You are not alone and you want to make sure to let others know that they’re not alone either. Sometimes just a conversation to let someone know that you’re there for them can help in a big way. My uncle works from home twice a week. There’s a retired elderly couple who lives next door. He makes sure to go next door to check on them. He has coffee with them and the wife bakes delicious cookies. Trust me, he told me all about them. Those relationships are so important to our health and well-being. It feels good to know that you have a support system beyond your family
As a part of my series about the things we can do to develop serenity and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Redwine, known as KatebyFaith.
Kate Redwine is a Transformational Leader, Author, and Speaker. She has an MPA, BBA and is a successful Business Management Consultant and former Bank Management leader with over seven years of progressively responsible experience working in the private sector for two Fortune 500 banks. She has led award-winning teams, received numerous accolades and awards for her exceptional work and service, and she has a new book, “If God Be For Me…Powerful Testimonies to Stir the Christian Soul” out now.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
You’re welcome! It is my pleasure and thanks so much for having me. My corporate background was in Bank Operations Management for two Fortune 500 companies. I started out in an entry-level position; cross-trained in every department; worked on every shift while going to college full-time; mastered and honed in on my skills and quickly moved up the corporate ladder. I was promoted twice within the first couple of years of working there. My first promotion was actually created for me because I produced phenomenal results. My last corporate title was a Bank Manager for a lockbox operation. I helped engage, develop, and train many employees; including leading award-winning teams. This helped many employees become top producers and this also helped the company retain top talent. Fast forward, I decided to resign and venture out on my own as a Business Management Consultant and teach other business leaders how to obtain these same phenomenal results. I’m also a Public Speaker where I share my personal testimony of overcoming depression, abuse and hardships. I use my voice to empower others to become free from condemnation, guilt and shame.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The most interesting story that happened to me since I’ve started this career is how I was unemployed for almost 3 years. It was certainly not easy to break out on my own. I went through some major hardships. This was a very stressful time for me. I’m a woman of strong faith but my faith was definitely tested during this time. This happened a few years ago but it made me stronger. It was a spiritual, physical, emotional, mental and financial battle. God was faithful the entire time. I went from a flourishing corporate career, two-time employee of the month, two-time 5-star award winner, leading North American 5-star award-winning teams, two promotions, multiple raises, 1-Star excellent ratings to the unthinkable. I was scraping my couch for change, selling my diamonds and gold for cash, searching my cabinets for food, selling my German pots/pans on Amazon, selling Christmas gifts on eBay/Amazon. My unemployment benefits had completely exhausted. I was looking for jobs and going on interviews during this time until my business took off. I still had no job and business was going very slow for me. I had clients here and there. I had a mortgage, monthly bills to pay, and I was facing foreclosure. The papers were actually filed at the courthouse and thank God! He pulled me out of that mess.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
My advice for fellow colleagues in my industry to thrive and avoid burnout is to stop trying to do everything by yourself. You may be good at doing all the aspects of your business but it’ll cost you. It’ll cost you your time, health, sanity, and productivity. There are fantastic people out there that you can develop and train. As a matter of fact, there are people out there who love the aspects of your business that you hate doing. This is a win-win-win situation. It’s a win for you. It’s a win for them. It’s a win for your business. This will free up your time and you’ll have more time to do things that you actually enjoy doing.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
One of the reasons that I got such amazing results with my employees is that I actually treated them like people and not robots. That’s actually one of my favorite sayings. To create a fantastic work culture, you have to have a work culture where people actually look forward to coming to work every day. You’d be surprised at how many employees I’ve encountered that haven’t received raises or incentives in years, but were still top producers. Why is that? It’s because of the higher purpose. The higher purpose of their position. The higher purpose of their department. The higher purpose of the overall company. That higher purpose is to serve one another. They understand that we’re all in this together and we need each other to get the job done. People know when you care about them and that makes a fantastic work culture.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
A favorite book that has made a significant impact on me is definitely Stephen Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a self-help and business book that is phenomenal. It’s about becoming an effective leader by learning how to manage yourself, lead others, and unleash your potential. When I read the 2nd Habit of “Beginning with the End in Mind”, Stephen said to imagine being at your funeral. What would people say about you? What impact did you make in the lives of other people? This resonated with me so much because it has motivated me to focus on serving others with my God-given gifts, talents and abilities. Every day, I make sure that I inspire people. Even if it’s a simple post or tweet on social media. A simple but powerful message can change someone’s entire life.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious just from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The upcoming fears of an impending coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to develop serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.
From my personal experience, these are some of the things that have made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of my employees, colleagues, associates, and friends.
1. Prayer brings peace and puts your mind at ease.
Prayer is my communication with God. It’s an everyday process and it keeps me at ease knowing that I’m not alone. When I think about all the things going on in this world? I am at peace knowing that I have God who loves me and cares about me. There were times when I almost had a nervous breakdown. I was so stressed out. My daughter went off to college. I was at home, hair falling out, dealing with mortgage default, long-term unemployment, and cut-off notices were piled up on the kitchen counter. The stress was starting to affect my body. I was having unbearable pains in my body. My aunt prayed for me and I felt all of my troubles melt away. I felt His presence, His peace, and His calmness in the midst of the storm. I still had issues but I knew it was out of my natural control. And you know what? Everything worked out just fine. Prayer should never be the last resort. It should always have priority.
2. Call an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to speak with a counselor.
A lot of corporations have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) available to help employees with personal problems. They typically offer support to employees dealing with issues ranging from stress, anxiety, family issues, work/life balance, substance abuse, and also legal and financial issues as well. Please take advantage of the services that are readily available. These services can positively impact your life. Some companies have nursing hotlines too. I’ve called them before to talk about some of my issues. One time I burned my hand really bad with hot grease and I was freaking out. Besides the pain being unbearable, I had some major anxiety because it was my dominant hand and I had so many things to do. I called the Nursing Hotline on the back of my insurance card and explained the issue. Although I definitely prayed, I took some practical steps as well by applying first aid and talking to a nurse for support.
3. Go to your favorite destination that makes you happy.
When I was dealing with workplace harassment from my manager, I was in a state of constant stress. I used to go to the bathroom and cry. Some days I would have anxiety attacks when my alarm clock beeped. Things got really heated when she embarrassed me in front of the entire staff. She didn’t say my name but everyone pretty much knew who she was talking about. I was furious. It was two days before the weekend. That very next week I was scheduled to go on a vacation. My mother called me and advised me to call out sick. I mean it certainly wasn’t a lie. I was indeed sick. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I called out. I was in graduate school at the time and it was a few days before I was scheduled to be on break. On a whim, I decided to purchase an entire vacation package for my daughter and I. We were going to Orlando, FL for a week. We stayed at a beautiful hotel and the grounds were gorgeous! We went to several theme parks, the spa, go-kart racing, a carnival, and anything else we wanted to do. We had an amazing time! We were there for a week. When I went back to work, I was a completely changed person. No fear. No anxiety. No bitterness. I was at peace and there was absolutely nothing my manager could do to upset me. Trust me, she tried and it just didn’t work. Everyone said that there was something completely different about me.
4. Meditation is key to internal peace.
As soon as I wake up, I meditate on God’s word and His promises. This gives me hope and peace; knowing that no matter what happens… it’ll all work out in my favor. I’ve learned not to stress out about things out of my control. I use different forms of meditation as well. I sit in complete silence for about 10–15 minutes and the cares of this world just fade away. I also meditate by listening to my favorite music. I call them my gospel jams. It makes me happy and cheerful. I also meditate by always finding something to be grateful for.
5. Start exercising just 30 minutes a day.
My mother told me something so simple but so profound. When I was feeling overwhelmed and having anxiety attacks, she told me to take a walk and that my stress would go away. I didn’t believe it because it was so simple but I was desperate. So I tried it. I went for a simple 30-minute walk and my endorphins kicked in. All of a sudden I was happy and I didn’t care what was going on. I was enjoying nature and enjoying life. Enjoying everyday life is a blessing in itself. So, go for a walk or do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for about 30 minutes and see what happens. It’s phenomenal!
From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
1. Love thy neighbor by checking on them.
You are not alone and you want to make sure to let others know that they’re not alone either. Sometimes just a conversation to let someone know that you’re there for them can help in a big way. My uncle works from home twice a week. There’s a retired elderly couple who lives next door. He makes sure to go next door to check on them. He has coffee with them and the wife bakes delicious cookies. Trust me, he told me all about them. Those relationships are so important to our health and well-being. It feels good to know that you have a support system beyond your family.
2. Form your own support group to discuss your feelings.
Meetup.com is an excellent site to form your own support group with like minded people. When we’re dealing with our issues alone, it can seem like the problem is bigger than it really is. A support group has a common purpose. As a matter of fact, some of the benefits of a support group are: empowerment, feedback, staying motivated, feeling less isolated and the ability to talk openly about your feelings without judgement.
3. Partner with local nonprofits to help those in need.
Even though you may be going through a difficult time, there are always other people who are going through way worse. Find out ways you can serve others. A cool website with some amazing volunteer opportunities for nonprofits is Volunteermatch.org. You can serve the homeless by partnering with a local homeless shelter or maybe you can volunteer for the local meals on wheels program. There is actually a major need for that right now, especially based on current events. There are a lot of elderly people who simply can’t leave the house. We are blessed to be a blessing.
4. Be a good listener.
People who are feeling anxious need support and not judgement. Just love them and show them you care. Let them vent to you. Don’t tell them about your problems and your issues. Let them tell you the entire story of why they’re feeling what they’re feeling. They may not be available to talk with their family. They may not have anyone else to talk to. Be that support system for them. Be the listening ear they need.
5. Use your social media platform to bring social awareness to those who need online support.
Social awareness is our ability to empathize with others from diverse backgrounds, different cultures and different cultural experiences. If you’re like me, then you’re probably on social media every day. Whether you have a big or small following, you can use your social media platform to support those dealing with anxiety or feeling overwhelmed because of all the current events. As of recently, government and health officials have suggested social distancing. More people are online than ever before. I’ve been encouraging folks with prayers, bible scriptures, inspirational videos and messages.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
There are actually resources out there to help those dealing with anxiety such as: The National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1–800–950–6264, Anxiety and Depression Association of America at 240- 485–1001 and the American Psychological Association at 1–800–374–2721. There are other coping, advocacy, and support groups as well like the Anxiety Central Forums online. You can also speak with your Pastor or a Minister at your local church who leads support groups dealing with those particular issues as well.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
My favorite “Life Lesson Quote” is by Marianne Williamson which states, “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” One time when I was at church, towards the end of the service, I felt a strong urge to share my testimony of how God saved my house from foreclosure, how He blessed me with two promotions in less than two years, working at a brand new job, after being unemployed almost three years. Each time my salary almost doubled. I shared that testimony and so many people came up to me afterward, to give thanks because the testimony really blessed them. I knew that they were facing those same situations. I use my voice to bring light and hope in times of desperation and darkness. That’s why this quote is directly relevant to my life, because as I continue to let my light shine, others become liberated to tell their own story.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would start a movement encouraging folks to live on purpose and by faith. Living by Faith is not easy. It’s certainly not playing it safe. It’s risky but very rewarding and a wild adventurous ride. I spent so many years of my life playing it safe, doing everything by the book, confined within societal norms and quite frankly….it was boring! When I started stepping out on faith, defying the status quo, and living outside the box? It was amazing! So, I would encourage people to do something that they’ve always wanted to do and just go for it! Don’t wait until all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed. Step out on faith and you’d be surprised at the amazing things that will happen!
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Sure, I’d love to connect with your readers. You can go to my website at www.katebyfaith.com or check me out at the social media handle @KateByFaith on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
You’re welcome! Thanks so much for the opportunity.