We dance around tons of positive and negative energies every single day. By having a powerful mind-body connection, you can sift through these thoughts much easier. Michael Silvers sits down with Confidence and Success Coach Vanessa Raymond. Together, they discuss the attitude to have when dealing with rejection and negativity, keeping your physical, mental, emotional state well-aligned. Vanessa explains how to train your brain to be in charge of everything and always believe in yourself no matter what. She also shares her meditative morning routine, how performing arts shaped her into an effective coach, and the benefits of power posture.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
The Powerful Impact Of A Healthy Mind-Body Connection With Vanessa Raymond
We are here with an amazing human being, Vanessa Raymond. She is a confidence and success coach, an author, and a speaker. She has a whole history of performing around the world. I can’t wait to dive into this. Welcome, Vanessa.
Thank you, Jonathan. I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
You didn’t start off as a confidence and success coach, although there was a lot of success in your world. Give us a little background on what was going on before you made this transition.
As most of us do, we go through so much in our lives and that brings us to where we are. I was born and raised in South Africa, grew up with a very supportive family, and had an artistic grandmother and father, which launched me into loving the performing arts. I started ballet when I was three years old. Whenever anybody asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I’d be like, “I want to be a dancer.” Of course, the response would be, “No. What do you want to do to earn money like a real job?”
I did continue through my life, took all dance forms, got singing lessons, did the whole acting, and ended up going to college and majoring in musical theater, which was a dream come true for me. However, where I grew up, it wasn’t thought of as a real job or a real career, which was fabulous because I did make it work. I did end up performing for years. That was my ticket to the United States, where I live now. I’ve always had a lot of interests.
While I was performing initially too, I did have that plan B, so I did also get qualified as an aesthetician and cosmetologist, which was the other fun thing that I was passionate about. I won’t go into details because it’s a long story, but after performing for years, I also made a transition into the fitness industry. It was also a natural progression for me as a dancer to become a Pilates and yoga instructor, which led to everything else. Now, all of the experiences that I’ve had in the performance industry, the beauty industry, and the fitness industry led me to what I do now. Helping entrepreneurs, speakers, and leaders to step into their powerful selves with confidence so they can grow a successful business.
What is that link there? What about performing? What about that combination of yoga and Pilates? What do you bring from that world into the confidence in success world?
There are so many amazing stories that I love to tell. The thing is as a child growing up in the performance industry, it was a confidence-building experience. You go, you perform, you get applause, and you get people who praise you. Also, I was a very big fish in a small pond, and then you step into the professional world performance, and it is soul-crushing because it’s hard. It’s not an easy life.
There’s a lot of criticism around being in that industry. As well as, it’s quite a superficial world where everything surrounds the outward appearance, how high you can kick your leg, or how high you can sing that note. It’s a very different world where I experienced a lot of disappointment and a lot of rejection, as well as successes.
The big lesson for me was growing up as a performer, as a dancer specifically, teaches you amazing skills. It teaches you discipline and tenacity. How to get up when you are falling down, and every time to just brush off the dust and keep going. It’s about always showing up and always being the very best you. Also, the biggest lesson that I learned through this experience is through all the rejections, going from audition to audition, hearing no, and then having the yeses.
Experiencing those ups and downs, learning about the fact that those are all subjective, and for us to internalize all the negatives that come our way is not the way to be successful. For us to understand that there are opportunities everywhere, where one gets turned down when one door closes and another opens. Having a positive attitude, being reliable, being that person that is positive, and showing up with good energy are where my successes came from. It’s not so much the skills. We all have to be well-educated. We all have to know what we do. We all have to study our craft.
In the end, I learned that my success not only came from my being good at what I do but the attitude and the energy that I showed up with. Working with clients in the gym, seeing how that physical work, the work of working with your body and understanding posture, alignment, and movement, and how it affects our mental and emotional state. That all was such a great learning experience for me as far as helping clients feel powerful, feel confident, and feel good in their skin. Regardless of what they might initially think are the things that should offer them that confidence.
I don’t want to gloss over what you said about you can have all the skills in the world, but it’s the attitude and the energy. Figuring out how to hone in on those two key areas is the key ingredient to success. Lots of people tuning into this have great skills and they’re trying to figure out how to do it. Especially if there are a lot of people around us who are saying, “No, that’s not a good idea.” There’s a lot of rejection. How do we maintain the attitude and how do we manage our energy so that we can keep showing up that way?
This is my wheelhouse. This is what I get excited about, just to add to that. If you’re out there and you hear me talking about the performance industry, this counts anywhere. You’re going for a job interview, you’re going to network at an event, or you are meeting with a prospective client. No matter what it is, your energy is your frequency. It is how people perceive you, how they feel about you, and how they experience you. What we forget is that we are in total control of that. Nobody else is in control of that but us. When you take that power into your hands, it is so empowering to know that all you have to do is make the decision and make the choice.
The thing that happens with most of us is that we are in robotic mode. We are just grinding away. We are doing our day-to-day and we’re not aware. My goal is to raise awareness about how much control you have over the energy that you project. We all have good days and bad days. We all have unforeseen things happen in our lives. How do you manage that?
When you understand the connection between your body, your mind, and your mental and emotional state, it’s the empowering part for me. That is where my focus is. You can mindset yourself to death, but if you don’t have the action that coincides with that mindset, it’s not going to come to its full fruition. What I do with my clients is there are various principles that I share.
Two of my favorite things that I’ll share here, because I know we don’t have all day, is number one, you need to train your brain to understand that you are in charge. In other words, you have to start implementing habits in your daily life that tells your brain that you are accountable to yourself, you trust yourself, and you believe in yourself. If you say to yourself that you’re going to do this thing, you’re going to do this thing. Our brains are fascinating and we can teach them how to serve us best.
One of the first things I do with my clients is I say is to implement one morning ritual that you literally stand by and do every day. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It can be something as small as drinking a glass of lemon water when you wake up because you know it’s good for you, fifteen minutes of yoga, or reading two paragraphs out of a self-help book. That teaches your brain that you made a promise to yourself and you’re keeping that promise. If you can do that, you can do anything. It’s amazing the power of consistency.
What is your morning ritual?
You’re going to laugh because I have children, so it is an interesting thing, but I always make sure I wake up a good 30 minutes before I need to wake up my children for school. The first thing I do is I do not pick up my phone first thing in the morning. I’ll get up and I’ll go brush my teeth. That’s number one. I love to just sit in front of the mirror and do my makeup. That’s a funny thing because people say to me, “Really?”
For me, makeup isn’t about looking my best as such. It helps me feel good but to me, it’s a creative process and it’s time when I can think about what I have going on in the day. I will do my makeup and I’ll basically meditate or visualize while I’m doing my makeup what my day is going to look like. Sometimes that includes opening my calendar and just having a quick squeeze at my schedule. I’m going, “This is what I have going on today,” and then I’ll start doing my face. That is where I go in my head over how I would like things to be.
Also then, when I’m done with my makeup, I’m clear about my day. I know that I’m organized. I feel organized and ready for my day, and then I go wake up my children and get them ready for school. I work out around lunchtime because I teach lunchtime classes. That’s why I don’t do morning workouts. That is my simple morning ritual. It’s that one thing. There are other things I do. I love to listen to meditations that I’ll do 2 to 3 times a week. I have short meditations. I’ll listen to a ten-minute meditation before I actually get up out of bed. That’s my other favorite thing. These are two things
I love that story of that ritual or that system of putting on your makeup is your mindfulness or your meditation practice. A lot of us think that you have to meditate every day. You do somehow, but even people like Thich Nhat Hanh teach everything you do is an opportunity. He talks about washing dishes as meditation and things like that. People think, “I have to sit there for fifteen minutes and be frustrated until the alarm goes off. That is so powerful that you take something that you want to do anyway. For you, it’s putting on your makeup. That is your mindfulness practice to set yourself up for the day. That’s powerful.
Thank you. It’s funny because that brought me back to a thought. My contemporary teacher in college has that same mindset. She’s like, “You should always be stretching. When you’re brushing your teeth, your foot is on the toilet. When you’re reading your book, you’re lying on the bed.” I guess I’m not a great proponent of the business of multitasking at all. I do not suggest that. It’s not a good idea.
I’m an artist. Putting on my makeup is something that I enjoy doing. It’s something I love doing. If I can think about my day and get my head in the right space and organize it at the same time, that’s a win-win. We can take our everyday tasks. By just being aware and being more mindful, you can turn them into something that serves us as opposed to something we’re frustrated with.Turn your everyday tasks around and make them into something that serves you as opposed to something that frustrates you. Click To Tweet
I got to put on my makeup and race around. I love that. You said two things. We have the ritual. You have to create a ritual. It can be something new, the lemon water, or something you’re already doing that you ritualize. What’s number two?
Number two is the power of posture and body language. We underestimate the power of our bodies with regard to our mindset. We’ve all heard of people who run, and they love running because of the endorphins They talk about the runner’s high. We all know that exercise energizes us because of the same reason. Most people don’t realize that simply standing up straight and correcting your posture consciously does the same thing. There have been studies done that include facial expressions.
Simply smiling, even if you don’t feel like smiling for two minutes, and standing up straight in what we call a power posture. Most of us are familiar with power poses. We know about the superwoman pose, the superman pose, or the victory pose Those are all known as power poses. What power posture means is it’s open, aligned, tall, strong, and confident.
By putting your body into that position of confidence strong, “Here I am, day. Here I come. I have a smile on my face,” even if you’re not feeling it, you can change the way you feel. There have been studies done, but I’m not going to go through them. If you hold a smile and a power posture for two minutes, you have increased the testosterone levels, which is our power hormone in your brain, by up to 15% to 20%, and decreased cortisol, which is our stress hormone, by 15% to 20%. This has been tested and proven.
When you realize and recognize that, that’s also the power of doing that yoga first thing in the morning, getting up, getting a little cardio, or going for a walk. That’s what happens. We are adjusting the chemical compound of the hormones that run our life in our brains. Posture and body language are a big part of what I teach because if you understand the power of that, it’s conditioning your brain.
It’s like that Pavlov’s dog thing. In the beginning, it might not work as fast or as effectively. The more you do it, the more you teach your brain these principles. The moment you take that deep breath, you open your chest, you stand tall, and you align the meridians, the hormones adjust, and the way you feel changes.
I want to get back to something you said. The question keeps popping into my head, so I have to honor that. You spoke about not letting people’s negative words affect you. It comes from the inside. You also spoke about the applause that happens. That makes you feel good. Do we have to separate both? Are we allowed to take in the applause but we have to let the negative out? Do we have to figure out how to separate all of it? It all comes from here. They’re giving you applause. It is not about you either, it’s about them. If it’s negative, it’s not about it. I’m trying to figure out the separation between the outer feedback, both positive and negative, versus the inner feedback of the power position that we get from the inside testosterone and these rituals. Does the question make sense?
It totally makes sense and it is complicated. It comes down to knowledge. A lot of things in life, we learn as we go along. My goal is to make these things common knowledge much earlier in life for more people so that we don’t have to learn the lessons the hard way. I know I told you the story about the thighs.
Yeah, but no one else has heard it, so share it.
I’ll quickly share that story. I went to this audition. I was young, impressionable, and fresh out of college. I think I had my first professional show, and then I went to this audition. This was a gig that everyone in South Africa wanted. There were only three spots available for three girls. They were going through a changeover of casting, and I went to this audition. It was for Sun City, South Africa. It was for a big extravaganza. I went to this audition and it felt good. I knew I had done great that day. You just know. You feel it. You go home and you wait for the phone call.
The phone call came a few days later. I picked up the phone. On the other end of the phone is the director. He said to me, “Vanessa, you danced circles around the other girls, but you got to get rid of those thighs. Okay?” As a young impressionable artist, the first thing I think is, “I’m a failure. My thighs are huge. I’m never going to get a job again. This is terrible.”
I ended up getting the job because the girl that was above me turned it down. I ended up with the job anyway. In that moment or that few weeks that took for me to actually learn that I did now get the job, all those things go through your head. It’s not, “This guy thought my thighs were too big.” It’s, “My thighs are huge. I’m never going to get a job again. I’m not good enough. I can’t do this.” If I understood at that moment that this is subjective and they’re looking for something specific. Even though I might not fit that mold, I’d be great for other things.
We put everything in that one basket. We let it explode and take over our life and our confidence and crush us. When you have a mentor and a coach, or you have someone who can share these things with you and enlighten you, and go, “Maybe that is not the correct opportunity for you. It’s not because you’re not good at what you do.” I chose to not hear, “How you dance circles around the other girls,” but I heard, “You got to get rid of those thighs.”
Our brains are also very selective. Naturally, that bad thing is what hits us. We forget to look at the big picture. I guess the message here is that we need to accept the good, and we need to accept it graciously. We need to internalize it and go, “That was for me. That person wouldn’t have said it if they didn’t mean it.” We can say as much as we want that we don’t care what other people say, but we all do.
The secret is we need to know who to trust. The point I want to get to is quite often, the one side is that either they’re looking for something very specific and you don’t fit that mold. Quite often when people have negative feedback or there’s something negative that someone says to you, it’s usually their problem, not yours. It’s usually them mirroring their feelings or their insecurities onto you because they don’t know how else to express that thing.
As we grow older and wiser, we learn and recognize these things. We recognize that there are certain role models in our life that we listen to. We know that whatever feedback they give us is constructive. That is for us to build and grow. We learn that others are just people saying things without thinking, and it’s not a personal thing. It’s usually them projecting their insecurities onto us.
We have rituals we can do on a daily basis. We have our power dances. At that moment when we get that feedback that throws us, “Your thighs are too big,” whatever it is for us. Is there something we do at that moment so that it doesn’t take us over?
Yes. Death response is going to happen because that’s something that our brains do. I also teach some breathing techniques. Breath is huge. Calming the nervous system is a big thing because what happens immediately when those things happen to us is our nervous system or our neuropathways kick into that mode of being defeated.
It’s about taking a moment. Instead of reacting, we take a moment, we step back, we take a deep breath, we posture ourselves, and we think. Normally, when we react, we don’t think. It’s about stepping back and going, “What was that actually? Do I take this personally or don’t I?” Normally, the answer is no if you take a minute. It’s a few seconds. It’s not even a big amount of time. It can be as short as 1 to 3 seconds. Whereas instead of reacting immediately, you just take that deep breath and go, “What was that?” Assess it before you react to it.
It’s such a powerful question. Do I want to take this personally or not? Just asking that question gives you permission to go, “Sure I will,” or to choose, “Not this one.”
There’s always going to be stuff. There are certain things. I’m not saying, “Squash things. Don’t deal with them.” You are going to have to process it at some point.
Thank you, Vanessa. Folks, this is real life. We all get bent out of shape. What’s going to happen? This is real life. We either freak out about it or we do what Vanessa says, take a step back, and take a breath.
It’s all okay.
I have one more question for you because at The Mentor Studio, we’re certainly big on mentors and you’re a mentor. Who are some of your mentors?
My biggest one is my mother. I have an amazing mother. She is one of the most grounded people that I know. She’s a strong woman and she’s very logical. I can go to her with anything and she always knows what to say. She always has the right answers. I’m very blessed in that way. However, I have followed a lot of the larger big names. I’ve always been a huge fan and follower of Bob Proctor, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and those people. I’m also very fortunate to have a community.
In our Achieve Systems Community, my husband Robert Raymond is the CEO. He is a brilliant business coach. When it comes to business, finances, and mindset, he’s incredible. I have him to lean on. I’ve worked with various coaches. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been fortunate, but also I feel grateful and I have surrounded myself with people who are supportive. I also like to surround myself with people who push me to the next level and challenge me.
That was a process. It wasn’t always that way. For most of my life, I was a people pleaser. I lost my way there. I lost my identity. I lost my sense of where I wanted to be, who I want to be, and what I want in life. That would be the third thing I would say. Keep your goals close. Have those goals clear and keep close to who you truly are because your essence is what inspires others.Keep your goals close and always be clear about what you want to achieve. Your essence is what inspires others. Click To Tweet
That’s beautiful. I know you have a ton of wisdom. If people want to reach out to you, how do they get in touch with you?
I love new friends on social media. You can find me on Facebook. Just look up Vanessa Raymond. I’m in Denver, Colorado. I’m on Instagram also, Vanessa Raymond. You can also email me at Vanessa@VictoryInBiz.com.
Vanessa, thank you so much. Folks, don’t forget your morning ritual and your power pose. Be clear with your goals. You got to ask because someone is going to say something you don’t like. You get to take that breath and pause, “Do I take this personally or not?” Thank you, Vanessa, for everything you shared.
Thank you, Jonathan. I hope your son feels better. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in and staying with us.
We’ll see you all next time here at The Mentor Studio.
Bye, everyone. Thanks, Jonathan.
- Vanessa Raymond – LinkedIn
- Achieve Systems
- Vanessa Raymond – Facebook
- Vanessa Raymond – Instagram
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://thementorsstudio.net/podcast/