[Part 2] Answering Your Non-Business Questions with Emma-Louise

January 3, 2022

Welcome to the first episode of The Ambitious Introvert in 2022! I thought I’d share a bit more about me in this episode that’s not necessarily business-specific. This is somewhat of a part 2 episode from last week’s so be sure to tune into that one, too. If you’re here, hopefully, you find something that resonates with you, interests you, or prompts you to change how you do things. Maybe it’ll give you some ideas of ways that you can look after yourself even more as an ambitious introvert, empath, or highly sensitive entrepreneur. Listen in and enjoy!


  • Friendly exercises for highly sensitive people and why Emma focuses on yoga and pilates
  • How Emma-Louise first learned that she was a highly sensitive person by accident
  • The ways in which Emma-Louise’s daily mindset practice have changed over the years
  • When Emma-Louise first learned of coaching and the first steps she took to become a coach herself
  • How Emma-Louise views goal setting and how she stays focused through completion
  • Emma-Louise’s word of the year last year, how she chose it, and the successes she found from it


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

[00:00:00] Emma-Louise Parkes: Welcome. This sober episode of the ambitious introvert, but also to 2022 happy new year to everyone. Thank you so much for listening in, and I’m going to kick the air off. As I said last week with answering the rest of your question. From 2021, I thought this would be really good opportunity just to chat a little bit more about me rather than the business and how I function, operate, live, et cetera.

So I pulled out the questions that were a little bit more general and not so business. So. To put them together in this episode, hopefully you’re here. Something that resonates with you. You might hear something of interests that prompt you to change how you do things, or, you know, maybe it would just listen along and be like, yep.

That’s me. I do that. I feel that too, but either way, um, hopefully this will be something. Value-packed very permission given. And as I say, maybe it’ll give you some ideas of ways that you can look after yourself even more as an ambitious introvert, empath, or highly sensitive entrepreneur. So without further ado onto the questions, this first question is such a good question.

I’ve got a lot to say about this. Someone asked, how do you exercise as a highly sensitive person? I find most types of exercise. Don’t suit my nervous system and drain me. So I can’t stick to them. I have been there so many times before I knew that I was highly sensitive or before I answered those introvert, even I would go to gyms and I just hated going to the gym and I didn’t actually hate the gym.

I hated the lights and the noise and the music and the TV screens. So I really feel you there. One. My favorite exercises to do over the years was CrossFit. I’ve very, very into CrossFit. I really like heavyweights. I, I dislike cardio. I really like heavyweights. I like throwing kettlebells and barbells and squats and all of that kind of thing.

However, I did find that CrossFit was just too much for my nervous system. I could do very short workouts kind of 10, 15 minute, but then any that went on beyond that would take me so long to recover. Um, but I, I do really enjoy that kind of heavy functional work. Not say it’s the best thing for me though.

So I have done yoga for years. I dip in and out of it. I did my first yoga class in 2001. So really been doing it for a long time. Um, I’ve tried all different types of yoga. I fallen a little bit out of love with it. Recently. I was using the glow yoga. Earlier on in 20, 21 quite regularly. And then I noticed that I hadn’t really used it very often, so I canceled the subscription.

I do still, I will just practice yoga without instruction because they’ve been doing it for so long or I’ll just hop onto YouTube. And look up a video, usually yoga by Adrian. Um, if you haven’t checked her, Adrian do she’s really great free videos on YouTube. And she has this beautiful dog called Benji who comes along and sits by the mat.

It’s very sweet. Anyway, I digress. Um, so yoga has not been a constant format. I’ve definitely been dipping in and out of it. And. I’m out of it. I used to do a lot of polities. I’m not sure if you know this, but I’ve got a number of, um, bulging or slipped discs in my cervical spine. I’ve had a couple of surgeries on it, which is mainly why the CrossFit, when I went to bed as well, not the best thing to do with all of that.

So for quite a long time, I couldn’t exercise at all. Um, because I had some nerve damage and, uh, numbness down in the hand. But Plata was something that actually really helped with my recovery. So I used to pull off these as rehabilitation and I did proper classic glottis with the equipment I used to have one-on-one sessions and it definitely strengthened my core, helped me get those muscle connections back.

I had a great, I think I have 10 sessions and I had a great before and after picture where like my shoulder was just dropped and my whole scapula was weighing down. By the end of the 10 sessions, which I think was over a five week period, I took patronize. My shorts were level is actually even, so I really, really do love parties.

It’s something that with the pandemic and locked down, I’d gotten out of the habit of doing, and it’s something that has a one-on-one practice. When I left my job, it was a little bit more of an expense, but it’s definitely something that I would recommend if you are highly sensitive. I think it’s a great way of exercising.

In lieu of that, I’ve been using two different subscriptions over the last few months, which I’ve really loved. One of them is P Volve. So it’s P dot Volve. We’ll link it in the show notes. And it’s like a combination to me of plotters ballet and CrossFit. So it uses. Resistance equipment, but it’s all body-weight based.

There are a couple of ankle weights that are used, but a lot of it is resistance bands. It’s a movements in every range of motion, so very functional. So moving out 45 degrees all the time, engaging the core, making sure that you’re staying really strong, really quick workouts, like 15 to 20 minutes. Not.

Don’t get me wrong. Like quick does not mean easy in this case, but it was designed specifically for people who were injured. So I know a lot of people that loved CrossFit, but got injured from the intensity of it have moved on to P Volve and love it a lot former dancers that want to keep their form use it because it’s the same kind of ranges of motion as ballet and to meet does really, really remind me of polarities.

I definitely get the same connection and feel the same strength in the muscles. So it’s much less cardio based. I’m not a big fan of cardio, although there is a little bit in that, but it’s much more strengths-based which I absolutely adore. And the other thing that I’ve been using is a subscription called the class.

So this also American P Volvo is American. Um, so if you’re in the UK, you can get the apps, but the class is like a combination of exercise. Um, mindfulness meditation is very, very different. And what I really love about it is it goes for a song and you have one move to do so there’s, there’s no equipment.

You do the move for the entire song, which of course sounds quite easy. It can be quite a gentle move, but you’re doing it for four or five minutes. So really built up the heat really builds up and. And between every song they take time to stop breathe, go in words, hand on heart, kind of reset. Before we move on to the next move.

And it’s interspersed with almost like a free flow in aspect where you just dance our, you just move, you just do what your body wants to do at that point. So it’s incredibly cathartic. I really love the music they use. It’s very tribal based and I F I find it so. It’s like a mind, body and soul workouts.

So I am really, really loving the class. So , and the class both do like 14 day, I think, free trials or at least seven days. I think it’s 14 where you can check them out and try them. But my highly sensitive, nervous system, very much approves of those as well as yoga and plus. When I’m in the mood. Okay. So secondly, how did you know you were highly sensitive?

Oh, sorry. Um, I discovered that completely by mistake. I was at Waterloo station in London and I went into the bookshop, what those weights and to get my train home. And I saw a book called the highly sensitive person. And at that point I had a client and also friend that. Very emotionally reactive. And I saw that book and I was like, oh, highly sensitive.

You know, just like there’s people, this could be really helpful. You know, I’m going to read it and see if it’s helpful, because it could be helpful to them for, you know, understanding that reactivity managing their emotions, or it could be helpful to me as a coach. So got the book, you know, added it to the very long list because there’s always a pile.

And then I started to read. And it was nothing like I expected because it’s imposed and talking about people that were emotionally reactive. It started to talk about fluorescent lights and temperature and food, sensitivities and caffeine. And I went, oh, that’s what highly sensitive means. I think I’m probably highly sensitive.

And so I clicked through and took the quiz on Dr. Aaron’s website and got 24 out of 28. And I think 14 was the point that she’s like, yeah, you’re highly sensitive. So there was really no doubt. So really I found out by accident, I found that because I had a very. I had a misunderstanding of what the term sensitive means, because I think it has negative connotations in our society.

Um, so I was definitely guilty of falling into that trap of thinking, oh, it just means people that cry all the time, or it means people that can’t take criticism, um, and not understanding that it’s actually physical to do with the nervous system. And. How did I, that’s how I knew. And when I knew just to add was this would have been 2019.

So really not that long ago, I’d gone almost 40 years without really. Okay onto the third question. What does your mindset practice looked like? Oh, I have a very loose mindset practice and it’s very fluid and it changes very regularly, which I think is good because one of the things that I see that’s really detrimental to our growth is people adopt a mindset practice.

They never change up and they do over and over and over again. And then it just becomes like they’re ticking something off the list. It’s like another to do. There’s no emotion behind it and there’s no energy behind it. And energy is vital for mindset practice. So what I would say is I have different practices that at various times I, I pull.

Decide what to use. So right now, what does this look like for me right now? This looks like a lot of EFT. I’m an Ft practitioner, obviously a really great Ft, but also can go, you know, a few months sometimes. And it’s not the main modality that I think of. It’s not what I feel like I need to use right now.

EFT is, you know, it feels very powerful and I feel very aligned to it. I also do energy work. So I do Donna Eden’s energy routine most days, but again, not every day, if I’m not feeling it, I tried to trust with what do I actually need? I. Journal, mainly on full a new moons. So I’m not a daily journaler. I have been adopted stream of consciousness, writing something that I resisted for a long time and felt very uncomfortable doing.

And you know, the thing that we resist is most often the thing that we need. So stream of consciousness, journaling, rather than. You know, uh, problems and answering a question and mindset work for me. I mean, I’ve been doing it for so long. Like I’ve been into personal development. Almost 20 years now. So, you know, just to say, if you’re new to this, you might have to have more of stricture habit.

But for me now, my own self-awareness of my thoughts, my own metacognition is, is so high that I’m doing mindset work all of the time. I notice all of my thoughts. I can, you know, judge my thoughts and whether they’re helpful or not to me. So. To me mindset work can also be just, you know, having a decision to make in the business and being like, okay, well, what am I going to meet?

What would my future self making this decision? I’m I’m making this decision out of excitement or am I making out of fear, all of those things or those questions that I ask myself that to me is mindset work. The real mindset work. Isn’t always. You know, listening to podcasts, reading books, writing a new journal, as great as they are.

It’s actually a play in it, starting to apply it to everyday situations so that you can make changes to how you think and how you make decisions. Another underrated against say, mindset. Practice is. Time for yourself and doing things that you love to do because from a self-worth point of view and an energetic point of view that signals to yourself and also to the universe to God, to, you know, how, however you believe it also signals there that you’re worthy.

Like when we take time to do something, that’s just for ourselves to look after ourselves and lights us up. We’re showing that we’re worthy and we’re telling ourselves that we’re worthy. So it may be to, you know, go to your favorite coffee shop and just have a really nice coffee and a cake or something like that.

And read a book and be alone and take that time. And majori eight, it could be having a bubble bath in the morning. Something that I do quite a lot, because I’m like, I’m not going to rush into my day because I’m worthy of relaxing in the bubble bath. Any of those things could be taken a beautiful walk and just taking in all of the sights and sounds when you’re signaling to yourself that you are worthy of taking time out to do things that you love, rather than just having to be in your business or having to do things for other people.

I think that is one of the most powerful mindset practices that we can. Okay, next question is, how did you find out about coaching? I found out about coaching in a very random way. I. I’ll explain this by saying, first of all, I don’t watch a great deal of TV. I don’t have a TV connection. I’m just Amazon, Netflix now.

And I haven’t had for quite a long time. So I used to get DVD box sets or things that people had recommended. And I was probably a handful. I mean, literally less than 10 series that I’ve watched in my life that I go. Yeah, that’s great. I really enjoyed it. But. One of them was the old Ryan Murphy series, nip tuck, which was about two plastic surgeons in Miami, which sounds really trashy.

And it was, but for some reason I really, really loved nip tuck. I was watching this while I was training to be a controller. So it was really good, kind of, um, relaxation. Mindless switch off and I really enjoyed it, but there was a character that came into one of the series and she was a life coach. I just thought, wow, this is the most amazing thing.

Not realizing that the time that I was actually being coached every day when I was going in for my training as controller, because I would always have a mental sat with me that was coaching me to become to the standard of controller that I could operate on my own. I didn’t see the parallels at the time.

Yeah, I just loved this character. I just loved this idea that she literally empowered people and helped them to reach their goals and helped them to be independent and stand on their own two feet. I just thought it was the most amazing thing. So soon as I had finished my training as a controller and I had all the spare time where I wasn’t studying, I signed up and I did a, uh, distance learning life coaching course by hand, I used to have to hand write my assignments and mail them back.

I was very slow. Um, My first, yeah, my first initiation into coaching and that’s how I found out about it. Okay. Next up. How do you stay focused on big goals without getting distracted and or overwhelmed? Okay. I probably look at goals a little bit differently to a lot of coaches. So. Nothing wrong with this, but for some people they have the goal.

It’s like, I want to achieve this, or I want to earn this or whatever it is. And then they reverse engineer the plan too, to make sure it works, which, which is kind of great. But I have to make sure that I focus on the steps that are going to get me to the goal because otherwise I will get distracted or overwhelmed.

Um, so. By that. I mean, if I want to grow an audience of ideal clients, which I now have, what do I know I need to do? I need to be putting valuable content out consistently in places that my ideal clients are that they can access it. So if I just went, I want like an audience of 5,000 introverts or something, I would just get so overwhelmed and it would feel so outreach.

Um, but actually I have that, and that was done by small, consistent action. Of like I say, given value every day and showing up in places and connecting with my ideal client. So the same with say a money goal. I may have a goal of what I want to earn in a year. But I would never then try to fit my year and my week, my day, and my clients into making that happen.

What I will do is plan out like an ideal week. How many clients would I like to have? How many one-on-one clients would I like to have? How many people to have in the group? How many intensives would I sell? And then I mapped that out in a way that feels good, energetically and then work. What that would actually earn.

And, you know, most times it’s more than I think. And the interesting thing there is if I was going for the financial goal, I could actually be limited myself because I could be trying to make it happen in a way that doesn’t feel great. And I could be leaving money on the table at the same time. So the way that I stay focused is by.

Staying focused on the small things is how I stay focused on the big things. And that stops me getting distracted. It stops me getting overwhelmed, and it gives me that trust. And knowing that I’m doing the small actions every day, like that compound and add up, you know, like compound interest on investments, knowing that those things will add up and that if I keep doing them, I can’t not hit those goals.

So when I stay focused in the moment, that’s what helps me stay focused on the big end results. I love this question. What would your book wreck be if you were your own guest on the show? Oh, uh, sure. You’ve all heard me mention this one. So the success principles by Jack Canfield, I adore the success principles.

It’s very basic. It’s very cheesy. There’s nothing life-changing in that. If you know anything about, you know, personal development mindset, work law of attraction and any of that. But what it is, it’s just such an accessible read. It’s broken down into really small chapters. You could pick it up and read a chapter a day.

It’s got really great exercises and that anyone can do at any level. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already got a seven figure business. No one can not benefit by reading the success principles at any level. And. Can fail to benefit from adopting what’s in there and doing the exercises.

It’s just such a great feel, good book. It’s got tons of examples in there, real life, examples of people, um, which is, you know, very expensive for us because when we can see what other people have done and what’s possible, it helps us to believe that it’s possible for ourselves. Um, so I mean, a book recommendation for me.

I read about, wanted to a week. And yeah, I really love a lot of them, but if I had to distill it down to suit anyone that may be listening, I would say the success principles by Jack Canfield. I can’t answer, wrap up. Do you have a word of year word of the year? Maybe I do. I do have a word of the year and I’ll give you some background.

2 20 20 one’s word of the year was visibility because 2020 was the first year that I was really getting visible online. I still had a lot of discomfort around it. I still had a lot of work to do so I chose the word visibility because. I wanted to focus myself on to that because I wanted to focus on something that I knew was very, very important for the success of my business and the growth.

And so I chose visibility and. I definitely had a lot of wins around visibility. I definitely looked at a lot of opportunities through the lens of that word and kept it, you know, forefront of mind. I didn’t kind of forget about it. And the second week of January, it was kind of a big guidance value for me in the business.

And in some ways that worked amazingly. When I pitched to podcasts, I went on so many amazing podcasts. This podcast was released every week. I released my newsletter every week. I was consistently visible on social media. Um, so it really did me well, but it also, in some ways didn’t, and this was a great lesson for me.

And that sometimes I let visibility. The I let the fact that an opportunity would create visibility. I made that make the decision for me where actually they should have been other factors, I guess, from my human design, I should have felt into it and sat with it, or I should have really looked further into it.

So for instance, I did a lot of summits in the first half of 2021. And. Some of them were very time consuming, very tiring and actually were not very aligned with me and the business, which I didn’t realize until too late. I’d already committed. So for instance, it might have been like, oh, we’ll have a half an hour interview, but the amount of prep and the amount of marketing that I was contractually obliged to do made it very, very tiring for me.

And then I sometimes found. The people in the summit, like we’re not really aligned with my brand. It wasn’t the right message that I wanted to wanted to give. Another example is, um, I mentioned last week that I took the opportunity to be a brain’s contributor because I was like, yes, visibility. You know, this is an online magazine that gets in front of a lot of people.

Great. But actually my values were much more about creating quality content for my audience. So the idea of visibility that kind of took me away from that and meant I didn’t make the most of that opportunity because it wasn’t really the right thing to do. So just wanted to give you that background of like, there was a double edged sword, um, and I learned a lot through.

With that said as part of the reasons that I’ve chosen this word for 2022 and what I decided to do originally, I was going to use the word intentional because what I realized is saying yes to these opportunities, I wasn’t necessarily being very intentional. I was just like, oh, does it take the visibility box?

Yes. Okay. I’ll do it. So that was my first thought was to be intentional. But it didn’t didn’t really lead anywhere. I was like intentional about what it was a kind of a mean, but it wasn’t really a means to an end. So I was like, no, that doesn’t really work. And I sat with that. And then I came up with my actual word of the year, which is quality.

Which just makes me so happy. So this is one of my core values. Anyway, I’m very much for, I always buy the best quality of any item that I can, because I believe in sustainability, I believe in keeping things and making the most of them. I don’t, I don’t love fast fashion. Um, My so far, I’ve had for 15 years, you know, I get it cleaned.

I get it reposted, all of that. Like when I, when I invest in things and commit to them, I want them to last a long time. So I want them to be the best quality. And I started to feel this about the business. Like, you know, visibility is fine, but it has to be quality visibility. And how do I want my clients to feel, what do I want my client experience, my onboarding experience to be?

I want it to feel quality. If someone lands on my website, How do I want it to look? I want it to look really high quality. So the intention is search rather than the word being intentional. The word being quality means that by intention with every decision that I make is, is this up to my standards? Is this the quality that I want to be known for?

Does this. Is this a high enough quality for me to invest in? Is this worth what I’m going to pay? Do I want, you know, which level of service do I want? All of those kinds of things like come back to quality. Um, so I’m sure he’s going to show up in many, many ways, not just in the business, because I’ll, I’ll use it in life as well.

So it’s a bit of a different word, but I’m really excited to see where it takes me. And speaking of quality, nothing. Highlights this as much as the fact that I made a huge investment. The end of 2021 and working with an amazing instructional designer because I really wanted to grow and scale the business in 2022, which I’m going to do.

And I wanted to make the most of everything that I’ve learned of over three years now in business, and also the consultant certification I took last year. So I invested in Emily who will be on the show in the next few months and Sharon all about her amazing work. And I invested in that. Hi, I wanted to make the best quality group program that I could, that attracts the best quality of plan that gets them the best quality results I wanted to create the best quality of mastermind that I can.

I wanted to create the best quality of product suite so that whoever you are at any level of business, you have the opportunity to. Get your hands on quality resources and learn these quality frameworks and principles to grow and scale your own business. So that was a really important thing to me, um, to make sure that it was of a high standard.

I’m fighting you now, if you are at the stage and your business may be either brand new, up to one, maybe two years in business, but you don’t have the results that you want. You’re not seeing the traction. You don’t feel like everything’s quite in place. Then my group program, which is going to launch in March April time is probably going to be exactly what you need.

We don’t have all the details finalized yet because we’re still wrapping up on working on it. I can tell you, it’s going to be amazing. And I can tell you that I have designed what I needed three years ago. When I came into the online space as an introvert and path, highly sensitive entrepreneur, I’ve created it solely with that in mind.

So if this picture interests and you think that you would love that kind of support, you would like to know more. Then head over and say hi to me on Instagram at Emmylou parks and just drop me a DM and let me know you’re interested. And then once we have the details, I’ll be sending it out so that you can have a look and make more of an informed decision.

So zero commitment whatsoever at this stage. But I would just love you to let me know if it’s something that you would like to hear more about. And on that note, I can get a bid. You farewell. Thank you so much for listening in. I hope you have enjoyed these couple of episodes, which have felt very cozy.

Actually. It’s felt very lovely talking to you. Um, like one-on-one twice back to back and, but we’ll be back to normal ops after next week. And looking forward to bring you some more amazing guests in 2022. So for now, take care and have a wonderful start to the new.