What is self-listening? Self-listening is self-awareness and focusing on your unique identity. In this conversation between Andrea and advertising veteran Jill Nykoliation, you’ll learn Jill’s advice on listening to yourself, overcoming imposter syndrome, pausing and asking yourself questions, and journaling!

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Andrea: Thank you so much, Jill, for joining us here today on the Talk about Talk podcast to talk about self listening.

Jill: Oh, it’s a pleasure to be back. Thanks for having me.

Andrea: So as I already shared with the listeners, you and I were having a conversation about communicating like a boss about communication superpowers. And we talked about how confidence and storytelling and all sorts of other things, personal branding are really critical to effective communication. And we agree that probably listening is if we had to choose the most important and you had this incredible insight that not only should we be listening to others, but we really need to listen to ourselves. What do you mean by that?

Jill: What I mean by that is. If you really want to step into who you are and you really want to be your authentic self. You need to know who you are. Like one thing people say a lot is they want to be authentic. Like, okay, authentically. What? But you need to know, most people go, Oh, because yes, you can be authentic. Do you know who you are?

Andrea: Right. Well, that’s personal branding.

Jill: That’s personal branding. And it’s and its inner knowing and not who you think you need to be for that moment. But do you know who you are and therefore which lenses of yourself you bring to different situations because you might bring your whole self, you might bring, I’m going to bring the business side of me here. I’m going to bring. It might be different to how you parent, but most people have not done. And this is like a journey I’ve been on too. Is is who are you? So you can show up as your authentic self. So that’s what I mean by that. And and to know who you are, you have to go inward and go, Who am I and who am I now? Not who was I before, but who am I now? Because we we change and we evolve. And and that’s you know, you talk about a growth mindset. The growth mindset is always like, who am I now? Because we’re not fixed.

Andrea: We definitely are not fixed until this conversation is already going in directions that I did not foresee. Wow. My brain is, as always, exploding. So. So I’m hearing from you that a critical part of listening to yourself is, first of all, taking the time to and the discipline, I suppose, right. To thinking critically about who you are, what your identity is, what your strengths are, what you stand for, understanding as you said, that it will change over time and it will change to some extent depending on the context. I take that back. It’s not that who you are changes, but it’s how you present yourself. What parts of yourself that you present will change depending on the context.

Jill: And I think parts of you might change too. Like, I know I am not the same person I was ten years ago for sure. Not 20 years ago, but not five years ago either. I am different than even before the pandemic. Like I know, and I like that I’ve softened. And I and I’m aware of that. And I think because I really like you, I love growth. I like personal growth. And I and, and what that means in order to grow, I do think you need to soften. I think when you have armor on and you’re tough, I think it’s harder to grow. I think growth happens when you soften and you look and think, you know, you said it takes curiosity. It also takes courage. It takes a lot of courage to look at yourself because you may not there might be stuff in there you’re not ready to see or face. So that’s part of the softening that has to happen, too, is going inside.

Andrea: The softening sounds a lot like. Like vulnerability.

Jill: Yeah. Yes. And acceptance. And compassion. Um, and sometimes a kick in the pants and all the things.

Andrea: So all these things that you’re mentioning are things that also you and I spoke about in terms of communicating with others, right? So, yes, so being vulnerable with others and giving people a kick in the pants when they need it. Or you talked about, for example, giving space to people to encourage them to talk. And now it kind of what I’m hearing is giving space to yourself to think about yourself or to be quiet and softer with yourself. So yeah, so before we deep dive into self listening, what do you think? I guess in a very general level, some of the similarities and differences are between listening to yourself versus listening to others.

Jill: Uh, such a good question. I think it’s very similar. It’s just. Why do we go external? You know, think we. It’s easier and it is often easier to go. You know, a friend will tell you something or a colleague, you know what’s happening and you can see it. But it’s like, you know, when you’re in it, it’s hard to look inward. You literally can’t see it all. You can feel it most often and you can hear a voice. But we usually tune that out of thinking this. We tune it out when it’s constructive, when it’s negative. Boy, do we listen. Um, you know, you’re not good enough. Don’t think you’re prepared. Like you really listen to that. But you don’t listen to go. Are you in the right place? Is this really what you’re meant to do? Could you have maybe been a bit kinder? We don’t hear that voice, but we hear the critical voice. So it’s also something interesting, which I think is true in communication. Like when people give you a performance review, you the one negative thing you hear and I was reading there was a study that says we remember it in great detail, right? We remember negative. We we remember criticism in great detail, but praise be kind of. Yeah, we they said something like, I was good at this and think the same is true isn’t it The 5 to 1 rule you need to say five good things to one negative because that’s how people hear them. So it’s the same with yourself.

Andrea: In in relationships. There’s there’s this research about they can predict whether a marriage relationship will last based on the proportion of positive, not even neutral, but positive. Yes. Comments that the Gottman. Gottman Yes. Gottman So. I think we can apply this to self-talk.

Jill: 100% can write. 100% can. Yeah. Yeah. Are you being. Yeah. Not just neutral, but positive towards yourself? What’s your self-talk like? We’re going to talk about self listening, but part of listening is are you how are you talking to yourself? Are you giving those positive things to your.

Andrea: So So I think it might be interesting for us to explore this idea of like categorizing what it is that we’re listening to. Okay. So you said that there are these I’m paraphrasing, there are these sort of immediate and negative things, right? So Judith Humphrey, one of my previous guests, talked about the crow on your shoulder, maybe talking imposter syndrome, like you don’t belong here, you’re not credible. You don’t have the status. They’re going to realize you’re an imposter. So there’s the crow, which could also be, you know, the negative feedback that you get. Perhaps the one negative thing or the thing that the development area that your manager shared with you, as opposed to all of the glowing things, it’s the one thing that you hear. So there’s the kind of immediate negative thing. And then you also talked about the bigger picture, longer term, more higher level mindset, things like are you in the right place? Are you doing what you need to do so that can be positive or negative? I think.

Jill: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Andrea: Okay, so let’s build this out. What else is in this model?

Jill: So I think in the negative side, I think what, what stops us from looking inward is that negative side is so big. And we talked about 5 to 1. It feels at least right, maybe bigger. But you think about with feelings of inadequacy, I’m not enough insecurity like lacking of confidence and I think also scarcity mindset. Oh my God, there’s not enough to go around. I have to get my fair share. I’ve got to get this promotion right now. So I think inadequacy, insecurity and scarcity are very loud voices in our minds, in our in our heads that that get us tripping over ourselves or going down the wrong path or not showing up as our best self because we’re so distracted by these, by the self-talk that you go, like, who put this narrative of, you know, I think we talked about this last time, the not enoughness is such a universal like, am I even good enough for this job or am I good enough for this? Or am I am I enough? But then the lack of confidence like think I am, but don’t know, like how many people walk into a boardroom and don’t take the center seat, right? Most people don’t. They say, I’m gonna sit there. I’m going to. Yeah, right. Take that seat. And yeah, like shows up in many forms and then think scarcity mindset is also a big one. Once you I’ve been looking for it and was thinking about it as I was coaching somebody and I was like. And you’re seeing it everywhere. Oh, yeah. Like, do you believe the world is abundant or do you believe things are scarce? Right. I very much have an abundant mindset. I think there’s enough to go around of everything.

Andrea: I have to tell you, as you’re talking about the abundance and scarcity mindset, Jill, the thing that is really top of mind for me these days is. In some ways I am very much about abundance and growing the pie. And some of my indirect competitors I’ve reached out to and asked them about collaborating. And honestly, they’re shocked at first. And then they and then they say, Andrea, you clearly you have an abundance mindset. And I’m like, I kind of don’t understand how you could feel otherwise. But but that’s I mean, so there’s, there’s that whole kind of collaborating with potential and, you know, to generalize that it could be walking into the boardroom and, and being, you know, counting the minutes even implicitly, if not directly of air time that certain people are taking. Right? So that’s really kind of a scarcity mindset.

Jill: Exactly. Or not being happy for someone else’s promotion or and because we’re always listening and that’s why I go back to feelings is how do you feel and, and like what’s coming up for you and, and you go like, oh, is it resentment? Is it jealousy? You go, okay, so, so often we, we things come through us. And that’s another way of saying, what are you listening to? You’re listening to your own body language. Like, are you happy for others happiness, right? Or are you jealous of it? You know, or even worse, schadenfreude where you’re you take pleasure in other people’s misfortune like. Yeah, like yuck. But but it’s out there. But, you know, I just had an experience. I went surfing as a taking this class. We went surfing at seven in the morning and and it struck me most people didn’t get up. I got up like five out of seven times. My first time I was so I was like, oh, my God, I’m surfing at 52. I’m learning how to do this. And my classmates were like, Jill, you’re up. Oh, my gosh. And then afterwards, like, you were wrong. And I was thinking and I actually said to them. All of you are so happy for my happiness. And I am. I am aware because I’ve learned to create some distance. Observe. I’m observing how an or am and how generous all of you are. In taking pleasure in my happiness because most of them didn’t get up. And so for me in that moment, because it felt so like, this is so rare. I realized Freud is called Freud. Freud and Freud is so rare. So and I remember thinking, Oh yeah, that’s very common. Most people aren’t that happy for other people’s happiness. I wonder why that is.

Andrea: Did you ask yourself whether you would have had the same response? Genuinely?

Jill: Yeah. I actually am really happy for other people’s happiness because I think that’s how you get an abundant mindset is you go, I can be happy for you because it didn’t come from my bucket.

Andrea: Right, Exactly. Exactly.

Jill: So why not be happy? And then by putting out there the sense that no, like this is I’m going to get my share, too. Like, just because you are winning doesn’t mean I’m losing by that mindset. It creates a self-belief that, yeah, so because I am going to win too. If I was worried that that was the only one, then I then that would be sad. But, but no, I actually do practice that because I do believe I do believe that. And again, we’ll get to this later. But the vibration that we put out. If I’m happy for you because I think there’s enough to go around, then I’m attracting. There’s enough to go around.

Andrea: Exactly. Oh, 1,000% agree with that, Jill and I. So I do want to go back to sort of categorizing. Yeah, sorry. But I want to, I guess, put a bow on this idea of scarcity mindset. And you very eloquently talked about like winning and losing. And it’s not that if you win, I lose or vice versa, right? I think there’s real power. And I know you agree with this that when we are sensitive to our scarcity or abundance mindset, there’s real power in that. And and, and the energy that you put into celebrating others, even if you are selfish. Yeah. Like you’ll see that it does come back to you. Right. And the other thing I want to say is that if you really do, maybe we can take this idea of a scarcity mindset and put it back on ourselves. And it’s not a scarcity in the context of versus others, but it is versus time. And this is this is getting a little bit philosophical, right? But the time that we have on the planet, each of us as individuals is every day it’s diminishing. Right? So so if you if you feel like there’s anything to be concerned about in terms of scarcity, it’s your own time. So so turn your attention away from competing in the win lose scenario versus others and and shift your attention more to like, how can I best myself? And then that brings us to what I was talking about before your your comment about the higher level things like, am I doing the right thing? Am I being kind? Am I all this other stuff? So so we have this immediate, immediate negativity perhaps that we’re focused on. We have the higher level mindset, the whole identity, how I show up in the world. What else are we listening to, do you think?

Jill: Think we’re listening to others? Think we’re listening to others? Take on who we are. We should be doing this. You should be doing that, you know, And then it shapes like, Am I a good enough mom? Am I the best boss? Am I. Am I doing what’s right, you know, for the organization? But but that’s where I went back to the beginning of who are you? Because it’s really easy to get swung around by by listening to other people’s things if you don’t know who you are. So, for example. Brené Brown has a really great exercise. She does before every workshop. She has this list of values. You may have seen it and did it with a with a with my personal board of directors. We said we should all do this. And it was fascinating. So you can only pick two. She was first, you’re going to pick ten and then you’re going to whittle it to two. What are the two values that drive you? And so we picked ours. And what I realized is this Each of us like, Oh my God, your values are completely different than mine. So my girlfriend had just adventure. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you do always choose the adventurous route. I hadn’t thought of it.

Jill: That’s not mine, you know? That’s not mine. Mine. So once you know, you’re so for anyone listening, you want to know mine is learning was like learning slash growth. I love to learn. So I will walk in. I’m going to do it. I won’t be great at it, but I’m going to learn something. I love it. My second one was more new for me. It’s wholeheartedness. I and I got that through the pandemic. I don’t want to come up, come in as a version or a piece of myself. I want to be my whole self now and my hearted self to my. We talked last time about leading from the feminine, so that’s a big one for me that I’m stepping into, but that isn’t anyone else’s. So then, because I know that when someone gets me know what you should do, Jill or you know what? No, Jill. Like I was expected more from you. I’m like, Oh, that’s not how I’m wired. That’s not my authentic self going back to. So then I can actually be more selective on what I’m hearing and then I can go, Well, that’s interesting advice. I know it’s not actually for me because people even well-intentioned, give you advice through their lens and their values.

Andrea: I was going to say, when they say I was expecting this from you in your head, at least, if not explicitly and directly, you would say, Well, that’s you imposing your identity on me or your values or whatever it is, right? Correct.

Jill: So yeah, I agree. So I think that’s really important and that’s a great tool. And she said, you know, she has a podcast on it, but she she talked about she does she starts all her workshops because that way know how know what your compass is. Yeah. Before you start listening to others with.

Andrea: My clients, whether it’s workshops or one on one coaching, we go through an exercise that’s very similar. It’s on it’s archetypes. So I present 12 different archetypes. And so you’re learning archetype, I would say, is the sage. It’s it’s devouring information and also sharing information. I think that’s obviously a strength and and passion of yours. Right. And then the other one, what was the term that you used for it? It was.

Jill: Values. Oh, no. Wholeheartedness.

Andrea: Wholeheartedness. So so the the archetype that connects with that is the lover archetype. But I call it because I’m coaching professionals, right? Nobody would self-identify as the lover until I changed the term to impassioned and literally yesterday, like that. Yeah, I was coaching a gentleman and he’s like, Oh, and we read the description together. It’s like you’re all in on life, on your friends, you’re inclusive, you’re devoted, you’re And it’s all in this idea of being, all in, all in. I love that on things. And so, so I’m what are yours diagnosing you Jill AS Yeah like it impassioned sage.

Jill: I love it and I would agree I would agree what are yours.

Andrea: I am magician and sage. So for those of you, for those of you that are watching on on the video, here’s my bookshelf behind me. And I have many more books elsewhere in my house. Right? So I’ve always got my books and I can’t wait to read just just like you, Jill. Like it’s my one of my favorite things to do. But but my my other archetype that I really resonate with is the magician. So. So taking my clients on a spiritual journey and and helping impact their life in a positive way is like my happiest thing in the world. Really? Yeah.

Jill: Yeah. That’s excellent. And again, going back to like, and once you know that about yourself, then your, then what you listen to or even yourself that you listen to. You can narrow the field, you can edit. Like a big part of growing is editing. Yeah, we can accumulate knowledge, but you got to edit it. Which which knowledge is for me, Which advice is for me? Yeah, I would say.

Andrea: I would say you’re interpreting, right? So you have noise all around you and you to, you know, avoid it or argue with it, right. Or internalize it or you can learn from it or whatever. So yeah, I think really understanding your personal identity. And values is otherwise.

Jill: You’re going to get swung around. Like there’s just too much wisdom out there or or advice, well intentioned advice. Like one of the things. Viktor Frankl I don’t know if he said it, he’s attributed to him. I remember in second year, third year business school, I could take any elective. I took all the psychology courses and there was a health course I took. And we read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning and Loved It. And there’s a quote that some attribute to him, let’s just say it’s his, but it doesn’t matter what love it is. And this is what I practice between stimulus and response. There is a space. Yes. In that space is our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom. I love that because so often if you think about when listening, it’s like before you react, Pause. What? How am I feeling about that? What’s coming up for me? Like all all the things so often we go through life when we’re moving so fast. Got a million things to do. We were coming from insecurity and scarcity, and we’re not creating a pause going, Why am I racing so hard? Yeah, why is why am I snapping at that person? Yeah. Why am I feeling so insecure when I know or having imposter syndrome to use your thing? Why do I have imposter syndrome? I know I’m good at what I do, right? And that pause gives you a moment to go. Where is this coming from? Is it true? Is this my. Is this something else someone put in my head? Did I put this in my head? I love that quote because so much can happen in that pause. If we take it.

Andrea: So in the way you just sort of role played that moment, I heard question after question after question. And I was thinking, when I’m coaching executives on listening, it’s not just it’s not just not talking. It’s encouraging other people to talk and then interpreting what they’re saying verbally and through their body language. Okay. Yeah. So, so but a powerful tool in making that happen is asking questions and asking the most effective questions. And then I heard you in this context of self listening, talking about asking yourself questions. So yeah, when we pause, we create an opportunity for ourselves to ask ourselves important questions so that we can. Respond in in a more thoughtful way. Right. That’s aligned with our values. That’s aligned with our identity.

Jill: And we can also learn like by in the pause. I’m trying to think I can give some examples, but was like, Yeah, anyway, but you go in the pause, you go, This is interesting. I’m getting my back up. Yeah. You know, this is interesting. I’m already tuning this person out. Or isn’t this interesting? This, like, I’m feeling agitated and this can’t possibly be the reason. I wonder where the beginning is. But is this reminding me of. Yeah, because and I know it’s not this, um. Like, what is this moment teaching me? Right, Right. And so that’s where the, put the growth mindset on the pause. If you just look if you ask yourself a compassionate inquiry, get really compassionate yourself going, my goodness, I am not at my best in this moment.

Andrea: Right. I love that. I can imagine. I can imagine Jill’s thought bubble like, whoa, you can do better, honey. Right? I can.

Jill: Do better. And I say that to an interesting my partner. I’m like, okay, that’s not it’s not coming out as I want. So I’m acknowledging that this is attached to something else. I wonder what it is. Say that even to my daughter too. We talk that way. It’s like, that’s awesome.

Andrea: That is awesome. That is awesome. So so this, you know, people when they when they talk about and think about communication, it’s about with other people and usually it is about talking. And here we are saying it’s actually about listening and it’s as much about listening to yourself. And I did a recent episode on Self-awareness, which is very closely linked to what we’re talking about, Right? Yes. Listen, I keep thinking about the three types of you know, you could think of it as two types of of self-awareness. There’s the there’s the being conscious of your consciousness. So internal self awareness. And then there’s external. So what impact are you having on others and what’s the dynamic? But I, I really prefer the, perhaps not surprisingly, the model that has three types of self-awareness. There’s, there’s your being conscious of your consciousness, there’s bodily self-awareness. So you just said the I was thinking about this when you said you got your back up. It’s like you physically and yeah, metaphorically got your back up, right? So there’s bodily self-awareness and there’s and there’s kind of the, the social self awareness. So being aware of of the impact and the social dynamic. Yeah. Um. Mike This is a big question, Jill, but can you elaborate on what you think the benefits are of. Of. Thinking about these types of self awareness and really listening to yourself. So, so if you are a good listener to yourself, what are the benefits of it? Which I guess we’ve kind of implied throughout this conversation? Yeah. And then specifically, what if you don’t do it?

Jill: Very interesting. Yeah. I’m going to go with the dude first. Okay? Yeah. So the do I would say, like, when I take time to listen to myself, which I don’t always do, but I really try to practice when I do, there’s a peace that comes over me. There’s a contentment that comes. There’s a compassion for myself going, Oh, that’s what that was. When something comes up, when I when something, I listen and I go, Yeah. I’m triggered or I’m going too fast. Why am I going so fast? What is the rush? You know, and. And or why am I snapping at that person? Why is this topic feel uncomfortable for me? Why can’t I sit in this topic? Why can’t I be here? I wonder what that’s about. And when I go. When I get still and I go inside, I go, Oh, it’s that it reminds me of that. And then to me, that gives me I thought I had dealt with that. I haven’t. Maybe. And so there you go. Okay, well, then the gift in that is I get. I’m aware. I need to go maybe put that to bed or address that with that person if it’s outstanding or I have to go, Where’s my insecurity coming from? Like it gives me if I can get still with it and I look at it. So and then if I can address it, it almost always gives me a sense of peace and okay, okay. Because what happens is in that moment, I grew. In that moment of understanding, like we just just just disassociating yourself for a second to say like almost become an observer of yourself. An observer of your thought. Yeah.

Andrea: In in psychology, they call it the looking glass self, Right?

Jill: Okay. Okay. So. Yeah, like that. So just go If you disassociate, if you just disconnect a little bit then. Then you can listen to yourself and you’re like. Yo, it’s not. You are like, what are you doing? And, and and then I go, Oh, just the mere fact I can pause and look at myself means I’m growing. And and anyone who’s listening to your podcast must be into growth because this is the whole topic, right?

Andrea: Like you’re definitely a self-selection here. Jill. Yeah, constantly shocked at the incredible growth mindsets that people have. And then I’m like, Yeah, but, but, but they do. Of course they do. Because of course they do.

Jill: Because. Because you’re all about getting, I mean so many of your pockets, like, oh, that is, that’s going to help me be better at introducing myself. It’s going to be better at whatever all the things. So, so that’s where I go. Just the mere fact of me going, huh? I wonder what that’s about. Means I’m growing because I noticed it. And then the second stage of growth is then let’s go take a little bit of a look at it. And sometimes you can look at it fully and sometimes you need some tools and sometimes it’s a little too ouchie and sometimes, yeah, you’re going to need some practice, you know, like, I’m going to repeat this, this, this, this thing I do a little bit till I get better at it. Um, like my daughter, for example, she’s like, you’re always, you’re always trying to fix it. And I’m like, oh, my gosh, I am always trying to fix it with her because I’m in a hurry and why am I in such a hurry? Like she’s 19?

Andrea: Well, it’s this abundance thing that I was just saying, like, I want to get it done. Yeah, yeah.

Jill: And so part of me is like. So one of the things I practice with her because she said, Mom, you’re doing it again. I’m like, okay. So with her, I really practice trying to listen, but then I’m listening to myself going, You’re trying to answer. You’re trying to give her advice. She didn’t ask for advice. Jill Why are you giving her advice? Why do you not trust her? Do you think you’re all knowing? Is it like you? You got somewhere else to be? That’s more important than listening to your daughter Like, so that’s the that’s the talk I’m doing in my head. Um, as I’m trying to listen to her, I’m also listening to myself go, like, what? What are you why, why are, for example, why are you in such a rush?

Andrea: So, so what I’m hearing is the benefit of listening to yourself in a nutshell, simply put, is that you perhaps are accelerating your path to self-improvement and you’re and you’re giving yourself a much higher probability of showing up as your best self in the future.

Jill: Yes, by listening, you really get to know yourself. And when you know who you are, you can walk into a room. You are far more confident, don’t you? Like if don’t know who I am, I’m showing up and I’m like, you know, then you get imposter syndrome. Why? Because you’re actually not being you. But if you go, I know who I am for good and for bad. I know the things I’m working on. I know the things I’m good at and I’m here and I’m holding space and I’m doing. Confidence comes when you know yourself.

Andrea: Oh, you will be quoted on that, my friend. Okay, so what happens when you don’t?

Jill: When you don’t? I think you just I think you run yourself into a tizzy. I think when you’re just when you don’t know yourself and you’re trying on all these different hats, I think you I think you get flustered. I think you get exhausted. You’re carrying around a bag of hats, like literally, I think like if you think about energy is finite, right? If you are running around trying to be all things to all people or you’re trying different. Right. It’s exhausting. But, you know. No, I know who I am. I’ve got my two hats, my learning hat and my whole hearted hat. And those are who I that’s how I bring myself to meetings. Yeah. And and I. Because I know how to listen to myself. I’m better at to listen to you. The whole thing calms down. I find the whole thing. Comes down like I one thing I try and do is I was. Where is inflammation in the system and can we flame things when we’re not listening? We’re listening to answer or even for ourselves or we’re judging ourselves. That’s another thing. I think we don’t listen to ourselves because sometimes it’s judgy, you know? But can we be non binary? Can we can we just say it’s not good or bad? It just is, right?

Andrea: Yes. Yeah.

Jill: Exactly. Exactly. So is there a way to take judgment off of our ourselves and listen with compassion? Yeah. Is another way.

Andrea: So I want to I want to leave the listeners with a list of of ways that maybe you and I can brainstorm about how how people can start listening to themselves better. And I’m going to tee off this list here with asking yourself questions either quietly in your mind, either in the moment or maybe later. And then and then the other one that comes to mind just it’s sort of an obvious one, I think, is journaling. Yeah. So do you think you told me that you do journal?

Jill: I do journal. I do journal. I free journal. So when I journal I don’t think. I purposely just let it come out. What’s really going on? What the hell is that? Why am I like this sometimes, right? That. What the hell was that?

Andrea: So, Jill, when you listen to this later, you’re going to realize you ask yourself questions all the time.

Jill: This is do I do. I actually hadn’t even thought of it, but I do. I ask, like, what’s coming up for me? Like, what is it that I feel? Yeah. And when did I first know this? Because my my coach says to me like, oh, this thing is happening because. And when did you first know this? Jill? Like, oh, three months ago. Because, yeah. You’re not listening to yourself. You already knew, right? It’s a good question. When did you first know? Um, you know, what part of this do I own? One thing I love when I listen to myself is what is this teaching me? Because one thing I write in my journal a lot or I say a lot to myself, a little mantra I have to myself is. Thank you.

Andrea: That’s not a question.

Jill: No, it’s not. But the question that precedes Thank you is what is this teaching me? Right. Right. What is the gift in this moment? I just maybe got smacked down hard on something or I really made a blunder. What is this teaching me? What part of it do I own? What’s the gift in this that I can take forward? It came wrapped in a really crappy package, but it’s a gift. And then I wrap it up. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you for that. And that’s how I kind of seal it into a growth opportunity, is to say it that way. So I guess journaling, finding time to get quiet. One of the things I love podcasts. I love yours, I love podcasts, I love books. I’m always. But when I’m in the car, unless it’s a long ride. Yeah, I’m quiet. It’s quiet. Quiet. I need it. Need. And that’s you know, BJ Fogg talks about attaching things to me. Listen to him. Um, to to habits. It just becomes when I drive. That’s my my quiet time. I’m just thinking. I’m just letting the back of my brain process. Because in the stillness is where we can sort out our thoughts like. When you’re always taking in stimulus, when are you going to listen to which of these things are right for me? Right. What really happened? Self-reflection happens in the quiet.

Andrea: Yeah. Yeah. Our brain is non-consciously processing solutions. Questions. Yeah. Interpreting. You know, the shoulda woulda, coulda, but also on the positive side, right? Kind of. Yeah. I remember. I remember sitting on the couch of Professor Jerry Zaltman, one of my favorite professors on the planet at Harvard Business School, and he would ask me questions and I’d be like, I think I need to think about it. And he said, You know what? Don’t consciously think about it. Your brain has the question and now go off and we’ll meet tomorrow. And yeah, so he’s he’s all about like don’t don’t even worry about conscious so but I think that that sort of informs another another methodology that we have for being a better listener to ourselves. We can sit and journal and whether it’s free writing, like you said, or whether you’re asking yourself questions in a disciplined way and then forcing yourself to answer them. Yeah. And then there’s doing that in your in your conscious and non-conscious brain, right? Yes.

Jill: You’re conscious and you’re not. Yes. Because sometimes oftentimes when I’m doing something else is think. Dr. Altman said to you is he’s I agree. He’s so smart. Love his book about deep metaphors. So good. Um, you and I have similar bookshelves when you when you go and do something else. And usually for me, it’s calmness. I’m walking in the woods, I’m taking a bath. The answers come. Yeah. When I’m staring at the question, they don’t always come. But when I’m reflecting or reflecting when I’m doing something, when I’m calming my brain, often the answers come and the answers about yourself come. And we talked about knowing your values. I think that’s a really good example of, of just like. How to. Take in the stimulus and add and edit and decipher. We talked about talked last time about keep a second notebook, like there’s a journal. But then I also carry a second notebook with me everywhere. And so these reflections that come up, I catch them, which is a way of like I listen to myself and, you know, I was in flow today. What was I doing that I lost track of time? What were they doing? And so I’m like, Oh, yeah, I complete. And so you can see patterns that way. So I think that’s really good. Um. Talked about being slow. I think the idea of of. Moving energy out helps too, because we live such stressful lives.

Jill: And so one of the things I started doing was a book by it’s called Burnout. It was by two sisters. One’s a doctor. I can’t remember. It’ll come to me. But it’s called burnout. And they talked about stress can last a length of period. But if you think about like and that can block us and stress can shut us down and we contract, right? We contract. But if you want to be expansive, you’ve got to get that stuff out of you. And so getting an understanding, what are you feeling? And then moving it out. And what they talk about is move it out every single day, even though the stressor might be multiple days long. Move it out. So they go. You can walk like literally move it out, walk it out, dance it out, create it out, cry it out. So that’s why I talk to my daughter about is make sure there’s like seven of them in the book. Let’s do two each day to make sure so we don’t have blockages for listening to ourselves, you know? So this idea, again, when we get blocked with stress or this busyness or this treadmill, do something that that takes it away for a bit because then you can’t really hear yourself if you got all this stuff shouting at you. Yeah, I love that.

Andrea: Makes sense. Yes. It’s it’s almost like it’s like a. Perhaps physical, but its tangible catalyst to. Yes, get this, get rid of the stress. Right?

Jill: Yeah. And make sure I’m conscious about it because I have like a room, like I go dance it out sometimes. I’m like, I’ve got to go put some of this stuff away. Olivia and her boyfriend, I’m like, I’m going to go dance for half an hour. They’re like, okay.

Andrea: Just close the door, mom.

Jill: Exactly. And I’m like, I’m just dancing it out. Or when I’m walking my dog, I go, No, I’m consciously letting go of some things to make room for myself to hear. Yeah.

Andrea: Because you’re being very mindful. You’re being. Yeah. You’re spending your time?

Jill: Yep. Yep. So I think that that’s a big one. I think finding, finding stillness, like just the, again, the idea of, of can you, can you sit with yourself? Yeah, many of us can’t. Because if you can’t sit with yourself, then something uncomfortable comes. How can you sit with that?

Andrea: Yeah that’s true. That’s I think if. Right. Put another way, I think when we’re avoiding sitting quietly with ourselves, what we’re doing is we’re avoiding something. We are consciously or unconsciously avoiding something that.

Jill: We’re avoiding something. Laziness is avoidance. Yeah. You know, we get curious with ourselves. Oh, like doctor, is it not? Doctor The Maestro. Ben Zander, Boston Harmonic Orchestra. Will I say that right. And the kids, when he also teaches the kids orchestra and he says, Yeah. Yes. Boston. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. And he says when he’s teaching people he goes like instead of because he talks about this, talks about this, when we get hard on ourselves, we contract like we make people kids will make a mistake and shrink versus he says to say things like how fascinating.

Andrea: Yeah, I read that. He said, Oh, it’s so great.

Jill: So I talked to my staff about that. How fascinating. We screwed that up. How fascinating. We’re better than that. But yet we did it wrong.

Andrea: That reminds me of Sarah Blakely, the Spanx billionaire. Right. And she talks about her father. She thanks her father. All I’ve seen her on video and heard her and read her. And she talks about thanking her father for framing mistakes or failures as learning and celebrating them.

Jill: Yes. Yes. And and so he says this and I, I, I try and use whatever phrase you want, but but instead of going back to insecurity, I’m an idiot. It’s like, how fascinating. I don’t know how to do this. Yeah, how fascinating. I thought I knew how to do this. And I don’t.

Andrea: Yeah, I love that. I love that. So, Jill, I think we’ve created a list here of many. I think I’m feeling inspired. Ways of. Really making it easier for ourselves to listen to what’s going on in our head to to. In a disciplined way, thinking about our identity and our values and then pausing right and yeah, thinking about our reaction to things and even our interpretation of things. So the kind of self-talk and noticing things, yeah, physically and of course mentally in terms of our responses, is there anything else you want to say before I ask you my two new rapid fire questions? Well.

Jill: You’re making me think of a quote that I like love quotes about the importance of listening and self listening. And I think self listening is a big part of self-acceptance, and self acceptance is part of self growth. And there’s a great quote that I love. It’s by David Augsburger think is how you pronounce his name. It’s a senior professor of pastoral care at the School of Theology. And the way he says this is being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they’re almost indistinguishable. And so if you think about learning to listen to yourself and hearing your inner thoughts, I’m scared. I’m proud, but I don’t want to brag like, you can go either way, right? Hearing yourself is practicing self love, right?

Andrea: I was going to say, hearing yourself is loving yourself.

Jill: Exactly. And loving yourself is is an incredibly important part of growth. If you don’t love yourself, if you aren’t fascinated with yourself, if you aren’t forgiving of yourself, how do you grow? You can’t. And then as a mom, as a dad, as a leader, how do you show up if you aren’t self accepting and self fascinated? How are you going to. Model that for the people who are you have the grace of being in your in your in your sphere. So I like that you made me think of that quote, which I love.

Andrea: Oh, wow.  Jill, I’m feeling so optimistic.

Jill: Yeah, so am I.  Always love talking with you.

Andrea: About. About. About life. You know, not just communicating as an executive, but about life. So. Okay. Let me quickly ask you. Okay. Two new rapid fire questions. Are you ready? Okay, I’m ready. Okay. Question number one, I know you’re going to nail this one. It’s going to be tough to keep you to three, but can you recommend three books to talk about talk listeners?

Jill: Yep, I can. Okay. So I would say give me a second because I’m going to I’m going to actually happen here because you have a bookshelf. I have a bookshelf. Can’t see it. This one. Maybe it’s you. It’s such a great title. That’s hilarious. It’s not everybody else. Maybe you should look inward. It’s by Lauren Zander. She’s a coach and she’s like that New York kind of talk coach coach. So it’s really it’s a fun read, but it’s really blunt. Like maybe it’s you, maybe you to look in the mirror. Maybe you got to ask yourself some questions.

Andrea: Love that. Maybe it’s not everyone else. Okay. I haven’t read that. I definitely will.

Jill: It’s good. Next one, I’d say this one. I love Brene Brown. All of her work is good. But this one, Atlas of the Heart. What are you thinking? And she delineates them, right? Like, yeah. Damon And yeah, you know, all the things. Yeah, 

Andrea: I’ve read. I’ve read that one. It’s a good one. Yeah.

Jill: Yeah. Because compassion and pity are not the same thing, right? Like, so, you know, are you having compassion for yourself? Are you pitying yourself? Very different. Anyway, third one, this is a new one for me. I’m just a month in daily jam. Oh yeah. It’s just like a you can see, but it’s just like a little once a day, little passage of perspective. So I gave this to my daughter and we read them together. Sometimes she’s like, Mom, go. What does it say today? Because. I’m going to chew on that, mom. And so this is a self reflection. Um, a good friend. Just good friend I just met gave me this. And it’s. It’s brilliant. It’s a good way to start little doses. I’m going to.

Andrea: Go buy two copies, and my daughter and I are going to do the same thing. Yeah.

Jill: You’re welcome.

Andrea: Okay. And I’m going to put links to those books, plus the other books that we talked about. We talked about many, many books in the in our conversation. So I’m going to put links to all those books in the show notes. Question number two, the final question I’m going to ask you is three podcasts not talk about talk, three podcasts, other other.

Jill: Than yours, other than yours, which I highly recommend. Okay. 

Andrea: You would recommend to the executives that are listening and we all know this, they have a growth mindset. What are the top three that you think.

Jill: The top three I have for my growth mindset right now and.  My rotation, my go to’s are one rich roll this growth mindset, you know, rich roll amazing guests. Dr. Chatterjee’s feel better live more amazing guests, he reflects right there on the spot. He teaches you self-inquiry right there. Sarah Greenberg. A life of greatness is my absolute favorite. Okay. Yep. She asks incredible questions.

Andrea: Okay. I’m going to put all three of those in the show notes. Any last comments before we finish this amazing experience? I have to say.

Jill: Um, well.  Thank you. This has been wonderful. You always our conversations, I always learn and you teach me and you get me to self-reflect. And so this is wonderful and I’m grateful. Thank you. I think the thing I’m coming up for me is the importance to grow. We need to soften. And don’t think we’re taught that. I think we’re taught to to when we get hard and we we drive, I think we need to soften, maybe, to use that metaphor, driving, take our hands off the wheel a little bit, just, you know, take some pauses and just soften. Growth happens in the softness, starting with yourself.

Andrea: And we are going to finish it there. Thank you so much, Jill, for sharing your time and your incredible insights. Thank you.

Jill: You’re very welcome. My pleasure.