Alan Schoolar via Flickr via Wikimedia Commons
4min readLifestyle 05 February 2020
You walk into an upscale networking event that you've been itching to go to.
You were ready to make some higher quality connections, but suddenly you find yourself in full-out comparison mode.
Is your outfit up to snuff? Are you too old? Too young? Do you have enough credentials to do what you are doing? Why does this always happen? You're precisely where you want to be, yet you can't control that constant self-doubt.
Women are famous for this. We have mastered the art of being mean to ourselves—continually comparing who we are and what we do to others without any perspective.
This kind of negative thinking stops us from showing up as a badass in our life and our business.
Becoming A Badass
Now, let me first clarify what a real badass woman actually is. Media has traditionally portrayed her as a woman who you can't say "no" to. She's callus, maybe a little manipulative, and will stop at nothing to get the sale. She works 80 hours a week and never misses an opportunity to sell, sell, sell.
This describes the masculine model of “push," the belief that going for something bigger means living with discomfort and pain. This is the hustle and grind approach that leads to burnout and illness.
To me, a badass is someone who knows her value, is at ease with her body, and is proud of how she shows up in the world. She attracts people to work with her, compelling them with her passion. Never forcing things, she seems to create as if by magic, all the while having time for friends and family.
Do you know anyone in particular that is coming to mind? Maybe. Maybe note. There might be the odd woman who is born with these talents. But the good news for the rest of us is that becoming a badass is something we can all do.
The Dominatrix Way
For me, I began my journey to becoming a badass when I became a Dominatrix.
This line of work is not most people's first choice on the path to self-discovery, but it's who I had to become in order to stand in my power. This role changed how I showed up in my business and in my life.
If you have only ever seen the Hollywood version of a Dominatrix, it would seem that it is about power over another person. Yet I can tell you from personal experience, everything that happens in the dungeon is completely pre-negotiated and centered around the client.
The Dominatrix is in charge of holding the space and controlling all aspects of the scene so that the client can surrender fully. That surrender allows the client to forget about the pressures of life and just allow someone else to be in charge for a change. It takes courage to let go in that way, and it takes strength to hold that scene for another person. A Dominatrix is, in fact, a high-level service position!
I had to quickly learn how to authentically be the one in charge, to be confident. Faking it would simply not do. I had to become that person.
For almost two decades, since becoming a Dominatrix, I have been managing a chain of wellness centers and now operate my own professional coaching and speaking practice. Bringing those skills from the dungeon into my business has been invaluable. Looking back on my failures, I can pinpoint exactly what went wrong when I wasn't using those skills—missteps and old habits.
The good news is that you don't have to put on the black pleather and boots in order to learn from the archetype of the Dominatrix and become more of a badass in your life.
1. Never Say Sorry
When you are in the dungeon, and your submissive is blindfolded and fixed to an apparatus while you are flogging them, the very worst thing they could ever hear is “Oops!" You will instantly ruin the scene, and all of the trust that they had in you will be gone in a second.
It is the same thing in business!
Constantly apologizing will put you out of your power. Even worse, it will make others will begin to question your expertise and their decision to work with you.
Instead of “sorry," start every email you write for the next week with “Thank you."
Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for being so amazing to work with.
Each “thank you" releases a tiny hit of dopamine for the client and that helps to disperse any possible frustration. Most importantly, it keeps you standing firmly in your power.
2. Be Willing To Lose
Very few of us have the time or money to just throw it away. The irony is that the harder you work to cling to these things, the more likely you are to lose them.
The lesson we should take from incredibly successful people—the Oprahs and the Elon Musks of the world—is that it takes great leaps of faith to make it big. They've learned how to go all-in and win, without putting attachments on the outcome.
When we try to force something to happen, we are less connected to what is actually happening in the now and are hindered from being responsive to what is right in front of us.
The Dominatrix takes time to script out a scene based on all the elements that were previously negotiated. But when she steps in the dungeon, she releases the need for that script to play out exactly as planned. She must stay present to what is actually happening. Things rarely go as scripted, but when she is fully present they will remain on track. This way, the submissive is able to relax knowing that she is fully in charge.
So make your plans, draw up the map of what you would like to happen, and then be willing to throw it all out the moment it no longer works.
3. Negotiate Like A Dominatrix
My time studying to become a Dominatrix taught me some incredible mindset skills, and negotiation was at the top of that list.
In the dungeon, every single detail is discussed prior to starting a scene. You talk about what is okay, what is not okay, and what is a not right now—for both participants! Only when both parties agree on something can it be explored in the scene. There is no room for compromise; it is win/win or nothing.
To become a badass, you can learn from the Dominatrix and create your own list of what you are willing and not willing to do and what is a maybe (under the right circumstances).
Having your list drawn up ahead of time will stop you from falling back into old patterns and will allow you to achieve more of your goals in the long term.
The lesson here isn't that life can start feeling easy. Life is always going to get uncomfortable. But I invite you to learn how to ride the waves in a way that will bring greater ease and less long-term damage to you. Like a Dominatrix, stand in the inner power, listen to what needs to be done, and reap the rewards.
This piece was originally published on October 21, 2018.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.