We all have vulnerabilities. And I exposed mine to Linda because it’s a free therapy session. She’s a well-known psychologist and bestselling author born in Canada, living in the UK.
I had to ask her about all her theories. And all her books. But mostly these 2:
1. “What Men Say, What Women Hear”
2. “Unfollow: Living Life on Your Own Terms”
Because I am still outsourcing my self-worth to new measures. First, it was money. So I gave up Wall Street (for many reasons). And then it became book sales and now podcast downloads or laughs when I’m on stage doing stand up.
And so I asked Linda “why?”
Why am I sacrificing my art for identity?
“We create because it’s in,” she said. “We’re social beings and our identity is bound up in what we create. That identity needs to be confirmed by others, right? It’s an interesting thing: identity. It’s simultaneously what makes us different but it’s also what binds us with a group”
Then she told me about the evolution of acceptance.
“Years ago you’d have a much smaller group validating that. Now, you have people out there, James, that don’t have a vested interest in you feeling good about yourself. Actually, there are people out there that would find it interesting if you didn’t. And you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Is the source not important?’”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s like a big bathroom door,” she said. All the comments on message boards or Facebook or Twitter…
Think about this. You go to a public bathroom. And the door is covered in ink. Is any of it positive? Or even worth reading?
That’s social media. (According to Linda.)
She said, “Look at who’s giving you that validation and explore if it’s quality or quantity. And, maybe that’s that’s what we’ve sold our souls for… quantity.”
Then she gave me tips. Really useful tips that I started practicing as soon as the podcast ended (like taking note of when I’m on social media, and how my mood is, and how much power someone else has). And then I asked her about women.
She broke down all the reasons people get divorced. And the most common misunderstandings. And how to get rid of them for good.
Because fighting hurts. It comes back to what Linda said about vulnerabilities. We all have them. And they’re impossible to forget. It’s like they put a mark on you. And follow you from place to place. Never letting you forget…
(Linda gave me advice for that too.) “The vulnerabilities are there,” she said, “but the assets are the people that tell you it’s okay to have them…”