The Crazy One

Ep 86 Career: How to make peace with yourself to improve your creativity.

September 29, 2019 Stephen Gates Episode 86
The Crazy One
Ep 86 Career: How to make peace with yourself to improve your creativity.
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The Crazy One
Ep 86 Career: How to make peace with yourself to improve your creativity.
Sep 29, 2019 Episode 86
Stephen Gates

Creativity and insecurity go hand in hand because our ideas and creative process are strongly influenced by what we have experienced in our life. The challenge is that we have all led different lives, so it is pretty much impossible to find other people who have the exact same problems you do. In this episode, we will look at where some of the most common creative insecurities come from, and with that understanding talk through a framework that can help you have a new way of dealing with yourself and your work.

SHOW NOTES:
http://thecrazy1.com/episode86
 
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Show Notes Transcript

Creativity and insecurity go hand in hand because our ideas and creative process are strongly influenced by what we have experienced in our life. The challenge is that we have all led different lives, so it is pretty much impossible to find other people who have the exact same problems you do. In this episode, we will look at where some of the most common creative insecurities come from, and with that understanding talk through a framework that can help you have a new way of dealing with yourself and your work.

SHOW NOTES:
http://thecrazy1.com/episode86
 
FOLLOW THE CRAZY ONE:
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook 

Stephen Gates :

What's going on everybody, and welcome to the 86th episode of the crazy one podcast. As always, I'm your host, Stephen Gates and this is the show where we talk about how to help you be more creative, become a better leader, create more innovative work, grow stronger career and a whole lot more. Now, be sure to hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform to get the latest episodes whenever they come out. And leave a review while you're there. So people know what you think about the show. As always, you can listen to all the shows, get the show notes, see my essential creative tools and even get some crazy one propaganda just head over to the crazy one calm. That's the crazy and the number one calm. Also, you got some questions or some some things you want to talk about. Maybe there's something that you'd like to hear more about. Keep up with my adventures and a whole lot more. You know what you can reach out to me Follow me do things like that you can do it on Twitter, Instagram, or linked in. Now,

Unknown Speaker :

I think

Stephen Gates :

we talk a lot about your career. We talk a lot about creativity and different things like that. And, you know, I think a lot of what it is is that Whenever I think about it, creativity asks you really to simultaneously somebody who I think can like you can have your own ideas, right? Like you have your own personal your internal process, where you kind of kind of like go off in that traditional role of like, what is design and you know, all that sort of stuff. But I think it's also when these things were like you need to be able to work with a team. And that sort of requires a different set of social skills, a different way of working out, you really sort of like externalize your creativity. Now, finding the balance between kind of like yourself and your team can be a hard one. I think that's why those dynamics are always changing. It's a talent is always something people want to talk about. But again, today, I want to talk about one of these things that only you can control, which is you. And I've said it before that, you know, creating this show helps me I think as much maybe even more than I think it helps you. And that's because the topics that we cover are things that I've gone through that I am going through and I'm coaching somebody through I mean It's not a coincidence that I've done jobs on quitting your job shortly before after I've actually quit a job because that was something that was on my mind, or there are different things like that. And, you know, it's, it's always an interesting sort of thing to be able to have this sort of like internal discussion myself, and in a very, very public one with all of you. And I've seen that, you know, in the same way where I have this way for me to think about this stuff, I have this way for me to be able to work through those problems. I've also seen that not many people have something like this show to be able to help them think through their problems. And that what tends to happen is those problems build up to a point where I see and will coach and talk to people at conferences I go to and one on ones over emails, that you know what, they just feel lost, they feel frustrated, they've had some sort of a breakdown, or it's just like, they just know something's wrong, and they can't quite figure out what it is right? Like they just, they feel like everybody else is happy and they're not. And I think that, you know, as I've started to look at this, I started Look at it in my own life and and others. You know, there's a lot of what goes on where we build these like coping mechanisms to deal with our problems. And I think the challenges that coping mechanisms aren't really a great long term solution because they break down over time. And eventually, you're sort of putting in this position where you either have to deal with a problem, or you're gonna have to basically take these like increasingly drastic measures to sort of keep those problems suppressed. And as I've helped coach leaders, and creatives through some of these problems, I've started to see this sort of like pattern that emerges that I think is really almost like the foundation of where a lot of these struggles come from. And I think as strange as that may sound, and and I think, you know, a lot of this comes out of the fact then here again, we've talked about this before. Creativity is just almost just like a resting state of insecurity. Because what we do is so personal, what we do is so different, it doesn't have a right answer, there's not, you know, a mathematical way to be able to measure To prove it or say what we do is is always the right thing to be able to do. So, so many people that I think really struggle with how to make peace with themselves. So that's what I look at in this episode is I want to look at where do I think this comes from? And then sort of once we have a little bit of an understanding of what is that foundation? What are some of the things that are going on there, I think hopefully give you a little bit of a new perspective and maybe a new way of working. And really just like, how do we deal with ourselves? And then by extension, how do we deal with our work? And now, you know, I know in past episodes, we've talked about things like design imposter syndrome, which is that like little nagging voice, that I think too often stops your ideas or convinces you to make them like smaller or safer or just not what they could be. And that's not what I want to talk about today. Right? Because I think that is an introspective way of looking at things. So I think if we're going to pull apart a few of these subjects, like at the top line, we've done episodes on design, apostasy syndrome and we've done it on cognitive bias. Now the difference between those two is going to be that design. imposter syndrome is that voice that says people aren't going to like your ideas that you don't necessarily measure up, it's that little seed of doubt, that'll tend to eat away at your creativity, often making your ideas smaller. Now cognitive bias is really the lenses through which you then perceive the world. So how do you pull in information? How do you pull in insights and different things like that? And how do you be able to do that in a way that isn't necessarily biased? Or you aren't, you know, really talking yourself into the fact that like, well, the way I see the world is the right way of doing things. Now, a lot of those really are centered more around creativity. Now, what I want to talk about with this is a little bit different, because you know, what we're going to talk about is another part of that internal voice. But I don't think that it's it's not something that creates doubt in your ideas or your creativity, the way that like design imposter syndrome does. I think these are this Is the little voice that really creates doubt about you. And I think, you know, a lot of it can be called insecurities like, whatever those are, right. But I think these are those things that I think really affect everything in your life, not just your creativity. And I think this is one of those cases where I this is why I've always sort of felt that that line between the work that we do and the life that we lead gets real blurry. And I think especially the more you start to really study this, the more you start to look at it. There's not a clean line between that because there's not a moment when you can just say, you know what, I don't want to be creative anymore. I'm not gonna be a designer or a writer or a coder, like whatever that is right. Like, I'm not, that's not who I am today. It's just not a lens that you can turn off. And I think you know that in a lot of cases, these insecurities really become more visible or more of a problem whenever you're at work because I almost really feel like work makes them more visible because honestly, they're harder to hide because you You've got to work alongside other people. And there are people who I talk to, I think this is a barrier, why they don't want to work with a team or they want to do their own thing or that because that way, again, it's just a coping mechanism for them not to have to confront some of this stuff. And the thing that I would also maybe even argue, depending on the way that you kind of show up at work is that I think our teams and our work honestly might even be more influential, especially the further you go on in life than our families, right? Because I think you know, for your family, like you can always dismiss them, you can always say that they're crazy, you can move to another part of the country like you can, you can always just sort of do that. And there's this like, socially accepted convention that like everybody's family screwed up, right? So there's an easy escape mechanism there for you just be able to say like, yeah, my family's crazy, but if you think about it, that is a lot harder to do at work because you can't escape as easily as you can. Your family. You're judged differently. The social contract is differently you like if you're moving jobs every six months or a year, you know, by about I don't know what the third or fourth time you've done that people Don't think that like, Oh, it's this other group of people, they start to think, Oh, it's you. And so again, while it's similar, I think it's it's actually probably a little bit different. And that that why that's why I think so much of this does surface or these sort of personal issues or things that people have struggled with suddenly surface at work, and they become these barriers that look, I've come this far in my career, and I just I don't know how to go any further. But let's, let's start, you know, probably, I guess, is usually the case like, let's start the beginning of all this. Because as I've worked with more creatives, I've come to understand that a lot of these insecurities really kind of come out of some some fairly common places that I think everybody deals with, because that's what's been the interesting thing for me on this journey that I've been for the over the last year and a half is that, you know, right now I'm working with teams on five different continents that speak multiple different languages and multiple different cultures. But isn't it crazy how in spite of all those things that are different, the insecurities that I see the challenges that people have with creativity, the challenges that people have, in working with other people somehow remain the same. So it's not a cultural thing. I don't think I think it's just something that's kind of like hardwired into us in the process that we go through in life and coming to grips with, you know, how do we do that and still be creative. And like, as we go through this sort of initial list, I want you to take some time. Now, if you can, like later, if you're driving or biking or doing something, or like taking the time to write something down might be a bad idea. So if you're doing those things, wait for later. But I want you to write down what we're going to talk about, in this case in a few of these areas. And because what I want to talk about is I think in many cases, it's, we have a really hard time letting the past be just that we have a hard time leaving the past in the past. And so I think that we end up with these sort of interesting areas. And what I want to do is, I can Gonna go through and tell you where these areas is I want you to think about in each one of those, like write down for, like, we'll start with your childhood, right? Like, let's use that as an example. Like, what I want you to do is just think about how whenever you describe your childhood to people, what do you tell people all the time, right? And then take another minute to think about and to write down what are the parts that maybe you leave out, you've been the truth on you apologize for maybe even just outright lie about because in many cases, I think it's those parts that you leave out, they're going to be the most important because those are the parts where your insecurities really are going to live. And I think that's what a lot of what we're going to look at today is really again, how do you make peace with some of those things in the past, so that they don't the past doesn't affect the future. Now, you know, there's going to be these these sort of five areas that I want you to think about and it's gonna be like your childhood, your education, your career, your process and your insecurities. And because I am in many cases Whenever I work with people, it tends to be one of these buckets or maybe even multiples, that there tends to be something they are struggling with something, they cannot make peace with something that they feel like makes them less than. So let's start with your childhood because I think like so many things, you know, some of our problems definitely come out of our childhood. And, you know, this can be things like, Where in the world did you grow up? Did you grow up in another culture? Did you grow up in another way of working or living? Like I know, people who have grown up in hippie communes or, you know, lesbian commie, like, they're not sort of like the standard childhood thing. And so they're, you know, they felt really apologetic for that for quite a long time. Things like, you know, just basic things like how much money did your parents have? Like, do you feel guilty because you had too much are you sort of ashamed because they had too little. Are there things like were you deeply religious or were you an atheist because, again, these can be very polarizing things. I mean, I very clearly remember so I was not raised religious My parents were I was not baptized. I super clearly remember a teacher standing up and telling me that I was going to hell because I hadn't been baptized. You know you think whenever you think about like loving religion that's maybe not the member you want to conjure, but you know that sort of moment you know, created this sort of thing for me to to be able to deal with about whenever you meet somebody who is really religious, like, Oh, my God, are they gonna judge me? Do they think less than me? You know, what's going on there? Other things were you popular in school or not? I was not. You know it whenever you talk about like the redheaded stepchild child joke. I think that was literally what I was. I mean, you call it Opie or like, whatever it was, I got every name in the book. And it was one of those things in my childhood like you either. Whenever you look like me, you better either be faster. Funny, right? And so for me, it was trying to work on a sense of humor or something like that, because I was not the popular kid. I was smart. And that was not popular. And also, just like, what did you like to do? You mean, were you the star on the football team? Or like, you know, were you in the A v club or whatever that was, but I think, you know, there's a lot of these sort of things that as you look back into your childhood that can start to lay again, the family for, you know, there's one guy who I work with and coach where he is very religious or even worked at a mega church. And you know, his perception of the world is that because he did that people are gonna think that he is racist, or that he's gonna think that he has these sort of issues. And he's not at all. I mean, he has two black kids, like that's not at all who he is. But again, there's this sort of what we think people are going to think about us now coming out of your childhood, then they're also going to be things around your education, and your education, which is something that you know, I think can be overhyped, and it can be, in some cases be undervalued. You know, like, did you do well in school or not? Did you get really good grades? Did you finish college? Did you do these sorts of things? And again, I think, you know, the good news about education is usually I think the only time that actually matters is is for me, probably the first job you get out of college. And I know, you know, people talk about alumni networks. I guess that's never anything that I've used is never anything that I've seen be effective. I'm sure that it For other people, but, you know, that ability to think about those sorts of things like, you know, did you even go to college? Did you go to someplace that people admire? Or did you go to a school that, you know, maybe people have never heard of? Again, I know a lot of people who never went to art school and are wildly successful, and candidly, some of the worst bosses and worst people I've ever worked with, went to super hyped Ivy League schools. So I think, you know, it is this ability to sort of make peace with you know, whatever that was, because it a lot of this sort of thing. I think when it comes to your childhood, your education, and even around your career, is that it made you the person you are today. And in many cases, I think, if that outcome has been good, then it's just simply about making peace with that, because if you change that, maybe you wouldn't have ended up where you did. I think if where you are right now you're not happy with I think there can be a tendency to try to hold the past accountable. Right, that those are the things that put me here and I am not happy and, you know, again, I know I've talked in other episodes about the them, right like it's easy to blame them. It's easy to blame it blame your parents, it's easy to blame your teachers, it's easy to blame bosses. But again, one, whatever those things that happened are you're not going to be able to undo. And I think in many cases, you know, you're right. Maybe they are to blame. Maybe there are things that that should have been different. But I think for me, there is also the reality that, you know, until somebody gets that DeLorean to get up at eight miles an hour, and we can go back to the past, it's going to stay the way that it was. And I think like I said, these issues can really, really affect because creativity is so emotional, this is why it can comes bleeding through so strongly. And then I think there are things around your career, right? Like once we get those sort of like to prep stages of childhood education out of the way, then we move into your career. And I think that's where like 2020 hindsight can make us feel super insecure, because, you know, there are things like when you think about what you've done, are you proud of your career? Have you worked at big companies or small companies? Have you won awards? Have you ever done anything that anybody thought was any good? And you know, I especially I think when you're early on in your career, I mean, I work for companies, nobody ever Ever heard of I did work that was not great. I mean, you take a job to pay the bills or just to try to get someplace and that, you know, that idea of of success or a lot of these sort of things. I mean, I'm very aware that there are some sometimes I can talk about this stuff, theoretically, almost maybe to the point where you feel like in some cases, I'm not aware of life, or bills or reality or other things like that. And I am, I think, you know, my hope in doing some of these things is that it doesn't have to be one or the other, that to be able to do this. And to find a way forward to find someplace that you really love does sometimes take the courage to confront these things, or to make a change or to do something different. But you know, for a lot of places, that's the thing is, you know, if you ever look at my resume, there's purposely sort of a band, where I just sort of lump everything together because I've worked at multiple places and done multiple things. And those were not the places that I was super proud of. So it's like, yeah, just let's take everything in my childhood until the moment that I was proud of it, lump it together, because honestly, my resume is now long enough that I can hide that shit. And so that's what I do is like, you know, there's that part of my career where it's like, you know what, I was not doing Great work, but it was very informative. It was really important to me, but let's maybe not shine the biggest spotlight on that. So no, I mean, again, we all do this. And then I think a lot of these sort of things then will influence, again, the ultimate outcome of this, which is going to be your process. And you know, your career is about the big decisions we've made in the past, right? Like the big places you work, the big positions, you've done, the big salaries, the raises, whatever that is. But your process is about really more of the decisions you make every day. So your child and your education are really stuck solidly in the past, right? I think your career is then in the past, but it's a little bit it's a little bit more in your control. And the process is sort of about the past and present at once, right? Because all those things that you're in the past and form the present, but it's also the fact that like, Look, no crew to creative people go about their process the same way and i think you know, also in many cases, have you actually taken the time to understand how you have an idea we've done an entire show is focused on this because I think it's so important that for so many people, creativity just seems to be like happenstance like, you know, Voodoo or magic powder like something where they can't really summon it on demand. And so as a result, creativity almost feels more like luck. And so I think that whenever it does feel like luck, whenever you aren't confident, that's whenever you struggle to try to figure out how you have an idea, then of course, you're going to have a massive insecurity in every single project you do. And every day that you show up to work, and everything that you do, you're going to be wildly insecure, because you're like, Look, I'd maybe this is gonna have a good outcome. Maybe it's not maybe I'm gonna keep my job. Maybe I'm not. But that's why I think this is so important is to be able to invest in these things. You can submit it on demand, right? And to think about like, do you sketch do you write down goals? Do you write down business goals? Do you do a mood board Do you like there's so many things that you can do, but your process I see in so many people causes this very palpable and very real everyday anxiety. And whenever I'll talk about there those things where people are like, Look tense, I'm not happy, I'm anxious every time we start a project, this tends to be why is because in many cases, they just don't have a structure or really understand how to go through their process to be consistently successful. And a lot of this then comes down to, I think there are other factors. And I think these can be tougher subjects, they can be uncomfortable to talk about, right. And they're, they're these, like, free floating insecurities that don't fall neatly into one of the buckets of childhood education, career or process. I mean, there are things like, you know, I have had, and had very candid discussions with, you know, female leaders who are on my team about if you're affected by gender bias, you know, because, again, I think for women, they need to think about in some companies, how do they dress everyday? How do they show up? How do they have to work harder how they have to speak differently, because they just can't be themselves. And I think that's sort of like a free floating bias or that sort of like, again, tension or insecurity that shows up every day is very, very real and is watching mildly difficult to be able to bring up. It is an incredibly tough conversation to be able to be had. And so I think that there are these sort of things about if there is bad leadership, if there is bad structure, if there's lack of support, if there is gender bias, if there's design imposter syndrome, if there is cognitive, but like, there's just all these other things that I think are really kind of the free floating insecurity that are more environmental, and but they do affect you. And I think it's To be honest, and to think about how much do you sort of give them weight and give them credence, but in many cases, you know, how, you know, hopefully, you've been able to take the time or pause the podcast or do something to think about that list, right to think about the last time you described your childhood or your education or your career or your process or those sort of insecurities, what you said, and then map that against how do you actually feel or what actually happened? And how many of you know how Many parts of that story do you regularly leave out? And again, this isn't like, Oh, yeah, you need the exhaustive war and peace, like, you know, definitive biography on who you are. But like, I mean, usually there is like four or five kind of big points about when you talk about your childhood or education. And if you're only talking about one or two, then I think what I want you to be able to do is to really use this as a map, because the gap that exists between who you really are and who you pretend to be for everybody else, I think, really is a really critical part of what goes on here, right? Because I think if the gap between those things write in terms of who you actually are and who you kind of say or put out to the public. If that gap is small, then you know, it's probably just a thing that can be nuanced. It's a smaller barrier, you can get over or work around that, you know, in many cases, you probably do have a pretty good handle on your process. You probably aren't a pretty good place with your career to be able to do that. But If the gap is big, then it can be something that I've seen can be career crippling, where I think you wonder why you are stuck in your career. You wonder why you can't make any progress. You wonder why you can't find a path that seems to make you happy? And that that sort of question, are you just like, Look, I feel lost, I feel like I've been stuck in this place. I don't know how to move forward. I don't know what to do, in many cases, tracks back to these sort of gaps. Because the hard part in all this is that you know, as you go through this and go through in your career, your talent and your charisma, like your natural ability to do things is going to take you to a certain point. But then after that, the progress gets smaller and harder and different, because what's left over, are going to be the things that you sort of tucked into the dark places, the things that are going to be harder to work with, to deal with. They're going to be more personal. They're going to just be be harder to deal with, right. And I think that's why, like, in some cases, you will see people who like they get a lot of success, they get to a leadership position. But then that was the thing that they thought was going to make them happy that the thing that they thought was going to sort of solve, everything suddenly doesn't. And you're sort of left with this very hollow discontent, like just some sort of feeling where you're just like, Look, this isn't what I thought this was gonna be. But the good news, I would say in all of this is like, Look, it's never too late to start to work on dealing with and closing these gaps, right? I don't care if this is your first year or your 40th or 50th year working. It's never too late to be able to say, look, I need to deal with this, we need to make a change. Now, I found that a good way to start this work is to get a new perspective. Because when you think about this problem of how do you make peace with yourself, right? Like whomever your inspiration is whomever your heroes Is whoever it is you think has got it all figured out? Right? Like I get this. I mean, it's always crazy to me whenever I'll do interviews or whenever people like, I mean, who is on this show and who is on stage whenever I talk is sort of like an idealized I mean, for me almost sort of like slightly bullshit version of what I think people think that it is because I've got the luxury of talking about things in theory and talk about like, this is what it should be Well sure, it's super easy to talk about the way things should be. And it's also because just because I understand it does not mean that I can focus on high power perception on myself to not occasionally become a complete train wreck and whatever it is, I'm working on being happier be things like that, right. And so who are those people are to you? You know, they are going through just as many problems as you are I have yet to meet somebody who somebody wasn't like, Oh my god, that is my hero. They've got it all figured out that whenever you sit down with them, you don't find out that they break down in tears. They're in therapy, they are unhappy, their marriage is on the brink, like there is something that is going on, where they're going through just has many maybe even more problems because in many cases, they feel like they cannot be public with those things. And so it, it really creates this hard thing, right. But I think, let's start by accepting that no two people have the same background, the same upbringing, or the same kind of like entrance into being creative, right? Like nobody had the exact same childhood that you did. Nobody had the exact same education that you did. Nobody has had the same career that you do. Nobody has the same process that you do. Nobody has the same insecurities that you do. Right? And I think that's it is the gift and the curse and all this right because on the one hand, congratulations, you are your own unique and special snowflake. But the problem is, is that I think for so many people that we've been taught that being different standing out or even having a problem is a weakness. right because I think we all have this idea in our head about what normal is and I think that's there's that's probably even another part of his we look at those gaps. Between those sorts of things, right is that there is the person we are, you know, the person we put out in the world and then probably even a third gap where it's like, okay, but then if the person put out there in the world that we're probably doing that person that we put out there because we're trying to make it look quote unquote, normal. Well newsflash, people, there is no normal, right? You can follow social media, do whatever you want to talk to yourself about whoever it is, you know, have all the heroes you want, right? Because I think this is exactly exactly the reason why I started this show. And it is, you know what, for me the very definition of the words crazy one stands for it's about embracing who you are, your background, your strengths, your weaknesses, all those things for me like that is what being a crazy one is, is that is just simply your ability and your willingness to look these problems in the face. And to say, I'm good enough, right who I am is good enough. My process is good enough that I am not perfect, and I never will be and I'm going to be Constant work in progress, right? Because look, it's gonna be easier for us like to just look at these type of issues as something that we would never talk about, right? So that alienation that imposter syndrome and that frustration all stay hidden. Right? Like, like, just keep them out of out of the limelight. Right? It's so much easier, because that's the problem is that facing them and having hope and saying that I'm human, takes more work, especially in the face of just the crushing social pressure that is out there because of social media and all this other bullshit that's out there. Right? That and it's also the unfortunate thing that in many cases, for a lot of us progress comes out of discomfort, maybe even pain, sharing, acceptance that only in those moments, whenever we try something new only in those moments we push into the uncomfortable. Do we find the new do we find the confidence do we find a way to be able to stop looking to everybody else to validate us right to stop to walk into a room and go Gee, I hope they like me and instead To walk into the room and go, gee, I hope I like them. And it's just really a mental shift. And maybe it's easy for you, it's flipping a switch, maybe this is gonna be a lifetime worth of work. But it is one of those things where, you know, as you start to get into those places that are uncomfortable, your natural reaction is gonna be to pull back to say, it's hard, it's uncomfortable, I'm not sure what to do. But instead of pulling back for that, here's, here's what I want you to do instead. And I don't care if it takes replaying this podcast, I don't care if it means writing yourself notes and post it notes and putting them up on the mirror. I don't know if it means getting a support system, like if it means going to therapy, like, like, whatever that is, right. But we're going to start by looking at your background as a strength right? Because in so many ways, that's why I said we are taught that since we are not like everybody else. That that's a weakness right that we are different and different is not good, because just people have this sort of like pack mentality that we want to fit in. We all do. It every one of us does it. Right. But I think that the moment that you start to say that I'm not different, I'm unique. And that because of my background, my education because I grew up rich poor, because I'm well educated or not I went to a college everybody loved one that nobody heard of, or whatever it is, that gives me a perspective that nobody else has. And there is the small fact that like I said before, nothing in your background is going to change. So I think your ability to make peace with it goes a really long way. And I say that because I've seen it work in other people and it worked for me, right? Like I've spent way too long. And it's still something I struggle with every day. You know, longing to trying to be somebody else. And you know, for me, it is wildly uncomfortable whenever I did Episode 80 on confidence to put an episode out there that was that emotionally raw, that shared as much as it did that talked about my failures as a Peter, and to do things like that, right, like, you know, yeah, it's cathartic. And it's like so many of those sorts of things, right? Like, in the moment, you know, your brain is going don't hit publish on that fucking episode, right? Because people are gonna make fun of you, they're gonna use it against you. They're gonna like, like, somehow this is going to end badly, right? Because your brain goes into that self protection mode. Because that's what again, that sort of primal brain does. But, you know, it's it's in the hindsight, right? And I think that's the thing with a lot of this is that it's only in the variability to look back on it. That in the moment, I panicked in the moment, I wasn't sure if I should do it, but then when the reaction is good, and everybody asked about those things, and they're so supportive, and when everybody says, I've gone through that or Thank you or whatever that is, right. Like that's the thing is that so many of these decisions about our career in our lives and things like that are only good in hindsight. In the moment they feel so freakin weird are panicked or emotional or whatever that is. And I think that that is for me. That's what wire, you know, when I started to move past that, and I started to listen to myself and I started to make peace with who I really was, because a lot of it for me was that I was spending so much time and so much energy, trying to be what everybody what I thought everybody wanted me to be. I was just missing out on on who I was. And I think that from what you know, that's where that here's what the crazy ones tattoo that's on my arm came from it's not a fanboy thing. It's not a it's, it's because for me, I got so mad at myself and got so frustrated. Whenever I had that breakthrough that I was like, Look, I want a reminder that I'm never going to go back to being that way again, I'm never going to go back to giving the other people that them that power again. And that for me that is what it stands for. And it's a very highly personal one. But I think also for me, it's something that I see that's why other people need what is their version of the crazy one or exists loudly or like our local Whatever it is like, right, like, what is that idea they can latch on to? Because I think you know, for me, once you get through the anxiety, well, even if people make fun of you, whatever it is, there is success on the other side of that. So I think it just sort of leaves us with like, Where do I think you we should go from here. And there are kind of four things that I would say to think about to work on. And again, as you're going through this stuff, if you're not sure what to do, and you want, like I said, reach out, I'm happy to try to talk to as many people as I can about this stuff and help as much as I can, right? Let's start by taking the time to map and understand the size of those gaps, right. There may be some pain, some frustrations, some other things you need to work through there. But you can only start to move forward once you understand the problem and make peace with the past. Because once you do that, and if you're still letting the past influence your present, those problems are never going to go away. They're continuing to continue to have power on you and they're going to continue to become the self fulfilling prophecy. Whereas you look back at that and say, well, because of this, these things are wrong. Well, they're probably going to continue to be that way. And the sooner you're able to make peace with those things, then again, I think you can put the password belongs, which is in the past. I think the next one for me is to, to understand and embrace your process. This is not the first time we've talked about this on this show. There are a lot of other episodes about this, but like, but it really is about how do you take the time to start to look at your process. So you know, how you have ideas, and you can some of that creativity on demand, right? Like, I'll put links in the show notes, you know, back to those other shows. But it's why, you know, this is a theme that continues to come up for me across over three years of doing this, because I continue to think that it's that important. And I think a lot of it also comes down to I think you need to take the time to really think about what do you want from your career? That is not the same as saying what job you can get, right? Because in many cases, what happens is you're in a place where you're frustrated your career, you want a new job, you want to move on. And so as you start that process one it again, it takes a massive amount of vulnerability to just put yourself out there and say, God, please somebody loved me, but as soon as As you start to get some attention from anybody, the thing that will often happen is that's like air to a drowning person. Right? That it feels so good. There's so suddenly possibility and hope and change, and all those sorts of things, right. But that air can be blinding. Because I think when you're searching for a new job, you know, you need to be clear on what it is you want on what matters to you. So you don't do that thing of like rationalizing why a bad situation may be really good, just because it's different, or just because it's new. And then all of a sudden, now you're in this pattern of Yeah, I'm 12 months, 18 months, 24 months down the road and going yeah, you know what, this probably wasn't really a good job for me after all. But I think if your ability to come back and say this is where I want to go, this is what I want to do. And that is going to need to be updated often. Because as your skills change as the industry changes, like as all these things sort of change, that target is going to keep moving around. But the important part is that you keep having a target. And lastly, and again, this is something I've spoken about a lot is A lot of this right for me this understanding of yourself of making peace with yourself. That's what I mean, whenever I talk about the importance of you having a brand, right, a brand for me, I don't mean a logo or a typeface, like I want to have a frickin intervention with people that people do not understand this to understand the difference between a brand and a visual language, right, like logos and typefaces and all that stuff is great. It's important, but that is a visual language. Right? And I also don't mean, where you went to school, I don't mean where you've worked, that does not define you. Right. And again, it's very easy to hide behind those things. That's why in so many, so many people that I see their resumes are just here's where I went to school, or here's where I worked. And that's it. Nothing about them nothing about what makes them different, nothing about any of those sorts of things, right? And that's a super big issue. Because whenever we talk about a brand whenever I talk about your brand, I talk about the way I mean any real brand, which is where it is what what do you believe in and what do you stand for? Right? Because I think when you understand this whenever you're able to Say this is who I am, this is what matters to me. This is what I'm all about. It is going to help you ask for a new job. But I think it's also going to really help you in the job that you're in now, because now you can articulate what matters to you. What are you working on? What are the things that you're dealing with through your teammates, to your leaders? There's so many teams that I work with, but nobody ever has a conversation of saying, you know, what, not if for a change, don't just show up and say, here's what's wrong or could be better, right? super easy to do that but just shut up. But some people are once wants it, you know what, I think this is what you're really good at. I didn't know you did that. Let me give you some credit for that. Because I think that's that sort of thing is the ability to have that clarity. And then to put it out there in the world, put it in your social media channels, put in your resume, put it in your portfolio. If you have a clear and true voice, one that is honest. You will find your audience you will find that job then because the other good part of it is you're going to eliminate a lot of jobs that you probably never would have wanted. And it's just this hollow bs attention that you sort of get excited about because somebody said, Hey, we're interested in you. Is it a good fit? Is it a place you're gonna be able to grow is aligned with your career goals? No. But hey, somebody's paying me attention, that sort of clarity that that thing where we're not going to let success be a possibility, right? Like, that's why for me that that one piece of advice that I keep coming back to time and time again around that success is a choice. That's what all this is about. Because I think whenever you're able to take control of these things, then these are the choices you are making and success is going to follow. But I guess I want to I want to leave it was something that I said before, because I think it's really important to repeat. And it's really important to think about right? Like if you walk away from this podcast, with just sort of one thing. It's please stop being obsessed with who you think you need to be. Stop being obsessed with who you think other people want you to be. right because when we do that you are missing out on who you are. You're not being authentic, you're not going to be happy. If you're running around pretending to be somebody else. And look, we're all so Super good at rationalizing, right, we're super good at hiding. We're super good at doing all these things. But for me, the best creative people that I work with the best creative teams that I work with are just as flawed as everybody else just as much. It's just their ability to make peace with it, to be transparent about it, to be able to put it out there that that seems to be to me and as near as I can tell, that's what the big difference is, right? is that it's just their ability to say, yeah, I'm different and that's okay. Yes, I have problems. And that's okay. Yes, there are these things that are going on, and that's okay. It's not Oh, my God, this is going on. Let me hide it from the world. Right. So like I said, just one more time, like,

Unknown Speaker :

be you.

Stephen Gates :

Because trying to be somebody else, isn't you it's not authentic. And especially in this case, where so much of what we do comes out of who we are. Right? It comes out of our soul. It comes out of our experiences, it is drawn from these things. If you're that if you're not being authentic about that, then you're going to try to draw from a drywall and it's just not going to work out the way that you want. So I mentioned a few of those things like, you can find out more about the podcast related articles you can find, I'll post all the show notes to all this stuff again, you can just head over to the crazy one calm the crazy and the number one calm, to be able to go through and do that stuff. You know, look, make sure you don't miss an episode, you know, subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. I asked every time it makes a real big difference. Like, you know, you can just take a couple seconds whenever you're there, either hit the stars, write a couple of words, like let people know what you think about the show, it does a lot to be able to help get the message out and to help more people. You know, again, I don't ask for this I, I you know, there's no ads on here. I'm not charging anything. I'm not doing this to try to get, you know, listeners up so that all of a sudden, I can line my pockets with a bunch of ad revenue, because that's not what any of this is. It's just generally trying to help more people. And if you're going through this stuff, and if you have these questions, right, like, reach out to me on social media, right? You can either like the show on Facebook, just head over the crazy one page there. Or if not, you know, head over to Twitter or LinkedIn is probably the best. You can try to message me on Instagram. I do my best to try to check the messages there. But that's just a real funky setup for whenever they let you know somebody who aren't following a message as you, but, or even like, Look, go to my site, go to the contact form, send me an email. And I will get back to you, I try to get back to everybody who writes me. And if I don't like I said, nudge me. Because if something slips through the cracks and travel or jetlag, or something, which happens, again, not perfect, but to be able to do that. And finally, everybody down in legal always wants me to remind you that the views here are just my own. They don't represent any of my current or former employers. These are just my own views. And lastly, I say it every time because I mean it every time. But thank you for your time. I'm always incredibly humbled, and especially for this span of time, that people want to spend any amount of time sort of listening to me and so go out and make peace with yourself. Go out and think about these things and understand that everyone's going through it, and that this is okay. and talk to people about it. Find that support system. Find that way forward. Because just saying that this isn't a problem. It doesn't affect me, isn't the truth and the people that do confront it that the people Who are the ones who are able to do that work? And those are the people that that truly deserve that tagline stay crazy.