SSS #155: Wanna Talk About It? πŸ“ž


I found my new favorite drink:

Cafe Tonic (specifically from Sunday Motor Co in Madison, NJ).

Try it out. Thank me later.

Livin' La Vida Luna y Luca


Tickle Tickle

2020 had its challenges.

COVID was the first obvious culprit.

Another was becoming a father for the first time.

At the time, I was suffering a lot from imposter syndrome.

Most of my concerns were rooted in a single question: Am I good enough?

  • Will I be a good #girldad?
  • Am I supporting Dia enough?
  • Can I protect my family from this pandemic?

Because of the lockdown, I wasn't able to have these conversations as fluidly and openly with as many friends or family members as I would have liked to.

And anytime I did have the courage to express my doubts, I found myself in an echo chamber of platitudes.

  • "Everything will be alright"
  • "You're going to do fine"
  • "Things will work out"

I appreciated the support, of course. But I was yearning to dig deeper.

So I went outside of my circle of influence and did something I thought I'd never do.

I sought out a therapist.

It's now been more than a year of bi-weekly sessions and I can confidently say it's been a top 5 decision in my life.

What started out as a search for a solution to imposter syndrome ended up becoming an education on serenity, empathy, kindness, forgiveness, and even productivity.

I've improved good relationships and repaired broken ones. I've also been able to identify and unpack so many of the invisible scripts that have been controlling my life.

I decided to go through my session notes recently and I wanted to share a few takeaways.

I can't give personal examples of each for privacy reasons, but I'll do my best to make it as relatable as possible.

Surviving Vs. Thriving

Before Luca was born, I actually said these words out loud to Dia:

"Yo, this is easy. We are killing it right now. My business is poppin', your new job is great, and Luna is thriving at school and at home."

Then Luca came and my world got rocked.

We barely went outside. Luna really struggled with the transition. We were sleep deprived. We had to relearn the entirety of the newborn phase. It was a solid 10 weeks of chaos (despite having Dia's mom for help).

But we weathered the storm.

We're thriving again as a family of four. Dia and I have been hitting the gym every day. We are regularly attending events on the weekends. Luna is embracing her role as a big sister. Luca is sleeping through the night and growing like a weed.

But guess what?

Dia goes back to work in 2 weeks so we're about to hit another rough patch.

It'll take some time to find our footing, but I'm confident we will because our default mode is to thrive.

The days (or sometimes weeks) it feels like we're barely surviving are just a normal part of the journey.

Empty Your Buckets

Visualizing stress management.

Everyone starts out with an empty bucket in each hand. As life goes on, those buckets get filled with drops of water called stress.

The more stress you take on, the harder it becomes to move forward.

It's really important to empty out your buckets as often as you can.

How do we do that?

It's up to the individual to decide. For me it's (not limited to):

  • Working out 3-5x per week
  • Writing things down to get them out of my head
  • Doing something creative (like this newsletter)
  • Talk Therapy
  • Chasing down a new deal
  • Going out for a meal with less than 6 adults (unltd # of kids)
  • Randomly grabbing coffee with my mentor
  • Spending Sunday morning with our best friends and their kids
  • Seeing the world through my children's eyes

It's during these moments I feel like I'm flying and nothing can touch me.

If I go too long without any (or all) of these, I start to shrivel up and die.

I'm only slightly exaggerating.

Ignoring vs. Not Responding

Life is full of difficult decisions that are thrust upon us despite our best efforts to keep things light and easy.

Not responding to a negative stimulus can look a lot like ignoring it and hoping it goes away.

Be honest about what you're doing.

It's so easy to fool yourself into thinking you're actively not responding to something when you're actually passively ignoring it.

Nonviolent Communication:

For some reason, we love to make up stories about what other people say.

We add our own interpretations or project intentions that are totally about us and then wonder why it descends into a fight or hurt feelings.

It’s not the feelings that upset us, but rather our judgment about those things.

Nonviolent communication is a method designed to increase the likelihood of understanding the meaning behind what someone says or not being misunderstood when delivering a message.

When you're on the receiving end you can say: "When you say {I look tired}, I hear {You look bad, why didn't you put more effort into getting ready}".

When you're on the serving end you can present an observation without judgment by saying something like, "I notice you are on your phone, maybe we can talk later." Instead of, "You're not even listening to me so what's the point?"

What Is The Point?

The point of this email is to destigmatize seeking professional help.

I had a lot of preconceived notions about seeing a "shrink". I'm really glad I got past 'em.

If this email helps even one person attend one session, it's a win for me.