[00:00:00] Jonathan Friedman: Character coaching is an exploration of coaching principles applied to fictional characters by the host. Any likeness to real people or situations is coincidental. And none of the advice given is intended to take the place of real coaching. Learn more about getting accessible coaching at thejournalthattalksback.com.
[00:00:22] Jon Rom: and I'm John.
And this is character coaching,
[00:00:29] Jonathan Friedman: Character Coaching ching ching ching ching
Now that we're done talking about basil, I'll hit the record button.
[00:00:41] Jon Rom: Wait, wait, wait, can we have bath casts for just like for 30 seconds?
[00:00:48] Jonathan Friedman: Okay.
[00:00:48] Jon Rom: What do you think bath salts are important for a bath?
[00:00:53] Jonathan Friedman: Do I think bath salts... I I haven't taken... this is going to come out in a certain way and I apologize, but I haven't taken a bath in 7 years.
[00:01:03] Jon Rom: Wow. I'm a shower man. So, I take a shower at least once a day, and I sweat like a beast. So, I make that choice and it all feels good. Honestly, I have some of my, I have some of my best thoughts in the shower. But, um, last time I took a bath, I, it was like, after a car accident, I'm like, I need to relax.
I only go into still water, after a grave injury to my person and not a second sooner.
[00:01:35] Jonathan Friedman: But do you recommend that people take baths more?
[00:01:39] Jon Rom: Um, medically speaking, no. You don't have to take a bath. There's nothing, there's nothing proven other than that being in hot water for an extended period might make you more resilient, your cells, and more resilient.
Uh, if you want to look up heat shock proteins, you're welcome to do so, but you don't have to take a bath. You can take a shower, it should work just as well. Um, I think, I think the nice thing about the bath is that, you know, how much water you're using and then the modern, the modern era, like knowing how much water you're using is important so that you can budget that out without killing mother Gaia uh, quicker than is necessary.
[00:02:20] Jonathan Friedman: That makes a lot of sense. So baths are good, but the issue I feel is like, after you have a bath, you have to take a shower. Like you've just been like moping in your filth for a bit, you know?
[00:02:31] Jon Rom: That's true. That's true. But I think that if you take into account how much water you're going to need for the shower, you can take baths, the responsible amount.
And also, you can cut out a shower for the day, like a real long shower. You don't have to take a full shower after a bath. You're not you're, you're just a little sutzie. You're not necessarily grimy.
[00:02:53] Jonathan Friedman: Alright. Oh, I'll run that past the board of Jonathan's.
[00:02:56] Jon Rom: All right. Thank you. I appreciate, I appreciate the, uh, the backup that those, that board is so stuffy.
[00:03:02] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. You know that better than anyone.
[00:03:04] Jon Rom: That's true. That's true.
Hey Jonathan, I have, I have a journal for you.
[00:03:09] Jonathan Friedman: Do you know?
[00:03:10] Jon Rom: Yeah. Yeah, I got it.
[00:03:11] Jonathan Friedman: Is that why we're here?
[00:03:13] Jon Rom: That's why we're, I mean, I, I, I like your company, but I also wanted your, your input and your wisdom if that's okay.
[00:03:20] Jonathan Friedman: I'm here for you, other John.
Well, let, let, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
[00:03:26] Jon Rom: All right. Well, so this journal is titled master of none by Ash. K.
"It's hard to write this down because I'm generally known as being a very positive, upbeat person. I don't think I'm the very best at what I do. I work with a very specialized team of Pokemon that I enter into competitions so that I can be known as a master trainer.
Truth is I don't know how I'm supposed to encourage them and help them reach their full potential if I hardly ever reach mine. I lose more often than I care to admit and if I'm being honest, I think most of the friends I've made along the way leave me because they know I'll never live up to my true potential.
I'm an imposter."
[00:04:11] Jonathan Friedman: That's a really interesting journal way to go
Ash. I love it.
[00:04:15] Jon Rom: Yeah. And it speaks to something that, that is so classic, uh, the syndrome was named after it is now known as imposter syndrome.
[00:04:24] Jonathan Friedman: I thought it was Pokemon syndrome.
What do you think Pokemon is?
I don't even know what a Pokemon is. I have no clue.
Like, that's one of the questions immediately I want to ask here what the heck is a Pokemon? Like, what are their names? What do they do? Are they living things? Are they thoughts? Do they have special powers?
[00:04:44] Jon Rom: Ooh.
[00:04:45] Jonathan Friedman: I, I don't, I don't know. It sounds familiar, but, I'm not sure where to go with that. Like, what is a specialized team of Pokemon?
[00:04:54] Jon Rom: Isn't Pokemon the Dutch word for an electrician?
I tried to come up with a bid and it didn't work. Like it, it zooms so fast in my head and I'm like, Nope, nope. is this anything? Is this anything? Check, check quickly.
[00:05:10] Jonathan Friedman: It's like a check, check, nope, the worst idea you've ever had.
[00:05:15] Jon Rom: uh, okay. So, well, we know that we know that, uh, Ash is competing. He's training. He trains people so let's assume he's training them for like some sort of physical competition. Maybe, maybe weightlifting, maybe bodybuilding who knows. But at the end of the day, he doesn't feel like he's living up to his full potential and that he is an imposter.
Those are things we can take directly for...
[00:05:42] Jonathan Friedman: For face value.
[00:05:44] Jon Rom: For face value.
[00:05:45] Jonathan Friedman: So, what is, what is let's quickly define imposter syndrome? What is that? What does that mean? I know I was riffing on the Pokemon thing and then it went like to the other side of the world, and then I got, I got, I got shy, but what, what is imposter syndrome?
[00:06:01] Jon Rom: Imposter syndrome is despite all evidence to the contrary, believing that you are not qualified for the thing that you are trying to do, be it a job, be it a hobby, be it trying to coach someone even.
[00:06:18] Jonathan Friedman: So, you just have that on the top of your head, as you need,
[00:06:22] Jon Rom: I think about imposter syndrome a lot because it is something that I used to suffer from. And, I think that there is something so beautiful about how common it is because if everyone's an imposter, nobody is.
[00:06:38] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, that's, uh, that's powerful. And thanks for sharing that. That's what you went through, Jon. I appreciate that.
[00:06:44] Jon Rom: You're welcome.
[00:06:45] Jonathan Friedman: So, Where where to from here. So, we like, regardless of the journal, whether, if something is at face value or whether something has a lot of fluff, we always want to check our story.
Because we might know what imposter syndrome is, but we don't know what it means to Ash. K, where were we? We don't know that, like, there are some things here we can like take really good guesses that we might know 80 or 90%, but you always want to leave that margin of error. So you want to ask questions that are more informative and to do that, we want to get the story and by getting the story again, I mean, we're not jumping to solutions. We're not saying well, Ash, it seems like you're struggling with imposter syndrome. The way to deal with imposter syndrome is blank, blank, and blank. No, no, no, not at all.
We want to understand what that imposter syndrome means to Ash. And in this case, he says something really powerful, which is I lose more often than I care to admit. I'm being honest. I think most of the friends I've made along the way leave because they know I'll never live up to my true potential.
So, I want to know what friends have left Ash on the way? What does Ash feel his true potential is? Where is he not living up to it? And there's this kind of a dichotomy because in one sense of this journal, and again, I'm just, I'makingng some guesses here, but in one sense of this journal, Ash feels like they're an imposter that they're never living up to their true potential.
But on the other hand, they have this goal of being this master Pokemon specialized trainer thing. And I mean, that probably takes, it sounds like it takes a fair bit of effort. It sounds like there's a lot of commitment that goes into that, and I want to know where Ash feels like they're falling short.
[00:08:39] Jon Rom: I think that's very important to know, and I think it's also important to, uh, uh, uh, uh, give Ash a little bit of credit that you know, it's very easy to, knee-jerk respond to hearing someone call themselves an imposter and say, no, no, no, you're amazing you're fantastic. But, to understand why someone feels like an imposter, you have to understand how are things going, you know? And, and he's, he's already told us that, uh, uh, along the way, there have been failures, there have been losses, both of friends and of, and of competitions.
But what successes has he had along the way? What is the successfully doing? Because if the answer is nothing and he's going around saying that he's the master, then it's not imposter syndrome. It's, it's, it's feeling like you're putting up a front and, and that's important to know too.
So, maybe my guy here is just being real with himself, and I think it's important to clarify that kind of stuff. It's, it's, uh, understanding the story better when you, when you ask for more information and in that sense.
[00:09:54] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. And to all of our listeners out there, we all know, especially right now, imposter syndrome is something we hear on social media a lot, a lot of our peers are talking about their struggle with that, and similar to the way John and I are starting to work through ashes journal here. It's exactly the way any of us would work through it with a friend, a family member, a loved one. We want to understand what's going on underneath the hood.
What does being an imposter feel like? What are the successes along the way? What are the failures and where do people feel like they don't measure up to the experiences unique to everybody? And that's, that's what we want to showcase and highlight here for sure. So, Jon, what question do you want to ask Ash?
Sorry. That was difficult to say, ask Ash. I felt like I was from Jersey for a second. Ask Ketch
[00:10:45] Jon Rom: I want to ask Ash I want to ask Ash what successes have you had along the way? I think I think that's important to note because there's, there's a lot more to the story than we know so far. And, and, and, and I think the first step is understanding that better.
[00:11:02] Jonathan Friedman: I love it. So, why don't you go ahead? And send that over to Ash and, uh, we'll see, um, what they respond to. Hopefully, they send, uh, another journal back. I'm excited to hear what they have to say.
[00:11:14] Jon Rom: Yeah, let's do it. So Jonathan, oh,
[00:11:19] Jonathan Friedman: sorry. I had to do the ITU, the song thing, bond, whatever the kids are doing, these things
[00:11:25] Jon Rom: you gently pointed out right before that we're, we're, we're touching 30.
[00:11:30] Jonathan Friedman: So I had to throw in a Tik Tok reference to bring me back down to earth.
[00:11:34] Jon Rom: I want, I want only Vine references on this podcast from here on out. Thank you. Okay. So, I was eager to hear back from Ash and I heard back from him a few days after we asked our questions, and this is what I got back. Are you ready?
Are you ready to hear this, Jonathan?
[00:11:54] Jonathan Friedman: Usually you're the one on the edge of your seat right now, I'm on the edge of my seat. Taken up very, very little real estate. So we'll see how we do.
[00:12:02] Jon Rom: Careful, balance yourself. Use your core center, your body.
[00:12:05] Jonathan Friedman: I feel centered.
[00:12:07] Jon Rom: Good. Okay.
[00:12:07] Jonathan Friedman: I'll let you know if I need anything though.
[00:12:10] Jon Rom: All right. Ash writes:
"I and my team are going to gyms and getting W's on what feels like a weekly basis. For some reason, though, the high only lasts for a short while, and then I feel like we should be going right back to training. To not fall behind. It never feels like it's enough. Like I'm being chased by an imaginary, more successful version of myself.
I can see it starting to affect the team's morale."
[00:12:40] Jonathan Friedman: That's interesting.
[00:12:42] Jon Rom: Yeah. So what do you, what do you learn? What did you w I, I feel like, I feel like, I feel like this whole story is beginning to unfold?
[00:12:51] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. What's tricky for me here is I feel like I have to keep checking my story because I feel like I see a lot of myself in Ash, so I have to Ash.
So I have to be
I see a lot of myself in Ash and I have to be careful not to, um, like give him the advice that I want to hear. I need to take a step back and again, say, Jonathan, we're not talking about you, man. We're talking about Ash. So, what I want to do is take another second, take another read-through. And one of the things that jumped out to me was the question you asked Jon what successes have you had along the way?
And right in the second sentence, Ash goes, it never feels like enough. Like I'm being chased by an imaginary more successful version of myself, even in the case where you're giving Ash that moment to highlight themselves. And highlight the W's that they're getting. It's like, Hey Ash, you gotta, like, you gotta get off your horse there, buddy.
And that's interesting to me, that's a note in my head where I'm looking at, um, their esteem and their self-perspective self-perspective. What, are some of the things that you noticed here?
[00:14:15] Jon Rom: It made me think of how, if you eat a meal and you don't pay attention to that meal, and you're not mindful about that meal then you are going to be hungry, uh, immediately after you eat. And your brain is not going to tell your body to take a note and to make the necessary changes in your hunger, to account for the food you just ate. And Ash sounds hungry, hungry for success, hungry for wins, but it's, it's underlined by an expectation that he hasn't elaborated on.
It's underlined by a desire that we don't yet understand because I know that I eat to enjoy my food, to be fed, and to have energy. I understand all those uh, underlying desires. And so I try to eat as slowly and mindfully as possible is, is Ash just in it to get as many wins as possible and to, uh, uh, have bragging rights, or is there something more?
And if that's the case, you know, if, if there isn't anything more, why would it be affecting the team's morale? What are, what are, uh, what are his expectations? Of of this whole, of this whole gambit of, of trying to be the very best at what he does.
[00:15:54] Jonathan Friedman: I think it's great. And I think I love your analogy with food because what keeps popping in my head as I'm reading Ash's journals is when does Ash feel full?
At what point does Ash say: you know, like I can stop eating. I can keep, I can stop trying, you know, the million different preparations of the Omelet Du Fromage. At what point does Ash say: I'm pretty good, man. And that's what I'm interested in here into yours in Ash's point is the way Ash is looking at themselves as a leader is starting to take down their team and that's concerning for me.
So, our job here as coaches is to at least start to challenge the idea that, you know, like we want to start to take a look at what winning means for Ash, we want to challenge those beliefs that Ash has about winning. And, we also want to see what his experience of leadership is so we can start to, you know, help Ash build up their team a little more.
[00:17:03] Jon Rom: I think that's exactly right. I think it's a, I think it's an illusion to believe that you should be coaching towards the goal, and not necessarily coaching towards the belief system. And, there's an underlying belief system that, that we haven't necessarily teased out completely yet, but we're starting to understand better.
And, and the, the belief system we're starting to identify is that Ash is never going to be full.
[00:17:35] Jonathan Friedman: Ash's never going to be full.
So, Jon, as Ash's coach, what's the question you're going to ask you. What's the question that, uh, it was going to bring us home over here?
[00:17:46] Jon Rom: I, I want to know what he expects of himself and his team.
[00:17:52] Jonathan Friedman: I think that's a really good question because when we're looking at things like imposter syndrome, we're looking at somebody not measuring up or feeling like they measure up. So, the question I think you're asking is what are they trying to measure up to? And I think that my guess is that'll help us to uncover some, some good stuff.
[00:18:14] Jon Rom: All right. Well, I'm going to send our good vibes to Ash. I'm going to send our insights and what we were talking about, and I'm going to send that question to Ash, I don't know, we'll see how we'll see. We'll see if he can chew on it for a little while mindfully and then feel a little fuller and get back to us.
[00:18:34] Jonathan Friedman: Heck yeah.
[00:18:36] Jon Rom: Bing bong,
three hours later. All right. So, Jonathan, I did get a post from Ash this week. It was, uh, it was at the end of the week. So, things were starting to slow down. It was a Friday and I, I want to read it to you if that's alright.
[00:19:03] Jonathan Friedman: I insist that you do.
[00:19:06] Jon Rom: "This week I spoke with Pika Chu who has been along with me for this whole ride since the beginning and asked him how he thought things were going.
He told me that he felt that I was ignoring all the things we've accomplished along the way. Echoing some of the things you were saying. I think I can take some time out to appreciate things the way they are and be less hard on myself. I know that is easier said than done, but I'm starting to understand that it's as much a part of being a Pokemon master as winning battles.
[00:19:39] Jonathan Friedman: That's so Zen.
[00:19:40] Jon Rom: It's so Zen it's. So, um, it's such a, it's such a contrast from, from that first post, but I think I always, I imagine that the best part about coaching is that, uh, the coachee gets to see their thoughts on writing down, uh, or expressed into the world. And when you hear yourself and how you talk and how you think about things, it gives you a chance to reevaluate.
Is this how I want to be going about it? And it sounds like, uh, uh, Ash's surrounded by, uh, uh, uh, his friend, uh, Pika Chu. His friend is reached, uh, the point where he feels comfortable telling Ash: listen, you're focusing on liver here, bud. You're living, you're focusing on the liver and you're not focusing on the way things are, or you're focusing too much on how you want them to be.
And that's a perilous way to think all the time because you're never looking at what you've accomplished. You've never looked at what you have right in front of you.
[00:20:52] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I think you hit the nail right there on the head, and I think one of the other things that sort of came up here for me is that here again, you're just asking questions, and then at the end of the day, Ash is the one who gave himself that advice. It's really about structuring, um, that journey. And it sounds like having gone through those questions with you and then having a chance to have spoken with, uh, Pika Chu has helped to at least identify the step that needs to be taken.
And sometimes with coaching, it takes all, you know, hundreds and hundreds of journals to sort of identity what's next, but here we're starting to see that the step is to be less hard on themselves. And I think that's something that, uh, we can all take away so way to go, Ash. Thanks for being the coach.
[00:21:51] Jon Rom: Well, you know, he's in a coaching capacity, so it makes sense that he'd be able to, to try to pivot, uh, uh, more easily than others. But it also reminds me of how, when I was, uh, when we learned to drive, we know that we're supposed to stay within a certain speed limit, uh, so that we don't get pulled over.
And even though you'll catch yourself, uh, despite that you'll catch yourself speeding, Uh, 10 20 K over the speed limit and you know, better, but you're out of your, you're not practiced in keeping an eye on that speedometer and checking yourself, and so the first step is understanding what needs to get done. I think the future, the future posts from Ash, I want to hear about how that's going and if any other, uh, uh, symptoms of the imposter syndrome are popping out, popping up and, uh, rearing their ugly head and effecting.
[00:22:52] Jonathan Friedman: Thank you so much for sharing, uh, Ash's journals with us, John, over there. I learned a lot from myself.
[00:22:57] Jon Rom: That was my pleasure. And thank you for helping me be the very best, uh, coach, like, uh, like no one ever was.
[00:23:08] Jonathan Friedman: What is the real test? What is the real cause?
[00:23:12] Jon Rom: *ba dam dam.*
[00:23:17] Jonathan Friedman: So we have, um, I think it's time we, we jump into some listener questions over here and for once we have something appropriate to the episode, so I'm pretty pumped about it. Are you ready?
[00:23:31] Jon Rom: Questions, questions. We have questions we're going to read them top to bottom.
[00:23:37] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, you, you sing.
[00:23:38] Jon Rom: It's a, it's a rap that I made up.
I'm calling it: the questions rap.
[00:23:43] Jonathan Friedman: It's really good. It's good.
um, so we have a question here from Samira and the question is what are some effective techniques for overcoming imposter syndrome? And I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Jon.
[00:24:02] Jon Rom: So, when I was dealing with imposter syndrome, I took a step back and I asked myself, is it, is it an ego trip for me to assume that I know my, my mastery of something? Because you're you, you spend all day with yourself and not, not truly understanding the inner life of other people. And so you don't know what doubts go through their head, what insecurities they have, uh, how much of their job, how much of their day, they're just blinking.
And it's easy then to assume a lot about uh, uh, how effective you are as a person, as a coach, as a doctor, as an electrician, when in reality, you've, you've made a lot of assumptions and you haven't accounted for it. So, the question, the question I want to ask people who have imposter syndrome, is this, what do you think, you know? And how do you think, you know it? It's, it's the question that you ask yourself when you're trying to be rational.
And, I think a rationalist has to find evidence for what they're trying to say when it comes to feeling like an imposter. And if there are failings that you find, then I think you also have to find the successes to counterbalance those. And if they end up, you know, kind of balancing each other out, maybe you're not as much of an imposter as you think you are.
And it's time to uh, uh, reevaluate how you measure your successes, how you measure yours, how, the kind of progress reports you to give yourself.
[00:25:46] Jonathan Friedman: I think that's great. And I think, you know, it's the human condition to look for evidence to support your beliefs. And I think something that happens with a lot of people who struggle with imposter syndrome is you only look at half of the story.
And if your belief is such that, you know, you're, you're, you're not meeting your goals. You're not, you're, you're a failure. You're not going to be successful at the thing you want it to be. You're only going to look at half the story, and you're only going to look at the times when maybe you failed an exam.
You're only gonna look at the times where, you know, the job interview, you know, he didn't click with the potential boss, and yeah, for sure. Those experiences kind of suck, but Jon, to your point. Looking at the other half of the story that a lot of people who struggle with imposter syndrome don't look at is also really critical.
One thing I think would be interesting is if everybody had, you know, uh, a tape recorder, um, that was on them at the beginning of the episode, you said we're touching 30 and here my here, I am talking about tape recorders, but if we all had, you know, a voice recorder, we had our voice notes on our iPhone set to on all the time. And we listened to it back specifically to those moments where we felt we failed. We might find that we didn't fail at all. We might find that we were actually pretty successful and even if we did fail, what can we learn from that failure? You know, even listening to that, recording back with a friend or somebody you trust.
I think that would be interesting because I agree with you, Jon. I don't think a lot of people and like myself included look at all of the evidence before them. They only look at half the story.
[00:27:34] Jon Rom: Yeah. It's, it's, it's the uncelebrated value of trying and failing, honestly, in that, uh, we ignore our successes and we indulge in the gloominess of failure, but we never try to see the positive, uh, because it's not what we want to think about ourselves. We don't want to think that we're okay. And we just messed up this one time. We want to summarize it as I am bad at this thing. And therefore I should stop.
[00:28:11] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah.
Absolutely. So, for anyone out there struggling with imposter syndrome, it's just as a TLDR, as the kids are saying these days, it's really about looking at everything that happened during the day, not just part of the story and then summarizing it well, like what happened, what are they, the facts and then from there looking at it rationally and saying, okay, if I, did I fail?
Probably not, but if I did, what can I learn from this? What can I do from this to sort of take those next steps so that they can bring me closer to my goals?
[00:28:50] Jon Rom: That's the man crabssolutely.
[00:28:54] Jonathan Friedman: Crab.
[00:28:55] Jon Rom: Crabs solutely.
[00:28:58] Jonathan Friedman: Crab solutely. So for any buddy out there who, um, is looking at sharing, you know, any of their questions that they'd love the Jonathan's on the show, and then there are many uh, to answer any of your questions, you can feel free to submit your questions to Jonathanz@thejournalthattalksback.com. We are also on... John. You just rattle off the list. Go ahead. Take a...
[00:29:23] Jon Rom: We're on gathered.com.
Uh, go-go Yoko we're on, uh, Google plus and Hyves.
That's a real one with a Y the Dutch, the Dutch social media website.
[00:29:44] Jonathan Friedman: They, they left. They closed Google plus for everybody except us. They knew what they knew. They knew we had some value to show.
[00:29:50] Jon Rom: It's Google plus-minus everyone plus Jonathon's divided by 0.
Character coaching is a production of The Journal That talks Back a product at Frame Of Mind Coaching. To get accessible coaching for just $200 a month, book a free intake call at thejournalthattalksback.com. Our music is The Swindler by The Original Orchestra featuring Ian Post. Our editing is done by one of the Jonathans on the show, which one we'll never tell.