Your Mistakes Don't Define You (feat. Us)


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SHOW NOTES


Tyler makes it back in the booth this week, and we get to talk about something that has been on his mind these past two weeks. Mental Health. A lot of times, we are our own worst critics; we bring our pocket jury with us everywhere and are ready to let them condemn us as guilty the moment we think our actions aren’t good enough. How do we overcome that guilt? How do we strive for becoming better without having to micro-analyze every action we take?


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RELATED LINKS


Charlie Gilkey’s Episode

Jon Acuff’s “Soundtracks”

Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”


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TRANSCRIPTION


Eddie:

We have some good guests coming up. Very excited for that, but very cool to just kind of do the first episode here to just talk a bit. Have a good chat really about maybe a dark side of the industry a little bit. I mean a dark but honest side of the industry.


Tyler:

Yeah. And, you know, this is something that I feel a lot of people have talked about in the past, but I wanted to at least bring our experience into this as well. And so I want to kind of go into a counseling session here and just tell you kinda what happened whenever I went on "vacation," you know.


Eddie:

What's the headspace look like?


Tyler:

What's the headspace really look like. And, hopefully, by sharing this, it will remind you that, Hey, if you're going through this, you're not alone. Everybody deals with this. It's okay. It's gonna get better. You just gotta work on it. So when I went on paternity leave there for about a week and a half, you know, I was really dealing with some just some bad headspace. And funny enough, my mind just keeps coming back to work. And I kept coming back to the fact that man it doesn't matter how hard you work. You're always going to screw up. You're always a screw up Tyler. And you got kind of a sheepish grin on your face when I say that, but you know, I appreciate it. Thanks man.


Eddie:

What a big brothers for? I've never said that to you. No, I've never said that to you, but probably just because I'm so much older than you. Cause if I was three years older than you, I probably would have. It's true. That's Andy that's Andy.


Tyler:

He got that. But no, my brain would always come back to thinking about the company and like all the different challenges that we have here. And it's just, it's so hard. It is so stinking hard to maintain a positive attitude when you're getting emails left and right telling you how you screwed up. Or all of the balls that you have dropped. And now this wasn't happening while I was on paternity leave mind you, this was all just residual crap that I brought with me into paternity leave. And it affects my day-to-day life when I'm with my family too, as I'm sure a lot of us can resonate with. How often do you carry work home with you? I know for me all the time my brain is constantly spinning. And so if you've got all of those negative inputs that are following you back home, then you're going to be just spitting negativity at your family too. It's a very, very careful line that you have to walk.


Eddie:

It is hard. It is hard to have that line where I'm going to go home, I'm going to turn this off, and I'm just going to be myself at home. No thinking about work. Our brain doesn't work in the ones and zeros quite that way. You know? I mean, there are just too many threads going on. Our brain is more of a multithread processor and so expecting that is probably not a good expectation, especially considering how all-consuming work can really be.


And then setting this up. I mean just what we do, we're detailers for much of our trade. And that means that anything that doesn't go perfect and that I do mean anything that doesn't go perfect about what we turn in, what we turn over, comes back to us and probably has some sort of cost implication and definitely has a rub your nose in it type of moment, because that's what we do right. That's how we get better. That's the feedback loop. And we talk about that and that accountability of knowing what we did wrong is healthy, and something we invite. And we want to know, but it can be very demoralizing. Like when the expectation is perfect and you know, you're never going to be that it's tough when some days it feels like the kicks in the head come in quick succession. I don't know why they work that way.


Tyler:

When it rains, it pours.


Eddie:

It's like these have all been laying in the weeds for five months and waiting to come to bite me in the ankle today.


Tyler: (07:55)

That is the way it works though. Yeah, it does. It lays in wait, and then it just comes out and bites you five months later, and then you're like, "Oh, junk man that's been a long time coming. I haven't even thought about this job in five months and now it's my problem."


And so kind of what happened as a tee-up for that is when we did a client meeting beforehand and there was some stuff that came up on a project that we were working on. Now, my assumption was that man, this job, it had gone really smooth. We've, you know, we went back, we checked things, we got a second person to go back there and really try to put the screws down on this to make sure it was good. And then, you know, the client was gracious enough too. They understand, they've been awesome to work with. So at least we've got that going for us. But again, that was kind of demoralizing because it was even our great clients still have it, you know, they will still come back and give a kick in the head every once in a while. Like, "Hey, what went wrong? What's up? Why did we miss this? Why did we miss that?" Like, I don't know, man, like I took a holiday. It just, it happens when you're working on 900 tons of steel, like it's gonna happen.


That's a lot of things to take in. And so I know I'm not the only one that deals with this. That's part of the reason why I wanted to come in here and talk about that today. Is just the head trash that can come up. Kind of going back to Charlie Gilkey that stuff that just tells you, man, I'm not worth it. I'm not capable of building this business. I'm not capable of running this project. I can't, I'm not smart enough. Who am I? Who am I?


And even with the podcast, like who am I to interview that person, right? Or who am I to do this? In the industry, we have so much negativity that's flowing throughout. And that was a realization. I say a realization. It was just a, it was a recurring thought that I had over the past couple of weeks of, you know what, maybe that's an Anthem. Maybe that's a soundtrack if we're kind of going back to John Acuff and his new book, which I highly recommend by the way I did finish it while I was on break. And it was amazing. That is a soundtrack that we need to change. How can we start encouraging each other and extending some grace? And that's hard. That's not an easy one to answer at all, but that's the question on the table. How do we start extending people grace?


Eddie:

Well, I mean, extending yourself a little grace to begin with is a good place to start. And I go back to baseball a lot because I related to it when I was young, a ton, that's something that I did. And one thing that baseball will teach, is it will teach you how to fail because it's a kind of a failure game. When you go out and you succeed 30% of the time, you're tops in the league. And so you have to learn how to take it on the chin, that other 70%, and recognize the small successes of those moments when you get them. You have to recognize that failure happens. You have to recognize that I make errors. And I do that because I'm human. It's what I do after that, that really can determine who I am, what kind of player I am, and what I'm like to deal with.


And so, you know, I mean, we probably should first establish the fact that we're not talking about, "I don't want to be held accountable." Like that's not what I'm talking about. I even posted about that this last week and it resinated. Accountability is good and a lot of people want to push on accountability and say, you know, "I don't want that." Or they won't say they don't want it, they pop back is what they do. You know, they don't receive it. Well, this is different. This is different. This is the feeling that I've got to kick somebody in the head, or I need to continually kick myself in the head for my mistakes rather than focusing on the good things that I'm doing and rather than taking it and being kind of sober-minded about your perspective on yourself. Because that's what we're looking for. We're not looking for an overinflated view of self. We're not looking for an overinflated view of the negative things that we do. What you're looking for is to just have a real evaluation of where you sit in life and an understanding of what that means for me and how I can do a little bit better tomorrow.


Tyler:

I want to kind of step back into the baseball analogy a little bit more cause...I know this is your comfort zone, right? Start talking baseball. Yeah. So I can just come up with an idea here of all right so let's say I'm playing first base, right? Or, well, I'm playing third. This is a better play. Right? I'm playing third. Somebody hits something over to me. I bend over to pick it up and I fumble it and I almost drop it. And then I throw it and it doesn't quite get to first base just quite where I wanted it to, but I still got the out. Right. Like I still got the out. Everything's good. What do we immediately do? We start playing the, "Oh my gosh, man. I didn't throw that ball right. Where it needed to be. I almost fumbled that. I almost didn't get that out." You start the crazy cycle up. And then the next time you're really in your head until you get into this situation where you have the roots disease from major league. I don't know if you want to tell that story or not of getting in your head. I think that's probably a better example even than what I'm talking about.


Eddie: (14:04)

Yeah. The downward spiral that can happen. I was reading a fun story about Tommy Lasorda and Steve Sachs. Steve Sachs is one of the first ones that kind of had that happen to him that people made note of. But he was a second baseman in the major leagues. And he had, I mean this epic meltdown that people knew about. When he was on the Dodgers, he would have a ball hit to him. He could field it, but he couldn't make a routine throw to first base. And this is pretty common for positions that have to make throws a lot, catchers and second basemen, it happens a ton. It doesn't normally happen outfielders cause they just get a ball and unleash and they don't think about it. But for that second baseman, who's looking at it there's this moment of "what if I couldn't make that throw" and for a catcher, it's looking back at the pitcher. "What if I couldn't do that thing?" Well, it becomes a self perpetuating prophecy, self-fulfilling prophecy. And for Steve Sacks for Chuck Noblock for Arube is the famous character in major league too, this self fulfilling prophecy, the case it's like, what do they call that? Like a nuclear decay? Like, you know, like once, I've gotten this nuclear meltdown, once I'm starting to melt, I'm continuing to melt. Its meltdown causes more meltdown. Right?


We do that many times to ourselves. We'll get in a downward spiral and it's like, you're either spiraling down or you're spiraling up. So the down brings more down, brings more down, brings more down or I'm starting to spiral up. And watching your headspace, watching what you're allowing yourself to think about and how you're allowing yourself to perceive your efforts is important because there's a big difference between a "man, I'll get them next time." You know, which is what you need to do as a teammate. When somebody's kicking themselves, you need to go over and give him a pat on the back. "Yeah. You missed that one, but you don't miss all of them. Your track record tells me that you don't miss most of them. You'll get them next time. It's going to be all right. You get them most times. You just didn't get them that time and it's okay. But go back and keep shooting. Keep doing your thing." You see that played out in a lot of sports. You see that played out in basketball a lot of times even with that good shooter, you know. It means sometimes you have an off game, but you keep feeding the guy because he's the guy that once he starts pouring it in, he's gonna pour it in. He's got the capacity to change the game.


Tyler:

Yeah. Well I think that that is a great way to spin this, right. So we're talking about the downward spiral. We're talking about the crazy cycle and I kind of felt that this past week where I started telling myself those things of "man, I'm just not good enough to do this." And leading this team here at ABSI, I'm sitting here going, "I'm not good enough to do this. I'm not like who am I to lead this team?" And it starts to really get in your head.


Eddie:

Ain't it funny how it happens in the downtime? I've theorized, now I don't have any like science to back this up, of course but that the reason why when I'm quiet, the reason why it's in the downtime is because my brain isn't actively involved in problem solving and doing things. And I'm spun up all day. Right. I'm doing things constantly. Then I go home and I'm trying to spin down, I can't spindown. Right. And so that quiet time becomes a very noisy place. And I've heard it said that, you know, Andrew Peterson that I love listening to great artist, musician, author has talked about this. And he said he didn't like mowing his lawn because when he'd go out and mow his lawn...And his wife would be like, "Hey, the lawn needs to be mowed." And he'd be like, I don't want to go out there. That's where the voices are. And it's because of the quiet, it's because I'm trapped in my own thoughts, but it's because I'm not actively doing anything about it. Many times when I'm here during the day, I'm actively doing something about that thing that's bothering me. I feel like I'm pushing and moving the needle. When I'm at home and I'm restful, it's hard to meet that restful state when I'm really thinking, "man, I should probably be moving that needle." I need to make it okay to rest.


Tyler: (18:44)

Yeah. Well, I want to spin this over into the book that I read that kind of helped me through this. And so Jon Acuff, he's one of our favorite authors and we're trying to get this guy on the show. We want him to come on the show. It'd be really, really bad. That'd be awesome. So we're trying to get that to happen. Jon's a trip, he's hilarious too guys. I really hope we can get him on. So his new book Soundtracks, it basically talks about this stuff, right? It talks about the soundtracks that we play in our head that bring us down.


So it started asking like, "all right, well, when something bad happens, then what's the first thing that occurs in your head? Like, what's that anthem that starts playing for you?" And that really resonated with me because I was able to go back after kind of reading through this book and just kind of say, all right, well, what are those negative things that are popping up? Like when I talk about, I am not worthy, or I am not capable of leading this team to detail structural steel, like I'm not capable of that. Let me try to disprove that. What are the things that tell me, no, you do have the qualifications, you are capable of doing this. Here's the track record that says you can do this.


Now that's not to inflate my ego and say, Oh, you're going to be the best ever. Like, that's not the reason, but it's to get that soundtrack back more to the positive side of things. And he kind of talked about the pocket-jury, right? So you have your pocket jury who's telling you that you're guilty of all these different charges and stuff. And I loved the way he put that. It just makes so much sense to me. And so your pocket jury starts chiming in like guilty. Well, so let's go on the offense. Let's go attack what they're saying. Let's say, "you know what? Here are the reasons why I'm qualified. Here are the reasons why I'm good at my job." And it's not for arrogance, but it's just to reset your brain and say, you know what, no, I can do this. I can get this done. I am capable. And I just, I needed to hear that. It was a timely book for me.


Eddie: (20:58)

Okay. So this is a really interesting bend to the conversation, but Inception.


Tyler:

That is an interesting bend to the conversation, but I'll bite. What about inception?


Eddie:

Yeah. They have to have a token. And the function of the token is to keep a grip on reality. Right? It's something that they know is real and functions a certain way. And that's the big thing at the end of the movie that the token, which is the top, keeps spinning, right. The top is supposed to topple in reality. And it never does. So it just leaves you in this like, "Oh man, am I in the dream? Or am I not?"


We have to have some things that we can put our hand back on that are reality. Like we really need to be able to put our hand back on what is real, because you may think that you're not good at what you do. And you may have contrived in your mind that man, you know, "I never do anything right". And maybe that's just because you haven't had any like positive feedback loop going on where you've heard about your successes. Right. You may think those things but the reality is, you're probably comparing yourself to people around you and a false reality of who they are.


Which is, I mean, that's why social media is brutal. And I hate it. It's brutal in that it is our best facade of who we are. So we put ourselves out there and we're like, Hey, this is me. I am all these things because what are we trying to do? I mean, on LinkedIn, we're trying to sell right. On Facebook we're trying to like maybe present the good side of our family. Yeah. I mean, do you get on there and say, wow, you know, I mean, this, all this junk is in my closet.


Tyler:

No you don't. No, you don't air that, right. Yeah.


Eddie:

So you don't hear the realities of people's lives. And so we're just looking at the best part of everybody around us and comparing ourselves to that best part. And this is pretty well-documented. And, I mean, something that a lot of people are talking about.


Tyler:

Watch the social dilemma on Netflix, if you haven't oh my gosh.


Eddie:

But in that, what are we trying to do? We're trying to put our hand back on reality. So like you said, this isn't about like, Oh, this is positive self-talk, this is pop psychology. That is not what we're after. We're just after, like, why don't you just go put your hand back on reality for a minute. And so yeah, if you got a pocket jury that's convicting you of every transgression, maybe you need to go and put your hand back on reality and say, "I might've been guilty of this in this one instance, but I've got 50 others where I wasn't." Yeah, I did it right.


Tyler: (23:56)

Great example of that. And I'd kind of mentioned it to you earlier in preparation for this talk is I had a client call one time and I didn't pick up and he left a message and it basically, and I would play it if it was kosher, but I won't even though I still have it and I need to delete it honestly. But that's the way these things go, right? You save these things that are like proof that you suck.


So in this message, he basically said, "Hey, we have an issue over here and here and here, why are you so hard to get in touch with?" I'm like, Oh gosh, talk about wearing it. So I immediately go into "man am I hard to get in touch with? Like, am I really that bad at customer service? I didn't mean to blow this guy off. I was just in the middle of something, you know. I needed to get this other thing done. I'm sorry. Hey, you know, I'll call you back" and all these things and like, "man, I'm the worst." And then my customer service bell starts ringing like, Oh wow, you really suck at this. Like, Oh my gosh. And so the spiral begins.


And so I needed to go back and start saying, let me rebuild this. Let me rebuild this thought about myself. That person saying that one time does not mean that that is who I am. That is not who I am. I like helping people. I love helping people. That's what I do every day. I enjoy customer service. I like talking to people on the phone. I don't actively try to avoid people unless they tick me off. And that happens sometimes.


Eddie:

Even if they do tick you off. We try to get over ourselves and help them out.


Tyler:

Because that'll get them off your back quicker than anything. And you don't have to talk to them again. But I just still feel that one comment in that voicemail to this day, that was a year ago. And like, I'm still carrying that with me.


Eddie:

It's interesting I was talking about this with Garrett yesterday, but seven habits of highly effective people. The habit of seeking first to understand then to be understood. And so many times in our industry, we're not really thinking about understanding the other side first. We just are seeking to be understood. That leads you into dialogues that aren't really dialogues. That leads you into the, I'm not actually listening to your side. I'm just waiting for the next breath so that I can pop back with the thing that I want to say rather than participating in the conversation.


And so when you got that call and they said you're hard to get in touch with. They may not have been thinking about the fact that maybe you have other responsibilities. And those other responsibilities are keeping you from being able to answer the phone right now. But that doesn't mean that you're hard to get in touch with. Perhaps if they had dropped you an email, you could have answered in the midst of the other phone call you were on. So, you know, I would also say that our tolerance for getting in touch with people has dropped a lot. You know, when I started email, it was a get back to you in a day type of thing, because we almost conflated that with the old snail mail routine, we were still getting used to it. Then like the clip got faster and faster and faster until it's like, no, man, you got five minutes to get on this. Or you're getting a phone call and, Lord forbid you get a phone call. Because you made me pick up the phone, there's this pressure. Right.


So all that comes out as I would say and so hopefully this is me maybe reinforcing for you what reality is. Right. So that customer probably should have thought about understanding what you're trying to do as a manager of people. And also tried maybe to come at you and not say, "why are you so hard to get in touch with" in a way that like really didn't care. But maybe if it's an honest question, say "I'm having a hard time getting in touch with you. Is there a reason for that? Should I be calling somebody else?" And maybe allow you to say, "I have blocks of meetings during the day. If you need to get in touch with me, these are good times to call me if you want to go that route." So all these things to say like, Hey man, put your hand back on reality here. Like maybe they should give you a little grace and allow you five minutes of response time before they bark at you. It was spoken out of frustration. There's no need for you to "judge jury" an execution around yourself.


Tyler:

And that's what we always do, the judge jury execution. And it's really just a judge executioner. It's not even really like the jury is even involved in some cases. And so, I mean yeah, I totally do that to myself. I know I'm not the only one too. I know I'm not the only one. So bringing this back and making sure that I'm saying kind of what I've unearthed, right? It's that again and I reiterate this as many times as I can in a given week and I'm going to keep doing it until it sticks. The problems that we have in the industry is not the technology, it's people, it's people. And so if you feel these ways, right? If this resonates with you in any way, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Hey, do I have empathy?" Like, do I have the ability to extend grace to that person that I'm calling if they don't pick up? That's hard. That's a hard thing to look in the mirror and ask.


Eddie:

Do you want us to actually look in the mirror or is this more metaphor?


Tyler:

No, that's metaphorical, but I mean, if you want to look in the mirror, feel free.


Eddie:

Can I say you're good enough? You're smart enough.


Tyler:

You could go get Zig Ziglar self-talk cards. There you go. Yeah.


Eddie:

Wow that was kind of a girly giggle.


Tyler:

Yeah. It was a girly giggle. There you go. Yeah. That'd be haunting you for the next week, man. That little giggle.


Eddie:

Everybody's going to be after me for like a gender role foul or something. Oh my God. Here we go.


Tyler: (30:29)

Here we go. I think that this is important to talk about. And so I want to hear more of your experiences of, "Hey, this happened and this caused the snowball to start falling down the hill" from a mental stability standpoint. Right. So what sort of things have happened to you that contribute to this negative conversation in your head? I want to know those things. And not so much because I just want to know your dirt, but like I think taking the time to identify some of those little thoughts that are creeping in, I think long-term, those are really healthy for you to understand and start working on them. Maybe figure out the negative thought and then try to go back and say, "no, I am not that because of all these other things," right. And start making a list of all the reasons why you are not that way and live up to it.


Tyler:

That's, I mean, those are your goals, right? My goal is to be attentive to people that call me, and friendly and authentic in every conversation that I have, and genuine and honest and all these good things and live with integrity and purpose and serve others. Like live up to those things, let that become your mantra and you know, over the past week or so, I'm going to keep working on this obviously, but you know, I've starting to kind of work on those myself and it's helped me kind of come back to reality and say, "you know what, no, I do care. I do give a crap and you know what? I'm not perfect, but I know I can lead the team because guess what? I've got empathy. I know that I can talk to people well and have good conversations with them and try to be supportive of them." And ultimately, as a leader, that's what you need to be is you just need to be supportive of your troops.


Eddie:

Reinforcing what I feel like you really just gave and just kind of the call to action which is really, I feel like what you were summing up. Like here's your call to action. If you find yourself in what you feel like is an uncontrollable downward spiral mentally. If you're there, if you're there as a person and just every day just feels like you're spiraling a little more down, a little more down, you just can't hit the pause. Like I want you to take action away and hit the pause button. Stop and go put your hand back on reality and start making small steps to try to reverse the spiral and spiral back up. And you may, there may be some things that if you're in a really bad place that you need to go and do to try to get healthy, I would challenge you to do that. The deal is that you have to put work in. And so I would love to say that by just doing this, that you can automatically feel better tomorrow but my experience is that, those things that take us a long time to fall into, take an equally long time to journey out of. And sometimes we fall asleep to ourselves and we don't know that we've been spiraling down until we've gotten pretty far down.


Tyler:

Back to the book that I was referencing with Jon Acuff. He talked about, you know, people who are like, "I want to lose 40 pounds." And then he asks him, well, how long did it take you to put it on? It's like 10 years. Like how long are you giving yourself to lose 40 pounds? He's like, "ah, like two months." He's like, it took you 10 years to put it on, so there's going to be an equal amount of effort to get out of the situation that you're in. So take note of that. It's not just going to be simple.


Eddie:

It's a reversal of the decisions that you've made to put the 40 pounds on.


Tyler:

Right, it is. So it's not going to be easy to do, but just re encouraging again and saying if you have these things, if they are really severe, do not hesitate, go find help. Talk to somebody because this is a bad spiral that you're in and you need to go find it. You need to go find help. From somebody that knows, like go find help and talk it through because reversing it sometimes takes more than just yourself. Sometimes you need to talk to some other people to make that happen.


Eddie:

Yeah. No shame in that.


Tyler:

No shame. None at all. Well, that's my rant. Based on my time off, I know I probably should have come back with something a little lighter, but you know, mental health just felt like a good one.


Eddie: (35:22)

Well, we've been wanting to make it a theme of what we do to encourage people. And so that is the heart behind the show that is the heart behind this episode. And I would hope that this brings encouragement to somebody out there wherever you are, to just remember when it kicks you in the teeth, which it will from time to time, put your hand back on reality, give yourself a little grace and keep doing what you do. You know, keep being the best person you can be in spite of that. Don't let it talk you into being something other than that.


Tyler:

Exactly. Well guys, I think that pretty much sums up a coffee with the bros this week. So hope you guys have a good rest of your week go build something awesome.