Featured post

About Emily

IMG_1955

Emily Jones McCoy is the dugout reporter for the Texas Rangers, owner and co-founder of Posh Play, author of A Place For Everyone, consultant for Rodan+Fields and Scout & Cellar, and president of the Do It For Durrett Foundation. She has a husband (Mike), two children (Henry & Hattie), and a very small filter. You’ve been warned.

Worries In A Jar

I wanted to follow up on a blog I posted not too long ago. It was about my 7-year-old son, Henry, and his early signs of anxiety…most–if not all–of which he got from me <cue the hand over the face emoji>. That was two months ago, and I’ve learned a lot about anxiety in children and adults in the time since then, which I wanted to share in the hopes that it might help others going through similar situations.

First off, therapists are your friend, and they actually study to become experts in their field, and they can help! There is a reason we pay qualified people to do things we aren’t qualified to do. For example, I would never attempt to install a chandelier in my house…bring on the electrician!!!

Second, despite serious strides and increased awareness in the last few years, mental illness is still greatly misunderstood and often dismissed by people who don’t directly identify. Trust me. I’ve been on both ends. I kept mine in check for 40 years…until I saw it in Henry…that’s when I knew it was time to come clean.

See below for an explanation from my previous blog:

A friend of mine recently posted a rambling blog about her anxiety (thank you Lana), and I hung on every word, identifying with every single thing she said. It made me feel so normal to know that someone else had these feelings of apprehension and anxiousness when–to everyone around them–it seemed to be the complete opposite.

And cue the bitch. Here I am finding comfort in someone else’s struggle because it’s similar to mine. So what does that make me? A crazy bitch who wants other people to feel crazy too so I’m not alone in this crazy bitch game??? I mean, I really hope not, but it’s definitely a possibility 😉

And then I had my son’s year-end conference at school. My kid (Henry) is killing kindergarten. I’m so proud. The only concern his teacher expressed was how Henry wants so badly to master every task on his own, without help. And if he doesn’t, he feels like he has failed. I hurt just thinking about what his sweet, 6-year-old heart must be going through. I mean, I’m 40, and I still don’t know how to deal with it.

We’ve seen it in him for awhile. He gets up at 5:45 in the morning because he doesn’t want to be late for school. If we leave the house at 7:32 instead of 7:30, his wheels are completely shot off for the rest of the day.

To be honest, I haven’t known exactly how to deal with it. We do our best not to coddle in our house. There are consequences for actions, and we preach that life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. But I also want my kids to be able to feel safe with their feelings. And deciphering between a pouty kid and a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed can be a fine line.

And this is what I have come away with. Henry is me. The little girl that slept on top of her covers in her school clothes so she wouldn’t have to waste time getting dressed and making her bed in the morning so she could be on time for school. The little girl who never wanted to fail at anything because she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. And now, the grown ass woman who can’t just be still and whose mind rarely stops racing.

As his mom, I just want to do the right by him, even though I don’t exactly know what that looks like. I want him to know that it’s ok to strive for perfection, but I also want him to know that there is no way in hell that’s ever going to happen. And that’s ok. It’s more than ok. That’s just life–for him and all of us.

I want him to be able to talk to me about his fears and his insecurities. I want him to embrace his weaknesses so he can learn from them and be stronger for it. I want him to know that his mom is a giant shit show, still trying to figure this thing out at every turn too. I want him to mean well and do good, knowing that sometimes intentions don’t always mirror execution.

Above all else, I just don’t want him to feel alone. So if I have to remind him every day that he got this crazy from his mama, that’s what I’m gonna do. Because if nothing else, I hope he’ll find some comfort in knowing he comes by it honestly.

Since that post…we have seen a therapist, I have come to terms with the fact that there is no shame in my anxiety game, and Henry is the best, most unqualified psychologist I could ever ask for. When we met with the therapist, she recommended we make “Worry Jars” for Henry, so he could identify and categorize his concerns.

So we did. One for Henry’s worries. One for parent worries. And one for God worries. He was stoked to label his jars and get this party started. But it didn’t take long for him to ask about my jars. “I thought you had anxiety too, Mommy? Don’t you need some jars?” <in my head: there aren’t enough jars in the world 😜> But he had a point. I needed some jars, too. And so he made a couple for me.

Since then, when we have a worry, we write it down and put it in the corresponding jar. When the jars start to get full, we take them out, talk about them and then throw them away. it’s been awesome, and Henry has responded so well to it. But his favorite part is when I tell him about my worries…because he knows he’s helping me. And that makes me think I haven’t completely screwed up this whole parenting thing…at least yet anyway ;).

Guest Blog Alert!!!

I’m so excited to have my first ever guest blog in this space! Jen Mueller serves a similar role as me with the Seattle Mariners organization, and we’ve become friends over the years, swapping stories and helping each other out whenever we can. As an accomplished author, she was instrumental in getting my first children’s book published, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Her forte is effective business communication, which is important in our business and all businesses, for that matter.

Jen’s is smart, talented, witty and uber driven, and I’m thankful to call her a friend. I hope you’ll check out her words here and her work in general. At least read the first two sentences, because she says really nice things about me ;). I kid, I kid.

Me & Jen in the Rangers dugout earlier this season

I adore Emily Jones. She’s funny, smart, talented and gorgeous. She’s also an author thanks to her recently published children’s book “A Place for Everyone.”

Her message is spot on for the intended audience of children, but also for adults who could use a few reminders on the importance of inclusion and relationship building. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a classroom setting or a business environment, building relationships takes bravery and compassion. You have to be brave enough to strike up a conversation and compassionate enough to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That’s how relationships start. 

Emily and I are sports broadcasters. Building relationships with the athletes and coaches we work with is a huge part of what we do. It’s also something you should be doing, regardless of your profession. 

Here are five ways to approach conversations that further business relationships. 

Ignore the “What if’s” 

What if this person doesn’t like me? What if they laugh? What if they don’t want to talk to me? There are a million “What if’s” that can get in the way of not just a great conversation, but a great business connection. Don’t psyche yourself out before the conversation even gets started, especially when those “What if” moments are rarely, if ever, true.   

Give good cues

Recognize that other people takes cues from you. Your body language, facial expressions and overall confidence level gives an indication of what the other person can expect. If you’re uncomfortable there’s a good chance the person you’re talking to will be uncomfortable too. Give the right cues and the rest of the conversation gets easier.

Take the initiative

Don’t wait for someone to find you. Be decisive. Find someone to talk to. This is especially if you’re in a networking scenario. You might need to step out of your comfort zone to initiate a conversation but it’s better than hoping the people standing next to you can read your mind and being disappointed when they can’t.

Know the end goal

If you think starting a conversation is awkward, try ending one when you don’t have a specific ask or exit strategy. Know the purpose of the conversation (i.e. making an introduction, inviting someone to join your table, opening the line of communication for a future exchange) and communicate that up front. It’s easier to exit a conversation after you’ve done what you said you were going to do.

Give yourself the benefit of the doubt

Don’t second-guess yourself. You look great. You are smart enough. You are witty enough and you are just the person to offer a kind word and help someone else find their place. 

I recommend A Place for Everyone for the kids in your family, and I recommend taking this passage to heart regardless of your age:

“Be the person who walks bravely into a new group and welcomes others into yours. There is a place from everyone. Find your place and help others find theirs.”

Jen Mueller has written three books on business communication to say what Emily Jones McCoy says so simply and brilliantly in her new children’s book, A Place for Everyone. Jen is a veteran sports broadcaster and currently serves as the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter and is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Jen founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and teaches business professionals how to improve communication skills using sports conversations. 

Link to Jen’s latest book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075G44NBR

Link to Jen’s website: http://www.talksportytome.com