Why Learning to Label Your Feelings Makes You a Better Leader

Talking about Self-Awareness and Anxiety (with Hello Monday’s Jessi Hempel)


MORRA AARONS MELE: I’m Morra Aarons-Mele, and this is The Anxious Achiever. We look at stories from business leaders who’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. How they fell down, how they pick themselves up and how they hope workplaces can change in the future. Perhaps my favorite moment in today’s interview is when our guest Marc Brackett admits that people with entitled attitudes really, really set him off. “I’m triggered easily.” He says. He just puts it out there. Marc has a lot of triggers based on his upbringing. And here’s a newsflash. Your boss gets triggered too. It happens to most of us.

We’re triggered consciously and unconsciously all the time at work. And although we use the term colloquially, in psychological terms, a trigger is something intense. It’s a stimulus. It could be a smell, a sound, a sight, another person’s actions that triggers feelings of trauma. You may recall my interview with Afghan war veteran, Jason Kander, who talked about his inability to sit down with anyone in back of him at a restaurant, for example, until he got treatment for his PTSD.

But in smaller ways, many of us are being set off all day long and re-enacting bad habits or old defense mechanisms with our teams and at work. Triggers can be small. You might notice that your stomach flips or you feel a feeling of dread when you see a certain word, or someone’s name pop up in your inbox. They might be bigger. When unemployment numbers skyrocket, you might feel nauseous and unable to focus, even though you still have a job and nothing in your life has changed.

So, here’s a challenge. When an interaction or a situation sets you off, examine why. The unresolved business from your past, as we’ll hear from Marc Brackett today, is present and relevant to how we all work in lead. Marc Brackett PhD is the founder and director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that’s been adopted by nearly 2,000 schools globally. And it’s great for adults too. His book, Permission to Feel is one of my favorites.

Well, how are you Marc? And of course, I asked that, I should probably ask maybe where you are on the mood meter right now. And maybe you could explain what that is and why it’s important to be specific.

MARC BRACKETT: All right, that’s going to take the whole hour. I have to say, I am personally, emotionally all over the place. I feel right now in my life, I’m chronically overwhelmed. Angry at a lot of things, sad at other things, anxious about other things. And so, I’m glad I have a sophisticated emotional vocabulary so I can communicate effectively. Not that everybody wants to listen, which is getting at your question really. This question, how are you feeling? It can be a loaded question, right? Because there’s assumptions made, right? That A, the person asking really cares. B, that the person who is being asked is self-aware and C, that the person who asked the question is willing to listen, right? And support what they hear.

And so, I think that’s why many of us go through life saying, how’s it going? And then we say fine. And we move on. But for me, granularity in terms of being emotionally self-aware is really important because you have to label your feelings to know what to do with your feelings. And that’s why we have the tool like the Mood Meter, which is the key tool to our approach to teaching emotional intelligence. And put simply the Mood Meter is a box that has four color boxes in it. As I tell people, it’s a deceptively simple tool because to really use it wisely, you have to understand the core principles of emotional awareness.

So you wake up in the morning and you’re doing some reflection typically, right? Do I want to approach the day? Do I want to avoid the day? Do I feel safe? Do I feel unsafe? Do I feel pleasant? Do I feel unpleasant? And then you’re checking in with your body a little bit. Do I feel energized today or do I feel really tired and depleted today? And it’s those two axes that together form the four quadrants. We’ve got the yellow, the red, the blue and the green.

So yellow, high energy and pleasant emotions like happy and excited and jubilant and elated, ecstatic. The green is pleasant, but low on energy. Calm, content, tranquil, peaceful, relaxed, and then the blue and the red. I just want to say upfront, they’re called negative emotions, which I think is a bad term. They’re not bad emotions, they’re just unpleasant feelings.

So the right quadrant, right? Unpleasant high in energy. So the anxiety family, the anger family, and then the blue, which is that lower left are the emotions that are unpleasant, but low in energy. So you can think of it, sadness, loneliness, depression, despair, et cetera.

MORRA AARONS MELE: So explain how to understand and label how you feel is a leadership skill. Because I think that, that is one of the most important messages that I took away from your book. And there’s a lot of data here.

MARC BRACKETT: There is. And so, for leaders that are listening, what I would say is, I’ve done a lot of consulting for big companies. Whether they be tech companies like Microsoft and Google and Pinterest and Twitter, financial companies, I won’t mention them. The attitude is wide ranging. I remember going to this one very elite hedge fund. And I think the person said to me something like, “Interesting talk Marc, but I don’t need these skills. I mean, look at my office?”

MORRA AARONS MELE: It was big I take it.

MARC BRACKETT: Yeah. It was a big corner office on the Hudson River. And I was like, “Tell me more.” And he’s like, “Maybe I’ll bring in to train the people who work for me because then they’ll have the skills to deal with me.” And I remember thinking, I cannot wait to do these interviews. People have this misconception of emotional intelligence, oftentimes because of its popularization, right? That it’s about charisma, it’s about “being successful”.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Well, it’s about sales. I think that people understand the role of EQ in sales, but they don’t necessarily see beyond that.

MARC BRACKETT: Exactly. My question for people is, do you know how the people feel who work for you? Most people are like, “What are you talking about?” Well, I look around and I say, well, looking at people’s facial expressions and body language, you’re going to probably get it wrong more than 50% of the time. In a big study that we did with about 15,000 people across the workforce, we looked at supervisor emotionally intelligent behavior. Really about how skilled was the supervisor in demonstrating that they care for others. How skilled with the supervisor around regulating their own feelings when they were stressed out and overwhelmed or angry. And then when we’re curious, were there differences in groups when the supervisor had higher versus lower emotion skills? And it was remarkable. I mean honestly, 50% difference in feelings of inspiration among the employees.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Wow.

MARC BRACKETT: They were 50% higher when you work for someone who was high on emotional intelligence. So, by way of example, people said they felt inspiration about 25% of the time when they work for someone who was low in emotional intelligence. And 75% of the time when they work for someone high on emotional intelligence. I mean, think about how inspiration might play out in a company in terms of creativity, productivity, relationships.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Energy.

MARC BRACKETT: Energy, all of that. And then we found frustration was the opposite, right? That they were… It was like 60% to 70% of the time they felt frustrated. And only 30% to 40% of the time in the groups where there was an emotionally intelligent supervisor. And then we looked at things like engagement and burnout, intention to [inaudible] a profession, ethical behavior, and all in the expected directions. Organizations that have leaders with higher emotional intelligence have employees who function better and perform better.

MORRA AARONS MELE: So I have a nitty-gritty question, which is something I think about, because I think that there’s… To me, there’s the emotional intelligence of understanding how people react to me in a work setting. Then there’s the larger situation of how people who work for me feel outside of me, right? Are they anxious in their everyday life? Are they going through a hard, personal moment? What does a leader need to focus on first? If you’re like, all right. I’m going to become an emotion scientist. Do you start with really understanding yourself and how you might make other people feel? Or do you think about how do I understand the whole lives of the people who work for me? Does that make sense?

MARC BRACKETT: Yeah. And I love that you used the term in my book, emotion scientists, because that’s my goal, is to make or help everyone become an emotion scientist, as opposed to what I call the emotion judge. I’m going to go into a different arena for a minute-

MORRA AARONS MELE: Sure.

MARC BRACKETT: Parenting. Parents come to these trainings that we do, and they say things like, “Teach me how to make my kid more emotionally intelligent.” And then they leave saying, “Oh crap, I got a lot of work to do on myself.” Because they think that I’m like… It reminds me when I… My other background is in martial arts. Parents used to drop off their kids to my martial arts studio and say, “Teach my kid discipline.” And I’m like, “I got them for one hour a week. Well, how about I teach them martial arts and you teach them discipline?”

MORRA AARONS MELE: Exactly.

MARC BRACKETT: In the workplace, it’s the same thing, is that we as managers, as leaders, we have to be emotionally intelligent role models.

MORRA AARONS MELE: That’s hard.

MARC BRACKETT: It’s hard because we haven’t had an emotion education. Since most people who are managing companies and leading companies didn’t have that emotion education, we’ve got to start where they’re at. So with that said, firstly, it’s never too early, never too late to start working on these skills. So I just want to put that out there. The areas of our brain responsible for building emotion vocabulary, and learning strategies to manage our feelings are there and ready for us to fill it in.

So, A: role model, right? Be the role model, right? Do you create the space for your own emotions, but you also create this space for other people to talk about their feelings. And it’s a good example, actually, that I have from my own center. And I’m talking behind my executive director’s back right now, who is from the business world and he’s a friend and he knows that I’m going to say this story because it’s one of our little jokes.

So Scott is a great guy and he’s my co-director, but he comes from Wall Street. And after his first month, he came to my office and he said to me something like, “All right, what’s the deal here? How much time do I need to spend in meetings checking in with how people are feeling?” And I’m like, “A lot more than you’re used to.”

And so that’s an important point though, because there can be too much feeling, right? We do have work to do.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Right.

MARC BRACKETT: It’s not my job to deal with all of your emotions. We are in a workplace and we have to learn how to manage our own feelings. Of course, we have to create environments where people feel safe and connected and supported and valued and heard because that just exacerbates negative feelings if it’s not there. And so, my argument to most leaders… As a matter of fact, I just did this maybe two days ago with a very big company. And I had the C-suite and I built what I call the emotional intelligence charter with them because we’re going to be doing this project for a long period of time. And I said, “Tell me, how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel working on this team together?”

And people were like, “What are you talking about?” I’m like, “I really want to know. This is hard work and we’re going to be doing major things together. How do we want to feel working on a team?” And we came up with very interesting words, like connected, supported, heard, valued, creative, inspired. And then the next question is, “Well, what are we going to do to get there? So what are the indicators for that? How are we going to evaluate how our team is functioning?” You can imagine that not everyone would be comfortable facilitating that conversation.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Right.

MARC BRACKETT: You need a little bit of emotional intelligence to be comfortable even leading that conversation. Yeah, I just think that we miss so much by not making sure that we check in with feelings in the workplace.

MORRA AARONS MELE: When you’re working on this stuff with big companies, do you feel like you have to spend time convincing them that this is good for their bottom line? Or do they get it that “Oh, emotions might make it better to work here.” What’s the balance?

MARC BRACKETT: It’s a normal distribution. So, with the-

MORRA AARONS MELE: I failed… Okay, thanks. I was going to say, did not do that well in statistics.

MARC BRACKETT: It’s okay. I’ve taught statistics so I can actually explain it. What I mean by that is that it’s a third get out of my face. A third are neutral. And a third are like, give me more, give me more, give me more.

MORRA AARONS MELE: And does it have to do with the level of power? Because you say actually in your book that people with more… I mean, I want to read it because I actually have the page open. Page 234. “Research shows that high power individuals tend to be less responsive to the emotions of people around them.” So is it the high power people who are like, “Nah, don’t need this.” Or do they just follow all along the bell curve?

MARC BRACKETT: There’s probably enough. We did the bell curve within the high-power people. It’s a little skewed. And I think it’s interesting when you think about power, right? Because high power people don’t necessarily think that they need people. When you’re lower on the totem pole, you really need a lot of resources, right? And supports to get to where you are. But once you reach the top, you’re on the top.

It’s totally wrong thinking because what you don’t realize is that you’ve got 40,000 people that report to you that actually are really making a difference or not in terms of your company’s success. But we don’t think of it that way because we’re very individualistic in our society.

MORRA AARONS MELE: But one of the coolest things that you say, and I loved this is that you talk about how understanding emotions can help with leadership emergence. And I don’t know if I read that right. But I liked to think about that as when people are newer leaders. They could have an edge and gain more influence even than their stodgy boss if they do have that emotional intelligence and can understand feelings better and work through that.

MARC BRACKETT: As an aspiring leader myself, I consider myself always being in learning mode. I became a professor because I wanted to walk around campus and talk with my students about life. And now I don’t really teach very much anymore and I run a center with 60 employees.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Right.

MARC BRACKETT: When you’re younger and you’re newer in your work, dealing with conflict is not as challenging. But now, I have a leadership team and you want to use more distributive leadership. And then you have people who don’t agree with each other and you have people who have different personalities and people who want to be heard more and people who want their voices and the list goes on and you’re stuck with these, “What do I do? How do I manage this? And can I just make the decision?” Because I’m like, “Don’t want to wait any longer.”

MORRA AARONS MELE: Right.

MARC BRACKETT: These are all emotion focused challenges, right? They’re not cognitive challenges. And I just don’t think that we prepare people enough to reflect on that. What I’m reminded of is how many years ago I had someone working with me who was difficult. Let’s put it that way. And essentially what I learned was that, that person told the people who reported to the person that, “If you have a problem with me, you deal with it with me. Don’t go to Marc. He’s too busy.” So, a lot of dysfunction happened on this one team that I was completely unaware of.

And then when this person ended up leaving, all the people that reported came to me and said, “Oh my God. We were so unhappy. And we wanted to speak to you, but we were afraid we’re going to lose our jobs because of it.” And so in many ways I feel bad that I didn’t develop this person better or had more time to spend with this person to develop their emotion skills. Because as an emerging leader in our center, A, it ended up not working out for this person, but B: employees really suffered and they were spending a lot of time looking for other jobs. I didn’t know any of it.

MORRA AARONS MELE: And I think that’s the thing, is that this stuff is hard and people are a pain in the ass. It takes effort and when life is hard and you’re tired and sometimes you just want to go home, you don’t want to hear someone else’s problems. You have an anecdote in the book I wanted you to talk about. You had a student who was really arrogant and she wrote you a crummy note and didn’t do her exam. And then she said she wanted to work for you. And she was really entitled. And you decided to chase her down and try to figure out what was going on. Why did you do this? Why did you spend time figuring out what was going on with this one arrogant and entitled student? And what parallels does that have for managers?

MARC BRACKETT: Well, it goes back to, “Marc, what is your job?” “Oh, you’re the Director of the Center for Emotional Intelligence.”

MORRA AARONS MELE: Okay.

MARC BRACKETT: I grew up in with very humble roots. Neither one of my parents went to college. My father was an air conditioning repairman. So now I work at an Ivy League university where people’s upbringings were mostly very different from my own. And so I don’t relate well to entitlement. I had a really… Bust my, you know what my whole life. Nothing was really given to me. And I didn’t even know what Yale was to be honest with you when I was growing up.

MORRA AARONS MELE: You’re kidding.

MARC BRACKETT: It seemed like a foreign country.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Wow.

MARC BRACKETT: And I never would have thought… Even if I knew what it was, I didn’t think I was somebody who belonged there. And so now I’m a full professor there and I’m triggered easily because I’m 51-

MORRA AARONS MELE: Entitlement triggers you.

MARC BRACKETT: It’s one of my big triggers. And so this particular student basically just was dismissive and then she didn’t show up for the exam. And I said, “I’m not sure what’s going on here.” And she said something like, well… I think it was something like, “Well, you’re just such a fun professor. I didn’t think you would really care.” “I’m like really?” And then wrote me a letter where it said, “I am so effing this and effing that. And I cannot believe this is happening.

MORRA AARONS MELE: I cannot believe that she put that in an email.

MARC BRACKETT: Crazy. And so I think where this can be a teachable moment for people is that I have a lot of triggers based on my upbringing. We all do, whether we’re conscious of them or not. And so entitlement is one of my triggers. Another one of them, because I grew up very low middle-class, I didn’t have a lot of money is being ripped off. Going out for coffee right now is a trigger for me. Spending 5.75 on a cappuccino could make me to become like a, I don’t know what. So anyway, but I take my breath, I’m like, “Marc, you can afford it.” But I don’t want to spend it and I get angry and it’s like a whole thing. But anyway, this is today.

MORRA AARONS MELE: No, I love it. I love it. Because imagine, I would imagine if your staff orders a really extravagant, catered lunch for something. Does that trigger you?

MARC BRACKETT: Totally.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Yeah.

MARC BRACKETT: I’m like, you got to be kidding me. Even when my partner does it, I get irritated. I’m peeling sweet potatoes at home while you’re traveling and going out for your lobster. I’m like, there’s something wrong here. Anyway, I don’t need your audience to help me manage my feelings. But going back to this example. I think that we don’t realize as leaders and managers, that we are triggered either consciously or subconsciously all the time at work. By the way someone talks, by the way someone acts, by the way someone shows up late and doesn’t say anything. The list goes on. And what happens is it builds up inside of us, right? It’s like you accumulate this debt of anger or anxiety or whatever it might be. And then it shows up in weird places like at the bar every night and having your fifth martini or in displacing that anger with other family members.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Yelling at your partner, yeah.

MARC BRACKETT: Totally. And so this is life. The reason why I bring these examples up is that A, like my student, A, maybe she’s suffering, which I found out she was… What the story of the student was that she grew up in a family where it was a mom who was just way overly attached and had these fears of death. And her mother was calling her regularly checking in with her because her mother’s mother died while she was a college student. And so this particular mother was afraid that she was going to die before her daughter graduated college. So she just wanted to contact with her every single day and control her.

And so you wonder why this kid is freaking out every day and doesn’t know her… So all of a sudden my anger for her turned into deep empathy and compassion, which then helped me to problem solve with her a little bit. And I feel obligated as a professor at my university. I want our graduates to leave making a great impression on people. And I want her to achieve her dreams. So what can I do, right? To help her become more aware of the impact that she’s having on other people? Every leader should make that their goal, because A, you sleep better at night when you help other people out. And B, it’s going to just help you have a better organization.

MORRA AARONS MELE: You say that the thing that keeps you up at night is how your employees feel. Not that if your grants will come through, or if your center’s doing a good job, but how your people feel.

MARC BRACKETT: Because I know if they’re feeling more pleasant than unpleasant feelings, nobody’s not going to be anxious right now, right? So it’s okay. But I want them to feel more pleasant than unpleasant emotions at work, because I know that how they feel drives everything from their attentional capacity to their decision-making, to the quality of their relationships. I mean, think about it. How many of us like to work with a dysregulated colleague? And when you wake up in the morning, you don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I want to be productive today. I want to be creative today. I’m going to create a new vision for my team.” No, you say to yourself, “Oh, I got a stomachache. I can go in late. Or, you know what, let me look on Facebook. Or you know what, I’m going to look on whatever site to see if there’s other positions like mine somewhere else.”

MORRA AARONS MELE: Right. Or you avoid them, right? You just totally avoid them.

MARC BRACKETT: All the time. for years because I’m conflict avoidant. That’s one thing I’ve learned about myself. One of my favorite examples of emotional intelligence in my organization. Years ago, I had someone as an intern who has a major personality disorder and I empathize with that. But at the same time, it can be very disruptive to an organization. And so long story short, we’re in a meeting and this person looks at me and he goes, “If you don’t start listening to me, I predict your center’s going to crumble.” Right? And I was like, “Okay, what’s going on here?” And then my assistant at the time, she’s got a lot of agency and she stood up, she goes, “You can’t talk to Marc that way.” I’m thinking to myself, “I got to go to lunch or something. I’m out of here.”

And anyway, it was one of those moments in my career, I’m like, “What is happening in here? And who’s in charge by the way? What’s going to happen with this person? How am I going to get them out of here? How am I going to deactivate them? And what am I going to do with my assistant?” It was a big deal.

MORRA AARONS MELE: What’d you do?

MARC BRACKETT: The truth is I was so caught off guard and I didn’t really want to deal with it because I didn’t know how to deal with it in the moment. I said, “Oh my goodness. I had a lunch meeting.” And I was like, “We really can’t go there right now. But I’ll come back.” And I went for lunch and I called my friend, Doug who is a clinical psychologist. I’m like, “Doug, help me out. I don’t want to go back to my own office.”

And anyway. And again, I needed that space. I needed the space. And that’s another lesson, is that you can’t always solve your emotional challenges in the moment, especially when you’re really activated. You got to step back, you got to breathe. And sometimes you just need some help. And I worked through it and I went back and I was like, “We got to talk about what happened. There’s a lot of layers to this.” And then it didn’t work out and I had to let this person just know that they were not welcomed back in the center ever again. Because I didn’t realize there were things happening again. This is another example, then my assistant said, “A lot of people were having difficulty with him. He’s very, like not a good listener and challenges people without really knowing what he’s talking about.”

MORRA AARONS MELE: But did that make you feel guilty also? You’re supposed to be this master of emotional intelligence and yet this person still had to go. You couldn’t fix them.

MARC BRACKETT: Well, we can’t fix people. We can’t fix ourselves either, right?

MORRA AARONS MELE: Yeah.

MARC BRACKETT: And part of it is this is hard. It’s hard to make decisions in life. And this was an intern who wasn’t a full employee, so it was a little bit easier. One thing that I’ve learned through my own personal life is that sometimes we stay in relationship with people for too long. That’s when emotional intelligence becomes self… It’s not emotional intelligence. It’s when we become in many ways, self-saboteurs. Because we make excuses. Oh maybe this one happened and maybe that, and maybe this and maybe that, and then it’s five years later. We don’t want to go to work or we don’t talk to our significant others. I think that part of being emotionally intelligent is recognizing that sometimes you have to make really difficult decisions that don’t benefit everybody.

And I didn’t do it in a nasty and I didn’t yell at this person and say, you’re this and this. I was very clear. This is not behavior that is accepted here. And because I had learned, there was a history of it, that again people didn’t tell me and it drives me… It actually drives me crazy. I just had to say this because I feel, and again, this is my self-report, which might be overrated. That I try to send messages all the time to my team. Tell me what’s going on, please. I want to hear. And I just think that people have been born into this culture, at least in America, where it’s like they just don’t want to do it. They don’t want to share the negativity. They don’t want to… Maybe it means that if they don’t know how to deal with it and they don’t want to look like they’re not skilled.

And that’s what I try to… I use the millions of anecdotes of my own experiences to let people know this is really hard and it’s okay to mess up. And I think in many organizations, for example, at a place like Yale, where I work. There’s this thing that you have to be brilliant and that you can’t let… How could I let the professor know that I don’t understand something? That means that I’m inferior and I don’t really belong. And I’m an imposter. I just think this is why we need all this work on emotional intelligence, is because we’ve been nurtured in systems that make us think that being anxious and angry are bad things.

MORRA AARONS MELE: What’s the beauty of understanding how you feel? Does it inspire creativity or passion? How can really understanding how your emotions feed into all your other systems make your work life richer?

MARC BRACKETT: Because emotions are information. They’re a guide. And when we become compassionate emotion scientists, as opposed to critical emotion judges for ourselves and other people, right? It opens up all the possibilities. And for a leader… For me, by way of example, being granular and specific about my feelings is information that says Marc, maybe this is the wrong path for you. But don’t just go with your gut instinct, really dissect it a little bit. Is it just your fear of failure showing up here or is this really something that you just don’t want to do and believe is a dangerous wave forward? Or if I notice that I’m not feeling inspiration or excitement for a while, it’s like, all right. Well, how is that impacting my creativity in the writing that I’m doing in the way I’m managing people and what do I need to get there?

So the reason why labeling your emotions is so important is that it gives us a clue into what’s happening for us. And then we have to ask ourselves questions as those emotion scientists. Is this feeling helpful for my task at hand, for my writing today or my running a meeting, or when I do a presentation? What I was telling somebody the other day is that, someone like me who’s been doing this for a while. What I do oftentimes is redundant and it’s not exciting just to be straightforward. The Mood Meter, for example. I love the Mood Meter, but do you know how many times I’ve talked about the Mood Meter? I could have nightmares about the Mood Meter. But yet, your readers or listeners, I should say, they don’t know about it necessarily.

So then I have to reframe… Like I may enter into something where I’m like, uuhh. And I have to say, “All right, Marc, how is that uuhh going to impact the podcast? How is it going to impact the performance? How’s it going to impact my evaluation of this person’s grant proposal or whatever it is?” And then I sit with it and I’m like, all right. What feeling is going to best serve the audience? What feeling is going to best serve the meeting? And that tells me whether I can stay or shift. And if I need to shift, then I have to find out what that journey is going to look like. Do I listen to some music to pump me up? Do I need to engage in a reappraisal? For example, I’m making this up right now because I’m actually really enjoying this. But if I were really dreading it, I might say, “Wow, Marc. You’re going to get a whole new audience of people to hear about your work. That’s cool. Yeah.” So let me think about that. Not the, I have to talk about the same thing for the 15,000th time. Do you see what I’m getting at?

MORRA AARONS MELE: Well, it’s so funny and I’m so glad you said that because I think we all feel that especially at a certain point in our career, but I want to share with you that before we spoke, I was feeling really depressed. It’s been a really hard time, I think for all of us. And I actually thought about canceling because I was feeling so low. I thought, “How am I going to be able to fake my voice?” But learning from you, even though it’s the 35,000th time you’ve talked about this, it’s new to me. And I’m so drawn in by it that my mood now is renewed. That’s the label I would put. I feel full of inspiration, and I want this to be a really good podcast and I care again. And that’s just because I just spent time with you.

MARC BRACKETT: Well, thanks [inaudible 00:35:25]. Now I’m going to leave here feeling satisfied and relieved and like I have renewed purpose. So thank you.

MORRA AARONS MELE: Well, that’s it for this week’s show. Thank you to my producer, Mary Dooe. Thank you to the team at HBR and the studio team who make the audio happen, especially in these challenging times. I’m so grateful to our guests for sharing their experiences and for you, the listeners. Please send me feedback. If you want to hear, I’ve gotten some great feedback over the break, which I’ll be incorporating. You can email me at anxiousachiever@gmail.com, or Tweet me @morraam. And if you love the show, tell your friends. Subscribe or leave a review. From HBR Presents, this is Morra Aarons-Mele.



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