THE POWER OF THE POD­CAST Lis­ten to a fresh per­spec­tive to qui­eten your in­ner critic.

In the Moment - - Contents - GET­TING CON­NECTED Find Sara Tasker at www.me­an­dorla.co.uk, Sas Peth­er­ick over at www.saspeth­er­ick.com and Ti any Han at www.tiany­han.com. Words: Yvette Streeter

Pod­casts of­fer us a fresh way of look­ing at things, en­cour­ag­ing us to chal­lenge neg­a­tive ways of think­ing. Through them, we can nd new ways to be cre­ative and

con­sider op­tions that we've never even dreamed of

Sylvia Plath once wrote: “The worst en­emy to cre­ativ­ity is self doubt.” And, over 60 years later, her ob­ser­va­tion is more rel­e­vant than ever. Whether you’re in awe of oth­ers’ pho­tog­ra­phy on In­sta­gram, or wowed by the craft projects posted on Face­book, the sim­ple act of scrolling through your phone can leave you un­sure of your own abil­i­ties. But sur­pris­ingly, the way to gain cre­ative con dence isn’t nec­es­sar­ily to step away from your screen. In­stead, it can be learn­ing how to use your phone as a por­ta­ble self-help tool, via the hum­ble pod­cast.

Pod­casts are es­sen­tially au­dio shows that you can down­load straight to your phone, cov­er­ing any­thing and ev­ery­thing from com­edy and pol­i­tics to mind­ful­ness and self-im­prove­ment. En­ter­tain­ing and in­form­ing in an in­stantly ac­ces­si­ble way, it’s no sur­prise that they’re such a fast-grow­ing medium, es­pe­cially amongst the cre­ative and well­be­ing com­mu­nity. With to­day’s hec­tic lifestyles, tak­ing time out to work on self-de­vel­op­ment of­ten isn’t an op­tion. But by plug­ging in to pod­casts while you’re com­mut­ing, cook­ing din­ner or at the gym, you can eas­ily tap into a wealth of con dence-boost­ing, cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion in a way that doesn’t feel time-con­sum­ing or over­whelm­ing.

It was recog­nis­ing this that led pho­tog­ra­pher, writer and cre­ative coach Sara Tasker – also known as Me and Orla – to start her own pod­cast, Hash­tag Au­then­tic.

“I'd been lis­ten­ing to a lot of pod­casts dur­ing car jour­neys, and loved how they al­lowed me to en­joy long-form con­tent again. I’ve rarely got time to read an in-depth ar­ti­cle these days, but can hap­pily lis­ten to some­one ex­plore a sub­ject in a pod­cast for 30 min­utes.”

“Dreams do come true. But only when you de­mand it.” Tiany Han

For Sara, Hash­tag Au­then­tic also gives her the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss cer­tain top­ics on a deeper level than she can in blog posts. Ob­serv­ing that cre­atives are “of­ten the quiet ones, strug­gling with self-doubt,” Sara’s pod­casts talk to mak­ers, en­trepreneurs and small busi­nesses own­ers who are gur­ing out the an­swers. Cov­er­ing all ar­eas of cre­ative life, they o er prac­ti­cal strate­gies and so­lu­tions via en­gag­ing con­ver­sa­tions.

“My pod­cast au­di­ence will of­ten say it’s like I’m sat next to them hav­ing a chat, which is ex­actly what I want,” ex­plains Sara. And, it’s easy to see how lis­ten­ing to your peers dis­cussing sub­jects such as ‘Fol­low­ing your cre­ative in­stincts’ and ‘Avoid­ing the com­par­i­son trap’ in a friendly tone, con­nects and in­spires con dence more read­ily than a lengthy blog post would.

Af­ter fea­tur­ing on Sara’s ‘Man­ag­ing self doubt’ episode, coach and men­tor Sas Peth­er­ick ex­pe­ri­enced rst-hand the huge im­pact pod­casts can have on

peo­ple’s lives. In fact, Sas was so over­whelmed by the re­sponse from lis­ten­ers that she de­cided to launch her own pod­cast, Courage and Spice (which de­buted in Septem­ber), fo­cus­ing speci cally on self-doubt.

A self-con­fessed 'self-doubt nerd', Sas delved fur­ther into this sub­ject as part of her master’s de­gree in coach­ing and men­tor­ing.

“My dis­ser­ta­tion was a qual­i­ta­tive study into the ex­pe­ri­ence of self-doubt, and my coach­ing prac­tice is all about help­ing women nav­i­gate through it and cul­ti­vate self-be­lief.” Com­bin­ing her level of ex­per­tise in this area with a heart­felt ap­proach, each episode of Courage and Spice

feels like a coach­ing ses­sion in it­self. Sas is par­tic­u­larly ex­cited for lis­ten­ers to hear her in­ter­view with Pro­fes­sor Tom Schuller, au­thor of The Paula Prin­ci­ple.

“Self-doubt is both a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, and, for women par­tic­u­larly, re­in­forced and per­pet­u­ated by our cul­ture. This episode looks at where these two as­pects in­ter­sect, ex­plor­ing why women tend to work be­low their level of com­pe­tence.”

Giv­ing an au­thor­i­ta­tive, in­formed view­point on why we be­have the way we do, pod­casts such as Sas’s not only make us re­alise we aren’t alone, but they also help us un­der­stand why we think the way we do.

For Sas, pod­casts o er fresh ways of look­ing at some­thing: "The ‘se­cret sauce’ is when we ap­ply the ideas that we’ve heard to our own lives, tak­ing new ac­tions that help us to ac­cess new pos­si­bil­i­ties and choices.” Once we’ve opened our minds to those choices, we can also use pod­casts to re up our cre­ativ­ity.

Ti any Han, a writer, speaker and coach, launched her pod­cast, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, in 2014. Mo­ti­vat­ing lis­ten­ers by shar­ing the sto­ries of suc­cess­ful cre­atives, her pod­cast arose from a crav­ing for more in­spir­ing con­ver­sa­tions. Re­turn­ing to work af­ter ma­ter­nity leave, Ti any no­ticed that she kept hav­ing amaz­ing con­ver­sa­tions with cre­ative friends about their busi­nesses.

"I in­creas­ingly found my­self say­ing, ‘I wish I could record this talk and share it with my clients and stu­dents.’ So, I de­cided to do just that!”

One of Ti any’s most pop­u­lar shows

THE ‘SE­CRET SAUCE’ IS WHEN WE AP­PLY THE IDEAS WE'VE HEARD TO OUR OWN LIVES AND AC­CESS NEW CHOICES.

fea­tures Lisa Cong­don, an artist and il­lus­tra­tor who didn’t start on her cre­ative ca­reer path un­til her thir­ties. (Read more from Lisa on page 72.) Dis­cussing pas­sion projects, they talk about the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of shar­ing less-than-per­fect work, how to get into an ex­per­i­men­tal mind­set and what it’s like to get com­fort­able with dis­com­fort.

“Ev­ery­one is al­ways cu­ri­ous to hear the back­story be­hind these projects, and how they can get started with their own,” ex­plains Ti any. “And, by learn­ing that some­one you ad­mire faces the same doubts and fears as you do, you re­alise that you don't have to let them stop you.”

Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from tales of artis­tic brav­ery and cre­ativ­ity is noth­ing new. Af­ter all, as Ti any points out, “sto­ry­telling has al­ways been an im­por­tant part of our lives.” But, what pod­casts do is open up our so­cial cir­cle, giv­ing us the op­por­tu­nity to hear from peo­ple at all stages of their ca­reer, and from all walks of life.

“As smart­phones have be­come ubiq­ui­tous, peo­ple now have ac­cess to mil­lions of sto­ries in

POD­CASTS OPEN UP OUR SO­CIAL CIR­CLE, GIV­ING US THE CHANCE TO HEAR FROM PEO­PLE OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE.

their pock­ets! It’s mag­i­cal,” Ti any en­thuses.

In the same way that a coun­selling ses­sion can do the world of good (be it with a pro­fes­sional or a good friend over a glass of wine), so can the right pod­cast. And, if self-doubt re­ally is the worst en­emy of cre­ativ­ity, don’t worry – there’s a pod­cast for that, too.

“All so­cial me­dia al­lows us to con­nect with oth­ers and re­alise how much we have in com­mon, but there’s some­thing pow­er­ful in hear­ing an­other hu­man speak it aloud,” says Sara.

PLUG IN, LIS­TEN UP Look­ing for more cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion? Then pop along to our blog where you can nd ve more of our favourite pod­casts.

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