Below is a transcript from this recording:
Hey guys, this is Tripp Lanier. And I am going to tell you about how bad I suck in just a minute. But first, I want to address a myth that says,
“Life should be different. I should have more money. I should have more friends. I should have a better relationship.”
And there’s this myth that says, “If I don’t have those things, then somehow, I take it personally. Something’s wrong with me. I’m a failure. I’m not good enough. I suck. Boo-hoo.”
Let’s explore how to tame self criticism.
Where I Felt Weak and Powerless
Well, here’s a little story about when I was a kid. I was in little league baseball, and I was a solid catcher. But every time I’d get to bat, I was not very good at hitting the ball. I struck out almost every time. I didn’t get on base unless the ball hit me, and I would try to have that happen because I would rather get hit that disappoint my team-mates.
I mean, the looks of disappointment from my team-mates as I stranded guys on base was just terrible. Right now I can still feel it, and I cringe. I felt weak. I felt powerless. I felt this sense of not enough. I felt embarrassed. And all of this was in front of others.
And so I started to create a story. This story was, “You can’t count on me when the pressure is on.” I made it personal. I made it about me. I made it about who I was as a person. And I connected my inability to hit the ball with my value as a person. I took that experience and I turned the blade on myself.
What I Learned by Watching a Little Kid
So let’s bring it up to today. Recently, I was out playing with my daughter near a baseball field, and there was this young kid and his dad out there and they were, you know, he was doing batting practice. And this kid was killing it! I mean he was just raining baseballs everywhere. And then the obvious occurred to me. I never put that much time, or energy, or practice into becoming a better hitter.
I obviously needed help. Hitting was not natural for me, but I was just sitting there watching this kid learning and getting better. And even though he was obviously good at it, he was still working on it. He was a student. He was learning how to hit the ball even better.
I Never Did This
I could count the times I really practiced hitting the ball. Twice. But it wasn’t that I sucked, or that I was a failure, or any of that. I just didn’t practice. I didn’t put the effort into it. And in that moment, that story I had about who I was, about how I sucked, about how I was weak, how I was undependable didn’t hold water.
And here I am, forty-one years old, and I was still telling myself that story in my darkest moments. I still believed that thing. And it was all coming back to the reason, I hadn’t practiced hitting the ball. So yes, I sucked at hitting the ball, no doubt. But that didn’t mean that I sucked as a person.
So What’s the Point?
Any place where you’re creating some story about how you suck, where you’re turning the blade on yourself, comparing yourself to others, doing this, “I’m not enough,” then I want you to stop. I want you to consider how much of your efforts are aligned with creating this.
Ruminating about something is not practice.
Worrying about something is not practice.
Reading about something is not practice.
Listening to a podcast about it is not practice.
So really, how much of your time is spent getting your hands dirty and learning and practicing?
Please Learn This:
Whenever we’re judging. Or criticizing. Or blaming. We are not creating a solution.
And I am going to say that again. Whenever we are judging, or criticizing, or blaming, we are not creating a solution.
So if you’re disappointed in your social life, what efforts are you making to create friendships? What efforts are you making to actually learn how to relate and connect with people? It’s hard in the beginning. It takes practice. Constant practice.
If you’re disappointed in your love life, what efforts are you making to create an amazing relationship? Complaining about your partner is not creating an amazing relationship. So what skills are you learning? What tough conversations are you engaging? It’s hard in the beginning. It takes practice. It takes constant practice.
If you’re disappointed in your financial situation, how are your efforts aligned with creating wealth? Looking for a job is not creating wealth. Creating wealth comes from delivering value to people. So how much effort have you put into learning how to create real value for people?
We’re Not Entitled to Anything
So there’s this myth that we buy into that one day, these things should just magically happen. And another one is that these things should just be there already. We should just magically have it all figured out. But it’s bullshit. We’re not entitled to anything. And if we want something, we’ve just got to put that effort into it. And this requires taking a risk.
It requires missing the ball as it flies over the plate. It requires stepping into uncertainty. It requires letting go of the idea that there’s some specific path that would be safe, and that it’s going to deliver exactly what we want. It requires letting go of the idea that one day, we’re going to be done. Then we’ll be the expert, and we get to stop learning now because that’s how it is, right? There’s this finish line and we’re done.
Well that doesn’t exist. The true student knows this. The student simply focuses on what needs to be learned and integrated. So consider this. At one point, interviewing people on this show was a big challenge for me. And now, after one hundred and fifty episodes, it’s somethin’ that I’m more comfortable doing.
Here’s How I Take a Risk
What’s challenging for me is this. Talking to you. Sharing my thoughts and feelings and opinions right now. My coach helped me see that I was playing it safe. He called me out saying that I was hiding behind the interviewer role. And I could be learning how to help others more directly. This is something I’m learning how to do. And I cringe when I listen back to these recordings, but it’s okay.
I put them out anyway. I know they’re not perfect. But this is my way of learning and taking risks, and yes, even sucking a bit. So if things are sucking for you, let’s not take it personally. It’s not about you, who you think you are or who you’re not.
The Sob Story is a Distraction
Consider that the sob story just keeps you from figuring out what you need to learn and integrate. So here’s my challenge for you. Be willing to suck for a while. Practice. You’ll get better. And you’ll feel better because you’re actually engaging your challenge instead of getting stuck in your story and self-judgment.
Simply doing this makes you extraordinary. Because most people, they’re willing to settle for sucking, and finding someone else or themselves to blame for why they feel like crap.
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