Where EVERYONE is a maker

Episode 33: Don’t Be a Sissy – Dealing with Absurd Insecurities (Bonus Episode)

Ep 33 Cover Art text reads don't be a sissy: dealing with absurd insecurities

If you’ve ever let your insecurities limit your ability to stretch yourself and grow, this episode is for you! And it features a story time about a guy so scared of being perceived as a sissy, he refused to use basic common sense when lifting. You’ll also hear about my friend Tahmina and learn how she fights to overcome her own inner critic.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Everyone has insecurities, even the biggest dude at the gym
  • Insecurities will become our limits if we let them
  • Journaling is one technique that can be used to flush out negative (trash) thoughts
  • Regularly check your foundation for cracks to cement over

DM me on Instagram if you have questions about this week’s episode. If you’d like to apply to be on the podcast, fill out this form. And join the mailing list to learn about what’s coming in the future.

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[00:00] Paulette: Buen día mi gente and welcome to the Maker Muse Podcast, the place where childfree Spanglish speaking, mujeres fuertes are inspired to find their confidence, su confianza. And now it’s going to be called the Maker Muse Podcast for Childfree Latinas. It’s a working title. I’m Paulette Erato, the Maker Muse, su musa.

[00:21] Today I am gonna tell you a story and also introduce you to a woman named Tahmina, who is not only a childfree woman from Bangladesh, she’s also an incredible copywriter. Tahmina isn’t a guest on the podcast yet, but she did contribute to this episode, which was originally a training in my group. She posted one day that in order to shut down her inner critic, she sat and wrote down all of her accomplishments so her brain could stop fooling her into thinking that she had accomplished nothing.

[00:48] The list is incredible and includes completely funding her first master’s degree while attending school, full-time, teaching at all levels between middle school and university, providing for her entire family for the last 10 years and building a copywriting business completely from scratch. How did she get over her own absurd insecurities?

[01:11] She’ll tell you it’s a constant work in progress and one technique she uses, I talked about in episode five, journaling as a toilet for flushing out these trash thoughts. So if you like this episode, you might wanna check that one out too. I’ll leave you a link in the show notes. So this time around Tahmina is serving as my muse.

[01:29] I created this training using her as the inspiration for this episode. So let’s jump into the story time.

[01:36] Today we’re talking about our absurd insecurities because on one level or another, we all have them. I have them, and they’re all kind of ridiculous. So I’m gonna tell you this story as an illustration of what an absurd insecurities can look like.

[01:51] If you’re like, well, all of my insecurities are rather normal, Paulette. They’re not absurd. I beg to differ, but this is an extreme example. For us, they might be a little less obvious. And then we’re gonna talk through the way Tahmina worked through this and see how we can apply that to our own lives. So my husband and I don’t normally go to the gym together, but, uh, I don’t know.

[02:09] It just worked out yesterday that I went in the afternoon with him. And in the rack next to him doing deadlifts was two big dudes. They’re very big. I’m five two, so anybody over five 10 is a giant to me. One of the dudes was at least five nine, but the other dude is like six four, and they’ve got a barbell on the ground with four plates on it.

[02:34] Four plates is 405 pounds. A plate is the really big 45 pound or 20 kilogram weight. They’re the largest in the gym because that’s, that’s like the proper level for an Olympic bar to be up off the ground when you deadlift. So anyway, gym math aside, that is the most weight I’ve ever seen someone lift in real life.

[02:54] I’m not talking like videos, Olympics. No, I’m talking like with my own eyes. That is the largest amount of weight I’ve ever seen. And not only that, they had an additional 50 pounds on the bar. So we’re talking 455 pounds that these dudes are just lifting up off the ground like it’s nothing. As a reminder, I am working towards a three plate deadlift, which is 315 pounds.

[03:19] Right now I’m at 280. I can do 280 pounds, which is like half of what these dudes were doing, right half, and they’re also like twice my height. They’re fucking giants. And I mean it’s, it’s impressive all around. Anyway, after we left, Ryan tells me, that’s my husband, Ryan, he says, so those guys were talking about how they refused to wear shin guards because they don’t wanna be perceived as pussies.

[03:44] You know, casual misogyny aside, obviously there’s a lot wrong with that statement. My husband’s reaction to that was like, dude, you’re the biggest dude in the gym and you’re afraid of looking like a sissy? And that’s ridiculous. These are the biggest dudes in the gym. Seriously. Like there are big dudes in there.

[04:01] Like we go to a real dirty, hardcore lifting gym, so there’s big dudes all around. But I’ve never seen anybody load up a barbell with four plates. I’ve seen three. I’ve seen a lot of threes. I’ve seen a lot in between three and four, but on a Monday afternoon, four and a half plates? Anyway he was the biggest dude in the gym that day and he’s worried about looking weak because he would use a pair of shin guards or socks.

[04:28] Like you can always tell when the girls in the gym, the smaller people, are deadlifting cuz we got socks like knee-high socks. You’re not wearing pants, you’re wearing knee-high socks. They’re deadlifting socks. That’s what they are. This dude was wearing a belt. He like, that’s the tool around your waist that you wear so you can like bear down even harder.

[04:48] And, and these are just tools, like the shin guards would just be another tool. And he’s afraid of wearing those because of how weak he might look. Do you understand how absurd that is? He is the strongest person in the gym, physically the strongest person, but apparently so emotionally and mentally weak, that he is afraid to wear socks to cover his shins.

[05:12] Because they’d rather rip them apart? Cuz that’s what happens. When you lift really heavy, that barbell starts scraping up your legs and it hurts like a motherfucker. This is why I wear pants when I deadlift or socks. So I thought that was ridiculous. Like that really blew my mind that these grown men, they’re grown men, they are adult human men.

[05:35] And it also made me sad that someone has lived their whole life. Somebody implanted the idea that taking care of their shins was a sissy move. That’s just sad. But it’s also a great example of these absurd insecurities we all carry. We all carry. So I hope I’m conveying how utterly strange that is a thing to be worried about.

[06:02] Biggest dude around, no one’s gonna mess with you. No one’s gonna think less of you if you cover your shins cuz you don’t wanna rip them up. It’s okay to not wanna bleed at the gym. In fact, I would prefer that you did not bleed all over the gym equipment. Just as a casual gym user. I’m sure everyone else at the gym would prefer you do not bleed all over our barbell.

[06:22] This guy can’t see past this one insecurity. But imagine if he did wear shin guards, then everybody would feel comfortable wearing shin guards. Cuz again, he’s the biggest dude. If the biggest dude is doing it, everybody could do it. Us ladies are doing it and we’re just pussies. Again, the casual misogyny, it’s disgusting, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. We will tackle that another day.

[06:44] So Tahmina posted. She posted a quote, and if you are not familiar with who Tahmina is, Tahmina is a copywriter. She has her own group called Ethical Copywriting. She’s very much anti the sleazy bro marketing techniques. She’s excellent. I’ve hired her to to do some of my sales pages cuz she’s really good at it, not knowing that she was self-taught.

[07:06] I didn’t know that. I didn’t care. That’s not important. She’s good at her job. Anyway. She posted this quote she got from a podcast and everybody should listen to podcasts, especially the Maker Muse podcast. Her quote was, your brain is like Velcro for negativity and Teflon for positivity. And that’s true. We are born with a negative bias right out the box.

[07:28] It’s a feature, not a bug of the human experience. We are negative individuals. You can train your brain to be less negative, to be more positive, to invert that if you want, you can make this change. It’s basically just a bad habit. It’s, it’s an inherent habit, right? Like we’re born. But you can also fix your like pigeon toes.

[07:52] That’s also a habit. Your feet just grew this way instead of this way. When I was little, I had pigeon toes, and you know what my doctor told my mom to do? Put roller skates on me cuz you can’t roller skate into your feet. You can very easily walk into your feet, but when you start roller skating, you start falling over.

[08:07] So your feet will naturally stop going this way and go this way. So you can just walk. The point is that even the things that you are born with, you can change about yourself. And being born with an inherent negative bias is something you can change. You just have to train around it. You just have to develop the skill around it.

[08:27] You just have to create a habit. And the only way you do that is by consistently practicing it. It’s just a habit. It’s just a skill you can develop. And so what Tahmina did, she talked about how her brain consistently tells her she’s worth nothing despite everything that she’s accomplished. Now, from my point of view, because I know a little bit of Tahmina’s background, she’s left her home country to get not only one Master’s, but two, she’s in a country where she does not speak the language right now, and then is going back to the UK where she does speak the language.

[08:57] All of this in less than 30 years. She’s a badass as far as I am concerned. But in her brain, she’s like, I haven’t done shit, which is absurd. So what she did is she took the time to actually write down all of her accomplishments. She talks about how she had to force herself to do this. Of course you do because you’re fighting biology here, right?

[09:16] But this is a huge first step in rewiring your brain, creating that skill to invert the Teflon Velcro relationship. She lists all of these accomplishments. Number six being that she taught herself how to run this business. All by herself. She’s a graduate of YouTube University, a lot of us are. And the school of hard knocks, which hi, we all live.

[09:43] And she figured out how to do all of this and was not deterred. And even when it felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere, she recognized the small bits of progress that she made. Do you think that guy got up to 455 pounds his first day in the gym? All of his insecurities aside, 455 pounds to lift repeatedly up off the ground?

[10:05] The average person will never be able to do that. Never, because they’re not going to try. The average person probably can’t lift the 280 pounds off the ground that I can. So we’re already in like the top 10% of strength in humans. But that dude didn’t walk into the gym on his very first day, God knows how many years ago, and be able to lift 455 pounds off the ground.

[10:24] No. He maybe started with 50 pounds and consistently worked his way up over months, over years. It has taken me nine years to get to 280 pounds. I can’t even imagine how long it’s taken him. Maybe he’s done even more than that and he’s working back up to something. But we forget when we’re just, when we’re just looking at people, we’re like, oh my gosh, you’re so strong.

[10:47] We just see a snapshot of them. Like when I met Tahmina , she told me she was a copywriter and I believed her. Because why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I believe her? I see a dude lifting 455 pounds, I believe he’s strong. I see someone walking, talking, and acting like a copywriter, and I believe them. There’s no need to prove otherwise.

[11:04] Like I’m not, I’m not here to like poke holes in your story. But if you wanna be a copywriter, you have to act like a copywriter. So for me to then find out that there’s all of this going on, and in that guy’s head, he’s got all of these absurd insecurities, is revealing because even though you have accomplished so much, your brain is still doing this to you.

[11:24] That dude has completely forgotten what it was like to lift a 50 pound barbell unless he sat down and reflected on how far he’s come. And I did a whole video on this just about a couple weeks ago about how you really need to look back and appreciate all of those accomplishments, and if you celebrated them along the way, you were helping build that habit to invert the relationship between Velcro and Teflon, between negativity and positivity, and which one your brain will hang onto.

[11:52] Because celebrating your wins, recognizing your progress, making little promises that you can keep for yourself, these are all ways of rewiring your brain. Of creating that new habit of latching onto and holding onto the positive things that happen. Of cementing that foundation so that you can continue to build and build and build and become even stonger at this thing that you want to do, at this person you want to be, at the one who only holds onto the positivity and takes the negativity for what it is, the lesson, and gets rid of it. You don’t hold onto those negative emotions anymore, but it takes some healing and it can start with listing everything you’ve ever done from learning to walk, learning to wipe your own ass.

[12:40] Those were huge accomplishments when you did them. They feel like nothing now cuz you take for granted that you can do that. But there was a time in your life when you could not, and there may be a time in your future when you cannot again either. Somebody else may have to change your diapers, someone else may have to help you walk.

[12:59] So you need to be mindful of what you have been able to put down for yourself. You need to examine your foundation for cracks, for these absurd insecurities that our brain is going to make up for us. And there’s probably a reason, you know, like I said, that dude learned some early on in his lifting that, you know, he could not show weakness.

[13:21] I mean, what happened when he couldn’t lift 455 the first time he tried it, like, and he failed? Did he go home and weep? I hope not. Because that was a data point telling him that you’re not strong yet. But you will get there. I don’t think he went into the gym and loaded up four and a half plates (you know I’m saying a half because those 25s on either side, that extra 50) for the fun of it. Lugging around those plates isn’t fun. They weigh 45 pounds a piece. That’s fucking heavy, especially when you’re tired, because as you keep lugging more and more over, that’s its own workout. So he didn’t do that for fun. It wasn’t day one of him doing that.

[13:58] But he’s not examining his foundation for cracks. This idea in his head that he’s a sissy if he doesn’t do this barehanded or whatever, is going to be eventually his limit. Don’t let these negative ideas in your head be your limit. Flush them out. Flush ’em out. I got an episode for that too. Talks about journaling being a toilet for your brain.

[14:20] Anyway. I wanna thank Tahmina for posting all of this, giving us all of this insight into her thought process, into showing how human she is. This is just a human condition. We all have this. We all have this. So I hope that you have sat down and thought about your own absurd insecurities and how you can get a handle on them so they don’t become cracks in your foundation.

[14:44] So that you can cement over them and strengthen your foundation. So that you can continue climbing and being the badass that you were meant to. This is secretly badass training. You’re welcome. Okay, friends. Anyways, stay hydrated and that’s a burrito.

[14:58] Wanna talk about this week’s episode? Feel free to DM me on Instagram. My info is always in the show notes. And if you’re looking to be a guest in the future for the Maker Muse Podcast for Childfree Latinas, check out the guest form on my website at themakermuse.co. Yes, themakermuse.co. It’s also linked in the show.

[15:17] And hey muchísimas gracias for listening to yet another episode of the Maker Muse Podcast for Childfree Latinas. Yes, that’s the working title. Are you subscribed? If not now would be a great time to do that. New episodes come out most Tuesdays. I’m on Apple, on Spotify, wherever you listen. And then can I ask you a favor? Please tell all of your family and friends about it, tus amigues, tu familia. Because if you love it, they probably will too. And I’d really appreciate it if you could rate and or review it wherever you’re listening to it right now. Hasta el martes. ¡Cuídate bien!

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