Lyndsey hired me for the mission of achieving greater life balance by the time she was 40.
An entrepreneur and Mom of two, Lyndsey is a big personality. She thrives on new
adventures and shares them regularly on social and her blog, Girl About. Whilst this is both inspiring and entertaining to others, it can be tiring. The place she escapes to recharge happens to be my favourite too, The Yorkshire Dales.
At the outset of our sessions, Lyndsey wanted more control of her increasingly chaotic life. Knowing she had a few areas to work through, this was to be a personal reinvention.
This week she turned 40. As you can see in the photos, she not only looks but feels fabulous! Shared with her permission, this is her journey.
O: How would you describe your health before embarking on your journey out of the Thirties?
L: Wobbly! Self-care was not on the list. I was stressed, drank too much and unhappy with how I looked and felt. I’d over-do it one way or another, beat myself up about it and then rationalise by passing it off with ‘that’s who I am’.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most healthy I could feel) physically I felt a 5. Mentally a 3 or 4. Today I’d put myself at a 7 physically and an 8 mentally.
O: What specifics were you hoping to achieve with mentoring?
L: To get to grips with what was holding me back. I frequently self-sabotaged. I’d compare myself with others all the time. I also really wanted to move my business forward.
O: The goal was 40. I remember on your very first session, coining the phrase, ‘Fabulous At 40’ which has become a bit of a hashtag for you on this process… Where do you think you’re at now so far as being able to say, “I feel fabulous”?
L: I’m happier and more content! After a lot of honesty, I now know my triggers and am more conscious of the impact my actions will have.
O: What stands out to you from our sessions together as being a lightbulb/the most helpful moments?
L: That I could choose to unlearn things. That intention and action are so important! Also learning awareness in the moment. I’m much more mindful now and have begun to think different about things.
So, a great example of this is that recently I was away with the Girl About Blog Squad. The night of the party I took myself off to bed about 9.30pm. We were having so much fun and I know that drinks and dancing can be a tipping point for me but I had a presentation the next day and had to be fresh. A year ago I would NEVER have done that. I’dve stayed up till the last minute (which was 3am for some of them;)) and cancelled the presentation the next day!
O: Month’s down the line since we last met, what would you say has had a lasting impact? What’s part of your life now that wasn’t at the start of the year?
L: I think more before I speak! I’m conscious of how I react and handle things in person and in day to day communication like email. I now have business coaches and realise the value of having people in your life who can keep you on track. Accountability!
O: What small steps are you taking that you feel affect your health and wellbeing for the better?
L: To choose thoughts that empower me and recognising those that don’t. My year’s been much calmer. I’ve also become more selective of relationships. I know friends can bring out the best and worst in us. I’ve been more thoughtful about which relationships are of value.
O: Having not seen each other in person for a few months, we had a walk recently. That was when I noticed a real difference in you. Everything was still intact that makes you you, but you felt surer of yourself. You seemed less phased by things in life I know once over would’ve bothered you. Do you want to speak into that for readers who want to make a change but worry they’ll lose parts of themself they like?
I’ve definitely become more self-confident. When you’re on a journey and you get to the bottom of it all, you recognise things that hold you back. Once you see that, you’re less bothered about holding on to it.
O: Technology is amazing for being able to share what we want, but sometimes the lines get blurred. Many of us are creating a brand and need to be seen on social whilst also maintaining degrees of personal space.
You’ve chosen to be public about your journey of self-discovery. You’ve also said you find yourself ‘needing’ to post to social when some of it doesn’t need sharing. Have you found the balance of what to (or not to) share? How does all that sit with you now?
L: I post less for me, the focus is the business. It’s become far more about where to post than what. I try to bring professional Lyndsey to the game more. I’m also less bothered than I was about my appearance, less self-critical.
It's a common misconception that we should stamp out the shadowy parts of our character. That we should only accept our 'good' qualities. Though it goes serves to shaping us when we're younger, as we age it can put us in a constant seat of judgement. Of ourselves and others.
One of the things Lyndsey mentioned in our very first sessions was the extent to which she can speak her mind. In her words "I know I can be disruptive".
Together we discussed how balance is about BOTH! We're more whole as people when we harness the dynamic of (what others label as) positive and negative characteristics. Once we let go of judgement, we can accept, allow for, and work with our extremes. We can quit punishing ourselves.
O: When we spoke about your disruptive side, I got the impression you expected me to suggest ‘balancing’ it out by dialing it down. Instead, I took the view that it’s a gift. Though it may upset some people and you may choose to refine it, it’s also a strength you shouldn’t feel bad about.
Has that/how has that helped you moving forward both personally and in your business?
It’s become an integral part of me and my brand! It’s the Marmite factor.
I’ve got clever at using it, not to offend but to be as honest and transparent as I can. If I think it has value for people, I won’t hold back in saying or posting something. The friends in my life now also like that side of me so it’s a win-win.
O: Given you get to define how success looks. Do you feel your exit from your 30’s has been a successful one?
L: Yes! I can’t wait for my 40’s to play out! Before we met, I’d had a turbulent previous year. I was always testing people. It was destructive. I’m starting 40 in such a better place. I’ve not ARRIVED, but with the help of a few coaches, I’m in way better shape than I was. So yes, it’s a success!
Doing the Deep Work
O: You’re one of the most driven people I know. In doing the deeper work of examining your past we talked about where that energy comes from in you and WHY. That drive has served you up to this point and you’ve chalked up some amazing achievements. In wanting to let go of people-pleasing, we spoke about how you could reframe and repurpose your drive now. Do you still feel driven by the same energy (the need to please) or has that changed as you’ve accepted yourself more?
L: It’s changed because I do this for myself now, not for others. I know I had a need to feel significant. Now I just want to have an impact.
O: Judgement and forgiveness. They’re hard ones for many because they require we let go of beliefs we’ve invested significant time defending. Often we simply can’t move on in areas of our life until we choose to break the patterns of the past. Do you want to speak here about things you’ve been able to forgive and let go of and how that’s benefitted you?
L: I’ve had a few wounds to let go of, some friendships to work through. It’s been about choosing my battles and realising what’s a waste of my energy.
Thank you again to Lyndsey who has given her full permission to share this part of her story photos.
Photographer is Maryanne Scott, location Grantley Hall.