Today, I interview Candy Motzek who was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her father is black and her mother is white, and in those early times, many people didn’t understand interracial couples and didn’t always react well. Some were unkind. Candy says she felt like an “oddity.”
Already a quiet child, her quietness grew as she stayed in the background, carefully watching and listening to her world around her. In school, Candy had great groups of friends and she found her own way to shine through her intelligence and kindness. She sometimes took the road less traveled and ended up in groups of friends she maintained for years. But she has always felt the awareness that she’s always the one who looks like her. She stood out a little.
In college and in developing her career, she came out of her shell more and more, but not in the traditional sense. Instead of staying quiet, people began to learn that Candy had lots of opinions on things, but she spoke carefully and with intention. She chose her moments. This gave her words more value and made ears perk up when she spoke.
Throughout her work, Candy’s ability to sensitively read a room and cautiously gauge situations led her to also become successful at “herding cats”. She diffused situations and helped bring about a calm and safe environment. Having left the corporate world and become a coach, she continues to bring calm by reminding people that the negative voices we hear inside us are just there to protect us and remind us to be cautious, so we don’t have to fight them and we can feel less burdened by our inner chatter. We all have negative thoughts, but they can make us stronger and more self-aware.
Candy Motzek is a bestselling author and podcast host of the show She Coaches Coaches, and is also a life and business coach for coaches. Candy helps smart people start successful coaching businesses, and she believes that coaching transforms lives and that being a coach is a calling. She helps coaches get unstuck and feel more confident so they can play bigger, sign clients, and create more meaningful success. She is a recovering corporate executive and engineer who combines practical strategy and mindset in her calming, unique approach.
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Transcript of Interview
Transcript of Interview
Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast
Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing
Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com
Episode # 81 Candy Motzek
“Fieldwork of the Heart & Mind”
(00:35) Dr. Doreen Downing
Hi, this is Dr. Doreen Downing and I’m a psychologist and I host the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. Here, the guests get to have an opportunity to give some insight to you the listeners about what it means to find your voice. It could be anything from something that happened traumatic in your family or somewhere along the line, but it could also be just getting out into the world and feeling like, I don’t belong here, or feeling like you’ve been muffled in some way. There’s lots of stories. We’re now into over 80 episodes. I am really happy to be continuing to interview people. Today, my new friend actually— We’ve just met through a networking event. This is Candy Motzek. Is that how you say your last name?
(01:37) Candy Motzek
Exactly. Yes, you’ve got it just right.
(01:39) Dr. Doreen Downing
Hi Candy. I have a bio and I usually like to read it so that I get some sense of what is your current expertise, and what you’re doing currently, so I’ll just go ahead and read that.
(01:55) Candy Motzek
(01:56) Dr. Doreen Downing
Good. Candy is a best-selling author, podcast host of the show, She Coaches Coaches. She’s also a life and business coach for coaches. That makes sense that you would have a podcast for coaches. Kandi helps smart people start successful coaching businesses. She believes that coaching transforms lives, and that being a coach is a calling. I just put my hand over my heart because that is so true. She helps coaches get unstuck and feel more confident so they can play bigger, sign clients, and create more meaningful success. She is a recovering corporate executive and engineer who combines practical strategy and mindset in her calming unique approach. Oh, Candy already there were a couple of items here that I just relate to. I love a calming, unique approach. If we’re holding people who are trying to get better, they have to face some things that are in the way and we need to help them be calm.
(03:15) Candy Motzek
Oh, yes, for sure. Doreen, I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to be on the show. I’m really looking forward to the conversation, and also just to see where it goes and where it organically flows to. Thank you so much for having me.
(03:30) Dr. Doreen Downing
Absolutely. I’m glad you note that it is organic. I don’t ask specific questions ever. That’s what I think makes people keep coming back is they don’t know what is going to happen, and they don’t know what I’m going to ask. But usually, my dear, because what I’ve been drawn to in my life is the psychology, I always start with, “Where do people start?” So, I always like to just give a sense of your early life, like where you grew up and what your family was, and just anything that comes out about voice there, if not, we’ll pick it up later, but just of a snapshot of where you grew up and what was happening.
(04:17) Candy Motzek
Yes, so I’m Canadian, and I grew up just outside of Vancouver, and that’s where I still live. I’m one of the few people that was born in Vancouver, grew up here, and still live here as an adult. For me in early childhood, my family was one of the very few mixed marriages. My dad was black, from the Caribbean and my mom is white, mostly Scottish. We were middle to upper middle class, but it is still very different having a mixed marriage back in the 60s to 80s, so there was a lot of people who didn’t know quite what to do with us. There were some people who were harsh, but most of the time, I think it was they didn’t know quite what to do. I never really fit in. I was a little too brown for this and not quite black, and there were very few black people. There are very few Negro in people in Vancouver, like not even a half a percent of the population. I was an oddity.
(05:34) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yes. That is fabulous to have, right out of the gate. Situation that is so unique. I just have a question about your dad who is Caribbean. How did he get all the way up to Canada?
(05:52) Candy Motzek
Well, because a lot of the Caribbean was part of the Commonwealth, they would go to England, and in some cases to Canada, and in some cases to the US as well, to go to university. He came from a very well to do family and part of growing up is you went away to a proper university to get a good education. But then he stayed here instead of going back home. That was different. That was a courageous move for him.
(06:25) Dr. Doreen Downing
Courageous. I love that word. My body just had a little shiver, because obviously, if he’s courageous, and he’s your dad, there must have been some kind of passing on of courage to you. Do you think that that’s something that came from your dad?
(06:42) Candy Motzek
Very much. Also, both from my mom and dad. My mom tells stories of when she was longtime self-employed, and she was also an accountant and worked at one of the top accounting firms here in Vancouver. She was fired, because they couldn’t stand the idea that their clients would see that one of their employees was part of a relationship like that. It was very courageous on her part. It would have been very easy for her to find another guy. She didn’t have to do that, just as he didn’t have to stay here. Yes, a lot of courage, for sure.
(07:24) Dr. Doreen Downing
Beautiful. Then when you were the little one, being part of that family system, and then going off to environments like schools where there is some kind of prejudice and not fitting in. How did you cope?
(07:43) Candy Motzek
I think that that I’m quite a quiet person, and I think that I got even quieter. I’m adept at watching. I watched the situation. I watched the dynamics. But I’m not one to jump in a lot, and I think that that was magnified because when you’re a little kid, and you don’t quite fit in, you sit back a little bit instead of continuing to try.
(08:13) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yes, I can relate to that in terms of being a psychotherapist and learning. I didn’t learn in college how to listen. I think I learned in my early family to sit back and watch the dynamics and listen to what was not being said. Actually, that’s what I bring to psychology. My practice is beyond what people can even express yet.
(08:44) Candy Motzek
Yes, and the energy of the space.
(08:51) Dr. Doreen Downing
Say more about that.
(08:52) Candy Motzek
It’s like when you go into a room, and there’s been a conversation happening, and all conversation stops, and you kind of walk into the door and you look around, you know something’s happened. You can feel it. That’s an extreme version, but just to watch the energy of the space. As you said, what’s not being said? There’s a lot to it.
(09:18) Dr. Doreen Downing
I like that sense of just entering into a moment and then being sensitive to it, I guess you might say, or alert or conscious, but stepping in feels like probably one of your gifts.
(09:38) Candy Motzek
It is and also, being calm. Just to be a calming influence. In the years where I did work in corporate, one of my—not a job description, but characteristic—was herding cats. I’m the perfect person for herding cats. That feeling of calm is what I was born with, but then I grew it because it worked right. It was safe and it made other people feel safe. That created a safety for me too.
(10:18) Dr. Doreen Downing
I get it, I get it so much. I’ve never felt like I’m talking to myself in the mirror, Candy. Because I’ve been told all the time about my presence and my calmness. In fact, I was on somebody else’s podcast today about finding your voice. they were interviewing me and they said, “Well, when somebody is so calm, and they want to be more energized, how do you do that?” That was one of the questions I just got today.
(10:50) Candy Motzek
And do you need to do that?
(10:53) Dr. Doreen Downing
(10:55) Candy Motzek
Sorry, I’m randomly thinking about that.
(11:00) Dr. Doreen Downing
(11:01) Candy Motzek
Yes, only if there’s something impure or false about the calmness, but if that is where you’re home, then why do you need to be other. That’s the question that many introverts are asked, “Why are you so quiet?” The flip question is, “Why are you talking so much?” Nobody would think to ask that question, so this makes me wonder.
(11:33) Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, again, that was close to my answer. I just said be more of who you can be. Because the more you are in that particular kind of energy, the more power you have, because if you’re trying to be something else, it’s not truly lined up with where your true strength is. This is wonderful, so let’s keep going. You said something about going— Well, before we get to corporate, there had to be a stretch of time in High School. You probably found some things you love to do.
(12:14) Candy Motzek
Yes, always, I had good friends. But there’s something that is hard to describe when you’re the only person that looks like you. Again, there was always that— It’s just so normal to how I live. I’m used to being the only person that looks like me. These days things have changed now. However, I still live outside of Vancouver. I’ve been married for many years, and my children are adults. They were one of the few mixed race kids in their schools as well. Even though it’s all these years later, it’s still a theme, and we’ll see what happens with that. I had lots of good friends in high school. I’m just thinking it’s like you lean on your strengths. I was good academically. I was always a kind person. There was always a place for me in that way, and still that other, that feeling of the other.
(13:28) Dr. Doreen Downing
Where would you say in high school, if you had a shining moment or you were shining, where what would that have been?
(13:40) Candy Motzek
I don’t know. I spent a lot of time in alternate academic programs, the more self-directed. These were small programs with 30 or 40 kids. We would be together as a cohort for years, so we got quite close. I don’t know that there’s a place that I really shone, it was just that I started to grow into being more myself, just more comfortable being myself.
(14:19) Dr. Doreen Downing
Oh, yes. As opposed to trying to get the grades and fit in and put on the pom poms and—
(14:29) Candy Motzek
That was never me.
(14:33) Dr. Doreen Downing
But I get the idea of having more support for growing who you truly are and whatever, at least having that value in whatever programs that you had early on. Well, then you popped into college somewhere I guess.
(14:55) Candy Motzek
I went to university. I always wanted to be a therapist, but it just didn’t work out. There were a few careers that were acceptable. In those days, being a therapist was still a new field. You could be a lawyer, you could be an accountant, you could be a doctor, or you could be an engineer, so I chose engineer. That was my menu. I did that. I did my engineering degree. It was great. It was interesting work. But I never really went out and worked in the field. Most of what I did was going to be, take a helicopter half an hour outside of a small northern town, and get dropped in the middle of the wilderness for the day, and then they would pick you up at the end of the day. I wanted to have a family. My husband and I were together. It just wasn’t conducive for having a family in a together kind of life, so that went on its way. I see you looking at me like, “How odd?”
(16:12) Dr. Doreen Downing
No, what a job. Was that the engineering? You had to do some kind of—
(16:20) Candy Motzek
(16:22) Dr. Doreen Downing
Okay, field work. That must be. because engineering to me is designing.
(16:28) Candy Motzek
Oh okay, so the area that I specialized in was geological. I love rocks and rock formations and geology and geography and nature. That’s why the fieldwork was part of that.
(16:44) Dr. Doreen Downing
Part of what you valued, but then actually doing it, there was a reality.
(16:49) Candy Motzek
Yes, yes, for sure.
(16:51) Dr. Doreen Downing
But there’s a huge transition from engineering to coaching of all things. I just want to comment on being drawn to— Being a psychotherapist, something natural about you being able to be in a transformative environment, creating safety, and some, I call it a holding environment or an inspired environment where people grow. That seems to relate to this high school thing that you were in, people learning and growing. I’m starting to feel a thread.
(17:38) Candy Motzek
Sort of this through line, I agree. As a coach, I refer to that as holding space. Holding that space for the client to come in and get curious and look at their assumed perspectives, and then decide how they want to live their life. That is exactly the same kind of thing that you’re describing. Creating a safe space for people to come into, which is so much fun.
(18:08) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yes, I think we’re both natural at it. It’s our element. Let’s talk about voice and just open up with that, because I’ve done a little bit of journeying through your life. I’m seeing you as somebody who held her voice back a little bit, at least when you didn’t feel like you could fit, and became more of an observer, so how do you think your voice developed? Where did you find so?
(18:43) Candy Motzek
I agree that I would have held back and I’m sure that I still do. What I found is that it shifted from holding back to because I didn’t say a lot, people actually valued what I had to say. I think that shifted quite quickly in my career and in university. It’s not so much the holding back, but being, what’s the word, speaking with discretion. It’s just not having to say too much, but when I had something to say, people thought that that was useful. Then that became more my natural way. I’m still the same way. I’m still quite quiet and people say, “What do you have to say, Candy?” And then I have something to say. That’s it.
(19:51) Dr. Doreen Downing
I’m so glad you said that because I’m sure that listeners just found tremendous value out of what you just said. already today, when I’ve asked you a couple questions, you have this beautiful pause, and it feels like what’s going to come out next is real.
(20:09) Candy Motzek
Thank you. That’s so kind. I was actually thinking it’s that she’s trying to figure out what she thinks.
(20:17) Dr. Doreen Downing
That’s still part of it, what you think, and what you feel, and you want it to line up with truth, and be authentic. I’m enjoying this so much for you. There’s a couple of things that you mentioned that I want to already— Because you said this in what you sent me. Something about thoughts. That when you’re finding your voice, thoughts can get in the way. Negative thoughts, especially,
(20:52) Candy Motzek
For me, I believe that we all have some kind of negative mind chatter. The way that I approach that is, instead of fighting it, I remind myself, and I remind my clients of the same thing that really, even though it’s kind of irritating and frustrating, and maybe filled with self-doubt, the real reason behind it is a pure reason. It is to protect you and to keep you safe where you are. When you know that it comes from a good place, a place trying to protect you, then you don’t have to fight it as much. It’s trying to help, it has a true motive, that’s really helpful. Then I don’t have to struggle with it so much, I just can allow it to be.
(21:54) Dr. Doreen Downing
If there was any deep wisdom, that to me captures it right there. I understand that approach that fighting it is making it wrong. It’s a part of you. I like the empathy that you have for the negative thoughts.
(22:19) Candy Motzek
Yes, we don’t treat ourselves with enough compassion and empathy. any little bit that we can get is just a great step forward.
(22:28) Dr. Doreen Downing
One other word that you put in some of the work that I asked you to fill out prior to our time together here was perfectionism. Because in a way, to me, you feel so accepting in that perfect feels like a different kind of driver, but somewhere it showed up in you, because you mentioned it.
(22:54) Candy Motzek
Yes, I still experience perfectionism at times. It’s my dance. I know it’s there. It is the same as that mind chatter. I know that it is trying to get me to do the best. In so doing, instead of allowing me just to do the best that I can, it wants this unattainable ‘perfect’. It’s trying to do it nicely to hold me back. It feels hard to describe sometimes, but if the idea is that you have to be perfect before it can be released, and you really want to do your best then it’s trying to help you. Again, it’s just that we’re releasing that there is no such thing as perfect, and allowing that even if there was, it would not be perfect. There is nothing vulnerable and human and warm and connecting about perfection. Nobody cares about that perfect hero. We want the one that has the weird quirk, then we get to be that person too.
(24:22) Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, that’s partly what this podcast is all about. Unzipping and showing how you aren’t perfect. Otherwise, it would just be a series of famous speakers who are talking about how great they are.
(24:39) Candy Motzek
(24:41) Dr. Doreen Downing
Yes, and not inspiring and not human. We’re almost out of time. But you just mentioned it right now but also in what you wrote to me, was dance. There was something about dancing that feels like dancing has something to do with voice.
(25:00) Candy Motzek
Oh, yes. Actually, that’s really interesting. I had forgotten about that connection. I realized that we’re just about out of time. But when I was about 40, I took up ballet as an adult having never danced before. I took up ballet and a whole bunch of other forms too, but we’ll just talk about ballet. My ballet teacher was a very unusual woman. She looked at me, and she could tell that I was practicing at home and none of the other adults were and I was really keen, so she said, “Why don’t you come to class?” For maybe eight years, I went to class with teenagers. 40 to 44 to 46 years old, I would stand at the bar and do all the same work that the teenagers would do within my limited age and skill set. It was the most amazing thing to move your body with music. That is a voice in itself. One of my real value is thriving, challenging, and striving. To be given the gift of— First off, being able to actually dance with these young women, there were no men, no boys in the class. But to dance with these young woman was fascinating, because it gave me such hope for the future. These were amazing, smart, and lovely people, 14 and 15 years old. Then with their support, I went and I did quite a number of the Royal Academy of Dance exams. I think I did five exams. They’re all solo performances. I even got to the point where I was dancing on pointe. But all this voice of using music to move your body and to express yourself. It’s like a different language that we’re just not used to. It was super.
(27:19) Dr. Doreen Downing
Oh, thank you for sharing that. That’s mesmerizing to imagine.
(27:23) Candy Motzek
Fun, super fun. Something like watching a 50-year-old woman on stage.
(27:32) Dr. Doreen Downing
We’re full circle right now, my dear. Courage. Just tell us a little bit about—I know I read in the beginning about that you coach coaches—a little bit about your work and how to find you.
(27:52) Candy Motzek
Okay. The easiest way to find me is through my podcast. That’s perfect because people are listening and watching. My podcast is called She Coaches Coaches, and it is a tongue twister. I’m on all the different platforms. How I work with people, primarily these days, is one-on-one only. Most of the people that I work with are successful adults who are tired of waking up in the middle of the night and wondering what they want to be when they grow up and giving themselves permission to do something that they would just love to do. I help them get started and grow their practice. It’s so rewarding.
(28:39) Dr. Doreen Downing
It’s been very rewarding having an experience with you today and having this brief journey through time. I appreciate you so much, Candy. Thank you.
(28:55) Candy Motzek
Thank you so much for having me. This has been a great conversation. I really appreciate it.
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Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.
Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.