Visionaries are more than simply dreamers. Visionaries focus not only on what might be but how to make it into reality. They hold a deep belief that what they dream can–and will–happen. To me, this is a sense like smelling or hearing. But what happens if this asset you’ve always relied upon suddenly isn’t there?…

EP #105

Episode 105: Visionary Shame

Visionaries are more than simply dreamers. Visionaries focus not only on what might be but how to make it into reality. They hold a deep belief that what they dream can–and will–happen. To me, this is a sense like smelling or hearing. But what happens if this asset you’ve always relied upon suddenly isn’t there?

Every visionary has times when she cannot see. And it’s disorienting. It’s stifling. It’s paralytic. It’s shameful. But don’t worry, it’s okay. You’re not broken. It’s not a character flaw. After all, vision is ether. Let’s talk about it.

“I think you don’t know because the answer doesn’t exist yet. And we have to trust that.” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • Discomfort of visionary blindness
  • When you can’t see what’s next
  • Triggers of visionary shame
    • Uncertainty
    • Changing the built thing
    • Altering course
  • The answer doesn’t exist yet; but it won’t pass you
  • Just make room

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Kris Plachy

  • Get on my Private Subscriber List! Hear about things no one else does: including opportunities, coming attractions, and more… Sign up TODAY: krisplachy.com (scroll down slightly and click “JOIN THE LIST”).
  • Hawaii Retreat, June 2023: (open to anyone, you don’t need to be a current client). For info and details, register to join Kris for an Information Meeting and Q&A Session about ALL things Hawaii Retreat – krisplachy.com/hawaiiinfo.
  • SAGE WEEKEND – Let us know if you’re interested in the details: krisplachy.com/sageweekend.
  • CEO Boutique: Digital Clinics offered by Kris Plachy: Essential Practices for Women Who Lead. Shop what’s available, including Kickstart Team Ops, Team Audits, Dealing with Difficult People and much more!
  • I would love your review! It honestly is very helpful. If you can, lease leave one on your favorite podcast platform:

Hello. Welcome to the podcast today. So today, we’re gonna have a really interesting conversation about something that I’m calling Visionary Shame. Let’s go.

So, hi and welcome. Happy almost, hopefully wherever you are, feeling like spring. It’s certainly a debatable, whether or not we’re there yet, but it’s getting there, so I hope you’re having a lovely morning or evening or wherever you are in the world. Thank you for tuning in. I’m Kris Plachy and this is The Leadership Is Feminine Podcast and I really wanna have this conversation with you today. I think it’s incredibly important. And interestingly, I’ve had this conversation now with quite a few of my clients and watching this resounding like, “Yes, yes, yes”. And so of course I’m gonna bring it out to you and then we’ll see where that goes.

So, I wanna talk about, there’s this uniqueness of being a visionary – I’m gonna do some more conversations about this particular designation – but when we talk about a visionary, we’re talking about somebody who basically can see a version of the future that is different than the one that you’re living in. And there’s a difference, I think, between visionary people and dreamers. I think visionaries are dreamers, but I think some people are just dreamers, like they like to just dream about stuff. Visionaries actually focus on the possibility of a new future. There’s this belief that it can happen that’s unique, I think to a visionary.

In fact, I was just listening to Devin Presfield this morning, one of my favorite authors, he has a book called Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Is, and he talks about how when an idea will come to him, it’s like he’s seized by it. I totally got that. It’s almost like it’s not you. It’s like the idea comes through you, seizes you, and propels you forward. I believe that’s really what, when we talk about visionary behaviors and the role of a visionary, this is really what we’re talking about.

And so what I have come to discover for myself over these many years now of running my own business is I have also always been a visionary. This has been part of who I am, honestly, I think I could tell you, my mom would probably tell you since I was little. I had imaginary friends. I lived in the whole other world that are by my design. And I think a lot of the women who I know, who are running their own businesses, are that way.

I have now decided to call it one of my senses. So being a visionary, the ability to see something that isn’t there, but that could be, to me, is a sense like smelling, hearing, right? It’s a sense. And so when you’re a visionary, it’s a part of who you are. That maybe up until even this very moment that you haven’t thought about it as this asset, this part of you that other people don’t have.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have other great things. This is never about disparaging one over the other. It’s just, I’m talking to you if you’re a visionary, cuz I get it. So, if we say that’s all true – I see things that aren’t there, I’m able to, in my brain, not only ideate what I believe is possible, but also believe I can do it and then build the mechanisms, create this – I can do that. I trust it. As soon as I see it and I’m anchored in it, it’s like, let’s freaking go. It’s just waiting for us to get there.

So if that’s something that I’ve always leveraged and I’ve always known about myself, and I’ve always relied on, what happens when it’s not there? And I know that every visionary has these moments where she doesn’t see what’s next, where she doesn’t find her voice, where she can’t figure out, see, play with ideate the next part of whatever it is that she’s supposed to do. For someone who’s truly sits in that visionary space, who is used to knowing, used to trusting, used to being kissed with this wisdom, if it’s not available to you, it’s stifling, it’s paralytic, it’s shameful.

Because now you’ve built a business, right? That’s been dependent on and relied heavily on your ability to see what you wanna do next. But then who are you and who is this business if you don’t know? And now I got all these people looking at you, “Where are we going? What are we doing? What’s up? How’s it gonna go? What’s happening? What do I need you to do? You want me to do something today? I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what I want.”

And I watched this now in so many women and men, frankly, and I believe it’s all good news. Like, here’s the thing. It’s all good news, okay? So we’re not broken, but what we have to remember is that vision comes from the ether. It comes from whatever you wanna call it, some of you might say, God, some of you might say the trees, some of you might say the ocean, some of you might say it’s magic.

But let’s remember that vision is not something you force. It’s something you create space for. It’s something you allow. I read, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic years ago, and one of the things that she says in that book is that ideas are entities, and they’re like energetic entities. And she talks about how they float around and they find a host. And so if you get an idea, you have been chosen by that idea to be the host of the idea. And some ideas will stay with you for two minutes. And if you don’t do something with it, it will move along and find another host and some ideas will stay with you for 22 years. So I think of it this same way.

So over the last many months for me, I have worked in and with people in a particular space for almost my whole career. And there is so much about what I do that I love, primarily the people. The people part is where I love. I love my clients. I love the conversations we have. I love helping. I love watching their mind and their heart and their spirit lift when it clicks and they feel that level of empowerment that they haven’t felt, they know that they can handle something. I love all of that.

I will say that there are elements of what I do that I have found, like, I don’t know if I can keep talking about this. I’ve been talking about this since I was 26 years old. There are elements of leading and managing, and those structures of dealing with people that are so fundamental to me. They’re so foundational that I know that once you learn them, you can fly, but we are at no shortage of people needing to learn them. We have so many people who need to learn these foundations and fundamentals of managing a team, managing people.

So for many many months though, I’ve been really thinking about how do I want to best serve with the gifts that I have, the experience that I have, the passion that I have, and the people I wanna support. What is the best way to do that? And I will be honest with you, it’s been crickets. I started a program called the Sage CEO over a year ago, and I started that because I was starting to see this in my own clients. I was starting to see clients who get to this point of mastery in so much of what they do, and then they feel sort of stagnated, like, now what do I do? Now what? And that vision that you’ve used to leverage next steps, to have the plan, the strategy, to build the team, to get enthusiasm inside of yourself and others, it’s gone.

So I was watching that happen because especially women who work with me for 12, 18 months, they get all this management stuff figured out. Then it becomes a playground. If you don’t know what you wanna play with, and you feel paralyzed, you feel lost. And I know you feel shame. Because people look to you to know and you don’t know. And so for a lot of us, that’s where we sit, sort of embarrassed, a little humiliated. Like, “I don’t, I don’t really know. So how about we just do this?”

And then the other thing that triggers visionary shame is when you do think you know, and everyone looks at you like you’re crazy. You’ve been building this thing. You have this thing. You’ve built a thing, you love your thing, and now you don’t want the thing anymore. You wanna do this thing, and people look at you like, “What? What are you doing? Why would you do that? You have this thing.”

I know I have that thing. I built that thing. I birthed it. I delivered it. It’s in the world. Doesn’t belong to me anymore. I’m gonna go do this thing. Yeah. Often visionaries, we have a lot of people around us who are incredible team members, incredible support members, incredible implementers. So when you take that hard turn, they look at you like, “What are you talking about? This is all built right here. Why we gotta change it?”

Pause. And I would argue too that a lot of people who go through this process, the first few ideas that you think are the right ones, aren’t. So, the third layer of shame comes from you think you’re gonna go this way, then you realize, “No, I don’t really think I wanna go that way”. And you change your mind and now you’ve done it again. Say what?

So there’s this dance I do. I’ve coached my clients for years on what we call visionary constraint because as visionaries, we can be consumed with new insights all the time, and then we can actually have too many directions we wanna go in. That’s an entirely different issue. Then there’s the visionary who’s used to having lots of insight, lots of ideas, and nothing’s coming to her.

And I was talking to my girlfriend about this, and she’s trying to figure out what she wants to do. And I think she said something like, “I don’t know. I don’t really know. I can’t figure it out.”

And I said, “Well, I think you don’t know. Because the answer doesn’t exist yet, and we have to trust that.”

And if I just take that off the plate, like, the answer doesn’t exist yet. If we know that the answer comes from the ethers, if we know that it’s not something you’re gonna just manufacture by sitting down and working harder. For me, sometimes when I feel this way, I’ll journal harder like somehow that’s gonna work. It doesn’t. You know how this works? It’s so interesting.

So for me, this week that I’m recording, this has been a crazy week. It started off with my chocolate lab, who’s 12 and a half years old, being very sick, so sick husband took him to the er. We thought that was it. We thought that was the next day we were probably gonna have to put him down. So, so dramatic. I mean, he’s our baby boy. We love this guy so much. And so then, we were also, the next day after he’d been at the ER, closing on our new house.

So we got a new house on that day. And then, we’re moving tomorrow. I was in the throes of having this moment, and I have a coach and she and I do a lot of Voxing together, and so I just Voxed her vented and said, “I just need to vent. I’m having this, and my dog and my kids are having this, and my house and the blah…” Like we do. I just needed a minute. And then I also sent an audio message to my dear friend Brooke, who I know all of you know. And said something similar, like, life’s hard. And she’s halfway around the world and she sent me a text lover and she said, “I love you. Can I call you?”

And so she did, and she’s 12 hours away from me. So I had a great chat with her and we laughed at all of the ridiculousness of life. And the next day, our dog is fine. He’s feeling better, he’s spry. He had body movement that took care of whatever it was, that was his problem. And I went for a walk, and I don’t even ever know – like, I feel like Steven Presfield is the only person who has explained this in the best way that I know how, which is to say that I was on this walk and I was literally seized by it.

And I sat there in my walk like, “Wait, is this real? Is this really happening?” And I wrote it all down and I then I reached out to my two team members and said, “I need you to hear what I’m thinking because I need to know if this is totally weird.” Which it wasn’t. It’s very exciting. And I also know when I’ve touched something powerful, because I actually don’t wanna share it. I wanna protect it.

Which is interesting because a lot of times when I have new ideas, I talk about ’em all the time. That, to me, is probably more my ego looking for validation. In this case, I know this is right and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to share everything with you guys. This is all just super fun. But that’s how fast things can change when we are visionaries. But we have to trust that when the answer exists, it will not pass us.

So if you’re feeling that shame, if you’re feeling that sort of, “I should know, I should be better than this. Something must be wrong with me.” I want you to know I understand. I want you to know there’s a lot of people who understand. I don’t think we talk about this very often. And I also know you’re gonna be fine. Let go of the bad. Take a walk. Create some space. Allow room for this sage wisdom to get in.

If you’re clenched so hard to prove that you can do it and do something new, even though you don’t really know what it is, you’re not making room for her to find you. You know how you tap into that part of who you are. I know you do. Let her in, but don’t be in a hurry.

So visionary shame is temporary, and let’s just remember that shame is just a feeling and that comes from a thought that you have, which is, “I’m doing it wrong. I should do better. I’m letting people down. This is embarrassing.” Whatever the thought is, that’s all it is. It’s just a feeling. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not who you are. Just tell ourselves the truth. “Yeah. I’m not really sure yet, but I will be. I’ll let you know.”

So I’m thrilled that you’re here. Thank you for tuning in. I hope I gave you a little bit to think about today, and I will talk with you again next time.

In other news, are you on my private subscriber list? If not, why not? Our private subscribers get to find out about things that nobody else gets to know about, and you certainly will get to find out about what we’re up to right now with some big changes coming. You’ll be invited to a preview experience, but only if you’re on the private subscriber list.

How do you get on the private subscriber list? You’re dying to know. Go to KrisPlachy.com and scroll down just a little bit. You’ll see a little green button that says, Join the List. Go put your name right there, and we will make sure that you get the updates that you have now earned because you are a private subscriber.

We’ll see you there.

Download Transcript
Site By Alchemy + Aim
Photography Danielle Cohen