MORRA AARONS-MELE: I’m Morra Aarons-Mele, and this is The Anxious Achiever. Each episode, we look at stories from business leaders who have dealt with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges, how they fell down, how they picked themselves up and how they hope workplaces can change in the future. Today on The Anxious Achiever, “How the Mental Affects the Physical.”
The irony of anxiety. Today, we’re going to talk to a guest whose stress and anxiety landed him in the hospital, and you’ll hear my story of landing in the hospital too. But we’ll also talk to Dr. David Barlow, who is truly one of the founders, originators and deep thinkers around modern-day therapeutic treatments for anxiety.
He’s a founder and director emeritus of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. Dr. Barlow maintains that anxiety is necessary. The key is to “right-size” your anxiety, if you will. Find the Goldilocks level of anxiety.
Barlow says, “Without anxiety, little would be accomplished. The performance of our athletes, entertainers, executives, artisans, and students would suffer. Creativity would diminish. Our crops and food might not be planted. In fact, we need anxiety to be our best,” and I think a lot of you could resonate with that.
Well, our guest, Jason Miller, had always driven himself very hard – the first in his family to go to college, an excellent student, a senior executive at a global company, until he ended up in the ER, convinced he was having a heart attack.
So we’ll hear Jason’s story, learn how he learned how to “embrace the woo,” I love that, and right-size his anxiety and his career. Tell us what an average day in your office is like now.
JASON MILLER: It’s something different every day. It’s part of what I love about the work I do. Any day might be consisting of doing some one-on-one coaching or doing some extended leadership development education sessions with groups of leaders.
We might actually go out to some of our sites, or healthcare system, based in Central Ohio. We have over 15 hospitals in our system. So I do get out to our hospitals on occasion. But there are a wide variety of people from all backgrounds. I work with both clinical and non-clinical people on really great work.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: People dealing with some tough stuff too, I would imagine.
JASON MILLER: Very much. Anybody who has ever worked in healthcare, even if you haven’t, we all have some healthcare experience, right? As human beings, all of us have to see the doctor at some point in our lives, or we have loved ones with whom we’ve been bedside.
So we all know how challenging the hospital environment and healthcare environment can be for us emotionally, spiritually, physically.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Your work wasn’t always like this. I want you to tell the audience how you became the first person in your family to go to college and what your ambitions were when you were growing up.
JASON MILLER: I grew up in a family that was very supportive and nurturing. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and my dad worked really hard – a working-class family. What I learned really early on from watching my dad is how important it is to support family and have a purpose to create an environment of safety and security, to be able to explore who you are.
And what became really clear as we were growing up, I remember the day my dad was laid off from his job at General Motors. I came home, and I was maybe eight or nine years old, and I asked Mom, “Why is Dad home?” She said, “He got laid off today,” and I had no idea what that meant as an eight-year-old kid.
“What does that mean?” “Well, he doesn’t have work anymore, and we’re not sure when he’s going to have work again.” I didn’t know much, but I knew that wasn’t good. I also had this kid-like excitement that my dad was going to be around more, but that was not the case really, because he was working too hard to find a way to make money, and he decided to start his own business, and ultimately, that was a struggle for many years.
It got to a point where we were literally not sure when food was going to come on the table next. It became a prevailing teaching from my parents, my grandparents, and our teachers in school, to their credit too, saying, “You want to have a future, you’ve got to go to college. That’s the way now.”
Thankfully, I was suited for that because I loved school. So, I very clearly saw that as a way that I could springboard my life.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: But I wonder also if this is something you’ve reflected on, and this is something it seems like our country is reflecting on, that, growing up in a generation where the men that you idolize growing up are losing their work and their identity. And I can only imagine the anxiety that those men feel, even if they’re not vocalizing it, that that would affect a kid, right, who gets given a big chance-
JASON MILLER: Man, you hit it right on the head. I know that because I got emotionally provoked from that question and that comment. It’s still going on so strong in our county and our culture. We are not where we are right now without that Rust Belt trauma that happened in our culture.
I mean, I cannot tell you what it’s like to grow up in an environment where dads and moms don’t know who they are and what their values are, right? They’ll never vocalize it that way, but there’s a sense of it. Just growing up in a town like Sandusky, where the downtown, beautiful waterfront, the whole time I grew up, it was just decaying, right?
Just that symbol, alone, of growing up in that environment, and factories that are closed with caving-in roofs and houses.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: But you got out. What did you do after college, and where were you going?
JASON MILLER: I got out, yeah. I got out. I stumbled out of the gate. I didn’t know how to find a job in the professional world. I didn’t know how to network well. I thought networking was a phony activity. My first real job was with a startup that was actually a really poorly-run startup that ultimately, I got fired from.
Thankfully, I had enough of a track record of success in my academic career and belief in myself that I knew I could rebound, and I was determined to do it. So, I found an opportunity at Anderson Consulting, which turned into Accenture, and I was there for quite a long time.
I kind of gave myself to the organization because I said, “Show me the way. I’m ready, right? I fell down. I know I got a lot to learn. Show me how to do this well, and I will do it.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: What was it like? What was it like? Because you were there. You advanced. Talk us through the pace and what it felt like.
JASON MILLER: I hit my stride at Anderson. I plugged into the learning engine. A big reason why people go to the big-five firms is to come in and learn the fundamental skills to be a successful consultant. I learned those skills. I was successful in my client work.
I started to excel, got promoted within a year and a half, started to lead teams, decided, when I met my wife, that I wanted to get off the road, and took on a new role. And I worked for many years as the global marketing lead that managed our website for accenture.com.
And then I moved back into what I really wanted to do, which was this organizational development work. But being in a global environment, it’s on 24/7, right? So working early mornings and taking conference calls every night were pretty much the norm. And this is a common challenge in global roles.
We talked about this a lot at work, how difficult it is to really maintain balance in life when you’re “on” all the time and increasingly working from home too. So, it’s a unique kind of stress that comes from that. As I actually got into that role that I was really suited to do, I was really starting to hit some real big success in a global role, right?
It’s exactly what I wanted and what I envisioned for myself. The only problem is, when I actually started to experience it, I don’t think I really believed I could do it.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Why?
JASON MILLER: Old self-doubt from where I came from, because I would find myself talking to partners and senior executives, and managing a senior executive team, wondering, “Who the hell’s talking right now? It’s not me.” It was just this feeling of deception, and that created a lot of inner tension in me.
Of course, what happens when you’re successful is that people want more of you. And that’s exactly what you want, but it becomes a monster that can really eat on itself very easily.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: So what happened?
JASON MILLER: Well, I didn’t have any way of coping with it. And I’ve looked back, and I was so focused in my head on just getting through every day, and worrying all the time, and starting to lose sleep. That got all bound up inside me. So, as I’ve learned about the body’s response to stress, the body stores stress, right?
So it holds stress inside the body, and I wasn’t aware of this sort of thing. I just thought, “I’m tense. So what? That’s just part of being stressed. Life is stressful.” That’s just what I thought, right?
MORRA AARONS-MELE: “I’m a grown man with a family to support.” Yeah.
JASON MILLER: It’s just the way it is, because I grew up in an environment where people are stressed all the time.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: So Jason, one night, you went to the ER. What happened?
JASON MILLER: I found myself suddenly in a condition where I was short of breath, starting to feel like I was going to pass out, tingling in my left arm, and those sounded a lot like symptoms of a heart attack. I got to the emergency room, and they immediately admitted me.
And I’m in disbelief because I was only 40 at the time, and I’m thinking to myself, “I really don’t know how I got here.” It was really scary. I was being treated, and they were handling me really well. But I’m lying there, and I’m really just in complete disbelief. And my wife and my five-year-old son are close by, as this is all going on.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Had your son … I have had this happen to me really recently. The ambulance came to my house at about 7:00, and my children had to watch me get wheeled out. I remember sitting in the hospital in the ER, crying, thinking, “I’ve ruined my children’s lives. They’ve seen Mommy think she was dying.”
JASON MILLER: I had a similar experience because when they pulled up, and because of the symptoms I was having, they immediately put me in a wheelchair. I remember being in that place too, Morra. And I was thinking, “What must Ethan be thinking right now, as I’m getting wheeled into the emergency room?” I was so scared for him. What he must be experiencing as he’s seeing his dad like this. That was overwhelming. Obviously, it is still very overwhelming.
And I remember lying on my bed in the emergency room. And after they had watched me for a while, my son, Ethan, and my wife, Jen, were allowed to come and see me. I’ll never forget Ethan coming to my bedside.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Yeah, he must’ve been so happy that you were okay.
JASON MILLER: He came to my bedside. My son is one of the most empathic children I’ve ever met in my life. Even at five years old, he came up to me, put his hand on my arm, and said, “Dad, are you okay?” I just lost it. I just lost it. He wanted to know I was okay. He was truly wanting to make sure I was okay.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Of course. So what was the diagnosis? What happened to you?
JASON MILLER: They had a surgeon come. Because of the tingling I had in my left arm, I actually had developed a back condition in my stress-induced anxiety over time, and I had this neuropathy in my arm from a pinched nerve in my neck.
The neurosurgeon came in and looked at me. That was the other defining moment. He’s the one that said to me, “From what we looked at in your X-rays, there isn’t a need for surgery. And as far as your heart condition goes, we can’t find any evidence of there being a heart attack.”
And he looked at me straight in the eye and he said … it’s still hard to say. He said, “You have got to get your stress in order, or you’re going to die young.” 40. I’m sitting there, and in my mind, I’m still thinking I’m 25. So the combination of Ethan, that face, that small little face, his hand on me, and that doctor’s warning, that was a true wake-up call for me.
It was really the first time I really understood the power of the mind over the body. And I said, “I have heard about people stressing themselves to an early grave, but now I actually see how this works.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: You could feel it, I’m sure.
JASON MILLER: I could feel it in my whole body. In my mind, in my body, I could feel it, and it was scary as hell. I said, “My God, I can literally kill myself.” That was the thought that kept me up all night that night in the ER. That was that classic dark night of the soul that you have. That was the wake-up call that I’m laying there thinking, “What am I so anxious about? Why did I end up here?”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Did you use the word anxious? Was anxious the word that connected for you? Stressed or all of it?
JASON MILLER: I think worry was the word I thought of. “What am I so worried about? What am I so deeply worried about?” So I just wrote that night. I got a piece of paper … I asked for a piece of paper, and I started writing down all the things that were worrying me, and the list was lengthy. It filled the page, and it was extremely insightful to see that list of stuff.
I’m like, “This is what’s happening inside of me,” which is in all the stories I’m telling myself about how I am a phony and a fake, and I’m worried about being caught and not being taken care of, and failing and losing money, and losing security, losing the house. I mean, literally, just like the sky could collapse around me, right?
So, that was a really, really hard moment, but it was my wake-up call. I literally said to myself, “If I have the power to do this to myself, I have the power to do anything I want.” I kind of believed it at the time, but not really, right, because I was in that state.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: That sounds like a very healthy thought for someone sitting in the ER after getting-
JASON MILLER: I had that thought, but of course, I’m sitting there thinking, “This has got to be true even though I’m not feeling it,” right? So, I started to think about what I really wanted to be. If this is the price, this is not worth it. After I got out, I decided I was going to take a leave of absence from work.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: But was there ever a sense in your mind, “Okay, they’ll be here for me, but if I go back there, this will happen again”? Or did that take you a while to get to that place?
JASON MILLER: In the early days of my leave, I said, “I can’t go back.” I was convinced, “There’s no way I can go back there. It will consume me again. I’m completely burned out with that place. I can’t do it anymore.” All those thoughts. In the first month especially, I was telling people that.
I was like, “Yeah, I’m done.” I was like, “I just have to figure it out in the next … ” because I had a three-month leave. It was a FMLA leave – 90 days to figure out what I was going to do, and that’s how I started the journey. But while I was doing that, I was trying to heal myself.
I leaned on just about every possible resource I could get my hands on. I said, “What opportunity will I have again in my life to have this time off, like this, to focus on me, and getting it right?” I reached out to a therapist. I started working with a therapist almost immediately.
I started working with an executive coach, who worked on a deep coaching capacity with me. I learned mindfulness during this time. I took a mindfulness class. I started yoga because my back was in shambles, and the doctor told me that was something that would actually heal me, both mind and body.
I started doing physical therapy to get my back strengthened. I allowed myself to do things to give my spirit life, like going in nature and playing music and spending time with Ethan. I truly prioritized myself, and I have so much gratitude to my employer at the time and my boss, especially. My boss’s boss was the same. They changed my life by supporting me in that way.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Did you go back?
JASON MILLER: The end of the three months … As I got stronger and started to understand my own stories about myself, and I had capabilities to manage my stress, I started feeling stronger at the end of my three months, and I said, “I think I can do this, and I got to try it in the new way. It’s just going to follow me where I go.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Wherever you go, there you are. [crosstalk 00:22:14].
JASON MILLER: There you are. Exactly. Precisely. So I said, “Makes no … ” This is by the help of … My therapist, quite honestly, helped me to see this. Of course, I had wonderful family support I didn’t mention. Jen, my wife, was enormously supportive during this time.
I decided I got to do this. It was scary as hell. I remember the night before I went back to work. I had an awful nightmare. I wrote it in my journal because it was just so awful. It amounted to me literally going into a war-torn territory with who were likely Accenture partners and executives, who literally were taking shots at me, literally shooting at me.
It was like this apocalyptic kind of setting that I had in my mind. That’s how scared I was to go back to work. I said, “I’ve got to do it.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: You’ve got to do it, because why? Because you need the money? You can’t let people down? This is your job? You’re a grown man?
JASON MILLER: There’s some of that, but it was also a part of my growth. I knew that I had to go back to face this. Not to be too cliché, but in Star Wars, it’s the hero’s journey. Luke has to go to the cave to face Darth Vader, right? You have to face your shadows.
I mean, I wasn’t stress free. That doesn’t go away. Stress never goes away, but now I had all these tools and capabilities to manage it more effectively, and I stayed with it. I was able to talk openly with my boss, thank God for that.
I tried out a “new me.” I also leaned in this direction. I decided when I was on that leave that I was going to go into executive coaching. That was a healing process for me as well because-
MORRA AARONS-MELE: As a profession.
JASON MILLER: As a big part of what I do, yeah. In leadership development, yep.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: You also said something. You said, when we talked before, you’ve learned to embrace the “woo.”
JASON MILLER: Yeah.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: I love that. How did you bring your woo to this very corporate culture, and how did that work for you? It sounds like it worked great.
JASON MILLER: Oh yeah, I love that you brought that up, because the more I have embraced my woo woo, the more power I’ve had in the work I’ve done, and I’m doing it in spades. Every year, I’m getting a little more weird in the work I’m doing.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: I don’t think it’s weird. I feel like it’s integrative.
JASON MILLER: Exactly, and that’s the story we tell ourselves, right?
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Totally.
JASON MILLER: My limiting story I was telling myself was keeping me from giving my gifts. And that was a big part of the racket I had going on. I was suppressing my real self. My true nature was being suppressed into this identity I felt like I had to manage and keep up.
Of course, the jig is up at some point, if you’re doing the big game of deception, you’re going to get caught. But if you’re not deceiving people and you’re truly being your true nature, there’s no deception anymore.
So I don’t see it as woo woo at all anymore. It’s me. And I’m like, “Hey, I’m bringing me. And I’m rooting in it, and you’re going to react how you react to it. That’s yours, not mine.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch with my kids. It was about 7:00 at night, and all of a sudden, I felt like I had to go to sleep. My breath became very tight, my vision went blurry, and I felt like I couldn’t move my limbs.
I started to spin. I was scared for my life and went upstairs, laid on my bed and was so scared. I said to my husband, “I think you need to call 911.” They came. They came very quickly and took me to the ER, because I’m telling you, I thought that I was having a stroke or a heart attack or something terrible.
Now, it turns out I was having a really bad panic attack. I’ve had panic attacks before, and honestly, I did not recognize this one coming. It felt like it hit me randomly, like a bolt of lightning, and I didn’t recognize the symptoms. I just felt like I was dying.
When I came out of it, and after I had sort of slept it off the next day, I felt emotionally like I had regressed about 35 years. I just wanted someone to come and tell me, I didn’t have to do anything, that I could sort of leave my life and responsibilities for a few days and be taken care of.
I swear, I just wanted to be a little kid again and have my mom take care of me. And when I discussed this a few days later with my therapist, she said, “Morra, I know that you want to be this powerful, successful person, but maybe that’s not who you are. Maybe it’s not right for you.”
And I swear, even though, yes, I have written a book about finding the work life that is right for you, not getting on that rocket ship if it’s not who you are, I was ashamed when she said that. And I wanted to tell her she was wrong, and I was nauseous.
Ambition is a toll, and perhaps for some of us, it’s not the right fit. I think that, for a lot of us that struggle, is what may create a lot of anxiety and, for more people than we know, end us up in the ER. Recently, a New York Magazine writer, Katie Heaney, asked a really provocative question about her anxiety. She asked, “Is my work motivated by drive or fear?”
She explained how she sets really rigid and aggressive goals for her workday and her output, and she mostly achieves them, but when she doesn’t achieve those goals, she feels sick and riven with anxiety. I think, for me, pushing myself to achieve goals that are not the right goals for me is what ended me up in the ER. How do you know you’ve ever done enough? Not knowing can show up in some scary and some very physical ways.
It’s really an honor to have Dr. David Barlow on The Anxious Achiever. Today, we’re going to talk about specific ways to treat anxiety and learn from Dr. Barlow that anxiety itself is not bad. There is a right level of anxiety that we should all have, especially as leaders.
Dr. David Barlow is founder and director emeritus for the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. His clinical research focuses on understanding the nature of anxiety and depression and developing new treatments for these disorders. And he will walk us through some examples of treatments for common phobias or anxieties that we may feel.
But again, I just want to emphasize that he will make you feel better about your anxiety. The key is rightsizing it, and that is the quest that I think many of us are working on. You have written that control is an illusion. And as an anxious person, just reading that scares me. How does the anxious person cope with that concept?
DAVID BARLOW: Well, objectively speaking, we do not have as much control over events in our lives as perhaps we might think or, certainly, as we would like. But there’s an interesting difference between people who function well and have no more than moderate anxiety and people with very severe anxiety, about having an illusion of control.
So an illusion of control is a very healthy state of mind. It basically is an attitude or an attribution, a cognition, that pretty much anything that comes along that day could be a challenge, but you’re going to be able to handle it. The illusion of control will build the habit that, chances are, nothing really bad is going to happen today. You don’t really expect to run into any situations that you can’t handle.
Well, we know that people who feel that way … another term for that would be optimist, people who really think that the glass is half full, that life is pretty good, that they’re doing fine, that they can handle things well, and they’re going to come out on the other side.
We know people with that state of mind are, generally, in fact, objectively going to do better in life. They’re going to perform better.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Can optimism be taught?
DAVID BARLOW: Yes, absolutely, it can be, and that’s what procedures such as cognitive behavioral therapy really focus on. I don’t want to mislead people into thinking anxiety is necessarily a bad thing, because it isn’t. In fact, it’s a very important part of our functioning.
But again, if gets to be very severe, if you feel like every challenge you confront in your life is out of your control, it is so difficult that you have very little hope of being able to deal with it successfully to perform at a high level-
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Or if you’re like me and every routine plane flight you take, you expect to crash.
DAVID BARLOW: Yep, if you have that attribution, even though rationally, you probably realize that flying is the safest way to travel-
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Yes, I’ve heard that before.
DAVID BARLOW: -much safer than driving. You have to fly every day consecutively for 32,000 years before the odds would come up that your plane would crash. So, that’s the realistic odds. But nonetheless yeah, if you have these, kind of, negative attributions and thoughts of catastrophes coming up, we call people like that catastrophizers, and there’s a lot of us.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Are you one?
DAVID BARLOW: I have some very good friends and other people close to me who are.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: You love some catastrophizers, okay.
DAVID BARLOW: That’s right, yeah. But I certainly am anxious from time to time, during the day. But again, having some anxiety in your life, that’s what’s going to ensure that, first of all, you’re going to be prepared for, let’s say, the next lecture, or the next business meeting, or the next encounter, and that you are going to, let’s say, perform at your best in that kind of setting.
So anxiety really can be a friend. It’s a very important part of our functioning. Without it, we would not be performing well at all, and we would get very little done.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: What about those of us though, who almost – I think the term is defensive pessimism – have cultivated, over many years, even decades sometimes, this sense that, if only I expect the worst, it wouldn’t happen? That’s hard to relearn, isn’t it?
DAVID BARLOW: Yeah, it’s sort of the notion, “Be prepared for the worst,” and if I think about the worst … at more moderate levels, that’s a very adaptive function.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Let’s talk about phobia for a sec. One thing I heard from a listener, which actually, it was around 9/11, that they had a phobia of elevators, which I’m sure you hear a lot, and it was really hard. Now, imagine that person is about to get offered a new job, but it’s on the 41st floor of a building, and they have to take that elevator multiple times a day, and it triggers that phobia. What happens? How do you treat it?
DAVID BARLOW: Well, in that case, we move … we talked about cognitive behavioral therapy, and we move to the behavioral side of things. We’re still dealing with what they’re thinking about it. I mean, if you ask them what they’re really thinking – and often, they don’t really know at first – but when we explore it with them, they’ll say, “Well, I might be trapped and run out of oxygen, and I’ll suffocate.”
So, we go through the same sort of thing. “Well, what’s the probability of that?” And the process I described earlier. But then, these are not rational thoughts, as you know, so we might do some imaginary experience of flying. “Okay, now pretend you’re on a plane. Imagine that the plane is lurching. Imagine that you hear these sounds.”
Then we might take the next step and do virtual reality, and there’s software that allows you to actually feel like you’re flying, and it’s getting more and more realistic, the Oculus and various programs out now.
But finally, at our clinic, we have organized for a pilot at our local airport to have a small plane ready for a graduation flight after we get the people … these are typically people who haven’t flown for years.
So, they’ll be able to get on the plane. The pilot’s very good at this. They’ll explain everything to them and fly around a little bit. They might do that several times, and what will happen is that, what the person has learned about the probabilities will kick in, and the fear will, as we say, extinguish. It will greatly reduce.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: I would imagine, also, you could ride in an elevator in a skyscraper with someone, or take the subway or T, or whatever.
DAVID BARLOW: Exactly, we do that quite a bit.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: So what would you say to a hiring manager that they should know if they’re hiring someone with an anxiety disorder that might be triggered by these very specific incidences?
DAVID BARLOW: Well, I think it’s important to remember that you want to be moderately anxious. Moderate anxiety is your friend. That’s going to be with you and-
MORRA AARONS-MELE: I’m putting that on a bumper sticker. I need to remember that.
DAVID BARLOW: Right. A lot of people do. I mean, people spend billions of dollars trying to eliminate their anxiety. No, you don’t want to eliminate your anxiety. Anxiety’s there for a reason. It’s a normal human emotion, and it serves a function. It serves a purpose, just like fear does.
Fear is a very useful emotion if there’s something really to be afraid of. Anxiety’s more about what’s going to happen in the future. Anxiety’s been called for a long time … early on, psychologists called anxiety the shadow of intelligence, because of the planning function of anxiety. It helps you plan for the future.
Anybody … and it’s very natural to be anxious in a situation like that. You want to do your best, so that’s what anxiety is for. I think a good HR person will see that if they … and this is what many of them do. We all do this in interviews. If we start off with some casual conversation, the events of the day, “How was your trip in?” Sort of get people talking.
And then you slip into some of the more substantive stuff. Then you’ve got people’s attention. They’re focusing on the conversation. When are you going to get the occasional highly anxious person to freeze? If they walk into the office, and you’re sitting behind your desk and not smiling, and you say something like, “Tell me why you should get this job. Tell me why I should hire you.”
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Or they don’t look up from their email.
DAVID BARLOW: Exactly. They say something like that, and then you’re likely to get a freezing-up.
MORRA AARONS-MELE: Hey achievers, any The Big Lebowski fans out there? I have been blown away by the feedback that I’ve gotten from you about this show. It really touches me. You have sent me tips about everything, from doing yoga to books I could read, people I could talk to.
I feel like we’re on a journey together, and I’m really grateful for your feedback, and I want to hear more of it. I’d also love to hear any questions that you’d like me to take up, types of guests you’d like to hear from, or issues you’d like me to talk about.
So, if you have something to say, and it doesn’t have to be good, I am working on accepting critical feedback, you could email email@example.com. Again, if you have feedback for the show or for me, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s it for this week’s show. If you like what you’ve heard, be sure to subscribe and submit a review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your shows. Special thanks to the team at Harvard Business Review, my producer Mary Dooe, and our incredible guests who tell their stories from the heart. From the HBR Presents network, I’m Morra Aarons-Mele, and this is The Anxious Achiever.