Episode 40: Journey From Shy to Visible With Nathalie Pincham
Nathalie Pincham is a Success and Leadership Coach and the founder of Story Tonic. As an ICF-Certified Coach, Nathalie helps driven entrepreneurs and executives who dream of looking at the life and business they have built and be able to say: I couldn’t imagine it getting any better than this!
In this episode, Nathalie shares her journey from being painfully shy to embracing being visible. She believes in the power of story to encourage and inspire others. She shares how her shyness held her back and what she did to overcome her fear and help others embrace visibility.
[[01:04] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Nathalie Pincham is someone who I was connected to through a networking group of female entrepreneurs, and she did something that I really loved and I praised her for it afterward; she sent a request to do a podcast swap, and I thought that was so very clever and also very valuable. It's the only time anyone has ever pitched our podcast offering a swap, and I thought that was such a clever and valuable thing to do and it immediately caught my attention. So for those of you out there who are pitching podcasts, if you have one, that is a great way to get someone's attention and to provide value immediately, I highly recommend it.
[01:47] Deirdre Harter: Nathalie Pincham, which we are so excited she's here with us today, is a success and leadership coach originally from London and transplanted to the East Coast, and she goes deep to explore the intersection of personal growth and entrepreneurship and leadership on a daily basis. She believes that learning to break the rules and questioning the stories that have kept you playing small is the biggest gift you can ever give yourself. And to those who get to know you.
Her coaching program sets her apart in an online business industry focused on a hustle first, inner work later approach. Her expertise as a messaging specialist also supports her clients in growing businesses that help them share their greatest gifts with the world. In addition to being a business coach and trainer, she's a Certified Professional Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She is the host of Your Success Tonic, a podcast where she shares tips, research and inspiring conversations around defining authentic success and how to find more freedom and abundance on the other side. And her most passionate project is partnering with clients to help them start playing a bigger game so that they can craft life and success so that it lights them up rather than making them fit in.
She's a mother of one teenager and two cats, and when she's not working, you can find her taking long walks, listening to podcasts, making classic cocktails with her husband, or in one of her national parks. She is planning to visit all 59 before 2028 and has been to ten so far, so what a fabulous goal.
[03:33] Nathalie Pincham: Thank you.
[03:33] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah. Welcome, Nathalie. We're so happy to have you here and to have you share with our audience. Is there anything you would want to add to that intro that we gave so far?
[03:45] Nathalie Pincham: No, nothing to add. Thank you both so much for such a warm, warm welcome. I am just so excited to have this chance to talk to you today.
[03:56] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: We had a great conversation. We met, all of us, together, just to get to know each other, and we should have recorded that one because we all were saying we should have recorded that one because it was so good. So we're hoping to be able to replicate it. So, one of the things we really picked up on out of our previous conversation was the fact that you were very shy at one point, and that kind of held you back. So I wanted to start with that. What are the specific areas in which your shyness held you back when you started your business, and what steps did you take to address them?
[04:37] Nathalie Pincham: Yes, I think I struggled with shyness my whole life, really. I think it was something that was kind of crushing when I was younger, but even as an adult, even when I was really competent, I got some confidence from that. And I think that was part of the reason, actually, that I am so driven to achieve, is because I kind of was trying to glean confidence from that. But I think essentially that shyness really held me back in that I just was really very reticent to do anything that involved being in the spotlight. I was terrified of public speaking and really bad at it. Networking was possibly the most excruciating experience.
So I think when you have those feelings, it's so common to just want to stay in the safe zone in your business and do the things in your business that are comfortable. But that definitely holds you back, because business is all about relationships, and if you're not willing to go out and connect with people in as many ways as possible, it's going to hold you back.
[05:58] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Definitely. I can relate to the networking thing. When I first started going to networking groups, the first time I remember going to one local to where I am and going after work. I had my job, and I was going to drive over there, and the closer I got to it, it was about 45 minutes away, the more sick to my stomach I felt. And by the time I got there and parked, I had to literally will my legs to move towards the door to go in. I mean, I almost left, but I thought, “you just went through rush hour traffic to get here!” But it’s crippling, so I completely understand. It feels like an affliction, right? But it's kind of like we just have to push through. And through repetition, we learn how to let go of some of that fear.
[06:49] Nathalie Pincham: Yes, definitely. I really relate to that story. I think I've had a very similar experience. Yeah. And I think that when you're in that state, your nervous system is so activated and you're just in the survival mode, it makes all kinds of sense that you want to play it safe, that you're going to shrink into the background or procrastinate. Like I would sort of show up late to events like that or overthink what should I say or how should I… you get stuck in these places where you're just not even able to be your authentic self because you're just so wrapped up in all this fear and then you just end up feeling pretty stuck. It's rough.
[07:40] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: It is very rough. So if anyone's feeling that, we feel you. And one of the things that struck us is you started your company Story Tonic, and we loved that because you're sharing the stories of vulnerability around entrepreneurship and perhaps beyond entrepreneurship, but we talked about that when we met previously, how important it is to share our stories. Because if no one shares their story, then no one else realizes that they are not alone, right?
[08:11] Nathalie Pincham: Yes, exactly. I believe in this so strongly, and I think the more I share, the more I realize just how impactful it is. Because I think I spent so much of my life thinking that I didn't have anything of significant value to share and that everyone else was doing all the exciting things in the world. And that is based on various things that happened to me. I don't know, I just grew up just feeling like this is just my voice was the least important one in the room.
And now that I am sharing and that I am willing to say this is what's happening for me, I realize just what an impact it's having because people come to me and say, oh, my God, I thought I was alone. Or, oh, my goodness, you said it in a way that makes so much sense to me. And now I feel so different about it. And so I think the more that we're willing to share our real stories, the more we empower other people to do the same and to feel less alone and to start to play bigger and find their voice as well.
[09:24] Deirdre Harter: I think that is so important because I think a lot of entrepreneurs, especially women, we work with women primarily, and I think that sometimes they just count themselves out, Right?
They're like, oh, well, I'm not an extrovert like you. Or we hear a lot about people going, well, I'm an introvert, and it is so hard for them. They have something amazing to share with the world, and it's almost like having a handicap of some sort because it's like you can't do the thing that you really want to do, but there's something standing in your way. And I think it's really important for them to see that there are ways to overcome that. It is something that you can do just like any other challenges in life. We all have our own challenges. And so can you talk about what were the turning points, those key turning points that helped you become a more confident leader?
[10:18] Nathalie Pincham: Nathalie yes, I would love to. And I would say that the beginning of that, the turning point, was actually a very dark and rock bottom moment where I got to a point where nothing in my life or business was feeling right. I was really unhappy in lots and lots of different ways, and I just got to a point where I was just like, enough is enough. I can't work this hard and give so much to then end up feeling like this. So something is not right.
And along on this journey from that place, I discovered coaching. And I just have to say that that was a major turning point for me. Just being willing to be vulnerable, being willing to take risks, and signing up for a process that was super transformative in allowing me to tap into my strengths and learn how to use them to my advantage. And I think one of the big kind of AHA moments for me was around this idea of confidence and leadership was really I always had this idea that you are either born confident, or you're not. You're either an introvert or an extrovert. Right? And what I discovered is that we don't actually have to believe that story, that there isn't a set amount of confidence that you're born with. It's something that you can develop.
One of the things that I had to do was to learn to listen to that inner voice of self-doubt and to stop being held back by it. And that's what coaching did for me, to be able to hear that voice and to stop taking direction from it and learn tools through coaching that allowed me to change that sort of destructive self-doubt and step into a different awareness of what my voice could do.
[12:49] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: That is so powerful. Coaching training also was very revolutionary for me, and I find it really fascinating that you went from being so shy and now you're teaching people how to get visible. So tell us a little bit about that. I mean, we're talking a little bit about it, but that's such a great trajectory. So to go from being painfully shy to now teaching people how to be visible is a great transition. So how did that happen for you?
[13:20] Nathalie Pincham: Thank you. Yeah, I think that how that happened was literally this desire to share this transformation that I experienced. I feel this calling to share my experience because I know there is so much freedom that I experience, so much more freedom and joy than I used to. And I feel like I want to share that with other people so they can have that as well. And I feel that it's actually really within reach. And when we're stuck, we often feel like everything's so far out of reach. And so that's where being visible, promoting our business, showing up in ways that may be uncomfortable at first but that we can grow into, these are all things that don't have to feel so hard.
And so that's where I've come at this work, from this place of just sharing my journey and wanting other people to go on a similar journey or to benefit at least from some of the insights I can provide along the way.
[14:44] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, that's so powerful, because what you say, I can just feel it when we're in that space of being; it's a space of fear, right? Shyness is fear on all different levels, right? There are varying degrees that people might have. But you speak about the freedom that it gave you when you broke through that, and that's so powerful. And I think that it's a beautiful way to help people understand that you aren't really stuck in a mentality. Like you said, we weren't born with a certain amount of confidence. It's something that can be learned. So I love that.
[15:23] Nathalie Pincham: Yeah. And I think also one of the experiences I had was when I was just doing business coaching, one of the things I noticed was that you could have the best strategy in the world, the absolute best roadmap, but that there would be just so much resistance to actually carrying it through. I saw that in myself and in my clients, and it's so interesting. You have the strategies and the tactics. You know what to do, but you just can't. And that is a very frustrating thing where year in, year out, you're putting the same goals on your list, and you're just like, oh, well, I didn't manage it last year; maybe I'll manage it this year. And it's such a hard space to be.
And I know that most women who are entrepreneurs have so much that they are feeling that they want to share and that they want to do, and they know that they can do so much more than they're currently able to do. And as you mentioned at the beginning and I feel like their voices need to be heard.
[16:37] Deirdre Harter: And one thing I love, Nathalie, about your whole process here is a lot of times we say we let our clients borrow our confidence in the beginning until they establish their own. And it's almost like putting your… someone's down in a ditch, and they can't get themselves out. So you reach down your hand, and they grab your hand, and you pull them up. And that's kind of what I feel like you're helping them do because it is really hard to get it's like a self-perpetuating cycle. Like, if they don't get the thing done, they can't seem to accomplish it, and then it makes their confidence erode even more. And so it's almost like this downward spiral to the point where they just pretty much give up and say, well, this is just how it is, it's how I am, and I'm never going to get past it.
[17:25] Nathalie Pincham: Exactly. Yes. And I think that if you've had, say, several years of doing this, of just staying at a certain level in your business, and you just start to think, well, this is all that's possible for you, and really it doesn't take very much to release you from that and to allow you to play a whole lot bigger.
[17:52] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: That's such a good point. So if you were to give two or three tips to people around how to build their confidence, what would those be?
[18:05] Nathalie Pincham: Well, I think the very first one has to be about surrounding yourself with supportive people, people who believe in you. And many of us might not have that. We might have periods of time in our lives where we just don't really have anyone who believes in the bigger dreams that we have. But when you sign up to work with a coach or a mentor or have friends and family who really believe in you, I think that that can be a really huge game changer. And it certainly was for me, joining a coaching program where I just had this level of support I had never experienced previously, that I would say find the people, find the group, find the coach that really believes in you, and then being open to that constructive feedback when the difficult things come up. Being there for both the encouragement, but also for the feedback that you might need, and then having a supportive network that can really help you overcome that self-doubt and that shyness and really help you step into that confident leadership.
I think the more I've been in business, the more I've really kind of learned this lesson over and over again. That everything is about relationships. It's not just your personal life, it's every aspect of your life that is so driven by your relationships and so really investing yourself in those and by sharing, by being there, by listening. I think these things are deeply transformative.
[19:55] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yes, I agree. And something that Deirdre said too. It reminds me there are ways that we can reframe things to make them less scary. So, like Deirdre says, we like to let our clients know that they can borrow our confidence until they have it.
One thing that this reminds me of is one of our clients was very afraid of doing live videos. She would push herself through them and she would be fine on one hand. Like, if she was being interviewed on a video, that was okay, but if she had to go by herself, that was something else. And she says she was just worried because it's just scary to talk to these people. And I said, well when you go to the grocery store, are you afraid to talk to the people there? Like, if you need help? She started laughing. But it's like sometimes we have to think about the things we do in our life that we are talking to people all the time, and we're not afraid to talk to the grocer, and we're not afraid to talk to the mailman. And so if we try to just borrow the confidence that we have in our day-to-day life, that we're already doing things and realize that when we build it up by practicing, pretty soon, getting on video is just as easy as it is to go to the grocery store and talk to that guy.
[21:12] Nathalie Pincham: Absolutely. I love that story. Absolutely. I relate to it so strongly. I remember the first few times I did any kind of public speaking, I was absolutely terrified. It was a really, really challenging experience for me. And now it's a whole other experience. And I think once we push through these fears and we come out on the other side, we then are able to reach for something else that we couldn't even imagine before, right when we were stuck on the other side of that fear. So it's an amazing experience to do that.
[21:54] Deirdre Harter: One thing you said, Nathalie, that I think is really critical is that the number one tip I heard was to surround yourself with people who believe in you. Because the problem is there are parts and pieces of all of us that we don't believe ourselves, right? Like, we believe in certain aspects of ourselves, but others we don't believe in ourselves. That's the problem. But when you have someone else who does believe in you, it's almost like you've now been given permission to believe in yourself because you've denied yourself for so long and told yourself a story that you were this kind of a person or that you couldn't do a thing. All of a sudden, when someone comes in and says, I believe that you can do it, it's almost like we will. It's kind of like when you send the kids over to somebody else's house, they always behave way better than they do at your house. Because, mom, it's the same kind of thing. And I've heard this from our clients over and over again. They're like, I just really needed your permission. And now, all of a sudden, I feel like I can do it.
[22:57] Nathalie Pincham: Yes, I think this is so true. And this is also something that applies in terms of sharing your story by public speaking, being on podcasts, and even sharing a post on social media. You have no idea how much impact your post or your share is going to have on somebody. Because by doing that, you are showing people that it's possible. You are giving them the sense that it's also possible for them. If we don't have role models in our lives, it does limit our growth significantly. I think that we have to see other people doing the things that we want to do for it to feel possible. Like we want to follow these kinds of examples.
So I think when we find the confidence to do it in ourselves, it's amazing to have someone there who says, yes, absolutely, you can do that. And that can be directly the coach who's there who's rooting for you and supporting you through it, but it can also be someone further removed from you who's someone that you follow on social media who's showing you, yes, this is possible for you. So I think this is why it's so important to put yourself out there.
[24:20] Deirdre Harter: Yes. That's excellent. Now, Nathalie, I understand you have a gift for our listeners today. Would you like to share that with them?
[24:27] Nathalie Pincham: Oh, thank you. Yes, I would. I'd love to. Thank you. I have a quiz on my website which is going to help you discover your success advantage. It also points out your success kryptonite so that you know where to focus. It's just a quick quiz, and it shows you the kinds of success that you are able to step into. So that's a fun and easy way to start thinking about reframing success for yourself.
[24:59] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: I love that. I love success advantage and success kryptonite. That's awesome.
[25:05] Nathalie Pincham: Yes.
[25:06] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: So thank you so much for being a guest on our show, Nathalie, and we're looking forward to being a guest on yours, where we will talk about collaboration over competition, which is something we also discussed during our initial meeting. Because we all do business coaching, and so some people might think, well, I can't collaborate with someone who does the same thing, but here's another putting this out there. We are giving them permission and showing that, yes, you can. So we're excited about that as well.
[25:35] Nathalie Pincham: I am so thrilled that we are supporting one another. And I always say that there is always the right person for you is out there, right? So you might need to hear the same message from a different coach, and you might need different coaches along your journey depending on where you are. I think that supporting one another in this work is so valuable, and I cannot wait to have you on my podcast as well. Thank you so much.
[26:10] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: We're excited. Thank you. Thank you for bringing such great value to us. And we hope that everyone will take advantage of the quiz and, hopefully, people have gotten some confidence from listening about confidence, right? The fact that it's not something that you're born with; it's something that you work towards. And once you do it, it's just like riding a bike. You learn how to do it, and pretty soon, you don't think twice about it.
[26:32] Nathalie Pincham: Yes, exactly.
Connect with Nathalie:
Discover your success advantage (and kryptonite) in just 60 seconds, and discover how it affects the kind of success you experience today so you can feel like the most successful person in the room tomorrow: https://www.storytonic.co/success-archetype-quiz