In a 1-1 coaching program, we discovered Kimi’s natural advantage: The things she naturally excels at. We discovered that Kimi is very good at connecting with what people need to get them where they want to go. When she makes this connection, a plan effortlessly appears in her mind and she’s very good at responding and taking action in the moment when windows of opportunity present themselves. In the program, we then looked at ways to connect with Kimi’s natural advantage to break the vicious cycle of overwhelm and low energy.
Kimi is a former scientist, a busy mum of two and she runs her own medical writing and editing business from home. She’s very active in her kids’ school and extracurricular activities and she’s also a volunteer for a couple of non-profit organizations. Kimi regularly felt overwhelmed by the many things on her plate and was stuck in a vicious cycle of overwhelm and low energy.
“I was feeling really overwhelmed with everything that was happening. My responsibilities as a mother, as a spouse, and then running my own business. Work-life balance was missing, I felt like I was running from one task and activity to the next… everything just felt overwhelming. At the same time my energy levels were lower. I think there’s a bit of interaction there too, you know, getting into a bit of a vicious circle of low energy and overwhelm.”
Oh, I have to be different, I have to be more outgoing and out there.”
“I wasn’t sure at first what “Natural productivity for introverts” was. I always knew I had a more introverted personality, but I think what I knew about it were the myths - or what I later learned were myths. I clearly remember being in high school and thinking: Oh, I have to be different, I have to be more outgoing and out there.”
No more overwhelm
“I’ve taken different courses, workshops, therapy to deal with different things in my life and being introverted is one aspect that I hadn't looked into. It clarified a lot of things for me.”
“I was always trying to be efficient. The whole “time management” thing, doing as much as you can in the time you have. I was really getting stuck on efficiency. Learning from you how it's about energy management and not time, that paradigm shift has been so helpful. And that made me curious to see what else is there. How can I understand myself better so I can become the best version of myself?”
The feeling of overwhelm is gone.
“I don't feel so overwhelmed anymore, especially the past week since our last session. Instead of jumping in right away, I’ve been taking the time to plan. I’m much more conscious of taking those moments to reflect and to reassess. The feeling of overwhelm is gone.”
“My energy levels are also getting better and it’s not so hard to get started. Before, it was hard to get started. And part of that was not having a clear sense of where I want to go because there are so many things and I would just jump in. The amount of things I have to do hasn’t really changed but now I take a moment to get it organized in my head. I’m working more with my natural advantage and then I can adapt to everything else.
More energy and a better work-life balance
“From talking with you and learning more about the strengths and advantages of being an introvert, I had many Aha-moments. I joined your taster sessions and the Aha-moments reminded me of how things just didn’t go well during my PhD. It made so much sense. The difficulties I had; it explained a lot. I became a believer right away.”
“What I really like is how you've made that link very clear to energy and taking rest. Why it’s important. And not necessarily sleeping but also quiet time when you can process. Why that’s really important. I’m still trying to unlearn the time management part and being efficient, because that’s quite embedded in me. But now when I notice that I’m kind of tired, instead of going on, I go, for example, gardening.”
“It’s helped me also to set my boundaries around my work-life balance. I make a plan for a week and that plan includes things like promises I make to do things for my children or my husband. Realizing that by having that planned out, I can see where it's possible to adjust for unforeseen events without it throwing me off. Knowing that, it’s easier for me to know what to ask or communicate with my family. It will still get done but not at the cost of my mental health or with me getting overwhelmed.”
“End of the school year is always a busy time, there are lots of activities leading up to summer vacation, I’m not as overwhelmed when I think about it now. I feel like I have a good grasp on things. I can plan but in a way that works best for me also. Which also means I’m not going to deplete my energy and I don't have to be scared of being burnt out by summer vacation.”
More clarity and ease to internalize good habits
“I was stuck with a literature search for a client and I’ve now made a lot of progress with cleaning up the data. I’ve learned not to skip steps in my natural process thinking that it will go faster. The shortcuts take more time and cause more overwhelm because the clarity is gone. My natural process is: If I take the time to understand the order and structure of things, then things flow from there. If I take shortcuts, that really throws me off. I know now that the benefit will come downstream.”
I'm much more motivated and it’s made it easier to internalize the habit.
“The program brought me a lot of clarity. We all know that certain habits make you more productive. But there’s still that feeling of “I should be doing this because it’s the “right” thing to do.” I used to take 15 minutes at the end of the day to write down what I’ve done and to check my list. I would do that but I’d also get out of the habit of it. I still had a sense of guilt for spending time on it. Is it really worth the time? Is it really that important?
“Now I realize that: Yes, it is important for me. It’s important for my natural process to have a clear vision of where I need to get to and the things that I need to do. It's helped me clarify why certain strategies that I’ve used in the past have helped me. It’s not I should anymore but I need to do this for me. There’s a shift there. I'm much more motivated and it’s made it easier to internalize the habit.”
Working with Mariella
"I really enjoyed this process with you - it felt like everything happened organically. You’re very easy to talk with and you’ve got a big heart. Your authenticity and sincerity make it easy to open-up. And you create a safe space for sharing: I feel like I can say anything to you and share anything with you. I really feel supported by you too, a genuine interest in wanting to help me figure out something about myself that will help me."
"I’ve shared your website with a couple of friends already who have been struggling with similar things as me. I’ve suggested checking out some of the blogs you’ve written and see if something resonates and perhaps consider exploring further when they’re ready."
I feel like I can say anything to you and share anything with you
"To others who are curious or struggling with things, I’d say, it’s definitely worthwhile. It is work, to work on yourself, but it’s definitely worth the investment. If you’re struggling with similar things as I was, get in contact with Mariella."