Welcome to the Telling of Story podcast. I’m your host, Storyteller Jewels, and along with my guests, it’s my Endeavour to explore the art and science of storytelling, to attract, engage, and retain a business audience, and to unpack why it works for some and not for the many that try listen in as Katie talks about enabling transformation within.

Katie: I believe that we can enable transformation within us. And I think the reason why I say which is because I believe it’s a really magical process when we’re feeling stuck, when we’re lost in our own thoughts, when our emotions are low, and we really manage to pivot this and shift everything. It first happens by shifting it inside, which is where the true transformation happens.

And then this mirrors on the outside.

Jewels: In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Katie Stoddart. Katie, the founder of the Focusbee, is an award-winning, transformative and conscious leadership. Coach Katie supports entrepreneurs and companies to reach and sustain peak performance in their business. She’s dedicated to enabling people to lead with greater joy, alignment, and purpose.

Katie started her career as an engineer working offshore, mapping the seafloor from a time at sea. She gained the experience of leading teams under stressful circumstances. During her career, Katie has explored two of the greatest mysteries and unknowns, the infinity of the ocean, and the depth of the human psyche.

Passionate about leadership, performance and mindfulness. Katie is frequently invited to speak and host conferences she has amongst others. Spoken at Mindvalley Women in Tech 15 seconds and hosted a TEDx event for her weekly podcast, the Focus Bee show. Katie interviews international high performers and leaders.

Katie, welcome to the show. 

Katie: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me today. 

Jewels: Katie, take me on the journey from mapping the seafloor to award-winning coach. 

Katie: Well, it’s quite a long journey that could take the whole episode, but in a nutshell, it began with me studying maths and physics, doing an engineering degree and working at sea.

I really enjoyed it. At first there was a lot of travel and great people and nice experience, and I realized after some point that although I enjoyed it to some extent, it didn’t really fit with what I was really passionate about. And it took me a while to see what that was. And it all came down to relationships and people.

After a while, I realized it was mauling towards psychology philosophy, and somewhere along the line I discovered coaching and I thought, right, this is it. I remember joining my first coaching training and literally falling in love with it and thinking, wow, how did I not know about this? And loved it, loved it, loved the methodology, loved the.

Supporting, enabling people. Love the potential part. Started setting loads of goals, including quitting my job and reached all the goals I set. And it was amazing to start this new career and it opened so many perspectives and I think the second I began, I felt so aligned with that career and path that.

Things picked up and I got awards and clients and everything aligned because it was what felt like the right direction for me and 

Jewels: still does. Your main topic is self-leadership. Can you explain to me and to the audience what is self-leadership and why is that important? 

Katie: Self-leadership is the ability to master your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions.

And the reason why it’s important is it’s a basis of pretty much anything. I realized recently that most of us fear ourselves. Most of us fear thoughts. We’re going to have the emotions we’ll feel. We think we’re afraid of external events and situations, but it’s only because we’re afraid of the feelings that they will generate.

I. So if we learn to master our thoughts in different conversations, if we learn to master our emotions under the stressful circumstances, if we learn to master our actions and behaviour and have greater self-discipline, pretty much we can do anything. I mean, maybe not anything, anything, but we can do a lot because we hold ourselves back all the time through beliefs, through fears, through preconceived ideas.

So if we stop holding ourselves back, everything just becomes a lot easier and more fluid. And that’s really what self-leadership is about. Mastering the thoughts, emotions, and actions so that you can move in the right direction and achieve the goals, and also enjoy the process and not be too locked up in our minds and fears all the time.

I read 

Jewels: an article that you wrote a 2022 article in the Brains magazine. I think this is related to what you’ve just said there on how your thoughts become your reality and reading through that, I couldn’t help but think it’s the stories we tell ourselves is what becomes our reality. Right. Can you just take me through that a little bit about that article, if you recall it, it was about a year ago now, but take me through that sort of thought process.

Katie: Absolutely. So it’s quite a, a famous framework and you hear it a lot in coaching and in different podcast episodes, but also in different books. The concept is really this, that what we think about a lot, the stories we tell ourselves, they generate certain emotions within us. So if we keep thinking, I’ll never manage this, this is too hard, why am I so bad at this?

That generate the feeling of inadequacy. It generates the feeling of fear resistance. So from that emotion. This then leads us to take certain actions. In this case, if we feel inadequate, we won’t take any action. And that ultimately leads to results or lack of results, not taking any action because we feel inadequate to, for instance, I don’t know, host a podcast leads to three years down the line, you’re having a conversation with someone in a restaurant and you say, I’ve always wanted to start a podcast, but you know, somehow I just can’t get around to it, etc.

Now if we reverse this, if the thoughts are. This is such an exciting project. I would love to work with new people, maybe interview people, learn about their stories. It would be so fascinating, generates the emotion of excitement, joy, curiosity, which then propels you to take action, to start the podcast, to reach out to people just like you do it, which then leads at one point to the result of having a podcast, having X amount of guests, etc.

So what happens is often when we look at results or lack of results in our lives, we don’t go all the way back to the thought. We just go back to circumstances or we, we just think, well, maybe it wasn’t the right timing, or, I don’t know if this is in the cards for me, or I’m not sure this will work out for me, and we sort of stop there instead of going all the way back and think, wait a minute, what was the initial thought that led to this?

Often we can find thoughts so we can shape our reality. And of course, I don’t mean that everything in our reality we can control. We can’t control the weather or politics obviously. But what I’m talking about is our work direction, even our family life, even how our flat is even some aspects of our health, like what we eat and exercise.

And all of this comes back to what are the thoughts we are having and the thoughts. If we go one step. Further back, which I’m not sure I put in the article, is linked to the identity we’ve conceived of ourselves, which is this preconceived image we have ourselves. So if we see ourselves as someone who’s.

A great speaker then we’re way more likely to then have thoughts of it being possible to start a podcast. And so it’s all about building this identity, which is really shapeable because there is no fixed identity. And so we can really shape the identity we want to. Most people don’t stop to do this.

Most people just have it generated through past experience and preconditioning and it’s only when you get into personal growth, listen to these type of things. Read books, they realize, wait, I. I don’t need to get stuck with this image of whatever. I’m a terrible speaker or I’m not a good salesperson. I can change this and I can shift my identity, and I can shift my beliefs and I can start taking these actions and I can build proof and I can build my self-esteem.

Oh, and then guess what? It works. These things works. 

Jewels: I can picture our listeners nodding their heads going, oh my God, that’s me. There are certainly times in, I think in everybody’s life that they have these thoughts. Can you share any sort of techniques or where would somebody start, start if they’re kind of stuck in their own head?

Where would you point them? 

Katie: The very first step for any change or transformation is awareness. So the very first step is start to notice. You even have the thoughts ’cause a lot of these thoughts as we know, there’s only 3% of our thoughts or something ridiculously low are conscious. So most thoughts are unconscious.

And as we raise awareness and as we start to notice them, this makes it easier because then we can stop. We can catch them and we can question them. So first step awareness. This can come through being coached. This can come from reflection. This can come from journaling, from meditation. Anything where you’re a bit more quiet and you start to see, wait, I keep thinking this isn’t going to work.

That’s first step awareness. Second one, question it. What makes me believe that this won’t work? It might be because you’ve had friends who’ve tried and failed it again, could be podcasting, could be exercising, whatever example we use. And so you think that’s why it won’t work. Maybe it’s because you’ve done it in the past 2, 3, 4 times and it hasn’t worked out, so that’s why you don’t believe it will work.

And then once you question it and you see the root of your fear or your belief, then you start to find counter examples and start to ask the question the other way around. What could make it work? What could I do differently to make it work? So you’re literally just questioning and pivoting it. It’s a bit the same as if you have a friend who’s down in the dumps after a breakup and you’re trying to cheer up, you will find someone else.

Again, you won’t just listen to their story of this is the end. I’ll never find someone. You’d question it. First you say, well, you keep saying this. Is this really true question it. And when they say, yes, it’s true, but well, how about in the past? What did you do in those circumstances? What could you do differently?

How do you think you could heal this? What steps could you do, et cetera? So you do this with friends, and you can also do this with your own mind. It’s really pivoting from this stuck feeling, blocked feeling disempowering to this. Taking ownership shifting, changing your perception and it’s practice. And the more you do it, the more you learn to pivot with your brain so that you actually find solutions and find new ways of looking at things.

Jewels: It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s often easier to have that conversation with somebody else. You can sort of spot it when somebody else is doing it, but often a little bit more difficult to turn it around and, uh, mirror it into yourself and, and your own subconscious. So thank you for that. Your LinkedIn profile says you’re a transformation witch.

Please explain. What do you mean? 

Katie: What do I mean by transformation? Which exactly what I just said. I believe that we can enable transformation within us, and I think the reason why I say which is because I believe it’s a really magical process. When we’re feeling stuck, when we’re lost in our own thoughts, when our emotions are low, and we really manage to pivot this and shift everything.

It first happens by shifting it inside, which is where the true transformation happens. And then this mirrors on the outside. So if we look back at the example of identity, if you manage to shift your identity from being a person who’s shy to a person who’s at ease in social context, from a person who’s lazy and never exercises to someone who’s an athlete, if you manage to shift your whole perspective, then the outside world also shifts.

It’s this inner work around belief preconditioning through taking actions, through finding examples of previous successes, et cetera, et cetera. You shift things around and then you see the result on the outside and it’s really magical. I mean, I apply it to my own life. I apply with my clients. I see other people and coaches that I know applied on their clients, and I see those results.

Uh, transformation in general is really special. I think it’s so important to remember at any given moment, no matter how stuck or lost we’re feeling, there are things we can pivot and transform. We have this inner strength and resourcefulness and power, so we just need to tap into it. 

Jewels: I love that you used the term, which, because I kind of understood where it was coming from, but it invoked a story and you know, obviously this is the telling of Story podcast, so I’m always interested in story.

You are a prolific storyteller yourself. You’re a keynote speaker, you’re a podcaster, you’re an author, and I’m sure there are probably other formats that you go venture down in. Tell me firstly, why do you spend so much of your time and effort on these particular mediums, and what do you think that is doing for you and or your business?

Katie: In terms of speaking and writing? Yeah, I think it’s a really nice way of connecting with people. So I really enjoy going to trainings. I really enjoy listening to speakers. I love going to classes and courses. The coaching course I went to literally changed my life. I love reading books and I read all the time, so I think it’s quite natural that I want to do it the other way round.

I remember asking myself when I published my book Thinking. I’ve always wanted to write a book. And then I thought, why? And then I realized it’s because I always loved reading books, and so if you love reading books, then of course you want to write your own. I mean, for me, that was always a natural thing.

So I suppose it’s just giving back what I receive. I love reading, therefore it’s nice to give something for other people to read. I think that’s really the, the primary, it’s a form of contribution and impact. And it’s also forms work that I enjoy and I get into flow and it’s a deep connection, I think.

Jewels: So is it just about the sort of paying it forward aspect of it, or has it been useful in growing your practice as a coach 


Katie: well? I would say it has been. I mean, it helps a lot in terms of credibility and authority, above and beyond. It’s what I enjoy most. So I always recommend to people when they grow their business.

Look at what they enjoy most. If they really, really dislike speaking. Sure. I mean, they might have to quote unquote have to from time to time, but even then they might just do really well writing blog articles. James Clear did so well with all his blog articles. Then his book I. Sure he does the occasional podcast appearance, maybe some speaking, but writing is his key things.

Other people are fantastic at social media. They’re great. Maybe they’re really, really good with images, and therefore they do great on Instagram or other social media. Other people are great building communities, whatever it is to find a form that really suits you. I always enjoyed speaking. I always enjoyed conversations, hence coaching.

I always enjoyed people and big groups of people, hence workshops and training. And therefore I loved it. Sure. It impacted my business and it helped. But I’m not sure that’s the speaking or podcasting per se. I think it’s because I enjoyed it that much that it paid back. And then the, the writing a book is different to speaking, but it’s similar in some ways.

I find it’s just putting in writing what you’d normally say out loud. 

Jewels: So you are a business coach, so do you advise your clients to become some sort of public person or, or public persona for their business, or does it not matter? Do you think? Trick question, by the way. 

Katie: In general, I prefer coaching over mentoring, so I prefer helping them to find their own answers over advising.

Sure, from time to time I give them some hints and ideas and thoughts. Therefore, it would really depend on them. So when I’m coaching the client, if I feel. They kind of want to go in that direction and there’s a bit of fear, then I challenge them around it and enable them to get there. But if we’re talking to them, I would sense that that wasn’t really the main priority for them.

And maybe they want their co-founder to shine in the light, or maybe they want their, their team or the company as a whole, and they don’t really want to be that visible in front. Then that’s fine. I, I strongly believe in listening to your own intuition and your own alignment, which is why I don’t believe one answer fits everyone.

Jewels: Nice answer by the way. So thank you. In your experience from a growth perspective then, so if somebody’s kind of wanting to go there, but a little bit stuck, how would you guide them into sort of getting out of their own way? Because it’s, one of the things about this podcast is I’m trying to help people to get out of their own way and get outta their own head and actually start to, you know, publicly come out with.

You know, their thoughts and their desires and their, you know, what their business is about and why they’re in business. And by building that brand, as you say, you start to connect with people. And people when you connect with tend to be those kinds of people that you wanna do business with as well. So it’s quite important to like your audience or like your clients.

So how would you help somebody get out of their own way to enable them to actually start to have that public persona? 

Katie: A couple of things. The first thing I’d say is never compare your process to someone ends results. So when they just beginning and just starting off, don’t compare with. The Tim Ferriss show.

If you’re starting a podcast, for instance, or Joe Rogans, start with where you’re at. That would be the first thing. So not comparing that doesn’t help. You can have people that inspire you and role models or give you ideas and inspiration, great. But if it’s to make you feel low, then that’s not helpful.

So that would be the first thing. No point in comparing. The second one would be. People don’t really care that much about you. I know this is harsh, but most people are very absorbed in their world, in their life, in their work. They don’t spend that much time and attention looking at your video super in-depth or listening to the way you speak or analyzing your writing to the comma.

And so if you make a mistake, if your speech isn’t perfect, if your first few episodes are a bit not ideal or perfectly done, it doesn’t really matter. So I think. Stop the, the whole perfectionism when we start to go out and write articles and all of that. Do the best you can for sure. Apply yourself hard work.

All the rest for sure. But then breathe, because I remember, so I, I love singing and at one point I set myself the challenge to do like one or two videos on Instagram, singing totally not linked to my business. So totally unrelated. So I thought, I won’t do a million. I was terrified. It took me three hours to put one video on, but no one cares.

No one cares. I got a few hearts and likes, one or two comments, and then it’s lost in the Instagram pool. The bottom line is we overthink, we pull ourselves so many obstacles. Once you just try a new practice, even if the beginning isn’t great, even if it’s so-so no one really notices. And once you’re doing really well, then people might notice and comment a bit more.

Again, they’re still lost in their own heads and thoughts, but by then you’re over the hurdle. By then you’ve built the practice, the resilience you’ve got in content out there. So by the time where people really start to notice. You will already have built the practice and at the beginning it’s really not that relevant.

Jewels: I was listening to one of your podcasts earlier today as part of my research, and it was about being in the 1%, and you just mentioned there just a second ago that building up your tolerance, building up your resilience to something will enable you to get through some of these difficult moments. Can you tell me a little bit about.

How to be that sort of 1% and get, as we just spoke about, you know, how do you get through those hurdles or pass the hurdles so that you can continue on your journey and actually start hitting your, some of those goals. 

Katie: I remember reading very early on when I was just starting my personal growth journey, this whole idea of get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I even had it on a post-it in a little notebook. I thought, wow, this is really good. What you just asked about being in the 1%. That’s really what it comes down to. Once you start to enjoy that feeling of discomfort, that little like adrenaline boost that, they’re like, whoa, I’m a bit nervous. And you almost get a small little kick out of the fact that it’s challenging, not terrifying, not panic zone, but you almost start to, to feel that fizziness and buzz of excitement when you’re uncomfortable.

That’s when you can start to get in the 1%, because if every time you get uncomfortable, you avoid it. If every time there’s Discomfort, you flee from it. Then you won’t get to 1% of anything, whether it’s in business or fitness or any form. But once you start to embrace that feeling of discomfort, I mean, I did it this morning, like I said, when we were off air, that I go for cold dips every morning and now it’s starting to get colder in Sweden.

And so this morning when I went out, it was a bit uncomfortable, but then I feel fantastic afterwards. And so it’s, it’s all about choosing what’s great for you long term. And then knowing it’s uncomfortable and being okay with it, I even go down in my towning robe, so I’m on the streets of Stockholm in my towning robe.

People look and stuff, but I only have a two-minute walk, and I’ve decided putting on all my clothes to take them all off is a waste of time. This is a great example of, it’s a bit uncomfortable. I hardly notice because once you have built this tolerance to discomfort physically, fitness sessions, the cold dips fasting and is another great way, that’s probably the one I struggle most with.

That’s my next challenge. Uh, we all have, you know, the ones we struggle with most and then the discomfort of conversations, sales talks, negotiations. Coaching saying something that can be a bit difficult to, to say to someone still with empathy, but sometimes we need to challenge clients. All of this discomfort really helps us to grow and this leads us to whatever it is, one, the top 1% speakers because you’re doing those of speaking engagements or the top percent, 1% athlete or 1% success.

But I think the 1% is just a way of saying. If you really want to live life to the fullest and have a really intentional life and not be in the autopilot, and I feel ninety-nine percent are just in the autopilot and they’re more comfortable. And the more we embrace discomfort, the more we meet 1% of.

Truly intentional living, which that’s what’s most important for me. This idea of intentional living way more than success or top athlete, whatever, it’s you do what’s important for you and for your growth and for your progress, and for what you enjoy in life and what really fulfills you. 

Jewels: I remember when I first started this podcast, I don’t like the sound of my own voice, like a lot of people don’t.

But not only that, meeting people for the first time, there’s kind of this little bit of uncomfortable bit of awkwardness when you first meet somebody. But I love listening to podcasts and I love the interactions that I hear, particularly with, with, you know, one-on-one interviews. They’re my favourite sort of type.

So. I wanted say in the back of my head, I wanted to be able to control that narrative and say, well, what am I interested? What are the things that I want to ask and learn from and through pushing myself to start the podcast? Listen, you know, I have to listen to my voice. On each podcast 3, 4, 5 times, you know, when you’re doing the editing and, and it’s, you know, Horrific in the back of my head, but I’ve gotten over that, right?

I’ve gotten over that hurdle. Even the nervousness of the initial awkwardness. When I first started, I was very, I think, a little bit stilted in my initial conversations and couldn’t even start the conversation. But even that, I’ve, I feel like I’m a lot more comfortable and I’ve been able to sort of get over that hurdle.

I don’t stress about it as much beforehand. I don’t overthink it before I get on on the session with whoever I’m interviewing for the day. So you’re right by pushing yourself past those uncomfortable bits. You can actually get to the gold and the gold is meeting new people. Like I’ve had the pleasure now of interviewing people from all over the world.

You’re my very first from Sweden, so thank you. But, and you know, all over the world, people that I would never have been able to connect with in, in other means. So it’s been a fabulous exercise. I’ve learned a lot from each one of my guests, which is cool as well. So I’m fulfilling my part and, but also getting over some of those little hurdles that.

Also, as you say, it helps me in other parts of my business. So if I get up in front of a room and have to speak, the nervousness is a little less than it would’ve been traditionally because I’m now in the practice of doing this and I, you know, I’m doing an interview at least one once or twice a week on a podcast.

And so that continuous practice allows me to sort of grow, which has been fantastic. So thank you and thank you for your article. It was a very good article. You’ve also written, you have a, a latest book called The Magic of Focus. Can you talk to me about the core message in that? 

Katie: Yes. So this comes back to what I was just saying right now around intentional living.

I. I firmly believe that many of us, most of us, unless we learn the tools or read certain book, or listen to certain podcasts, we default to autopilot. Now, what does autopilot mean? Autopilot means that through our lives, through our experience, what we’ve gone through, we develop certain habits, certain patterns of thinking, certain ways of behaving.

This is only because it’s what we saw over and over again, or it’s what we developed as a defense mechanism and all of these patterns, some of them serve us, some of them are great. We might have developed a pattern of being very kind and respectful because maybe our parents were like that and we imitated them, and that’s a great pattern.

We might have developed the pattern of positivity and optimism. Amazing. And so those are autopilots that are fine, but then we might also be defensive and prickly or afraid of, again, talking in public. Or we might have developed any form of belief around certain capabilities that we have. Some people think they can never learn a new language.

That’s not true, but that’s a belief they have, etc. And so we have some autopilot resistance, let’s say. By shifting that to intentional living. Now, what is Intentional Living? Intentional Living is being very clear around what you want to experience live. Go through the direction that you feel guided to take on, and then as you do this, you’ll notice certain blockages that come from this past autopilot.

Exactly the example you gave. You felt guided, inspired to start a podcast because you love listening to podcasts, and you had some blockages around listening to your voice around the initial conversation that was a bit stilted. Those are great examples of things that are maybe due to a past autopilot.

Personally, I’m not really interested in what created the blockages. I’m more interested in what are they and how do we overcome them, whether it comes from our personality, our background, school experience, a mean teacher. Interesting if we’re curious and if it suddenly becomes evident to us, but not necessarily useful, particularly, it depends, but often we can overcome them without knowing where they come from.

So intentional living is you’re clear on your direction, you know where you want to go, you feel inspired to go there and you remove all the obstacles. And in my case, it would be things like getting into fitness. I was terrible at school in sports. I never thought it was something I could do in any way, shape, or form.

And then I decided again, this intentionality, the. Health was one of my core priorities in life, and one of the fundamental aspects of health is fitness in different way shapes and forms. So I started learning about it and doing yoga and Pilates and running and fitness training and weightlifting and all the rest.

But that’s something where I. I dunno if I could hear myself 10 years ago, I wouldn’t believe it because 10 years ago I had this image that I was last in sports at school and this was not something I’d ever be good at. And now I realise. It’s not about being good. I’m not trying to compete as an athlete.

It is about, I. Building daily practices. So we’re exercising on a daily basis. And yes, so it’s removing this resistance, removing this resistance from the past, and enabling a direction of intentionality that’s aligned with what’s important for 

Jewels: us. And so has that come with, again, a sort of a daily practice, I guess, of, of being intentional on everything that you do?

So sort of stopping yourself thinking about it, asking those questions. And then working your way through it? Or is it more, you know, something you need to do? You know, just at that moment when you are deciding that you want to do something and then it sort of kicks in, 

Katie: it’s a combination of different things.

First, it’s being clear on what are the overarching areas in your life and which direction you want to go in them. So that could be looking at your social life, your health, your business, your finance, your all the different areas. Then it’d be really clear on your values, what’s really important for you.

One of my values is kindness. So every time I feel I’m a bit unkind or harsh, I try and make sure I say politely and I apologize if I feel it went the wrong way and. So that’s part being intentional, being in alignment with your values. Another one of my values is curiosity. So if I feel there’s something new to learn, I will look into it and I will try to learn about it.

So being, having that open-mindedness, so being aligned with your values, clear on your direction, uh, what’s important for you in each area of your life. And then. It’s not necessarily just daily, but it’s regularly and regularly could be defined as once a week or twice a week, just pausing and thinking. Is this aligned?

A very fast way of knowing this? Well, there’s a few ways, but one fast way of knowing this is if you think that your life was suddenly shortened, would you be happy with how you’re living it now, if the answer is yes. Maybe there’s a few tweaks. Maybe you’d want to be traveling a bit more. Maybe you’d wanna be a bit more in nature.

Okay. Those are small tweaks. It’s okay, but if the answer is fundamentally no, if you know you had six months or a year to live or, or even three years, would you be horrified at how you’re living your life and want to quit your work? Spend loads of times with your family, go travel. That means you’re totally not aligned.

So I check in regularly and I just ask myself these questions. I think it can be quite. Painful sometimes because they can be very hard questions. Overall, it helps to tweak certain things and it can, helps to keep, uh, boundaries quite clear. So I, I don’t work weekends, for instance, unless I may be at a speaking event, but it’s very rare, maybe once every three, four months.

And that boundary is very, I mean, I don’t even have my computer with me. It’s a very strong boundary, but that’s because I’ve asked myself so often. What’s aligned for me and spending time with my friends, family, being outdoors, uh, not being constantly connected online all the time is super important for me.

Now, I’m not saying people listening. If you love working six days a week, seven days a week, fantastic. But it’s just, is that really intentional? Or is it out of fear or desperate need for success or, or preconditioning, because that’s what people do around you. That’s very different to what you truly want.

So I think it comes from asking regularly, is this really aligned? Is this how I want to live my life? If my life were to be shorter than I’m hoping, would I be satisfied with the way I’m living? And if not, no panic. But what do I need to change? What are the first steps I can take for it to start to be a bit more aligned and start to feel like I’m really living aligned with my values, the direction I’m going in?

What’s important for me? And also contributing. So what’s important for you, but also how are you helping other people 

Jewels: around you? I’m sure people are listening and once again are sort of thinking, well, there’s definitely moments in my life where I’m not aligned. I’m, you know, maybe overworking or doing something I don’t enjoy or don’t love.

You mentioned earlier that, just casually before I hit record, that you spoke five languages that you’ve lived all over, uh, you know, many places around the world. Is there culturally or. Something in the linguistics that differ in different countries and different languages as to the way we think about ourselves and or the way we treat ourselves and the stories we we tell ourselves.

Is there any nuances in regards to where I might have grown up, or is it just universally pretty much everyone, you know, thinks the same way? I. 

Katie: I think there’s a difference in culture. So for instance, living in Sweden is quite nice because it does align with some of my values, which would typically be.

When you work, focus and do deep work, but then don’t work till midnight every day and take some weekends off. So they’re pretty big at finishing at five or 6:00 PM If you compare with maybe the US or maybe even big capitals like Paris and and London, it’s very normal to work till eight, till 9:00 PM Now I go to bed at nine ’cause I get up at six, so I wouldn’t want to work till 9:00 PM Of course, there has been the odd exception with maybe a podcast guest and a big time difference, that sort of thing.

Exceptions don’t matter. What matters is what we do all the time. And so I think culturally there are some differences around work-life balance. For instance, how much we work taking holidays. I know in the US they hardly ever do. And so these things do impact the way we think. And I feel that if we realize it’s not aligned.

It can be trickier. So if you’re living in the Centre of London and you suddenly think, well, I really want to have my weekends free and finish at 6:00 PM but all your colleagues finish at eight and all your friends work till eight or nine, and that’s the norm everywhere. I’m not saying you need to leave London, but almost it’s either a matter of you change your perception and you find a way to still appreciate what you do have and.

Create that freedom from outside of your work, even if it’s in less hours, for instance, or it’s a matter of you change your circumstances. I mean, all you can ever do is you either change your perception or you change your circumstances. So if you can change your circumstances fit to fit and be aligned, great.

And if you really can’t or you can’t for now, then change your perception so that you live it a bit better and you’re not every day feeling angry or annoyed about the situation because that won’t help. 

Jewels: It strikes me as those kinds of conversations with yourself could be quite challenging, both in you asking yourself the hard enough questions and obviously do then doing something about it.

In your experience, is it best to do this accompanied or guided with somebody like yourself, or is it actually something again, we can practice and learn and get better at doing ourselves or somewhere, you know, possibly somewhere in between. Perhaps a bit of both. 

Katie: You are talking to someone who is a coach and who’s worked with maybe 12 coaches, so I think I have a bias for coaching though.

I would say we can definitely do both. That would really be my answer honestly. It’s wonderful having a coach, and if you can’t afford a coach or you don’t want to, then having someone who’s an accountability partner or someone who’s a really good listener, this is very hard to find. And if you have a friend who’s really great at listening, not giving advice, just asking you some deep questions, that’s great already.

Even if they’re not a trained or qualified coach, that would already be hugely helpful. But we want to avoid when we’re conflicted or unsure or indecisive, we want to avoid. Those people in our lives that always have solutions and ideas, first, they’re great. Sometimes they’re great. Sometimes they could be an inspiration sometimes, but if you’re really stuck, don’t, please don’t go and ask your friends.

Say, well, what do you think I should do? Because they don’t know. They might say something to help you and feel better, but it might not be the right answer for you if it’s the big stuff. Career direction, business, health, uh, big relationship thing. The, the big things you can ask friends for. You know, what do you think I should choose between these two dresses?

Great. But if it’s the big things in life, don’t. And so then it is either a matter of finding a really good listener and friend who will listen and just ask you some questions and not tell you what to do or coach. And the introspection part is great. Journaling really helps just writing down all the thoughts where you’re feeling stuck.

What could help you and some visualization, visualizing different scenarios and how you feel about them and listening, actually listening to yourself, because I feel a lot of people, they know when, when I ask people and they want to change careers and say, oh, but I don’t know what to do. I stay with them five minutes, and I say, okay.

If you could do anything, what would you do? They know. They know. They always say, well, I’ve been thinking maybe I could open a restaurant, or maybe I could also be a teacher and a coach, or maybe I’d love to write books, et cetera, et cetera. People know, so listen to yourself, and then it’s a matter of taking action.

Most things come through, taking action. Start taking baby steps, baby actions in that direction. 

Jewels: Katie, that’s very sound advice. Thank you. At the risk of going down a hundred more layers and turning this into a therapy session for me, I’ll wrap it up there, but where can the audience find out a little bit more 

Katie: about you?

Yes, thank you for asking. So either my LinkedIn profile, Katie Stoddart. Happy to connect and let me know if you have any thoughts or questions after this. My website, also KatieStoddart.com and my podcast, the Focus Bee show. 

Jewels: All very worthy and worthwhile get tapping into. So thank you so much, Katie. I really did enjoy our conversation and perhaps we could do it again and the therapy continues.

Katie: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. 

Jewels: There is so much to unpack from that conversation with Katie. Master your thoughts and emotions allows you to master your actions. You can shape your identity by shifting your beliefs. And it all begins with self-awareness. Much love Chat soon.

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