Control your Anxiety - how to Master Emotions and Empower Growth w/ Natalie Costa

Jun 21, 2022


Welcome to episode 53 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.

Episode 53’s guest is Natalie Costa. She’s the founder of Power Thoughts Incorporated. It’s a teaching, coaching, and mindfulness service aimed at teaching kids to deal with their emotions and the negative feelings that they have. It’s not about hiding those emotions away but dealing with them in a healthy way that promotes good habits which can take them further into adulthood. 

Natalie was a teacher for 15 years and loved the classroom but she just see all these problems of anxiety creeping amongst children more and more and wanted to do something about it. She’s now helped over 4,000 children through her methods. 

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels. 


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Practice makes perfect (2:20)
  • Talking about burnout (7:15)
  • Working for yourself and doing something you love (9:25)
  • What lights you up? (20:41)
  • All about balance  (24:21)
  • Space, play, and connection (27:47)
  • Structure helps (31:34)
  • The better version of yourself (32:13)


Intro Music:
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick —
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download:



[00:00:00] Natalie: I don’t have the energy for things that I’d normally have the energy for and feeling completely a lack of purpose of what’s the point of all of this. I’d hit that point of, right, this has probably got all of those telltale signs of burnout is very, very close. That away from motivation is good, because it sometimes leads into action, but also thinking, okay, well, what is it that I’m running away from? And just making sure that I’m not going to keep running away from that thing. Like, well, now I know what I’m doing, but how do we step out of this?

[00:00:36] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today’s guest is Natalie Costa, she is the founder of Power Thoughts Incorporated. It’s the teaching, coaching, and mindfulness service aimed at helping kids to deal with their emotions and the negative feelings that they have. It’s not about hiding those emotions away, but dealing with them in a healthy way that promotes good habits, which will take them further into adulthood. Natalie was a teacher for 15 years and loved the classroom, but she just saw this problem of anxiety creeping in amongst children, more and more and wanted to do something about it, and she’s now hopefully over 4,000 children through her methods. Let’s go into the show.

[00:01:22] Welcome to Mindful and Driven podcast, Natalie. It’s a pleasure to have you. 

[00:01:25] Natalie: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me and I’m, I was really looking forward to that. I was like, what have I got for my Monday morning? And so I was really excited for our chat. Thank you for having me. 

[00:01:33] Amardeep: Yeah. It’s, we went to the same book launch event for Simon Alexander Ong, and that was so great, and I remember you wore a very bright suit. What color was it? 

[00:01:42] Natalie: It was like a bright neon pink. Yeah. but I got a lot of compliments that night and you know what? That was probably the first time, that was the first time I actually wore that suit out. And I’m so glad I did. 

[00:01:54] Amardeep: Cause then I remembered you. We didn’t talk at the event, but then when we talked later. I was like, Oh, I remember you from the event. You were that person.

[00:02:00] Natalie: Pink suit though. Yeah. Oh no, no, thank you. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, we met that evening and I think we’ve also got Dr. Nilesh, which I just mentioned before. I think kind of, connected through him on Instagram. Yeah. So a few mutual connections that we have. 

[00:02:15] Amardeep: The first question, I always love to ask people because I think it sets it off where you can see how people really think is, what’s like, advice you hear a lot that you really disagree with? 

[00:02:25] Natalie: Practice makes perfect. I think the reason why, so whilst there is an element, okay, so I might be bit contradictory. While there’s an element of truth to that, of course, the more we practice and the better we can get at it. I always think, well, and the reason why is, cause my mom always used to say to me, I’m a want to be perfectionist. Now what she meant by that is, what is perfect? Because my level of perfection is different to your level of perfection. It’s different to the person down the road’s level of perfections. and I often see this with children as well, especially the children in the work that I do that get really anxious and overwhelmed. You know a lot of the time it is those, the brighter kids, the kids that just are able to access things and super smart, and so the minute they make that mistake, or it’s not perfect, it comes all crashing down and beginning to just help them see that actually yes, practice makes perfect to the extend in terms of we can improve, and of course, there’s all of that, and I mean, neuroscience proves that, neuroplasticity. But what is perfect? And I also think in terms of the other side of that as well is if I push, push, push towards that perfectionism, what’s the cost of that in terms of burnout, in terms of not, you know, not being able to, you know, be my fully function self, because I’m absolutely exhausted, or ridden with anxiety? Which are also things that I see. So that’s why I don’t really love that phrase. I don’t really like that as like, I more would prefer, you know, practice makes my brain grow, I’m training my brain, my brain’s working out, if I’m bringing it down into kids’ language. So yeah, not my favorite phrase.

[00:04:05] Amardeep: Yeah. I think it makes a lot of sense because I’ve had the same thing when I was growing up and when I was studying different like, both at school and both outside of school too. And it’s this whole idea of perfection, right? Because you shouldn’t be studying or doing something, so you can be perfect at it because pretty much everything you can’t actually have perfection. Right? Unless it’s like a maths test, you can get a hundred out of a hundred. Yeah. But even then are you going to do that for rest of your life? There’s always going to be a test, which you don’t get full marks on and that’s not cause you didn’t try hard enough, it’s just, that’s the nature of things. Right? You try hard, you try to learn, and that makes you better at things. But I think people like to have it wrapped up in something which is so, it’s got the alliteration. It’s like, oh yeah, if you do this, then this. When in reality, everything’s much more complicated than that. And we need that complexity. Right? Because imagine if everything we did, it’s like, okay, if you just keep working at this forever, one day, you’ll become perfect. And then what? It’s actually good not to become perfect. And I think we’ve heard of it with Infinite Game right? Is that I don’t like things where there’s actually an end to it. I like it where I can keep being better. So, 

[00:05:14] Natalie: Exactly. 

[00:05:15] Amardeep: My background, for example, is in karate. In karate, you can’t become perfect. It’s impossible. There is no definition of perfect. But the more you train, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know as well. So there’s always a new challenge. And to me, that’s the bit that makes it exciting rather than the end goal. 

[00:05:32] Natalie: Yeah. And something that you said that, that just made me think in terms of that whole practice makes perfect is, I think quite fixed mindset. We’re focusing on that end goal. And a lot of the work that I do, you know, with parents and educating parents and, you know, children is focusing on that process, the growth that you get versus that of course, the end goal that touch with you, that you’re going to get to that end goal. But then what? And you know, In the world that we’re in, how often have we heard, you know, people get to that pinnacle, that goal that they want, and then they’re depressed, or it doesn’t fulfill, you know, they don’t feel fulfilled. And so I think the focus should really be let’s focus on the growth that we are making. The, how we are learning, what we’re gaining from that, who we are becoming on that process versus that perfection. Yeah. So I love there what you shared there as well. You know, I think it’s just a shift of that, because if I think about it, it is very much of a fixed mindset sort of statement. And then maybe it’s something that generations ago, if we’re thinking back to like the schooling system that was very structured and rigid, I can see how where it’s come from, but I don’t think it’s really serving us now. And I don’t think we’re always aware of that because I think that sort of script is still underlining a lot of our behaviors and our actions. And you know, if we are thinking about burnout and there friends of mine conversations in this world, that, I mean, it’s all like that underlying, that perfection, that when’s it going to be good enough? Or what is good enough? 

[00:06:59] Amardeep: You think in the past you did try to for perfectionism and what stopped you from doing that? Did you keep trying to get to a certain level or have you always had a more healthy relationship with it? 

[00:07:10] Natalie: No, not healthy. I would love to say it was healthy. And I think that’s a thing because I really struggled and I’m 100% still on that journey and it’s something, you know, we spoke about being, self-aware like, it’s good to be like, we’re good at being self-aware, but how do you actually start to break, like, well, now I know what I’m doing, but how do we step out of this? And it’s something, I think burnout is something that I would always get myself to a point to, because I’d, and for me it’s work, like I’d overwork overwork put in more, what is this? Like, literally be that little hamster on a wheel. So for me, it’s more from that process of, through the pain and the facedown moments and when I’m absolutely exhausted and, I don’t have the energy for things that I’d normally have the energy for, and feeling completely a lack of purpose of what’s the point of all of this, and then recognizing, oh, okay, I can see how I got here again. How did I get here again? Oh, well here, this is kind of, you know, back step and so I’ve become, definitely become better at it. But it’s not something I’m fully, I think that’s part of my mission on this earth and they always like say you teach, but you need to know yourself or what you’re needing to learn as well. And I think, okay, that’s clearly why I’m on this earth is just to help, you know, children not get into, you know, beginning just to develop healthier habits when it comes to how they view their challenges and their setbacks and their mistakes. And what is that sense of perfection. Can we start to shift that narrative instead? And for me, there’s definitely, I think more of my working for self, so not so much at school, but definitely working for myself. There’s been many moments and situations, gradually building over time, but at least there’d be one episode a year where I’d hit that point of right, this is probably got all of those telltale signs of burnout is very, very close.

[00:09:07] Amardeep: When you made the change from school to working for yourself, what do you think drove that? Was it escaping burnout from the school world or was it excitement for what you’re doing today? Or what do you think that mix was? 

[00:09:18] Natalie: It’s weird. So I never wanted to be a teacher, but it was, I grew up in South Africa and my parents, you know, traditional. Go to university. After school. And so I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I, you know, I left with what, A levels like you know, good marks. And so my parents were like, okay, well, send me on this like, what’s it, this EQ IQ aptitude tests. And like, I got this list generated back and there was nursing. I don’t do blood so that wasn’t going to work. And there was a whole lot like list of other things. And I really enjoyed art, actually. I loved two subjects, and art, but it wasn’t considered a safe career. Like, you know, and then teaching was on there and , I thought, oh, okay. I kind of like kids. I could become a teacher. I can do my art. So that like, that literally was what I thought. Right. And then when I trained to be a teacher, I remember saying to my mom, this is not for me. Yes, but keep at it. because it’s a good job. It’s a safe job. You’re always going to have work. And so I was always fascinated with human behavior, so I did psychology degree as an evening subject, and I carried on with that, finished my teaching degree, carried on psychology, did my honors in psychology, and then I thought, well, I need to get a job. Let me go to the UK, cause my dad’s Portuguese. Let me come here and teach, then I’ll go back into my master’s in educational psychology. So I always had this thing of, and I always used to say to my mom, I do enjoy teaching, but I want to teach what I’m passionate about. And that’s why I felt like I could never get from the educational sector. But obviously it was safe to get a teaching job. So that’s what I did. And then I think just throughout my teaching career, I just got more and more frustrated and I felt, I just felt like there must [unintelligible] . I cannot describe it. [unintelligible] there must be something else. There must be. I’m not, there must be something else I’m meant to be doing. And I actually, I dabbled a bit in the fitness industry as well, cause I loved fitness. So I trained to be an exercise to music instructor and I taught spin and, you know, boxer size and fight club and all these cool things, and I got a little bit of that buzz. I was like, oh, this, this kind of feels like, we spoke about like those light bulb moments, like this kind of feels like a light bulb. Like this, this I that I want to pursue. But I think for me, the big change was, is this it? That was honestly like a question I used to think. Is this it? I would look ahead and think, I don’t want to be a head teacher. I don’t want to be a deputy head. I don’t want to do any of those things. I really want to work with kids and their emotions, but not to the extent of therapy, because what I had learned along the way is actually, and I got into coaching and I loved the whole model of coaching. And so, I think, you know, and there was a stage as well, where I was thinking, do I become a mindfulness trainer? because mindfulness was sort of on this scene. So that sort of felt like it ticked the box, but not quite. And it was then that it dawned on me. It was like, oh, could I do something by myself? Could I put coaching together for kids? But it’s not done. I’m like, nobody’s done this. But I could see from the work that I was doing with children and bringing my coaching elements and breaking it down into lessons, and teaching them about their brain and their thoughts and their, you know, their unwelcome visitor and the, you know, how to regulate their emotions. I was like, I could put this into a program. So I think, and that’s when I literally felt like this is it right now. And then it’s so weird because years ago I tell my mom, I want to teach what I’m passionate about and fast forward that’s now what I’m doing. Not ever thinking I’d be doing it in this way. So for me, I think it was just that deep knowing that there was something else. And that voice just would not go away. It just would not leave me. And I mean, we’re talking about years, you know, where I first dabbled in the fitness industry for a few years and it still wasn’t quite that voice because I was like, yes, it’s this, but it’s not quite this. There’s something else. And I think also seeing where, you know, with my own struggles with anxiety and depression as well, and when I actually like learned, I don’t have to believe every dumb, stupid thought I think. I can actually get some distance from that. And seeing kids really struggle with that and then thinking, well, actually, why can’t I put this together and help them now so that they don’t have to get to that point in their twenties when they, I’m not saying all the time, but there’s more preventative strategies in place versus you hit that point, and you’re like, oh my god. Like, where am I? What am I doing? And you’re, you just, I mean, cause we know how powerful our thoughts and our mindset can be. Right? And so I think, yeah, there’s a whole mixture, I think of little dots. I don’t know if, I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve gone on a tangent there. Have I answered your question? I think I’ve answered your question. 

[00:14:02] Amardeep: I think the answer to the question there was, it was, partly it was escaping something which you thought wasn’t making you happy, but it was also running towards something which was making you happy. Cause I think there’s always this danger, which I’ve seen with different people where sometimes, the focus of their life is running away from something they don’t enjoy rather than running towards something they do enjoy. And if you just run away from something, you might be just running in a completely wrong direction. And I liked what you did there because you dabbled in a few different things. You tried out the fitness industry and like people listening right now, it’s like, if you feel like how you did, then that’s why I’d really advise people to do is don’t think like this has got to be it for like, oh, I can try this. Maybe I’ll enjoy this. We try that. Maybe I’ll enjoy that. And the experimentation, that’s how you start to learn things. Whereas if everything you try, like this has to be it. You’re never going to be happy. It’s the same thing with relationships. That as soon as you start putting that much pressure on something, it’s very hard to ever meet your expectations. But what I think is really interesting now as well, is that when you left your job, you’re focusing mainly on working with kids at schools and as a coach, but now you’re adapting a bit as well, right? And I feel what all that shows is this whole idea, I think, of the lifelong purpose, I disagree with in many ways, cause I think it adapts over time. Like you change. You do more and you find out that actually I like this area, but if I do it in this way, that’s more interesting to me. 

[00:15:27] Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show.

[00:16:02] So can you talk about that transition you’re making now as well to work with parents as well? 

[00:16:06] Natalie: Yeah, totally. And I think it’s one of the things, you know, you’re not the same person that you were a year ago with your knowledge and your mindset and your awareness. And I mean, cause we only know what we know until we realize what we don’t know. You know, it’s, you know, a lot of knows in that phrase, but it’s, you’re a different person as well. And I think, going back to five years ago, so Power Thoughts have been in business now September full time, five years. Like this coming September and never would I have thought in a million years that I would be wanting to work more, you know, work with parents, cause my, initially my plan was always like school workshops and I just want to be in school, in curriculum in schools, to now, actually, that’s not really what I want anymore. I want to be working with parents and doing corporate workshops for parents in the corporate sector. And so I think, that in itself, that really lights me up now. And even a year ago, I was just, no, I can’t work with parents. Like that’s not, that’s not my business model. My business model is here working with children. So even all that growth, that’s just taken place over a year, and actually when somebody mentioned to me, oh, can you work with me? And it was a parent that it reached out. And initially I was like, no, no, no, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this. Like I work with children, like, I’m good at working with kids, but then I thought, hold on, I’m working with parents all the time cause I’m always doing a debrief with parents. I’m always telling them. What we’ve done. And actually how many times do those calls overrun? Because I’m giving them more because there’s not enough time in that 10 minute window frame. So it was actually that. It was like, oh, how can I shift perspective? And how can I start to look at this? And then now that lights me up, you know? And I always think of my friend, Lucy Sheridan always used to say to me, she’s like follow the breadcrumbs. And like, it’s just that next little thing. And just that next little thing. And you don’t know what the breadcrumbs are going to be in five years down the line, cause it might, it’s things that you’re just not even on your radar right now, but following this little thing is going to lead to that little thing is going to lead to that little thing. I love that, you know. It’s not, instead of making this, okay, this is THE thing. And I definitely did that. because if, I mean, and I didn’t touch on this but just before I set up Power Thoughts and I was still dabbling, I mean, I was still teaching full time. I don’t know how I did this. This clearly should’ve led as well to a bit of a burnout moment, cause I literally would teach my year one classroom, go teach a spinning class in the morning, and then come back and work with my coaching clients in the evening. Like who does that? I’m like, who does it right now? You know? But prior to setting up Power Thoughts, I wanted to work with women making career changes and like in the corporate sector. And I held onto that idea so much, cause I’m like, this is what’s going to make me leave teaching. This is what’s going to make me leave teaching. And there was that little voice saying, no, no, no, this is not it, and I did not want to listen to that. I was like, no, no, no, but this is my way out. I have to get out. And there was so much pressure on like, this has to be THE thing, and it’s so funny because when I actually let go of that, I was like, this is not THE thing. And I was in limbo for what is my thing. And that’s when I was like, okay, mindfulness, do I do that? Do I do this? That’s when these seeds started to be planted of like, oh, but we could actually put this together for children. So I think also allowing yourself some of that just, and it feels really scary, I suppose, that open space where you just, or like, on your little rafting votes and you don’t actually know where you’re going and, but just trusting that process a bit for things to integrate. 

[00:19:34] Amardeep: Yeah. I get some people come to me and say, oh, I want to write a book, but then they don’t know what they want to write it about. They don’t know anything about what it’s about. They just have this idea that I want to do this. And it’s like, I think with your working with women, transitioning their careers, is this idea that like, oh, that would be something good for me to do rather than actually having a desire to do it, of like, I really enjoy that. It’s not led by enjoyment. It’s led by their end goal of like, that’s a cool thing to do. And it’s interesting because I’m probably going to write a book by the end of this year or next year, but it was never my goal in life to do that. It’s because now I’m really enjoying that side of things, so I’ve written like hundreds of articles now, but what I want to do is can I really dive deep into that? And I’m enjoying that process. That’s why I want to write a book. It’s not because it’ll be a cool thing to do. And that’s one of the things I think people often need to think about of when they’re changing their jobs, it’s like being led by, like you said, the enjoyment. What do you actually like doing not what you think is something which will be, okay if I move into this, then I’ll become successful. Or then I’ll be a person that people talk about. Like, that’s a secondary thing, always. It should be about, I’m doing this because I really love doing this. 

[00:20:51] Natalie: Yeah. And I would say definitely because I think sometimes we can, we know, you know, social media, your feed is just one little glossy version of what’s, you don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears all the time behind that, you know? And I think it’s, it can be really glamorized as well. And I think for me, I always just think, and it sounds, maybe it sounds silly, but the language works for me is like, okay, well what lights me up? And it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be fun and pleasant and enjoyable, but what really lights me up and okay, how can I make this then into an opportunity? Or how can I monetize this? Or how can I do this so that I’m supporting myself? And it takes time, I think, to find that. I think that’s the other thing. It takes time and, what I’ve also realized is the things that light me up kind of come to me out of like the left wing when I’m not expecting it at all, because I might be so focused on this. And then you sort of like, just get that little ping of, oh, okay. It’s maybe this. But that takes a bit of practice to maybe tap into that like, you know, your intuition, that like intuitive hit. It’s not, if you’re not used to that, it does take a bit of practice and patience and time. But I would also say it’s, you know, you’re definitely right there. Okay, well, why, and I mean, I’ve had that. Like, I’d love to write a book. In actual fact. True story. I spend a good six months writing a book proposal and you know what? I did not enjoy the process because I was more fixated on, I have to write a book because that’s just, I got myself into this, but I’ve got things to say, and I know there’s a book in me, but this book is just not, and it’s not, it’s just, doesn’t, it feels hard. And if it’s so hard, then it’s probably not the right book for me. And I mean, I’m still waiting on a book idea. Do you know what I mean? It’s and I think I said to you, I’m much more comfortable in front of the camera versus writing. I prefer, you know, talking versus writing. But I’ve almost just let myself go a little bit with that, cause I’m like, the right idea will come when I need that idea. You know, like when I’m ready for that idea and like I’ve jotted some stuff down and I’m, but my approach is a lot different because now I’m not forcing it. And I suppose I’m in that kind of like, well, I don’t know where it’s going to take me, but I think it’s becoming really self aware and thinking, what is that thing that you want? And it’s, you know, questioning that. Is this really like, what is that, the driving factor then? Like you said, you know, sometimes it’s that away from motivation is good, cause it sometimes leaps us into action, but also thinking, okay, well, what is it that I’m running away from? And just making sure that I’m not going to keep running away from that thing, cause that’s only going to, fuel, sustain us for so long before, where is it that I’m going? 

[00:23:41] Amardeep: I think there’s a huge problem as well of people being driven by insecurity, of needing to prove themselves. They might want to have a book because then they can, I’m successful, then I’ve written a book, or they might want some other achievement and they might want a promotion. It’s like, they don’t necessarily want to do that job, but they need that promotion because it validates themselves. And it’s really hard to break that mentality and I know about it myself. I know that I can do it at times, but it’s just kind of giving myself that rain check of, again and being like, I don’t actually want to do that. I’m just doing it because I think it sounds cool. Or because maybe I can put it on my Instagram or maybe because I can tell other people, so that shouldn’t be the reason why I’m doing this is to impress other people. And it’s very hard to break out of that. And like, with your life at the moment, and you’re making a few transitions and I know you do only certain days when you do your coaching, do you feel like you’ve got the balance right? Where you are doing everything at the right levels at the right times? The laughing tells me not . 

[00:24:39] Natalie: Hell no. No. That’s where we’re aiming to. An actual fact, I’ve got it written right there, right. And actually this is saying to Dr. [unintelligible], cause I did some work with him, but draw your ideal week and it literally is there. That’s what we’re aiming to. And I think, it’s, you know, the two days yes. I’d love to work with clients two days a week. At the minute, it’s probably three to four days a week. So I’ve become really good at saying no on Fridays, cause I get a lot of requests for Fridays. And like Friday is my admin day, down day, just five o’clock on a Friday night is not, you’re not going to get the best with me trying to support your child. You know what I mean? , This is not going to happen. And also be honest, I’ve become good at saying no to evening work as well, because I think I am based on, you know, a lot of like what Simon says and his work, about when does your, and when are you, you know, working with your energy ?And energetically, I’m much more of a morning person than, I’m not saying I won’t say no to work all the time in the evenings, but I’m a lot more conscientious about what I say yes to in the evenings, cause that’s like my sacred time with my family. But have I got the balance right? I think it’s no. I’ve definitely become better at it and saying no to things on, even seeing like boundaries in terms of weekends. Whereas before, and I think there’s an element of doing this. If you’re starting out, like yes, there are going to be days and times and you’ve got to work inconvenient, and it’s not always going to tick the boxes. I’m not saying like, I do feel like, it is a bit of a fine line. What I’m struggling with at the minute is knowing when it’s still me switching off at the end of the day. So whilst I build a bit more boundary with client work, we know there’s always more stuff that you can, you know, as a business owner, I’ve got to send this email, I’ve got to do that, I’ve got to do that, I’ve got to do that. And so me switching off me, so I’m probably the worst one, cause then I’ll stay on that extra hour and do these extra things. And then it becomes an hour-and-a-half, so that’s probably where I’m, struggling with still. 

[00:26:39] Amardeep: What I’ve done this week, so this is, the week we’re recording this is The Platinum Jubilee Week in the UK. So we’ve got Thursday and Friday off for bank holidays, and what I did this week is that I actually canceled all of my, like, I couldn’t let people book me in from Monday to Wednesday. From last week I changed it. So I’ve got this recording today. I’ve got another meeting later on. A couple things on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I’ve actually got a very free week. I really needed that. I needed to do that reset because in recent weeks, I’ve had maybe 20, 30 calls each week and at some point in between that I need to actually get things done.

[00:27:17] Natalie: Yeah. 

[00:27:17] Amardeep: So this is the problem that’s been happening with me is that I enjoy talking to people, but talking to people, that many people in a short amount of time means I’m not actually giving them my full attention. I’m not fully present. So I might be having more calls and connecting with more people but it’s at a lower quality because it ain’t my full attention. I’m thinking, oh god, I’ve got to do that later on like, oh, I haven’t got enough time between these meetings, which then reduces the whole purpose of the point of talking to him in the first place. And another thing I really love to know about is on your wall there with the ideal week, what is your ideal week? 

[00:27:52] Natalie: Yeah. And just, I’ll answer that, and then I was saying, you said I’m going to come back to you and that, if that’s okay. Cause, if I remember that, yeah. So the ideal week is, so client days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And working with some clients or parents in the morning, well, parents doing the day, cause I work with the kids and parents. The parents in the day and two children in the evening. Cause I still enjoy working, I mean I love working with kids. I want to stay in their world, but I don’t want to have them every, work with them every single evening, which is obviously, I’m freeing that up. Mondays I’ve put down as more of a task, admin day, connection day. I love, and one of the things that I really only discovered, I mean, I love interacting with people, meeting people, but I think consciously making an effort of it over the last couple of months is how important connections are because it lights me up. It’s one of the things that I thrive off as well. And, you know, even like, put down like, go to an art event or, you know, go to a talk, or some sort of thing in the evenings, because at the minute, like I said, with my clients, I have every evening is taken up. So it kind of limits me from doing that. And Thursday is, I mean, I work out, I enjoy working out. So there’s workouts on all mornings. Thursday’s another connection day or perhaps a panel talk or collaboration, and I’ve even put in their podcast because I’d love to do my own podcast, but I’ve just not had the space for that. And yeah, Fridays are my day. Fridays are my day where I get to, the weather doesn’t really allow it, but paddle boarding is something that I loved, because I’m, I often go to Portugal in the summer or whether it is actually learning Portuguese, I’ve been promising this, I would learned Portuguese for the last four years. We haven’t done that. I’m also really, I did, you know, two art courses up to my A levels. I’d love to pick up some drawing or painting. Travel, you know, long weekends away with my husband. So that’s sort of where I feel like the ideal week is now. Because I think I said to you in one of the questions, I’m not very good at the big like five years from now. Of course I’ve got ideas of what I want, but it’s just like, how do I get there? I need to do baby steps that feels more tangible. And yeah, what I can see on my week is there’s a lot of space. There’s a lot of space. There’s play. There’s connection. I’m not in my office all day. You know, it’s great that I’ve got my office space. I’m really grateful for it, but I’m somebody that definitely thrives of being around other people as well. I think Vanessa van Edward talks about like being an omnivert. So you, you know, you’re around, you enjoy the energy of people, but you also like your own company and I’m definitely both, and that, oh, that would just feel so good.

[00:30:26] Amardeep: I think a lot of people think about is when you start working yourself, they, it’s all about the freedom of how you can do everything you want and you don’t have to have any structure. But what I found is that over time, like at the beginning I did that, right. I was like working all over the place, but now I actually want the structure back again, because structure allows you to do better planning. Right? So if I work during the daytime, normal hours, say nine to five, that’s when all my friends are working. So that means in the evening, it can meet up with my friends. If I’m chilling out during the day and then doing work late at night or doing work odd hours, then my schedule, doesn’t align with other people as well. And also I don’t get that switch off moment because that total freedom, that means you’re never, truly not working either. Whereas if it, like most days now I go to a social, like a co-working space, so when I leave that co-working space, then I’m done for the day. When I’m working at home, I’m never really done because there’s always like, oh, I can go and do that. My laptop is just here. So I guess you’ve found that as well, about the structure actually does help, that total freedom is overrated in some ways. 

[00:31:36] Natalie: Yeah. Oh totally, totally, totally. And I think, you know, in terms of structure for me has been, so I needed the structure because just in terms of simple things, like getting dressed properly, you know, looking, not in your pajamas all day, because the energy that I feel, energetically I feel like I show up differently. I’m answering emails differently. I’m having different conversations versus if I’m not dressed, you know, in like day clothes. Exercise for me is a, like I need to move my body and not so much, yes of course, like physical aspects, but it’s more around mental aspects. And the difference that I notice in terms of my anxiety, my mindset, when I don’t exercise in the morning, even if it is just going, getting out of the house and going for a walk because, it just, I’m like, I have to do that. If I don’t do that, and maybe I’ve kind of spoken myself into a bit of like a loop. If I don’t do that, I’m going to have a bad day. It’s like, I have to get out, I have to move my body, whatever that is, because just that kind of like, okay, it signals the start of the working day. Yeah, you know, the structure of a, okay, well, and that’s what I found quite hard because I’d have a client here, a client here, a client here, calls here, calls, and it’s like, well, where’s the space for the admin work? Where’s a space for the creative bits to come out? You know, the, the bits I want to write for my newsletter that is actually something really engaging and that’s meaningful for my community? Where is the creative bits for, you know, my social media, online presence? Because that in itself takes time and effort. Because you know, I’m my own brand and you know, supporting clients, and I find that I’m definitely better, I mean, in terms of productivity, as well as actually having those chunks of time or like this day, I can dedicate to this, but these days I know are a little bit more free with clients and that admin stuff doesn’t need to take that much of a priority. And I guess that’s still where I’m at because whilst, thare are maybe, oh, you could, can we have a quick call here, but it’s not actually on the day that I would have my calls, but then we’ll, you know, it might be like an important company and I’m like, yeah, actually I do want to get in touch with them, so, okay, we’ll do that. But, and that’s fine now and then. So yeah, I mean, structure is really, I definitely thrive when there is a element of structure. Like you said, you know, the co-working spaces. When you kind of get home, that’s it. You know, and it’s like, I’m not, I mean, yes, the laptop’s there, but it’s almost like that signals to your right now, I can kind of, that was my day, now I’m home, there’s this other part of you. 

[00:34:05] Amardeep: And I think it’s really interesting what you said as well about how, if somebody you admire, how they would deal with it. Because sometimes you can put these people on a pedestal where they might react exactly the same way we do, but it’s almost the idolized version of yourself. Like how would you want to deal with this? But it’s sometimes hard to imagine it in that way, so you can use another person to be like, that’s the better version of me. Whereas like, I’ve thought about this in the past about using this model of how would like the not perfect me, but the person I want to be, how would they deal with this? How would I want to deal with this? How would I want to be able to even regulate my emotions or deal with stress? Or if I was looking back or if like the person I want to be in five years time or few years time, not based on achievements, not based on awards, but how I’m able to conduct myself, how would they deal with it? And am I living up to that? The only way to get to that person is to start making the changes and start doing it. 

[00:35:01] Natalie: It is. And so true, cause I mean, yeah, I mean, and sometimes I do think of the future Natalie. Okay, what would Natalie do? What would she say? How would she respond? And what beliefs does she have? Because that’s the other thing as well. What thoughts are she choosing to pay attention to? So yeah, the same insecurity still come up. Is she giving them as much attract, you know, like head space is what they need to be there. Because the thing is, you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’re are going to show up differently, but then it’s also, we also then start to have different thoughts about the, you know, different beliefs. So, I mean, that’s a whole different conversation, but it is stepping into, and I, and I would do that. I do do that a lot as well, like okay, how, even answering an email. Okay, you know, how would future Nat answer this email? Boom. There we go. I mean, I did this last week when I had to have a difficult conversation. I was like, okay, let’s just step into our shoes. Let’s write this. Let’s go. And I must be, I felt so good. It felt like, oh, okay. We’re evolving. We’re getting to that point. 

[00:35:55] Amardeep: It’s been a pleasure to talk to you today. Where can people listening hear more about you, what you’re up to, what you’re building in the future? 

[00:36:01] Natalie: My website I’m also on Instagram, so power thoughts NC and LinkedIn, I’m tapping into LinkedIn a lot more. I’m enjoying the space there. So that’s just Natalie Costa Power thoughts by Natalie Costa. So you can find me that side. And thank you. It’s been an absolute, absolute pleasure to chat to you. I’ve loved it. So thank you. 

[00:36:20] Amardeep: You too. And the final question I ask everybody is what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy recently?

[00:36:27] Natalie: Ooh, good question. One small thing that’s brought me joy recently? Okay. It’s going to sound really silly, but it’s not. And one thing, we were in London last week and it was a really sunny day and we were actually, my husband and I were busy walking to the gym, and we walked through a park. I just remember holding his hand and it sounds so bizarre, but like, so, so minor. And I just remember looking up and just looking at the trees, cause I miss London incredibly and we’ve moved from London and I’m desperate to go move back. And I just had like, I’m happy right now. I’m just really happy. Like we just had a nice day, we had, I don’t know, on our way to gym, we were going to play ping pong. It was just, and I still say to him, like, you know what, that moment I just felt like, this is it. I’m really happy. So there was nothing big. There was nothing monumentous. There was nothing huge. It was just, it was a really, just, just a good moment.

[00:37:28] Amardeep: If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review. it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes. 

Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.

Amar's Letter

Real talk on driving impact as an imperfect human.