fbpx
Kate Snowise - Thrive.How

046: How Resilience Helped Me Survive Breast Cancer – Kate Snowise

Kate Snowise is a life and executive coach as well as the host of the Here to Thrive podcast. With close to two decades of dedicated learning and professional experience behind her, Kate integrates theory with real-word practicalities. She understands what makes us happy, thriving humans in both our lives and our careers. Kate completed her registration as a General Psychologist in New Zealand in 2010 with her research focusing on positive psychology, emotional intelligence, stress and well-being in the workplace. She is now a Registered Professional Coach with the Association of Coaching (UK) and bound by their International Code of Ethics. Before moving to the USA in 2013, Kate was a Corporate Psychologist and managed a team of thirteen. In 2015 she started her private coaching consultancy to bring her knowledge and experience together. Her focus is always on delivering highly practical techniques that are easy to remember and apply, yet can make a significant difference in her clients lives. Kate is the host of the 5-star rated podcast Here to Thrive which has more than 340,000 downloads to date. Her thoughts have also been featured in Huffington Post, Complete Wellbeing, MindBodyGreen, Project Happiness, Tiny Buddha and Forbes. She is currently based in Minneapolis/St Paul but coaches her clients that are all over the USA via video-conferencing calls.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Three strategies to help you overcome a stressful situation.
  • How Kate used these three strategies when she was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer three days before her 36th birthday.
  • Why she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy surgery.
  • How she helped her children navigate the situation.

Connect with Kate:

My Episode on Cultivating the Lovely with MacKenzie Koppa:

Don’t Miss A Single Episode:

  • Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher.
  • Leave a quick review on any of the podcast apps to tell people what you think about the show.
  • Take a screenshot of the podcast and post it on Instagram or Instagram Stories. Tag us @insporising. We’ll repost and give you a shoutout!


Interview Transcript

Kate, thanks so much for taking time to hang with me today.

Thank you so much for having me.

I want to talk about the subject of resilience, which is amazing because our very first episode on the podcast was about resilience. We talked to a news anchor; she has to be resilient for sure. She gets a lot of comments about her outfits and hair.

I can’t even imagine. I actually can’t even imagine.

So, what is resilience? How would you describe it and define it? How can we develop it in our lives?

So, for me I think a lot of people think of resilience as that ability to pick yourself back up after you’ve fallen down, and how quickly you get back on the horse. But for me, resilience is the ability to withstand pressure and challenges while maintaining your psychological wellbeing. For me it’s much broader than just being able to pick yourself back up. It’s about withstanding the pressure while you’re in the moment. And in terms of how do we develop that? Was that the second part of your question?

Yes, or does it develop us?

Well, that’s the best bet. I absolutely agree and I think that’s a vital point to make. The challenges we face in life aren’t always bad and I think that stress has gotten a bit of a bad reputation over the last few decades. There’s this increasingly different way of looking at it and we actually do need a certain amount of pressure or challenge in our life to actually reach our potential. So, I would say very true. The stress or the challenges we face in life do develop us, or they can, if we let them.

I know you do a lot of training in the corporate environment and also coaching individuals. How do you help them deal with stressful situations before they even occur? Because like you said, the focus has been on picking yourself up afterward, but in the materials that I read that you present online, there’s a component of preparation before it even happens. Is that true or am I off on that?

Absolutely so. I don’t want to come in and do damage control in a group. I don’t want to come in and be mopping up the pieces when everyone’s feeling miserable and they’ve fallen off cliffs. We can absolutely develop our resilience before we need to call on it. In my training with corporate, my whole model is based on three separate parts of the stress process. So, I mentioned to you that I did my research into stress and wellbeing in the workplace and that was over a decade ago. No one was talking about stress and wellbeing in the workplace ten years ago. Well, corporate companies certainly weren’t paying for resilience training like they are now. I was just a bit ahead of my game, but the model I use is very much based on what I did my research on.

There are three components to the stress process. The demands we encounter, meaning the pressures we’re facing. That’s the first component. The mindset we have around the pressures we’re encountering. So, how we’re looking at the stuff that’s stressing us out. How are we looking at that? What is our self-talk around that? And then finally, how we’re nourishing or restoring ourselves. A lot of people talk about that as self-care but there’s this three part process that I train in the corporate market. I encourage people to consider, what are the demands? What are the things that are stressing you out? What are the things you’re encountering and how can you deal with those? That’s called “problem focus coping”. So, what is your problem? How can you deal with it? Start there. Start with tracing the problems.

If you came to me and said you were experiencing financial pressure, my very first question would be, “Well, what can you do about it?” Are you burying your head in the sand? Get a plan in place and deal with the pressure directly. That is problem focus coping. I always encourage everyone to start there. If you’re in the workplace and you’re feeling a little bit stressed out, first of all, get a really clear idea of the things that are stressing you out and then ask the question, “What can I do about them?” After you’ve addressed that, you can look at your mindset and your self-care or nourishing your spirit and re-energizing yourself.

One of the questions you asked was, “What can you control?” It seems like when we feel stressed, we feel out of control. But you’re actually saying, “No, the question is, what can you do about it?” You’re saying there is something you can control. There’s something you can do and you can take action in some way.

For sure, and that’s exactly it. What can you control about this situation? There’s going to be the odd scenario where there’s not much you can control but that’s when you move into the two other elements of that stress equation. As I say to my corporate clients in the trainings that I do, you’ve got these three different places that can impact your stress levels. Whether or not you feel stressed or not, there are three different ways you can impact it. Start with if you can directly control the problem or minimize the demand that it has on you. If that isn’t an option, then you’ve still got two other places that you can impact the stress process and hopefully hope for a better outcome for yourself.

Okay, first step, what can you control? What can you do? How can you address it? Second one you said was mindset?

Mindset, yes. I so want to talk more about mindset. This is the interesting part about the stress research in resilience. A lot of people are familiar with the idea that we need to do more meditation and that we need to be more mindful. Yes, I think that massively helps with your mindset and your ability to cope with pressure or to nourish and revive, for sure. But I feel the industry is moving forward a little bit or developing it’s understanding of mindset when it comes to stress and wellbeing, and there really has been a big neglect in terms of understanding. As we touched on at the start, stress isn’t always bad for you.

I was laughing about this with someone the other day, there’s actually a thing called eustress in the literature, which is good stress. We’ve been focusing on bad stress and being obsessed with it now for decades and people now have just automatically assumed that all stress is bad. As we touched on in the start, you actually need a certain amount of stress, pressure or challenge in your life to reach your potential, to grow strong and to become all that you are capable of being. Really just understanding that, that maybe all stress isn’t bad and maybe sometimes stress is enhancing, that simple flick of a switch and changing your mindset can make all the difference in whether or not you actually experience adverse outcomes. That is starting to be taught now, but it’s still in its infancy.

How do I know the difference between good stress and bad stress?

Well, I would say it really has to do with your mindset. It’s called appraisal. It’s how you decide to look at that stressor. Is it good stress or is it bad stress? Well, that’s up to you. Do you think you have the capability to rise to the challenge? That’s typically when people feel like it might be good stress; when they feel like they can do it and when they see it as what we call “a challenge appraisal”. But the opposite of a challenge appraisal is a threat appraisal. If people feel like the challenge is beyond them or that it’s going to be too much, that’s often when it turns into bad stress. That’s the way that the mindset can go in two ways. We do have the power to choose and to look at it as an enhancing opportunity and as something that may stretch us, but we ultimately have the capability to rise to the challenge and deal with it.

When I’m coaching individuals, oftentimes that stress component is the source of their dissatisfaction. You know what’s crazy? They could see that stress in a different way and rise to the occasion, but sometimes if someone has experienced that stress for so long, it’s stuck. They’re stuck in it. They’ve got to get out of it, right?

I, one hundred percent agree. Coming back to this three part model, like I said, there is always one part that you can influence and I see the exact same thing with my coaching clients. Is when someone’s truly burned out, they really struggle to impact their mindset. And so, if I’m dealing with someone who would experiencing the symptoms of burnout, then I work on either directly dealing with the demands or the pressures they’re facing or on that last piece of the equation, which is restoration, self-care, reviving their energy to the point that mindset becomes easier to deal with.

Okay, so I can figure out what I can do and what I can control. Then I can look at my mindset and see how I’m seeing the stressful situation. Am I seeing it as bad stress or good stress? Which is obviously dichotomy. It’s never good or bad. You know what I mean?

Yeah, “Do I think I can rise to the challenge?”

Oh, that’s such a good question. What can I control? Do I think I can rise to the challenge? And then, what’s the third question?

It’s around restoration. So, you’ll see self-care has become super popular. It’s like the catchphrase that everyone’s throwing around, but I find that it’s not often a very grounded concept for me. I’m quite practical, so I’m like, “Oh, everyone’s talking about bubble baths and getting a massage, but what is the benefit of that?” I would say it’s all about restoration or reviving your spirit. What are the unique things that will revive you? What are the unique things that restore you? For some people it might be a massage that reenergizes them but for other people it might be a day on the mountain skiing. It might be going and spending some time down at the beach surfing. Or it could be catching up with some friends for dinner.

For me, self-care is all encompassing in terms of what restores you. What enlivens you? What brings you back to life? In terms of technical talk, this can also be thought as “emotion focus coping”. So, you have problem focus coping that deals with demands and then you have emotion focus coping that deals with your feelings and how energized and resilient you feel. I like to think of it as a wellbeing bucket and then you become more tolerant when you’re more filled up. Your resilience bucket gets bigger the more filled up you feel.

Those self-care things are part of developing that resilience before and after?

Right, it could be at any time. As I say, you’re investing in your wellbeing account. If you go through a period of high stress and high pressure, you might drain that down a little bit. But if you’ve pre-invested and if you’re feeling really good, if you’re feeling energized and on the front foot, we know this about ourselves; we deal with pressure a lot better when we’re in that kind of state then when we’re already feeling like we’re functioning at the bottom of our bucket. When you feel like you’re already empty, one more tiny pressure could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s about maintaining that wellbeing tank and making sure that we are always investing in our wellbeing.

I know last year you experienced a personal challenge that you’ve spoken about, but I wanted to just chat with you about it for a few minutes if we could? Can you tell us a bit more about what happened last year and how that required you to become resilient?

Yeah, definitely. I say the irony was not lost on me. I was in the middle of delivering corporate resilience training on exactly this model we just talked about, obviously in a lot more depth, I usually do half day or full day workshops on it. This company has an office in San Francisco and an office in New York City, and so I was flying out one week to deliver the training for a full day in San Francisco and then the following week to deliver the training in New York City. I live in Minneapolis and at the time I was home, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer. I say unexpectedly because I had no family history. I had this mammogram and I think the doctor just wanted to get me out of the office to be honest. I was expecting nothing of it.

Did you have a mammogram scheduled in-between the two trips?

I did but I wasn’t the least bit concerned about it. I really had no concerns. It was kind of a routine tick that box.

You hadn’t felt anything?

I had not felt anything. I had no lumps. I did have some discomfort that had taken me to the doctor originally, which is what got me the mammogram. People don’t typically have mammograms before they’re forty and I was thirty-five at the time. That was actually completely unrelated to what they found because I had breast cancer in the other breast that had no complaints. So, complete stroke of luck. But yeah, I really had no concerns. I’ve spoken to so many other women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and that’s often the most anxious time for them; when they’ve been scheduled for a mammogram and then they have to wait on the results.

I didn’t have any of that because I had no anxiety about having my mammogram. When they did find that something wasn’t quite right, they moved incredibly quickly with me. I had my mammogram on a Wednesday and I had my biopsy on a Thursday and I knew by Friday that I had breast cancer. I didn’t have this wait, which is anxiety inducing. Coming back to resilience, that wait is anxiety inducing because as we’ve just spoken about, there’s not a lot you can control there. So, I never had to deal with that wait, which was nice.

For two or three days you did though.

Oh, and I wasn’t even concerned when they called me back the next day because they told me that only twenty percent of people that were biopsied actually have breast cancer. I just assumed I was one of the eighty percent. Ever the optimist.

Did you go ahead and go do the second training?

I did go and do the second training. I did. Then I was in a holding period, which was pretty awful because I knew I had breast cancer. With breast cancer, I had what is called “invasive breast cancer” and that means it’s already spread into your breast. There’s actually a stage zero in breast cancer and mine ended up at a stage one. I did know it was invasive, so I knew it had spread into my breast tissue but I didn’t know how bad it was. So, that was an intense week for me. I had to literally apply my own model to resilience to my own life. How do I deal with my current predicament? And I came back to these three grounding principles to look at what I could control and look at where the pressure was coming from. I had to ask myself, “What can I control about this? How can I influence my mindset? And how can I take care of me?”

I literally made lists around those three things and wrote all the things I could control. It’s a situation where you would say I was very out of control but I could control learning about breast cancer. I didn’t know anything about breast cancer. I could control connecting with people to try and find the best doctors. Those were the things that were on my list of things I could control and actions I could immediately take. And then obviously there was mindset and taking care of myself. But as I said in my second training, I’m applying this stuff in my own life right now and I’m seeing it really does work. So, the model finally worked.

Did you tell them? Did you tell that second training, “Hey, by the way I’m a little scattered. I have breast cancer.” That could be your excuse all week.

I know right, it could totally. Firstly, I should say, I do one to one coaching and I also do corporate workshops for resilience and self-leadership. I worked with this company very closely and I had a lot of coaching clients there. It was a company that I have a very close relationship with and I had to put all my coaching clients on hold not knowing how my treatment was going to pan out. I had sent a blast email out to all of my coaching clients and had announced it that way to a lot of people within this company. So, I did mention it while I was there and this was the last thing that I was doing before I took a personal break. I didn’t pretend it wasn’t a thing but at the same time, it was certainly not about me. I hope I didn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable at the time.

I have a friend who has brain cancer and he’s had three brain surgeries. He’s a kidder and so anytime anything goes wrong, he’s like “I have brain cancer.”

It’s so true. That said, when we’re talking about resilience, sometimes it’s good to laugh. It revives the spirit. It’s restoration for the soul. If you can laugh sometimes at your own predicaments or situations, that can just breathe so much life into your ability to cope as well. So, I’m glad he jokes about it. You’re not allowed to joke about it, but he is.

I do not. I definitely do not joke about that, no. Oh, my goodness. So, just in terms of the breast cancer…

I’m an open book. Any question.

I was reading about the type of breast cancer that you had, if you don’t mind sharing about that, because I knew nothing about all those names and numbers that you were sharing. I was blown away. What is the process that you went through and how did you cope with that? Were you like, “Hey, I’ve got these three tools, I’m good. It’s not a problem” Or were there tough days? Up days? Take us through that a little bit. And where are you now?

I was diagnosed with what’s called invasive ductal carcinoma; IDC is what they call it. I knew nothing about breast cancer either. Like I said, I started with trying to understand everything I could about breast cancer. It’s the most common form of breast cancer and about eighty percent of all breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma. That just means that it has started in the milk ducts of the breast. When I said I found mine was invasive, it just means that it has spread outside the milk ducts or grown through the milk duct wall into the breast tissue outside of the milk ducts. So, that means it’s a spreading type of cancer. There is actually a stage zero on breast cancer, which means it’s still contained within that milk duct and that’s called DCIS. Who knew there was a stage zero in breast cancer?

I was diagnosed just before my thirty-sixth birthday and as I said there was no family history. I had an MRI about a week after I was diagnosed and that showed that it likely hadn’t spread and when I say spread, it didn’t look to be a big lump or it didn’t look to be in my lymph nodes, which was amazing news. But as anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer knows, you don’t actually have any form of finality around that until you have your surgery. So, that’s only an indicator at that point.

The other thing I learned is when women have younger breasts, we have denser tissue and it’s much harder to tell what’s going on in a younger woman’s breasts. I was pretty shocked about this. I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy and just before my surgery, a couple weeks out, my surgeon told me that she thought I had breast cancer in my second breast as well. So, that was a massive low point for me. To suddenly be like, “Oh, my gosh. If I have breast cancer in my second breast, it’s bigger than just being in my first and now I’m not going to know until I wake up from the surgery.”

They didn’t do a biopsy on your second breast?

I was booked for one but I didn’t understand what they were looking for and I was starting to get very, very sick of being pricked and prodded. There was a lot of poking and prodding. I had biopsies on my lymph nodes before surgery because I did have one that was slightly inflamed but I had cancelled the second biopsy, not realizing how concerned they were about my second breast. That was going to be an MRI guided biopsy, which is a lot more of a big deal and they couldn’t get me a session back in time before my surgery. So, that was a little bit on me, a little bit on a misunderstanding, but yeah, I was scheduled for biopsy on that one.

Why did you choose for a double mastectomy?

This is a really interesting one because a lot of it was to do with my age. I have searched #bilateral mastectomy and you’ll see that it’s often younger women that are having the bilateral mastectomies. My other option was to have what they call a “lumpectomy”, where they go in and take a huge hunk out of your breast. Then I would need to have radiation and I would have been monitored very closely for the rest of my life, with an MRI every year and a mammogram every six months. If I had gone that way, I would have been in the medical system for the rest of my life and being monitored very closely because my risk of recurrence was so much higher than the average person’s. So, as we discussed with doctors, I have many years to live breast cancer free and although I came back negative for twenty-nine genes that are implicated in breast cancer, there’s likely a genetic disposition in my tissue that makes me more prone to breast cancer.

Weighing all that up, I decided that the best choice for me was a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. Which, I should note, has come a long way in a number of years. I think people used to think a bilateral mastectomy was pretty brutal and you had huge scars across your chest. They’ve come a long way. They do what they call now “nipple sparing mastectomies”, so I have been very lucky with the results of my surgery. I don’t feel too broken anymore. But because I was stage one, my choice was radiation and then I didn’t have to have chemotherapy because it was caught at that stage one and it hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes. I am the poster girl for why you should have a mammogram. As soon as you turn forty, women out there, please go and get your mammogram because if you are caught in the early stages of breast cancer, you can avoid so much of the treatment and the impact it’s obviously going to have on your life. I am counting my lucky stars it was caught on that mammogram.

Did your other breast have cancer?

No, it didn’t. My surgeon had said that she thought more likely than not that the lump she was looking at was breast cancer in my second breast. As I said, I didn’t know before I went into surgery, so I was prepped as if I had breast cancer in both breasts. I had my surgery at Mayo Clinic because I live in Minnesota, so one of the unique things they do there is they can immediately test pathology in the surgery. They were able to immediately test and see that it wasn’t breast cancer, so therefore they didn’t need to take lymph nodes on my left side, which was amazing and I woke up knowing that it wasn’t breast cancer on that side. She thought it was sixty percent chance it would be and forty percent chance it wasn’t. So, all I could do was put my hands up in the air and say, “Let’s see how we go.” I didn’t know that I wouldn’t need chemotherapy until after I came out of that surgery and that’s the case with most women who have breast cancer. They will know now what their treatment process looks like until after they come out of that surgery.

Wow, how much has that experience changed your training and coaching, on not only resilience but just life in general? How much has that impacted or changed the way that you work with others?

I think there is a deeper respect for life and the fragility of it. I mean, I’m thirty-five and then I’m suddenly faced with the possibility of my own mortality. In terms of my personal coaching, I’ve always taken a values based approach to life. I do deep dives in people’s values and ask them what matters most to them in life. I’ve always been focused on fulfillment in life and how people can live the most fulfilling version of their lives but it really just brought my work and what I had done, into even greater focus. So, “What do I want in my life? Am I living aligned with my values? If I don’t have fifty thousand tomorrows, am I happy now?” And not in a hedonistic way, but I think I now recognize how much we have to be happy in our journey because the future may not be guaranteed.

If you’re constantly chasing goals or postponing your happiness, that’s no way to live. You’ve got to live in the joy of today. I think that has changed for me but it really has highlighted that the stuff I do in my coaching or was doing in term of resilience and values based living and living in alignment, those systems work. I’ve had to use it on myself again more recently and it has helped me come back into personal alignment and into personal focus. I think so often in life  we will be heading in one direction and then life gets busy and life gets in the way and we get drawn off our own course or our own true north. That ability to self-reflect and come back into that is what I call, “sense of personal alignment”, which is living aligned with what matters most to you. Breast cancer was an ability for me to step back and do that. I did see that I was pulling away from my own true north. It was very interesting.

What did you find as you were asking yourself about the things that make you happy and the things that provide you with meaning? What did you realign with?

I think it’s so interesting because it comes back full circle with our conversation around resilience, self-care and wellbeing. I think we truly do teach what we most need to learn and I’ve always been to drawn to stress and wellbeing but then at the same time I have often seen self-care as a luxury in my own life. Like, “Oh, I don’t have time for that.” This helped me to realize that if I want to live my best life, if I want to be the best version of me and if I want to be happy, then I can’t work myself into the ground. I’m quite a goal focused person and naturally quite achievement driven and I find that when people have those kinds of values of excellence or achievement, they can often overtake other areas of their life that are vitally important. And so, for me it was about bringing that sense of wellbeing and self-care must more into intentional focus and investing in that and not viewing it as a luxury. So, I had wellbeing up on my wall as one of my personal values but truth be told, I wasn’t investing enough in that bucket. I wasn’t giving that part of me enough of my time and energy.

How did you help your kids experience resilience during that last year?

You know, my kids are seven and five, so it was very interesting to see how they processed everything that I went through. One thing that was a massive blessing was that they were four and six at the time. That means that they didn’t have the fear or connotations that go with the word “cancer” and they weren’t freaked out like other adults were. Adults hear that word and we have years worth of stories and horror stories. But this idea of what that means and about it being scary, my boys didn’t have that.

So, we sat them down and we had this conversation about how I had breast cancer and how that was scary to a lot of adults but that at that point it was looking like my diagnosis was going to be either a stage one or a stage two. So, we felt confident and we didn’t talk to them until we did feel confident about this. We didn’t tell them immediately but once we felt confident that I was either a stage one or a stage two, then we said, “Look, I’m going to be okay but Mum’s going to have to have some treatment and that means some surgery.”

So, we were very clear about the steps with them and what they could expect and I think that was good but it’s hard to know what’s going on in those little brains and we noticed that even though we communicated that with them, they didn’t get it until I came home in bandages and drains and couldn’t move and they couldn’t touch me. That’s really when we saw the impacts on our kids, when they could see the physical manifestation of, “Oh, Mommy’s sick. This is what it looks like.” Until then, they couldn’t see that physical manifestation. I don’t think it was as real for them. But my little boy who’s very sensitive, we did notice certain things. He was obviously stressed because he started bed wetting more than he had been. And now if I go away, they’re asking me, “Where are you going? What are you doing?” There is a little bit of that aftereffect.

So, it is about reassurance with them at this point.

I was speaking about this. I do resilience trainings and these Empower Leadership Academies for Girls here in Minnesota, it’s absolutely amazing; it’s a not for profit. I was talking with some of the co-facilitators there about how I think as parents, so often now, we are trying to just get rid of any challenge in the way of our children. We’re trying to mow down, as I think Glennon Doyle Melton said, “We’re not helicopter parents anymore. We’re lawn mower parents and we’re walking two steps in front of our children and we’re mowing down anything that could be a challenge or get in their way.” As a parent, I don’t believe that is the way that is going to lead to my children being able to work this stuff out.

Would I have wanted my children to have to experience their mother having breast cancer in her thirties? No. Do I think it will make them heartier and more resilient children in the future? Yes. And it was something that I couldn’t mow down for them but I’m very conscious of that with my own children in terms of building resilience. I’m letting them experience challenge. If they are nervous about doing something new, I’m not going to stop them from doing it. I’m going to encourage them and I’m going to teach them that they can. That they can rise to the challenge. That they can deal with hard things and be successful. I think we can over-baby our children or coddle them and I don’t think that builds resilience. It’s something I’m very conscious of with my children.

Kate, you are an inspiration. I love this. Thank you for just sharing part of your story and how you’ve been learning firsthand about resilience as you’re teaching it. It’s so beautiful. I have one playful question for you – one last question, how many times a week do people comment about your accent?

Oh, my gosh. This is such a great question. If anyone’s wondering, I’m from New Zealand. I’m not Australian. I cannot get through a drive-through and get the right order. I’ve lived here for six years and it’s still impossible. Honestly, every single day of my life someone comments on my accent. I’m not a massively outgoing person and at first I didn’t want to talk and I didn’t even want to ask for anything. Now, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m from New Zealand,” and I’ll talk about how beautiful New Zealand is. I’m like, “Along with Iceland,” that’s the other country that Americans love. Iceland and New Zealand are very in vogue. So, yeah, every single day.

So, you’re nice about it? You smile. You answer.

I’m very nice about it but I also do love it when I can order a coffee and they don’t say anything. It’s really nice just to be like, “Ooh, I don’t stand out for a moment.”

I’m six foot five, so…

You understand.

Well, it’s not that bad. And now that I’m older, people don’t ask me this anymore, but when I was under thirty, people would say, “Do you play basketball?” All the time. I just started saying, “Actually, I’m a professional jockey.” I would say it straight-faced. Their mind takes them a minute to think through it, “Jockey? Wait, is he really a jockey? Wow, what?” Or, I’ll say, “Actually I really am passionate about miniature golf.” Just straight-faced. But my wife also says that I have the gift of making people feel uncomfortable, so that’s all part of it.

Everyone thinks I’m Australian, so I will sometimes say, “You know, calling New Zealand an Australian is like asking a Canadian if they’re American.” Canadians do not want to be mistaken for Americans.

That is awesome. I do want to make sure that people get the free resource that you have available. I’ve seen it on your website, it’s 21 Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery. They can go to your website; www.thrive.how/free and we’ll put that in our show notes and everywhere else. If people want corporate training on anything mindset and resilience…

Yes, resilience and wellbeing. I do customize my trainings. I have stuff that is very much roll and repeat, but I also customize trainings. I do a lot in the emerging leadership space or high potential space and also the stress, wellbeing, resilience workshops. I will travel anywhere in America if you make it worth my while.

And she also trains on how to develop a New Zealand accent if you need that for your business as well.

I do. It’s the novelty factor I bring.

You can check out Kate’s work at www.thrive.how. You do one on one coaching, so if somebody’s wanting coaching on any of these subjects or even if a woman is going through breast cancer, even though you’re not a medical doctor, you can help with mindset and all of that.

For sure, yeah. I have worked with a couple of clients now who have breast cancer and we were able to experience that sense of understanding because I’ve been through the same thing. There’s a lot of things that they don’t have to say that I just understand. I also do career coaching and executive coaching. If you have questions about resilience and burnout, let me know.

Great, thank you so much, Kate.


Subscribe to Inspiration Rising on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

thank you!