Sarah McDowell 0:06eight and our second episode:
Hello, how are you?
Sarah McDowell 2:05
I am very well. Thank you very well indeed. was celebrating my birthday yesterday.
Happy birthday, that cake looked lovely.
Sarah McDowell 2:17
Thank you. I would say that Tash spent hours baking that but I did see the wrapper.
Nonetheless, it's very, very tasty looking.
Sarah McDowell 2:36
Tash knows me so well. I love crisps. So I had a bowl of all my favourites. Were that candle at the top. But no, Tash did very well. She decorated the space. She wrote me a lovely little poem. She got me a cake. And she took me out for some Thai food. So I feel very spoiled. Very lucky.
Doesn't get much better than that.
Sarah McDowell 3:03ow about you? How's the how's:
So still got this lurgy but other than that, it's it's on the way out. I can definitely feel that it's on the way out. And knows we this makes me much better being back to normal doing my walks. Doing doing my thing. And excited for tomorrow because we're doing goal setting cohort tomorrow. Yeah, that's yeah, excitingly. Wow.
Sarah McDowell 3:39
Nice. I do know, because I suffered with this lurgy and from talking to other people. It is sticking around. So it took me I think two weeks all in to get rid of it. So how far in are you? How long have you had it for?
10 days. And over this weekend, I resorted to herbal remedies. I was just giving into listening and said what's this? This is no point asking because you're not going to know half the stuff I put in it. And it's not a question. Do you want it or not? You're just drinking. So right here, yeah, Lee down and down to the herbal stuff. Our kitchen cabinets got more medicine than it has fruit. But like I said, it's on its way out. For sure.
Sarah McDowell 4:36
Lovely. Lovely to hear. Well, yeah. And anyone else that is still suffering with that lurgy or feeling under the weather. completely get it and it's what we do or what our bodies do, isn't it? We've all taken a lot of time off haven't really or well not a lot of time but we've taken some time off to have a breather, and we're not as busy so I feel like our body then like, oh, actually, now that we're resting, this is how I'm feeling then gives you the low GI or some sort of goal. So, yeah, hopefully everyone get on the herbal remedies like Tazmin. And you'll, you'll be feeling 100%. In no time, I'm sure. Right. So I am in the driver's seat this week, which is exciting. And my idea, or my podcast topic follows on, and I'll make sure that I put a link in the show notes, because last year, you did a podcast episode about how to be authentically confident. And what that means. Yeah, so if you missed that episode, check it out, because it will be in the show notes. But I thought, okay, following on from that, I'm going to do an episode about how to be 100% authentically and a pot. Again, I can't say that word. I know, apologetically, yourself. Yeah. And I think from this episode, and me recording, you can tell that I'm being unapologetically myself with all the words I'm mispronouncing, and I'm just like, I'm gonna go with it. This is me. I'm not a polished human being. But yeah, so to start things off, I thought it'd be a good idea to sort of discuss what being authentically you means to means to me and you Tazmin and give examples together. So to start with, for me, being authentically you is where you're not pretending to be someone that you're not that at the core, you you are being you, you are showing up for yourself. And you are being authentic to how you are as an individual, and that is your personality, but also your core beliefs, your core values, that they're always in the background. And don't get me wrong. There are situations where you need to be a little bit different. Yeah. So let's say for example, I don't know you're presenting to stakeholders, and you need to get buy in for SEO, for example, like there are times where you need to turn that professional charm on or you need to sort of have a varied version of yourself. But I suppose this is about, really at your core, whatever you do, whether that's in work, whether whatever side hustles you do in your personal life, that you're always authentically you, and you're not coming away from that, thoughts on that Tazmin, in which you have anything to add.
So it's hugely important. It's quite deep. And it's a place where not everyone gets to not everyone even understands that concept. I think, for me, over the years, I've realised that actually, it's exhausting being someone else. And it's far better being you, but you have to know who you are. And that's a process that's a journey, right? Professionally speaking for years and years and years, no matter which role I was in, I gravitated towards colleague development, personal development, I was the one who was saying to my manager, oh, can I run a workshop on goals? Or can I get a deliver a workshop on inner chatter? And I knew that that's what I wanted to do. But I hadn't embraced that as, as me. Yes. It was a bit of me, not the whole of me. And then when I got to the point of reflecting what is it that I want my life to be like? That was an easy answer. I want my life to be my working life to be around personal development. And actually, over the last few years, taking those steps, when I was setting up my goals, I realised that my whole life is sort of like this mesh of value based living and and I feel that I am more me now than I've ever been. So I think that's part of it. understanding who you are what you want to do what energises you and we've talked a lot about that sort of theme in in various podcast episodes. I think on a lighter, more funnier note. So my daughter in law's mom is an amazing cook like an amazing cook and she makes all these beautiful Indian snacks, Indian sweets and she just really, really quickly, and I hugely admire that. And I love her foods, no doubt. She came over the other day, and I had these Indian snacks, which I put in a plate and served with tea. And she said, Oh, did you make these and I laughed. I did not make these in the shop. And she looks mortified that she'd embarrassed me, but she hadn't embarrassed me. Because I'm okay with that. I don't make them and I'm okay with it. And we got into this discussion. My daughter was saying, But Mommy, to her mom, that it's not for everyone. And I think it's really, really important, just because you like that thing. Admire that in somebody else. That doesn't mean it's for you, and be okay with that.Sarah McDowell:
100%. 100%. And that's such a great example, more lighthearted example, of being authentically yourself. Like, we're not all great bakers. Do you know what I mean? Like, we all have skills in different areas. And just because someone would, I don't know, someone else might have baked something, and they wouldn't be mortified if, like, I don't know, they got found out that it was shot bought, it is not necessarily the same for everyone. And I think it's something that you alluded to is like a lot of being authentically you comes from self awareness. And after the break, we will be talking more about how you can be authentically you. And can you always be it. And we'll sort of share tips and strategies on how you can do that after the break. But I also, and we've already touched on this, as well as the benefits. But again, reasons why we need to be striving to be authentically ourselves is because if you are being who you are as an individual, both at work and impersonal, like you say, like you're happier, and your mental health is going to be much better, because it is exhausting being someone else, it is exhausting showing up as someone else and putting a mask on, so to speak. being authentically you, you get to have better relationships, both at work, and at in your personal life. Because if someone knows that you're being authentically you, it feels that relationships going to be better and stronger. Because they they know that you're not being someone that you're not and you're actually showing up for them how you can best support, you also get the opportunity to stand up for what you believe in. Okay, so that's something that I'm getting better at. So when I'm having conversations at work, or in my personal life, and someone says something that I don't agree with, in the past, I would have just let it slide. Whereas now, I'm trying to challenge more not in like in an aggressive, challenging way. But asking questions or being like, actually, have you thought about it like this, and this is how I feel about that. You can also work on projects that align with your core beliefs and your ethics and stuff. So hopefully, where you work, you have this opportunity to put forward projects that you want to work on, because they mean something to you or it's at the core of one of your beliefs are you feel like you're doing your bit in the world, but also as wherever, as an employee at wherever you're working on. Also, it can help with your side hustles as well. So, me and you Tazmin, we have this podcast, and that's because we have a core belief or a core need together to sort of talk about important subjects and topics that are often taboo or not spoken about in the SEO industry to make it more normalised. So there's lots of benefits to being authentically you. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?Tazmin:
I think not so much. I just develop a little bit where we said it's exhausting being someone who's not you. Absolutely. But then it's the opportunity cost because you're trying to be someone you're not, then you're not being the person you're meant to be. And you're not doing all the things that you would do if you did take that step. So I would if I had not gone down the route of coaching, I probably wouldn't have had a podcast. Yeah, but he but if it's taking that step saying you know what, this is me. And of course we'll talk about the self awareness but this is me, this is what I want to do. This is what I want to fulfil, this is what I believe in. And then you Get to really embrace that part of your personality that parts of your value system and the number of doors that open once you've taken that.Sarah McDowell:
100%. 100%. And it all is underpinned by your self awareness. Like, I remember, my first opportunity that I got to speak at brightonSEO. I knew that okay, this is my opportunity to talk about something that I really was really passionate about, and something that I really believed in. And I wanted to do my bit. So I decided to do a talk about how you can show up for the LGBTQ+ community, how you can be an ally when it comes to websites, marketing and SEO. And that came from believing in myself and standing up for what I believe in. Because I was toying with doing talks on other important topics related to SEO. But and I'm so glad that I stuck with what I did. Because, like I could, when I was delivering the talk, when I was researching research and talk and putting it together, like I really cared. And the feedback that I got was, you're really passionate about this area. And and I can tell and what was really great was in my head, I was like, Okay, if there's only one person that goes away from my talk, and does something that makes the website more accessible, or more welcoming to whoever, from the LGBTQ+ community, my job is done. It was so great, because there was a q&a afterwards. And people were sharing their experiences asking me afterwards. And I've also had conversation afterwards where people came to me it was like, what were you were talking about was just it's common knowledge, but it was just not on my radar. Until you've bought it up. Do you know I mean, so it's so important that you are yourself and you, you tap into who you are.Tazmin:
Yeah. And one last thought that popped into my head. If you are who you are, and showing up as who you are. Can you really feel like an imposter?Sarah McDowell:
Nice, yeah. 100%. And I know, you don't really like the word imposter syndrome, do you?Tazmin:
Remember, I've spoken about this, I was at an honour meeting with these two very, very clever women on how to help people with impostor syndrome. And I remember at the time thinking, well, she explained to Stanford and she's written an algorithm and what am I doing here? And I thought, this is stupid as well, because you're feeling like an imposter. In a meeting that's meant to help people who, you know, how do we help people who have impostor syndrome? And then I thought, no tickets setback? They've invited you, you didn't barge into this meeting, not that you can on Zoom anyway, why don't you just be yourself? Because if you're yourself, you can't be an imposter. And not really well.Sarah McDowell:
100%. And I mean, at risk of derailing and getting very good at taking the conversation somewhere else, but just quickly on imposter, how can you be an imposter? Because the whole thing about being an imposter is that you've not been invited. And in most cases we have in whatever capacity we've been invited to show up in whatever setting, right. Tazmin we need to take a short break. So come back to us because come back to us. That was a weird way of putting it apart. Yeah, so you see it spokes. But yeah, come back. Because after the break, we'll be talking about can you always be authentically you and discuss times when it's hard, and we'll share sort of tips and ways that you can do it. So come back. Welcome back to our second part of the episode. Did you have a nice little break there Tazmin?Tazmin:
Yes thank you!Sarah McDowell:
Wonderful, right. So hopefully by this point, our listeners are like, Yeah, I want to know how to be more authentically, myself because Tazmin sound really sold it. The benefits are great. I'm on board. So the question is, and I think I'm going to put this to you first and allow develop on it. But can you always be authentically you? Like can you always be authentically you? Or are there times when it is hard? In your experience?Tazmin:
You can always be yourself, it's whether you choose to do so. And you may choose to adjust how much of you is, is visible. And on display. For a variety of reasons, like you mentioned, maybe in a boardroom setting, you want to be slightly different with certain family members, if you, especially if, if you're one of these people that's grown and grown and grown, and the rest of the family or the community have have less growth, then you don't really want to be shouting about all the stuff that you do, for example, with some of my friends, and they're all lovely, and I enjoy spending time with them. But I tend to be quiet in those settings, or listen, I will enjoy the food, I'll enjoy the merriment. Um, and if somebody says, oh, have you been what's happening, you know, same old people Fine. I will not be saying, Oh, I'm gonna do talk. And I've got this cohort running. And I've got these podcasts because it's not something that they really want to talk about. And in the past, when I have offered courses or experiences, it's not something that they want to do. So it's, I find that they find that topic boring, or they don't really want to talk about it. And I'm okay not talking about it with them. I'm they're enjoying the company and enjoying the food. I'm alright with that.Sarah McDowell:
Yeah. And you make you make a really good point there. And it does depend on the situation, you fat that you find yourselves in. And you're correct, like, physically, technically speaking, 100%, you can always be authentically you. But then I suppose there's an element of how much is what we're talking about. So how much can you do that? And how much in that setting. So, for example, me doing this podcast, I feel like I can be 100% myself, because it's a safety. It's my safety net. It's a safe space where I can be where as I'm just thinking in like work settings, where if I have to present a an idea, or I'm presenting a report, or you have to have a just thinking in an SEO setting, maybe you have to have a difficult conversation about with a client, maybe your your agency side, or even brand and you've seen a decline in traffic, right? You can't like me at my core is, yes, I'm a serious individual. But I'm light hearted. I like to laugh and joke, but sometimes, I can't always do that. Because it's not fitting, especially if I've got to, like deliver bad news. Do you know what I mean? So I suppose it's about reading the room. But also, you don't necessarily want to go against any of your core beliefs. So if like you can disagree, at work. So for example, if you're having a conversation about a project with a client or your boss, or you're putting together a campaign, or you're doing reporting and stuff, if there's something that your boss or client says that you disagree with, you don't necessarily always have to agree. Yeah. Especially if you need feel like you need to speak up as well. So I suppose it's a bit of a juggling act, and it is going to be hard. But this whole thing, self awareness is hard, isn't it? This whole journey is hard. And it's an ongoing thing that you're gonna get better at.Tazmin:
You know, going back to what you said, can you be authentically yourself all the time? And the examples that we have given actually unthinkable it's still authentically you. If you're in a boardroom setting and you're less light hearted, and more serious, that's still part of you. Or if you are delivering feedback to someone and it's not very pleasant, you may do it in a toned down version but it's still you if I'm if I'm talking to one of my children, there'll be times when jokey mom turns up in there times when it's less jokey mom, but still mom still, I still got their best interests at heart I still got their respective we in mind, my own thickness here in mind. I think it's what you said when when you agree with things that actually you don't really agree with. That's they're not authentic?Sarah McDowell:
Yeah. Oh, or you feel like you're acting really out of character? Or you feel like you feel uncomfortable? And this kind of leads me on to how can we be more or less? How can you be more authentically yourself? And yes, a lot of this is self awareness. And we sound like a broken record. Like it's, we keep talking about it, but it is important, but other ways is acceptance of who you are accepting that, me, Sarah McDowell, I'm enough. Do you know what I mean? As I am, as an individual, I matter? My opinions matter, and I am enough, I don't need to be anyone else apart from me. Do you know what I mean? Like, if I don't get on with someone in my personal life, then that's okay. Or if I've started a new role, or there's a new client, or I'm with more work colleagues, or sorry, with new work colleagues, for example, and I'm being authentically myself, not everyone has to like that. And not everyone will. But don't like that. Don't let that get in the way of accepting who you are, as a person, the times where you're like, you speak up and you get pushed back, or anything like that. It's, it's hard. But except, like, don't let it not accept you, as an individual, like who you are, who you want to be. Speaking up is a key thing as well as listening to our gut. So we get these gut feelings for a reason. Do you know what I mean? Like they're there to, like, provide safety, or they're like, I try and listen to my gut. Because I know my body or inner Sarah is trying to tell me, myself something, or my gut is being like, okay, we're feeling a bit uncomfortable here and being aware, is there anything else that people can do to be more authentically themselves?Tazmin:
I think like the pathway to self awareness, you'll be curious, but always with kindness. And it's something I tell my clients all the time, when you're going through that journey of understanding who you are, there'll be times when you're not happy with it. Or you're, you don't feel good about an outburst that you had or a wrong decision you made, though, say always, always be kind. So pay attention to what you do what you think what you say. But be kind at the same time. Journaling is another great way of you know, self reflecting and getting to know yourself. But I think things like that used to bother me, that bothered me, for the self was made for different reasons. So as I was growing up, I always thought I was fat. When I look at the pictures now, I was not, but I always thought I was at this phase of my life. Would I want to lose some weight? Yes, but it's more health reasons or, you know, want to be able to run around with the grandchildren. It's not, because I'm trying to be somebody that I'm not. And I've probably become more comfortable with who I am now, compared to what I was 20 years ago.Sarah McDowell:
Yeah, and that's a journey, isn't it? And I think going back to what you said about being kind to yourself, This is a journey. Do you know what I mean? And it's not, you're gonna stumble? Do you know, whatever you like things are going going to go to plan or when you're reflecting back on a situation. So something that I'm new to is speaking up, when someone has upset me or speaking up when someone has said something that's not made me feel, right, and that's a journey for me, because it's in hindsight, isn't it? Like in this situation? You can't really think Can you you're, you just go you're just in mode. You're in this conversation? Like you do the best you can and Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it? So after afterwards, there's so many times where you're like, Oh, I could have said this or I could have handled this situation better but that's where being kind really helped. So yes, reflect, but don't reflect in like, are you rubbish at this bit or you were rubbish at that bit? Be like, Okay, what will I do differently next time?Tazmin:
Yeah. I was working with a client who was having issues at work. And she, through her own reflection realise what she needed, what her pitfalls were. And then she was relatable conversation to me, she was saying, I messed up. At work, I knew what I'd done wrong. And I knew what my manager was going to do, she was just going to come down on me like a tonne of bricks. And before that happened, I said to her, manager, I know I have messed up, I just need you to get off my back for a day so I can fix it. Whatever you want to say to me, I've already told myself, you can tell me tomorrow. But if you tell me today, I'm just gonna start crying. And if I cry, I won't be able to fix this. So could we delay this feedback conversation to tomorrow? I thought, whoa. And she's young, I wouldn't have had that courage much younger. But she'd learned enough about herself. She was assertive enough, she was protective enough of herself. She knew what she had to do. She said what she did, and she got what she wanted.Sarah McDowell:
And in that scenario, that as a boss, because you have set your boundaries, and you've said, okay, you've you've set boundaries, but you've also accepted accountability, and you're coming up with a solution. Do you know what I mean? I think I think that's a great recipe of how you deal with those sort of hard and conflicting conversations. And it just so happens Tazmin that coming up. Hopefully in this season. I'll have a guest on that's going to talk about how we go about having those awkward or difficult conversations. So you know, ever the professional podcaster here segwayed in you know, sliding things in. But yeah, good.Tazmin:
For sure. My thoughts. So we've talked about authentically you. And we talked about Brighton there, you go to Brighton. There's all sorts of different types of speaker delivery. And if you're somebody who looks at that flamboyant speaker and things, only, I want to speak at Brighton, but I'm not like that. It's okay, be you. You may have a different style. Just because you're different to them doesn't mean that you're less. What's the word I'm looking for? Give yourself permission to engaging and yeah, just just do you. So you don't have to be like everyone else to be valuable. You're valuable.Sarah McDowell:
And it's better that you're not like everyone else. And you can be engaging and you can deliver a great talk in lots of different ways. Like I could, because I remember before I got into speaking, and I would like look at the flamboyant, the outspoken, the really funny speakers and be like, crikey, I need to get there before I even do it. But you don't like there's lots of ways that you can be engaged in. And there's lots of ways that you can get people to listen. And yeah, you don't you don't have again, don't be someone that you're not because it's tiring. And you're gonna get caught out at some point as well. So not in a bad way. But yeah. So Tazmin, we are sadly running out of time, because these podcast episodes, they just fly by them. And they I would like to ask you what your main takeaway has been, please.Tazmin:
I think it's firming this belief that I have that I if I mean, I can be valuable as me and I speak as a coach, because there's so many coaches out there that are running around stages, you know, fist pumping, getting their audience to jump up and down, really high energy. And I'm not that, you know, people come into my coaching cohorts, and it is calm, and it is gentle. And I'm there and I've got their back. And I just want them to feel at ease. And I'm okay with that style. Now. There was a time maybe a year ago where I thought, Oh, I don't know, I don't know if I can be like that. And I don't want to you I don't think and ever say never though, but I don't think you'll ever come to any height events where I say, Right everyone get off and jump up and down. And yeah, high five. Me I don't think I'm ever going to be that person. More likely. I'll get to get you to do some meditation with me. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I know like me like that.Sarah McDowell:
And visualisation because is I really enjoyed that. So our first Podcast, episode 2020, for our first episode of season eight, and again, I'm going to whacker. What am I thinking about? What am I saying? I'm going to put the link in the show notes. There we go. But we were talking about what were we talking about?Tazmin:
The internal algorithm one?Sarah McDowell:
Yes, the most important algorithm in your life, your internal algorithm. And at the end, we did a wonderful visualisation exercise. Which is great. So yeah, wonderful. So yeah, just be yourself. Don't feel like you ever have to be someone that you're not because you don't have to be. And yeah, it's, it's easier said than done. And I know that me and Task Managers like discussing this and talking about it, but we, we understand that it is hard. And it is a journey. So be kind to yourself as you're doing it.Tazmin:
Right. That's coming. It's all over the internet. But it's something like working in a corporate job is, is hard. Having your own business is hard. Choose your heart, if you see those things, those posts all over the internet, let them in it. Eating healthy is hard to learn. You know, living with unhealthy food habits is hard. Choose your heart. So yeah, getting to know yourself is hard, not knowing yourself is hard. Choose your hard.Sarah McDowell:
Lovely way to wrap up. Yeah. Never, never shut up. Trust me, you fountain of knowledge. Always dropping golden nuggets. Appreciate you. So that brings us to the end of this week's episode. Again, a reminder. So at the beginning of the episode, I shared two ways that you can support us and we're going to do that again. So you can give us a one off donation. We are set up by me a coffee, which is basically a website where creators like me and Tazmin and other podcasters or other creators can accept donations for what they do. So there is a link in the show notes if you'd like to do that. And we would like to do a shout out to those that have. So thank you so much to a net henna and collect who have all done that. Collect as well. You've, you've bought us a couple. Wow. No, a few coffees. So again. Thank you. Thank you, we very much appreciate that. So if you want to be like henna and net and collect that's very lovely to say, isn't it? Nice rhyming? Yeah, that's how you do that in the show notes. And we'd be very much appreciative of that. And share. Okay, share our podcast, share our episodes with everyone. Everyone, everyone that's relevant. So next time, you're listening to an episode and you're like, Susan, I said, Susan, because that's my mother's maiden name. Susan would really enjoy this podcast episode, she'd get so much value out of it. I'm gonna I'm listening to it on Spotify. I'm going to take the link of the episode, and I'm going to send it to her on WhatsApp. loads of ways that you can share. So the next time however, you're listening to us and however you communicate, or in a Slack channel at work, or in an email, please do share our podcast and episodes with other people. Because yeah, the more people that we get to listen to our podcast, the bigger and better this podcast becomes. Yeah. And if you're feeling even more generous, why not give us a review on your podcast playing app of choice as well. Right, that's it Tazmin to say goodbye and until next time.Tazmin:
Yes. Goodbye, everyone. Thanks for listening. And until next time.Sarah McDowell: