Glennon Doyle Wants you to Abandon Identity: Transcript
WorkLife with Adam Grant
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Adam Grant: [00:00:00] Hey WorkLifers it's Adam Grant. I hope you're enjoying season four today. I want to share a special bonus conversation with Glennon Doyle. She made an appearance in our episode on conflict. She's a writer and activist well known for her wisdom and openness about her struggles with addiction, faith, family, and identity, millions of people look to her for insight and inspiration. But she'll be the first to tell you that she's not great at responding.
Glennon Doyle: [00:00:30] What I like to tell myself is that as a creative person, I don't want to live every day, just in response to what other people are asking of me.
Adam Grant: [00:00:38] I feel very honored. You don't like to respond to emails or texts and you answered mine. I feel lucky.
Glennon Doyle: [00:00:44] Yes, I did it. Don't tell my mom, I don't text her back.
Adam Grant: [00:00:54] This is WorkLife my podcast with the TED Audio Collective. I'm an organizational psychologist. My [00:01:00] job is to think again about how we work lead and live special. Thanks to our sponsors, LinkedIn, Logitech, Morgan Stanley, SAP and Verizon.
Glennon has written multiple best-sellers, including Untamed, her most recent memoir. It was Audible's most listened to book of all of 2020. It's about how we make sense of changes over the course of our lives, how our identities shift evolve, and even fall away. After building a name as a Christian blogger, in the past few years Glennon has distanced herself from her former church community divorced her husband and married soccer star, Abby Wambach. [00:01:39] She's also raised millions of dollars for those in need, through her nonprofit Together Rising. I've been a fan of Glennon's for years, and I couldn't wait to talk with her about how her writing has shifted my thinking about identity and emotion.
Glennon Doyle: [00:01:56] And I can't believe this, I've been waiting for this for so long.
Adam Grant: [00:02:01] Hello, nice to meet you. I feel like I know you.
Glennon Doyle: [00:02:03] I know I do too. I mean, my wife is just such a, she just loves you. And so introduced me to you forever ago and we just think you're just so wonderful. So thanks for having me on.
Adam Grant: [00:02:15] The place I wanted to really begin is to ask you how your identity has changed over the course of your life.
[00:02:22] So, one way of getting at that is to say, if you introduce yourself to someone at the post office, let's say at age 15 versus 25 versus today, how would you have described yourself differently?
Glennon Doyle: [00:02:34] Before we jumped on and started recording Adam, you were saying that. In some ways we could not be more different because you know, you're a man and you're straight and you don't identify as Christian. [00:02:47] And yet when we read each other's work and art, we sometimes feel like we're in each other's heads. And that says so much about these identities that we have and how they don't mean anything. So. Well, when I was a young kid, I became bulimic and most of my life from the time that I was 10 to 25, just completely was just an abyss of addiction. [00:03:15] I was a food addict and an alcohol addict and then a drug addict.
So I would have just told you that I was an addict. I would have told you that I was a mess. I would have told you that I was mentally ill. I would have had a lot of ways of describing to you that I was a broken human being. As a matter of fact, I wrote that in my first memoir, I was born broken, [00:03:37] I said, and so that's been a story that I've been telling myself for a really long time after I got sober. I just started becoming things because I thought that the way that you were supposed to grow up is that you just became things. Right.
So like, if I become a wife, if I become a mother, if I become a writer, if I become an [00:04:00] upstanding citizen and suddenly I will feel grown up and then I just started struggling inside of those identities because it really tried really hard to be a good wife to do all the things I was supposed to do.
[00:04:13] I tried really hard to be a good Christian. I was a Sunday school teacher. I just was constantly ignoring the fact that I didn't really believe the things that I was being told to believe. I just pretended that I did. And so after 10 years of marriage, my husband told me that he'd been unfaithful to me from the very beginning.
[00:04:36] And it was just this moment of "Wait. Okay. I was a bad girl for a really long time and that didn't work. And then I was a good girl for a really long time, but that didn't work either." In the wake of that, my entire life became about figuring out "how do I live true to myself?" Like what I figured out is, okay, being a good girl, following [00:05:00] all the world's expectations for me was a cage, but so is being bad. Cause rebellion is just as much of a cage as conformity is, right? Because you're still living in reaction. And I just felt like God, I don't want to live my whole life in reaction to somebody else's roles.
[00:05:20] And so that's when I figured out that in order to find a faith, that was true to me. I was going to have to not have an identity inside of religion, and that's really scary to me, but I don't identify as anything anymore because it feels to me like the second you have an identity, then you have to have a dogma or list of rules that, that allows you to keep that identity. [00:05:49] And then when you have a dogma or a list of rules, you have to have a tribe. And then when you have a tribe, you have to have an enemy. And that just stopped [00:06:00] working for me. So, and then like, I thought I was a straight woman and then not turn out to even be wrong. So listen, I think I could say to you, Adam, I am Glennon. I'm pretty sure. I kind of feel like anything I put after an I am is a promise that I don't want to be stuck with my whole life.
Adam Grant: [00:06:23] This is, this is such a beautiful set of ideas. And I think you're right. That. That identities often become constraints that they often trap us in cages. I also believe though, that trying on new identities is liberating right. [00:06:39] And saying, I might be a writer is one of the ways that people end up trying their hand at writing. And so I'm wondering if I can offer you a new identity here and you can reject it. But when I was reading Untamed, I felt like. I actually told my wife. I said, she, she asked me what I was reading, and I said, I am reading a book by a [00:07:00] remarkable writer who may not know it, but she's also a brilliant psychologist.
[00:07:06] So what, what's your reaction? I know, I know you may not have formal training in psychology, but I read you as somebody who has deep wisdom and insight on the human condition on how the mind works on shaping your own choices and behaviors in all the ways that my field tries to do. So could you possibly become a psychologist or is that an identity worth trying on?
Glennon Doyle: [00:07:31] I mean, my first reaction, really? My first thought, when you said that was well, I'm so glad that I have something to show for all of those freaking years I spent in therapy because I don't feel like I got much figured out, but at least I could, um, you know, maybe claim psychologists at some point. I don't know.
[00:07:54] I mean, there's nothing that fascinates me more than, than how people work. You know, then how [00:08:00] we figure out our lives down here. Um, so I love that. I love that. Although I find myself feeling freer, um, in art than I do in science. So maybe I could be, um, somewhere at the Venn diagram of those two things.
Adam Grant: [00:08:17] That fits for me because you have a different, a very different way of arriving at knowledge than sort of the scientific side of psychology does. There's so many things to react to here, but I am trying to be creative, not responsive because I, I was given that advice recently by somebody I hold in very high esteem.
[00:08:34] I think that for a lot of people, it's extremely unsettling to let go of identities and you've, you've done something even bigger, which is you let go of identity. Uh, but to, to walk away from our sense of who we used to be, uh, can, can leave us feeling like we're not grounded. Um, we're losing touch with our values, um, who am I, if I am not, you know, any of these things that I saw myself as when I filled in those I am statements, how did you get [00:09:00] comfortable rethinking your identities?
Glennon Doyle: [00:09:02] I think that the first really, I guess, that's it, it's an identity crisis. I mean, what I, what I found myself deconstructing first, and I really think that's all and teaming is right. It's just deconstructing. It's figuring out that maybe what you assume is truth. Capital T is actually just kind of a list of expectations and ideals and roles that somebody made up and pass down to you.
[00:09:29] Um, and I think that it happened to me first inside of, of religion. And that was really, really scary. I mean, I was a part of a very evangelical kind of church and there's just this thing that happens where, and I think it maybe happens with everybody and maybe it's one of the main human struggles, which just like we so badly want to belong [00:09:51] Right. It's like we're born these individual wild souls, but we just so much want belonging. And so sometime along the [00:10:00] way we trade a lot of our individuality for belonging. Like it's like we can have one or the other. And that's what happened to me with religion.
I so badly wanted to be, to belong to this group that was called Christian and that, you know, took care of each other, but, but there was just all the stuff that went along with it that I kept not being able to ignore. [00:10:18] That was a lot about exclusivity and a little bit, I think about hate. And, and so it just felt like there was going to be a decision to be made. That I was either going to continue to abandon myself for this kind of fake belonging, um, or I was going to choose myself and what I know to be true and abandon the belonging.
[00:10:44] So I did that. I did just eventually say this isn't real and this isn't right, and this isn't true and I can't do this anymore. And this weird thing happens when you do that, which is like, it sounds all good and, and obvious, but it's not, it's very scary. And [00:11:00] there's all kinds of tribal shaming that goes on with it. [00:11:03] And you do end up feeling really lonely and really afraid and doubting, like, "What if I'm the crazy one? What if I'm the wrong one?" But it was the first time that I kind of learned the process of not abandoning myself and, um, and leaving an identity, a tribe, a group, and surviving it, which, you know, kind of made the whole process of figuring out how to leave a broken family and a broken marriage to create a new one a little bit easier because I had survived all the fallout of, um, deconstruction before.
Adam Grant: [00:11:46] So interesting. It, it reminds me a little bit of this idea in psychology of identity of foreclosure, where people kind of fall in love with an idea of who they might be, and then they get too attached to it [00:12:00] and they kind of go all in as opposed to saying, well, wait a minute. I don't know if that identity is for me. Or at some point saying, you know what, that identity made sense at the time that I claimed it, but it no longer fits who I am.
[00:12:15] And one of the patterns I've seen over and over again with my, with my students actually, is that the students who are most convinced of what they want to do at age 20, have the biggest identity crises at age 30 of course, because they never explored the alternatives. Right? They said, I am, you know, I'm a pre-med or I'm going to be a lawyer. [00:12:34] And when they discovered that, that I didn't need didn't fit, uh, they, they didn't really have other possibilities to entertain.
You know, you, you went through the experience of, of realizing that, that you loved Abby a woman when you had told lots of people and maybe even yourself for a long time, that you loved men. [00:12:52] It's uh, at some point it would be very, I think it would be enticing, maybe reassuring also to say, okay, you know [00:13:00] what, I'm going to attach myself completely to this new identity because it fits. Um, and you've resisted that, and I wonder how?
Glennon Doyle: [00:13:07] Because I just, you know, it's like fool me once, shame on me or whatever that saying is fool me 20 times.
[00:13:12] Like I. It, it, to me feels like it's, it's a person who's, who's desperately holding onto the side of a riverbank, but like the river is life, right? So you can't hold on to the riverbank for too long, like the it's exhausting and you have to let, let go and just let the current of life take you because that whole idea about we can make our plans, but then life happens to us when I saw Abby.
[00:13:42] And, and every, you know, fiber of my being just knew that that life was happening to me and that I needed to stay awake and, and open to what was happening. Had I just shut that down and held onto the riverbank of, "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm straight. I'm straight. I'm straight." I would have missed the most beautiful turning of my life.
[00:14:07] I guess I don't want to claim other identities because it feels like painting myself into a corner and I've seen the danger of it. I, you know, Adam, since I was an addict for so long, I realized that one of the reasons why in the beginning, when I was trying to decide if I was going to be bold enough, have to be open to this love with Abby, that I had a really hard time trusting myself. And I, and I think it was because, you know, when you're a kid who becomes an addict at 10, you know, in your whole life for the next, for all of your formative years is just diagnoses and medicine and you know, a mental hospital at some point, it's like you, I created this shame belief about myself that, that, that underneath it all, I was crazy. That is what I believed about myself. So even when [00:15:00] I became sober and, you know, kind of a fancy writer and all of these things, I still felt like I was just fooling everybody. And at the end of the day underneath it all, I was crazy.
And then I started raising this kid, my middle kid, and she's just such a sensitive child. [00:15:16] She's really notices things that other people don't notice. And that makes her. Really sad sometimes. And she has big feelings and I think she's just a little profit. I think she's so amazing. And one night it hits me. She's just like I was, and I would never call her broken. I would never, in a million years called her crazy. And I realized, Oh my whole identity was based on false information. I, wasn't never crazy. I was just a really sensitive kid that didn't have, you know, the resources and the skills that I needed to handle that sensitivity and to turn it into a strength. So I just have never had a hard and [00:16:00] fast identity that didn't hurt me or cage me in one way or another.
[00:16:06] So I guess I just don't in my own life. I don't see any need for it. And I also feel like it keeps me from really when I'm, when I'm stuck in my identity, it keeps me from really hearing and seeing and listening to other people. And it creates this boundary between us that we're trying to get over, right? [00:16:28] Like I'm a Christian and you're not, I'm a whatever. And you're not, I'm an a, and we're just not communicating on that level. That is so important to me, that is just like, you know, human to human. I love that. That's where I am. I've got no identities left and the gay thing.
I mean, I, Adam, I used to sit with Abby. [00:16:47] I used to be so scared because when, when, when Abby and I first came and told the world about our love, all anyone asked me, Adam for frickin' year was it didn't matter what they [00:17:00] were interviewing me about it. They would start with, "so what are you?" which is, I'm sweating right now, if I'm sweating right now, like thinking about that time, because I would ... It was like, everyone was trying to figure out, like, "Were you gay before, but you were lying or are you straight now but you're lying?" And I just don't think it's that simple anymore.
Like, it's not, I wasn't lying. When I identified as Christian, I wasn't lying. I really meant it. And when I wrote in my first memoir, I was born broken. [00:17:35] I wasn't lying. That's what I really believed then. And the idea that we shouldn't keep evolving, that we shouldn't keep, you know, I don't want to think the same things in five years that I'm thinking right now. I hope it's all totally different. And I think when I don't add an identity after "I am," It gives me more freedom to keep changing.
Adam Grant: [00:17:57] That's such a fun way to think about it. [00:18:00] You wrote this while the popular, incredibly moving book. I think everyone should read this book and listen to it. And I think one of the. Both funniest and most thought provoking moments for me was when you wrote about having to go on book two or previously, and the line that just jumped out at me, it's actually a couple of lines.
[00:18:21] You said, what is the point of being a writer? If I have to say words about the words I've already read to painters, have to draw about their paintings. I have felt this so many times. Why did I write the book? If I have to now go and talk just if you want go read the book. Oh my God. Do you still feel that way?
Glennon Doyle: [00:18:39] Yes. I feel like it. And you know, as writers, we work so hard to say it right in the book. And then people ask us questions about the things we wrote. So basically all I'm ever doing is saying things worse than I already said them in the book I did. The whole beauty of it is that [00:19:00] you can like really think deeply about humanity without being around other human beings.
[00:19:08] So for, you know, a deeply sensitive introvert to find out that, Oh, you just real quick also have to be a public speaker. I have gotten used to it. Um, I've gotten used to it. And one of the things that I think is really fun is that you mentioned that audio book thing. And I have to tell you that when I first started speaking and I first started doing, you know, these podcasts and one of the biggest criticisms of me that I couldn't help, but see everywhere was that people would constantly make fun of my voice. [00:19:40] Because I have like a pretty high pitched voice and I talk kind of fast and it was just like this constant refrain. Like I can't stand her voice. I can't stand her voice in that became, I don't know, like it just got in my head and I was like, Oh, I just, you know, I'll just do as much as I have to do and Nevermore and my voice [00:20:00] just, isn't the thing that people are gonna want to hear.
[00:20:02] And, and it was like this thing where I always think that the worst things about me become. Strengths. Like, like if, when I was little or forever, like I spent so much time thinking I was crazy and thinking that I could contribute to the world, if I could just get this high sensitivity under control, if I could just like hide my sensitivity and my anxiety that I could do something. [00:20:27] And then it turns out that the sensitivity that led me to addiction is the exact same sensitivity that makes me a good artist. Right. It's like, my greatest strength.
Adam Grant: [00:20:38] Well, my favorite definition of weakness is a strength misused. Yes. And I think you, you, you clearly had a lot of those early in life and have now harnessed them for so much good. I have to say, I read your book and thought, I wish I could write like that. I listened to you speak now and think, I wish I could sound like that. And [00:21:00] It's it's a real gift.
I think there's a piece of what you said though, that I, I had an ambivalent reaction to, and I want to do invite you to rethink your stance on book tours. [00:21:11] And you can, you can reject the invitation it's up to you. But having said the same things as myself or less eloquently, but, but complained about having to go on book tour. I've often finished a book tour wishing I could rewrite the book because I've learned so much from the questions people ask realizing, "Oh, I should have written that chapter."
[00:21:32] I wonder then since we're coming up on a year that you've been doing a virtual version of a tour, what have you rethought since you finished writing Untamed? Is there something you wish you'd said, but didn't or something you would delete or revise now?
Glennon Doyle: [00:21:48] Yeah, there is. Well, it's, it's, it's a very strange time to be rethinking. I mean, Untamed came out like the day COVID started. Okay. So since it came out, the whole world has changed. I mean, actually, no, the whole world hasn't changed. We've just had a lot of revelation of how the world has always been. But there's a part that I think about a lot and it's one of the most quoted parts of Untamed, and it's this chapter where I am talking about my family and Abby and I, and how I had posted a picture that of the two of us and someone had said, you're so lucky and how. I did feel lucky, but I also felt like that luck was, um, not just fallen into, but that it was a path that we chose to do really hard, scary things.
[00:22:46] And there's a, a line at the end that says "The braver I am the luckier I get." And by nine months ago, I became friends with this woman who I love so much and her name's Dr. Yaba Blay. And she is a teacher of, of all different kinds of racial justice issues. And she is really bold and brave and the things that she says, and she brings things up that other people don't bring up. And she kind of tells the truth when other people are afraid to tell the truth. And what I noticed about her is that the braver she is, the more often she says things that other people are too afraid to say, the less likely she is to get re-invited to those same rooms. Yeah.
And so at least once a day I think about that line. And every time I see someone retweet "The braver I am, the luckier I get," it makes me cringe because I realize how much privilege is in that concept. That for Dr. Blay, the braver she is often the unluckier she gets next. Right. I think if I were going to rewrite it, I would put 70 million asterisks in that part. Or maybe [00:24:00] just write about this also, you know, I mean, the weird thing about a book is that it ends and your life goes on and you learn so much more and hopefully If I ever do write a book again, there will be a million things in it that contradict what one says.
Adam Grant: [00:24:16] That better be a win, not an F.
Glennon Doyle: [00:24:18] So Adam don't you ever feel like whenever someone says the, "what are you writing next?" I'm like, listen, I didn't hold anything back. Like, everything I know is in Untamed. I didn't know any other things.
Adam Grant: [00:24:32] Yes. That I, although I have to say, I like that. Better than when somebody says you should write a book about, and I'm like, you know what? That's such a good idea. Why don't you go write that book? I choose my own topics. Thanks.
Glennon Doyle: [00:24:44] Yes, exactly.
Adam Grant: [00:24:48] One of my favorite phrases and Untamed was when you called yourself an input junkie and wrote about how you search for information on the internet. How you got bad guidance from experts in [00:25:00] ministers and therapists, who I read that at least as all those people were, were guiding you to lead someone else's life instead of your own. It really struck a chord with me. There was another voice though. Which I wanted to ask you about, which is in psychology. We also worry about the opposite that people get so anchored on their inner convictions that they miss out on the value of outside wisdom, and that we're often better at giving advice to others than making choices for ourselves because we're, we're kind of in the weeds of our own choices, but we can actually see the forest when we're coaching other people. And so I was, what I was trying to do is reconcile this idea that you needed to tune out a lot of the input when I've seen so many people make horrible decisions by failing to listen to the input?
Glennon Doyle: [00:25:46] God. Yeah. I mean, this is, I guess, anybody who I trust or consider wise, um, always considers the opposite of what they think is [00:26:00] true. Always decides that the thing they are certain about is definitely not true. Right. And I, I think that maybe it's different seasons in our life call for, um, trying different approaches to that. What I know is that I had to, during the last seven years of my life, cut out anybody, I was outsourcing my life to.
[00:26:29] I mean, Adam, as a person who has spent most of my life in therapists offices, one of the most important moments for me was hearing my therapist, give me that God awful advice. That's an Untamed because it just woke me up to like, Oh wait, there is no one that you can just turn your life over to and turn your brain and intuition and heart off with right. No matter who they are. And, and for people like me, we have trained ourselves to [00:27:00] just kind of defer constantly to our therapist. Right. Whatever they say. And, and, and, and, and also someone like me who has been brought up with, and, and relied so much on religion. I mean, I can't tell you how many of my friends override their intuition and override their feelings and override what they know because the minister somewhere told them that that ideal will take them straight to hell.
[00:27:24] So I think there are times in our life where in order to find personhood, like in order to find the, there, there, you have to practice that, you know, you actually have to like reconnect with that inner self, right, that does have intuition, that does have feeling, that does have imagination. And that can guide, and then maybe in the, maybe also there's an after of that, where you reintegrate. Like, I think about this in terms of boundaries all the time. I mean, I was a hugely unboundaried person. And so over the last [00:28:00] decade, I am like I have become the Fort Knox of boundaries. I mean, Abby would tell you, I am the most boundaried person she's ever met and I needed to learn all of that. I needed to, to, to figure out how to protect myself. And now my guard is up all the time. I have over-boundaried myself. I know that. And now I'm going to have to undo.
I know this will be the next part of my life. Like, how do I now integrate putting down some of those walls and letting people back in again. And I, and I think that's probably the exact same thing as what you're talking about. I had to figure out how to make myself the final word. And I also want to be totally open to the wisdom of others, but there's something [00:29:00] about at the end of the day, knowing that you can count on yourself to make the right decision, uh, the buck stops here type thing, and that's you and not somebody else. That that is, I think what, what I was missing and what a lot of us are missing is that they think the answer comes when we just pull enough people as opposed to gathering all the wisdom that you have that is possible to you, and then taking it all in and filtering it and making sure that you at the end of the day are the one that makes the final decision.
Adam Grant: [00:29:32] Yeah. Hearing you talk about that makes me think of a psychologist. George Kelly, who also came to mind when I was reading on teams. One of my favorite Kelly ideas is the idea of slot rattling, where he basically described how we ended up on this spectrum of, for you. It was okay. I didn't have enough boundaries and now I've moved to the other end of that spectrum and I have too many boundaries. And he said, the mistake that we make is we're often kind [00:30:00] of, we're like rattling back and forth, trying to find the perfect point, the perfect position in that slot, as opposed to saying what you actually need is another spectrum to add. Right?
So he would say you don't need to subtract boundaries. [00:30:12] You need to add a little bit of trust or a little bit of openness, or, you know, maybe before you didn't need to add boundaries, you needed to, you know, to, to think about. Am I trusting the wrong people, for example. And I wonder, do you, do you really think there's a sweet spot here that you need to find the right level of boundaries or is it, is the conversation about something other than boundaries?
Glennon Doyle: [00:30:39] Um, just like, I don't really believe in identity anymore. I don't really believe in answers anymore, Adam. I do not. I no longer think that I am like. One theory away from enlightenment. I hope that each day I'm a little bit more [00:31:00] open. Um, but I don't think that it's just that I haven't found the right answer yet.
[00:31:05] I can see the progress over the years for so long. I just wanted things to be different. And I couldn't have, I couldn't really explain to probably at the time what that would've meant, but I'm one of my I'm 45 now. And mostly I could tell you that what I really want is just more of the same, and that is incredible to me with, you know, what I've been through and what I've put myself through for the past few decades. But no, I do not think that I'm, I'm going to get to the point ever where I wake up and I'm like, Oh, now I'm nailing it.
Adam Grant: [00:31:48] Well, I will say though, there's, I mean, there's so many moments in your writing where you, you have figured things out that other people can learn from. And one of my other favorite moments in [00:32:00] Untamed was when you wrote about anger. Okay. Uh, the, the quote that, that jumped out at me was you said "Sometimes my anger delivers to my door, a root belief that I don't want to keep." And, uh, your story about getting mad at Abby for resting was just amazing. And then you had this, this great reframing of anger. Basically what I took away was that now you think about anger as a package that's been sent to you telling you something you believe strongly, and then you have a choice to make about whether you want to keep that belief, return it or exchange it for something better. Tell me more.
Glennon Doyle: [00:32:37] Well, I mean, I'll start with the whole Abby thing I let in, in my books, I write these things and I end them nicely as if I've just nailed that and we're done with it, right. So I can tell you, I still get pissed off at Abby for investing time, but I do see it now, but even when I'm annoyed at her for resting in the middle of the day, [00:33:00] I can look at her. I can feel annoyed and also have the awareness that this is my problem and not hers.
[00:33:07] So this is the progress we've made, right? Um, and, and what I know about that feeling is that the reason it bothers me is because her resting in the middle of the day violates a belief that I was planted in me in childhood, that you earn your worthiness by hustling. I mean, I grew up in a family, Adam, where I remember I be like laying on the couch and I would hear my parents' car come up in the driveway. We had this gravel driveway. So you could hear it like. From the beginning of the driveway and I would stand up and just like, try to look busy. I guess not that was laziness and laziness was failure. And, and, and, and so when Abby does that, it just makes me feel like, wait, we can't rest. Like that's, the world will fall apart is really the only, that sounds dramatic, but that's kind of how it feels to me. [00:33:57] So what I noticed over time is that I'm in the kitchen, right, Adam and she's resting on the couch and she's happy as a clam. She's watching some fricking show about people lost in the woods, I don't know what she's doing, she's happy. I'm the one that's suffering. The, why am I suffering? Because I have this belief.
[00:34:22] And I, and this thing happens to me, which happened to me the other last year when she just walked out the door and was like, I'm going to go learn how to play ice hockey. I see. And, and what, what, the thing that comes into my mind is this phrase and it's must be nice. Whenever I say to myself about any other human being must be nice. [00:34:46] I know that I'm in this place that I call for myself, martyr mountain, which means I am on this moral high ground. Which [00:35:00] I guess sounds something like I am better than you because I am in suffering and you are not right. And, and, and it just, it makes me think over and over again that like, I am only bitter about other peoples joy in direct proportion to how much I'm keeping it from myself.
[00:35:24] So, you know, what that experience that I still deal with when, with the resting is like, I don't want to suffer from that belief anymore. I don't want to believe that my worthiness on this earth or that the earth is spinning simply because I keep stressing because I keep moving because I keep hustling because I keep saying it's not, it's no good. [00:35:48] And it's for sure, not true. And I don't want to get to my deathbed and just realize that I never stopped. I don't want to throw it away completely. I believe in hard work. I see the [00:36:00] results of it. I'm a discipline person and I want to keep that discipline, but I just want to edit it. You know, I want to like believe that I am worthy because I'm just worthy and that hard work is important, but so is non-productivity.
Adam Grant: [00:36:19] Yes. Well, that, that sparked to George Kelly idea as well. He defined hostility as a reaction to finding out that one of your beliefs was not valid and you're mad because you already knew deep down that it was not.
Glennon Doyle: [00:36:38] Amen. This morning, Adam, I woke up, I guess it was about five. And I was like, "I got to go, write. I got to go write." And Abby just goes, “Where are you? What are you doing?” Like, “Why are you hustling like this?” That's what she said. And I was like, “I don't know. We'll talk about it later. I gotta go.” I love it. Childhood beliefs, man. [00:37:00] That's maybe that's what we're all doing is just trying to unlearn the wrong things we learned when we were little.
Adam Grant: [00:37:05] I think if we could all recognize that we would definitely lead lives with your regrets. Yeah. Well, I love that. I love that you were willing to do this, and I especially love Glennon the way that you're willing to just open up your life and your heart so that other people can learn from your experiences and your expertise and your wisdom. [00:37:26] I think it is such a gift to the world.
[00:37:36] Next time on WorkLife, certified armchair expert Dax Shepard and I meet on Clubhouse to talk about his approach to interviewing, how comedy shows up in the workplace and what he's learned from being a boss.
Dax Shepard: [00:37:49] You know, the thing I appreciate, she most is just competent. You know, I am so horny for competency. Like I am so attracted to people who can do things [00:38:00] and tackle things and handle things is very attractive. So I am in fact horny for [mux], but then of course, navigating how to help them becomes its own challenge, which is fun.
Adam Grant: [00:38:11] WorkLife is part of the TED Audio Collective. The show is hosted by me, Adam Grant, and it's produced by TED with Transmitter Media. Our team includes Colin Helms, Gretta Cohen, Dan O'Donnell Constanza Gallardo JoAnn DeLuna, Grace Rubinstein, Michelle Quint, Banban Cheng and Anna Phelan. This episode was produced by Jessica Glazer. Thanks to Jess Shan for production assistance. Special thanks to our sponsors, LinkedIn, Logitech, Morgan Stanley, SAP, and Verizon.
Adam Grant [00:38:47] Uh, I'm a huge fan of Abby's, but especially after reading this, I think I like you even better.
Glennon Doyle: [00:38:53] Exactly. Did you record that part? I'm just wondering. Okay, great. I'll just need that though. Yeah.