Dec. 7, 2020

I’m Not Sure if I’m Self-Aware - Part 2

I’m Not Sure if I’m Self-Aware - Part 2

Today on We Do Hard Things, we’re going to look at how to identify people, including ourselves, who lack self awareness and what we can do about it.  Welcome to Part 2 of I’m Not Sure if I’m Self-Aware.


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Chris  0:00  
Today on we do hard things, we're gonna continue to look at how to identify people, including ourselves who lack self awareness and what we can do about it. Welcome to part two of I'm not sure if I'm self aware.

Welcome to we do hard things, a conversation about shared experiences, lifting each other up and thriving in a community of people who do hard things. And now, here are your hosts, Chris and Mary Catherine.

Mary Catherine  0:40  
party people. This is Mary Catherine. 

Chris  0:43  
Hello, this is Chris. I talked over you there.

Mary Catherine  0:46  
I know. It's okay.

Chris  0:47  
There you sir. Sorry about that.

Mary Catherine  0:49  
So I was just noticing that the window behind your chair was up a little bit.

Chris  0:55  
Oh, the blind. Yeah.

Mary Catherine  0:57  
Not the window, the blinds. And Gracie was looking at of it. Yeah. And she's in a pretty good routine of just laying down in here as a podcast dog. Right. But when I saw that window open, my heart started reading really fast, because you'd already started. And I was like, I hope there's not a deer out there. Or a cat or something. Oh, but she's coming back here right now.

Chris  1:18  
Yeah, that window?

Mary Catherine  1:19  
Yep. So we're kind of going to be on the seat of our pants here. Hoping that she doesn't bark. Well, I

Chris  1:27  
mean, well, I can edit the barks out. Unless they're like, overlapping are talking yet. She's like, putting her nose on my face on my arm right now. But, yeah, um, you know what's great. I have a new office chair and it doesn't squeak

Mary Catherine  1:45  
I'm sitting in the squeaky when I

Chris  1:47  
know there's that my no the squeaky one. The really squeaky one is the one that used to be where I'm sitting and it was bad. It was bad. So whenever I would edit the podcast, I would hear it squeaking. So a lot of us bite through both of our microphones. That's awesome. And it was hard to edit out. So if you're a listener, and you've heard the squeaky chair, it's gone. I'm hoping you won't hear it anymore. Unless Mary moves a lot.

I am so comfortable right now. I'm not gonna move. She's sitting here in a robe.

Mary Catherine  2:19  
I have other clothes like I have full clothes on but I had to put my purple robe on to help Washington the Washington Huskies win. But they came close. They got they didn't really great right as I put my robe on, and then they didn't finish it.

Chris  2:33  
Well, I think it's odd that you put a robe on white.

Mary Catherine  2:36  
It's weird. If it doesn't work.

Chris  2:38  
Why wouldn't you put your Husky t shirt on or whatever.

Mary Catherine  2:42  
It was the fastest thing I had and it's purple and it worked last week. So but you could say that's a mike. Minnesota Viking. No, I couldn't because it's a Washington. There's no Washington Husky on it. It became it on another w on when I

Chris  2:58  
won that Minnesota Vikings jersey.

Mary Catherine  3:01  
You set your mouth

Chris  3:03  
for any?

Mary Catherine  3:04  
Nope, it's Huskies Go Go dogs.

Chris  3:07  
Okay, you're I don't even know what to say. So yeah, I'm happy I have this new office church so much better than the other one.

Mary Catherine  3:16  
You're welcome. I got it from for Christmas. Oh, you

Chris  3:18  
didn't I bought it and I delivered through the Amazon.

Mary Catherine  3:24  
Okay. It does look pretty. Pretty space age.

Chris  3:29  
It's very comfortable. I can like lean back. And I can adjust the digit squeak now. I can adjust the the lumbar on it, which is cool. And it's got a headrest if I want to lean back and you know, rest my spine and my neck or whatever.

Mary Catherine  3:47  
So I've been in this chair people and it leans back like a recliner. Very cool. And I immediately thought this is a really nice check to see my husband because he loves being in the studio. He loves whatever he does in here. And

Chris  4:04  
it's it's like my man cave.

Mary Catherine  4:07  
And I do is like my man cave. I needed to be a little less comfortable up in here.

Chris  4:12  
I don't know. Why is it that?

Unknown Speaker  4:14  
Women don't have women caves? Because I haven't study.

Chris  4:18  
I know. But if you like I have a lot of friends that have men man caves, right? wives don't have women.

Mary Catherine  4:24  
I think it's assumed that women have the whole house and they just need a spot on like in our house. Y'all have the house and I have a spot.

Chris  4:34  
Well, that's because we outnumber you now two to one. That's true to two if you count Gracie. Yeah, but she's a dog. Mm hmm. She doesn't count. No. So what's going on with you?

Mary Catherine  4:44  
I just finished my second quarter of my doctorial program.

Chris  4:49  
Yes. Is it doctorial or doctoral?

Mary Catherine  4:52  
Does it matter? Not really. Okay.

Chris  4:54  
I guess if you're a doctor, you can call whatever you

Mary Catherine  4:56  
Yeah. For my educational leadership program. Yeah, it's been really cool. And today, we wrapped up our one of my classes with some self awareness questions, which I was like, Oh, this just wraps into what we're gonna be talking about on our podcast. So it was really cool. Yeah. What? coinkidink cutting kidding.

Chris  5:23  
Well, speaking of that, we should probably jump into this content today, don't you think?

Mary Catherine  5:29  
I do? Let's get it.

Chris  5:31  

So we started talking about this last week. This the whole idea of being self aware. Right. So if almost every area of life, whether it's business or dating, or marriage or politics, the ability to assess someone's level of self self awareness is crucial. If you want to develop an eye for spotting low self awareness, train yourself to look for the six signs. We talked about three of them last week, we're going to cover the last three this week. The first one is being vague about your feelings. Mm hmm. Does that sound familiar to you?

Unknown Speaker  6:22  
Mm hmm.

Chris  6:24  
That's all you have to say. So it may seem like a small thing, but there, some people have a habit of describing feelings in an overly vague or intellectual ways. It's often a subtle avoidance mechanism, right? So, for example, I might say, I'm just upset. Right? Because it feels less scary to say that than say, right? I'm sad. Right? about this last week about being vulnerable. If you can't be vulnerable, you can't be self aware, right? You got to name it. So you might say, I'm just stressed out, right? It's much, much easier to say that then. I'm really angry right now, actually. Mm hmm. Right. Yeah. But here's the thing. When you avoid expressing your feelings, yeah, you teach your mind that they're dangerous. That's right. feelings can feelings are dangerous. That's what you're teaching them.

Mary Catherine  7:25  
Right. Like, there's a shame in it. Yeah. Like, little kids will be like, get upset, and they think it's bad for them to feel upset.

Chris  7:34  
Right. And that's how they, when that happens. That's the kind of adults they turn into. Right, or those that are not self aware. Right, right. Mm hmm. So if someone's constantly running away from something, like their own feelings, for example, Mm hmm. It shouldn't be surprising when their mind interprets that thing as dangerous.

Mary Catherine  7:55  
Right? Right. Yeah. Because your brain wants to keep you safe all the time. Right. So of course, it's gonna be like, no, don't go there. Don't do that conflict. Don't do that thing. Don't be vulnerable.

Chris  8:10  
Yeah. So I mean, getting back to the main point about being vague about your feelings. You know, self aware people understand that. Just because something feels bad, doesn't mean it is bad.

Mary Catherine  8:25  
Yes. being okay with being uncomfortable.

Chris  8:27  
Yes. Yes. In life. That's like a big skill to have

Mary Catherine  8:32  
it is because even if you don't feel like something, or you're uncomfortable with something doesn't mean that it's not necessary or important or good. Hmm.

Chris  8:43  
Yes. Yes. You know, push back a little bit. Right. Right. So the next one is worrying about the future. So worry is basically problem solving that's applied to something in the future that either isn't a problem, or is a problem that can't be solved by you at the moment, right. So in other words, worry is unproductive thinking about the future.

Mary Catherine  9:09  
Right? So

Chris  9:10  
yeah, go ahead.

Mary Catherine  9:10  
It's sending the worst.

Chris  9:13  
Yeah, you use that term all the time. Right.

Mary Catherine  9:14  
Right. It's an error and thinking it's

Chris  9:16  
an error in thinking you're assuming the worst worrying about the future. What does it do for you? Nothing? Absolutely nothing. Right.

Unknown Speaker  9:25  
That's the song. Yeah.

Chris  9:27  
And you? I mean, what's the point? Right, right. You can't change the future.

Mary Catherine  9:31  

Chris  9:32  
Right? You can plan for the future. Sure. It can work towards the future. Hmm. But if you're worrying about the future in a way that is, like, just drowning you and stress, yes. You're not doing it, right.

Mary Catherine  9:49  
Yes. And I feel like I do this very well. And well, you do it very well, and I don't do it very well. Really. How does this make sense? What do you You think that because you worry about the future?

Chris  10:03  
I do. Yeah.

Mary Catherine  10:04  
And I am like, I might gonna make it to dinner. Like, I don't worry about the future, the way you worry about the future. And I sometimes think something's wrong with me.

Chris  10:17  
I, here's what I think. Okay, I think what you're saying is true. I think what you're saying is, and this is what I believe, is that you are on one end of the spectrum, and I'm on the other for sure. And we should be somewhere near near the middle.

Unknown Speaker  10:32  

Chris  10:33  
right. I agree. I am a warrior.

Mary Catherine  10:36  
You are, thankfully, because I am way over holding the peg down on the other end of the spectrum over here. Like you're just

Chris  10:43  
whatever. I mean, if if we were going to, if we were going to characterize how you and I are different in this Yes, guard using music, yes. You would be this part of the music, you would be dumbed down.

Mary Catherine  11:00  
That's not true. I'd be like smooth jazz, whatever.

Unknown Speaker  11:03  
And you'd be like, dun dun dun dun da da da da da da.

Chris  11:09  
Okay, so we have to find some middle ground where we cymbals crashing, we have to find the middle ground. Yeah. Because we are. I know my worry generates loads of anxiety and stress, not just for myself,

Mary Catherine  11:23  
but for everyone in the building.

Chris  11:26  
Yes. Even the building. You mean our house?

Mary Catherine  11:29  
Building house dog outside and government neighborhood doesn't matter. So

Chris  11:33  
why do you think I do that? Why do you think I worry that much?

Mary Catherine  11:38  
Because I'm not

Chris  11:40  
probably because I don't think I used to be this big of a worrier. I almost said, whiner.

Mary Catherine  11:47  
I meant you were wrong. But I

Chris  11:51  
but I think that since you're not a worrier, yeah. Like at all like your negative worrier. I think that I've inside, made myself be more worried about stuff so that I actually take action to make sure that the things I'm worried about, get taken care

Mary Catherine  12:09  
of. Okay, so here's the problem. Okay. You worry about potential realities. I don't worry, because I know, some horrible is gonna happen.

Chris  12:24  

Mary Catherine  12:25  
Yeah. Like, I'm sure of it, like, and it's gonna happen, and we're gonna be alright.

Chris  12:29  
So okay, I get that. So here's where I'm coming from. Sure. Based on what I do for a living. Yeah, I am able to see different scenarios that could possibly happen. Yes. Some good. Yep. Some bad, huh? Mostly bad. Sure. And I'm able to and the reason I worry, the way I do is because I can see all of those things. Yes. And then I am because of that. Uh huh. Trying to find solutions before those things happen. Yes. Now, if I was smart, I would be like you and just assume that one of the bad parts is going to happen. Yeah. And just think, hey, when it does, I'll come up with something.

Mary Catherine  13:13  
Well, I do know, I do. Like you do. I do. Doo, doo doo. I do see bad things. Like, it's part of PTSD, as you see all the things, right. The hyper vigilant, like, all these things are gonna happen. But I also come up with plans for when they do, but I'm not worried about it, because I already planned. Right, right. And then if I can, I will set up or arrange things in my environment that minimize that those things happening the same way you do in your environment. Sure. And in your work. In my work, it's just easier because it's mostly up to me in one para, whereas you're putting it out in a private organization, to a group of people. And then if they don't follow it, you're dinged, personally, right. So that lifts the stakes up for you. But here in the house, it's all out war, because I don't care about safety at home. Yeah, it's obvious,

Chris  14:14  
obvious, you're the one that gets up on a chair to change the light bulb. Well, sometimes the ladders do heavy. So I consider myself to be self aware.

Mary Catherine  14:24  
Right? You are very self aware.

Chris  14:26  
Somebody that worries the way I do really isn't self aware. People that worry like me lack self awareness. I think that's proven.

Mary Catherine  14:36  
I think that you're need to work on one of your STL qualities. I don't even know what that means. social emotional. Oh, yeah. I just think that you need to work on just that aspect of it. Have that worry.

Chris  14:52  
Yeah. Yeah.

Mary Catherine  14:53  
You know, and just being aware of you in your space. Sure. Well, I don't think you're That like, because you're this one thing doesn't negate, like, how self aware you are on it as a whole,

Chris  15:08  
I guess I guess since I'm able to realize that I'm not self aware or that I worry, I must be self aware

Mary Catherine  15:15  

Chris  15:16  
Alright. The last thing moving from the future to the past, right? Is ruminating on the past. Yes. So just like worry is unproductive thinking about the future rumination and you've used this for before I have is unproductive thinking about the past.

Mary Catherine  15:34  
So it's also a quality only humans have.

Chris  15:37  
Animals don't think about the past. Nope. Okay? They're not they're not sentimental

Mary Catherine  15:42  
know when your amygdala is hijacked. Right. So you separate on the future, or Aren't you worried about things? So that's separation, right? And then ruminating is what you do in the past, right? illuminating things. So we are the only ones who can do that. And if someone is chasing a zebra, right? Okay, not someone something is chasing a zebra. As soon as that event is over the zebras back to doing what he was doing before. He's not like, Whoa, that was scary. He just is like, Huh, that that that thing is past. And now I'm on the grass again, or whatever zebras do. So the lion

Chris  16:27  
Yeah, he told me that the lion hunts out the zebra right chases it down.

Mary Catherine  16:34  
Yeah. Attacks it. Well, it doesn't get to it just quits.

Chris  16:37  
Oh, I'm saying Well, let me finish what I'm saying. Okay. catches it. Okay. kills it. Sure. eats it.

Mary Catherine  16:45  
He did.

Chris  16:46  
And when he's done eating it, he's just like, never remember. Next. You think he remembers it?

Mary Catherine  16:52  
He might remember. But he's not going to ruminate on it. He's moved on. Plus, he's not in the fight flight or fright, or freeze or fun. He's He's like the guy getting the stuff

Chris  17:03  
I know. But if you're a lion, if I was a lion, and I am in a zebra, I caught a zebra. That's really fast.

Mary Catherine  17:09  
Yeah. And you'd be doing like a dance. I'd be like,

Chris  17:13  
after I was done eating. And I was like, Man, I'm a good lie. I'm a fast line. I

Mary Catherine  17:17  
caught lions don't do that. No, no. But as humans when and our stress response and are raised, arise in our cortisol levels, make us make us do these things.

Chris  17:33  
Okay. So when people spend too much time ruminating and dwelling on their past mistakes, yep. Or their losses? Or their failures? Sure. It can lead to a tremendous emotional suffering, it does with no upside at all.

Mary Catherine  17:50  
No, and it's physiologically damaging. What does that mean? That means you're actually hurting your insides of your brain. you're you're you're building pathways to where you're always heightened, and you are your stress, chemicals are always heightened, which causes heart disease, diabetes, obesity, all kinds of things. So,

Chris  18:14  
here's where I struggle, okay, I get why I worry about the future, right? Pretty simple. Life's lazy. No, other than that, I want things to turn out the way I want them to turn out, right? I want to be successful. I want our family to have this and that. And I want us to be happy and safe and all this. That's why I worry about the future,

Mary Catherine  18:37  
the value you have. It's a value call.

Chris  18:40  
But why do people worry about the past when it's so clear? That there's there's nothing you can do to change the past? At least in the future, you still have this fantasy or this idea that you might be able to control which way it goes.

Mary Catherine  18:57  
Right? Because why? I for many reasons, but I think that one of the things about it is because we can we have the ability because of our prefrontal cortex to run different endings are different scenarios. So we go we're always what a thing. Right? Right. So we take a memory from the past that which is probably not accurate.

Chris  19:24  
In the first place. Oh, you. You're saying that we may our memories on being might not be great,

Mary Catherine  19:30  
no, our memories are stinky. And so we take this stinky memory and then we play it out and we change it to different scenarios. And which can lead us down a pretty rotten road. Right, right, which is where we get blame and shame and self doubt and all that stuff. Right?

Chris  19:52  
So when people don't have the self awareness and emotional maturity to face up to the uncontrollability I guess of the past Yeah, ruminating, at least for me, I don't do this. But I know of other people that if you ruminate on it, make some fill, maybe temporarily better. Like they have some control over like you're saying,

Mary Catherine  20:12  
right? We, but it also can stick you like you can get really stuck in that spot.

Chris  20:21  
Do you think it's unhealthy? to replay those things in your head that happened in the past? Over and over? Yes. What about just once and go? You know, I probably could have done that better. And maybe I can learn from it.

Mary Catherine  20:35  
Yeah, well, we should reflect every day. Right. But I would let it go, as also would say.

Chris  20:43  
But I guess I guess I get I understand why people want to feel that control, though.

Mary Catherine  20:49  
Yes, right. Yeah. They do want to feel that control. And we don't have control. It's an illusion. Complete illusion, complete illusion. All you have right now is right now in this time and space, right? And so be present. And then also, if you're ruminating about things in the past, and you find yourself ruminating a lot, constantly, either, look, take a minute and check yourself, because what is the value? Or are you living who you are. Because if you know who you are, who your identity, what your identity is, and who you are, then making judgments and making decisions are pretty easy, because they're based on your values, right? And so if you're ruminating about something that's happened, then spend some time journaling it because you will need to check your values and check how you make your decisions. Sure, sure.

Chris  21:53  
Well, that makes sense. I think that if at the end of the day, I think it like you said it's okay to reflect on those past mistakes or losses, or, you know, whatever. But you got to accept them. And just don't ruminate on them.

Mary Catherine  22:12  
Yes. And there's a lot of good questions you can ask yourself, you know, and we didn't touch on anything. In this podcast for self awareness, it has to do with race and equity. This time, we will in the future people we will. But just that's one of those self awareness things to that, you know, how much space Am I taking up? Am I allowing other people in the room to talk? If you're in a room of five men and one woman, is she getting an opportunity to have some space in the room too? Right,

Chris  22:50  
right. Well, that makes sense. Yeah. So let's recap the the six the six things that we talked about last week, and this week. Okay, let's do it. Basically six signs that we're looking for in people that are not self aware. The first one was never admitting mistakes, which we, we think, discuss last week,

Mary Catherine  23:14  
why is your dimple pop out? A little guilty

Chris  23:18  
about that. I do feel a little bit guilty about it, because I do have a problem admitting my mistakes. But

Mary Catherine  23:22  
you know what, you just made it right. I did.

Chris  23:24  
The second one was criticizing others, which we also talked about last week. A big one, I think when you see people do that over and over and over again. And it's really just trying to make somebody else look dumb so that you look smart, right, which feels good to people. I mean, I doesn't make me feel good, but I think it makes some people feel good about themselves. Yeah, the third one last week was avoiding hard decisions. So just just kind of waiting and waiting and waiting before you make a decision, because you just can't do it. Don't

Mary Catherine  23:58  
want to do it. That's a values thing, too.

Chris  24:00  
Yeah. And then again, the three that we talked about this week, being vague about your feelings, not a good thing, worrying about the future, and then ruminating on the past those to kind of go hand in hand. Try to find yourself in somewhere in the middle will be good. Just like you and I need to be more in the middle on those things as well.

Unknown Speaker  24:22  
I'll work on it.

Chris  24:23  
Yeah, whatever. So if you see any of this stuff, and others, the best thing that you can do, and I think we talked about this last week, too, is just to have an honest conversation about battle with them. I see this in my line of work, just in the in the out in the world. It's always good to tell people where they can make improvements and I'm open to feedback like that as well. Just not from my family or my

Mary Catherine  24:50  
friends and or your wife You pointed to me. But I had you asked me last week if I wanted to have if you if I would go up to somebody and say Hey, you're you know, you're really not self aware. Yeah, whatever. I do know, but I came, I come to you this week with a better answer, okay. I believe that something that you can do to open that conversation is to approach somebody and say, How can I do better for you? What do you need more of for me are different for me.

Chris  25:25  
So this is someone that you're close to whether it's work or home or whatever,

Mary Catherine  25:29  
yeah, like your boss the street? No, like hot like your boss, like, what do you need more for me? What do you what do you see that I have? But I'm not doing that you would like to see more for me? Or your husband or your wife? Holy cow. If you came up and said, What do you need for me more right now? More shoulder massages? For real?

Chris  25:50  
But no, that was me asking you

Mary Catherine  25:52  
Oh, I was. I guess we're both in check, check. But you know, like, I need you. I like when you give me that space blob blue. Thanks for honoring my six o'clock bedtime, you know, whatever it is, right? Yeah. And then, and then that provides some them an opportunity to talk to you, and you have an opportunity to talk to them. And then empathy and love can be in there instead of coming from a place of fear and anger and resentment.

Chris  26:19  
Right. Which oftentimes is, if you don't have courage to have those conversations, yeah, a lot of people will just go to that. That's much easier to just have these bad feelings about somebody and have them have bad feelings about you. Yeah, that's more simple. Yeah, actually having that simple conversation.

Mary Catherine  26:38  
And if you're going into it, afraid to have the conversation, obviously, you're it's, you're coming from a place of fear, right? Not a place of love.

Chris  26:47  
Yeah. And you got to come from the place of love. That's where it's all at, right?

Mary Katherine loves inspirational quotes, they inspire her. And here she is with one.

Mary Catherine  27:08  
The Curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. Carl, are Rogers.

Chris  27:20  
You have anything to say about that?

Mary Catherine  27:22  
I don't, I find

Chris  27:24  
I find that quote, very. I find it interesting. But I also find I find it very relieving. Because it's true, right? Once you get to a point in your life, and I've noticed, as I've gotten older, that I accept myself, just as I am more, not completely, but more than I did when I was say 40, or 30, or 20. Now, in my 50s, I accept myself more. Yeah, that's just as I am. And when as soon as I did, that, I was able to make some changes in my life to do things that I wanted, I've always wanted to do, or have been afraid to do or not been able to, you know, be vulnerable, vulnerable enough to do.

Mary Catherine  28:04  
Yeah, and I, you hear that as you get older, you can you get more comfortable being who you are, right? I think that that's such a blessing. Because knowing where you came from knowing your identity, being okay with who you are, is awesome. Like, it's the best. I can't imagine what I'm gonna be like, when I'm 80.

Chris  28:27  
I know, right? I always I always, I am always envious of people that are older than me. And not because, you know, they've got something I don't have, except for the fact that they have this. I don't care.

Right? Not not, maybe not, I

don't care, but I'm good with where I'm at.

Mary Catherine  28:46  
And I'm gonna be bold in that. And that's one of the things that you have to do to be okay is Be bold, and know who you are.

Chris  28:56  
And if you guys are out there feeling the same way that you maybe don't feel like you can be like that. Just be yourself. Just be yourself and then you can change and be whoever you want to be.

Mary Catherine  29:16  
Thanks for joining us this week. If you'd like to be part of the we do hard things community text, Wd HT pod 244222 and get free updates news and special offers from us. If you enjoy the show and would like to help us keep going you can do that one of two ways. First, please go to Apple podcasts and subscribe to the show and leave us a rating and review.

Chris  29:39  
You can also go to buy me a slash w DHT and give us a one time donation or choose to become a member and get special access to members only content. If you'd like to ask a question or make a comment about the show. You can either email us at Chris Marriott wd HT podcast calm Or just go to the show notes and use the Facebook page or voicemail link to leave us a message. We'd love to hear from you and share your thoughts and stories with the rest of our audience and our community. Thank you for listening, and have a great week.

Mary Catherine  30:16  
See you later. Yo

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