is just the experience and time and I think there's so much in doing your own thing, and being a coach, but really doing whatever however you, whatever type of creative entrepreneur you are. And I have fallen prey to this too is just wanting it to happen now, same thing with the relationship, right? So when it comes to the practices, first in alignment with self like to ensure and there are a couple of things just in my own life, that are completely independent of my work.
That if I am quite literally like meditating, doing consistent yoga and pilates, which for me is like four times a week for 20 minutes, like these are not huge, huge things. Reading something, writing consistently, and getting good sleep, like that is, and then probably a few other things, like that means my energy is going to be more in alignment. So there's that, like completely unrelated to creating a list.
Then when it comes to the individual, when I do it more when I'm having a conversation with someone, and what I look for is a level of surrender of like, I'm here to get curious about myself. I am here to, like I have really gone down a variety of paths and tried things and like, just hasn't worked yet. And I'm curious as to what is happening here because I know I'm the common denominator. So I look for curiosity, which then tells me that people have a desire to know themselves and can handle swallowing the harder pills about ourselves.
Not someone who's really like, kind of, they have an ego around, like, “I got it figured out, and I know I just need to do these things.” Like, sometimes I'll get on calls with people and I can tell that they just want to hear my thoughts to feel right within themselves. And that's fine, like people are where they are. So a level of self-awareness, curiosity.
They're going to work, they're going to show up, they're going to meet me where they are, you know, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. I'm sure you feel this way with like, you can give people the practices and the tools and strategy but like they have to actually implement, and it's really not fun.
Diana: And it’s really not teachable.
Clara: Yes, yes, totally. That, 1,000%. In my line of work, because, you know, it dovetails with a lot of I mean, my coaching is therapeutic in nature, but I would never claim to be a therapist. So I actually look to ensure that someone has, if there's any level of like sexual trauma, body or eating issues, anxiety, depression, that either those things have been managed and worked with previously done, and they have a system for that, or they are currently working with a therapist.
That's a big thing. But you know, it's interesting, as you mentioned that, Diana, I'm like, I want to make that list because it's been more from this place of yeah, those elements that I just mentioned are important, but yours sounds way more fun. Which I think I'll add to that, I'll say that like joy, ensuring I'm in a place, like bringing more joy into my life. Good stuff is always birthed from that.
Diana: Yeah, yeah. I think it's, I mean, if you're listening to this, go back and listen to the Cosmic Shopping List episode. It's kind of this idea that the universe is our bartender, and like, in one of those cool mixology bars where we're like, you know, I really like gin like, I'm solid on the gin. I know I want gin. I want it to be kind of citrusy, botanical, like pretty strong, like a lot of bang for my buck, you know? And then we, the universe is like, “Hell yes, like, I'm excited to bring this to life for you, but I'm going to put my own creative spin on it. And it might come out something totally different than expected, but it's still what you're asking for and what you're desiring.”
I think that's kind of the cosmic shopping list, the cosmic lover's list. But I do think it's really important to know who you're a match for and get clear on that. Because what I say, when I'm ever teaching about dream clients, is you got to know who your dream client is to find them, you know? And it doesn't have to be again, like, “I want the White House on Elm Street with the blue door in this town.” Like, it doesn't have to be that specific. It actually doesn't work like that. But it's like, “I want the sundrenched apartment, maybe it's three floors up at least, and it's within this budget range, and it has like a gas range stove.”
Clara: Yeah, yeah. Okay, you're making me think of something here that I think will be helpful, because I think that in the context of dream clients, I actually think what's wonderful is that we have a lot less like messaging and programming, like we really can craft that, like that cocktail, if you will.
I love that analogy, because like, it can be so creative and specific. In the area of relationship, and we vary in this like, it might actually might be happening last for you because you have such a, like, creative background and lifestyle too. Like you picked up and you're doing all this traveling and like you're definitely not living within societal norms.
We get so much messaging and pressure, and we're not even, we can, have been privy to how much this is like seeped into us around the type of person that we should be that that too, is a learning.
I spent a lot of my days dating with people that I thought I should like or I should be with. And that's all fine. That was part of the process, but it's like we've got to get through that. And that's hard. I'll just say that like when I met my now-husband, like he was like in between career changes, like he wasn't making a ton of money, you know, the whole like “they went to a certain college and they have a certain job and like, your whole life together looks like a certain thing.”
You know, its like, you have to reach a point in life where you, you know the type of partner that's actually going to best serve you. And that takes time. That takes time. I think that is, the beautiful thing in business is like, I mean, it's interesting, like I have said for so long, “I want to work with that, I want to work with men.”
But you know what? I've been doing this for five years, and I've worked with two men and it was great. But like, maybe the universe is just telling me “No, you know what Clara, you really like, nail it with the, like, 38-year-old that's burnt out on dating and all her friends are married.” You know? Like, and what if you just work with them? I think we're, it's, we're more resistant to do that in dating.
Diana: Yeah, absolutely. We could do a part two of this episode, I feel like.
Clara: Well, anytime, yes.
Diana: We're gonna move into lightning round really quick and also what and how we can connect with you. So I want to ask you, just a couple of really simple questions. You are a creative entrepreneur in my eyes. What does creativity mean to you?
Clara: Flow? Alignment with self.
Diana: Yeah. I love that, which plays into so much of what we just discussed, right? Are you reading or listening to anything exciting right now that you would recommend?
Clara: Yes, I am. There's, I’m always reading multiple things.
Diana: Me too.
Clara: And I usually toggle between a fiction and a nonfiction. Fiction keeps me in my joy. So right now, I am reading Kate Spencer’s In a New York Minute, which is a rom-com set in New York City. And the big, I love the, like balance between purchasing books in the library. So I delight in going to the library like a grandma. And then the nonfiction I'm reading, I'm going to share two.
I just started Louise Hays’, You Can Heal Your Life, which I feel like it's one of those classic self-help books. But I just, when you kind of need like a dose or a shot of like, shattering your limiting beliefs. That's a really good read. And I'm about to pick up today from the library, Joe Dispenza’s, it's like how to change the habit of being yourself? I think it's his earlier book. It's not his Becoming Supernatural, which is the most recent book, but it was an earlier one. So I'm really excited about that one.
Listening. I mean, I could say the standards, I feel like many people listening, you know, in terms of like, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Melton Doyle, but you know what? I'll share kind of a one-off that is Family Secrets, Dano Shapiro. And I would say that is just a great podcast, if you feel alone in the struggle of your life, and I'll leave it there. It's just, yeah, a beautiful one on that.
Diana: Love that. Last question. If you could do anything, create anything time, resources, money, didn't matter, what would you create just to create?
Clara: I would open a bakery on the coast of Maine. I saw this spot like five years ago and it would be like exceptional coffee, and just really like baked goods laced with butter. And there would be books. That's what I would do.
Diana: I feel that dream in so many ways. I've been saying like wanting to get my hands dirty again. You know? And just opening like something.
Clara: I know. I think we're all coming back to it in some way.
Diana: Yeah. Okay. How do we connect with you? Anything you want us to know, moving forward? This conversation has been amazing. Again, we could talk for five hours about it. TBD. But how do we connect with you off of this podcast?
Clara: Well, first and foremost, thanks for having me. You can find me on Instagram @ithinkilikeyou.co or my website is ithinkilikeyou.co. And I also have a podcast called I Think I Like You. Diana’s actually going to be a guest on that.
Diana: So excited.
Clara: We're doing this like tag-team marathon of recording. The podcast goes live every Tuesday. I appear on Instagram as one does. Oh, and I have, you know I have this free community group. I should mention that. Anyone can join, it's totally free. It's really a space for women who are looking for nuanced conversations around the space of love and intimacy.
I just, I did it because I find with most women I work with, that they struggle to have a place, even if they have dear friends, where they really, they are their most vulnerable selves around the state of dating and relationships. And so I wanted to create that space. And that's what it is. That's what we do. So that if you head to the website, just click on like the group, and you'll see the dates and you can register to just a good old Zoom call.
Diana: Yes, which I've been a part of, so beautiful. Well, thank you, Clara. I appreciate you being here so much, such a juicy conversation. Everyone, she's in your network now, go reach out to her, she's a real human. Go DM her and say hello, and also let us know if something resonated.
Like as always, love, love to hear what resonated where you're tuning in from, which things clicked for you, and also it's like, sharing is caring in so many ways, not just sharing about us, this free resource and podcast, but also sharing to your audience to inspire them to have these conversations. So consider this your content prompt for today.
Share about this episode and what resonated with you. Clara, talk to you very soon on your own podcast, and thank you for being here.
Clara: Thank you.