Ep #216: Living the 4 Agreements
Welcome to More Than Mindset, the only podcast that bridges the gap between spirituality and success. Go beyond the mind with clarity and confidence coach, Kim Guillory, and learn how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started.
Hey there, and welcome back to the show. Hope you guys are doing well. We’re in between season changes, which feels amazing. Today’s a little nippy, but we have had some amazing, gorgeous days. So, hope you’re enjoying the new fresh sunshine, wherever you are, if you are getting it. So, I want to talk about communication today.
Not just communication, but ways of communicating. You will find a new word, some cumm-ism in this show, so listen out for it. See if you detect it. It’s a word that I’ve been playing with and using in my coach training, and I was like, coming—playing with the manual and reviewing everything that we’re going to be going through, and I kept using this word over and over.
And then last week I noticed I used it like three times, and I was like, “holy smokes! I think I just made up a new word again.” So, you can tell me if it’s—I looked it up. I didn’t see it, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. But just listen for it and just kind of help with your listening skills, which is part of communication.
So, how to communicate effectively has been, I think, an issue for a very long time. This is one of the biggest problems in relationships, is our communication styles are different. Yet we have this assumption that the other understands what we’re saying or what we mean, and they don’t always. I live by The Four Agreements.
You guys can go back to the beginning of the podcast. One of my very first episodes was on The Four Agreements. I’ve held several retreats, like for years, on The Four Agreements. I believe those four agreements have changed my life, changed how I relate to people, changed my business. I just see the world differently, not by knowing what The Four Agreements are, but by living The Four Agreements.
The first one is being impeccable with your word, and that is what I’m going to talk about today. Let me tell you where this came from. So, I was in a meeting and had someone ask me, “How does that work for you and your clients with you being so aggressive?” And I was kind of taken back and I was like, “Aggressive, huh? Tell me more.”
And he is like, “Well, you’re, you’re aggressive. I like it.” You know? I was talking to a guy, and he’s like, “I like it.” And I was like, “I don’t think I’m aggressive.” So, of course I looked it up with what does aggressive mean? That’s always one of my first go-tos if I’m unsure about something.
And it’s an adjective. Ready or likely to attack or confront, characterized by, or resulting from, aggression. Pursuing one’s aims and interests forcefully, sometimes unduly.
So, well, what I do when I hear new news is I begin to contemplate and investigate that. Like, how does that feel to me? Does it feel true? Is there something that I may need to work on here? And he was in no way saying it as insulting. But I live by The Four Agreements, and I don’t know if it’s the second or third, is don’t make assumptions. So, I didn’t assume. I asked.
What do you mean? Could you tell me more? Can you give me an example? And this went on for most of the day. Matter of fact, at lunchtime, myself and another gal were sitting there with him, and he says, “Wow, I’ve got two powerhouses here. I love aggressive women.”
Like, here it is again. So, she and I kind of started talking about it back and forth, and I’ll tell you guys what I think it is. But you get to have your own experience. And I’m curious if your experience with me or the way that you sense my character being, if it’s aggressive. I would love to know just because I like to know how people are taking me or what I’m teaching. So, I didn’t make assumptions, and I didn’t take it personally.
And the fourth agreement is: always do your best. So, can you see how I think communication could be vastly improved just by living The Four Agreements? Being impeccable with your words, like him using the word aggressive, me understanding the word aggressive, not making assumptions that meant anything bad or negative, and asking instead.
And then not take it personally and, like, just wanting to know more about how do I come across to people? Is this something that I need to think about if I’m speaking to the public? And always doing my best. I’m willing to clean it up. I’m willing to investigate it. I’m willing to slow it down and know more.
So, I just want to offer you that. Is, in your relationships, if you’ve been told things? You are, you’re too direct, you’re too straightforward. How has that impacted you and have you investigated, or have you taken it personally? So, this leads into what I thought it was. So, I don’t consider myself aggressive.
Maybe I’ve had aggressive moments. I won’t deny that, but I don’t consider myself aggressive at all. And I was kind of taken back from it because it felt so off. That the word, it just didn’t—I never thought of myself as aggressive. So I asked, at the end of the day, I said, “Do you think that it’s directness that’s maybe being confused with? Like maybe people get offended, or like kind of, they kind of setback because they feel like it’s aggressive?”
But in my eyes, and my understanding of The Four Agreements, I had to learn how to be direct. And if you go back and listen to the show where “what his brain wants and what her brain wants,” I kind of talk about this. I touch on it, in a lot of the relationship shows, that we talk too much.
And we are not clear because we’re not direct. And so, then people don’t understand us. And then that gets in the way of the intimacy. And I’m willing to slow down and be clearer with my words. So, directness means the quality of being plain and straightforward, the quality of proceeding in a straight line without deflection.
That feels more real for me. Focus, direct, transparent. And I started thinking about this and I was like, “Wait a minute. It’s another one of these moments where people are saying they’re one thing, but they’re actually just saying it. They haven’t integrated and embodied it. They actually aren’t being it.” Including the word transparency.
Transparency means I have nothing to hide here. I’ll lay it on the table. I will expose all that I am and all that I can. Transparency is vulnerability, directness, and honesty, all in one. And I think that’s what some people see when they say assertive or aggressive. That it’s. We have just gotten so used to a bunch of small talk, a bunch of drama talk, that direct communication is now seen as offensive or, like, too strong.
So, sit with that this week. Let me know what you think. I wept about this. Like, I really had a come-to-me moment where I just softened, and I cried, feeling so misunderstood. Like all of the years that I was misunderstood, that I couldn’t get my point across. And so all the books that I read, all the things that I learned about communication, so that I could be clear and honest, so that I could have more intimacy in my relationships, and it has now gotten to the other side to where the clear and direct transparency is now being seen as offensive, or aggressive, or assertive. Like all the way on the other end. And I just surrendered. I surrendered, just in the being misunderstood. No matter what. No matter what, it is hard to human and just understand.
This guy did not insult me. I did not take it personally. I’m really all about understanding how to communicate better, to be a better. You have to learn how to communicate better with yourself and other people. You have to be the example of being better at communicating, of being clear, and concise, and just direct.
You know, I think of it as the no-BS PUNCH-LINE Approach. I mean, the book I wrote is called the PUNCH-LINE Approach, how to get to the punchline. But we are so busy with words and clichés and cute little memes. And it’s like back in the day, thinking of how you are a better Christian if you memorized verses.
Well, we’re now in a day where you are evolved or self-evolved if you memorized cute things to say. Guys, that shit ain’t real. It’s words. It’s just memorized. Some people are better at memorizing than others. It does not mean that people live it. So, once again, I’m taken aback at what I thought and what is actuality. And that takes me to the word that I’ve been playing with is factuate.
Can we factuate this? Like I’m in a conversation with someone and I instantly go to, “can we get the facts here so that I could better understand?” Because that’s a part of my transparency. It’s a part of me being impeccable with my word. It’s just like pausing and saying, “I’m not sure I understand. Could you say it in a different way?” Or, “Hold on. I’m missing part of the story. Can you give me the facts first and then I can put it together?”
And so, in coaching, it’s factuate. So, I’m teaching my clients, my coaches, like when they start a client session or when they’re in a client session, is that, can we first factuate this? Because as soon as we can separate facts from story, misunderstandings and misinterpretations, from what you meant to say, everything gets clear.
And where there is clarity, there is—you will feel certain, you will feel confident. But where there is confusion, you start to feel unsafe. Where there is confusion, there is unsafety. Our mind does not like to feel dumb. The mind wants to know everything. The mind and the ego are always trying to prove, “I know. I’m right. Look at all that I know. I am so smart. I need you to value my opinion. So, I’m going to tell you all of these things that I’m certain about that I know.”
And in human design, you have an open head and Ajna? It’s more likely that you’re going to have this. Just know that, too. And it’s okay. It’s just being able to see it.
The self-awareness. So, that you can relate better, because you could understand yourself and someone else better. So, communicating directly being confused with communicating aggressively. What do you think? How has it been for you? Like do you, do your kids, or your partner, or your clients, or other people tell you that they don’t understand you, that you’re unclear?
Maybe it’s on the other end of the spectrum, right? Maybe I’ve gotten really good at communicating, and being direct, and being clear that it’s actually become a smaller percent of the people that I talk to, of the population of humanity, that I’m kind of feeling like I’m having this conversation by myself.
Do you guys know what it’s like whenever you figure out some new things, but everyone in your circle still remembers the old things and you feel a little off? Then you get kind of, like, self-conscious about it. That’s how I’m feeling. So, I began to question my directness and how many people believe that I’m aggressive, and how many people that I’ve turned off and have they felt like they had to defend themselves, and it actually closed communication.
So, I am not contemplating this because I need to change who I am. I am contemplating this because it brought up emotion in me. It showed me where I was, once again, misunderstood. And kind of like the word factuate—like this word is always in my mind, and it has been for probably years now, that it’s a voice I hear in my head when I’m in the coaching session or when I’m training someone. And it’s just, I hear this guidance that tells me what to do, right?
It’s like, check this, do this. What about like this? It’s this moment in time, just a little moment, where it’s like factuate and so then I’ll go in to factuate. But I never realized it was there until I realized it was there. And this was a great moment for me to factuate for myself. What is aggressive? What is assertive? What is directness? What is transparency? What is vulnerability? What is intimacy?
And I just dove into these words. Like, I was on a plane, riding it out, playing with what it meant to me. And even playing through scenarios of people that I have spoken to, that I’m like, “Just tell me what you want.” And they can’t tell me what they want because in the back of their mind, they’re afraid to disappoint or they’re afraid to lose out, or they’re afraid they won’t be able to take something back and so they won’t say it.
And then I am confused. I am genuinely confused when someone is not being direct with back with me. And I think that’s what maybe comes across as this aggressiveness is when I’m like, “Just tell me! Like, just tell me. I don’t—Like, I so deeply want to be in relationship with you and I don’t understand. Could you just tell me?”
And I’ve had this experience with my husband. That if I am taking my time to make a decision… like, right now, we’re building a coffee and juice bar. And so, he’s like, he’s been telling me for two years that “I don’t know if I can break through that brick wall to get to the plumbing.”
And so, now he has. Yesterday. And yesterday evening, he’s like, “You need to tell me now.” And I’m like, “I have waited two years to know if it can happen.” So, now he wants the blueprint. Well, I don’t have the blueprint because I wasn’t going to waste my time to go figure it out and draw it out if it wasn’t going to happen.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up. And so, he’s given me like twelve hours or he’s moving on to another project. So, it’s kind of—so I kind of take that as aggressive. I kind of take that as a little forceful, a little threatening to my little emotional self that can’t make a quick decision. So, I battle this—and I’m curious if you battle this—between needing to be direct for someone like my husband, who I need to be really direct with. He doesn’t. He can’t absorb a lot of talking. He just understands exactly what I say and takes it literally. And it’s the same with like some of the people on my team and some of my clients. They take everything literally. So, I have to be very careful when I’m thinking out loud, because they take my word as, “oh yes, assertive.” Right?
And then when I’m like wishy-washy and not sure, I don’t have an answer yet, then I get this pressure that I need to be aggressive. And I’m like, “Wait a minute.” It’s like my mind is like,” I can’t win, right?” That’s kind of what comes up. And so, slowing down, dropping in. Allowing these thoughts and these emotions to pass, and then articulating words in a very clear, concise way.
Being impeccable with your word. Not making assumptions. Being clear and asking questions. Being clear and asking questions. Saying exactly what you mean. Don’t beat around the bush. Some people may take it as assertive, by the way, or aggressive. Don’t beat around the bush and wait. So, right now we’re waiting. And he’s like, “I’m going to move on to another project.”
And I was like, “I am looking at Pinterest. I’m trying to find something. I don’t know yet.” Like, I don’t know how big I want it. I don’t know how tall it’s going to be. So, give you that to think about this week. Factuate. Tell me, is it a real word? Is it something that I made up? Because it is something that I use a lot and it has really helped me with communicating, with coaching, and with helping my clients get clear.
If any of you have worked with me or been in a conversation with me, then we have done some factuating. F-A-C-T-U-A-T-E is how I spell it. factuate. It’s like, I don’t know guys, I’m not going to pretend to be a scholar. This is not like official. This is just Kim-fun, of cool things that I’ll say my soul comes up with, because I’m not so sure it’s my brain in my mind.
They come up with some pretty scary stuff. It’s just something that makes sense that I play with that keeps me occupied while I’m here on earth trying to figure out what the hell are we supposed to be doing here.
Have an amazing week. Go communicate differently with someone. Try it out, see how it works. Read The Four Agreements if you haven’t. It’s a great book.
Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.