Much of our lives are determined by the opinions and points of view of dumbass people. We let their words wound us because we take them personally. As a result, we adjust our beliefs and behaviors to accommodate others and lose ourselves in the meantime. No wonder why artificial has overshadowed authenticity. Listen and learn how to stop letting others control your life and start living as your true self.
You don't know me. I'm a husband, father, speaker, writer, coffee snob, pipe smoker, Bourbon drinker, and a person of faith. I've spent my life trying to figure out why it is so hard for people to live with authenticity. It's literally taken me around the world. And that's what I'm talking about on this very first episode of my brand new podcast, square peg, round hole. Welcome, my name is Timothy Eldred. My friends call me Tim. I hope that you will, too in time. Today, I got a phone call from a guest who is going to be on the podcast in the near future we just met today. And he said is this Timothy and I said, Well, my friends call me Tim. And so that's the thing call me Tim. And I want to welcome you, regardless of what you call me, to square peg round hole, where we deal with two major issues. The first one is how to live with authenticity in an artificial world. And the second is aloneness, how do we end aloneness now when I say aloneness, a lot of people substitute the word for loneliness, like interchangeably. They're not the same thing. And I want to talk about why they're different. Loneliness is a feeling of being lonely. Some of you are listening in a room by yourself and you're lonely. Some of you may be in a crowd, you could be in a car, you could be having headphones on in a large crowd. And you feel lonely. Some of you are in a relationship. You're lonely, you lay in bed at night with your partner, and you're lonely. And that breaks my heart the most. aloneness is chronic loneliness, it's a feeling that doesn't, doesn't go away, it lingers at last way too long. And that it's not just a feeling. aloneness becomes a state of being that you're not gonna, you're just not gonna shake. Now, there are two sides to the aloneness coin. There's a side that's healthy. And most people never experience it. It's the it's the part of aloneness where you are confident and comfortable in who you are. And you build healthy habits into your life like solitude, and quiet. And you feel really good about who you are there. But there's the part that most people deal with and actually never deal with. And that's the unhealthy side. And that's the feeling of isolation. Emptiness, heard it described one day in a seminar I was teaching his numbness. I think that's probably one of the best descriptors of it I've ever heard. Now, flipping the coin, and getting out of the unhealthy side of aloneness into the healthy side of aloneness, is hard. It's hard when most of society and culture and honestly sometimes your own ego, won't allow you to make the change, you put up a fight. Because it's such a challenge. No one wants you to be yourself. No one wants to let you just be. Because if we, if we just feel like we belong, and we admit our weaknesses and are comfortable in our strengths, the struggle is that people don't have to deal with and they feel forced to deal with their own insecurities, their own lack of self confidence. So what do we do we pretend we act like everything's good. We just put on that smile. Like when you walk into the room. But you know, it's a lie. And you put on a mask. And I hate the word mask. Because immediately when I say the word mask, all you're thinking about those blue masks that you have to wear in the last few months of your life, it's not that mask, that mask will go away this mask, this mask has lasted a very long time this mask is worse. I know that is from my own life, but not only from my experience, but the experience I have with countless others as I traveled to dozens of countries and work with 10s of 1000s of people and had an unbelievable amount of conversations that have left me knowing that people feel alone beyond alone. Where aloneness is set in as a disease. In my greatest frustration, in my travels, is that people don't pay attention to it. Worse than that they act like doesn't exist, not my issue. Listen, if you say that I'm just gonna call bullshit on it right now. Which is a nice way of saying you're a liar. And I know we don't know each other but I'm calling you a liar. If you say that's not me, it's Benue it will be you or it is you right now and if it's not you, good for you, but it's somebody else you know? We need to care enough about people to go, Okay, it's about time that we tackle this, this issue and not just deal with the symptoms, right? We're really good at dealing with the symptoms of a disease. But this one, for goodness sake, we've got to get to the core, we've got to get to the root, we've got to get to the cause. Now, do I know how to do that? I'm learning. And you're welcome to join me. And I'm not going to bury you in like 12 steps, right? Because you give somebody 12. I'm not putting down the 12 steps, but 10 steps, 12 steps, eight steps, whatever it might be. They're overwhelming. And sometimes we just need a step for the day. I'm going to give you a step today, that would be enough. And it's hard enough, it's probably one of the hardest ones. And I'll explain that, as I tell you. The story about where this podcast came from. The line square peg round hole has been part of my life for almost 30 years. When I was in my 20s I had a conversation. No, that's not true. It wasn't a conversation. It was a it was a confrontation. Honestly, it was it was an attack by a man of my church who I affectionately call a dumbass Deacon, which I know is not real respectful, right. And and while I try to be impeccable with my words, which means I, I don't put you down, I don't pass judgment. And I don't certainly put myself down because words have meaning words have power and what things are called as what they become. In this situation or this instance, I am going to break my own rule about being impeccable. And I'm going to use the word stem as Deacon to make to make my point. This man one day pulled me aside and he just said, Tim, you are you suck at your job, you're no good at what you do. You're never going to be successful. You don't even know what you're doing. You are a square peg in a round hole. Now, now the greatest way to make friends certainly don't want to use it as a like a pickup line. You know what I did with his words? I believed him. I took his words personally, I took his words to heart. Now maybe you're thinking, I took him to heart in a way that I don't mean. So let me explain that to you. The statement that he may which was clearly met his criticism, it could have crippled my life. It could have crippled my leadership and my career. But I chose listen to that chose, I chose to use his words as a compliment. I chose to use his word as a catalyst that I was going to stand out. And to be exceptional in my job. Instead of going along and just settling for status quo in my career, I decided I chose to separate myself from the crowd that go along with the crowd. Now many of you have had experiences where I know that people have criticized you, they put you down, they've probably even lied about you. Or you know somebody else it's happened to sadly, you may be accepted their words and took them to heart and called them truth. I get it. I completely get it. I've done the same thing in my life. And especially in my formative years when I was a young person moving from town to town, city to city, school to school, being the new kid, and then the new kid and then the new kid. Basically, I did whatever it took to make friends. And even though I didn't. Or I acted like I didn't care what people said about me I did it hurt. Honestly, it hurt a lot and stung, stuck. And sometimes if I'm not careful, I can conjure up the past. And I can take those memories and I can slip back into that hole of self deprecation. And I can say negative things about myself. And I can believe negative things about myself because of what somebody else said about me. And now just in case you thought it was you it's not it's me too. You're not alone. And I want you to hear that. But on that day on the day that the man called me a square peg in a round hole instead of letting his word shaped my life to be something negative or see something derogatory. It was, it was like fuel for me. It has become a badge of honor to be honest with you. I am a square peg in a round hole. As one man called me one day in an event that I spoke at I am Pepsi in a world of coke and when he called me that I just said, Thank you, thank you very much. I know what that means. It's not a bad thing. I've tried to teach my sons, my wife and I have taught our sons to be confident in who they are comfortable in their own skin. We've also had to stop them at times and go, Hey, listen, pause just a minute. And you can do that when you have somebody in your life was looking out for your best who wants the best in you, you have to be careful. And I caution you to be careful because that may not be true of everybody listen closely, but listen. And then pause, but listen, doubt. But listen, my mom did that. For me when I was a teenager. I remember sitting at breakfast has probably eaten cocoa wheats or scrambled eggs or something just before I walked out the door for school. And she said, hey, if people don't like you for who you are today, that's their problem, which was very reassuring. But before the doors slammed behind me, she said, but today, just so you know, you're being an idiot. Now, I trusted my mom for the truth. Because I know she wanted the best for me. And it was a great lesson as a kid. But there are many of us that absorb those words. And we take them as gospel. Now, honestly, I have come to learn, where I'm coming to learn, I don't want to act like I've got it all together. I'm coming to learn that I can ignore, I don't have to listen to criticism, I don't also have to always listen to praise right now that might sound awkward. But I've learned that both can influence me and knock me off course of being my true self, of am careful. And I want to help you to learn that lesson, too. Because even with your mistakes, I'm gonna say that again, even with your mistakes, and they may be fresh, and they may be painful, and you might just be coming through them. Even with your mistakes, you are fine, just the way you are at this moment. And if you can't tell yourself that then just let me tell you that even with your mistake, you're fine just the way you are. At this moment. What I've come to realize is that nothing others do. And nothing others say is typically about you at all. It's really about them. But others say and do is a projection of their own reality, which is probably a projection of their own insecurity. So don't take it personal. Don't take it personally. When you when you choose to be immune right to let things not stick to bounce off of you and bounce off like the opinions and actions of others. When you choose to be immune to the opinions and actions of others. You won't be the victim of like needless suffering. And that's what aloneness is most the time. It's needless suffering. Are there times in life that just are devastating and feel alone? Because there's some tragedy? Sure, of course there are. But most of the time, our wounds that make us feel alone are a result of other people's words. How do you overcome the pain of words you don't take things? Personally, I told you, it's gonna give you one thing that 10 or 12 things to hold on to that one thing today is the most important piece of wisdom I have to share with you. And usually, sadly, it's the hardest advice for people to receive and follow. What does it mean not to take things personally? How can you not do that? When someone is criticized you condemned you put you down lied about you said things that are painful to you? Is there a trick to it? I asked that question before. Now there's no trick to it, there's a choice to it. I'm going to choose to look in the mirror and be confident in who I am. I'm going to choose to let go of the past I'm going to choose to let go of the pain of the past. And what I can do that I can let things pass through me. I can choose to let things that be personal. For me. I can choose to take things personally. It's one of the four rules I live by. And they're important. We'll talk about all of them in upcoming episodes. And this one don't take things personally it's become my my superpower, right? Some a superpower that I can actually make it through the day when I don't focus on the side of the aloneness coin that is dark and and debilitating. And I want you to hear that ancient wisdom because it is ancient. It's not original with me It's become part of my life it can become part of your life. So next time some dumbass who's more impressed with their own opinions than with your well being levels, anything at you that is less than Affirmative. Ignore them. You might even have that opportunity today. Just stop and remember that you may not be perfect, but you're doing your best and that is true. If you are doing your best, my friend. That is all. That's all the matters. Thanks for listening. Please join me on the next episode.