Posts tagged Emotional Intelligence
The Trap of Perfectionism and Doing it Right
Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Last month I shared my thoughts via audio about how much can you, or I can accomplish in a day, and the importance of asking for help and allowing others to support us. 

What is on my mind today has a similar flavor, and that is the notion of "doing it right".  As soon as I typed that phrase my internal dialog said "whatever that means", my rational mind wants to argue that there is no right way of doing anything, and yet the pressure that can ensue surrounding this myth can take over and paralyze my efforts.

A lot of the "do it right" thinking comes from the desire for perfection, an unattainable yet tempting place that women (at least myself) can tend to strive to be even while knowing it's not possible. 

"Pressure comes from all sides and settles uncomfortably in the laps of women trying to do everything the right way." -Karen Kleiman

A mind field of this type of thinking can pop up in areas where we are navigating something new, a path not walked down before. There is nothing like being 8.5 months pregnant that brings out the opinions of others the floodgates of advice comes rolling in causing lots of thoughts comparing to others and judging myself for what I do or don't know, "I have not thought of that, crap I should read more on that topic".  Because we live in a world where anything can be googled and Pinterest will be there to reliably show us all the possible "hacks" to get it right, it can be difficult to put the opinions aside and find a way that works for you. 

"Too many [women] are becoming anxious and depressed because they are overwhelmed and disappointed. Too many are letting their lives be poisoned by guilt because their expectations can't be met, and because there is an enormous cognitive dissonance between what they know to be right for themselves and what they're told is right for their children." .-Judith Warner

Regardless of the topic, there is an overwhelming amount of information available to us from others, our own research and imagined idea of how we are "supposed to" get something right. 

So how am I handling the feeling of "get it right" perfectionism as I round the corner into motherhood? Not overly gracefully but I am certainly putting effort into a few actions that have provided some reprieve that I will share with you. 

The first thing I have done is to do my best to have perspective and empathy about where the information is coming from.  I remember when my Father died three years ago, many people would say things to me like "when my grandma died", and at first I was offended that anyone would compare a grandparent to a parent, "do they have any clue what this is like".  When I chose to hear that person through the filter of empathy and love, I could see that more than likely they were just uncomfortable and wanted to relate to me in a way that they could, not really knowing what to say.  With unsolicited parenting advice, I am applying the same school of thought, this person is wanting to relate to me, be closer, and possibly share something that meant a lot to them, they might feel like they are handing me the keys to the parenting kingdom, maybe they are! The point is to rely on empathy and perspective to see people as my ally and with the filter of love. 

The other strategy I am employing to combat perfectionism and the "Do it right" mentality is to try to cut myself some slack.  This, is by far the hardest action for me to take and yet the simplest. The best way to actually do this are these two simple things; let myself off the hook for not knowing how to do something I have never done, duh, and, to not compare myself to others.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about how my workouts have not only changed but in the past week felt nearly impossible, I never thought I'd see the day that walking up hill was hard.  The best thing I can do for myself during this time is NOT get on Instagram and look for "moms to be that crossfit" to compare my efforts to others.  We all have our own experiences and for me sticking to my own without muddying the waters with what others do can be the best way to stay away from feeling like a failure. 

The beautiful underbelly of all of this is that if I peel off the layer of wanting to get it right and achieve perfection and see the innocence in my thoughts, my true intention is that I really want to be my best for those in my life I care about and the work I do in the world.  If I can remember to have empathy for myself and others I have a real chance at enjoying my experiences instead of making them right or wrong. 

How about you, does this resonate? Do you have a difficult time navigating new territory without comparing yourself to others or striving for out of reach perfectionism? 

Send me a note or comment here, I would love to hear from you! My intention is to blog as frequently as ideas come to me and I appreciate you reading along!  I look forward to posting about my experiences as I continue integrating motherhood into my work and relationships. 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

How Changing One thing Ultimately Changes Everything #WakeUpWednesday

Have you ever been stuck? Like really stuck where you can not think your way through what you are trying to solve, racking your mind for the next creative burst and nothing comes?

Me TOO! I think we all have and I have a little trick that I have learned that I want to share with you today. 

I will give you a hint, I am doing it right now. I am demonstrating this right now by writing on a a topic that is totally left field to what I have been sharing about.

The awesome move I am talking about is called "Pattern Interrupt."

Choosing to interrupt a pattern is one of the many skills that my Emotional Intelligence mentor, Kathlyn Hendricks has taught me.  Here is how it goes… when you notice you are stuck, in any way… change one thing. 

Simple, I know, and, when practiced over time yields profound results. 

Here is why this is a magical process... 

When I interrupt myself and go in a completely different direction then my brain or body was going, I naturally begin creating a new muscle where there was not one before. I create  unfamiliarity, causing my brain and body to act differently and creates innovation by doing. 

Just like a seasoned weight lifter changes their routines to create muscle confusion, same rule applies to the way we do other things. What kind of things? Anything… find yourself stuck on a project at your computer, change one thing about the way you or sitting, or go for a five minute walk.  Having trouble sleeping through the night, change the side of the bed you are sleeping on and the fragrance of the room by defusing an essential oil into the air.  Hitting a plateau on a project? Do something radically different like go for a hike instead of work one morning. 

The purpose is to create just enough confusion to bring you back to a place of clarity, a new place where whatever emerges is the new idea, and it usually comes to you while you are moving instead of while you are sitting and thinking. 

If you are in any type of leadership role, which I believe everyone on the planet is, this is a wonderful practice to try and role model.  By YOU becoming uncomfortable with the unknown it creates a confidence within yourself.

Be unconventional, try something NEW, interrupt your patterns in favor of not getting stuck.  Because after all, everything we do is interrelated, how you do one thing is how you do EVERYTHING.  If that is the case, choose different, choose new, choose discomfort in favor or learning what it is like to bend and flex in new ways.  

So give it a try, go into the unknown in favor of growing into your true capabilities and please, let me know how it goes! I LOVE talking about the BIG LEAPS people are taking. Get after it ;-)

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

Learn to Tango with Fear and Cultivate Self-Confidence #WakeUpWednesday

We all have that voice inside our head that says “you can do it, you've got this” and, in contrast we all also have the voice that says “no you can’t, you're screwed.” The journey of which one wins at any given moment is an on going discovery process.

When I was in my early 20’s I was a store manger for Starbucks Coffee and one day in particular I remember dancing this very tango between “yes I can and no, I can not.” It was early one weekday morning and the regional manager had plans of touring my store that day. I had been whirling around all morning making sure my store was in impeccable shape for the visit. He walked in and I remember like it was yesterday, my entire body flooded with heat, I could feel my heart beat in my temples. I have no idea what he asked me about, what we spoke about or how long he was there, but I do remember that feeling and what was going on in my mind as we were talking. I remember having the experience internally of doubt and belief at this same time, and which ever voice I gave more attention, grew. The more I believed in myself and told myself I had a reason to be there, I was part of the conversation, the calmer I felt. In contrast, the more I doubted, the louder the heart beat in my head become and the hotter the back of my neck felt.

I did not know it that day but looking back, it was that time period that I started to realize I had the ability to experience situations differently based on how I decided to feel about them. Don’t ask me why this particular instance sticks in my head, all of us have “those moments” that leave a lasting impressions, and that day was the one where I noticed my own experience of other people and me. It was that time period and many years to follow (and still)  that I began to cultivate true confidence in who I am as a person and awareness of my value. It truly does not matter what your title is, how much money you make, if your picture is in a magazine, at the end of the day we are all human.

I love the way my friend Robert Dyer puts it, “you know Lindsey, we all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time.” He had said that to me prior to a big meeting that I had myself pretty worked up over.  It took me many years to cultivate the confidence to see myself as whole and capable in the presence of those with larger titles than myself. Looking back, I don’t think it was one single experiences that cultivated confidence instead a compounding of many many experiences that brought me to where I am today. Which is by no means a state of “arrival,” however I can say that today I see myself as fully capable to have a conversation with anyone, even the president or the united states without the feeling of “less than” being part of my internal dialog, which is a far cry from where I came from.

In creating this article, I wanted to share my personal experiences on the topic as it has completely overhauled the way I see myself and therefore the world. Here are a few points in summary that when I think back were compounding experiences resulting in my ability to cultivate confidence.

Practice talking to people you feel afraid of talking to. 
As simple as this sounds, if you really evaluate your choices in people you talk to I would bet you air on the side of “safe” instead of risky, it is human nature to seek out comfort. The only way I have found to learn to tango with fear instead of bolt in the opposite direction is to face the fear square in the eyes and go for it. Do you follow an “important” personal on twitter that you would love to have a cup or coffee with? Ask them for a phone call! You know that quote we all “like” when it pops into our FB feed “do something each day that scares you,” this time, do it, scare yourself, I dare you.

Hang out with people doing and demonstrating what you want
The saying, “you are the sum of the 5 people you hang out with," find 3-5 people you want to be like when you grow up and hang out with them. Something I have done that I find useful is if the person is not available but they distribute content (Tim FerrissGary VaynerchukAmy Schmittauer) listen to/watch and consume their content. I have Tim Ferriss in my ear more than once per week, and as a result, he influences me. Find your role models and soak up their goodness as often as you can.

Take exquisite care of yourself and prioritize this above all. 
We are what we think, eat and do repeatedly. This is a basic equation and thought process AND the easiest to completely loose footing on and fall off track. The reality is this, if you do not take care of yourself, no one else will do this for you, it is your responsibility to love what you’ve got! We all see so many leaders burn out in their 40’s because they didn’t sleep, eat or exercise in their 30’s due to over working. I don’t know about you, but this whole gig is a marathon not a sprint, If I skimp on sleep, eat too much pizza and skip too many workouts today, it’s only a matter of time before I run out of steam and crash and burn. So even if it is inconvenient, create space for yourself everyday, and be vigilant about staying true to your routine. This will allow you to be available to everyone else. Self sacrifice at your own expense is not heroic, it is wasteful. If you do not care for yourself, your spouse, co worker, children and pets will get your leftovers instead of your best.

Cultivating confidence in yourself is a lifelong journey. Just when I think I have rounded one corner and feel great, a surprise is right around the next bend. The good news is that with practice dancing with fear, lots of help from other's and taking care of myself I will continue to create more confidence everyday. What’s the point you might ask of cultivating confidence? For me it is about being of maximum service to my purpose for being on this planet. We are all hear to fill our own specific and unique calling and having the confidences to say YES to life when the phone rings is what it is all about.

Do you struggle with confidence or want to chat on this topic? Send me a note and I would enjoy connecting with you on the topic. 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

What are the Key Differentiators between Sales People and Business Development Professionals? #TotallyTrendyTuesday

As the role of the salesperson continues to lose relevance to today's buyer based on how people are purchasing, how does a salesperson evolve into what is more relevant? If evolving into a business development professional is the route to take, what is the first step?  Let’s begin by defining some key character traits of business development professionals and how they may be differentiate their message. 

Business Development Professionals Solve Problems
Leave the product talk at the door.  Gone are the days where what you are selling is the focus of your meetings.  WHY you are there is a far greater focus. Best selling author and speaker Simon Sinek has a wonderful TED talk called “Start with Why.” Click here to watch it.  He talks about how people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.  It is critical then that you know WHY you are going to visit the prospect you have a meeting with; is it because of your product? Then you might want to rethink your approach. 

Business Development Professionals Are Industry Experts
When you have a relationship and a rapport, you become a resource.  The other day I was looking for a new shampoo and conditioner. What was the first thing I did? I texted the girl that does my hair and asked her what her favorite product was.  We trust the people we have relationships with and we ask their opinion.  As a Business Development professional, you might sell treadmills and equipment, but you will more than likely be asked questions about flooring, lockers, front desk technology, you name it! Once you have a relationship, you will become a resource. When you focus on selling instead of consulting, often these items are overlooked and the opportunity to support the whole picture gets lost. 

Business Development Professionals will Walk away
One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is thinking everyone has potential to be their customer.   It is so very important to know your customer, and realize that there will be plenty of people that will not be your customer.  The hardest part is knowing when to stop and walk away.  The fact is that if someone is a difficult prospect and difficult to work with pre-sale, imagine the headache they will create for your company once they are on-boarded. These types of sales end up costing your company more money long term. Short term, you might have made your commission, but long term it is not worth it for everyone involved. 

In today’s business climate solving problems, being an expert in your industry, and knowing who is the right fit for your product are fundamental necessities to long term success.  The leaders in Business Development will be known for developing long term relationships based on being helpful and being an asset.  Organizations that see the potential to evolve their sales roles will succeed long term. Those that do not? It will only be a matter of time before the old tactics will yield no results. This is by no means a comprehensive list of character traits, but certainly a good starting place.

Are you or your organization attempting to pivot from sales to business development? I would enjoy talking with you about your experience.  Connect with me here and let’s talk! 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

#TotallyTrendyTuesday Being a Leader Requires Emotional Intelligence

One of my favorite books of all time is Illusions; The Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.  The book offers a tremendous level of insight for leaders and anyone interested in self discovery. 

I bring up the book because it is a wonderful summary of the importance of emotional intelligence, knowing yourself and being comfortable enough with yourself to feel your feelings.  Each time I read it, I learn something new about myself. 

One of my favorite parts of the book is Chapter thirteen, and while I would encourage you to read the entire book, here is chapter 13 for you to take in and reflect on your own choices and ability to respond to the life of your creation.  

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

What do you think? Is the life of choice, responsibility and emotional intelligence necessary for today's leaders? 

I would enjoy hearing your perspective on the topic.

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O or check out her website