In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

Comparison is the thief of joy, and FOMO is the enemy of you really valuing your own time, your own experience and your own perspective.

It can be so easy to get caught up in what we think we SHOULD be feeling during the holiday season – especially with the way it is promoted in all the cheesy movies, TV shows and social media.

So if you’re someone who struggles with this, or you know someone who does, its important to know you aren’t alone.  

In fact, you fall into the majority.

Because there are so many people out there dealing with this, today’s episode is meant to address a number of factors we can control to improve our mood and adjust our perspectives and expectations of “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Here are just a few of the remedies you can implement:

  • Motion is Lotion – how physical movement positively impacts your mood (18:10) 
  • Specific and simple strategies to change your environment (24:00)
  • Why both pro-social behavior AND isolating yourself can be necessary (28:25)
  • How to leverage your mood to benefit your productivity (41:30)

Referenced Materials:

AOC Podcast Episode 106 – Jesse Elis: The Authenticity Trap

AOC Podcast Episode 146 – How to Deal with Overwhelm & Burnout

Online Course: Valu(ED)

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Today’s episode is brought to you by:

BetterHelp: Listen, life does not come with a user manual. You don’t need me to tell you that. So when it’s not working for you, maybe you feel like you’re in a funk, maybe you’re having a hard time making a decision, maybe you just need somebody to listen to you. It is an asset to be able to reach out to the world’s largest therapy service. Better help has matched 3 million people with Professionally licensed and bedded therapists that are available 100% online, and it’s affordable.  Go to


Brett Bartholomew  0:00  

A Few things are more frustrating than when you feel like you’re overwhelmed in over your head or not sure what to do in a particular situation. Furthermore, many of you do not need me to tell you this, there are certain things in life that reading a book, or even listening to a podcast aren’t going to help with. Because what you are contemplating or what you’re dealing with, is really complex and requires another human being to bounce ideas off of. This is why the art of coaching mentoring and strategy program exists


Now, I want to be really clear, if you haven’t heard about this, this is something that we haven’t marketed much. But it’s always been a pet project of mine, especially because I never had a formal mentor to work with when I was navigating a lot of things in my life, and really even now. But what we do is we provide you guys with direct advice and applied strategies that you can use to better navigate relationship issues, work issues, big life decisions, or even just small stuff that you’ve wanted to get off your chest for a while.


Yes, like, there is a common misconception that our company just because we talk a lot about communication and behavior only deals with communication, or maybe entrepreneurial type stuff. Our mission here at art of coaching is to help all of you with the messy realities of leadership in life. So it’s very broad. And we have people in this program that come to us with a wide range of issues or just things that they want to chat about and get advice on. And like I said, we can do this because all of our coaches have experienced these things as well.


The fact is, and you know this to be true, coaches need coaches, leaders need someone to listen, and the messy realities of real life require real solutions from people who will shoot you straight. I’m biased, but I don’t think anybody does that better than our organization. So all you need to do, there’s no travel involved, there’s no complexity, this is all done virtually, is go to I’ll repeat that, again, Fill out the form, and a member of our team is going to get back to you. And I want to be clear, once again, our network of coaches have worked in a variety of industries.


They work across multiple time zones. And none of this requires any travel or managing of logistics. on your end, it could not be simpler. It’s like Uber for advice or left for advice or choose whatever is available in your country for advice with qualified coaches. It’s literally the most accessible way that you can get the help with what you need right now. And I’ll close it off like this. Nothing is more expensive than bad advice. Nothing is less productive than being prideful or not seeking a second opinion. And nothing is more valuable than getting a coach for yourself. Someone who will listen and help you create a strategy tailored to you to help you get out of your own head and moving forward once again. Go to right now.


Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew. And at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership.You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in.


All right, I’m excited to run this one back. When we first ran this episode, it was one of our most popular and it still gets some of the highest download rates of any show, even when it’s not the holidays. It is all about strategies for combating the holiday blues. Now, this is stuff that people don’t talk about much. And there’s a reason why right? It makes us feel a little bit weird. Because the Holidays everybody else seems to be so happy and giddy. But there’s a combination of things that can often make people feel down, right.


There’s high expectations during the holidays. And when our reality doesn’t really match those expectations. How I feel versus how I feel I should feel, that creates issues. There’s a loneliness, financial stress. I remember when we first played it, one of our members said, hey, you know what, this just really spoke to things that I dealt with as a kid. Christmas was really hard for us and so I struggle with those same feelings as an adult. The family dynamics can just be weird. And remember, you don’t have to have some kind of trauma to relate to this.


This can just be something where we’re gonna have days where we feel a little gray, we feel a little down, we feel a little off. And so it’s gonna give you strategies to deal with that in a very real, non overly therapist away something that you can really take with you. And understand there’s other folks out there like you, and they’re going to share those insights. So I hope you enjoy it. We’d love to know your feedback, and make sure to email us at All right, enjoy the show.


Hey, thank you for sitting down with me. Once again, a special note that some excellent complements to this episode, if you want more resources can be found on episode 106 and episode 146. That’s episode 106 and episode 146. The links for both will be in the show notes. Now the reason for this is we are going to be talking about a lot of things overwhelm burnout, and how to get out of a rut and a funk. And collectively, These serve as a triumvirate. To help you with that, we always want to be mindful of the time that you have on this podcast. So we don’t do three hour episodes. So make sure you check those out if you want more on this.


Also, even though we’re going to talk about the holidays and the blues. If you’re somebody that feels like I don’t deal with any of these issues, please listen anyway. This applies to anybody that has ever been in a funk or a rut in life times where you just don’t feel like things are clicking on all cylinders. So regardless of what levels of stress the holidays Do or do not bring to you, please listen in, because you might know somebody else that deals with it as well. So with that said, let’s get started. Now, the end of the year and the holidays can be both a special time and a very stressful time.


For some, a holiday season represents a welcome break, a chance to decompress and a moment even recalibrate. But for others, they can create a real sense of melancholy, anxiety and even overwhelm. Now this dichotomy is reflected in the findings of a 2015 survey conducted by Healthline which is a consumer health information site based in San Francisco. And they found that 62% of respondents describe their stress levels as very or somewhat elevated during the holidays, while only 10% reported no stress during the season.


Now amongst those holidays, stressors, as you can imagine our financial demands, negotiating the interpersonal dynamics of family and maintaining personal health habits such as an exercise regimen, but we’re going to go a lot deeper in this episode. Now in addition to that, and I thought this was interesting tidbit that you might appreciate, research conducted by the American Psychological Association shows the seemingly joyous times of year can be a specially stressful for women. One 2006 studies suggested this could be due to the additional demands many women feel they have on them during the holidays regarding traditional household duties.


Now, you might find that that’s not the case, you and your partner might have a different split of those duties. Just wanted to share this data with you, as I’m sure you can appreciate, man, woman or anything, you understand that people are going to have varying levels of stress. So let’s go over some reasons and remedies that you can use to improve your chances of Fending off these invidious emotional states, or at the very least, learning how to leverage them for the better because you know us at art of coaching, we are suckers for teaching you how to ethically weaponize what most considered to be the dark side of things so that we can better thrive in the gray area. I mean, not everybody is just going to feel positive and happy all the time. And that should not be the expectation, especially because we have emotions, such as anxiety, and sadness and fear for a reason. 


They can be leveraged for good. And you can read more about that in my book conscious coaching. So when we look at some reasons, aside from the ones that we talked about, but it’s just good to reiterate some of them so you can better identify what might be getting you. One of the things that we feel, and that we know impact people based on interviews we conducted as well as you feel this strain to meet expectations. And this shouldn’t really require much research because we all have that anecdotal evidence. When it’s the holidays, you feel like man, whether it’s your own expectations or the expectations of your family or your employer. You know, there’s so many ways you can take this, but you’ve got to think, how is that impacting me?


Now I can relate to this specifically. And I gotta be careful because my family listens to this. But you know, Christmas is a huge time to my family. And there have been a lot of changes over the years. My parents were married for 20 some odd years. They were divorce for 18 and then they recently got back together. So I know that even just going through those times the holidays met so much because not only is it just hey, it’s a time for family to get back together. But as we navigated that transition of divorce, there was I saw my parents to make sure the family was still held together, there was stress on us, because you always want to get somebody the right gift.


We saw Mom or Dad sad at different periods of our life, you know, I wouldn’t be around my brother for most of the years. So you’re always trying to say, alright, what can I get him that he’d appreciate, even though we’re not around each other all the time, it’s like a time of year, you just don’t want to let anybody down. But on another side of things, you think about did you let yourself down? When they get to the end of the year, you start thinking about things you might or might not have accomplished. Everybody wants, it becomes January, oh, New Year new you, they set all these things.


But that sets you up kind of for a rough end of the year if you feel like man, I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, I didn’t get that raise that I wanted. I don’t know if I’m making an impact. And when you contrast this, with all of the marketing, and all of the movies around the holidays, that creates issues as well, it just feels like this time of year, where magic is supposed to happen, things get a little bit easier, and you can look back and take stock and all the things that you’re grateful for. And so if you’re not really happy with what you accomplished, or you feel like you’d let yourself down, or you didn’t kind of change into the person you want it to be, that’s disappointing. But it’s really dangerous when you contrast it to the expectations of the season.


So we’re gonna get into more of this in a minute. We talked about financial strain, I mean, I know that my wife and I usually pause any of our investments that we’re lucky enough to make during this time. And we also have to be mindful of just overall company spending, since we both work for art of coaching, because we’ve got a budget for flights. And I’m sure many of you can relate to this, regardless of where you’re listening around the world. But it was about 700 bucks a pop, for me, and my son and my wife to go home. Now, that’s just the reality. But the reality and the things that we accept during the holidays doesn’t make that stress any easier. You could sit there and say, well with my family, we don’t really have those expectations of gifts.


But for me, I still wanted to make sure I could get everybody something and we have aunts and you have uncles and nieces and nephews. And so that financial strain is very real and relax, we’re gonna get into remedies here in a minute, just listing out some things so that you can better identify where you’re at. Another thing is kids, the holidays are really hard, you want things to be really special for your kids. With my wife and I are really behind on a lot of our work right now. And the other night, we were rushing around to get some decorations up and a projector in the window. Because our son Bronson, who will turn three on December 17. This is the first real Christmas that he’s is aware of at all. So while we’re not going all out, it’s not Christmas with the Kranks.


He’s really started to get into decorations and holidays, he lost his mind for Halloween. And so we want to make sure that this is special for them. And so when you’re trying to show up for yourself, your spouse, the folks in your business, your clients or the people that you serve, and your kids, that’s a lot of load. That’s a lot of load, and it never really gets easier. And then the biggest thing of what I said earlier, just this contrast between what you might feel during the holidays, and the emotions that you have, and the ones that you’re currently bathing in and the expectations of what you should be feeling. The things that are broadly communicated around you through the Christmas songs and all the pageantry, right.


These are the communicated expectations of how you should feel during the holidays. And when there’s an incongruence between how you should feel and how you do feel that really amplifies feelings of loneliness and hopelessness in some. Now a brief quote here by Dr. David Corden, who is the medical director of Princeton house behavioral health outpatient services. That is a mouthful. And he says loneliness is one of the most common stressors when it comes to being in any kind of depression or funk any time of year. But that is particularly true around the holidays.


Now part of that problem is we are constantly exposed to images of families and friends celebrating together, seemingly without a care in the world. And then we start comparing our real lives to these fabricated one seen on social media or television. I mean, good lord, I feel a month and immense amount of stress that I’m like, who are these Hallmark Hall of Fame guys. These people with blue eyes, brown hair, who wrap all this nonsense in a bow, and are just like the quintessential perfect people. Now, there’s no expectation of myself to be that. But it’s just funny. You have to laugh at the messaging out there in movies and advertisements.


And whether you think it impacts you or not, right, these things do start to impact the subconscious. Tremendous research out there that says even if you do not feel engaged by an ad, we see parts of the brain light up that deal with learning centers that deal with reward or even punishment or so our brain is constantly aware of the subconscious environment around us. And those things can just start to infiltrate our mindset over time. Hey, there’s also end of year pressures, deadlines, all these things. Okay, so what do we do? You might feel like, Brett, that’s all of me. I have FOMO, I maybe got a divorce this year, I changed jobs, whatever that is, what do I do, because I can’t stand this feeling anymore. 


So let’s go over this, we’re going to go over some remedies. Now, we’re going to knock out the obvious ones first, the ones that we know to be true inside, but we don’t always execute on. I mean, I have been in a funk for a couple of weeks now, which is why, you know, part of the reason we wanted to do this episode is, man, I just can’t spin out of this. And I wonder how many other people do and we took polls, and other people are feeling it. And then you started looking at the research. So you started thinking this might be something perennial. So there are times that when I’m in a funk, even if I know what to do, I just don’t want to execute on that. And I’ll talk to you about how I fix that as well, and how you can manage that. 


So we’re gonna go on from some of the basic tactics to some counter conventional spins, and then also some more complex tactics. So first, with the basics. One, get off digital. Nothing is going to make you feel worse, or contribute to more FOMO and holiday guilt, than seeing what everyone else in quotes is doing. This will just take you down that self comparison rabbit hole really quickly, I promise you, I promise you. Now I also promise you life throws curveballs at everyone. So even if someone you know out there is cutting down a fresh Christmas tree by hand, getting a new car wrapped in a big bow, celebrating a new job or promotion, or spending the holiday in a state of the art yurt in the Appalachian Mountains where they have like hot chocolate and peppermint NOPs dispensers, and are simultaneously celebrating the birth of a new baby.


Remember, they too, are going to have the same kinds of moments where they feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or they’re going to have these moments where it’s just like they’re doing absolutely nothing and everybody else is doing the most exciting thing. It’s a big wheel folks. It’s a big wheel of life, a massive wheel of life. And everybody spins, it’s just all relative, right? They’re gonna feel overwhelmed, they’re gonna feel these things as well. And besides, it’s important thing to know that– and just remember, Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is the thief of joy. And FOMO is the enemy of you really valuing your own time, your own experience and your own perspective. 


A good friend of mine just finish their book, it’s like their third or fourth book, and they just got the galley copy from the publisher. I still have a ways to go, I have about five months until I have to get this book turned in. Which is why, and I’ve said this a couple of times on the podcast, if you reach out to me, and I’m delayed getting back to you, or I tell you no, for a variety of requests, it ain’t personal. I’ve just got to get this done. It’s three years in the making. But the point is I could look at that and be like, ah man, I just want my book to be done. And bla bla bla bla bla. And I just have to remember, like hey, they started earlier, they had to go through the same process. Nobody gets to jump the line.


It’s not like that is what it is. So thankfully, I’m in a position in my life where that one isn’t one that really gets me. I’m old enough in dog years to know that like these things happen, and everybody is going to succumb to the shit show that is life. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t impact you or that anything’s wrong. If it does impact you. This is how marketers get honest about these things. So remember, just get off digital, don’t compare. And remember that FOMO is the enemy of valuing your own experience and perspective. Don’t worry about it. Another obvious one is move. A friend of mine once said, depression can’t hit a moving target.


This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. You know, gift giving is its own form of communication. And when my wife and I go home, it’s always interesting to see the two different policies our family share on gift giving. My family, there’s a lot of pressure to get like the gift. My parents came up from a pretty rough socio economic background, they didn’t have much. And they really wanted to make Christmas special for us. And so that really carried over and you feel a lot of stress. And we have to go home for the holidays. So we’re always shipping stuff to them. And just trying to make it easy. Now my wife on the other hand, when we go to their house, they keep it pretty simple.


We do some stuff where we donate to charity, we do a white elephant gift. It’s pretty low key. But one thing I always have to be more mindful of outside of getting gifts for her family, my family and running around is always giving a gift to myself. And that sounds cheesy, but it’s something that I just didn’t do enough during the years and that can be, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. For some people. It’s just a chance to unwind COVID Is it with old friends have conversations. For you, it might mean something else, it might mean finally, finding time and making time to talk to a therapist, to go get other parts of your life, right that have been neglected too long. And the holidays are a great time to do that.


So whether it’s by starting therapy, going to visit old friends, just being a little easier on yourself during the tough moments, remember to give yourself some love this holiday season, you have to. Now from a therapy standpoint, when I talk about that, remember, nothing has to be quote unquote, wrong with you. This stuff is a weapon, being able to have conversations with people that are going to listen and give you an outside perspective, is the most unbeatable gift there is.


And the fact is, you’re not always going to be your best self. So you have to be mindful of that. If you are thinking of starting therapy, give BetterHelp a try. It’s entirely online. Designed to be convenient, flexible and suited to your schedule. All you have to do is fill out a brief questionnaire, you get matched with a licensed therapist, and you can switch therapists at any time for no additional charge so you can find the best fit for you. So in the season of giving, give yourself what you need, with better help. Visit to get 10% off your first month, that’s


A friend of mine once said, depression can’t hit a moving target. Now it goes without saying but it’s going to be mentioned anyway. I’ve used the term funk, melancholy, depression. This is in an episode meant to diagnose you I’m not a medical doctor, right? We’re going off of terms that are used in the research where they say these things can be higher this time of year. But it certainly does not mean if you feel sad or melancholy, you don’t sit there and think you are clinically depressed. Right? This was somebody who was diagnosed with clinical depression. And so he said, depression can’t hit a moving target. 


Now, when you look at that at face value, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, move, we see physiological changes in the body, there’s a lot of value to that. But it also doesn’t mean that you should never be able to sit still. And we’re also not saying that you should exercise constantly. This goes out to the folks that just know you’ve neglected your health a little bit, you know, or that you haven’t moved. And I know I just came off an intensive period of travel.  I haven’t moved or exercise as much as I want the last few days. And I know that that can make my mind really disorganized and frustrated. But there is this rate limiting factor.


And where you’re, too much one way or the other, but just get up and move, get some blood flow, get some of these chemical changes happening in your body. And remember that like motion is lotion, not just for your joints and your muscles, but for your brain. And so this stuff, by the way, if you want to know more about how our exercise and movement can change your physiology, that and alongside some of the other things that we’re talking about, have been covered in a lot of previous podcasts, or even some of our webinars. So I urge you get to And check those out. 


All right, another one, which I think is actually one of the most important, doesn’t matter if it’s basic, change your environment. Change your environment. And I’ll be specific, right? We repeat this again and again, across all of our work. Environment plays a tremendous role in dictating human behavior and influencing it. It’s why casinos don’t have clocks,  why they pump in perfumed air. It’s why certain stores are designed the way they are in terms of floor layout, why certain types or tempos of music are played in restaurants, planes, hotels, so on and so forth. Your environment influences you. And I was reaching out to my mom and I was like, how do you utilize this and for her, it could be lighting a candle and opening up windows and making sure Alexa is playing, music


Which makes a lot of sense, music is huge for me. They say that, emotions happen between your ears, and within your ears. And that’s true, right? We hear music, you have a certain playlists, you have a certain song, it’s going to start taking you to different areas in your life, different memories, it’s going to start to rejuvenate you, it impacts your physiology, so you get a two for one. So think about your environment, right. And if you don’t like music have some other kind of noise on if there’s too much noise or music get somewhere where there isn’t


Over the years, I mess more with scent. There’s a lot of research that talks about just how the smell of peppermint can improve productivity. So I bought peppermint oil, you can put that in a diffuser, you can just put that on a paper towel and throw it in the trash can and that will kind of stay because it’ll soak some of that in. But changing the sense anything you can do. As I’m recording this right now, I have one of those lights you can buy on Amazon that helped with seasonal affective disorder. I don’t feel like I have that right now. But I know that it’s been gray and rainy here in Atlanta for quite a while. So being able to have this light in my periphery that shines is something that I do preemptively and the things cost like 15 to 20 bucks. 


So being able to look at those things, I would also say environment plays a role and check the people you have around you. I hate to say this, but we all have friends in our circle that are kind of whiners and complainers, and some people that just aren’t highly driven. And you can love those friends. I mean, you want a wide variety of people in your life. But you just got to be careful who you’re interacting with. You do now one of my best friends. I mean, literally, I said my wedding, I’d be there for him if there was a zombie apocalypse. But and he knows this, I’ve told him this. I’m like, Dude, I gotta reduce kind of my exposure to you at some times, because you like to bring it in.


He’s like, Yeah, I know, I complain a lot. It’s something I’m working on. And he just gets fired up a lot. And if I’m not careful, I can get drug into that. And mind you, I’ve been that person as well. We all have been. So this isn’t casting aspersions. I’m just saying, whether it’s your phone calls are the people you share office with, or anything like that, make sure you are around people that are problem solvers, people that are great listeners and people that also can kind of relate to you about these things. Because you will take on a lot of those traits, you will take on a lot of those traits. And you got to be smart about that. 


Another obvious one is sleep. I’m not really going to go into that that much. Sleep is critical. There’s no one size fits all, whether that’s six hours for you, eight hours for you, whatever that is trying to get sleep. I know there’s a lot of people out there that are kind of hard asses about naps, some of the greatest minds and thinkers and inventors in the world and in our history were big advocates of napping. I say if you have the chance to take a nap and you’re not getting much sleep, take a nap. We’re not going to get into the sleep science here. And when you should time your nap and caffeine naps and all this stuff. Let’s just keep it simple. Make sure that you’re getting some shut eye and some downtime and sleep in whatever format you can. 


I think we still get in love with this optimization. Well, how much sleep how much of this, how much of that and then nobody does anything. So this goes back to the last episode, just handle the basics, right? Like, don’t nap over an hour, great. Try to nap to 30 minutes. That’s where somebody goes, it’s like that kid. If you guys have seen the Polar Express the little note all kids, somebody’s always like, okay, but somebody said that any nap over 22 minutes and 30 seconds is gonna– shut up. This is part of why some people feel overwhelmed and burnout, they’re trying to meet this ideal. Just get some rest. 


Another piece, go out and do something for someone else. Research shows that pro social behavior, big word, right? Pro social behavior is simply defined as behavior through which people benefit others or helps others. And that’s from Eisenberg. 1982. It goes on to say and this can include helping cooperating, comforting others sharing with others donating to others, Eisenberg and faves 1998, greener and Crick 1999. Bottom line is helping others can be a tremendous mood lifter. Now they posit why this could be of course, there’s perspective, there’s, you could say all there’s people out there that have it worse than you, I think that’s actually an awful way to look at that. I think that can be really harmful to say to other people, let alone think about 


One of the biggest reasons they think this helps just to get nerdy is, we have a sense of higher well being when we help others because there’s this feeling of congruence with our ideal self. We all know there’s this version of ourself that we’re never going to get to be. We can aspire to be it but it’s probably not even realistic. But when you help others, right, it makes you feel like yeah, I’m becoming more of a version of that myself. And I can relate to this, right? There’s weeks, guys, I gotta be honest, especially, this time of my life, making sure I’m putting out a newsletter three to four times a week or a podcast every week. 


These are things that are all free to everybody. They’re completely free. But we saw spent a ton of time and money and do it. And it could be really easy for me to just be like, ah, no more. But the reality is I like, we like, giving this stuff. I think the only time we get frustrated is when people expect us to, be like some of the podcasts on NPR some of the things that are owned. Just the other week somebody said, why don’t you do what This American Life does? I mean, those are radio shows syndicated by Sirius radio that are 15 to 20 people in it, right? So, I’ve learned not to let that stuff get to me so much. 


Because I’m like, hey, you know what, there’s gonna be things we always know we wish we could do on the podcast. If we had a larger staff or more funding we would do. But at the end of the day, no matter how imperfect any of these episodes or newsletters or whatever are, we think they help people and many of you have reached out saying they help so that’s a feeling that we like so for you. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen, you could give to an organization, you could do many different things, but just go out and try to help people. 


Now what if you said to me Brett eff off. I don’t want to hear it, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. But I’m so deep down the overwhelm the fatigue, that just internal load cat cave that I’m like, I can’t do any of this. And I say that because that’s been me before, too. There’s been times where I just want to tell everybody to piss off. Leave me alone. Well, guess what, there’s a strategy for you too. Isolate yourself a little bit. Now, this may go counter conventional to everything you hear, I’ll get around people, more lively environment, sometimes we don’t always need that. I am a highly sensitive person. Not sensitive in terms of jokes, and I can’t take a locker room here. That’s not what I mean. But to stimuli. I am very sensitive to stimuli. 


And since a big part of my job requires me being on and being in front of groups that can just drain me. And so if there’s a holiday party, and there’s this and there’s that, I will start to get really hot tempered after a while and just be like, nope, not doing it. Not doing it. There are times that I just need to be alone. And so take inventory, think when is the last time you got a chance to just be alone, not to work, not to do anything other than just be alone. I’ve never really said this on the show, but one of our current sponsors, helix sleep,  we have one of their mattresses, and we don’t even have it like on a bed setup. You know, in terms of being on an actual frame or whatever. We have this large kind of media room upstairs. It’s like this weird extra bonus room that is our son’s playroom. 


And the mattress is right on the floor. So we have the mattress, we have a recliner, we have a love sack. And there are some times where I will just go up there and barricade myself in there. Lay on that mattress and think, just think, and sometimes I’ll even work up there, but it just feels isolated. Because so much of the activity in our house is usually downstairs. So go hide, get alone, that stuff’s fine. That’s really important for you to be able to do. And second to that, or in addition to that, take a break from some of your own thoughts. Take a break from them. I get that we live in this culture that says always read always learn always do this. We’ve talked about it ad nauseam. You’re not going to have breakthroughs when you’re constantly working your brain when you’re constantly. Just overstimulated. 


And so that is a really big thing. Now, you might be a tough audience member, you might be like, Brett, none of these work for me. All right, I’ll keep going. Create something, this is what gets me out of that rut. So even though sometimes the podcasts, the newsletter, and all those things can just drown me. On the other hand, being able to create it sitting down and opening up a document saying, Alright, what do we want to discuss about here? And just not putting–  well you should see it. Any of the points that I’ve made on this document so I don’t forget, the amount of spelling and grammatical errors is unreal. But this comes from just what Steven Pressfield talks about, quit editing yourself all the time, quit making everything so hard, quit trying to make everything world class, not every punch can be a knockout punch. 


That was something that I learned in boxing, that applied to business and so many other areas of my life when I first started boxing, and I competed in boxing for a while. It was just in me because I’m such an intense dude. And I didn’t know how to like kind of budget my energy, I would just, whether it was a jab or cross or a hook or an uppercut, I almost throw it with everything I had. And it was unintentional. It wasn’t like I was trying to be some tough guy. That’s just how I was wired. And it wasn’t until a couple of tough lessons, gassing out. And coaches said it, you got to remember man, not every jab needs to be this not every right hand needs to be that you can’t throw combos that way. 


And so I’m not telling you guys to be lazy and not do great work. I am telling you to pick your punches, not everything’s going to change the world. Not everything needs to change the world. Not everything can be everything to everybody. And when you put those expectations on yourself, it will cripple you. It will. And I have been there and I have to save myself from it again and again. And again. I have all these expectations. But the reality is I have to remind myself, Hey, you don’t just have a podcast, you don’t just have a newsletter. You’re not just trying to write a book. You’re also trying to be a husband, a father, you have to speak you have to be all and so it’s this fine line between giving yourself Grace without making excuses. But also realizing that everything cannot be amazing. 


Two days from now I have to go speak yet again. It will probably be my 36 or 37 speaking event of the year. And guess what? I’m not creating a new talk for one because I don’t have to. They’ve asked me to speak on something I already have. But two even when I’d normally do this and that and try to make this better and that better. I just have to remember, it’s how you deliver it. It’s how you show up. And I don’t need to make everything so hard. I don’t need to make, and neither do you. So remember that. All right, another really important one. Please, please hold on one second. 


If you are still one of those people that you feel like even when you’re trying to put a name behind your emotions, and you’re trying to lock these things in, but you know, you’re just so running hot. Another reason you want to isolate yourself is you want to minimize collateral damage to others. Right? There’s times where you might be running hot, you’re not in the environment you want to be in, it’s all kind of overwhelming to you, and you’ll just blow up. If you’re feeling that mood, and you can’t go outside, at least get in your car, go somewhere, so you don’t blow up on others, you don’t blow up on others. That’s why I also think it’s just important to be open with people. 


I called my mother today and told her flat out, Hey, I can’t wait to see you in the rest of the family for Christmas, I want you to know, I genuinely mean that. Because I do know that every moment we get together is super valuable. And I’m not taking that for granted, especially as they age and everything like this. But I also told her I said, this is also why I want to communicate in advance to you that if there are moments that I seem distracted, a bit detached, or even just down, that’s not you. I’m just consumed with a lot right now regarding project deadlines. And I’m also trying to recover from a really travel project just coaching intensive year. Right? And just being open.


That’s about communicate meta communication, something we’ll do an episode on in the future, sometimes just tell people how you feel. Just say, Hey, I’m down. And I’m not my best self right now. And there’s a lot of things contributing to that. I need a moment. And you also probably want to tell them, I also am not looking for your help if you don’t want them to help you out. Just say I don’t need anybody to talk to me. I don’t need anybody to listen, I kind of just need to be in this moment. Cool. Now, if you do want them to listen, and you do want them to help say that as well. Don’t expect them to read your mind. Don’t be one of those people that thinks oh my god, I’m in this bad mood, and nobody’s going to help me and blah, blah, and you haven’t even like said anything to anybody. 


That’s ridiculous. Get out of it. And at least call somebody and ask for some help. Or if they’ll hear you out and just say, Hey, I’m overwhelmed. I’d like to run some things by your I just like to chat with somebody, I don’t want to put my stuff on you. But do you have a moment. And then just make sure that for them? You know, because if you’re one of those people that just bombards people with all that and you don’t, serve the opposite, or you don’t reciprocate? That’s a problem. You know, that’s a problem. So make sure and think about that. Think about right now, if you just went through your phonebook, were the three to four people that have helped you out the most this year? 


The three to four people that have helped you out the most, I don’t care if it’s big, small, whatever. Have you texted them or call them and just let them know? Have you said, Hey, Jessica, I really want to let you know that when I chatted with you in June, or I got to spend some time with you in July. That really made my year. And here’s why. I think that’s probably one of the most valuable things you can take from this episode. Because so often we assume people know how we feel about them, and you know what they might be in the same place you are. I reached out to somebody than our coalition group the other day, we have some great people on our coalition group, if you don’t know what that is just go to But I let her know, like, hey, I want you to know, as this year comes to an end, how much I appreciate you showing up for other people in the group. 


You were relentless. Every week, you were in the Slack channel. And even when you were going through it, you give them your all. And as a coach, you can’t ask for any more. So I just want to recognize that. And thank you for it. And guess what they replied and said, Man, that I need that today. So please, this goes into that tip of doing something for others, even if you are down. Think about the people that helped you reach out and thank them be specific. Or just check in with them and see if there’s anything you can do to help them. You’d be surprised at how much that can help and how much that conversation can really impact them. 


That’s really, really, really important. All right, let’s talk about two more things. One, here’s something you should never do. We’ve talked a lot about things you can do to help yourself get out of these, these, and these. And there’s probably more that we could mention, oh manage your time and say no to more things and all that. But I think we’ve talked about those enough on previous podcast. But whatever you do when you’re up on somebody else, do not tell somebody to just cheer up or be happy. Don’t say it’s the holidays, you know, why can’t you just cheer up? Why can’t you just be happy? It is not that simple for some folks. I dealt with clinical depression when I was a teenager. 


And if somebody just said cheer up or just be happier, snap out of it. I got news for you. That message does not come across that way. There are people that are going through a lot and sometimes you can’t under– it’s not like they choose to be like that. Right? They’re not choosing. And I know we live in an environment or a culture where people say, Oh, we make choices every day, you can make choices of how you feel, wrong. Just study the physiology. There are some times where just things are the way they are in our bodies, right, we can look at dopamine, we can look at a million other receptors in the brain, sometimes people are just going to be a bit off. And that’s what it is. 


So just telling them to cheer up or to be happy or to be grateful. It’s one of the worst things you can do. It’s probably one of the worst things you can do for yourself, too. You know. The last thing I’ll say, because we could go on, but like I said, I’ll give you some other podcasts. And this is the truest counter conventional one, man. You know what, learn how to leverage it. I know you guys probably get tired of me being the person that’s like, hey, negativity can actually be good. There’s an upside of your dark side. But there is, right. There is. I was working out the other day and the song, machine gun funk, from Notorious BIG came on. And there’s this part where it goes, I live for the funk, I die for the funk. Now he’s talking about a different kind of funk. 


But it was ironic because I was going through that day. And I’m just like, You know what, if I’m being really objective about this, sometimes my best work is done when I’m kind of down. And by the way, research supports that as well. That we might be more creative when we’re happy. But we tend to be more discerning, skeptical and deeper thinking to a degree, when we’re in more of a I don’t want to say negative mood, but you get what I mean, kind of a down mood. And you know what, some of the strongest voice of what I write comes out, when I’ve just had enough, or I’m tired of the BS. Because all these filters, these perfectionistic filters, and all these things just go away. You’re real with people, you’re real with yourself. 


So you’re not going to hear me say you’re broken, you’re not broken. You’re not broken, if you feel down, you just need some strategies. It’s another day, you know what you might feel like crap for a week, you might feel like crap for a month, whatever. But you know that you’re not going to feel like crap forever. That’s just a reality. That’s a reality. So take stock of these things. If you haven’t looked at my online course Valued, we talked about some things there, too. You can go to But we talked about internal and external load. And this these are terms it really came from the sports performance realm and my previous life, right, but internal and external load fit in your work environment, life as well. 


And so we talk about that more in depth, and that resource. But there’s the things that are demanded of you just to make this easier, right? There’s like, hey, what do you actually have to do and then there’s your interpretation. So I’ll give you an example. When somebody reaches out to me, and they’re like, Hey, can I just have a few moments of your time? That doesn’t seem like something that would create a lot of load. So that time, there’s external load of that. But the internal load is the impact that those few minutes of time have on me. 


And what I mean is like, so when this happened, somebody said, Kevin, a few minutes of your time, and he was probably the third or fourth person that day that did that. And on one end, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. Because I’m like, if I say no, I come off as rude. And I had said no before, and they’re like, come on, it’s just a few minutes. And if I tell them, well, it’s not a few, I just feel bad if I don’t help that person. On the other end, when day after day after day, my phone or your phone, or somebody’s phone blows up. And there’s emails of things people need for us. And there’s phone calls people need from us, and there’s an introduction to a friend’s brother’s. And because they have something that they want to do, you just sit there like at some point, I gotta get my job done.


I’ve got it. So it’s not just about what’s asked of us external load in this sense, but how we internalize it. Like me going out to speak at this point of the year, which I’ll do on Monday takes a lot more out of me than it does at the beginning of the year when I’ve had a little bit more rest. So we’re not going to go into that here. Go check out that course. Even though there’s some language about strength and conditioning. In our earlier work, guys, if you’re new, in 2016 2017, I was still in that realm. We hadn’t fully crossed over into leadership development yet. But a lot of these resources will help you regardless. Like I’m reading a book right now, from a guy that’s a surgeon. 


And I say this all the time. I don’t need to be a surgeon to learn from that. So go check out those resources on, or courses. It doesn’t matter if they say strengthing auditioning and athletes, they’re going to help you because we’re talking about career stuff and communication stuff. That impacts everybody. All right. I think we’ve given you enough here. Make sure that you are learning from this iterating if you want an extra tool, go to On our newsletter, we are going to share an awesome document called the wheel of life. That is something you can do before the end of the year that allows you to go through Hey, am I actually happy with where I’m at and what I accomplish in terms of my finances, my family life, my professional life, within the intimacy realm of what I do, we’re going to list out like seven different things. 


And we have like a scale that you’re going to be able to score to. So that if you are feeling down melancholy, frustrated, you can actually take inventory of seeing where the biggest gap is in your life. And you can address that, because that’s the big reveal. That’s the thing you have to do is not only isolate what emotions Am I feeling Why am I feeling them? How can I name them and deal with them, but you’ve got to be able to look at these asymmetries if you want to get better and make some improvements. So again,, join the newsletter. 


It is going to come out before January, and we’re not sending this out anywhere else. You know, we might do a separate landing page for in the future if you want a buddy wants to download it, like get on the newsletter now. And we will send it to you it’s absolutely free. And there is no way in hell, it’s gonna make you worse. So I’m not going to convince you of that. Just get over to it for myself, and the rest of the art of coaching team. Thank you for taking some time. Happy holidays. If you’re listening to this and other time of year, stick with it. You’ll get out of this overwhelm. Believe in yourself with that. Talk to you soon.

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