We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Joanne Royer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Joanne, how do you think about risk?
No matter how confident one may look or feel, taking a risk is not easy and usually uncomfortable, to say the least. As risk involves change and change, even if we want it, is married to fear – therein lies the core of any risk – fear. I have a quote above my desk that I routinely share with my coaching clients that read “The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.” I read it multiple times a day as a reminder for my mind. My clients all have one common denominator – they have over time, allowed a thought to have power over them, and work with me to learn how to have power over their thought instead. They are then empowered. It is our thinking that gets in the way of stepping into the change (we often want), allowing the fear that’s connected to the thought to play small. We get in our own way by empowering a story we have in our head vs. empowering ourselves. If you “think” something is a risk, we jump right into the outcome before we even take any action. What’s the #1 thought I generally hear from my clients that creates risk for them you ask? The answer is “what if I make a mistake?” What role has risk-taking played in my life and career? It’s showed me through the risk of making a mistake, or the risk in staying out of action and doing nothing, where I can shore things up when my “do-over” comes (and I believe we all have a do-over). It showed me, through the power of looking back in retrospect, the thought that stood in my way. I ask the same question that my clients ask – “what took me so long to decide to try?” And with that question, I can uncover the doubting, self-critical, not-good-enough thinking that stood in the way. That’s the silver-lining. I am of the thought that risk-taking is a skill. Risking isn’t something we come out of the womb just doing. And the only way to acquire a skill is through practice. There’s a lot of learning in practicing and that being said, what would it be to think of making a mistake through practice is how you could get better at taking that risk? Risking taking comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m a big believer that a great way to practice the skill or risk-taking is through the least risky of actions. Start there. Pay attention to how that felt. Pay attention to the thought you had. Remember it’s the thought that keeps us out of the risk-taking – all roads lead to the thought – that’s where we really take the risk – to look there and what’s behind it.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
For more than 20 years, I practiced successfully as a licensed psychotherapist. I became interested in life coaching principles and fundamentals because I recognized the limitations of therapy and the power of facilitating one’s personal development through the coaching relationship. In 2006, I started my coach training and certification journey. I am proud to be a member of the International Coaching Federation and a certified supervisor for professional coaches. At the core of my coaching mission, not only do I work with career women across the country and worldwide on empowering the voice of their heart vs. the voice of their critical mind, I also strive to support helping professionals across the wellness industry. In doing so, I help them recognize their own blind spots, coaching them on getting back to basics by being the change they want to make in both their lives and the lives of those they serve. I consider it a gift to help career women and helping professionals get to the core of what’s getting them stuck both in their relationships outside of work and within their business learn how to get out of their own way. I believe that you already have clarity and courage, for what you want and the direction you want to move into. My work is to help you uncover those blinders that keep you from seeing it and stepping into it. It’s time to become reacquainted with what it feels like to be passionate about who you are as a woman and as a career-minded business professional. I absolutely love coaching women to learn how to bridge the gap between how others view them (competent, capable, powerful, skilled, courageous) and how they view themselves. The joy they experience in going from just functioning to thriving gives me that “this is why I do what I do” feeling. Clients learn to lean into their inner mentor vs. listening to their inner critic, recognizing the power, the courage, and the confidence they have had all along. They’ve also gone through some amazing aha moments and transformations that allow them to own every part of themselves and recognize that they are enough, exactly as they are. Clients truly move from doubt to daring. I love it! One of the questions given to answer that had me giggling, “was it easy on how I got to where I am today?” The short answer “absolutely not”. I can tell you I am still working on having it feel easy and I don’t believe it ever does. What I can say is it’s true what they say “no pain, no gain”. In the significant pain of business building, I’ve gained much confidence. I’ve gained much knowledge. I’ve gained much more patience. And I’ve learned to be much more LESS humble. Yes, much less humble. As a woman who is an introvert by nature, I have a big learning curve on risking (there’s that word again) being vulnerable in a different way. Being vulnerable about talking about myself – why I’m good at what I do. Why a client should (risk) hiring me to work with. To be more assertive in describing all the great things about myself as a woman and as a very skilled psychotherapist and coach that delivers a big dose of empowerment to my clients, wasn’t easy. Talking about all those wonderful attributes that I possess still doesn’t roll off my tongue – that is a work in progress. So please check back in with me on that. That being said, I am a huge writer. I look for opportunities such as this to have the opportunity to write. I use writing as a tool, providing greater ability and ease in digging deeper within my inner thoughts and feelings than doing so by articulating them verbally – something always got lost in translation. And apparently I’m not alone. This is one of the reasons that I work with women through writing which has been the #1 coaching tool requested by a larger percentage of my clientele, combining the tool of writing together with (virtual) face-to-face or via phone, coaching session.
Lastly, don’t shortchange yourself when you are at the front door and finally ready to walk through it! You are more than halfway to where you want to be! Don’t let your past define you. Today it’s all about your tomorrow.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Huntington Botanical Gardens – specifically the Japanese Garden. Book the evening stroll. I’d head then to Kabuki for a wonderful sushi dinner. Have a few days? I’m a water girl – so I would head straight up the coast, I’d book the Coast Starlight (Amtrack) during the summer months preferably, as you have more daylight for the spectacular ocean view. You can grab the 9:30am from Glendale Station, takes you straight to State Street arriving Noon where the train depot is….walk all around (or take their great trolly system) but you’ll get those steps in and grab lunch – great Indian, Thai (but of course there’s seafood on the wharf) – then walk it off by walking along Cabrillo into Montecito. Butterfly Beach where you can then do a happy hour at The Four Seasons on their outdoor patio, before then taking an Uber or Lyft back to the Station for their 7P last train back. If you have a few days, stop in Ventura and take in their downtown. Even more time? Take the train into Grand Central Station, get out, and walk the Museum circuit where there are too many great restaurants to list. I am a Pasadena girl and we are all about food, the arts and our Farmer Markets. Depending on the time of year (and post COVID) – you can never go wrong with the Opening Night or a few nights at the Hollywood Bowl,
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A huge shout-out to my family and dear friend circle who walk with me hand and hand throughout my life and career. And a bigger shout out to all those “what if’s” I chose not to empower. To all those mistakes along the way that were my stepping stones that led me to where I am now. To all those “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s” that I look back on and learned from that afforded me the chance to practice my risking taking and to realize the power I have to change the stories in my head. With great appreciation.
Other: If you know of someone that could use the support of psychotherapy during this challenging time, I would be honored to be their advocate and help them navigate through in finding their center again. https://drjoanneroyer.