How to Get Control & Acceptance
Do you ever allow yourself to let go and accept life as it is? Or do you constantly overthink situations at work, judge your performance or worry about how things are panning out in all areas of your life? Are you trying to control a situation and it’s just not working out for you?
Well, you’re about to hear all about the law of allowing and the value of surrendering, as Dr. Laura Gallaher dives deep into self-acceptance, vulnerability, becoming aware of the stories you tell yourself and the importance of acknowledging that control is an illusion.
Once you begin to understand the power of letting go, things start to feel less chaotic. The more you let go of self-judgment, get really good at self-acceptance and self-compassion, the stronger sense of psychological safety you create. This leads you to make decisions without letting fear of failure get in the way. Without letting self-sabotaging habits like perfectionism stop you from taking action. And it allows you to feel more at peace with the way your life is at this present moment.
On top of that, if you are able to be yourself 100%, without judgment – complete acceptance – you become a permission slip for other people to do the same, which allows them to experience the same level of freedom that you embody.
When you get off autopilot and start practicing self-awareness, you begin to shift all areas of your life. And that is getting in control of your life.
What you’ll hear in this podcast:
- How to create psychological safety wherever you are
- The value of self-acceptance
- Letting go of self-judgment
- Recognizing the shared human condition
- How the stories you tell yourself could be holding you back
- The power of self-sabotaging habits
- Other people’s behavior is not about you
- How to respond instead of react in a moment of conflict
- How to create more positive interactions with people
- Recognizing triangulation
- Changing patterns and behaviors
Lara: Welcome, it’s so great to have you back, Laura.
Dr. Laura: Thank you so much for having me Lara, I’m glad to be here.
Lara: You have been on an incredible adventure for a year. You’ve been traveling around and you just recently were in Mali with your family and just got back to the states. Welcome back.
Dr. Laura: Thank you. I know I’m back on the mainland. It feels kind of strange.
Lara: Yeah. And back in Florida where you just did a Ted talk recently, can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Laura: Yeah, I’d be happy to. So the theme for the event and um, Orlando was home and the organizers were aware that I was doing this remote year experience and so they invited me to come and speak about what does home mean to me in this context of having, doing, been doing so much travel. So I hadn’t even thought about it actually until they asked me and so it was really fun to think that through because nothing really did feel like home, you know, I didn’t. Of course, I didn’t feel hopeless. Right. That’s something I said in my TEDx talk, but I didn’t have that clear sense and so as a psychologist I really started to explore hopeless as a place and more as a state of being and thinking about, well, what does home feel like and what are the things that I can really do that would help me feel home wherever I am. So that was really what my talk was about.
Lara: I love it. I love it. I’m going to put a link in the show notes. Well, I wanted to talk to you because you are obviously an organizational psychologist and you’ve worked with some incredible companies like Nasa and who else have you worked for? You’ve worked for some.
Dr. Laura: I Disney. I worked for Disney for a while. Yeah,
Lara: and as the listeners heard in the intro, talking about Google, trying to find the perfect team and discovering psychological safety and what exactly does that mean for us and for. I think you can kind of correlate this to anything. As with all communication, it works for bosses, it works for leaders, it works for employees, It works for husbands and wives. Communication is communication, which you get better at it. It works all across the board. I think that professional development and personal development are inseparable they’re tied.
Dr. Laura: Completely agree. Yeah. Because it’s just human. It’s human connection as human conversation. It’s human relationships and uh, it’s one of the things that our clients say all the time, you know, it’s almost become comical. They say, you know, I think this is almost helped me at home or that I had at work because they start using these concepts wherever they go because I go, yeah, there are people too.
Lara: And it’s more safe at home more often than not. And a lot of cases. Yeah. And when you feel comfortable, you can kind of test out new things, new behaviors, new patterns in a more safe way. And sometimes that just starts in your mind where you’re like, okay, I’m going to mull this over. How am I going to change this? What would I have done differently? And so in, in that psychological safety, I was talking with Nicky Rausch, uh, two weeks ago, that’s episode 48 and we were talking about creating safety with new clients and customers in the conversation when you first start talking to them, but also when you’re selling, you know, because it’s, there’s an element of safety there as well. So what is your opinion, and I love, I love your program, insider edge. So you really believe in transformation from the inside out. Can you explain that a little bit to our listeners? I mean, I know about it so and I just love it, but I want them to understand where you’re coming from with that.
Dr. Laura: Absolutely. Well, so the inside out model and that we base a lot of our work on basically says that the self is at the core of everything. And when we focus on self, it’s self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-accountability. So a lot of that has to do with recognizing how much choice we have and that the more we choose, the more we can grow our awareness and the more aware we are, the more choices we realize we have. And I believe that it all starts with the ability to accept ourselves. So as soon as we can accept ourselves exactly as we are right now in this moment, without any further changes, I think that that can really be the catalyst for the other two. So our inside out model has self at the core and we believe that when you are focused on growing and improving the self, that’s how you create amazing teams.
Dr. Laura: You know, where you can get that psychological safety that you’re talking about. And that’s really how you can create amazing culture. Um, and of course the culture can influence how the teams operate, which can influence the self-elements. And so it’s really by directional in nature. So the way that we approach it is that we want each person to focus on growing themselves. Practicing self-awareness and self-compassion and self-acceptance in order to make very self-accountable choices and that the culture can also do things to make that easier, so we like to come at it kind of from all sides, but never ever neglecting the self because it’s at the core
Lara: I love that. How do you help people through, and think of the rational mind, where you know a concept is you’re like, you understand the concept, you agree with the concept, but then there’s the subconscious self that may sabotage it in some way or somehow holds you back out of fear because self-growth can be very fear-inducing. You know, being vulnerable around other people. Do you have any suggestions for people who are dealing with that? Because we will make mistakes. I tell people all the time, these are the communication skills that you learned from the podcast or from working with me. You have to practice them and there will be mistakes. You’re not gonna. It’s like saying, Hey, this is how you drive. Now, go drive. You have to practice.
Dr. Laura: I know. I love that metaphor. I think that’s so true and I focus on a lot of this as skill building just like what you said. So I, it’s only been for me in the last couple of years that I’ve really started to prioritize self-acceptance as one of the first steps and I think it’s because I recognized in myself that I had these perfectionist tendencies and that they were actually getting in my way of self-awareness. So if I might discover something about myself, write something about how I see the world or maybe I uncover a previously subconscious desire to feel superior or something like that. I might judge myself really harshly for that. I may not want to know that and my brain might actually siphon that knowledge off because I don’t even want to know like I so desperately don’t want to know that about myself.
Dr. Laura: That I stopped my own self-awareness from happening. So for me, self-acceptance is really the first step and the way that I have worked on that for myself and the way that I encourage my clients to work on it is through a couple of key concepts. For me, one of them is recognizing that it’s the shared human condition. Either we’re all broken or none of us are broken, right? Like either none of us are broken because this is just what it means to be human or we’re all broken because this is just what it means to be human. So however you want to think about it, I don’t really care. What I care about is recognizing we’re not alone. Um, I love what Bernay Brown talks about in terms of shame and that when you bring it into the light, you know, that’s where Shane kind of goes to die because as soon as we start to be really open and vulnerable, we realize we’re not the only ones.
Dr. Laura: They’re always, if any, if any one of us as a human is experiencing this, then thousands, if not millions of other humans are also experiencing that. And so really sort of recognizing, okay, I am just like everybody else in this way and it’s okay. That was helpful to me. And then I could just look back at my own, my own life and my own history. And how many times was I telling myself the story consciously or subconsciously, that I could accept myself as soon as I … fill in the blank, I’ll be good enough when I finished that degree, I’ll be good enough if I, you know, I’m thinking about school because I just read an article about this, about how getting perfect grades. It’s actually maybe worse than getting like a three-point eight because it’s like that perfectionist tendencies. But yeah, you know, I’ll, I’ll be good enough once I get my GPA up or I’ll be good enough once I finish this degree, I’ll be good enough.
Dr. Laura: Once I get this promotion, I’ll be good enough. I’ll accept myself when I hit this certain revenue mark or when my salary hits this mark or when I get married, whatever it is. We do this to ourselves all the time and I’ve had enough milestones in my life where some part of my brain was saying, all I have to do is get to this point and then. And then what? I don’t know, my life starts, then I can feel happy. Whatever it is that I told myself. And it was always either completely artificial or completely temporary because the bar would always move. Yeah, it’s a never-ending goalpost. I mean it just. And you can punish yourself when you fail because of that
Lara: Yeah, it’s a never-ending goalpost. I mean it just. And you can punish yourself when you fail because that punishment, that shame keeps us in our safety zone, you know, of that perfectionism or that, that cycle of what your normality is. You want to go back to what’s the comfort?
Dr. Laura: Yeah, absolutely. And so a lot of it comes with how do I think about that gap, the gap between where I am and where I want to be. Do I look at that and judge it and do I put a negative valence on it and say that’s a bad thing, that gap. Do I look at failing and go, oh my gosh, I’m, I’m, I’m broken as a human, you know, I’m fundamentally worthless, or do I go, okay, alright, so I’m learning some stuff now what am I going to try? And so it sounds a bit cliche, but a lot of it’s about mindset. And when I was able to recognize exactly what you just said, Lara, that it’s like a never ending goalpost. I realized, yeah, this is never gonna stop. I’m never going to get to a place where I go, you know what?
Dr. Laura: I am totally good. I have nothing more to learn and nothing more to improve on, and I realized, yeah, that’s never going to happen, happen, and that’s why I push people to accept themselves right now, literally right now, exactly as you are. You don’t have to make any changes to yourself to practice self-acceptance in this exact moment because I always ask this question, am I going to be a more effective coach, consultant, speaker in a year than I am today? I hope so, and in a year or in two years, will I be a better speaker, coach, consultant than I am a year from now? Again, I hope so and so that means that I’m always going to find things that I want to change there. There’s always gonna be wasted. If I want to grow, I’m always going to want there to be that gap and that thing that I’m striving for, so that helped me see, okay, so there’s no. There’s no destination, there’s no there, there. There’s nowhere to try to get where I can suddenly go, okay, now I will accept myself. It has to be a choice that people make right now without any changes. Because if you’re not good enough now, you never will be.
Lara: I love that. And you know, you have to look at the difficult stuff. But recently I’ve, um, I’ve just realized a pattern with myself and I sabotage myself and it, I think it gets back to that perfectionism. I know it will never be perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. So I will sabotage it so that I can have an excuse for why it wasn’t perfect. And it’s like, well, this pattern. So you know, at first what happens when you recognize, at least this is my experience, people who start to look at themselves and do the work on themselves, they recognize something and it’s very shaming. They’re ashamed about it and maybe that leads to even worse behavior like lying or covering it up or you know, making excuses. But there’s always a point where you, it’s there, you’ve got to look at it. And then once you do look at it, like hopefully with this whole understanding of pattern of self-sabotage, I can see where I’ve done it over and over and over in different situations.
Lara: And then once you realize, okay, well I did it in those situations, what was going on? What stories was I telling myself? What, what was my mindset like? What were the triggers? What were the the clues. So that next time when that stuff comes up again, I can say, oh wait, it’s really shitty whether I’m in a bad mood, my website’s down again for the 400 times as I’m recording this, my website is down and my email is down and I didn’t know it. So I have had no mail for four days. And it’s like if you guys are trying to get ahold of me or you were reaching out, know that, I didn’t know that.
Dr. Laura: no stress there, no stress.
Lara: anyway, just them know these triggers beforehand. Now I can start to change my behavior, but one thing that grandma tiny taught me is, yeah, that’s one. This is a lesson that you need to learn right now. There’s another one waiting on you, but it’s never ending.
Dr. Laura: And Lara, your ability to look at bat with curiosity and compassion instead of with self-judgment is going to make your learning process so much faster. You know, and that’s something that I actually do want to acknowledge. When somebody is mired in self judgment, it doesn’t mean that they can’t learn and grow, it just means that they’re creating a really big emotional hurdle that they must first climb over before they can actually deal with the real thing. So you know, for you, if you’ve noticed, sometimes I self sabotage and it becomes this excuse where I can say, oh, well it wasn’t perfect because x, Y, z. So you can notice that go, Oh huh. Look at that. Exactly. I’m doing okay. I can see how that happens, you know? Yup. It’s that, you know, that little little girl in me that just wants to do everything right and you know, get the accolades or whatever the story is.
Dr. Laura: And to be able to look at that and maybe even to a degree, laugh at yourself a little bit and say, okay, Yup, there it is. It just speeds the process along and frankly it makes the whole journey more enjoyable because like you said, you know, self-awareness and stepping into this work can definitely feel daunting. I know lots of people who are terrified. We have, you know, clients and leaders that work with us where they’re on board, but people on their teams are so petrified of the leaders are afraid to bring it to other people in the team because they’re so scared and they’re scared because they know that they’re going to be mired in that self-judgment. And so like I said, for me it’s just in the last couple of years that I’ve really recognized man practicing self-acceptance right now as step one is I think the most valuable thing to do is to recognize, yeah, I’m going to have things like that. I’m going to uncover patterns and thought processes and stories in my head that I’m not going to love. They’re not going to seem like the most flattering thing about me and that’s okay, That’s okay, thank goodness I can learn and I can grow from it.
Lara: And sometimes we just hang out in the shame barn for awhile. I mean, I spent a couple of days in there. I’m not going to lie. I was like, you know, self, self-shaming, self-shaming, and then it’s like, all right, that’s enough. Now that’s not. You’re not getting anywhere. So now what?
Dr. Laura: Yeah. And to avoid, so Mark Manson calls this the feedback loop from Hell. His book It’s a “The subtle art of not giving an f “, but you talked about the feedback loop from hell, which is, you know, when we feel ourselves in that self-judgment or self, the Inner Self Shame Barn, right? That we can shame ourselves further for that. Or you can even accept that that’s where you are in that moment. You know? I mean, I preach about this stuff and I feel very passionately about it and I completely still catch myself and self-judgment. I said that in my ted talk because I mentioned psychological safety in there and I talked about when we practice a lot of self-love and internal self-acceptance, then we can create that psychological safety wherever we go. And um, yeah, actually kind of lost my thought there was going, oh yea the feedback loop. Yeah. So that self-acceptance and practicing self-acceptance, even when you notice yourself in self-judgment is the fastest way to pull out of it. Practicing immediate acceptance always is going to. It’s just like a, an accelerant.
Lara: Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Kind of brings me to. There’s a situation, um, so there’s, it’s actually a friend of mine’s work and I really want to get in there and I really want to help these guys, but this where they work is so dysfunctional. What’s happening is that it’s a hierarchy system. So there is, you know, the main head who, it’s like a pyramid. It goes under the, there’s the main guy, let’s call him the CEO and there’s the vice president and then there’s managers of each department, and then there’s the employees underneath that. While the managers of each department don’t like each other and they’re often fighting and sabotaging each other and ceo just has his head in the sand, he pushes it off on as VP, you deal with it, you deal with it, and the vps are running around trying to placate everybody and nothing is changing.
Lara: People are misbehaving and even to the point where some of the attorneys have had to get involved and people are unsure of who’s telling the truth and who’s not telling the truth and (bad) behavior is being accepted. So my friend who is an employee is that the lowest level, you know, in the one down position hates her job. I mean she just. Everything is dysfunctional there and now I understand how we can go in and work with all of them to get better psychological safety. But where she’s at, she has to be able to create that psychological safety, for herself and the teammates that she works with. So what is the first thing someone does as an employee? What would you suggest to kind of protect themselves, but still when they, you know, she really wants to stay at this job. I think she should probably look around, I’m not going to encourage that, but.
Dr. Laura: No, I can understand why you might want her to look around and that is a really tough situation. I want to acknowledge that first and foremost, you know, if somebody is not in a position of legitimate authority in an organization in order to really, uh, you know, sort of, well, I don’t ever really want to mandate culture, but to say, hey, this is how we’re going to do things now. Then it might feel like more of an uphill battle. But part of what I spoke about in my, in my tedx talk that you mentioned earlier was that when we are practicing a lot of self acceptance, we’ve gotten really good at self compassion and letting go of self judgment. We can create that sense of psychological safety really wherever we are. And so part of that is a recognition that other people’s behavior is not about you.
Lara: That’s so critical, so critical.
Dr. Laura: And that’s really hard for people to understand, right? Because I, I’m even talking about a situation where you have an angry coworker or a boss that comes right up to you and says, Laura, you’re so incompetent. I hate working with you and I’m going to tell you that that person’s behavior has nothing to do with you. And so for a lot of people that’s like, uh Huh? But no, they said it right to me, right? Like they’re being hostile and aggressive to me, they’re nice to everybody else. That type of thing. And so that’s one of the first steps is realizing that when, especially when they’re acting in that way, if they’re hostile, if they’re aggressive, if they’re blaming or um, you know, getting into that just critic mode, that is not about you, that behavior, something that they are doing because they feel insecure and they are trying to defend and protect themselves.
Dr. Laura: So their absence of a sense of psychological safety is potentially going to infringe upon yours unless you can go, okay, I know this is actually not about me. So I’m not saying you’re not going to have an emotional reaction. If you’re human, you probably will. You’ll feel your heart rate speed up. You might feel your blood pressure increase. Um, you know, any other kind of signs. My face gets red and hot. I think if I feel like I’m in that type position, but to immediately check the story, what is the story in my head about what’s happening for this person and just slowing down. So when I slow down everything that I’m doing, when I slow down my speech patterns, when I begin to move more slowly, my body responds in kind because I wouldn’t do that if I was actually facing like a growling bear, which is what happens to our bodies and those types of situations.
Dr. Laura: So those are some initial tangible, practical things that I think somebody can begin to do to get that sense of psychological safety for themselves. And once I have that, I’m going to be able to approach other people or respond to other people instead of reacting to them. I can go, okay, this person’s behavior is not about me. And I’ve actually, I’ve done this even in the last week or so were, you know, talking with somebody in their behavior, felt very aggressive and, and actually kind of out of place. And I said, Gosh, you’re having kind of an extreme reaction to what feels like a pretty tame request. What, what’s going on with you able to, you know, be curious, not furious and check in with them. And that actually created a shift in that moment. Um, so little things like that can change the way that we show up and it really is, in my opinion, one relationship at a time.
Dr. Laura: So the more your friend or your colleague is able to show up and that way that’s calm. Recognizing that other people’s behavior is not about her and get curious, not furious, she can start to shift the way each one of those individual relationships go. You can start to create more and more positive interactions with each of those people. And more and more they will start to see her as a place and a source of psychological safety, which means that they’re going to approach her with more openness, more vulnerability. You know, it won’t even take as much courage for them to just practice that openness with her because they already know, oh, she’s, she’s calm, you know, she cares. She’s,
Lara: I want to repeat that point, because you know when you’re super defensive you automatically bring out defensiveness and other people well conversely, if you are calm and if you are open and curious and not judgmental or shaming, oftentimes I think what a lot of the stuff that they’ve gotten stuck in his, the injustice of it all and when you sit with how unfair it is and you talk about how unfair, it is, it just, you keep it alive.
Lara: You keep the fire burning. What I told her is that you need to be that person, be that calm horse in the stable in the other times and Mea Culpa whenever you need to. Even on the tiniest little things like, Oh man, I took this pen off your desk. I’m so sorry about that. I did not mean to take the pen off your desk here let me give that back to you. Whatever. That’s a tiny example, but start to model the behavior that you want to see and take ownership of any little thing that you do that might be symbolic of what the upper management is doing that is so toxic for the environment. So even just little things like that, you can start with just your teammates, just your other employees in.
Dr. Laura: Absolutely. To take the responsibility. Yeah. I think I, I completely agree with you.
Dr. Laura: I think you can lead by example even if you’re not in a formal position of leadership and you know, look for those opportunities to demonstrate vulnerability because part of what happens is like you’re saying, Lara, if I’m, if I mea culpa, if I take responsibility, if I apologize for any mistakes that I make, if I am willing to ask for help, you know, if I admit my own incompetence in an area, whatever it is, the more I’m willing to be vulnerable around you or you think, oh, she really trusts me and we really like that. We like to feel trusted. It’s actually one of the worst things for people to hear is ‘I don’t trust you.’ So to lead by example, regardless of the position that you’re in, I think it’s fantastic advice.
Lara: Yeah. You know, this is one of the reasons that I love to train and work with people, especially to go into small teams and let them know about triggered reactions and about their boundaries and about the purpose of emotions. You know, we talk about the self shaming. Well there’s purposes for each one of those emotions and the emotions themselves are not meant to hold you back or make you feel bad. They’re like, no, we’re trying to push you in the right direction. This emotion clearly means this thing. Were you paying attention so when you can teach it. So even if you feel like you have a really strong group, we can always get better. The more you know, the more trainings that you do. I thought it was so interesting that Google who had commissioned this research who actually had a whole team on their staff just to study how teams work and how to become the most productive was completely unaware of some of the psychological stuff that they just had no idea that that would ever play a part, which blows me away. We’ve come so far in just 10 years, you know?
Dr. Laura: Yeah. We really have. Absolutely. I mean, I think about things like theory x of management versus theory y of management, you know, and I think that recognizing psychological safety is kind of even one more step in that direction. So I heard somebody else and I forget who it was. I’ll pass on the reference if I can remember it after the show. Um, but this idea of taking ourselves off autopilot, right? So we’ve evolved to be very fearful creatures for very good reason. You know, fear used to and still does actually serve a very important role in keeping us safe and keeping us alive. But because we don’t actually faced physical dangers for the most part in our day to day lives, it’s like that protective energy has been refund old to trying to protect us from just legitimately harmless interpersonal interactions. And when I say harmless, I mean you’re.
Dr. Laura: You’re not about to die in the vast majority of cases. Yeah. And so the autopilot version is just gonna go through life and go through these relatively harmless situations always like a bear could come up on you at any minute. That’s autopilot, but we actually are evolved enough. We have the capacity and our brains to get off autopilot, but it does require more effort at first and then it becomes the only way that you’re ever going to want to live. To just realize like, you know what? There’s actually, even if there is something for me to fear, even if I feel fear, I trust that I can cope with whatever happens, I’m going to be okay. [inaudible] the fear is always worse in our minds than it is in reality because that’s what our brain does to protect us. So I think that’s really useful for people to acknowledge as well, this is not like you’re weak or there’s something wrong with you. If you acknowledged that you have interpersonal fear that shows up as defensiveness at work. That’s just human. Yeah.
Lara: That’s everybody. Yeah. I love that theory. That is fascinating that we are evolving in this certain way and humanity itself. We had to be that certain way to get to this point. So what is the next step? Almost like enlightenment in some ways. It’s like we’re going to be thinking and I think of like my great, great grandma, what her daily life was like in the way that she thought she couldn’t even fathom the way that I think. It’s almost like we’re two separate species.
Dr. Laura: Yeah. That’s interesting. Yeah. When I get very, um, grandiose and slash or very aligned with what I think my purpose is here on this earth that has to do with that and it, it’s almost embarrassing for me to share because it’s like, I think when I do this work, I am legit. Didn’t really contributing to the evolution of our species. Like, that’s honestly how I think about it, um, you know, especially as we can bring these concepts into family life and parenting, the more parents become aware of some of their own intergenerational challenges that have been passed down to them in terms of how they show up with people, then they’re going to create less issues and their children. And I don’t say that with any judgment. Again, that’s just the human condition. And so I think I saw something recent instagram that I really liked, said something like let’s raise children who don’t need time to heal from their childhood or something like that.
Dr. Laura: And I was like, yeah, I mean that’s, you know, future vision and stuff because I think it’s, it does take a lot of work, but I would love to see this kind of work and these concepts taught in academic institutions. You know, why is self love and self acceptance and interpersonal interactions, communication, listening. Why do we not teach those skills in school, Middle School, high school? I don’t know. I’m not a developmental psychologist. I don’t know the right age at which kids can absorb this stuff, but I can’t wait for that to become a normal part of the curriculum that people look at that and go, why have we not always done it?
Lara: I remember back in the day when I was probably young twenties or something and my mom had just gotten her a degree in counseling and she said, you know, what it really breaks down to is you spend the first half of your life trying to escape your childhood and the second half of your life trying to recover from your childhood. Thanks mom. That’s a little depressing. One way to frame it, but one of the things that I do love is being a parent. Um, you know, it’s, they’re all grown now. It’s like, all right, too late. I know I’ve screwed you up in these ways and I’m really sorry, but I can mayor Kulpa now, you know.
Dr. Laura: Well, there are no
Lara: too late. Yeah, no, they have that. They’re like, do you remember this one thing and this? And it’s like, I have no memory of that, but of course, as someone who is a daughter, I know what you want to hear is, Oh man, I’m really sorry about that. I wish it didn’t go down like that or whatever they need at that moment can help them to move on. And I’m not so sure the generation behind us had that, you know, they could go to their mom and say that and everyone would be like, excuse me, you ate, didn’t shake your head, didn’t, you know, take me shopping. Dammit.
Dr. Laura: Yeah. No, I. and I really do think that we are evolving very positively as a species. You know, sometimes I think it’s easy for us to get kind of down on the current state of things because there are things that I’m not thrilled with, um, in terms of how things are going with this country or, you know, international affairs. But all in all, we really are in a better possession on this planet than we’ve ever been. I fear that we are destroying the planet. But,
Lara: well, it’s analogous to that self fulfilling prophecy of if you look at the, if you look at the species as we are now, it’s, it’s mirrored in our own individual humanity. You know, you will self sabotage at times. You will let that fear run rampant. You will get into stinking thinking and you know, you gotta pull yourself to your higher self and work through that. And when you see the negative comments or the, the fearmongering or, or that, you got to know that that’s, that’s where they’re at. You can see it, acknowledge it, but not take it in and not engage it. You know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Laura: Yeah. You said something earlier that made me think about that, um, you know, your, your friend or your colleagues situation, people are really unhappy. That’s when they’re most likely to triangulate. Um, I think we talked about that in the last episode that I was on and participating in that as always talks like a lot of cases. It’s very benevolent in intention, right? So your friend might notice that when people come to her, she wants to be that safe source for them, so she allows them to complain or gossip or whatever it is, vent about other people, but that’s not going to actually build trust with that one person. And so it can feel very, almost counterintuitive. But if I’m coming to you and I’m talking about our friend Susie, Susie, this and Susie that at least part of you is going to wonder, well, what does she say about me when I’m not around?
Dr. Laura: Right? And so having that zero tolerance for triangulation, but still treating it with compassion, treating it gently is, I think, a really good strategy as well to try to get more psychological safety and the environment to say, Hey, I, I can understand that you’re frustrated and I really want people to support you. I don’t, I don’t want us to be talking about her if she’s not here. Have you talked directly to her? I think if you talk directly to her, that’s the best chance you’re going to have to resolve this. Um, and so just treating it really gently and with compassion to create that, no, I don’t want to triangulate with you, I want to support you,
Lara: but not in this way. And if you, if you’re just now and you’re hearing this and you just now are saying, wow, I thought I was actually being helpful. I thought it was just listening. That sounds like what she’s describing. That sounds like triangulation. Know that you can always get a back seat. I say this, you can change your behavior from this moment on in a kind and respectful way, and it, it ended not totally undoes, but it changes the pattern, which is what you’re really looking for and we all make mistakes, but triangulation is a very dangerous. It’s dangerous.
Dr. Laura: And we all, we all have done it. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve never triangulated. I don’t believe you. Recognizing that you have triangulated, like you said, Lara, to your earlier point may have called on that. Hey, I know, I know in the past united talked about susie. I know I’ve complained as well. I really want to try to make a shift. I don’t want to do that anymore, you know, I’m talking directly to Susie now about anything that comes up between us. I think it can be really productive if you did the same and I just, I want to change that pattern. Just be open. Just be real about it. That’s, you know, we talked about Green Line I think in the last episode that I was onto like just say what’s true for you, say what you’re thinking and feeling. It’s not. It actually doesn’t have to be all that challenging can say like, I feel kind of embarrassed. I feel sort of strange telling you that I don’t want to do this anymore because I know that we used to do it all the time. I know I’ve been guilty of it. Sometimes I feel myself in self judgment over it. Whatever. Whatever’s true for you, you can choose to share that and when you’re open and you share that, that’s creating more and more of that psychological safety.
Lara: Yeah. Yeah. When you talked about mindset earlier and how so much of this has to do with your mindset, I think people understand mindset, like they understand, you know the ocean, they know what it is in theory, opening, don’t know all the different fast hills and valleys. So can you talk a little bit about what you mean with mindset when it comes to your own personal growth?
Dr. Laura: Yeah. I think for me it’s almost what’s the story that I tell myself about this particular situation. So if I think about it in terms of personal growth or wanting to become more self aware, if I look at where I am now and where I want to be in a month or six months or a year, whatever it is, I can look at the gap and I can tell myself the story of you’re not good enough, Laura, not enough. Nope. They’re not gonna want to hire you. You’re not going to accomplish what you want. Like, look, look, look at that gap. I can tell myself the story that this sucks and I’m not good enough. I’m not enough. Or I can look at that same exact gap and I can change the story. I can say, wow, okay, cool. I know where I wanna go.
Dr. Laura: I have a sense of where I’m going and sometimes for me, I want to bring in a third circle and kind of using my hands and your, your listeners can’t see that. Have you know where I want to be, where I am, I can also look back. I look back, I go, wow, look at how far I’ve come. So actually one of the practices that I really endorse is taking credit, taking credit for the things that, um, have been hard for me, have required courage, have shown that I have grown. You know, for me as a recovering perfectionist, I would take credit for putting out something that would fail and that feels very counterintuitive to most of us. But for me it was a sign that I was putting myself out there. I was taking risks and I wasn’t waiting too long to get started in the first place.
Dr. Laura: So I can start to take credit for those things instead of focusing on the gap between where I am and where I want to be as a negative, I can look at it as I have clear direction, I know where I’m going and I’m happy with where I’ve come from. So the story that I tell myself is probably the biggest thing that I would say about mindset. Interesting. I’m actually working on a course right now on how to deal with difficult people and I’m, I’m struggling with the perfection part of it. It gives so much information and, but it has to be. I want people to take this program and put it to use and have real change, real difference. You, they understand that just these, these concepts and the skills that I’m going to teach in this course is really going to be able to change their, their lives.
Dr. Laura: Really, you know, because once you, your personal growth really does change your relationships, but you know, it is, it’s a, it might be a failure. You can use that as a story. You know, I can. And I love that, that you know what, I’m going to put it out there and even if it does fail and failing forward, you know, if you keep failing forward, even just inch by inch, you’re becoming the person that you need to be. Absolutely. And I’ve heard some people say you either succeed or you learn. Yes. So they just take the word failure and replace it with learn. And that’s fine. That’s totally cool. I myself have just gotten okay with the word failure. I, I, I just don’t notice a strong emotional reaction to it anymore. You know, like, um, when we first launched our membership site inside our edge in August, the launch was a complete and total failure defined as we did not meet our goal.
Dr. Laura: We weren’t even close to the goal, but I didn’t, you know, that didn’t mean that I was a failure that are somehow broken or that I am fundamentally incompetent as a human. Like that’s not what it meant to me. It meant. So I have a lot to learn about what it takes to do online marketing and all this kind of stuff. And we’ve made a lot of progress since then, but I, I was telling people I failed and they’re like, no, no, no, you didn’t feel like they were trying to get me out of that word. And I just had to explain like, I’m actually okay with the word. Yeah. I think most successful people have failed the most and there’s so many great examples of that. You know, Abe Lincoln and Gosh, Michael, you know, all kinds
Lara: of famous examples. I loved Carolyn Dweck book on mindset. I’m sure you’ve read that one or you know, some of her work, she talks a lot about growth mindset versus fixed mindset. You know, what’s the story that I tell myself about my current situation that I failed because I’m fundamentally broken and, and competent or that I failed because this was my first or second time and I’m still learning and I can therefore grow from this. And so, uh, yeah, I think I kind of lost my thread on that exact thought. I love that you bring up the growth mindset versus the limiting mindset. Um, I had heard or growth mindset versus where I lost the word there for oh, fixed mindset versus fixed mindset. I had heard someone talking about languages and how when you’re an infant, there are, we can make every tonal language that humans have, however we lose that ability.
Lara: I think it’s within the first couple of years of life if that language isn’t spoken around us or we don’t speak it. And um, I heard a linguist, my mom actually has a phd in anthropology and so sometimes will nerd out on languages and she, linguists had said to her if it was her, me, but anyway, linguists had said, yeah, but they can still speak. Like if you’re speak English, you can still speak Mandarin as an adult. You might have an accent but you can still speak it. You can still learn the skill. So don’t let that hold you back. I think at the same thing about fixed mindset and growth mindset, you know? Yeah, it, it might sound a little different. You know, your type of growth in your personal life because we all have our own journey. So I don’t know how. I got off on that tangent. I don’t want people to, you know, limiting limiting understandings or their age or their circumstances to hold them back. Anyone can grow and change it anytime.
Dr. Laura: Absolutely. I mean it totally speaks to overcoming perfectionist tendencies and keeping that growth mindset to say, okay, I’m going to venture down this path and I’m going to stumble. I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to screw it up. Sometimes I’ll take two steps forward and one step back, but it’s all just part of the process and the journey and I’m not going to let those things stop me from even trying because that is something that happens too. Perfectionist. Actually we. This is the month that we’re releasing our series on perfectionism and imposter syndrome, so it’s very like salient and top of mind for me. Perfectionism and those tendencies can get in our way and so many ways, but recognizing like, okay, it’s kind of like, like you said, driving a car or archery, you know, I’m going to pick up a bow and Arrow and I’m probably not going to hit the bullseye and the very first dry and we don’t usually expect to, but sometimes when it comes to these more human interactions, we want to say, well, it’s part of my personality and so I should just be good at it already, or something kind of ridiculous like that.
Dr. Laura: Instead of looking at it like anything else where it’s a skill and there’s a knowledge set and you can continue to learn and grow and practice and you’ll probably never be perfect at it and that’s okay.
Lara: People, so many people look for control. Well, the only way to get control is to realize what we’re talking about right now, which is that control is an illusion, you know, and once you realize it doesn’t have power over you, maybe that’s what I’ll name this episode, the real way to get control.
Dr. Laura: Yes. I love that. I think that’s so true. Actually, um, you know, when we wrapped up that year of travel experience, we finished in Mexico City and we had, um, we called it the last supper, but all of us and we each had one minute to speak about how we’ve learned or what we’ve, what we’ve learned, how we’ve grown, you know, what’s the biggest lesson for the year? And mine was a continuation of what I’ve been learning for the last several years, which is how little control I have, the value of the law of allowing and the value of surrender and um, how much better actually my life is and feels when I recognize how little control I have.
Lara: I love that. I think that’s a perfect place to end. Laura, thank you so much for coming back. I always love nerding out with you and talking about all kinds of things. I will come back. I would love to thank you again, Laura, you might even just make this a series perfect.
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Show Intro music is Whispering Through by Asura
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