With Boundaries, Kindness, and Emotional Resilience

This is the essay version of my Note of Daring podcast episode.

One lovely summer evening years ago I went to a Nationals baseball for my friend’s birthday. And it changed my perception of what it means to be nice.

For me, when I’m out in large groups or loud places, and especially when I’m cold, there’s a moment when I’m just done. My energy hits a wall and plummets. When my introvert starts showing and wants refuge.

Often it starts softly, like a whisper, and ramps up in strength until I’m just done…


Backstage:: Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Imagine that you’re watching a play at the theatre. The lights, the costumes, and the actors draw you into the intrigue of the story. You are watching a rehearsed and polished production on the stage.

But what do you see when you pull back the curtains and peek behind the scenes? Or look back in time to the first read-through.

A lot goes into any production before it goes live.

For example, the director works with actors to show and teach them where to go and how to deliver their lines for this particular show. …


A Dive into Dealing with the Scene Stealers

Stage lights
Stage lights
Stage Lights

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,…”

Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Have you ever seen a theatre production that went sideways as a plot point in a movie or TV show? The moment when scenery falls apart, entrances and exits are wrong, collisions happen on stage, lines are forgotten, and wardrobe malfunctions. In a comedy of errors, the players learn to communicate and band together…


Walking the talk as a leader

Awesome, Less Awesome :: Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Think back to your last experience receiving candid and constructive feedback. What happened? How did it feel? Would you volunteer to do it again?

Receiving feedback is hard and uncomfortable. We wrap it up in feedback sandwiches, translate it into ratings, avoid it altogether, and dump it all at once in a year-end performance review. We want to make it comfortable, but then it loses power to impact change.

Is feedback important in your work and growth?

We say ‘Yes!’ is all the formal places. The website, the employee handbook, the performance assessments, the strategic goals. But do the day to day…


The Blank Page Problem: How to use the concept of a studio to make progress on important work.

Have you ever experienced what I call the blank page problem? When you start working on a project by opening a new document, then stare it without taking action.

Yes? Me too! For example, a dozen pristine canvases are in my apartment waiting for my creativity to magically appear on them.

I want to start creating, but I’m not making progress. Why not? And how can I change that?

This problem exists with business work too. We have ideas for all sorts of things that we feel we should be doing but never actually make progress on.

The Blank Page…


Living changes us. We cannot go back.

Moon:: Photo by malith d karunarathne on Unsplash

The Moon Landing

The moon landing only felt like a victory because the astronauts were returned safely to earth. They came home, but not again. They arrived back on a home world changed by their journey, and they landed as changed men who had visited outer space. The hardest part is not launching humans into the vast unknown; the hardest part is navigating this new space safely while embracing the vulnerability and growing from the challenge.

We are Always in Transition

I am always in a transition between different states of being. Moving towards my next adventure while still retaining my…


A Curiosity and Exploration into Talking to Strangers

Strangers:: Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash

One of the ways I spend my time is as a Design Thinking Facilitator at the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Last week I was prepping for a workshop I facilitated this week about How to Talk to Strangers. The class I’m prepping for is longer than normal so I was able to play within that spaciousness and work to design a learning experience that goes deeper into the material and explore it to satisfy a bit of curiosity.

The What: Talk to Strangers

The skill we…


When the power of our identity constrains our actions and growth.

A row of mailboxes
A row of mailboxes
Mailboxes:: Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

Launching a newsletter supports my personal and professional goal of showing up, being seen, and sharing my knowledge, skills, and work with the world. And it is a fairly simple process to do.

Three Simple Steps to Launch a Newsletter:

  • First, set up a way to gather people’s emails.
  • Second, write content.
  • Third, send that content to those people’s inbox. That’s it!

Step One — Done. Mailchimp for the gold! Step Two — Solid. …

Rachel Thompson

Rachel is a writer, podcaster, and self-employed designer and visual facilitator. She lives in NC with her dog, Devin. Learn more at daringstudios.com

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