Wave Makers: An Interview with Brooke Taylor, Transformational Career Coach For Conscious Female Leaders
Your career took a 360, what prompted you to take these steps and succeed in a new path?
I started my career at Google where I climbed the ranks and had early career success. At the same time, I was living somewhat of a double life, hard-working sales exec by day, and partying by night. I was trying to fill an emptiness inside that had been with me for years; I thought more work, more validation, more productivity, more attention, or more alcohol would ease it, but nothing worked. Eventually, as it always does, it all came crashing down. I came to understand that that emptiness was something I now call “the success wound” which is the pain that comes from mistaking your success for your self-worth. I got sober, transformed my relationship with work and success, and healed my success wound.
As a result, every marker of my health improved - mental, physical, spiritual - and surprisingly got promoted faster than in the past.
I realized that I wanted to help other corporate and professional women to heal their relationship with success and self-worth so that they could create more fulfilling lives and careers. And today, I do just that! I work with inspiring female leaders at companies like Google, Coinbase, Goldman Sachs, PwC, IBM, Canva and more.
The hardest part of addiction is not only recognising your addiction but finding a way out. How did you do this and what advice would you give to others who are fighting addiction or have friends and family who are?
Addiction is a choice to regulate your internal condition with external means. I always felt like something was missing from my life, and I thought something outside of me would fix it: a more impressive resume, moving cities, getting a new friend group, the next promotion and more.
Ultimately is was my addiction to alcohol and partying that was doing the most damage, and in recovery I had to also look at my additions to external validation, food, social media and more.
Addiction is obviously on a spectrum and we can all be ‘addicted’ to something.
It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a moral issue. And it’s a disease of the soul just as much as it’s a physical and mental disease.
For me, recovery started when I saw other women living a sober life and I thought to myself “Maybe I can do that too”. This is why I try to share my story, hoping it reaches someone who might need to hear another way of life is possible.
When it comes to career coaching, you have become the expert in helping transform the lives and careers of high achieving female leaders. What are the main things, you see, that women come up against in the workplace as leaders? How do you support them with this?
After coaching 5,000 high-achieving women, they all seemed to have different symptoms: over-working, under-working, burning out, playing small, people pleasing, anger issues, imposter syndrome, taking on too much etc.
Yet underneath these symptoms, I realized they shared the same root cause. It’s the same emptiness and pain I suffered with too: the Success Wound.
The Success Wound is the false belief system that your worthiness of love and belonging is contingent upon what you produce, achieve, or do, rather than the inherent worthiness of who you are. It’s a universal human trauma that gets passed down the generations, reinforced through educational systems, and capitalism.
Healing the success wound is not easy, but it is simple. You can start by looking at the beliefs you have about your success and your self-worth. What did your cultural upbringing, family, or peer group tell you about success and failure? What did you learn about your self-worth as a result?
I found that once these clients healed their success wound, they all entered into a state of Conscious Success, which is the state of lasting contentment and fulfilment that comes from pursuing the directions of their internal guidance system over society. They ultimately achieved more and worked less, started new businesses, boldly asked for promotions, healed toxic relationships, called in the loves of their life, moved to dream cities, and more.
As a high achieving professional, how do you balance work and self?
Boundaries over balance. The word “balance” hasn’t ever resonated with me because balance is so personal and arbitrary. Instead. I focus on the daily and weekly practices and routines that maintain my inner vitality. I move my body everyday and sweat 3x per week. I eat paleo most days. I schedule in intentional connection with a friend like I would do a workout - I found during the pandemic that loneliness really impacts my mental health quickly, so I need to have a heart-to-heart with someone who really knows me a few days a week. Therapy, coaching, and recovery meetings all go in there as well. That might sound like a lot, but they’ve become so routine and I draw boundaries around them. Without my inner vitality, none of the rest of it gets done.
What are your top 3 wellness products or practices & why did you choose them?
Meditation: I’ve been meditating since I was 20 and it’s been the single biggest game changer in my life. Everything I have today exists because of meditation and the connection with something greater than myself that I can experience in that state.
Breathwork: I’m very into breathwork and how it can release so much tension and emotions in just 20 minutes! It’s intense but I’ve been loving it recently.
Probiotic: I incorporate a probiotic in with my morning matcha and it really helps my sensitive digestion!
What’s the one thing that helps you shut out the world and relax?
Being in nature completely relaxes my nervous system and resets my spirit. I love walking by the ocean or in the mountains.
To learn more about Brooke and her work you can visit her website.
You can also find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might like Wave Makers: Liz Ellen and Stefania Genesis of Livida Sport.