We Need Liberation in Order to Change Ourselves, Our Business, and Our Industry

by | Jul 10, 2024 | 2 comments

Category: Business | Inspiration

Friends, We Don’t Have Business Problems. We Have Liberation Problems.

Liberation refers to the act of release. Setting free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression.

Liberation requires an environment where one’s freedom is not hindered, especially by external forces.

This includes freedom from oppressive systems, discrimination, and any other forms of unjust treatment.

A liberated mind is an environment where one has the autonomy to make personal decisions without any fear or coercion. It’s a mind that fosters and encourages growth, self-expression, and personal development.

Personal development can’t happen without liberation. And businesses can’t flourish when their owners aren’t doing personal development.

Personal development can’t happen without liberation. And businesses can’t flourish when their owners aren’t doing personal development.

Flourishing isn’t about the revenue made, or the profit margin – although both of those will increase. Flourishing is about being free from the heavy weight of implied rules, free from compulsively pleasing perceived authority figures, and actively working to liberate those around us from the rules and oppressive systems they are subject to.

When we are liberated, we are free to explore, grow, and develop in ways that may not have been possible before. It is the freedom to try new ideas, cultivate unique skills, and to develop individual strengths that allows us to heal from wounds.

In this freedom, we take risks, we seek, we launch offers, we raise rates, we pivot our businesses, we take on new projects, and we play.

Liberation Over Limiting Beliefs

A limiting belief is a state of mind or conviction that a person holds about themselves, others, or the world, which constrains them in some way. These beliefs often stem from past experiences and hold people back from achieving goals or realizing their potential. Limiting beliefs can come in many forms, such as “I’m not well known enough,” “I can’t charge that,” or “People like me can’t succeed in this industry.” They often restrict personal growth and create self-imposed barriers to success.

Discovering our limiting beliefs involves a deep level of introspection and self-awareness, identifying thoughts and convictions that constrain personal growth and potential. Remember, these limiting beliefs often stem from past experiences and societal conditioning, creating a mental framework that restricts one’s actions and aspirations. They didn’t come overnight; they aren’t going away overnight.

One of my core values is personal responsibility, so it’s no surprise that I invite people to examine their limiting beliefs often. Clients and I examine how their limiting beliefs are limiting action and limiting growth.

Still, knowing our limiting beliefs is just the beginning.

Blaming our lack of growth on limiting beliefs does not account for the external systems of oppression that underestimated groups of people experience everyday in the running of their businesses. People who are women, in the LGBTQIA+/Queer community, who are Black, Brown, Asian, Indigenous and other non-white races, who are Disabled, neurodivergent, and all the various intersections these identities hold.

Believing that solely working on limiting beliefs to achieve success is the definition of privilege – thinking that all we need to shift is our mindset to succeed is based in “by your bootstraps” narratives stemming from patriarchy and supremacist systems.

The luxury of ennui can only thrive in an environment where one isn’t feeling the weight of oppression. Because when you feel the weight of oppression you’re battling just as much outside as you are inside.

How to Liberate Yourself and Others

While limiting beliefs aren’t the end all be all, to become liberated from internal beliefs, one must first recognize and acknowledge the limiting beliefs that hold them back. Once these beliefs are identified, the next step is to challenge and reframe them.

This can be done through positive affirmations, seeking evidence that contradicts these beliefs, and gradually adopting a mindset that embraces possibility and self-worth. Cognitive-behavioral techniques can be particularly effective in this process, as they help rewire the brain to think more positively and realistically. Working with a coach or therapist can also be beneficial, providing guidance and support in dismantling these internal barriers.

By consistently practicing self-compassion and resilience, individuals can create a liberated mindset that fosters personal development and growth.

Liberation from external systems of oppression requires a whole other level of active engagement and advocacy. It begins with education and awareness about the various forms of systemic discrimination and their impacts on ourselves and our (potentially) marginalized communities.

Understanding how these systems operate and perpetuate inequality is crucial for anyone seeking to advocate for change. This education can come from a variety of sources, including books, documentaries, workshops, and conversations with those who have lived experiences of oppression.

From there, we’ve got to get involved in efforts to dismantle these systems. This can include participating in activism, supporting policies that promote equity, or engaging with community organizations that work towards social justice. Advocacy also involves using one’s privilege to amplify marginalized voices and drive systemic change. Imperfect allyship and solidarity with oppressed and underestimated groups are essential, as they help to create a more inclusive and equitable society. By standing with those who are marginalized, individuals can help to break down the barriers that create and sustain systemic oppression.

It is my conviction that as artists, we must do our part to create environments that foster liberation with both personal and collective efforts. On a personal level, we must cultivate spaces where open dialogue, respect, and inclusivity are a priority. This means actively listening to and valuing diverse perspectives without becoming defensive or centering our emotions. It means committing to continuous learning and growth, and challenging one’s own biases and prejudices, regardless of our comfort level.

Creating a liberated environment also involves setting boundaries and advocating for oneself and others in the face of injustice. On a collective level, organizations and communities must implement policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion. This includes equitable customer and client support practices, hiring practices, providing resources and support for underrepresented groups, and fostering a culture of accountability and respect.

Baby Steps is Better than No Steps

Baby steps are messy, wobbly, tiny, and rarely in a straight line. This is also how liberation manifests.

Here are some areas where baby steps toward personal and collective liberation can begin in our industry:

  • With new customers. Are you seeking transactional solutions without readiness to become the kind of person who can implement those solutions? If so, baby step toward liberation by studying up on what skills and knowledge you need to implement the solutions you want to provide.
  • With how you connect money and people pleasing. Are you drowning because you’re overworked and not making enough money, yet feel you can’t raise your rates because you want to please people? If so, baby step toward liberation by releasing three clients and raising your rates by $5/session for everyone else.
  • With how you connect rate increases with responsibility of others. Does raising rates feel like asking someone for a kidney? If so, baby step toward liberation by writing down all the ways that your business thriving gives you capacity and money to create justice, and all the ways your business being underfunded contributes to your own “stuckness.”
  • With when and how you say yes to something. Are you doing too many things that you aren’t getting paid for and now feel exhausted? If so, baby step toward liberation by reading up on the origins of toxic volunteerism and the prestige economy. For the next year, say “no” more often than you say “yes” to things that do not pay. Make note of what you gained/lost.
  • With how you hire people. Are you overpaying your employees and now the business is not sustainable? If so, baby step toward liberation by learning about the role of your business in the overall arts economy, write new job descriptions, and study up on financial or race driven saviorism.

It’s Up to Us

Liberation is a journey, not a destination, and every step we take towards it, no matter how small, makes a difference. We must continue to support and uplift each other as we work towards a more just and liberated arts economy and world.

Let’s commit to making intentional choices that foster both personal and collective growth. Whether it’s challenging our own limiting beliefs or advocating for systemic change, every effort counts. Remember, baby steps are better than no steps at all. Each action, no matter how small, contributes to the larger goal of creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

I encourage you to take these insights and apply them in your daily life and business practices. Reflect on how you can create more liberated spaces for yourself and those around you. Share your journey with us, and don’t hesitate to seek support when needed. We are all in this together, and our collective efforts can bring about meaningful change.

I get to see this dedication to liberation and personal development in The SpeakEasy Cooperative, and it inspires me. I am grateful for the community we are building.

May we ALL continue to push boundaries, break free from limiting beliefs, and create a world where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.

With all my BeastyBoss love and determination,


Michelle Markwart Deveaux blog signature


AI note: We’ve used AI to create an FAQ summary of this blog to help you digest the information. We’ve got you! 💛

Q: What is liberation in the context of personal and business growth?

A: Liberation refers to freeing oneself from limiting beliefs and oppressive systems to foster personal and business growth.

Q: How do limiting beliefs affect personal development?

A: Limiting beliefs constrain individuals by creating self-imposed barriers that restrict growth and potential.

Q: What are some examples of limiting beliefs?

A: Examples include “I’m not well known enough,” “I can’t charge that,” and “People like me can’t succeed in this industry.”

Q: How can one challenge and reframe limiting beliefs?

A: By using positive affirmations, seeking contradicting evidence, and adopting a mindset that embraces possibility and self-worth.

Q: How can we work towards dismantling systemic oppression?

A: Through education, advocacy, supporting equitable policies, and participating in activism and community efforts.

Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Michelle Markwart Deveaux (126)

As CEO of FaithCultureKiss Studios, LLC, I lead underestimated humans through the personal and professional development needed to create successful solo and team-based businesses.

Did you find this helpful?

Please consider sharing with your colleagues so they can grow too.


  1. Cate

    Just wow. I so admire your ability to verbalize clearly these values and baby steps toward them. Thank you!

    • Michelle Markwart Deveaux

      Oh, Cate! This comment means the world coming from you. Thank you so much for taking the time to say something. And help to liberate ME from self-doubt! So many hugs to you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

pink star

More Posts in this Category