There is Nothing Wrong With You
Ep. 256
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I gotta say, this podcast episode might just be the most important one I’ve ever recorded. We often beat ourselves up, wish we were different, and blame our brains for not working like everyone else’s. But what if all that self-judgment is actually holding us back from enjoying life and pursuing our dreams?

It’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to seek growth while accepting ourselves. Let’s explore this idea together and find ways to be kinder to ourselves.

Show Transcript
This might be the most important podcast episode I record and I think it's might be the most important topic that if I could really like hone in on what I want people to take away from this work or when they join the club. I feel like I bring you in on the guise of helping you with your career. But I truly, the work that I do is to try to get you to understand this one concept and it's just starts with a question.
What if there's nothing wrong with you? What if all of this striving to change and beating yourself up and wishing you were different and lamenting your brain for the way it acts? What if all of that was what was standing in your way of actually enjoying your life of actually going after your dreams? I say this today in a very burned out state. I feel extremely burned out. And this isn't a burnout from like, well some of it's overworking, but as someone who does this work and knows how to manage my mind and knows uh, kind of the signs and knows how to stop working so much, and part of why I'm telling you this even one is to normalize it cuz I think it happens and it's ebbs and flows and it's a pendulum swing and you see yourself kind of going too far and you bring yourself back and you don't have to get it right all the time.
There's no like balance that you achieve, that you maintain every day of your life. And I knew that I was getting close and that I was kind of pushing through the amount of work that I was doing, but this is beyond that level of burnout. But it's more like emotional I guess. Anyways, the reason I'm even telling you all this is I was realizing as I was going through this week feeling extremely burned out and not doing much and realizing that the only reason that I can be there for myself and that I can go through an experience like this and not make it mean something terrible about me or my business or the fact that I'm a fraud or that I don't have anything to teach people or that I should shut down the business or whatever we make it mean is simply because I have really worked on, and I, I wouldn't say mastered, but gotten pretty close to really accepting that there's nothing wrong with me.
And every time I go through something emotionally, physically, I just learned something more about myself. I'm like, huh, I guess we overdid it there. I guess it means we need more time to rest here. I guess it means we can't be consistent with that thing now. And that's it. And there isn't that much trauma about it. There's some drama but not a lot. And I realized that this, you know this, if this was me four years ago, this was me five, you know, two years ago, probably three years ago, this would've been a very different experience in this week. It would've been a lot of beating myself up asking myself why I'm the way that I am. Why can't I just do more work? Why can't I just be like other people? And it would've come with a lot of unnecessary suffering. It would've come with a lot of like, but you should be posting more and you should be sending these emails and you should be doing this. And you, and I'm really just at a place where I'm like, well I can't though. My body just doesn't want to. It's completely shut down. That's okay. What do I need? What can I give myself? What if this was exactly what my body was supposed to do?
What if this was exactly what was always supposed to happen, right? What if this is the way that my body works? What if I work in spurts and sometimes I go hard and I get a lot done and then sometimes I burn out and I need to rest and I need to learn that rhythm more? Like what if there was nothing wrong here and I've been wanting to do this episode beyond what happened this week. I just realized this week, like it's funny even through this burnout, I was like, well maybe I just won't put out a podcast episode. But I wanted to put out a podcast episode because I think that it just highlights this point. So, well I wanted to do this episode for a while. I've talked a lot on the podcast about the fact that I now am, you know, self-diagnosed with ADHD or I think I have some characteristics of a D h adhd, some executive functioning limitations that have been my whole life and that make a lot of sense now and I've wanted to talk about this for a while.
Um, but it takes me a while to kind of observe and just watch a lot of people and watch what's happening online and to formulate my thoughts. So I didn't wanna do it too quickly, but as we all have seen this rise in kind of self-diagnosis of ADHD and this just rise of a lot of people identifying certain behaviors or certain mental processes that they have kind of fall under that, it's because there's a lot more education around it, right? There's a lot of the more understanding of how adhd, especially in women manifest itself and how it's not the same as what we were kind of taught. And so it's a wonderful thing, but I was realizing for me when I started, you know, seeing these tos and these Instagram posts and these doctors talking about some of these symptoms and some of the stuff that I've had and some of the stuff that I've struggled with all of my life, I remember it being such a relief.
Like ugh, a sigh of that is why I do this. Oh it now makes sense. It all makes sense. Now my brain does this because X, y and Z, my brain can't do this. Okay, now I get it and I realize how much I'd beat myself up throughout my whole life for that, for stuff I wasn't able to do, for not being able to fit in a certain box for not being able to do it a certain way. And while having that validation is important, feeling seen, right? Feeling like there's nothing wrong with you, this is just maybe the way your brain works, maybe your brain, you know, you don't have enough dopamine or whatever it might be. And I couldn't help but think after that instant happens cuz I knew for me, I think like all this stuff, I'm sure what we're learning about is like a lot of things fall on the spectrum, right?
I obviously didn't have it to such an extent where it was disrupting my life in really terrible ways, which ADHD does for a lot of people, right? It's not just like, oh I forgot. It's like it can really ruin people's lives cuz they forget really important things that can cause terrible consequences and it can affect people to the point where it has inhibited large parts of their lives. That was never me. And I realized like maybe I just ha don't have adhd. Maybe I have some executive functioning limitations. Maybe it's something completely different. Who knows? This isn't like a podcast about whether you should get diagnosed or not. Everybody can decide for themselves. I think that there is something that's obviously very helpful about being diagnosed, especially if you want to seek treatments, if you need medication, which can be extremely helpful. I knew for me that I likely wasn't gonna do that.
It wasn't to the point where I think I needed medication and I didn't wanna deal with the effects of the medication. So I decided that I didn't really need to go through with the diagnosis. I didn't need to go through and like actually be diagnosed. I had felt the need to do it and I was asking myself like why do you need to do this? And it simply was so that I could like feel validated in being like, ugh, this is what it was, this is what it is. And all of this is to say, I started really questioning why did I need a diagnosis to allow me to think, oh maybe this is just the way my brain works. Why did I need somebody else to say like, this is what's happening in your brain and it's okay for me to think, ugh, there's nothing wrong with me, this is just the way my brain works.
Why wasn't I able to just think that? And I know, I mean structurally I understand like in society I've been told that there's something wrong with me. So that's why. But I just think now for myself, what if I never had that diagnosis? What if my symptoms were something completely different than ADHD and my brain did something completely different than that and yet it is functioning the way it functions. Whether that's because of the chemicals in my brain, the structure of my brain, whether that's because of the result of trauma in my childhood, for all of us it's something different. I just heard this study that blew my mind. It was a study on mice and they had given these mice a smell like in in the cage they had like sprayed this smell of, I don't know, lavender or eucalyptus or something. And then they had applied a mild shock to the mouse, which is very sad.
But that's again another discussion for another time. But they did this so often that when the smell was administered, the mouse froze, obviously, right? Because it was expecting a shock. So even when they stopped shocking it, that mouse would freeze. What is fascinating was that even two generations later when that smell was administered, the mice would freeze. Okay? Talk about generational trauma. I mean it is like DNA level and that's one of the things that it was proving is that they had never been shocked and yet the fear from the smell of that lavender made them freeze. Now evolutionarily, this is obvious why this is such a very practical and important tool for our brain to have, right? We can't reinvent the wheel like the way evolution happens and the way we survive is to be able to know like if our ancestors were afraid of something, it's likely because there was danger there.
So it's really handy for me not to have to like learn by getting mauled by a tiger, but just to know that like big animals on four feet that growl are probably dangerous, right? I should have this inherent fear of it so that it keeps me alive. But I want you to just really think about that, that so many of us have reactions to things that we don't understand because we don't know where the root of it is from. You might have anxiety that comes from nothing that you've actually experienced in your life. It might come from the things your grandparents and great-grandparents experienced in their lives. And we wonder what the hell is wrong with me? Why am I so anxious all the time? Why am I so worried all the time? I know nothing is wrong, I know everything is good. Why can't I get rid of this?
And the question is, what if there's nothing wrong with you? What if that's the way your body was meant to react? What if the way, that's the way your body is set up, what if it's not always a problem to be solved? I think about this now with my adhd and I think about, and I say this flippantly, like I don't even actually know if it's adhd, but this is the point of this is like, what if my brain just operates the way my brain operates? What if my level of organization and the things I can remember is just the way that my brain is wired? And that doesn't mean that you can't go for growth or you can't try to work with your brain in different ways. It doesn't mean that I can't look for systems that maybe help me organize a little bit or that help me create ways that will work for me.
Uh, knock yourself out. I do it. That's the best use of your brain. But that's not what we do. We typically just beat ourselves up enough. We just think if I keep being mean to myself, like why can't I remember anything? What's wrong with me? Why can't I just get it together? I'm such a hot mess. Other people happened to remember this. Why didn't I put it on my calendar? Why? Why, why that is pointless, right? Like that is not gonna do anything except for create a lot of negative emotion. And what if the reason why is just because your brain doesn't do that? I recently had a another realization with this same concept when a family member of mine said that they think that they are likely autistic or on the autism spectrum. Again, you know, when you look at this spectrum and now this is like the newest thing I've seen on TikTok where there's a lot of awareness around like what does it mean to be autistic?
And what we had previously, you know, diagnosed as autism was very extreme, maybe cases of autism, but there's also people who likely have these autistic tendencies and the way their their brain functions is on the autistic spectrum, but it's just not to that same degree. And we didn't know this before. And so great, it's really powerful to learn this stuff. It's really powerful because it does help you think like, okay, how does my brain work? And you know, what are ways in which I can kind of support myself? But what really caught me was I remember having a lot of frustration and judgments of this person throughout my life in the family, like really wondering like, why are they like this? Or why do they act like this? Or why don't they just understand that? Like that's not acceptable to say or do or like, you know, whatever, as we all tend to do.
And I remember how guilty I felt immediately after I heard this because so much made sense. Like honestly the diagnosis made a lot of sense and I felt really bad and I didn't shame myself for too long. I did, I caught myself. But I really thought like why would it take this diagnosis for me to just accept them the way they are? If you're in the club, you know that there's a tool that I teach called the manual and I have to do a podcast episode about that at some point. But it's this idea that we have instruction manuals for how we deal with people. And this is the root of a lot of problems in our relationships because it's like if they just acted like this, if they did this, if this person just was this way, then I could be happy. And so we try to control people, we try to manipulate people, we do all the stuff.
We get so bent outta shape because people don't act the way we want. And part of what I teach is like how to drop manuals. And to be honest, like after I learned these tools, this did really help my relationship with a lot of people in my family, including this person because I had started dropping like, this person doesn't need to do anything. I think they need to do. They get to be who they wanna be. But that was only a couple of years ago. And even then I've still struggled with it here and there. Like I can see my manuals come up and I remember when we had this conversation and I started thinking like, oh, what if they really are autistic? How would that change things? And I instantly realized how much more compassion I would have, how much more understanding I would have, how much less frustration I would have, how much less I would expect them to do certain things that I expected them to do before.
And it really got me wondering why. Why do I need that to be able to think the way I wanna think? Why couldn't I think that they don't have to act the way that I think they should act? They don't have to be the way that I think they should be. They're allowed to be the way that they want to be. Why couldn't I just have compassion and love and acceptance? Because they're a human being doing it the best way they know how. And so I don't say this in any way of like, again, whether it's good or bad to get diagnosed. I think that it can be very helpful because I think it's not only validating, but I think it can help you really start learning more about, okay, this is why I can't pay attention. This is why I do this. This is why like this is what's happening in my brain and that, you know, I'm all about that.
But I also want you to just stop. Even if you don't have any of this, let's say you don't have any ADHD issues, you focus perfectly fine, you don't have any autism issues, you don't have any other brain issues, I hope. Let's say you have a perfectly amazing brain. What if there's still nothing wrong with you in whatever way that you think there's something wrong with you? If you just wish you were more motivated or you were more outgoing or you were more extroverted or you were more sensitive, or you were more emotionally aware or you care to more, or that you whatever. What if all of those things that you think you should be different are just not true? It's like you shouldn't be any different than you are. I coach a lot about this in the club on this idea that like your brain is always doing something with the idea that it's protecting you, right?
It's always trying to protect you. So even when you don't understand what it's doing, like for a lot of people, let's say you're procrastinating and you don't get it because like you want to do the work, you know that like this deadline has to be met, but your brain is constantly like seeking dopamine and giving up urges so that you go and watch Netflix again or whatnot, your brain is still trying to protect you because that deadline is creating so much negative emotion and your brain's like, Hey, we need some positive emotions in here because this feels terrible and your brain thinks it's gonna die and it doesn't understand that you, an email is not gonna kill you. And so it's pumping you with these urges to get you to get dopamine. Like it's trying to keep you in survival, right? So whatever it is, maybe that's, you know, it's in procrastination, maybe it's, I look at for me, my quote unquote laziness, the story that I've had my whole life, one of the things that I've been realizing is that I have perpetually my go-to state is a freeze response.
So you know, there's fight, flight, freeze and fun. This I've known about myself is that like in very stressful situations I freeze, I shut down, I almost become, it's like narcoleptic. Like as soon as I have stress I fall asleep. I'm super, I get super tired. And I used to get really upset about this because like obviously I was sleeping so much and like who want you want need to be awake, you need to like do deadlines and wanna get to deadlines and finish your work. But I realize now like again, this was just my body's way of preserving itself. It wasn't me being lazy, it's simply that my brain was like, this is too much stress. We need to shut things down until we can calm down. Like my nervous system needed to calm down. And I did that through sleeping. Some people might do that for through fight.
Some might do it from through flight, some might do it through fawn, right? Some of us buffer with alcohol, some of us do it with Netflix, some of us, whatever it is, your brain is constantly trying to just keep you alive and help you, right? Help you keep alive. Like you need pleasure, you need to get away from pain. It doesn't realize that by doing that, by seeking that immediate pleasure, you're kind of prolonging the pain. Like your primitive brain doesn't understand this. But I coach so much on this because I see that so many of us not only have whatever we perceive as a weakness, you know, whatever we wish we could change about ourselves, we have that trait and then we have all of the shame and judgment on top of it, right? We have whatever the trait is, like let's say my laziness, what I used to think was laziness.
And then I have so many thoughts about why are you like this? Why can't you be like other people? You sleep way too much, you're way too lazy. You're never gonna be motivated, you'll never make anything of yourself, you know, like on and on and on. And that obviously feels terrible. But I think about how much negative emotion I created instead of just trying to understand myself instead of understanding like maybe there's nothing wrong with me. Maybe this was the way that my body was supposed to react, was designed to react to stress. Maybe my body is in a very unnatural situation. My body was never evolved to sit behind a computer for 10 hours a day, you know, under fake lighting and not ever feel the ground and not ever see the sun and have this level of stress and work 40, 60 hours a week, whatever.
Like that's just not what my body was made for. And so I'm putting my body in an unnatural situation and then I'm getting mad at it because it's not responding the way I want it to, right? Like I'm pushing my body day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. I'm just like, we're gonna go, go, go all the time. There's no seasons of rest ever. We're just gonna keep going. And then I get mad when like four decades in my body's like, stop enough. I don't wanna do this anymore. I'm tired. I want her breast. I just want you to consider what if. It's not that there's something wrong with you, it's that your body was never meant to focus for eight hours a day. Your body was never meant to sit in a chair for 12 hours a day.
Like that's why you have back pain or carpal tunnel or neck pain or whatever. Your body wasn't meant to eat the foods that we eat right now. It wasn't meant to sleep the way this we sleep. None of this stuff wasn't meant to do and fine, it's in our society, we, we have to do it or we live within it. And like we can figure out ways to kinda help ourselves. But one thing we can stop doing is shaming ourself all the time. One thing we can stop doing is telling ourselves that there's something wrong with me and everybody else has it together. Everybody else magically seems to be able to focus. It's just me. It's like the biggest lie ever. It's not just you, but your body also reacts different to different things, right? Some of us can stand up and talk in front of people and not feel like we're gonna die and others of us can't.
Okay, good to know. Some of us can focus really deep for hours and some of us can't even do it for 20 minutes. Some of us, our brain is hyper-organized and needs to think in systems and is very linear thinking. And some of us, it's just this big beautiful yarn of thoughts all the time. None of it is right or wrong, it just is. And so I just want you to consider what if there's nothing wrong with you? What if personal development is not meant to make you into a robot or to make you perfect or to change everything about you? What if personal development was simply to unlearn all the that you've learned about yourself? What if it's simply meant to get you to a place to understand that there was nothing ever wrong with you? What if personal development was meant for you to accept who you are and then work with that beautiful brain of yours, however yours works, and that body of yours and whatever that can handle to realistically go after your dreams.
For some of you, that might mean that your nervous system can handle it, your brain can handle it. You focus, you get a business up in six months, you're good to go. Great. For some of you, that means they'll take you five years cuz you have to go slow, low and slow. Your nervous system has to catch up. You're worried about everything. You got a lot of anxiety. You gotta manage every thought. Okay, good to know. You know what doesn't help to constantly tell yourself that there's something wrong with you and that you shouldn't be that way. Like imagine how different that journey would be if you just got to walk it alongside yourself. If you just got to like hold yourself through it. If you just got to be kind to yourself, you can still go on the journey, still go after the goals, still push yourself.
And so many of you I know are thinking like, well, if I just accept the way I am that I'm gonna end up on the couch doing nothing. And I promise you it's not true. The reason you end up on the couch right now is because you're just so burned out and you're so exhausted and you don't give yourself time to actually rest. And so what if you just accepted whatever season you're going through, whatever your brain does naturally, whatever you might feel this week, whatever your hormones are doing today, it might be different day to day. And how can I just check in and notice it and accept it and figure out how to work with it instead of constantly thinking that it just needs to be different. My friends? I promise you, there is nothing wrong with you. And that might be bad news for you because you might have hoped that there was and that there's some version of you that's gonna be perfect, but that version doesn't exist.
This is what we got. And you might as well enjoy this ride with the body and the brain that you have. And the only way you do that is by accepting what it's, I hope this was helpful. If it was, share it with someone else who also needs to learn that they're perfectly normal. In fact, if somebody sent you this, they're trying to send you the message that you are perfect the way that you are. Nothing needs to change. You can go thank them and you can share it with someone else and share the love. I hope this was helpful and I'll be back next week. Hopefully a little less burned out, a lot more rested with another episode. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing, imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.