Today we’d like to introduce you to Mini Palmer.
Hi Mini, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My parents came to America from India when I was a baby. I grew up wanting to please other people, my family, teachers, friends, and potential friends. But I found freedom when I shifted my focus to pleasing myself.
One day I was talking with my cousin about an invitation I had gotten to speak to a group of Indian women. I told him I wanted to talk to them about self-care but I didn’t know if they would be open to that message.
Indian women aren’t really encouraged to think about what they want. He told me he thought that’s exactly why I should do it. Because “Indian women are bred for self-sacrifice”. I remember I felt like someone had punched me in the gut when he said it. But it’s because the force of it was so true.
That message had been in me for a long time. His words just brought it to the surface. This idea that your value comes only from what you can do for others, as a daughter, wife, mom, etc. As soon as he said it, I knew that story wasn’t true for those women, and I knew it wasn’t true for me. We’d been taught to believe it, but we could choose to believe a different story for ourselves.
I think in many people, there’s that desire to be accepted. So you try to fit in with the people or culture around you. But it forces you to stay small. The true call of life is to take your rightful place in the world, create the space that fits you, and keep letting yourself grow as your desires grow.
Over the years as I made space and time to explore and pursue my own passions, simply because I was interested in them or they brought me joy, I found that this was actually how I could best serve others as well. The more inspired I became, the more I was able to inspire others. It’s easier to pour into others when you allow yourself to be filled up.
I learned for myself how to move from being self-sacrificial to self-honoring. And it’s something that I now teach through my life and work as a life coach. Because everyone deserves to be honored for who they are becoming and not just for what they can do in the moment. And the bigger you make yourself, the more you’re capable of doing. Joyful and lasting growth comes from honoring yourself, not sacrificing yourself.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I feel like the road was exactly the right one for me to learn the lessons I needed to.
And the challenges I faced were incredible opportunities to grow into a deeper, richer version of myself.
I learned to trust my inspired intuition instead of conventional wisdom. When I left my previous practice, I raised my rates. When those clients chose not to continue, I could have lowered my rates to try to keep them. But then I had the thought, “Maybe the reason they said no is because you were asking for too little. Maybe it’s a sign you’re supposed to ask for more.” I trusted that still, small voice inside of me and decided to raise my rates even more. Instead of fear, I felt excitement at seeing what could happen. I told my new rates to the next person that came along, and they confirmed that they thought I was worth it and signed up to work with me.
I learned to ask for what I really want instead of what I think I can get. When I first started out in life and business, I was focused on how I could make my offers work for other people, or the question, “What would work for you?”. I’m a naturally generous person. So when I say yes to someone, I’m going to give them million-dollar service, regardless of whether I’m doing something for free or for payment. But that desire to try to make it work for everyone also kept me from doing what I needed to grow for myself, including raising my rates sooner.
But that still, small voice in me came to the rescue again with a brilliant reframe. It encouraged me to ask, “What would work for me?”. It showed me I could choose to honor my desires right now, without waiting for other people’s approval or permission. It felt so free to focus on my own desires and communicate the truth of that to potential clients. Then they had the freedom to decide if they wanted that or not. As a result, I attract and work with the people that are the best fit for me.
Choosing growth over fear was another life-altering lesson. The most recent time I did it was during the pandemic when I felt called to leave my previous practice full of paying clients. My soul was telling me I needed to move into a space where I could use more of my gifts, including teaching and express myself more fully. I felt called to start life coaching and focus on helping people experience joy and thrive in their lives. Even though I didn’t know if I would get any new clients, I listened to my heart and closed my practice. New clients did come and I grew my business and life by doing more of what I loved and being more of myself.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a life coach for professional athletes and other big dreamers.
In order to dream big, you have to believe that more is possible for you. That belief has always come naturally to me. I’ve always believed that all things are possible. That just because something hasn’t already been done, doesn’t mean it is impossible to achieve. Maybe the path is still waiting to be discovered by someone open enough to see it.
I also believe that when you accept and embrace what you truly love, your calling and work can feel like play. You know that experience you have when you’re doing something you love or are totally fascinated by, and you lose track of time? And you have feelings of joy, peace, and inspiration flowing through you with ease because you’re so caught up in what you’re doing? That’s actually our natural state. That’s how children play, learn, and grow. They just get fully interested and present to what’s in front of them. No distractions. No worries. Just focused, genuine interest and curiosity.
Curiosity is another important quality that I and my clients share as big dreamers. You can’t ask the question, “What is possible?”, without coming from a place of curiosity and openness to the unknown. You can’t grow and expand unless you’re willing to acknowledge that there could be more available for you, and then explore what that could be.
Another quality that my clients value in me is my non-judgmental presence. In order to be truly curious and open and ask any and every question, you have to be willing to let go of judgment so you can have a safe space to explore what truths and answers are coming up for you. When you stop censoring or self-editing, you’ll be amazed at the variety of thoughts and ideas that come to you. You can always discern between them later, but that initial space to let your thoughts and responses flow freely can help you see new possibilities you might not have been aware of, because you were judging them by existing rules or expectations.
My clients feel accepted and welcomed by me and that sets them free to focus on playing with possibility and creativity instead of trying to figure out how to prove themselves.
That’s what’s so amazing about the space I offer. You get to be your whole self and explore your deepest desires and receive the support and encouragement of someone who believes in you, that might not be available from other relationships in your life.
How do I help professional athletes in particular, play at their best?
The answer lies in the word “play”. Many teams focus on getting their players to perform. But the concept of performance implies meeting an expectation or standard. And standards are the last thing you want your players to be thinking about.
Why? Because standards put pressure on players. And they inhibit possibilities. Pressure creates fear. And fear causes distraction. It’s difficult, if not impossible for a player to bring their full focus to the field and the moment if they are distracted by fear. Fear also causes the body to instinctively tense up. This makes it more likely a player will be injured in the course of the game because their body is not relaxed and fluid.
Some people may consider fear a helpful motivator. But because the human body and psyche respond to fear with stress, it can cause long-term damage and is therefore unsustainable.
So how do we motivate players without introducing the limiting effects of fear and pressure?
You change their focus from performing to playing.
Fear shuts people down, but joy and play open them up.
When you remove the pressure to perform, you create the freedom to play!
My PLAY Program is designed to help players connect with the thoughts and feelings that open them up, and play at their highest potential on the field.
You know about the mind-body connection and how thoughts can influence physiology. This program goes beyond that to building a strong mind-heart connection. When players connect with the why, (the heart motivations) behind their goals, in addition to the what, (the head knowledge) of their actions, they will be able to play with an internal motivation that is not affected by external circumstances.
Feelings are an important source of information, just like stats. If you cut them off or don’t know how to connect with them, you lose the chance to reach your highest potential.
For example, if a pitcher only exercises and strengthens his arm, but doesn’t work out the rest of his body, he won’t have the support he needs to pitch at his highest ability.
You need to take care of the whole body and you need to take care of the whole person, body, mind, and soul for them to function at full capacity.
Through a series of individual sessions, I cover the principles of my PLAY approach and help players tailor the tools for their specific needs because as you know, each player’s mind and heart is unique. We talk about what thoughts and feelings come up for the players in their games, how they can apply the PLAY approach on the field, and how to use the information from their thoughts and feelings to help them focus their attention in the moment.
What if every player experienced that kind of freedom on the field? And what if staff were trained to use this approach to help create a culture of safety and freedom around the team? After years of research, Google found that the most important factor in helping teams thrive was a feeling of psychological safety. I help players feel safe to trust themselves so they can relax and have fun.
Joy is contagious. When players are experiencing joy, that spreads from the players to the fans. Your games will go from being sold out to “souled out” experiences where fans get to watch the players they love having fun. And the fans will be motivated to keep coming back for more.
Every day, we get to choose between the call of fear and pressure or the call of love and joy. Fear and pressure put you in survival mode. Love and joy put you in thriving mode. And here’s what I believe for every single person, including myself. We were made to thrive. When you’re ready to play and experience joy in every area of your life, I am excited to play with you and support you.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
The desire to be more and explore my full potential and the courage to follow that desire and see what’s possible has been what is most important to my success.
It’s what has allowed me to trust myself, choose growth over the comfort and safety of the known, and live my own full life of learning and adventure.
It’s also allowed me to let go of things that didn’t work and make space for things that do work.
My life has continually gotten better as I’ve allowed myself to be more.
You get to choose whether you want to be the star of your own life or the audience to someone else’s life.
You don’t have to wait for someone else to choose you. You can choose yourself now.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: minipalmer.com
- Instagram: @qu.o.t.d