We are kicking off July with another #wingwoman interview - this time with Sarah McNaughton! You may remember Sarah from one of our very first In Her Circle events (coconut yogurt, anyone?), or you may have seen her smiling face at Kult Fitness. In our interview, Sarah gets real by sharing how being accepted to a masters program made her realize that it was time to pivot her life, how she has overcome using judgment as a coping mechanism, and how helping people feel their best self makes her feel alive. Continue reading to learn all about Sarah!
1. What makes you happy?
This is something I'm working to understand. It sounds crazy, but work makes me happy enough to keep me busy. During this "down time," I've been challenged to really check in with myself and determine if I'm really happy, and if I am, what are the main things contributing to that happiness. At this moment right now, my husband, Matt, and my dog, Rosco, bring me endless happiness. And I'm working on going back through the practice of breaking down daily joys. I used to read "The Book of Awesome" to help me find little happiness triggers, and I'm working on creating my own so I have something to fall back on during the low day.
2. What advice would you give your younger self?
To stop being judgmental as a coping mechanism. I grew up quite introverted/shy/reserved, and in order to protect myself from the uncomfortable aspects of forming new relationships, I would often put walls up quite quickly and use judgment to reaffirm that I didn't need any new friends. As I've grown, I have come to thrive off of the excitement of making new relationships, and I love interacting with others in such a real, raw way. I don't regret how I behaved in the past, but I would definitely love to see others be more open to the vulnerability of new relationships.
3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?
Ego. I have noticed ego to be such a large component in failed and hurting relationships, and I see it in my own life as a huge trigger. Whenever something flares up in my own life or a relationship, I take a step back and ask myself if this is stemming from ego, and if so, why. It's not always as easy as just identifying it; sometimes it takes a long time to work through. But knowing that there's something deeper than just "hurt feelings" or whatever else may be going on, is really helpful. Our relationships are not black and white; there are a lot of past hurts, limiting beliefs, and other factors that play into them, and it's important to allow space for growth, patience, and compassion.
4. How did you find your purpose?
I went through a lot of ups and downs after I graduated from university. It was difficult to find a job in the field that I wanted, and I didn't really know what else to do other than take the crappy jobs that weren't even relevant to what I was pursuing. I applied for Master's of Public Policy, and as soon as I was accepted, I felt this terrible gut feeling that this was not meant for me. I hired a Mind and Body coach to help me check in with myself and determine what my next step should be. I came back to the original passion that I had disregarded because it didn't seem realistic. That was to support others along their wellness path. Helping others feel their best through fitness, nutrition, and mindset makes me feel alive, and it is definitely what I was meant to be doing.
5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?
I get attached super quickly, so I have to be really careful how I open up. I tend to overshare right off the bat, which can be a little overwhelming for others or is not great for my privacy if we don't stay friends haha. I also come across a little intense at first, and it makes it difficult to bond because I seem "scary," so people tend to be less likely to approach me. I have learned that I have to work really hard, in the beginning, to smile, engage with warmth, and encourage conversation so others feel safe talking to me.
6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?
To not let anyone else dictate my happiness. I spent a lot of time wanting to be everything for the people in my life, but it didn't take long to realize that if they want it, they will show up -- if they don't, they won't.
7. Who are your SHEroes (AKA female heroes)?
It's super cheesy, but I adore Blake Lively. I am constantly working to raise my vibration, and I truly admire her warm, welcoming energy. In terms of people I actually know, the list is endless. Jessica, you are an absolute SHEro to me. You have worked so hard to create an UNREAL community that is so so needed, and I love that about you. I also adore and respect Marin McCue (Dopeame), Miryah Scott (Freedom FitPass), Krystal Boyd (my Kult partner), Annice (Femme Flow), Jess LeBlanc (Embodied Adventure), Jen Miller (Glowing Minds Wellness), my mom, my girlfriends...honestly the list is endless, and I love sharing the love.
8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?
For podcasts I love Deliciously Ella, Goal Digger Podcast, Impact Theory, and the Ed Mylett show.
9. Where can we find you?
IG, @balancebysarah <3