A conversation with Lindsay Boccardo – Part 2

Education, Experiences, Leading Ladies, Podcast

Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs: Episode 21

Have you ever been enjoying eating a meal so much that you're equal parts shocked & devastated, when you look down and realize there's no more left??? Well, when it comes to this season of Don't Cut Your Own Bangs, there's always enough for seconds.

The conversation continues, with Lindsay Boccardo - Part 2!

In her words, "I have been coaching, researching and developing programs for Millennials for nearly a decade. I love working with young people and the organizations who employ them."

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Danielle I.: Just a friendly reminder that these are conversations intended for adults, and there is the potential from time to time, for the conversation to lean into adult subject matter, or adult language.

Danielle I.: Hey, this is Danielle Ireland, with Season 3 of Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs. Thank you so much for joining us on the second part of my interview with Lindsay Boccardo. I have loved every delectable morsel of this. I know you have as well, and that’s why you’re ready to jump into the second half. If you have caught us by some mistake out of order, you are about to listen to the second half of the conversation. Some of the jokes may not make sense, so press pause, and hop on over to the first half if you haven’t already. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy more of Lindsay Boccardo.

Danielle I.: So, I’m curious how on your journey, which I know we don’t have to go all the way back to the very, very, very beginning-

Lindsay B.: I was born on October [laughter].

Danielle I.: It was a cool, crisp Thursday.

Lindsay B.: It was 4:00 in the morning. Okay.

Danielle I.: [laughter] you journey as… Let’s stick to the professional journey, because I know that they blend, right? Your personal experiences happened while you were also creating your career. When you were considering launching into this coaching career, what gave you pause, and then what gave you the courage to give you that permission to really launch into it?

Lindsay B.: Okay, what gave me pause, was that when I went to coaching school, I was the youngest person, probably by at least a decade, maybe two. I walked in the room, and I was like, (singing).

Danielle I.: So, I’m going to riff off of this and go right into – So like, it was the exact opposite for me when I went to grad school.

Lindsay B.: You were the oldest?

Danielle I.: I was in the, let’s say the top 4%.

Lindsay B.: Oh boy. You’re an old lady.

Danielle I.: I was like, “Back in my day.”-

Lindsay B.: We didn’t have iPhones growing up.

Danielle I.: … “We drink the Sunkist, and then went to PacSun to do some shopping.”

Lindsay B.: That’s right.

Danielle I.: “After Spencer’s getting crazy gifts.” Like none of those.

Lindsay B.: MTV, ever heard of it? Because-

Danielle I.: Yeah, Carson Daly ruled… God, he ruled my teens. I’m like, “Tell me what’s popular Carson, I’m following.” So anyway, yeah. So, I was the oldest person, well one of the oldest people in my program, and I felt so alienated, not more experienced, not more sage or wise, but I just felt other.

Lindsay B.: Oh absolutely.

Danielle I.: Continue.

Lindsay B.: So, you look around, and I think this happens, I feel like it’s a phenomenon. You look around and you’re like, “I am not like anybody in this room, so I don’t belong.” And I don’t know what to do with that. Usually, people either play big, or play small and they like overshoot a bit. Maybe a little bit too much. Or, they’ll hide. Right? So, that’s what we both experienced. So, I decided, I was like, “Dude, I know I’m supposed to learn these skills, and I can’t help that I’m the youngest person in the room.” I remember like coaching myself through that. And so, I took everything I learned, and thought like, “Okay, who needs service?” So, part of what’s so cool about coaching in any service based business, but certainly coaching, is like who needs connection and support? That makes sense given my whole background. So my background is in being a musician, and then training young musicians.

Lindsay B.: So I was like, “I should train young employees. That makes perfect sense.” I was 27, 28 at the time. And so, that’s how I built my business. Originally it was, I just built a workbook, based on everything I knew about career development. And as a coach, how to help somebody move through the decisions that we oft make about our career and our passion, and our life mission. And I thought, “I’m just going to bring this to the youngest generation.”

Lindsay B.: And so, that’s what I did. It’s so funny, because I think this is like cliche, but the thing that you feel like an outlier with, that you feel kind of awkward with, is the thing-

Danielle I.: That makes you special.

Lindsay B.: … that makes it work for you. And I had so many times, where I did feel like, “God, I’m not like everybody else.” And, even the thing of being young, has made it so easy for me to do speaking gigs, because there’ll be like, “Oh, millennial wants to talk about millennials. That makes more sense to him to sixty year old man speaking on millennials.” You know? And so, I’ve won speaking gigs over competitors, because of that. And so I’m like, there’s something to this. If I follow this very small thread of who I really am, and I can’t even help. And then what I love talking about, and when I love learning about, I will find a way. And I think that watching that actually work for me, developed a lot of faith. You know?

Danielle I.: So, I heard you say that what gave you pause, was feeling other.

Lindsay B.: Oh, my God.

Danielle I.: And I can…

Lindsay B.: You get it.

Danielle I.: Oh God.

Lindsay B.: You’re like, Ooh. [laughter].

Danielle I.: What was it that helps you get permission? Was it that you just simply identified like, “Oh, I’m young, and I want to speak to young people. There’s a need.” Was that identifying the need, that gave you permission?

Lindsay B.: Actually, I think for me it was another person. So my friend John, was in coaching school with me at the time, who was a VP of a bank. He’s a genius. I just have so much respect for him, and he who’s going to coaching school, even though he had his master’s degree, and he had done a ton of therapy in his life. He used to work in prisons, and help prisoners, like intense situations. There’s a VP of bank. I just had so much respect for him, and he was like, “Dude, you can do this. You’re meant to do this.”

Lindsay B.: And my trainer too, Barb, she was like, “You can do this. You’re meant to do this. You’re a fish to water.” And so, I think a lot of times we adopt other people’s confidence, when I think it happens between us, when you’re like, “I don’t know.” And I’m like, “Dude, that’s fear. That’s literally it, you’re good to go.”

Danielle I.: You adopt other people’s confidence.

Lindsay B.: About you.

Danielle I.: I love that.

Lindsay B.: So, the time I did a huge speaking gig, it was for 5,000 people, in like a basketball arena. And if you ever speak in a building that big-

Danielle I.: The echo.

Lindsay B.: … the echo, you’re hearing your voice come back to you, like two seconds later. It’s weird. I remember, my boss at the time, was like, “You’re going to do this.” And I started crying. And I was like, “I guess.” Same thing. I’m going to adopt what you see in me. I’m going to adopt your confidence in me, and we’re just going to go with that. And like I’m willing to fly a little blind for a minute. So, I think that’s such a huge part of like breaking out of maybe childhood trauma, or just childhood experiences or self-beliefs, is like somebody else connecting with you, believing in you, and speaking that over you. That’s so my journey. That’s what I want to give to other people.

Danielle I.: So, maybe even like your purpose, like connecting with a purpose that felt bigger than you, also helped you push past that feeling small.

Lindsay B.: Totally. Yeah. And I think people, people and purpose. Having those two pieces, you’re like, “All right, if I don’t do this, I’ll regret it.” And, we all have those moments, where we like kind of bite the bullet, and just do it.

Danielle I.: Well, I think that for me, one of the things… Because, I don’t know, I’ve always had a desire to serve, and I’ve ultimately known that like the impact I want to make on the world is bigger than what I want to give myself. And yet, I think what’s helped me push past that fear, or maybe that hesitation, procrastination, is when I personalize why I’m doing it. How is this truly serving me, and letting, while maybe a secondary outcome or hope, is that I can make an impact on people beyond me. If it truly fills me up, and it truly, I don’t know, drives me, sparks, inspires me, that really fuels my fire to share that more, which again, I think goes back to the idea of joy and sharing versus bragging, which is the sharing of joy, amplifies joy.

Danielle I.: So the things that brings me joy, and lights me up inside, I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got to tell more people about this.” Like, Oh my God. It’s like when people talk about selling secrets, I’m like F secrets, I don’t give a shit about secrets. Keep your secrets. Like-

Lindsay B.: You can have them.

Danielle I.: Like, tell me a story. I don’t want to hear your secrets, because secrets feel like gossip and ick. But, I think what’s really helped me push past… When it comes to particularly creative pursuits, and I think that my creative pursuits or professional pursuits, probably mirror one another, and I think you can definitely relate to that. But, if I go out with the intention of serving a big purpose, I can kind of crumble under the weight of the impact that I hope to make, versus if I’m like, “This serves me. This work, whether people love it or hate it, I know that this serves me.” And in service of myself, and sharing that… I don’t know. I feel like that helps me get out of my own way, a little bit. And I don’t know if that makes sense. Or you can relate to it.

Lindsay B.: Is it like you’re not looking for a response from people, you’re just doing what feels right to you?

Danielle I.: Well, I’m doing what feels right. So, there’s no question that validation is empowering and comforting. Like, when I feel alone, and someone’s like, “Oh God, I get it.” I’m like, “Oh good. Okay. It’s not just me. It’s not just me.” But, I think what I’m looking for, or seeking that validation before I even began, when I’m looking for that… I don’t know, like when I’m seeking for that power outside of me, before I start, that feels like a weakened position, as opposed to, I’m going to do this thing, and I’m scared to do this thing. I don’t know how this thing’s going to turn out, but I think I really want to do this thing, and someone’s like, “You know what? Go get it.” I’m like, “Yeah.”

Danielle I.: It’s like I have to get the ball rolling myself, in a way. So, I almost wonder if it’s a timing thing, because there is no question than someone cheering you on, and having your back, coaching you, championing you. There’s no question that that’s empowering, and helpful. But, I think when I have sat back too long, and waited too long to start, it’s because I’m waiting for someone to hand me a permission slip, and say that I’m worthy.

Lindsay B.: Sure. Or, that you’ve like done enough to be able to say something about this. Totally. I think that’s really true. I think that that’s the thing is like at the end of the day, like no one is going to hand you a permission slip. And we know that from just being in business. So, it’s like you can either jump in and play the game, or you can like stand on the side, but like at some point even your own self respect rests on you giving yourself permission. Especially as an adult.

Danielle I.: I like that. You’re own self respect rests on you giving yourself permission.

Lindsay B.: Not like waiting. So, whenever I’m like, “Ooh, I’m kind of waiting.” I’m like, “Why don’t I, I’m an adult, I can supply that for myself. I’m not waiting for somebody else to.” I don’t even need some else to understand me. I can just say it, or do it, whatever it is. So yeah, I think that’s really interesting to think about. And, I would say most people that I meet are waiting for a permission slip. We are waiting to feel-

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Danielle I.: For the perfect moment.

Lindsay B.: … like somebody’s going to accept us before we even try.

Danielle I.: Which is the opposite of what vulnerability is.

Lindsay B.: Totally.

Danielle I.: And stepping into anything, you’re going to risk uncertainty. Speaking of uncertainty, I’m curious, given that the title of this podcast is, Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs, I’m curious if you feel comfortable sharing with me, and anyone who could be listening-

Lindsay B.: Ten thousand people. And ten thousand people.

Danielle I.: What would you like to share, as I’ll Cut Your Own Bang moment?

Lindsay B.: I have a story that I just came back… You ever have like childhood stories, that come back to you? You kind of forgot about?

Danielle I.: All the time.

Lindsay B.: Okay. Because it’s one of those. So, we were doing orienteering, in gym class. If you know what orienteering is, it’s hell. You basically, it’s with four smart phones. So, four maps, and so you literally had to get a compass, and figure out where true north was, and then walk like a certain amount of paces to get somewhere. And for my brain, you got to know that like I am lost. I know, even as a sixth grader, I knew like this is not going to work for me.

Lindsay B.: I’m literally, I can do dodge ball all day. I will throw that kickball at your face, mercilessly. But, you want me to figure out how to go 30 paces north?

Danielle I.: What? You can’t tell when I lick my finger and be like, “okay, which direction is the wind blowing?”

Lindsay B.: Nope.

Danielle I.: There it is.

Lindsay B.: Yeah. I wish I would have known that we’d have I-phones as adults, because I felt stressed about it. But actually, to be honest, I remember in gym class, I was like, “Dude, I’m checking out of this experience. I don’t care. It’s lame, and it’s not a sport. I don’t know what we’re doing right now, but it’s boring. And I don’t know why. I had to change into gym clothes to walk around in a field with a compass in my hand.”

Lindsay B.: So Mr. Buchholz, one day I was in the lunch line, and I knew I had phoned it in. I knew I was like not trying, and consciously as a sixth grader, being like, “Dude, I’m not even going to try, this is lame.” He pulls me into his office, and he’s like, “I want to talk to you.” I’m like, “Okay. That’s weird. You’re a gym teacher, please. You have very short athletic shorts on. This is awkward for me.”

Danielle I.: Please don’t sit.

Lindsay B.: Please don’t sit down. I will reach maturity faster than I wanted to. So he’s like, “I’ve noticed, that you haven’t been trying in orienteering. And, I need you to know that I can see that, and that you’re not being a leader right now.” And I remember like feeling really shamey about it. And I got back in the lunch line, I was like we’re having grilled cheese that day. I was like, “I’ll just have a grilled cheese, and a side of fruit.” And, I remember feeling so bad about it. And I wish I could go back. That’s not like a Cut Your Own Bangs.

Lindsay B.: A lot of times, you’re talking about Cut Your Own Bangs, like I took charge. But I did the opposite. I just like got passive, and didn’t care. And then I let somebody else like lay this value on me, that I always had to lead, and that I always had to be excited, and like engage everybody. And that’s just too much pressure. Now, when I look back, if I can go meet little Lindsay in the lunch room, I’d be like, “Lindsay, guess what? In 12 years, there will be iPhones.”

Danielle I.: And cars will have GPS on them, and you’ll never need to worry about directions.

Lindsay B.: “This is ridiculous. You’re good to go. You are lovable, you’re fine. You don’t have to be a leader all the time.’ And so, it was almost like the opposite. Taking a risk, was like sometimes the risk is just being like, this is not me, and I don’t care. And, I’m going to own that. And if you don’t like it, and Mr. Buchholz, gym teacher, I’m not going to care so much. And so, I think a big part of that for me, is getting over like you have a perception of me. You need me to be a certain way. I’m probably not going to show up that way all the time.

Danielle I.: Well I mean, I could see how that would also like lean right into what are the origins of perfection, and where does that come from?

Lindsay B.: 100%. All of a sudden, I check out a little bit, and you’re on my ass, as a sixth grader about orienteering, in gym class. Total perfectionism. And, the procrastination piece. I was just on the phone today with my business partner, Jenny, and I was like, I don’t want to do this thing because I think I need six more months. And she was like, “You don’t need six more months. You’re procrastinating. Just get on the ball, and do it.” You’re just afraid to do the thing that you need to do, because you don’t want people to criticize you.

Danielle I.: Well, Oh God. So I can relate. I remember being in fifth grade really admiring my teacher. He was the first male teacher I’d ever had. I’m like, “Whoa. He’s like my dad. He plays games with us.” I remember Mr. Hershberger pulled me aside, and he said, “You know, Danielle you got a B on this test.” And he pointed out another student.

Lindsay B.: You told me about this. This is so sad.

Danielle I.: He pointed out another student, and he was like, “See so-and-so.” And I won’t say their name, because we’re still friends on Facebook, but he pointed at-

Lindsay B.: Melissa. (Laughter)

Danielle I.: … but he pointed at that student, and was like, “You know, so-and-so, see they’re naturally an A student. You are naturally a B student, and you’ve got a B on this test.”

Lindsay B.: Oh, God.

Danielle I.: And what says to me is, “You weren’t really applying yourself.” Because what I know was… Here’s the hard part, is in hindsight, I can look back and think, he thought he was encouraging me. Just like I’m sure…

Lindsay B.: Mr. Buchholz totally thought he was encouraging me.

Danielle I.: He probably thought like, “Lindsay’s a natural leader,-

Lindsay B.: And this will speak life into her.

Danielle I.: … and she is just drifting back, and not applying herself to her fullest potential. And I need to inspire her to try.” And I’m sure Mr. Hershberger had those intentions. I’m sure he was like, “You know what? Danielle phoned in the B, and didn’t really apply herself, and so I need to push her, to give her that extra shove to really get to excellence.”

Danielle I.: And…

Lindsay B.: And, it crushed you.

Danielle I.: Well this, the narrative became, “Yeah, I’m a B student. I’m almost good enough, but just not quite. Just not quite, and I have to work harder than everyone else to get there.” And I know that wasn’t his intention. This isn’t about his intention in any way, because I’m sure his intentions were good, but it’s hard thing to overcome.

Lindsay B.: It is. As a kid. It like doesn’t leave you.

Danielle I.: No, no. So Lindsay, I want to know. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Lindsay B.: Oh, this is good.

Danielle I.: Thank you.

Lindsay B.: I think the best that… Thank you. I wrote that question myself. I think the best advice I’ve ever been given, changes as I evolve. So I would say recently, something that I’m learning from a dear friend. I’ve had a lot of hard conversations lately, just in my life, about life, and with people that I love.

Lindsay B.: And, the best advice that she gave me was, reflect back to people how they’re showing up for you. So, we were just talking about this before we pressed record. But just sharing things with a friend, and then saying, man, you look really upset with me. You look like you don’t want to be around me. Because the advice piece is this. When you are vulnerable, you’re going to look out into the world, and feel maybe attacked, or small, or not loved. And just say that to the people that really love you. Like, “Hey, I feel like you don’t really love me right now, or you don’t feel connected to me.”

Lindsay B.: And so, it takes a lot of courage to reflect back to somebody, what they look like, and how they’re affecting you. And, I think at the end of the day, the most important thing is connection. So, I think that’s something I’ve really been working on, is if the most important thing is connection, then anytime I’m not feeling connected to somebody, I’m going to tell them that. And when I figured out what it takes to get back to there. And what assumptions am I making.

Danielle I.: Ooh, what assumptions am I making?

Lindsay B.: So, I do that like with… What assumptions am I making. So, my business partner, Jenni, we talk about that. My dear friends. You and I have had that conversation before. Like when this thing happened, this is what I assumed. What happened on your end? Honestly, how many times is it like-

Danielle I.: The assumption is never what you think.

Lindsay B.: They are not at all, reality.

Danielle I.: Well, and I think that’s what’s so great about that advice of reflecting back, what the other person is showing you. Because when you reflect that back, that’s an opportunity for them to be like, “Oh wow, is that what my face was showing, because I wasn’t actually like that. That offers a point of clarity, either validation, you’re exactly right. Let me reflect on that. Let me think on that a little bit more. Or, wow, I’m glad you said something, or I’m glad you clarified, because that wasn’t where I was coming from at all.

Lindsay B.: 100%. So, so much of the quality of our life is based on our relationships, and if we don’t feel connected to people, or safe, or loved, then life is just going to suck. That’s the only way to say it. So just like, we talked about in coaching school, what do we say? If you’re sensing it, just blurt it out. It’s better to blurt it out, and be like, “This is what I think. This is what I think you’re thinking of me right now.” And let somebody edit you.

Danielle I.: Ooh. Let someone edit you. And, that’s vulnerable in and of itself.

Lindsay B.: And edit your reality.

Danielle I.: Yeah. Because you have to say it out loud, in order for someone to edit it.

Lindsay B.: Yeah.

Danielle I.: Ooh, that’s good.

Lindsay B.: Like if I said to you, “I just feel like you don’t really like me right now.” That gives you a huge chance to say, “Yeah, I don’t. I’m pissed at you. Or, I do. Wow, I need to work on my face.” One of the reasons I wear glasses now, is because-

Danielle I.: You want to hide your face.

Lindsay B.: I want to hide my face. No, because I would squint all the time. So when you’re squinting, you look pissed. So I was like, “I don’t want to look angry at everybody, I probably need glasses.”

Danielle I.: No, it’s actually not that I’m mad at you. I just have a hard time seeing you, and I have a headache right now.

Lindsay B.: Literally like the lenses of my eyeballs are misshapen. So, that’s what’s happening.

Danielle I.: No, I love that. Reflect back what people are showing you.

Lindsay B.: Yeah, why not? It’s pretty wild to do. I’ve been doing it. I’ve been practicing it lately. It’s wild. Because people don’t expect you to do that. It’s actually a function of motherhood, to be a mirror for your kids.

Danielle I.: Oh, the mirror neurons.

Lindsay B.: Like, honey, you look sad. Or, honey, you look upset. What’s going on? And so, to do that as adults, most of us didn’t get that in childhood. So to do it as adults, brings a ton of self awareness and connection, because you get a chance to say what you really think.

Danielle I.: Well Lindsay, I feel connected to you.

Lindsay B.: I feel so connected. We are making a lot of eye contact.

Danielle I.: And I don’t know about our listeners, but I think that everyone else was really connected to you too. And I’m going to be sure to share all the ways that people be connected with you, at the end of this episode.

Lindsay B.: That’s awesome.

Danielle I.: So please stay tuned for a couple more seconds, because you’re going to want to get to know more about Lindsay. You’re going to want to follow her, subscribe. You’re going to want to visit her…

Lindsay B.: Just do things with me, guys.

Danielle I.: You’re going to do all the things with Lindsay.

Lindsay B.: Come to the meekend.

Danielle I.: Just come into the meekend, hang out with her, send her an email. Like I did. Like, “Be my friend.” I’m sure she’ll love it.

Lindsay B.: It’ll work.

Danielle I.: It’ll be fine.

Lindsay B.: Literally.

Danielle I.: Or, be at Panera, and wait for her to show, because she’ll be there.

Lindsay B.: A Greek salad day.

Danielle I.: But thank you for sharing an hour of your time with me.

Lindsay B.: Oh my gosh. Anytime. You’re the best.

Danielle I.: Thanks so much for completing an episode in season three, of Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs. I appreciate you so much. And, speaking of appreciation, I think it’s a little unfair that I feel like I’ve been doing most of the talking, and I want to hear from you. So, if you have a second or two, if you would leave a comment, either on Apple podcast, Spotify, however you’re listening, you’re always welcome too, to shoot me a message through danielle@danielleireland.com. There are lots of creative ways you can connect with me there. Let me know your thoughts. It really does make me better.

Danielle I.: Constructive feedback, or even just takeaways, what you find valuable, what you want more of. Let me hear from you. And of course, who doesn’t love the occasional compliment? If something touches you, you have no idea how much that just fills my heart with joy, or maybe you do. Either way, please let me hear from you. Hope you continue having an awesome day. And, thanks for continuing to listen.

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