189. Building Healthy Professional Relationships with Others and Yourself

November 08, 2023 00:20:05
189. Building Healthy Professional Relationships with Others and Yourself
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
189. Building Healthy Professional Relationships with Others and Yourself

Nov 08 2023 | 00:20:05

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Show Notes

Building and maintaining healthy relationships is a critical component of longevity and fulfillment in the entertainment industry. In this episode, I share my favorite tool for tending to challenging relationships (including the one you have with yourself). Whether you are on set, on stage, or on the street, this tool will restore your capacity to love yourself and others. Take the empowered position in all of your personal and professional relationships with this quick 20-minute dose of mind management. Watch the episode here. Show Notes: For more DANA For coaching with me, join the WTMM COMMUNITY  To donate to WTMM...
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Hello. Hello. I'm Dana Wilson and this is Words That Move Me. I move people. I choreograph movies, music videos and TV shows. I dance for pop stars. I coach some really awesome people. But what I truly love is to learn, share, and inspire clarity and confidence in my fellow movers and shakers. So if you are navigating a creative career or simply want to live a little more funky and free, then settle in because this is for you. Hello. Hello, my friend. I'm so glad you're here. You are finding me solo today well, with Riz, but this is appropriate today and kind of poetic because today we are talking about relationships, professional relationships, personal relationships, and your relationship to yourself. I will have some reminders for you today and possibly hopefully some totally new information and a useful tool as well. But first, let's do wins. We start every episode with Wins. And today I am celebrating an almost teenage level of energy and thirst for life. I'm tearing up as I say it right now. I danced yesterday a lot relative to my average day. I was training until about eleven and then hanging out and talking dance with my friend and mentor, Tony Basil. Future podcast coming soon. You have my word it's going to happen and you are excited about it. Finally got home around two in the morning, walked wrist roll, was in bed around three, up with wrist roll around seven. And shockingly, I feel freaking fantastic. For now. Check back in with me around 07:00 p.m. Tonight. Because I am a human. [00:01:54] That's me. Boundless energy and enthusiasm for dance, for my friends and mentors, and for Riz. Okay, now you go. What is going well in your world? It hit me. [00:02:17] Yay. [00:02:20] Congratulations, my friend. I'm so glad you're winning. Please do keep it up. [00:02:25] Okay, let's do this. Let's talk about relationships. I talk about relationships to music, to the audience, to fellow performers, to the space, and also to story a lot when I teach dance or when I teach performance technique. But today we're going to focus on relationships with other humans. And when humans are your medium as a choreographer and if you're a dancer, your body is your tool and you are working almost always with other humans, this is a very important thing to be focused on and to be trained up at. So first a question for you. And pause here if you need more time to think about it. First question what is a relationship like? What even is that? What is a relationship? How do you define it? [00:03:18] My answer is simple and will require an entire podcast episode to unpack it. Relationships to me are thoughts. [00:03:28] Your relationship to another person is simply your thoughts about them. Your relationship with yourself is your thoughts about yourself. Relationships are not tangible, actual things that you can touch, hold, or physically share. Your relationship with anyone depends on your thoughts about them. [00:03:50] When you think loving thoughts about someone, you have a feeling of a loving relationship with that person. When you think negatively about someone, you have the feeling of having a negative relationship with them. This is why two people can have very different experiences of the same relationship. [00:04:09] I've seen one person very much in love and another person very much out of love in the same relationship. And that is because of the way they are thinking, not because of the relationship itself. It's because of their own individual thoughts. Let's dig a little bit deeper there, shall we? We shall. I believe that you cannot be mad because of someone. You can only have thoughts that make you feel mad towards them. On the flip side, you can't be in love because of someone. You can only think loving thoughts about them and then feel love. [00:04:44] Your relationships and the way you feel about people are completely dependent upon your thoughts about those people. And thoughts are simply sentences in your head. They are manageable. They are furthermore rewritable. And that is awesome. Do you know what else is awesome? I will tell you this. [00:05:06] Another thing that's awesome is that adults get to do whatever we want. Most of our behavior on a day to day is completely optional. We decide what we do. And you may have noticed that you very much enjoy that most of the time. You may have also noticed that trying to control another adult human or make them do or feel something is useless. It is pointless. It is futile to try to control other people or try to make them feel a certain way about you. They don't like you doing that, and you don't succeed at doing that. So if you want to change your relationship to someone, you must change the way you are thinking about them. Period. In just a second, I'm going to introduce you to a tool that has helped me a lot and hopefully will help you manage your relationships as well. But first, let's talk about your relationship to yourself. [00:05:58] Your relationship to yourself is obviously based on your thoughts about you. So having an amazing relationship with yourself simply comes down to the commitment to thinking amazing thoughts about you. Why is this so hard? Why do most people struggle with this most of the time? I have two reasons why. Number one, our brain's negativity bias that causes amplified emotional reactions to negative stimulus in the world compared to the positive things in the world with a relatively equal footing, like equal magnitude of event. I'll give an example because that was confusing. Let's say I have a performance and I am meeting with people. Afterwards, I get some feedback. Afterwards, two people give me feedback. Let's say one person says, oh my God, Dana, that was fantastic. Your footwork was incredible. It was just picking out of a hat here. Anyways, let's imagine the other person says, oh, my gosh, what a know. I wasn't crazy about the song choice and the audio wasn't my favorite, but it was great because of my brain's negativity bias. I will likely respond more to the comment about the music and the sound versus the comment about my footwork, even though there's kind of an equal gravitas to both of those notes. Neither one of them was terrible. Neither one of them was overwhelmingly fantastic. Actually, even the footwork one, which was fantastic. My brain would still harp on the comment about the song because of my brain's negativity bias. [00:07:42] This episode is not about negativity bias, so I'm going to move on. But I will leave off by saying that there is some hardwiring in us that responds more strongly to negative stimulus, period. So that's number one. I think our brains look for the negative. Also, society tells us that we, especially women, shouldn't be too full of ourselves. We hear this all the time. We also see people being praised for being humble and so down to earth, and we see people being criticized for being overconfident or arrogant. [00:08:18] I'm going to link to a couple of my favorite episodes that touch on the subject of confidence versus arrogance, because these are really important points of view. One of them, my beloved acting teacher, Gary Imhoff, and the other an absolute legend, Michelle Dorance. She has a lot to say about confidence without terrifying criticism and arrogance. This is a topic worthy of its own episode. I'll probably distill all this down and have something to you soon because I love this subject. Anyways, that's why I think it's hard for us to talk lovingly towards ourselves. Number one, the negativity bias. And number two, society. We are truly reinforced to think modestly about ourselves instead of lovingly. So here are a few things I want you to remember when it comes to your relationship with yourself. Firstly, you are 100% lovable, exactly as you are right now. There is nothing that you can do to be more worthy of love than you are right now. No gig, no amount of money, no new outfit, no different friend group like, no different way of being. It's just you right now are 100% lovable, 100% love able. You are able of love, able of loving, and able to feel love. If you do not love yourself, that is a reflection of your choice not to love yourself, not your worthiness of love. So even if you choose not to, you are able of loving and you are able and worthy of being loved. [00:10:03] Your loveability, we'll call it, depends entirely on your willingness to think loving thoughts towards yourself. [00:10:12] Whoa. Let's just let that sink in for a second. Are you willing to think loving thoughts towards yourself unconditionally? Even if you don't book the gig, even if the feedback about your show isn't awesome, are you willing to think loving thoughts about yourself? I certainly hope so. And I hope that if you take nothing else from this episode, it's an invitation to do exactly that. Simply be willing to think loving thoughts about you. [00:10:44] Okay, let's talk about this tool, this useful tool. This tool to help you manage your mind around other people. [00:10:51] In my coach certification through the Life Coach School, we called this tool the Manual. Simply put, it's the idea that every person has a user manual for themselves and their way of operating in the world. For example, my user manual says that I operate best and the world operates best when the kitchen counter is entirely free of clutter and completely disinfected. Like, the kitchen counter is spotless. That's the user manual. The trash should be very full before it's taken out. I don't like emptying the garbage when it's like half full or half empty for that matter. The house should be clean before I leave town. That is a non negotiable. I will not sleep. People should always be on time, but it's okay if I'm late. There's a lot of contradictions in everybody's user manual. I think you will find the more you work with this tool. Oh, my manual also says that people should tell the truth always. [00:11:54] That's my manual. Funny thing about manuals is that sometimes, usually often we don't tell people about these little rules and we get upset when they don't follow them, which is so unfair. The other unfair thing that I mentioned already is that there are usually hypocrisies in there. A lot of other people should and shouldn't, but I'm allowed to anyways. Most of us start to think that if only other people would follow our manual, then I would be able to fill in the blank, do my job, live freely, enjoy my life, crush it at work, be successful, make all the money, so on and so on. If only other people followed my manual, then I could thrive. [00:12:39] Enter the concept of emotional childhood, which is thinking that you can only feel a certain way when other people behave a certain way. Whoa. That is living an emotional childhood. I'll give an example of emotional childhood. Let's say on the job, a dancer thinks that they can only feel valuable if the choreographer praises and dots on them and caters to them. It's an example. In reality, a dancer can feel valuable no matter what the choreographer says or does because there are no feeling. Police and dancers can think thoughts that make them feel valuable at their will. [00:13:16] Pause here for a conversation later about behavior and acceptable behavior. Okay, enter now emotional adulthood, the counterpart to emotional childhood, which is the freedom and responsibility to feel any feeling independently of what others do and don't do or say and don't say. Very bottom line, living in emotional childhood and basing the way you feel and act off of other people's feelings and actions, believing that living that way is disempowering. Living in that place of emotional childhood is disempowering and believing you can only feel and act a certain way. If other people act a certain way, it's limiting. It's a tremendously limiting way to live. So once you remember emotional adulthood as an option, you are able to allow others to be who they are, act how they will act, and return the power to you so you can feel and act the way you want. I know it's easier said than done. So I recommend the following if you find yourself in a place of emotional childhood, which, for the record, will sneak up on you for the rest of your life, this requires some very watchful thinking. Here's the tool. Next time you find yourself in emotional childhood, I suggest you make an exhaustive list of what this other person should and should not do. This person of interest, this relationship of yours, I'll use an example from my own life. This person of interest, in this case a coworker, should be on time, should be prepared to work, should give others credit for the work that they do, should ask for permission for work outside of what was asked of them. [00:14:57] Should be responsible for their own feelings. [00:15:00] That's the gist of it off the top of my head. This person shouldn't talk shit about our teammates. This person shouldn't make excuses for their work not being done. This person shouldn't be careless with other people's feelings. This person shouldn't keep score or compete internally like within the team. [00:15:20] That was my manual for this person on this project. Once you create your list of shoulds and shouldn'ts for your person of interest, you have created your manual. Those are your beliefs about the way things should and shouldn't go. And once you've made your exhaustive list, you get to ask yourself, am I following my manual? [00:15:44] Tough truths here in my case, can I be more on time? Can I be more prepared? Can I give others more credit? Can I ask permission before I go out and do something? Can I be more responsible for my own feelings? Can I stop talking crap about my teammates? Specifically this person of interest. [00:16:01] Can I stop making excuses for my behavior? [00:16:05] Emotional Childhood can I be more careful of other people's feelings? Can I stop keeping score and competing with this person of interest? Absolutely. [00:16:16] Yes, I can. So the next step is I have to ask in order to do those things, in order to abide by my own manual, how do I need to feel? That's the question I have to ask. What is the emotion I need to feel in order to uphold my manual? For me, the answer to that question was professional, mature, responsible, loving, any of the above, honestly. But after reading your own manual, you should be able to choose an emotion. That's how you think you need to feel in order to hold up your end of the manual. Then you have to craft yourself a thought that leads you to feeling that feeling, and then you're off to the races and you're into a very different relationship than the one you were in just before you wrote out your manual. Same person, same circumstances, different way of thinking. [00:17:07] I really think that we can be the friends, the employees, the family members, and the partners that we want to be, regardless of the friends, bosses, coworkers, and family members that we have. [00:17:21] We simply need to be reminded of how much we control and stop trying to control and change each other. [00:17:29] And this is not to say that we need to accept and welcome everybody's behavior all the time, especially not bad behavior, abusive behavior. But this is where we'll stop today. In the future, we'll talk about making requests, setting boundaries. This is where emotional adulthood comes in very handy. But until then, enjoy taking more responsibility for your relationships by managing your mind in the way you are thinking about the people in your life. I think the people in your life will probably enjoy this permission that you give them to think their own thoughts and be their own way without you trying to change them just so that you can feel love. [00:18:07] And that brings me back to actually, I'll leave off on this thought. You are 100% lovable exactly as you are right now. There is nothing that you can do to be more worthy of love than you are right now. You are 100%. It 100% love able. And remembering that in your work on set, in rehearsal processes, and in your training is an absolute superpower. Go enjoy it. Thank you for being here, my friend. If you are enjoying the podcast, please be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications. Leave a review or rating if you're digging what you hear and if you're interested in this subject and the idea of managing your mind in general, managing your mind about relationships is really just the beginning of it. All of the thoughts that cross your mind are optionable manageable, rewritable. This is the work that we do in my type of coaching within the words that move me community. If it speaks to you, please join us. Visit wordsthemoveme.com, poke around a little bit. Reach out to me if you have any questions. Yeah. Now go. Get out into the world. Keep it exceptionally funky. I'll talk to you soon. This podcast was produced by me with the help of many big, big love to our executive assistant and editor, Riley Higgins. Our communications manager is Ori Vajadares. Our music is by Max Winnie, logo and brand design by Brie REITs, thumbnails and marketing by Fiona Small. You can make your tax deductible donations towards that Move me thanks to our fiscal sponsor, the Dance Resource Center, and also many thanks to you. I'm so glad you're here. And if you're digging the pod, please share it, leave a review and rating. And if you want to coach with me and the many marvelous members of the Words That Move Me community, visit wordsthmoveme.com. If you're simply curious to know more about me and the work I do outside of this podcast, visit TheDana Wilson.

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