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Show Notes

Are you an introvert looking for ways to navigate a world? Welcome to episode 168 of The Quiet And Strong Podcast, where our host David Hall taps into the insightful wisdom of Emma-Louise Parkes, a former air traffic controller turned introvert empowerment coach.

In today’s episode, “Strategies for Energy Management and Mindset Mastery as an Introvert,” you’ll learn practical techniques to manage your energy effectively, understand the power of mindset in your personal and professional life, and discover how to embrace your own introverted strengths. Emma-Louise Parkes shares her personal journey from air traffic controller to coaching introverted achievers and dives into the nuances of introverted confidence, challenging the misconceptions about quiet personalities.

Listeners will come away armed with actionable advice such as carving out vital alone time, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes, to recharge and maintain energy levels. Emma-Louise also sheds light on the significance of repetition in building confidence.

Dive into this episode to uncover why embracing your introverted nature can be your greatest asset and how you can transform challenges into opportunities. Tune in not only to find validation in Emma-Louise’s experiences but to walk away with a sense of readiness to take on the world in your own quiet and strong manner.

Remember, being introverted is a superpower when you know how to harness it. Listen, learn, and be strong.

Strategies for Energy Management and Mindset Mastery for Introverts

Here’s a rundown of my enlightening conversation with Emma-Louise Parkes that touched on everything from personal journeys to energy management strategies for introverts.

Embracing Introversion: A Personal Journey

Emma-Louise Parkes’ story resonates with many of us who have felt out of place in a society that often glorifies extroversion. Sharing Emma’s tale of self-discovery, I was reminded of the transformative power of accepting and understanding oneself. Her relief and validation upon realizing she was an introvert and a highly sensitive person was palpable, showing just how crucial self-awareness is.

Leveraging Your Introverted Strengths

Our discussion navigated the differences and strengths inherent in various introvert types. Emma-Louise and I examined the importance of leveraging these strengths to build confidence and achieve personal growth. We debunked the myth that introversion equates to a lack of confidence, emphasizing that confidence can indeed be cultivated through understanding and utilizing our introverted nature.

Confidence and Familiarity: Building Strength Through Repetition

Emma-Louise advocated for building confidence through the repetition and familiarization of new skills. We explored how introverts often mistake the discomfort of the early stages of learning for a lack of ability, and how perseverance is key. This segment of our podcast is golden for anyone looking to expand their skillset but feels held back by initial doubts.

The Energizing Effect of Purpose-Driven Conversations

What’s particularly energizing for many introverts, including ourselves, are purpose-driven conversations, like the ones we have on podcasts. We touched on how these engagements can be nourishing, particularly when discussing topics we’re passionate about. Emma-Louise and I also shared a laugh about our mutual acquaintances in the podcasting world.

Mindset and Self-Leadership: Keys to Taking Action

Diving into Emma-Louise’s coaching philosophy, we delved into self-leadership which is pivotal for those ready to take action but need accountability. She spoke of embodying the role of a leader in one’s life, making decisions proactively, and maintaining the mindset to act despite roadblocks.

If someone can lead themselves, they’re in a great position because they can go on to try and achieve anything that they want. — Emma-Louise Parkes

Quiet and strong podcast, ep 168

From Air Traffic Control to Coaching: An Unconventional Path

Emma-Louise detailed her fascinating transition from air traffic control to becoming a coach. She’s a true testament to the idea that it’s never too late to pivot in one’s career and follow a calling that aligns more with personal values and strengths – particularly as introverts.

Introversion in Coaching and Business

We tackled how the deep-processing nature of introverts can be a boon in businesses that require research and a comprehensive understanding. She stressed the value of empathy in her coaching practice, a trait many of her clients share.

Introversion: Beyond Personality Traits

One of the salient points of our dialogue was the common misunderstanding of introversion. We emphasized that it’s more about how people manage their energy and process information rather than visible traits such as shyness.

Rejecting Labels and Managing Energy

Both Emma-Louise and I are advocates for stepping away from the tired labels that box us in. Rather, introverts should focus on effective energy management to thrive and live the life they want. This part of our discussion is crucial for anyone feeling constricted by societal tags.

Quiet and Strong Resources

Emma-Louise provided listeners with resources for introverts, pointing them to her website and monthly newsletter. Similarly, I reiterated the importance of tapping into tools like the personality assessment available on the Quiet and Strong website, inviting listeners to better understand their introverted strengths and needs.

Energy Management Tactics for Introverts

Rounding out our talk, Emma-Louise detailed physical strategies for introverts to manage their energy, including practical tips like using blue light shields and blocking out time for solitude. These are tangible steps any listener can take to improve their daily life and avoid burnout.

My discussion with Emma-Louise Parkes was enlightening, to say the least. For my fellow introverts listening to The Quiet and Strong Podcast, I hope this episode serves as a reminder of the strengths that lie within you and the ways you can harness them to create a fulfilling life. And remember, being quiet doesn’t mean being silent; it means having the strength to listen, process, and speak when your words will have the most impact.

For additional resources and to connect with like-minded introverts, don’t hesitate to visit us at the Quiet and Strong website, where finding strength in quietude is not just a possibility but a reality we live and breathe.

Key Takeaways

Get Curious to Create Change: Emma-Louise Parkes advocates for questioning our thoughts and behaviors, allowing for new opportunities for personal growth.

Embracing Introversion: Parkes shares her journey from being an air traffic controller to embracing her introversion and sensitivities, demonstrating that introverts have unique strengths.

Building Confidence: Confidence can be developed through repetition and getting comfortable with new skills, and it should not be mistaken for a lack of ability during the learning process.

Mindset and Self-Leadership: Parkes emphasizes the importance of continuous action and taking steps toward goals despite barriers, highlighting the role of self-leadership in success.

Introvert-Focused Coaching: Parkes discusses the misalignment of traditional business advice with introverted needs and the significance of tailoring coaching to leverage introvert strengths.

Importance of Energy Management: For introverts, highly sensitive people, and empaths, managing energy is crucial to avoid burnout and achieve goals.

Practical Tips for Introverts: Parkes shares strategies for energy management, such as carving out alone time, using noise-canceling headphones, and batching tasks to maintain high energy levels.

Make Changes Now

After listening to Episode 168 featuring Emma-Louise Parkes, here are a few actions you can take to start making changes now:

1. Self-Assessment: Take the personality assessment quiz available on the Quiet and Strong website to understand your introverted strengths and needs better. This will provide you with insight into how you can leverage your introverted traits in various aspects of your life.

2. Energy Management Practice: Start incorporating strategies for managing energy into your daily routine. This could involve setting aside regular alone time, minimizing sensory overload (e.g., using blue light shields or noise-canceling headphones), and adopting stress-reduction techniques such as meditation or taking relaxing baths.

3. Get Curious About Yourself: Emma-Louise Parkes emphasized the importance of getting curious about our thoughts and behaviors. Begin questioning your beliefs and why you do things the way you do. This could lead to challenging existing thought patterns and discovering more empowering ways to achieve your goals.

4. Introverted Resource Engagement: Explore additional resources tailored for introverts by visiting Emma-Louise Parkes’ website and signing up for her monthly newsletter. Listen to her podcast, The Ambitious Introvert, for more insights on harnessing introversion in entrepreneurship and beyond.

5. Mindset and Action Steps: Apply self-leadership in your life by identifying a goal or area of improvement and taking actionable steps toward progress. Focus on the mindset of continuous action and embrace the discomfort that may come with learning new skills, as this is a natural part of building confidence and familiarity.


Contacts and Links

A former air traffic controller turned coach, Emma-Louise Parkes knows what it’s like to regulate emotions and bounce back in an immensely stressful position. She self-identifies as an introvert, while simultaneously breaking the mould of what an introvert ‘looks like.’

Bringing energy, empathy, focused questions, and an unwavering belief in the power of quiet, Emma-Louise has worked with over 500+ clients and touched the lives of over 80,000 people through her podcast.

In her world, introversion is not a mark of shyness or fear. It’s a clue into how someone recharges their energy. And by showing Ambitious Introverts how to manage theirs, she’s able to consistently and drastically transform how much they’re able to achieve in their business or careers.

Connect with Emma-Louise:

Website: 
TheAmbitiousIntrovert.com

– – –

Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david [at] quietandstrong.com

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

Typefinder Personality Assessment

Follow David on your favorite social platform:

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Get David’s book:
Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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Timestamped Overview

00:00 Ambitious introvert Emma helps transform business success.

03:14 Confident sociable person discovers introverted nature, finds validation.

06:47 Embracing personal needs for better health and growth.

10:36 Dropped out of college, became flight attendant.

14:15 Feeling overwhelmed by business advice and pressure.

16:50 Reading diverse books fuels deep coaching knowledge.

20:25 Don’t force introverts to fit extroverted norms.

24:56 Managing energy with tools, integral to life.

27:07 Find time to be alone and recharge.

32:00 Identifying ideal clients as action takers.

34:45 Overcoming discomfort leads to confidence and growth.

38:44 Managing energy and mindset crucial for success.

39:58 Question thoughts, seek change, explore new actions.

42:58 Connect further at quietandstrong.com; personality assessment available.


Podcast Transcript

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:00:01]:
It would always be to get curious, and it would always be to ask questions. So quite often when we really pay attention to our thoughts because a lot of people don’t pay attention to their thoughts. They follow them blindly and they trust them like they’re fact, but they don’t really pay attention to what they are. So if we have the same thoughts all the time, we’ll keep doing the same thing. Nothing will change for us. But when we start to question it, we start to question like, that’s interesting. Why do I think x isn’t possible for me? It opens up a whole new avenue of ways that we can, you know, whether it’s journaling or discussing with a therapist or a coach, to start to look for different actions that we can take to get a different result.

David Hall [00:00:54]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 168 of the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we’ll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review or rating. That would mean a lot to me.

David Hall [00:01:20]:
Tell a friend about the podcast and help get the word out there. The introversion is a beautiful thing. A former air traffic controller turned coach, Emma-Louise Parkes, knows what it’s like to regulate emotions and bounce back into an immensely stressful position. She self identifies as an introvert while simultaneously breaking the mold of what an introvert looks like. Bringing energy, empathy, focused questions, and an unwavering belief in the power of quiet. Emma-Louise has worked with over 500 clients and touched the lives of over 80,000 people through her podcast In her world, introversion is not a mark of shyness or fear. It’s a clue into how someone recharges their energy. And by showing ambitious introverts how to manage their energy, she’s able to consistently and drastically transform how much they’re able to achieve in their business and careers.

David Hall [00:02:15]:
Alright. Well, welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, Emma-Louise. So good to have you on today.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:02:20]:
Thank you. It’s so lovely to see you again in such a short space of time after I interviewed you for the ambitious introvert.

David Hall [00:02:26]:
Yeah. Yeah. So great to be on your podcast, and we’re gonna talk about your podcast for sure. And the great work you do around introversion and helping introverts. So tell us about yourself. What was your journey like as an introvert HSP and empath, and now you’re coaching introverts?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:02:43]:
So I’ve always been fascinated by people. I’ve always been hugely into personal development and enjoyed just learning different concepts. And it well, I’d say it was probably my mid thirties that I happened to be listening to a podcast. And someone mentioned introverts. And they had a very brief discussion about what it meant. And I was like, oh, that sounds very much like me. You know, I really identify with what they were saying there. I think it was something about being drained in groups.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:03:14]:
And I’ve always considered myself as very sociable, very confident, all of those things. But I I did get very, very drained. I never enjoyed kind of, you know, parties or anything really noisy or anything like that as much as I loved people. So that got me curious. So I went down the rabbit hole of researching everything about introversion, took the Myers Briggs, got INFJ, read the description, and cried because I felt like I was reading my soul. It was the weirdest thing. It was so emotional, and there was so many you know, INFJ is one of the rarer types, and there were so many works in there that I had probably thought for years, am I a bit odd? Am I a bit weird? Is this a bit strange? And to see them on the page, I was I felt so validated. I was like, I exist.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:04:09]:
And, interestingly, a friend of mine who we had very similar ways of being and, you know, discussions about these things, I sent the link straight to him, and I just said, take this test and let me know what four letters you get. And, you know, 15 minutes later, he said, INFJ. Why? And then I was like, okay. Now now this is like double validation because I can start to see it. So, yeah, once I understood that about myself and and learned more, I, you know, also came across, like you say, high sensitivity and empath and all these things that seem to really encompass everything that I’d experienced all through my life.

David Hall [00:04:49]:
Yeah. That that’s awesome. And that’s that was me too. The Myers Briggs was definitely. Instrumental in helping me feel it, figure out, oh yeah, there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s actually a lot of amazing things about it. You’re brilliant. And it

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:05:04]:
is definitely

David Hall [00:05:05]:
eye opening. And, yeah, I’m a INTJ. So, you know, the the difference is, you know, so there’s a lot of similarities there, but definitely your approach is gonna be a little more the empathic side, the highly sensitive side. And mine’s going to be a little more analytical. Not that, you know, you might not, you might be analytical sometimes too, or I might be, you know, so, but it definitely talks about our preferences of, and it’s so good to talk about how we’re the same. You know, that that was probably amazing, you know, with your friends or, you know, where we differ and how our gifts how we can support each other in our gifts.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:05:46]:
It’s funny you say been a t because I’ve had 2 INTJ coaches, and I worked very, very well with them. And I think it’s because they understood me and I understood them, but where my f can maybe have me get in a little bit floaty and a little bit unstructured and, oh, I feel like this. You know, the tea kind of grounds it and was able to say, okay. What’s the actual facts here? Or, like, what’s the strategy about this? So I feel like that balance was really great, which is another great reason of understanding ourselves. Right? So that we understand our strengths and where we can plug into other people’s strengths to support us best.

David Hall [00:06:27]:
Yeah, absolutely. So you figured out that you were an introvert and then was there a process of embracing it or or what did that look like for you?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:06:37]:
I don’t think I ever had any kind of negative feelings about it. I I was quite excited. I Okay. I was quite excited to have not a label. That’s the wrong word. But Right.

David Hall [00:06:47]:
That it

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:06:47]:
was a thing and that that I could embrace it and learn more about it. And, also, that there were things that it was very obvious that I could implement in my life that were gonna have a huge difference to me, like spending time alone, like making sure I wasn’t getting overstimulated, like being very intentional with how I schedule myself and not over scheduling, which, you know, I know something you’re passionate about as well. So I think, really, I I embraced it, and it was just a deeper part of learning who I am and what I need to thrive. Up until that point, I’d been on a journey of, yes, personal development, but also with my health. I’d had some health issues in my early thirties, so I had had to really change my mindset about what I thought was healthy and what was good for me and, you know, make some difficult lifestyle changes that ultimately made me feel so much better. And I think I applied that same logic to it. It’s like, oh, well, society might think that I should be going out and I should be socializing in groups or I should enjoy this activity, but I don’t. And if I can embrace the things that are actually gonna nourish me, I’m gonna be so much better for it.

David Hall [00:08:03]:
Yeah. That’s the thing. It’s too often people are made to feel like, well, you should like this. You should enjoy this. And it’s like, you know what you like. We have people that we care about in our lives. There’s always gonna be, we’re gonna do things with other people. You know, there’s gonna be some compromise there, but as far as what we like, you know, we need to own that and just, yeah, this is what is good for me.

David Hall [00:08:24]:
This is what I like. And don’t be afraid to do that.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:08:27]:
Yeah, totally.

David Hall [00:08:28]:
So how did you become an entrepreneur and a coach? Tell us about that.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:08:32]:
So I would never have expected to be an entrepreneur. I’d never in my life have expected to own a business. I’m not from an entrepreneurial background. I had no desire to do this. But as I was in my thirties, I was already coaching in my job. I was an air traffic controller, and I became a mentor to new air traffic controllers, so training them before they got their qualification. And I really loved that. I really loved the mindset aspect of it because, as you can imagine, that’s a job where you need a lot of confidence and you need to take action quickly.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:09:06]:
And I just really enjoyed seeing people grow in that training process from day 1 of, you know, feeling quite nervous because they’d got to talk to real airplanes and keep them separated to, you know, sitting there doing it themselves because they’d done the work and learned everything and qualified. But as you’d expect with that kind of job, especially in busier space like London, there is a high attrition rate. And I was really fascinated by why people could come in, people that were highly intelligent, people that had unbelievable qualifications. And they would have the same standard of training as someone else, and then they didn’t make it. And that really led me down another rabbit hole about mindset and confidence, which led me down the neurolinguistic programming route, coaching, all of these things. And as these things just built and built over years with my own development, I realized that that was what I was really passionate about. I’d been in aviation for probably 20 years at that point. So as much as I loved it and I still love the industry, I think I was ready for change.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:10:12]:
And having those health issues that I talked about as well, that had made me really reevaluate what was important to me. So I think it was the perfect storm of numerous things. And then back in 2019, I was like, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna actually make coaching my thing.

David Hall [00:10:28]:
Awesome. I gotta ask because I’ve heard you, I’ve heard your podcast. I’ve heard you talk about being an air traffic controller. What drew you into that in the first place?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:10:36]:
So when I dropped out of college, I dropped out of college because I wanted to travel. So I have no money. So I’d I was trying to work out how can I travel and get paid for it? This is how my mindset works. It’s like, I wanna do this. How can I do it? And I came upon the idea of being a flight attendant. So I applied, and when I was 18, I got a job as a flight attendant. And I did a mix of domestic and international routes, so that kind of scratched that itch of I got to travel and I got paid for it. So that kind of thrust me into the industry, but it became quite apparent maybe after a couple of years that, although that was fun, that wasn’t a lifestyle that I wanted long term, you know, jet lag, giving out a suitcase, lots of people in a aluminum tube together for, you know, a highly sensitive introvert.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:11:27]:
Not not the best thing. So I started to research what else could I do, and I was in a situation where I thought, I don’t really have any qualifications here or any skills. And one of the girls that I was on a flight with one day mentioned she was leaving to be an air traffic controller. And I was, oh, that’s quite sounds quite interesting. I’d heard I’d been in the flight deck before, obviously, and heard them on the radios, and it just sounded like gibberish, complete gobbledygook. I had no idea what was what was going on. And she said, oh, yeah. I’m gonna go and do that and, you know, train to be a controller.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:12:02]:
And I was like, oh, that’s fascinating. And I went home to my then partner who was a pilot, and I said, this girl’s leaving to be an air traffic controller. I sound really interested. I might I might look into it. And he went, oh, don’t bother. I applied 3 times, and I didn’t get in. So you’ve got no chance. So I was like, challenge accepting.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:12:25]:
So I, you know, wrote off for the application form because this was, you know, when you had to fill out the paper thing and send

David Hall [00:12:33]:
it back, right,

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:12:34]:
by mail. And I got an interview, and I went through the 3 stage interview process, and I got the job. And, literally, I was so unattached to the outcome, which, you know, is something we talk about in mindset of not being desperate for one thing and being open. But I was curious. I was interested in it. I thought it could be fun. But I was like, I’ll just give it a go and see what happens. And I got in, and I turned up, and I I did the training, and that was it.

David Hall [00:13:05]:
Awesome. Yeah. That’s that’s very interesting. And and you did it for quite some time. Right?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:13:11]:
Yeah. So I joined in 2003. I passed the interview in 2,001, and then they had a because of September 11th, they had a small hold on starting the training. So I started in 2003 in the end, and I left in early 2020, so almost 17 years.

David Hall [00:13:29]:
Wow. Wow. And so then you became a coach and you, you know, you had done some coaching in your previous work. How did you decide to work specifically with introverts?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:13:39]:
So when I looked at building a coaching business online, there were so many resources. There was so much noise, And I had zero business experience, so I knew nothing about marketing. I knew nothing about sales. I just didn’t understand any of these concepts. I wasn’t on social media. I didn’t know anything really about that. So it was a big learning curve for me to get to the stage where I could even be online and promote services. So at this stage, I was more of a general, you know, mindset life coach.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:14:15]:
And then people were like, you need a niche, and you need packages and all these different things. And I found it really overwhelming. I mean, okay. I was building this alongside a a full time job, but also some of the business advice out there felt very icky. And some of it was because I wasn’t used to it, and it was new and I was getting out of my comfort zone. And, you know, that’s one thing. But some of it just felt so exhausting. And I was like, you know, cold DM a 100 people a day or get on video every day or these things.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:14:48]:
I was like, really? Is this the the only way? Because that’s feels very, very tiring to me. And I gave some of these things a go and just completely burnt myself out. It just didn’t feel good in the slightest. And a lot of coaches are, you know, of the they like to think that that’s because of mindset, and it can be. Absolutely, we can have mindset around visibility and showing up. But I started to realize that there are other things that I could do very easily. Like, I could talk on a podcast very easily. I had no issues around that.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:15:21]:
So it really led me to think, because I’m an introvert, do I need to look at a different way to do my business? Maybe being on social for 3 hours a day isn’t aligned, but there must be other ways that I can that I can market. And it really came from that. I’d resisted choosing a niche, and then it presented itself to me because I was like, oh, I’ve spent the last 18 months learning all of this stuff as an introvert, so maybe I can support other introverts that are early in their business journey. And that’s how it started.

David Hall [00:15:52]:
That’s brilliant because and that’s what this show is really all about is often extrovert advice. Doesn’t work for us. Introverts, you know, and I I’ve learned that with so many, so many things. And I’m not saying that we can’t learn from extroverts because we absolutely can. But if someone doesn’t understand your strengths and needs, their advice may not work and we can be very successful, but often it’s going to be taking a different approach. And I love that. So let’s talk about strengths. What are strengths you have because you’re an introvert?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:16:25]:
Oh, I love that. Strengths have because I’m an introvert. I definitely process things very deeply. I’m I’m not very happy with surface level. I don’t like surface level answers. I don’t like surface level information. So I love to research, and I love to very deeply understand different concepts. It’s you you know, someone else will read a blog post on something.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:16:50]:
I’ll read 3 different books on it because I want to understand it. And I think that’s that has helped me because it’s given me a knowledge of a broad a broad cross section of topics, but in a good way and especially with coaching and different modalities and ways that I can support my clients. But also that desire to understand and go a little bit deeper. Obviously, as a coach, that’s really helpful because if my clients are saying, oh, I’m struggling to do this and I just go do this instead, you know, we could end up in this circle of going around and they do that and then it’s not working. And it’s like, we’ll try this. Try this. But if we can get to the root, if we can go a little bit deeper and understand, like, why isn’t it working for them? How are they feeling about it? What might be holding them back from something? That real kind of drive that I have, I think, to to get a little bit deeper and learn and know a little bit more has really helped me, not just as a coach, but in my business.

David Hall [00:17:47]:
Yeah, definitely. And I think that there’s some strengths that we have as introverts. You know, we’re deep thinkers, but there’s definitely, we vary, you know, like just in the fact that you mentioned you were an INFJ and I’m an INTJ there’s ways that we vary. What are some other strengths that you’ve seen in people that you’ve worked with? And why is it so important that we play to our strengths?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:18:10]:
So one of the things that I’ve seen a lot in my clients, and I will say I do attract a lot of f clients

David Hall [00:18:16]:
Okay. Okay.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:18:17]:
Is empathy. And this is something you and I have talked about, right, because it’s quite easy for people to put a label on and say introverts as if everyone’s the same. Whereas, you know, you and I are very we have very different personalities, but we still have the same energetic needs under underneath that. So I definitely seen empathy being, I’m gonna say, a huge strength and very, very helpful, especially because a lot of my clients have been coaches or they’ve been creatives where they really need to, like, understand the essence of someone that they’re designing for or writing for. So having that empathy is really helpful. But on the flip side, that empathy can be quite derailing for us as well because it can be difficult to know where we stop and where other people’s feelings begin. So you can end up with a lot of emotional labor and taking on a lot of other people’s feelings. So I think it’s important to see, like, you know, what can be the strength can also be the poison and finding the right balance of recognizing that.

David Hall [00:19:23]:
Yeah, absolutely. So on this podcast, we talk about the strengths of introverts, the needs of introverts, some strategies for success. We also bust some myths. Is there any myth that you want to bust about introversion today?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:19:37]:
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And this is why I love what you’re doing in the world. The biggest misconception that I see is that introversion is to do with personality traits. So introverts are shy. Introverts are socially awkward.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:19:54]:
Introverts are bad at public speaking. You know, the list goes on and on and on. Introverts are not confident. And it’s just so frustrating because introversion is the way we recharge our energy and the way we process information. As you say, this depth of processing. There are plenty of shy extroverts out there. There are plenty of underconfident extroverts or ones that hate public speaking. This this is not exclusive to introverts.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:20:25]:
And I think where it’s a real shame is people and companies in particular try to, quote unquote, fix their introverts by putting them on a public speaking course or helping them be more confident, which just drains them even more. If they focused on, like you say, what are your strengths? Oh, you’re very deep thinker and you’d you’d process deeply. So let’s put you in a role that supports that. Or if they understood, how to. You’re gonna work better maybe alone in a quiet space away from people. So this idea that it’s tied to personality traits and lump in, you know, what they think is now what I think 53% of the population. Lumping us all into 1, like, all introverts like this is just not helpful. So that’s my soapbox.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:21:17]:
That’s the myth I would like to burst. It’s your energetic needs, and it’s your depth of processing.

David Hall [00:21:22]:
Yeah. And, yeah, definitely at least half the population. And how can you stereotype half the population?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:21:30]:
I know. Right?

David Hall [00:21:31]:
Yeah. So we’re definitely not all the same. There’s, you know, there’s some commonalities, and there’s things we can learn from each other, but we’re not all the same. That’s for sure.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:21:41]:
You have that great episode a few weeks ago about why extroverted introvert is unhelpful, and that’s the one that gets the eye roll. I’ve had so many messages from people going, oh, guess what? I’m an extroverted introvert. And I’m like, what? And it’s usually that they’re a confident social introvert, but they take in extroversion to mean those things.

David Hall [00:22:05]:
Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up because it’s like. People, you know, you probably have this experience all the time, too. They say, well, I need my quiet time, but I like people, so I must be extrovert. And I’m like, hey, guess what? I like people too, but I’m definitely an introvert, you know? And and when I hear things like extroverted, extroverted introvert or even ambivert, a lot of times they’re not getting at their strengths or their needs. They’re trying to make, they’re trying to say I’m okay. And, you know, our message is you’re okay as an introvert, you know, and maybe there is some middle ground, but for the most part, we do have preferences And, you know, sure. And I don’t ever call things extroverted behaviors.

David Hall [00:22:55]:
I I that kind of drives me crazy too. Like, we’re having a podcast two introverts. I’m totally enjoying it. I don’t think this is me being an extrovert. I think it’s me being an introvert, having a great conversation. I prepared for it. I might need to recharge afterward, even though I’m totally enjoying this conversation, but I don’t call behaviors extra. Right.

David Hall [00:23:15]:
I don’t think it’s helpful. So it’s, what’s helpful, you know, like what it, the labels don’t help you. If you don’t know what they mean. Like you don’t know, you know, you described very well how you’re a great researcher. If you, if you’re, if you don’t understand that about yourself, you might not really tap into it the way that you do. Or, you know, we we’re gonna talk about some needs that you might have or that I might have. If the if all you have is the label, I’m an extroverted introvert. Do you know how you manage your energy? You know, and that’s what’s really important.

David Hall [00:23:48]:
I don’t it’s the label doesn’t even matter. It’s it’s really the label helps you get to, you know, here’s my strength. I’m a great researcher. I really dove in. I can help my clients because of that. Or I can manage my energy. So let’s talk about that because I know that’s important to both of us, how we manage our energy. And again, you’re an introvert.

David Hall [00:24:08]:
You’re also a highly sensitive person and an empath. So how do you manage your energy And to all three of those things bring, you know, energy management to make energy management important for you?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:24:23]:
Energy management is vital for me, and it’s probably the most important thing I would say that I do with clients. Yes. We do mindset work. Yes. We do goals and strategy and all of that. But without the foundation of their energy being managed, none of that none of that matters because it’s like building something on quicksands. You can have all of these ideas and goals and action plans. And then if you’re just too exhausted to even put them into practice, you’re not gonna get the results that you want.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:24:56]:
So, yeah, to me, it’s vital. And it’s funny because it’s such a such a standard part of my life now, managing my energy that I don’t really think about it. And I remember a couple of years ago on the podcast, one of my extroverted friends, she said, you should do an episode about all of the things you do to manage your energy. It would be really popular. And I was like, but I don’t do anything special. And she was like, well, you’ve got your aura ring, and you’ve got your blue blocking glasses, and you’ve got your blackout blinds, and you’ve got your meditation taken so seriously that it’s just become it’s just become part of life now. Taken so seriously that it’s just become it’s just become part of life now. And a lot of it for me is physical because of being a highly sensitive person.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:25:52]:
Stimulus is very draining to me. So as we sat here now, I have blue light shield on my laptop to try and minimize the effects of that. I’ve got I don’t know what you would call it in the states. We call it a sad lamp, a seasonal adaptation disorder lamp. So it’s, it’s meant to stimulate sunlight during the winter so that we still get some vitamin d. I will like you say, after this, I will close the laptop. And as nice as this conversation is, I will just go and chill. I’ll probably read in silence for a little bit.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:26:29]:
And the biggest thing has been really managing my calendar, which, you know, we talked about when you’re a guest on my podcast to make sure that there is space because it is so easy just to fill all of that white space up and be doing thing after thing after thing, and suddenly you’ve gone weeks without any true time to yourself. So that’s probably a very long winded answer, and I could probably talk even more. But, yeah, energy management to me, if you do nothing else as an introvert, that’s gonna be the number one thing to really help change things for you.

David Hall [00:27:03]:
K. What’s your biggest tip for an introvert to manage their energy?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:27:07]:
Take time alone. Alone. And I don’t mean take time away from your business or your job, but still be out and about doing a million things or socializing all the time? I’m not saying be a recluse. Like, we do not have to close ourself off from society. But when will you last alone without anyone else’s energy being an input? So not listening to a podcast or not listening to the radio or not chatting to someone, but actually just being in your own energy and being okay with that and decompressing. For a lot of introverts, even those that are very familiar with what they need, they’re probably not doing it enough. So where can you carve out that time? Where can you be alone? Even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes a day, But doing it consecutively is so beneficial, and it’s the biggest thing that my client’s report has made the biggest impact in their energy.

David Hall [00:28:10]:
So how often do you do that? And I, and I say this because I don’t think there’s a formula for anybody. I think everybody has to figure it out themselves. But how often do you feel like you need to have that time you just described?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:28:23]:
So I’m gonna caveat this by saying I do not have kids. I don’t have a family. I know it’s very, very different for people that do or that are living in a busy household. So

David Hall [00:28:34]:
Yeah.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:28:34]:
I don’t have that. I would say when I was a controller, because I was always around other people, I was doing shifts. There was a lot of stimulus. I didn’t get enough alone time for sure and that I was only in the beginning of trying to understand then what I actually needed energetically. Now what I do is I make sure that my calls are batched on certain days. So there are never calls on a Monday or a Friday, which means that when Tuesday comes around, I may have 4 or 5 client calls, which I’m fine with having that in a day because I’ve just had that 4 day stretch where I’ve been able to recharge. Obviously, I’m not fully alone for the whole 4 days, but there will be significant parts of it where I am. I wear noise cancelling headphones quite a lot.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:29:22]:
That’s a big one for me. So if I’m gonna be out and about where there are a lot of people, but I can still wanna be in my own energy. I don’t wanna be overhearing people’s conversations. I wear noise cancelling headphones. And I take a lot of baths. I love a bath. I am a Brit after all. So to me, I can easily lay in you know, and I’ve got a soaking tub, so I can easily lay there for 20 minutes, half an hour in the evening, pure alone time.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:29:51]:
So when you start to add those things up, I get quite a lot of alone time. And like I say, I I do appreciate if people have different commitments or their caregivers. That can be more difficult to cultivate, but definitely not impossible. Even 10 or 15 minutes somewhere in the day is gonna make a huge difference.

David Hall [00:30:11]:
Yeah. And you just have to figure out what works for you. But introverts will do better with that quiet time with that, you know, and there’s all kinds of ways that we can do that. So I had the pleasure of being on your podcast. I’ve listened to many episodes of Tell us about the Ambitious Introvert podcast.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:30:30]:
The podcast came about because of playing to our strengths, literally. When I had niched into introverts and I understood that that’s who I could best help at that stage in my in my business and help them to start their businesses, I had realized that I wasn’t gonna be on social media. I wasn’t gonna be making reels and dancing around in the same way as a lot of people. And so I knew that I needed a medium that I would enjoy and that would be effective for me. And the podcast was just a no brainer. Like, I love talking to people. I love asking people questions. Again, that, you know, that research and that curiosity comes in comes in very deeply.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:31:13]:
So I remember working with a coach. It was our 1st session together, and, I was just starting everything for introverts. And she said, tell me what you do. I was, I’m a coach for introverts. She was like, oh, I love that. And then she said, do you have a podcast? I said, no. But I’d like one. And she said, introverts all listen to podcasts? I’m like, yes.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:31:33]:
And she went, what are you gonna call it? And I went, the ambitious introvert podcast. And she went, great. And that was, like, the first two minutes of our call. And and the podcast was born, and that was back in June 2020, and I launched in October 2020. So we are coming up 4 years.

David Hall [00:31:52]:
Oh, congratulations.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:31:53]:
Thank you.

David Hall [00:31:54]:
So tell us about the title. How’d you come up with the ambitious introvert? And what does that mean to you?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:32:00]:
You know, I had thought very much until that point about the types of clients that I’d enjoyed supporting. So although I hadn’t been exclusively supporting introverts at that stage, I was trying to understand which clients do I work best with, which ones get the best results, which ones light me up, you know, and give me energy. And the term that I came to was the action takers. I I’m very good at supporting people that will go out and and take the action. You know, Some people are much better suited to working with people that are very early stage and, you know, they’re not quite ready and they or they need clarity, you know, they’re confused. I’m not great with with that. I’m much better at people that are like, okay. I’m ready to go, but I just need some accountability to get me where I wanna be.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:32:46]:
And so I got this, like, action taken idea in my mind. And, again, I think because I get so annoyed with this concept of, you know, introverts are shy, introverts are under confident, I just really wanted to make it a word that’s established it as no. Introverts are doing things. Introverts are taking action. So ambitious was I

David Hall [00:33:14]:
know some very confident, outspoken introverts. I know some very confident, outspoken introverts. And I also look at it this way, too. Sometimes I know some introverts that just have always been that way. You know, they’ve always been confident. And I know some that like myself, where that could be gained, could be learned. And for me, it was understanding my introversion, you know, that gave me the confidence like, oh, yeah, there’s nothing wrong with me. And I have these strengths.

David Hall [00:33:48]:
So are there ways that you feel like if the, if the introvert and again, I just want to make sure everybody knows. I’m not saying that all introverts lack confidence because that is not the case, but for those that do. How how can they gain confidence as an introvert if they lack it?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:34:04]:
And look, I think that’s a great point that you make, first of all, because I am a confident person. I would say I’ve been confident my whole life, but I’m not confident in everything. I could confidently, you know, control airplanes.

David Hall [00:34:18]:
Yeah. But

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:34:18]:
I wasn’t confident showing up on an Instagram story when I first started. So, you know, and a lot of that was the lack of familiarity. So something I always say to clients is when we don’t feel confident at something, quite often, it’s just because we’re not used to doing it. A lot of my clients will say things like, I’m bad at marketing. And in fact, they’re just new to marketing. Marketing’s something they just learn and it’s a new skill. It feels uncomfortable. They don’t feel confident.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:34:45]:
And they put themselves in the I’m bad at it. But then 6 months, a year down the line, I’ll say, how do you feel about marketing? And they’re like, what do you mean? It’s just marketing because it’s just something that they do in their business. They they don’t even think about it. They’ve become confident through repetition, and they’ve become confident through familiarity. So that’s the way that I would say, you know, there is a difference between pushing yourself to do something that absolutely does not work for you and drains you, but recognizing that you will have to push yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone if you wanna create something different to what you’ve already got.

David Hall [00:35:21]:
Yeah. Yeah. So you feel like you’ve always been confident. That’s that’s awesome.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:35:25]:
Yeah. I used to, like, go up to kids, like, in playgrounds and want to be their friend. Or if we’re on holiday, like, I always wanted to go and chat to people. I grew up as a dancer. I would, you know, be out on stage in front of pea like, none of none of that ever none of that ever bothered me. There’s definitely things that I’ve been less confident with. But generally as a as a person, I would say, yeah, I’m pretty confident.

David Hall [00:35:50]:
Yeah. And we can learn how to do things. And as we’ve been talking about a lot of times the marketing, like, yeah, guess what? I’m not dancing on Instagram either. Marketing.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:36:01]:
No, I’ve never seen you over there. Yeah.

David Hall [00:36:04]:
Yeah. The marketing. You might take a different approach and that’s great. That’s what you got to learn is like, what approach is going to be most effective and not draining or even energizing.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:36:16]:
Yeah. Exactly. I find doing the podcast really energizing because I love having conversations with people. Like we’ve said, I love to ask questions. I like researching the guests before they come out. Like, all of it just works really well for me, and I love sharing I love a collaboration, so I love sharing their expertise with my audience. So for me, it’s just a a win win situation.

David Hall [00:36:38]:
Yeah. And I experienced the same thing. You know, it’s so great to talk with people like yourself. I enjoy preparing for the show. You know, I dive deeper into the work that you’re doing and you’re doing some great work. And it’s so great to have this conversation. And I’m right behind you. I started January 2021.

David Hall [00:36:54]:
So

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:36:55]:
No. Not far behind at all.

David Hall [00:36:56]:
Yeah. Look. I’ll be 4 years right after you. So and I don’t have any plans to stop.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:37:01]:
I feel like we’ve been connected for all of that time one way or the other, and we’ve definitely had a lot of similar guests. And it’s funny how, yeah, Terrence Lee and I said the same thing because we’ve been trying to record for about 3 years for each other’s podcast. And then in the space of 6 weeks, we met up in person and recorded 2 podcast interviews. It is funny how it just seems to come together at the right time.

David Hall [00:37:24]:
Yeah. That’s great. Yeah. Terrence has been on my show. I was telling you that so far he’s my only returning guest. So he’s actually been on twice. So yeah, he’s he does a lot of great work, especially around leadership and introversion. So just tell us a little bit more about your coaching and how you help with mindset and what’s self leadership?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:37:43]:
Oh, it’s a great question. So self leadership to me is when we know we wanna do something or achieve something or make a change, but we are able to take the necessary steps ourself without feeling pressured from other people. So we can all be, quote, unquote, led. We can all be in a job, and a manager can say, I need you to go and do this, this, and this, and we can go and do it. But to be able to do something of our own volition that’s intrinsically important to us, which probably will include pushing the boundaries of what’s comfortable, taking those actions, being resilient and understanding that not everything will work first time, but that we can learn from it and continue in any way. And having that mindset that we want to achieve something, so we’re gonna keep taking action until we achieve it. That to me is self leadership. And it’s it’s built up of multiple things.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:38:44]:
You know, our energy obviously been huge part of it. Our mindset because, you know, the way we think and the way we talk to ourselves is gonna impact the results that we make. And so to me, if someone can lead themselves, they’re in a great position because they can go on to try and achieve anything that they want. Without those skills, without that resilience, if you get to the first hurdle and you’re knocked back and you stop, that’s the end of that journey, and that makes me really, really sad. So I think the more introverts that can understand how to manage their energy so that they don’t burn out and they can thrive and understand how to change their mindset, how to understand how to cultivate those beliefs that are actually gonna push them forward rather than hold themselves back. And that’s not to say they don’t ever waiver or, you know, we don’t ever question ourselves or doubt ourselves, but it’s to say that we’ve got the skills that we need to recognize that that’s just a belief we have in and keep taking action anyway.

David Hall [00:39:47]:
Yeah. So what’s what’s your number one tip for someone changing their mindset to get get what they want, to get to achieve that goal that they’re after?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:39:58]:
It would always be to get curious, and it would always be to ask questions. So quite often when we really pay attention to our thoughts, because a lot of people don’t pay attention to their thoughts. They follow them blindly and they trust them like they’re fact, but they don’t really pay attention to what they are. So if we have the same thoughts all the time, we’ll keep doing the same thing. Nothing will change for us. But when we start to question it, we start to question like, that’s interesting. Why do I think x isn’t possible for me? It opens up a whole new avenue of ways that we can, you know, whether it’s journaling or discussing with a therapist or a coach, to start to look for different actions that we can take to get a different result. And, also, you know, I alluded to this earlier.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:40:45]:
I’ve always been very much, like, how can I do this? So if I decided that I wanna do something, I don’t think, oh, but I don’t know how. I think, how can I find the information I need to know to do this? When we ask really empowering questions of ourselves and when we’re focused on an outcome and we look for every possible way to get to it, That expands our horizon so much, and that’s the biggest way to change your mindset.

David Hall [00:41:12]:
I love that. That’s, that makes so much sense. You know, stop thinking all the same thoughts. You’ve, you know, you always think and figure out, you know, what, what do I want and how can I do this differently? And again, how can I tap into my introverted strengths,

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:41:30]:
of course

David Hall [00:41:31]:
and honor my needs and? Be ambitious. Right?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:41:36]:
Yeah. Because you can do all of those things.

David Hall [00:41:39]:
Yeah. Emma-Louise, this has been a wonderful conversation. I could talk to you all day. Is there anything else you wanna add that, you know, we haven’t talked about today?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:41:47]:
Just to remind people that don’t listen to the labels. Don’t listen to the kind of meme culture of introversion that has has it been these personality traits. I think if we always come back to it’s an energetic need and it’s how we need to manage and balance our energy and forget the rest of it. You’re on such a good track to start creating whatever you want in life. And also just to say thank you very much for inviting me on the show. It’s lovely to see you again. And it’s been a great conversation.

David Hall [00:42:20]:
Yeah. Thank you. And, of course, where can people find out more about your great work?

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:42:25]:
So I like to keep it simple. The podcast, as you know, is the Ambitious Introvert Podcast. You can find me on the website, the ambitious introvert.com. And I also have a monthly newsletter called introverts only where I share different resources that I found that month, maybe what I’ve been listening to, good podcast episodes, books, all of these things. And I also round up all of the podcasts that I’ve released and been on in that, and you can find that at the ambitious introvert.com / newsletter.

David Hall [00:42:53]:
Sounds great. Thanks again, Emma-Louise.

Emma-Louise Parkes [00:42:55]:
Thank you. You’re so welcome. See you soon.

David Hall [00:42:58]:
Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at David [at] quietandstrong.com or check out the quietandstrong.com website, which includes blog posts and links to social media channels. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type-finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including the four-letter Myers Briggs code and you can also have the option of purchasing the full report if you’d like to learn more. I’ll add a link to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert, and we need those to be understood.

David Hall [00:43:38]:
Get to know your introverted strengths and needs, and be strong.

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