057. Naomi Honey: Dance, coaching, and self talk

Podcast episode


Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. This week, Naomi Honey shares her experiences learning the Brazilian dance of Forro and how it relates to her other movement practices. She unpacks her work as a life coach, what that means, how it works, and why she loves it so much. Naomi wraps up by discussing her thoughts on her current interests, the idea of success, and self-talk.

Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Naomi: Hi, Craig.

Craig: Naomi Honey is both a parkour and life coach. Naomi began coaching with Parkour Generations in 2012 alongside a business career before quitting her desk job altogether a few years ago. She now runs her own life coaching business, Flytality, where she helps people make the life changes they really want. Most recently, Naomi has become interested in Brazilian dance as a part of her movement practice. Welcome, Naomi.

Naomi: Thanks, Craig. It’s great to be here.

Craig: Naomi, in the introduction, I mentioned Brazilian dance, and I just want to open it up by saying can you unpack that a little bit?

Naomi: Yeah, sure. So, the Brazilian dance, that’s something I’ve been doing for about a year-and-a-half. I do a dance called Forro, and it’s very little known outside Brazil, actually, although there are communities everywhere as far as I can tell, but it’s quite small. It’s super fun. For people who don’t know, it’s sort of the Brazilian equivalent to salsa. It’s a partner dance. It’s very close. Oh my goodness.

Craig: I read the article about it, right?

Naomi: Yeah. You dance really close, but it’s super fun. And for me, it was so interesting because … So, parkour has taken me to so many things. Because one of the things that was brilliant about it was it helps me move, and it gave me so much movement vocabulary and made me realize I just love to move. And so, I tried lots of different things. And actually, I discovered Forro when I was in Brazil learning to kitesurf. But in the evenings, though, these Forro nights, people were saying, “You’re going to come?” and I was like, “Sure.”

Craig: What could possibly go wrong?

Naomi: Yeah. What are we doing? And then, it was these little clubs that were outdoors or open air, open rooms, and everyone was there. Everyone from the little town was there. They were all dancing, having an amazing time. I thought, “This looks really fun.” And people would ask me to dance, and I’d say …

Craig: How does this work?

Naomi: Yeah.

Craig: Is there a step or …

Naomi: I’d love to, and then I have … Yeah, exactly. They taught me the basic steps. And it was such a different way of moving to parkour because … So, it’s been such a challenge for me because in parkour, right, you’ve got to be strong and powerful, and I choose where I go and what happens.

Craig: Very individual.

Naomi: Very individual and very … I make all the choices. And dance, because I’m a follower. So, particularly I find it very interesting because I follow. I don’t have to … Generally men lead, women follow.

Craig: I was going to say, is your personal preference or is that how the dance works?

Naomi: It’s the general trend of the dance, but also some men … often people do both roles. Once they’ve learned one, they’ll learn the other. Certainly the community I dance in is pretty relaxed, is very relaxed about that. But I actually really enjoy following because it’s so different to everything I was doing before.

Naomi: So, it’s so interesting because suddenly I was having to move in a way that was not dictated by me, and I had to learn to listen with my body and respond instantly with my body. And it was so interest … and it continues to be so interesting. And I’ve gotten much better at that because I’ve been doing it for 18 months now, but it’s still a challenge. And now, I’m learning new things. And because I have a movement practice, my body in my … I don’t know how to say this.

Craig: Yeah, like your proprioception game is already on, right?

Naomi: Yeah, exactly, my proprioception. And I have the muscles that let me move in different ways, but sometimes … Particularly I have lessons with an amazing teacher who will try to … The term he used, he says, “I’m going to play with your body.” “Okay.” It’d be a slight, just gently guiding my ribs about how to move. And I can feel the input and I can feel, “I’m supposed to do what is.” And I have to figure it out.

Craig: And a subtlety at an individual fingertip level. The only problem with podcast is when guests use their hands to explain things, this doesn’t help. Keep going.

Naomi: Absolutely. So, it’s just these tiny, subtle, physical guides on my ribs with his hands or with his body, with his stomach, with knees.

Craig: Right. With the [inaudible 00:04:59] on your hip or thighs or knees or …

Naomi: Exactly. And so, learning to … It feels like learning to listen with my body, and learning to respond smoothly and instantly. And it’s so fascinating. And it’s so lovely, right? Because you know how parkour is brilliant, and you have a great time and it’s lovely and social, but it’s not a kind of evening party time sport. Whereas with this, I get to go out in the evening and go to a party and it’s lovely, but I’m still being active. Because I find sitting around in the pub, it’s nice sometimes.

Craig: There’s also a personal space in parkour. It’s not that people have a bubble, like 18 inches of clearance. But generally, people will avoid each other. So, there’s not normally physical contact between two people moving in this space. I was going to say, have you ever heard of a thing called parcon? So. there’s a group in New York city, Andrew Suseno, S-U-S-E-N-O I think it is. And they took … There’s a type of dance called contact improv.

Craig: My understanding is this started in New York City. They rented a dance studio, filled it with crash pads, put one person in the center, and physically threw other dancers at them in random orientations Raggedy Ann doll style. And the person in the center try to receive the physical other person coming at them. And then together as a team, they would try to fall and move. So, it’s literally contact improv, like, “Incoming.”

Craig: And then, they would cycle through and switch jobs. And this is apparently totally a thing and they still do it. I don’t know where Mr. Suseno got this from, but he ran into parkour people, and they have taken this idea of contact improv, and they’re trying to mix it with parkour. So, they go and they get either a piece of architecture or a tabletop in a park, and they will do really strange things and use the actual other practitioners as part of the movement space. And Naomi just give me this look, like, “Wow, that’s cool.”

Craig: I’m just like, you seem to be at the same idea of there’s a piece missing. And I don’t mean this as a flaw of parkour, but there’s a piece missing, like the physical actual contact between other people. In parkour, you never use your sense of smell. Maybe you smell the grass or you might smell car fumes, but it’s not like a primary sense. But if you were standing next to someone or behind them or a side of them, then you’re engaged in visual, tactile, and the sense of smell and all sorts of other things. So, I derailed your discussion of Brazilian dance, but I was like, “You need to know about contact improv and parkour.”

Naomi: That sounds amazing. I’m going to look it up. So, like you said, in parkour you don’t interact very closely with another person. And you have lovely relationships and stuff. But actually in my life, that was something that was missing. I wasn’t in a relationship. And I was a little nervous of … It’s partly a British thing I think, but I was a little nervous of getting really close to someone unless I was very interested in them, and dance gives me a chance to do that. It’s almost like these really mini relationships that are really …

Craig: Yeah, the norm is totally different.

Naomi: Exactly. And it’s just lovely. And it taught me you can go really engage with someone, have a gorgeous connection with someone without a commitment. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean it doesn’t have to be scary.

Craig: Yeah, you can have bite-size relationships. You dance for 10 minutes and then go to the next partner.

Naomi: It’s like that. It’s so lovely. And that was really special for me because that was something that was utterly missing in my life, actually. Yeah, that was great.

Craig: Naomi, there’s two obvious directions I can think to go here. One would be to talk about taking what you’ve experienced and what you’ve learned into your parkour coaching, but I actually am more interested in learning about what you do inside personal coaching. And, of course, now I’m thinking, “Wait, how does dance and interpersonal relationships improve your coaching and your perception of what other people need?” So, I’m just wondering, can you tell me a little bit about what you do basically as a coach, and then we’ll circle back and dig in more into the interplay between dance and coaching?

Naomi: Yeah, absolutely. So, as a coach, I work with people really closely. We work one-on-one. And we look at, okay, what do they want in their lives? What are the changes that they want? And that can be practical, tangible goals, and it can be emotional stuff as well of … Sometimes my clients want more confidence, whether that’s in their personal life, at work, whatever. And so, the range of what we might work on is huge. But particularly I work with people who aren’t living the lives that they want. And often I work with a lot of professionals. So, part of my line is people who work too much and live too little, or people who are going through the motions rather than living fully. Craig’s looking very guilty here. And and I help people to really reset that balance.

Naomi: And with a very … The thing that a lot of people think is if I go and live more, live more fully, than my work will suffer and professionally it will suffer, and actually, it’s completely the opposite. Because when you are energizing yourself in between and doing all the things you need to do to feel really excited and inspired and well rested and all of that, then actually you bring your A game to everything rather than when you get dragged down and run down and you’re bringing your C game to everything. So, that’s what we work on. And it’s so much fun. I absolutely love it. And it’s a massive privilege because I get to hear people’s real thoughts, their really deep conversations. They’re much more fun than that sounds, but they’re really real conversations.

Craig: And I would assume you also get to hear the successes and get to see the changes. So, they come back. And then you’re also the number one cheerleader after success.

Naomi: Exactly. That’s amazing. So, I’m the cheerleader while they’re doing it and while it’s difficult, and I’m the cheerleader when there’s success. And then, one of my absolute favorite moments. Coaching is designed to end at some point.

Craig: Right.

Naomi: It’s a win if people go, “Okay, I feel ready. I’m really happy with what I achieved and I feel ready to go it alone now. It’s like we’re both really sad that the relationship’s ending, but this is so wonderful.

Craig: That was the whole point.

Naomi: Yeah. And often, old clients, I get a message, I get a WhatsApp, or I get a call of, “This happened and I just wanted to share it with you,” and it’s so lovely. And then sometimes as well, quite often people six months later will say, “Can I just book in for one or two sessions? I just need a little help sorting something out.”

Craig: Well, I’d imagine for them it would be easier to have … If something new comes up where they stumble, it’s much easier to go back to you even if it’s been like year since you’ve spoken a word, because you have the history beforehand. So, I’m guessing it would be really handy to have somebody in your Rolodex. Oops, that’s a dated expression. Somebody in your phone contacts that you could call up, and then that person’s going to understand you, they’re going to know who you are, they know your intonations and all that stuff.

Naomi: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And we look at, “This is like that time when that happened,” and then, “You’re right. Yes.” And I have the techniques and so on. It’s not that I’ve got life sorted. “I’ve got it all … My life’s perfect.” It’s not about that. It’s partly that I’m external, and it’s partly that I’ve got techniques, and it’s partly that I love digging into that stuff. And actually particularly my specialty, the bit I really love, is the emotional blocks and that kind of thing that I absolutely adore. And parkour really got me into that, I think, in so many ways, actually.

Craig: And when you say got you into that, do you mean as a self assessment, self-awareness tool or right out of the gate was it an interest in assessing and being aware of other people? Because when you say you’re into that, you mean inward or outward?

Naomi: It started with me. It started with me. And particularly it just came up in so starkly that I had some real mental and particularly emotional blocks around my capability, what I was able to do, what I thought that said about me to myself and to other people, about my value, I think, in the world, and my place in the world, and my right to be there doing this if was struggling.

Craig: I read you made a comment, I don’t remember exactly where I read this, but a comment about internal dialogue and how it’s really mission critical to be kind to yourself. And I’m really vastly guilty of this. If I said to anybody else what I say to myself, I’d be arrested. It’s just you can’t … When I say it, we all agree that that’s funny, but we all know that really that’s not funny at all. It’s like that’s a problem.

Craig: And I’m just thinking, I know we can’t help people, that we can’t consult across the airwaves, but I’m just wondering if there are any tools that you found that come up that you can give to people to say, “Have you asked yourself this question” or other exercises that people could do or suggestions. I have ideas about … I do morning meditation and things that. But I’m just wondering if you have any thoughts that you could share that people might be able to act on just after having … if they’ve heard that and they thought, “That’s really cool, and I really should work on that,” is there a way that they can get started on their own?

Naomi: Yeah, I think so. So, meditation is a really good tool, generally. It’s just amazing for everything. I’m not necessarily that rigorous about doing it, but [crosstalk 00:14:34].

Craig: I didn’t say it was rigorous. I said I know a lot about it and I did this morning.

Naomi: Right. So, we just had the Women’s International Parkour Weekend in London. And I didn’t do it this year, but there were two years where I did run a session specifically on that, on self-talk and the impact that it has on your movement, and that was really interesting. So, really the best way is to just talk about that briefly of what we did. We paired people up, and they had a challenge to work on of something that they could …

Craig: A physical challenge, right?

Naomi: A physical challenge. Mix of physical, technical, but something that they couldn’t just do, but was within their reach with some work. But we started off and I said, “Okay, so we’re going to listen to those negative critical voices.” And so, one thing was they were like, “Yeah, bring them up. What do they want to say?”

Naomi: And the other thing was that actually the rule was they had to say them out loud, and not just they have to say them out loud, but they were with a partner and they had to direct it to their partner. And so, suddenly what you’re saying about you get arrested if you said it out loud, they were having to say it out loud. And they were saying the stuff they were thinking about themselves, but they were having to direct it to someone.

Craig: Second person, right?

Naomi: Yeah. And suddenly, so two things happened. One, that those people, they were really embarrassed to say it out loud, of course, because we all are. We say stuff to ourselves that we would not dream of telling anyone, because it sounds so harsh when you say it to someone else. But we normalize it when it’s to ourselves.

Naomi: And then, the other thing was that the other person would go, “That’s so harsh.” Even if they might say a similar thing to themselves. Suddenly when it’s being said about the other person, they’re like, “That’s so mean, and that’s not true.”

Craig: Can I change partners?

Naomi: And people were just so sympathetic. And suddenly hearing, “That’s what you was saying to … No, you don’t need to.” And so, all of that was really interesting, because suddenly is not just in the private realm of your own habits out there. And another thing that was interesting in that was the energy of the whole group was right down low. Everyone was … it was quiet.

Craig: Chill. Right.

Naomi: It wasn’t just chill, it was stressed. People were quiet and people were anxious because we were saying, Let’s hear this, let’s get it out.” Then the next exercise was, right, we’re still in pairs, this time we’re going to celebrate, and we’re going to celebrate whatever. And do, you do the jump, do the wall run, whatever. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make it. Doesn’t matter if you fall on your ass and whatever. You just go, “Yeah, that was amazing.” And it was really difficult for some people at first, and then they got into it. And the energy comes up. Everyone’s having a good time. And suddenly, doing it is the win. Doing it successfully isn’t …

Craig: The win?

Naomi: Yeah. We don’t care about whether it’s successful or not successful, inverted commas. Just doing it, going for it, having a go is the win. And oh my God, it’s suddenly so much fun. There was a ton of energy. There’s a video of that, actually, and you can really see the difference.

Naomi: And what’s more, people started to get it. But that wasn’t the target, the getting it, but people did start to get it. And I think the thing that’s really important is uncoupling the thing of it’s only good if it’s good, and otherwise it’s not. And then, the challenge that people have to that is, “But I don’t want to say it’s good if it’s not good. I want to have a quality control.”

Craig: Yeah, the fear of losing quality control, right?

Naomi: Exactly. Right. But the thing of that is, we’re amazing at that, right? We have so much practice of knowing when something’s not good and of critiquing it. We’re really, really good at that part. The bit that we’re not good at yet is praising ourselves. But you know what? Being nice to ourselves and rewarding ourselves just for giving it a go and just for trying something.

Naomi: And so, the exercise I’d really recommend is practice being incredibly nice to yourself and celebrating yourself, but giving it a go. And think of it in terms of you know when a kid tries anything, standing up, walking, riding a bike. And they try it they fall over, and they try it and they fall over, and they try. As adults we keep saying, “Yeah, that’s brilliant. Great, great. Have another go.” And the kid can keep going. Whereas if you picture that child, and they tried it and they fell over, and the adult is like, “Well, that was rubbish.” That’s really going to dampen the kids enthusiasm and ability to do it again.

Naomi: And then, so say the kid tries it five times, “Good. Yeah, it’s getting a bit better. Well done.” And then they’re like, “Okay, you really should’ve got it by now because you’ve tried it 10 times and you haven’t got … ” That kid’s going to … they’re going to stop trying. Right? And we’re just big kids inside. So, it’s that. Treat yourself like a little child learning to do something and be encouraging, because you’ll get it.

Naomi: And I really learnt that. I learnt it the long, slow, hard way through parkour. But I use that technique in my coaching, and I explain it in that way. I use it in parkour coaching now, too, but I use it in personal coaching, because people have these blocks about all sorts of different stuff. Everyone’s got it.

Craig: The people in parkour are regular people who brought their regular problems to …

Naomi: Oh my goodness, that happens so much. Yeah, absolutely. Stuff comes out. So yeah. So, that’s an exercise I would really recommend, and I’d recommend it in life. If there is anything that you find difficult, acknowledge that you find it difficult. And so, in giving it a go, you’re being really brave.

Naomi: You know what, that helped me with the dance, too. Starting dance and I was a complete novice. I was rubbish. But partly the parkour experience that I know if I keep doing I will get better, and partly the coaching of I tell my clients it’s okay to be crap. It’s all right. That doesn’t matter.

Craig: Walk the walk. Here we go, right?

Naomi: Exactly. So, it’s made me walk the talk completely. So, yeah, that is something … giving yourself that space to be rubbish and going, “I’m going to trust I’m to get better at this. And I’m not going to give myself a time scale. And actually, it frees up so much of your attention, because it means all of that attention and effort that was going into critiquing and beating yourself up. And don’t worry, you’ll keep doing the critique in the background. Your brain’s really good at that. Right? But you freed up so much effort. And it means that you’re not constantly beating yourself up whenever you don’t do a good job. So yeah, that’s what I’d say.

Craig: Naomi, let’s circle back a little bit. And I’m personally interested in … I don’t want to be mean and say, “What is a life coach actually do?” But what does a life coach actually do?

Naomi: That’s a good question.

Craig: I don’t mean like how’s the room arranged and what questions you ask specifically, but what are maybe the challenges that … Because I know that each person that you work with would be different. But what are the sorts of challenges that … You can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. That’s really hard to do. So, can you take me through a little bit of the types of things that you’re able to help people with or the mirrors that you find in their mind that they they can’t see?

Naomi: Yeah. So, on a simple level, I help people hit goals, and that’s what coaches do. It’s what all coaches do. Right? They help people progress. They help people hit goals. But within that, so it’s really interesting, because people come with goals that are things that they go, “I’m pretty sure this is achievable for me, but for some reason I can’t get it on my own.” Right? So, a lot of the time it’s very … I think some coaches work on [inaudible 00:22:19]. There’s accountability and there’s so on, and that obviously helps people, too.

Craig: Right. That’s like a framework maybe?

Naomi: Yeah. Yeah, it helps people to get motivated and so on.

Craig: I don’t mean to belittle it. I’m just saying that’s like nuts and bolts.

Naomi: Yeah, absolutely. But then there’s a whole other thing about we just build up blocks against stuff. Right? So, so often people go, “I don’t know why I can’t do this. Something stops me doing it. I know it’s myself. I’m stopping myself. I’m getting in my own way, but I didn’t know why.” Right? So, I help people with that. We go, “Okay, great. Let’s go digging.” The way we do that as we go, “Right, let’s go for the goal. Let’s see what obstacles get in our way. It’s kind of like parkour in that way, right? The obstacles just pop up.

Craig: Right.

Naomi: Here we go. Suddenly there’s massive wall in front of us. And so we go, “Great, let’s explore it.” And the thing that’s amazing is we just have so much stuff that … Our brains are incredibly complex and really smart, and we’ve built ways to deal with the world. And they’re ways that in some ways are helpful and particularly in the past have been helpful, but now are really unhelpful and they’re blocks and they’re getting in the way. But we go and explore them, which we don’t often do.

Craig: By ourselves. One doesn’t often do it alone?

Naomi: No. Exactly. And it can be hard to, because you’re so used to it being there that it feels like that is a solid, eternal thing that’s not budging, and you need someone else to come along and go, “Now I got a tool that’s going to help us crack this open and we can move it.” And in doing that, you move it big scale. You don’t just move it in this instance for this goal, you move it for other things as well.

Naomi: So, that’s what I do. I help people get to the bottom of what are their blocks, what are their resistances and obstacles, and let’s clear them out of the way all together. And it’s such fascinating work, and it’s such rewarding work because it makes massive, massive, tangible changes, not just on those goals that they came with originally, but in anything where that block or that issue was a problem.

Naomi: So also, I have a blog where I write up coaching sessions that … They’re completely anonymized and they’re checked by the person who had the session, but they’re what we talked about and how we worked through it and what came out at the end. So, for a closer idea of, “Hang on, what’s that about?” But also to go, “Other people have the same problem.”

Craig: I actually have read them. I’m like, “Oh yes, look at that.”

Naomi: I’m so pleased to hear that. And yeah, a lot of people have told me that. So, that can be quite nice, both understanding what it is and going, “That might help me.” And incidentally, for that project, I offer completely free one-off session.

Craig: We’re sitting in London. Do you only coach here in London, or do you do them over the phone, or how do you …

Naomi: I work by phone. I do almost all of my coaching by phone, because it means people can be in their own space. They don’t have to worry about sitting in front of me, what I look like, anyone else being able to overhear, anything like that. They get to be in their own world and just talk to me on the end of the phone, and it works brilliantly. So, it also means that, yeah, those sessions are open. If any listeners want to do that, get in contact.

Craig: Is that information on your website?

Naomi: Yes, it is.

Craig: The link’s in the show notes. Cool. Naomi, let’s go in a completely different direction, and I’m going to ask you as a cold question, which is when I say the word “successful,” who’s the first person that comes to mind?

Naomi: Honestly, my brain just scrambles. I don’t have a person. I think success is really interesting because I think we label it, and then we look at people. You know what, this is something I talk about in coaching as well. Because we look at one aspect of someone and we go, “They’re successful,” or maybe we add in a few more, like “They’re successful,” but we don’t see the whole person, right? We don’t see their whole lives. Wee see, “They’re a medal winner and they got a business and blah-blah-blah,” and we don’t see the impact it’s taken on something else. Or we don’t see where they came from. Someone who came from a really difficult background, had some real struggles in childhood, and has now got themselves together. They quit drugs and they’re holding down a job. I’d argue that more successful than someone who started with a lot of advantage and is now …

Craig: Born on the finish line, right?

Naomi: Yeah, exactly. So, I don’t really look at it like that, and that’s something that’s changed for me. I used to. Ask me 10 years ago, “This person … “

Craig: So, 10 years ago if I said the word “successful,” who’s the person that sprung to mind?

Naomi: I’d have probably said someone who I thought had hit high points in several areas, but like I said, it doesn’t take into account distance traveled. And you know what, that’s another thing about coaching because I get to hear so much that we don’t normally hear about other people.

Craig: Right.

Naomi: So, I just begin to think everybody has amazing, amazing stuff that often because it’s not visible and it’s not celebrated, they don’t celebrate it themselves, either. Yeah, everyone. That’s a little cop out, but it’s not, really. I think it’s really important.

Craig: Naomi, I’ve been doing all the steering here with our conversation. So, I like to give people a chance to just if there’s anything else that you want to share.

Naomi: There’s one thing that I’ve slightly have been struggling with that I would love if anyone’s got any ideas or anything, I’d be like, “Oh yes.” So, you’ve got this amazing audience. So, one thing is ever since I started doing the life coaching, people have been saying, “Oh my goodness, you’ve got to integrate that with parkour.” And I have done it a little bit. I’ve tried it a little bit. And the thing that’s amazing, because parkour puts you face-to-face with fear and with a means of tackling it right then and there. Right?

Naomi: And we do that in coaching so much. We look at fears, we look at blocks, and then stuff’s scary. And so, I really want to integrate the two. And I’ve done it a little bit with a couple of people, but I’m so interested in doing it more. So, if there’s anyone who’s like, “I want to try that,” or has ideas about doing that, I’d love to hear from that. But I think potentially it could be really great, but I haven’t quite worked out how to do it. So yeah, that’s the thing that’s buzzing around my head at the moment.

Craig: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I love to collect stories because I believe that the type of story that people pick when I ask them for a story and the way that they tell it and the emotion in their voice, that tells you more about the person than it really does about the story that they’re sharing. So, Naomi, is there a story that you’d like to share?

Naomi: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So, a few years ago, I spent a term in Gerlev Idrætshøjskole.

Craig: Nice. You can actually say it like that.

Naomi: It’s four months in Denmark. Which is a school in Denmark. It’s a movement school that people go to, usually late teens, early twenties, and they spend two to 10 months I think it is, two to eight months doing movement stuff of their choice. One of their specialties, they have several, is parkour. So, I wanted to go and spend some time there. I was quite a lot older than everyone else. I was mid-thirties. And I had an amazing time there. Parts of it were really tough. I was there four months. Parts of it I found really tough and parts of it were just brilliant. Lots of aspects were amazing.

Naomi: But there was one thing that really got me so interested in this self-talk stuff, what we’re saying to ourselves and what’s the impact, that absolutely made me realize it in a way that I just had no idea before. So, it was another … someone else who was there at the same time, also from Britain, we had such different arcs of experience in some ways. So, she found the movement stuff much easier. I was really struggling with my parkour at that time so much. I had an niggling knee injury, but it wasn’t just that. I had so much fear. I had a massive struggle. I was really beating myself up.

Naomi: This was pre all the personal life coaching stuff. I was really beating myself up for it, and I was just I got quite down. I had a really tough time with that. It was totally my doing. Everyone else was wonderful and supportive and so on, but that was what was going on in my world at the time. And it made my movement worse and worse. I was less than less capable of trying new things, of dealing with fear, of smoothing stuff down.

Craig: Enjoying your downtime, right?

Naomi: Enjoying any of it.

Craig: Yeah, because if you haven’t been to Gerlev, Gerlev is awesome. It’s Gerlev.

Naomi: It’s amazing. It’s wonderful. Yeah. It was such a struggle. Right? But at the same time, the one thing that I … And I did. I absolutely enjoyed the parkour, but I had a tough time with it. And at the same time, one thing I really loved there was I was learning Danish. Everyone was amazing. They all speak such good English. It’s incredible. And everyone was incredibly kind about speaking English an awful lot, about translating things when people weren’t and so on. But I love languages, so I thought, “I’ll just give it a go.” It’s a crazy language to learn. 5 million people speak at and they all speak incredible English as well. But I was there and I was interested.

Naomi: So, I was trying to learn Danish and I was really enjoying that. And I’ve basically forgotten it all now, but I got reasonable, actually. I could have a decent chat. And it was really interesting was my friend found the movement stuff, her movement, I’d watch her and just go, “Why can’t I do that? I’m so happy that she can and that other people can, but why can’t I?” Because she was a little … She wasn’t as old as I was, but she was a little bit older than some of the other people.

Naomi: And then, the thing that really hit home was she one day said, “You’re getting all this Danish. I can’t learn the Danish.” Basically, she had this internal monologue that she somehow wasn’t smart enough. And I was thinking that’s crazy. I believe I can do it and I’m putting some work in. But I realize that was the difference. I believed. I had complete faith in my ability to learn the language, and I did not have faith in my movement. And she had complete faith and her movement, and did not have faith in her ability to learn the language.

Naomi: And I absolutely fundamentally believed that there wasn’t … There might’ve been some difference in our ease of doing something, but not a big one. That fundamentally we’re both perfectly capable. And the thing that was different was how we were talking to ourselves about it. And that had such a massive impact on me, that realization, which came right at the end. Because all of this was so internalized.

Naomi: My monologue of what I told myself, I didn’t realize I’m being really harsh on myself. I thought what I am saying to myself is an accurate reflection of what’s happening. But it was having that mirror image in front of me made me go, “I see what’s happening with her,” because it’s so much easier to see another person objectively. And it made me go, “That must be what’s happening with me as well.”

Naomi: And that was such a huge realization, and it set me off on all of this stuff about self-talk, and that got me interested in the personal coaching and all of this. So, it’s been huge for me. But that was the moment where I went what we say to ourselves has a huge impact. And also, we think it’s completely rational and fair, and it’s not.

Craig: And of course, the final question, three words to describe your practice.

Naomi: That’s so tough. All right. Three words to describe my practice. I would say playful. I really like to play around and have fun and have a nice time. To me, that is more important than anything else.

Naomi: Enthusiastic. I’m so enthusiastic. I love moving, and that’s not just … That’s the dance as well and everything. I really, really enjoy it.

Naomi: I think curious. I just like learning, and I like trying new things and understanding new things. That’s why I love dance and I love skiing and learning snowboard and all these different things, because it’s just the curiosity of, “How does that work?”

Craig: Thank you very much, Naomi. It’s been a pleasure.

Naomi: Thank you so much. I really enjoyed the chat.

Craig: This was Episode 57. For more information, go to moversmindset.com/57. There’s more to the Movers Mindset project than just this podcast. Visit our website for more free content, to join our email list, or to read about how you can support this project. And I’ll leave you with a final thought from Bob Hope. “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.” Thanks for listening.