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  • Kim Meninger

Why Are You Speaking?

Updated: May 12, 2023

Why Are You Speaking?

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we explore challenges with public speaking and how to reframe our relationship to our audiences. My guest, Natasha Bazilevych, shares insights and strategies to help you become a more effective speaker, whether presenting to an audience, or speaking at a meeting. As a Ukrainian who came to the U.S. weeks before the war began, Natasha also offers tips for staying focused at work during difficult times.

About Natasha Bazilevych

Natasha Bazilevych is an international speaker, founder of ChangeView Inc., and a business trainer with 14 years of experience. She trains and coaches entrepreneurs, top managers, and sales teams to give powerful presentations so that they can reach their business goals. Natasha holds a Bachelor degree in teaching English and German, a Bachelor degree in management of organizations and an MBA degree. Her style of teaching and speaking is characterized by powerful presence, inspirational message and practical application.


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Kim Meninger Welcome, Natasha, I’m so excited to talk to you today. And I’d love to start by just inviting you to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit more about you.

Natasha Bazilevych Thank you, Kim. I’m really excited to be here and talk to you all. And my name is Natasha Bazilevych. I’m a public speaking coach and trainer. I help entrepreneurs and executives to give powerful presentations, to speak with confidence, have a clear message and deliver it with persuasion so that they can achieve their business goals.

Kim Meninger I love it. And as I’m sure you know, better than I do, right, there’s a lot of anxiety that surrounds public speaking. And I’m curious how you got here? Was this something that you were generally comfortable with? Did you have to work on your own confidence around public speaking at any point?

Natasha Bazilevych Oh, yeah. Well, I had to work on my confidence, not even just as a public speaker, but as a person. I was a really shy girl. And you know, now and my friends who know me very well, and they’ve known me for 20 years, they’re saying, no, that’s not true. It can’t be true that you might… When I was a teenager, I was really shy. And my, one of my best friends back then I was like, 12, 13. And she says, when will you stop being so shy, when I didn’t do something we were going to do together. And I remember that moment so well. And I came home, I started journaling, I was writing in my diary, as you know, this little teenager that wanted to grow into something, I had a dream, I wanted to be a journalist and an interpreter. So I was writing, I need to develop my confidence, I still have that diary. So I had that journal, and I started writing some points of what I need to do. I started reading. I always loved reading. I was this little bookworm and have been always. And so I found ways how to develop confidence. A lot of it was, were had to do with our body language, how we sleep, how we stand, how we walk, actually, and how we use our body, our posture, it affected me a lot. And of course, different, reading about different people who were confident that helped me build it. And the first speech I would say, but even, event that helped me gain the confidence as a public speaker was my valedictorian speech that I gave in front of all the parents and teachers and graduates, when I was standing there, and I was looking, I was on the stage. So I was kind of looking at all of them in the audience. And when I spoke and their eyes sparkled, like something lit in their eyes, I saw the change. And when you feel that it’s like this power, you can feel how you can inspire, how you can motivate others. And that’s an incredible feeling. And I was chasing always after that moment. I started teaching, training, speaking right after university, and it has become my love and passion and career and I started helping other people do the same because I see the power in it. And I see that everyone can learn how to do it. Well, it’s a skill, you don’t have to be born with this, I was unseen and noticeable. Teachers didn’t notice me, I was really shy, and I could develop it. So, so can you. So everyone, every person can become a speaker. And you know, you don’t have to be a professional speaker. But you probably need to present at work or speak about your career, your services, your products, whatever you need your message, you need to go and share it or even just share your opinion. All of that is speaking. And that’s why I think we need to be persuasive and confident in that.

Kim Meninger Well, you mentioned something interesting, too, because when you were talking about giving your valedictorian speech and seeing the sparkle in the audience, and really being able to recognize that your message was connecting and the power of that, I can imagine that if you were not present to that, let’s say you were in your own head worrying, or you were just trying to make sure that you were focused on getting the words right, that you might have missed that. Right? So I think that that there’s, there’s something there that I want to explore about where we choose to put our attention when it comes to speaking because I think sometimes we’re just so focused on how do I not make a fool of myself that we’re not necessarily thinking about, what’s the exciting part of what I’m doing?

Natasha Bazilevych Exactly. People are so much, you know, we are so much in our head a lot. And I’ve trained myself to focus on the audience. And this has been a phrase that for years I had on my desk. Not anymore because I moved from that place where I was in my office, but I had the sticky note with the phrase, “You’re here to give, you’re here to serve.” It’s not about me. It’s not about or it’s not about you, wherever if I was talking to myself, so it’s, it’s about the audience. It’s not about me here. No, it’s about people who I’m speaking to if and when I focus on the audience, when I think how I can help them, how I can solve their problem, how will they benefit from my story, even my personal story, but people might hear this and think, oh, yeah, me too. I’m really shy. So that means I can develop confidence too. Yes, you can. And I’m telling my story so that you, whoever’s listening could be inspired by that. And so when we focus on the audience and not on ourselves, that’s when we are present, that’s when we don’t care. If we say something wrong. If I forget something, if I make a mistake, I will laugh about it. And it will just show that I’m a human being, doesn’t matter. If I fail, do I deliver the message, that’s the most important thing, yes, I don’t want to fail with that. Because then my audience will not get what they should get from my message or from my presentation. That’s why we should just focus on them, and then everything will flow and the confidence will come. If you’re not thinking too much about your own failures, mistakes, and hair and clothes.

Kim Meninger I love that so much. Because I think of that as a broader confidence strategy too, that, whenever we’re focused on being of service or helping someone else, we’re so much less focused on ourselves, we’re not in our own heads, we’re not giving space to the inner critic, we’re just doing what we do, in support of people around us. And so I love connecting it to public speaking and to the message that you’re trying to deliver because it is so easy to just get hung up on the scary part right and lose sight of the service part.

Natasha Bazilevych Exactly. And that’s why people have this nervousness and fear. Because we think too much about ourselves. Sometimes, we think that we’re there to shine so that other people see us, here we are in the spotlight. And either people like it, or they are afraid of it. It’s wrong. Because we are there to serve, we’re there to give a message, we’re there to, to change someone’s mind, change someone’s life, change the world. Again, I’d say these big words, but, but still, if we think in those terms, that we are there to change something, to bring some kind of transformation for people in the audience, then everything is different. And I would

Kim Meninger think that that is true, whether you’re speaking to an audience of 1000s, or you’re speaking at a meeting in your company too. Exactly. Yeah, so it really doesn’t matter what the venue is, or the forum. But what is your goal in that particular interaction and to stay focused on that?

Natasha Bazilevych You know, when, when you say that, I started thinking, well, even to people, let’s say it’s a communication, it’s a conversation, you and your friend, and you are speaking, what is the goal of you speaking right now? Is it because you just like to hear your own voice? Is it because you want to be right? And you need to prove that you’re right? Or is it because you want to help that person who you’re talking to, there’s your friend, and you want to help them understand something? Or you really care about them at that moment. So whatever you’re saying, you want to inspire, you want to encourage, you want to help. So what is the reason? Why are you speaking? Every time when we are speaking, and we’re thinking about the person who we are communicating with, it’s a different atmosphere, it’s a totally different tone of voice, a different way of sharing that message. And it’s a different relationship that then is created through that. So it’s all, it’s all about the audience, even if it’s just one person.

Kim Meninger Yeah, that’s a really good way to think about it. And I want to go back to what you were saying too, about being human. Because I think that’s a really important part of this, too, is that we’re so afraid that if we say the wrong thing, or we make a mistake, especially if you’re on a bigger stage, because you’re worried I’m humiliating myself, right, but how do we think about just being a vulnerable human, when we’re in this kind of situation, so that we can get past that perfectionism or whatever you want to call it?

Natasha Bazilevych Well, you know, one thing, one advice that I heard and it’s not my, I didn’t invent it. I only heard it a long time ago, is approach every speech, every presentation as a conversation. So what we just said about one person, one friend, so imagine you’re on a stage and you’re talking to 1000 people or you’re at a business meeting and you are speaking to 20 people in the boardroom somewhere or and just imagine in your mind that these are my friends, or this is just one friend. This whole group of people it’s collective of one person, my best friend, I am talking to that person. Of course, here comes the power of imagination, we’ve got to use our mind, we need to imagine that okay, these are not some strangers in front of me these 100 people in the audience that I don’t know when I came to talk to them, but this is my friend, or all of them are my friends. And I’ve known them for a while, and I want to share something with them that I really care about. And, and I’m just passionate, I want them to know this, just imagine that you are talking to someone about your favorite restaurant or your favorite movie, and you want them to go and see it. And how you would be talking about that movie. No, you’ve got to go and see it. Oh, it’s so cool. It’s this and that, and that, that actor and this actor, and then you will. So just imagine that you’re speaking to a friend about something you’re passionate about. And that’s always what should happen when we deliver a speech or even a presentation. Even if this is a business presentation. People think it’s different. No, yeah, you would probably use different language, maybe you will not use as much of excitement. But still, you want to show passion, even for those numbers, for that revenue, or, or the profit or whatever stories, case studies that you’re sharing, you’ve got to be passionate about this. This is what you’ve done, your reporting, let’s say you’ve done it, and you’re so excited that you’ve got to this point. So every time it should be that passion, and when does it happen? When we are in a conversation, so use the power of imagination. And yes, remember that you are just a normal human being who, who is nervous, it’s totally normal to be nervous when we are delivering a presentation. It’s good because it shows that you care, as a human being you care. And you are just a little bit feeling something. And it’s normal, that you’re not a robot. So that really should even inspire you and your body is showing you that something important is going on. That’s why you’re a little bit nervous. So that shows that you’re a human being some maybe clammy palms and maybe dry mouth and whatever is like adrenaline in your body. But you know this, that it’s also excitement. So you can see it not as nervousness but excitement. In any case, it’s a normal reaction, and we should welcome it. Because it shows us we care.

Kim Meninger I agree with you completely. First of all, we’re not going to be as invested if we don’t care. But the listening audience is going to be bored if we sound like a robot too, right? And I love that. I love that you tied the nervousness to excitement too because that is one thing I always think about. I heard somebody once say, the only difference between anxiety and excitement is the story we tell ourselves. And so if we interpret that feeling as dread or fear, we’re going to have a very different experience than we would if we interpret it as hey, I’m excited. Yeah, it’s a little bit scary. But there are some scary things that are worth doing. So it makes it more enjoyable or more tolerable, depending on how you feel about it.

Natasha Bazilevych Exactly, yes, yes, then it’s, it’s a different perspective. You look at it differently. And then what is that story? What are you telling yourself about you? Are you focusing too much on yourself? Because that this the story, usually it’s about us, how I am not worthy. Or I’m not enough. I don’t know enough. I don’t have enough knowledge or enough skill. Who me? Me, me, me, me. So that’s this thing, stop, stop telling your stories about yourself, and maybe think about those people. Tell yourself the stories about them. Who are they? I’m really interested in them. I really want to help them. Why am I telling them this? Because this, this and that, because I want them to get better, improve learning, get inspired, and whatever. So it’s, again is this shift. And believe me, because I’ve experienced that as soon as you feel, experience this shift from yourself to the audience, then those stories will change. And then this anxiety will go away. And it will just be this normal nervousness and excitement.

Kim Meninger Do you have tips for when something goes wrong? Like let’s imagine that I’m in a meeting, I’m giving a presentation and someone asks a question I don’t know the answer to, or things start to move out of my control. And I’m, it’s, it’s starting to unravel. Do you have thoughts on that?

Natasha Bazilevych Well, there was a thought, let me give you one template that I love. It’s again, I teach it. It’s not something that I invented but I’ve used it and my clients also in students use that. It’s called PREP. So that could help not only as well. I’ll give you a little bit more tips. But first of all, so this is a template, like a formula that we use prep, P, R, E, P, point, reason, example, point. Someone asks you a question and you want to have a structure, it’s always good when we even speak impromptu. Without preparation, it’s good to have some structure to our answer. And when you have this structure in your head already, this template, then it should help. For example, they ask you a question, you give them a point, I think that that is a dumb reason, because… So you give them the reason why you think so because, for example, then E is example. And then you tell a little story yourself or someone else. For example, yesterday, I wanted to start and I started. And then P is you repeat the point that you said at the beginning. So it’s point, reason, example, point, of course. And now we’re getting to the moment when you don’t know what to say because this PREP formula helps with the structure. But you’ve got to have some kind of idea. What is your opinion, people are asking, what do you think? And you say, I think, by the way, if you want to be really persuasive, you don’t say I think, you just say your opinion. What do you think? What do you think about the economic situation in our country, the economic situation in our country is and then you could go and you don’t have to say, I think that we understand that. That’s what you think because you’re just so this is just a little persuasion technique. But now, let’s get to the moment when you don’t know what to say. You’ve got to give your brain time to find the answer. Because you have the answers, you have to always believe and know that your brain, your mind is an incredible machine. And you know that there is subconscious mind, which has so much more information. I heard 90% of all the information and knowledge that we have is in our subconscious mind. Because you know, we perceive information through our eyes and through our ears, it goes into our subconscious mind. But we are not even registering it that well. Like we’re walking, for example, right now I’m standing and talking to you, but my peripheral vision, with my peripheral vision, I can see other things. And they could go by. I don’t, feel like I don’t notice them, don’t register. But my mind my brain does. It just goes into the subconscious. It goes into our passive memory, into not the operating memory, but something that just stays there. So in any case, when you want to find the answer to a question, you feel like you don’t have a thought, like you don’t know what to say, you’re stuck. Give your brain some time and stall a little bit. You can say, this is a very interesting question. I don’t have the answer right away. But let me give… while you are saying things. All you’re saying couple sentences, you give your brain time to search. And it’s okay to say that you don’t know. For example, I could say, oh, this is a really interesting question. I don’t remember anyone asked me this. And let me just, just give me a second. While it’s yes, I think and so you like you could say a couple of words, and it’s normal. Or you can just kind of dig into your memory and start saying so like, what really helps me is start saying things that are connected with this question or with this topic. And then my brain will take this thread and start, like unwinding it, or how do I say that? I’m pulling that thread, you know, and in other events or other thoughts will come. So you would ask me a question. And I will say, that’s really interesting. The answer doesn’t come to me right away. But let me tell you, there was this one moment, two days ago, when I saw… so I started telling you something on this topic, and then, then the answer will come because I just pulled this thread. And again, I want to say, if you don’t have the answer, if you don’t know the answer, let’s say it’s not my expertise, then I will say, I don’t really know. I can tell you what I think and something from the top of my head is…. But I can say honestly, I don’t know. We don’t, we are human beings. We don’t have to know everything. I am not an expert in this. That’s why but I will that’s a very cool question and good point for me to go and research. So I will definitely go and read about that. I think we need to be okay with not knowing, we need to be okay with making mistakes, with admitting that we were wrong. People are so focused on being, like you said, perfect, this perfection is being overs, right being great. Perfect, excellent. At the top, always A game. Just relax. Come on, people be normal human beings, make mistakes, fall. And just have fun, enjoy. Because if we’re always trying to be top-notch, you know, A game that is just boring.

Kim Meninger It is boring. And it also makes you less accessible to other people, people feel more connected to you when they see you as a full-fledged human who also makes mistakes. And I think you’re more memorable when you say I don’t know too, right. I think those are some really good points. I have found that to work myself when, you know if I’m giving a presentation, and someone asks a question, and I think oh, gosh, that’s a really good question. I haven’t thought about that before. But once I start talking, it’s like, my brain fills in the blank. I’m like, oh, yeah, I do know the answer to this question. So I think that’s such a great point. And you know, more than you think you do.

Natasha Bazilevych Yes. Oh, yes.

Kim Meninger But oftentimes, it’s that deer in the headlights effect, because you just got freaked out by the question. But he’s just got to take a breath, like you said, stall, give your brain some time to catch up. You can handle it. You know, whether you know it or not, you can handle it.

Natasha Bazilevych Trust yourself. Yes. And allow your brain to dig in and find that, that answer or that thought, because it’s there, you will find it, your brain will help you.

Kim Meninger That’s right. That’s right. Is there anything else that you see with the people you work with that, they, they tell you is really hard for them.

Natasha Bazilevych Some things that are difficult are connected with the message and the… really, it depends on who. Because for people who want to have their signature talk, they want to have a unique message as coaches and entrepreneurs, then for them to find this clear one message is difficult. And I just want to say to anyone who is struggling with this, if you’re an entrepreneur, and you have your services, and you want to have a unique message to share with the audience, and you don’t have it right now, don’t, don’t sweat about it. Don’t be too nervous that you still don’t have it because it will come, you just have to give it time and search, look, think listen to people, because you might get an idea when you’re listening to a podcast, when you’re watching a movie, when you’re talking to someone, I got my idea, of course, it was kind of building, building up, building up. But then I got it during a conversation with a person who we just met at a conference. And we decided to jump on Zoom and just chat kind of to talk about how we can help each other. And we were talking and I got inspired and I got my very clear idea and clear message. So that helps. But of course, the very tip like a deeper and maybe more technical tip for that would be to research what you’re good at and what you love doing the most. Look at your superpowers, look at your strengths. Listen to people, what they are saying to you, what questions they come to you with, where they ask you the most. So be very aware of your surroundings of what’s going on. The self-awareness is the key here if you’re looking for your specific, unique message because that’s what helped me that’s what helped a lot of other people is registering all of this. So don’t allow that to just go into your subconscious. Register, write, journal about it. Be aware, always think because that’s what I was doing. Also, I was thinking about it for years, and writing and researching, and then finally it came to me and it’s connected with my energy. So again, that’s something that people kept telling me about my energy. So listen, listen to what people say to you, what questions they come to you with and what topics rise the most around you. So that’s in terms of message. Of course, a lot of times people come to me with the fear and nervousness of public speaking, impromptu speeches, also what we talked about fears and we discussed some of the things. One big tip I would say and it’s actually a very legitimate psychological technique is exposure therapy. If you have any nervousness or fear of public speaking, expose yourself to public speaking. Talk to one person, talk to two, to five, to a group of 10 then 20. So gradually expose yourself not right away to 1000s but step by step and then that will help. So these are the biggest things that people come to me is fear, message, persuasion and impromptu speeches.

Kim Meninger The exposure piece is really important too because the more you avoid it, the scarier it feels. Right? I think that if you keep telling yourself that you don’t do public speaking, that you’re afraid of it, that you’re just not good at it, whatever the message is you’re telling yourself, your brain will believe you and so, [exactly] you have to disrupt that narrative and get, like you said, baby step opportunities. I love what you’re saying too, about the self-awareness piece. That has certainly been true for me, too. I think it’s possible to overcomplicate this. And I think that a lot of entrepreneurs do this as well because we have this impression that you have to have this scientific formula for how you come up with your message. And I did something very similar to you of just having conversations and thinking about what do I, what do people come to me for? What do I do? And it came to me the simple, simplest explanation for what I do is, I want to coach myself 15 years ago, [yes] that’s what I do. I coach myself as a woman in a male-dominated workplace 15 years ago. And so I think to not, to simplify it to the point where you just understand who you are in relationship to the world around you. How do you want to be of service? What problems do you want to solve? And I would think that doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs, but it applies to professionals who work for others as well because this is another common obstacle for career changers or people who are trying to decide how to advance their careers. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know what my value proposition is. Right? The same kinds of questions would apply there too.

Natasha Bazilevych Always. Yes, always. And you know, what I just remembered. Another question that people come to me with is structure. People, especially those who don’t have a problem with fear, they are okay, they love being in the spotlight, they love talking. And that is the problem because they don’t have a structure to their talk. They love speaking, speaking, speaking, rambling, then they go deviate from their point. It’s too long, they’re not concise enough. And so then it’s this structure that they need help with.

Kim Meninger That makes sense too. I think a lot of people could benefit from that. And I liked the PREP template that you gave, is that what you would say in response to that? Are there other things that you would recommend for structure?

Natasha Bazilevych You know, I just said PREP because it’s the easiest, it’s the most popular one. And it’s usually the formula for impromptu speeches, of course, we can use PREP for any other speech that you prepare too. But for, let’s say, first, just a couple more for impromptu speeches, structures and templates, it’s W’s, so what, why, when, where, who, so you can use or you can use just three of them where, what, why. Use those questions. And then you have that as a structure for your speech. And then also my favorite one is numbered list when it’s three lessons, five key points, seven, usually, we use odd numbers, and three is the best, of course, three is magic number, it’s the easiest to remember and the easiest to comprehend. And then you just lessons, key points, ideas, tips, whatever you want to share, and just say those numbers. These are very good for both for impromptu speeches and for your prepared speech. But the biggest, the simplest, and the most important structure is opening body and conclusion that we teach at Toastmasters, always, always always have opening, grabbing attention opening, then body where you either teach something, your share a story, you give your meat, the main point of presentation, and then always have a conclusion, a strong ending so that people would remember your speech. And it’s very simple. It’s again, three parts. And once you know what’s weird, is so simple, but not everybody uses that. And that’s why just saying, hey, keep in mind these three parts opening body and conclusion when you’re sharing, did you have an introduction? Did you finish strong? Or just said, Okay, that’s it. Thank you. I’m done. So always keep in mind.

Kim Meninger You’re right, it sounds simple. But we usually don’t think about that, especially in the moment when we’re nervous. And we’re worried about getting it wrong. And so I think having these kinds of structures somewhere visible, that you can access, whether it’s like you said, you’re prepping for something that you know ahead of time, or you can even look at, glance at while you’re in the meeting, right? To remind yourself. I think that’s such a great idea because a lot of times it is hard to package what’s going on in our brains, we don’t, we know what we want to say generally, but we don’t know how to translate that into a message that other people can actually hear.

Natasha Bazilevych Absolutely. And I call them your tools in the pocket. It’s like you take this and put it into your pocket, virtually, in your mind in your imagination. And then whenever you needed, you take it out of your pocket, okay, I’m gonna use PREP, okay, I’m gonna use W’s, okay, I’m gonna. So always keep that, those ideas in your pocket and use them whenever you need.

Kim Meninger I love it. I think that’s so helpful. And I’m taking some notes here for myself too. I want to shift gears in a moment but I want to ask you if you have any final thoughts that you want to leave us with as it relates to the public speaking piece?

Natasha Bazilevych Well, one important thing that I want to say and repeat is that public speaking is a skill. And if anyone is listening and thinking, that’s not for me, I don’t need it, or I can’t, that’s not true. You’ve got to remember that you definitely need it because you speak, we speak all the time, unless you can’t, but you have to converse, you have to even talk to your friends, or give some kind of speeches or persuade someone, there’s always the communication piece. So remember, you can develop this skill, just like you learned to read, just like you learned to walk, you can also learn to public speak.

Kim Meninger That is such a great point. I love that. I think that’s a really good reminder to everybody. And so I want to shift gears for a moment because you and I had a conversation when we met a couple of weeks ago or so. And you shared with me, it has stuck with me, I have to say it’s been in my head because of everything that’s been going on, that you are from Ukraine. You left very quickly. You have family and loved ones there. And I want to check in with you and see how you’re doing. And I’ve got to imagine that it’s not an easy experience for you to navigate, especially being so far from home.

Natasha Bazilevych Yeah, absolutely. I left two weeks before the war started, one week before the airlines stopped flying. And I had to pack my whole life into one suitcase in a week. And so that was, that was kind of disturbing. But we didn’t know that the war would be happening. I was going to my friends’ who insisted here in the US that I would come and be here. And the thing that was happening with me while I was packing and leaving, and I needed to tell my friends, I have this feeling that I’m betraying them. I’m leaving them behind. They didn’t feel that way they wanted me to, to do what’s right. They wanted me to be safe. But you have this feeling of survivor’s guilt. Now when I’m here, and I’m safe, and I’m thinking about them and everything that’s happening to people, not my family, thank God, they’re safe. They are in a place where nothing happened to their apartments, to their houses. And so they have food supply and water supply and everything. But still, knowing what’s happening very close to them. Yes, that’s, that’s really disturbing. And so I had to go through different stages. And you know, it’s been already more than two weeks, two months of war. And at first, it was very hard. It was this survivor’s guilt, and I had to process it. But because I have lots of friends and I have a lot of experience in emotional management and in, in just processing emotions and dealing with my own mindset, because I teach that. And so I just took my teaching and I applied it to myself, plus I have a lot of people and friends who are in this area of healing, of processing of understanding of mindset, teaching coaches and friends and so they helped mentors. So it’s really important to be able to talk about it, plus I was not by myself. I’m with a friend who was always there for me. And, and all the mentors and coaches were there online who kept saying, talk to me, let’s do EFT if you know, Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping, other words, meditation techniques, pray, I pray, I’m a believer. So of course, I believe that God helps and I pray for him to, to give me peace. So he’s been giving me a lot of peace, but also a lot of the things journaling, meditation, visualization, EFT, just talking to people and also being in the emotion, so processing, feeling the emotion, if you feel survivor’s guilt, okay, so be in it. But then allow yourself to feel it, and then move on. I felt the anger and the hatred. So like my mentor was saying, you’ve got to feel it, sit in it for a little bit, and then move on. So you don’t dwell on it, but you, but also don’t deny it. So you have to feel that emotion, and then, then go on. So there are different meditation techniques Ho’oponopono that I was doing for forgiveness, forgive myself, forgive others, and clear my mind. A lot, a lot, a lot of different things that I use, because I believe that we can’t just let it go. That we can’t you just admit that okay, we have this and deny it or refuse to deal with that, because I have my other responsibilities. I want to help my family and I want to help myself. And that’s why I can’t afford to just sitting and crying or feeling sorry for myself or feeling guilt. No, I have to process and move on. And it was hard to concentrate on work at first. But like I said, all these different techniques in this work, and we call it work because sometimes we think, oh, this is nothing, just sitting in journaling, you call it work, yes, it’s actually hard work, because you can’t do your other work, if you don’t do this mindset work. And that’s why it helped.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much for sharing that. And I, I fully agree with you about processing the feelings too, because I think that there is a natural temptation that many of us have to pretend that the feelings aren’t there, to, you decide that that’s not productive. Or if I feel that, I’m going to get stuck there, or I don’t have time for that, whatever the stories we tell ourselves, we want to just fast forward through it. But it’s been my experience, that that doesn’t work because your brain doesn’t let you and if you don’t sit with the feelings while they’re there, and really own them in a, in a, in a conscious way, that those feelings will come up in unconscious, inconvenient ways, right? And undermine you in other kinds of situations. So I think, you know, for everybody who’s struggling with something, certainly, hopefully, most aren’t struggling with war, but, but for anybody who’s struggling with anything that’s so powerful that it’s distracting from our ability to stay focused. And I think creating space for the feelings, I think is so important.

Natasha Bazilevych So important because we’re used to in this, especially in the Western world, we’re so used to doing go, go, go, go, okay, oh, I’m just going to dive into work. Like there was a breakup, but there was some kind of loss, there was some kind of pain, okay, let’s dive into work. And not think about that. And work will heal. Yes, it’s very helpful to dive into work and to be busy not to just sit and suffer. But you have to allow yourself, you have to be kind to yourself, and you need to sit even if it’s just 10 minutes, or 15 minutes that you allow yourself to feel it, you just sit in that emotion, you allow yourself you process it, you cry, you go deep inside, and then you move on, you don’t sit in that for weeks, because there is another, of course, side of it is when people lose someone and they have children. And they, you know, we hear those stories or maybe even know people who just get depressed and they neglect everyone else. Because they get depressed over that loss. And so all the children or spouses suffered because of it. So of course, that don’t do that. You can process it, sit in that feeling for some time, and then get out of it and then go and get into work or do something productive, so that you feel productive because that will help heal as well.

Kim Meninger And you brought up a good point, too, when you talked about having friends and resources and not trying to do it alone. Because there’s a certain amount I’m sure that when you’re journaling and when you’re thinking you’re, you’re doing it yourself but knowing you have a support system must be helpful, too.

Natasha Bazilevych Oh so much. Yes, yes. And there are so many different techniques and ways to do it. And you can find what works for you. But find people who you, trust people who love you, people who care about you. And it’s not necessarily just those that you, you have been with, like not necessarily just your family and your closest friends, but look further because people want to help. And when this happened to my country, the first two, three days, I was getting dozens of messages every day from people all over the world, clients, friends, or people who I barely knew, we were just friends on Facebook, and we never even communicated you know, some friends on Facebook are really good and close because you’re talking to them every day maybe or a lot. But some friends on Facebook, you don’t even, you never talk to them. And these were people that they wrote to me and they wanted to help and people were offering different ways. So always be able to receive because that’s very important. A lot of times we are ready to give and we think that that’s noble and great to give but then it’s hard to receive. So always be open to getting help. And even asking for help. That’s another step here. If you feel like you want help from someone like I have this one mentor and he’s amazing and he always says that he is open for me. And whenever he has time for me. But I get to ask, so I say Okay, so do you have time for me this week? Of course, I always have time for you. But I am the one asking, let’s talk, I need to talk to you. I need your help with this and that. And that is amazing when you have people like this, find them. I’m sure there are many of them around you.

Kim Meninger That’s such a great point. I think being open to, I love when you said you ready to receive and being willing to ask for help. Yes. We think of them sometimes as weaknesses, but they really aren’t. And I think the ability to ask for help is a very powerful leadership skill. Yes. It goes back to being human. Well, thank you, Natasha, for sharing that with us. I know it’s on so many of our minds right now. And I’m so grateful that your family is okay and that you’re safely here. And, and thank you for all of your thoughts on public speaking as well. How can people find you if they want to learn more?

Natasha Bazilevych People can find me on social media. I’m everywhere, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as Natasha Bazilevych. But also I have a website, And my last name is Basil with a Z. And then e-v-y-c-h. But I think that there will be the link in the show notes.

Kim Meninger I will link to all of that in the show notes for anybody who would like to connect with you. And thank you again for the great conversation. Natasha.

Natasha Bazilevych Thank you. Thank you, Kim. It was amazing.

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