"At my healthiest, I am responsible, dependable, and courageous, and I move through the fear. But at my unhealthiest, I am severely anxious, depressive, incessantly worrying, and never able to see the bright side. Then you, at your best, are very responsible, courageous, dependable, but then at your worst you have way too many things going on, you make it more about you and less about others, and you can just push pain way down. I would focus more on the pain, and you would ignore the pain."
Are you a runner? A fighter? A thinker? A feeler? In this episode, we take a look at how people respond to fear, accounting for both healthy and unhealthy reactions and specifically exploring how Joe and his wife, Lindsay Dudeck, have used the Enneagram model to better understand the different ways they respond to fear. In an effort to respect fear’s place in our lives, we encourage meaningful, healthy disciplines that inspire healing, self-awareness, and empowerment.
Joe: Hi, there. I’m Joe Dudeck, President and founder of Keyhole Marketing.
Shannon: And I’m Shannon Jirik. I work for Keyhole as the Assistant Brand Manager.
Joe: And this is Metaphorically Speaking, a podcast that explores the mysterious side of marketing.
Joe: Welcome back to season two of Metaphorically Speaking, hopefully you’re enjoying our conversation about how fear impacts us in how we live, how we work, and how we play. If you haven’t got a chance to listen to the first couple of episodes in this series, feel free to go back and kind of take a listen from the beginning. We talk really about sort of the fact that everybody deals with fear. We dive into how people define fear for themselves and what some of our biggest fears are. Then we discussed in episode two, some of the science behind how fear physically lodges within us, so hopefully you’ll find those interesting and they can kind of set a good stage for what we’re going to talk about today, which is how we respond to fear; both healthy and unhealthy reactions to that.
Shannon: Well, it was funny, we were working together earlier today and just researching fear, and kind of talking about fear when Sufjan Stevens’ song, Love Yourself, actually came on, so to kind of start with the reflection, I wanted to share some of those lyrics that we were even listening to today. He says, “Love yourself. You are the one thing I needed. Share of yourself. Show me the things that you believe in.”
Joe: I’m a big sucker for a Sufjan song, so I’m so glad we found a chance to-
Shannon: Finally incorporate that in?
Joe: Yeah. I think that’s really a great segue into our conversation today and set up a nice foundation for us as we talk about our responses to fear. Sometimes intentional responses and other times just automatic responses and makes us think about some of the questions we ask people on our survey, where we first asked them how do they tend to respond when fear arises? We actually gave a couple options and then an opportunity to choose another if none of our options were relevant. But, recognize it and then run from it, either fight or challenge it, share it with your friends or family, pretend it’s not there altogether, or what’s your other response?
It was really interesting to find out kind of the top contenders in our responses were share with friends or family and fight or challenge it. Third place was other and we had some answers like pray, recognize a pattern and examine whether it’s a fear or a weakness, analyze it to identify the actual risk, which is often not there. Recognize it, dissect why, evaluate my options, address it and move on, process it for too long, put it off until I’m forced to address it. Again, we were just so grateful for the vulnerability in the answers we got and just really interesting to sort of see how people express their natural response to fear.
Shannon: Definitely. I found some of these responses actually pretty interesting. We had 36% say that they would fight it or challenge it head on. I think I expected to see a lot les of that and more people that kind of ran from it and were freaked out.
Joe: We should say this was of 50 people, so this was not 36% of three people who filled out our survey.
Shannon: Yeah, true, true. Yeah, I just thought that was interesting. I also loved to see just that so many people choose to be vulnerable about what they’re afraid of. Based on the survey, they said they would share it with friends or family and they’re willing to share it with people close to them. That’s just not something that I do well, so I admire the people that say when those times of fear arise, they’re quick to share.
Joe: For sure.
Shannon: So it was interesting. To talk about some of those survey responses, on how you wish you responded, we just talked about how they initially respond and then we were just really curious to know if people had a problem with how they responded.
Joe: Yeah, I like said, there’s that natural response whether you like it or not. Then there’s that, “Oh, I wish I would’ve done this.” That was really interesting to find out what they said.
Shannon: Exactly. Some people said, face and defeat it. Fight it hard, aggressively. Just head on or confront it. Then other said things like, “I wish I responded to fear intentionally and not reflexively, so with a clear mind and making a logical decision before I just dive right in.” Along with that, just identifying the root cause. Why was I afraid? Others say they wish they would make progress and keep focus on the purpose instead of that fear of perfection that comes over them. I love ones that just said they would feel their feelings, breathe, rehearse a truth, and then take an action step. There’s a lot of interesting kind of combative words and then there’s others that just say, “I want to talk more about it. I want to have greater faith or optimism when I respond to it.” That kind of a thing.
Joe: One I think that you didn’t mention there was my favorite, was tell it to Eff off response to fear. Again, I love that honesty in the sense of like, “I wish in those moments that I had more strength, I had more power, I had the stronger voice.” Again, I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability.
Shannon: Absolutely. I think that one thing that I’m loving seeing through this process is exactly what you say, that vulnerability. I think what I’m noticing is, there’s such an important piece of awareness here. If we’re aware of what we’ve been talking about, how fear is defined, how it lodges itself in our bodies, and even now the question of, how I wish I responded to it. I think just that simple awareness is going to be huge for all us in growing when we respond to fear.
Joe: Yeah, and we had some thoughts too, even before this conversation or request of our survey respondents, and then definitely thereafter when we heard some of their things. Just had some general thoughts like, what are some healthy ways we can respond? Again, we’ve talked about those natural responses, the things that seem to be out of our control, but what are some ways we can maintain control and respond in healthy ways? We’ve kind of got a couple options here for you to consider. The first thing that stood out to me was what we reference in that initial quote from Sufjan was to love yourself. As I mentioned earlier it was definitely not a thing that I heard growing up at all. Loving yourself was much too selfish. We have too much pride top much of self love already, so we need to put ourselves aside and focus on other things in front of us.
I think that over time I’ve learned that the lack of truth in that statement. I think I was very unkind to myself over all those years. As a result, I sometimes just forgot to take a breath and go easy on myself a little bit, sometimes, and held myself to a standard that wasn’t possible. These fears that we’ve all talked about, whether it’s having fears altogether or not being able to seem to move through them and with them, you can be pretty hard on yourself and think that you’re the only one out there on your own, so just being more loving to yourself —.
Shannon: I feel like our fears really accentuate that. It tells you, “Don’t love yourself. Don’t take time for yourself. Now you’re being selfish,” and it just kind of spirals. Yeah, another one is kind of just be silly. In a similar ways, loving yourself, just giving yourself that permission to be genuine, be authentic, and if that’s silly then do that. I think we talked about this in season one, but just the importance of making time for play or for celebration; allow yourself that opportunity, because like I mentioned, sometimes our fears can be resolved when we don’t listen to them, we don’t take ourselves so seriously and what they’re telling us. I think it can be a good exercise in just letting go. It can bring you back to that childlike state of joy that I think we all look for.
Joe: Yeah, but we definitely suppress and think that we can’t do that, because we’re adults now and that was all when we were childish, but there’s so much missed opportunity there.
Joe: I have one experience. It was when we were living up in the mountain before we bought our house in Springs and just thinking again about all the fears and apprehensions in that moment of buying a house, moving out here. Is this the right place? Is it going to check out okay? Is it going to fall apart five minutes after we move in? All those kinds of fears. I remember walking around, just on a hike that day up in [Dillon 00:08:40], just singing out loud, like didn’t care who heard me and sort of dancing on this hike. It was kind of a weird experience. I mean, internally you’re kind of processing that and like, “This is weird. Why am I doing this?” And I was with all my senses at that moment, so I wasn’t controlled by any sort of sources, but I don’t know it was just still a funny thing to kind of pull back and go, “Why am I even thinking about this? Why am I so reserved in even enjoying the moment?” It was super helpful in just being relaxed and finding some space, and being okay with that and saying again, “You’re human. You have challenges and it’s okay to just be silly and lean into that.”
Joe: I like that one for sure. I think we’ve talked about it a few times, but really that connecting with others. Again, we’re not on an island. We’re not out there by ourselves. We’re not the only experiencing these things. So, how do we open up and share those fears and apprehension with other people around us? And helping it, therefore become less controlling in our lives and maybe less overwhelming. But just helping each other out and letting them help us out to carry some of the weights of that. Of course that doesn’t happen if we keep everything to ourselves and think that we have to trudge on and be a stronger person. Being a stronger person can be being open with somebody else and connecting with them and saying, “Hey, can you help me? Or can I help you?” I think that’s another opportunity to really have a healthy response to fear.
Shannon: Absolutely. Well and the survey responses, so many people said they wished they could have that vulnerability, they could have that community to just be honest with them. It’s clearly a want that can be just so beneficial when dealing with fear.
Joe: For sure.
Shannon: Another one that we, I think really love to practice; I do not do a good job of this and I really wish I did, but it was just to find silence. We oftentimes just drive in cruise control mode and let other forces and situations take control of us. We have to be so plugged in every day, all day on our phones, and our laptops, and we’re run by deadlines. There’s something about just finding silence, away from the craziness, taking time to be alone that just allows our mind to kind of work through some of those things that it really needs to. We need to just encourage that beauty around us. How can we give our mind space to discover and be creative, and even just work the fear outside of itself?
Joe: Yeah, there’s so many ways to find that silence. For some people that’s yoga, some people it’s meditation, some people it’s journaling. There’s so many different ways that you can find works for you. You don’t have to … or just maybe none of those three we just mentioned and it’s another way.
Shannon: Right. It doesn’t have to be sitting in a corner in quiet time.
Joe: Exactly. Then I think the opposite of that stood out to me, like speaking aloud. So sometimes, it sounds like the opposite I guess, in the sense of you’re trying to find silence and now you’re actually filling the space with noise, but the noise can be the truth that it really is different to hear it come out of your own mouth, to hear it echo in the space that you’re in. That instead of even just coaching ourselves up in our mind saying, “Okay, we’re here. It’s better. It’s going to be okay,” whatever those things that we want to tell ourselves … or even just being honest with the fears, pains, and joys, and hopes, and stuff that live inside us, getting those out and sharing those, whether it’s with a person or just filling the space with those words. I think that’s super powerful too. Sometimes we downplay and go, “That’s weird. That’s different. It doesn’t mean anything different than if I say it internally.” Well, there is quite a bit of a different response to you in a way it sits with you and stays with you.
Shannon: Yeah, and you mentioned it briefly, but just the idea that it should be honest. You can say, “I’m scared. I’m afraid. I’m not doing well.” It doesn’t have to be, “Oh, I’m speaking aloud and I have to give myself a pep talk.” We kind of continue to mention this, but just taking time to choose space. If that’s space to be silent or if that’s space to talk aloud, it’s just making deliberate choices about who you are and who you allow into your life, or what you allow into your life; those fears or doubts to speak to you. It’s creating some boundaries against things that don’t add value to your life and that can happen in what you’re reading, what you’re watching, what you’re listening to. Anything like that is affecting those thoughts or potential fears coming into your mind, so just choosing that space to make room for yourself to do things that align with your best version and not always considering everybody else around you.
Joe: Yeah, I think what comes to mind for me there is just, one of the things we’re filling like, you just mentioned, what are the things that are filling our minds up. Fox News, CNN, what other sources? Maybe those are healthy in some ways, in some forms for you, but maybe they’re also inciting some of those fears for you. You’re seeing a story about this across the world and you’re applying it to your own space and maybe those things are better kept on a smaller scale or maybe you have more variety. You’re not just looking at the one source, you’re just creating some sort of ongoing message in your mind, but maybe it’s a combination of some counter arguments to that perspective. I’m trying to be a little vague with that, because I’m thinking about certain people in my mind and experiences, but I think just the variety of content and also just maybe the amount of content, because we consume so much, which is hard to say as a content marketer.
Shannon: That’s your job.
Joe: The last thing that kind of came to my mind too was just nourishing ourselves. Again, we kind of disconnect sometimes the physical part of fear and I think if we respond in healthy ways like becoming more active, getting up and standing more even, or standing while we work, or taking breaks and walking outside, taking in some of the vitamin D that adds so much value to our lives. Thinking about the foods and drinks that we’re consuming, I mean, just consuming tons of alcohol, tons of carbs, all these things are not beneficial as we move through fear and they do have a connection to that, so you can’t necessarily assume that that’s that decision and then there’s this fear thing going on.
Those are connected. What are some things we need to pay attention to? I think that’s something that my wife and I have really tried to pay attention to on our journey. Her health journey and the things that’ve just woken up for us and what ways we should change our lifestyle to take care of ourselves; emotionally, spiritually, physically. We’ve learned a lot. We’re going to be married 20 years next year, which is nuts.
Shannon: Wow. Congratulations.
Joe: Well, we’re not there yet, so. Yeah, thank you. I mean, that’s crazy. It doesn’t make any sense that it’s been that long, but at the same time it does make sense, because there is so much that’s … I feel like we’ve learned so much about ourselves, about each other, about this pairing of two people, especially in the realm of fear, because Lindsay and I, we’re very … my wife’s name is Lindsay. She and I are very different in how we respond. She much more easily acknowledges its existence and see that it’s there. Where I’m much more prone to, “No, it’s good. Everything is awesome.” So, it’s that Lego —.
Shannon: You’re always living in this optimistic world, yes.
Joe: Yeah, so that’s not reality either, so really finding that balance and helping each other. Finding some grace with each other in saying, “Okay, they’re not going to be the same way I am,” but at the same time how do I help them move from maybe an unhealthy place for them too? That doesn’t mean that they need to be like me, but maybe just for them to move forward with it. I wanted to just have a conversation with her and just share a little bit in this podcast about the things that we’ve learned over those 20 years, and things we’re still learning, and some of the resources that we found helpful in that process. We’ll take a listen to that conversation.
Well, here we are in the podcast studio for the first time, after 19 years of marriage.
Lindsay Dudeck: How have we never done this before? I even had a radio show in college and everything.
Joe: You never invited me, apparently.
Lindsay: Well, they didn’t have a budget to fly you down from Chicago.
Joe: Oh, that’s too bad. It would’ve been amazing. Who knows what we could’ve done with our lives?
Lindsay: Yet, here we are.
Joe: Today, we’re talking about fear. We’ve been married as I just said, 19 years, so we’ve learned quite a bit about each other in that time. Dated for a couple years before that, so I just wanted to bring you in here and kind of get your perspective, because I know, one thing I’ve learned in all those years is that we respond quite differently to fear. Would you agree?
Lindsay: Yes, but from what I’m about to talk about, I think our core motivation’s different, just how we come at it. Our core motivation’s the same, excuse me, but how we come at it is different, yeah.
Joe: Yeah, so I just thought that would be interesting. I know there’s a lot of other people, we talk a lot about in this podcast, in this episode particularly about how do we respond to fear and there’s a lot of different ways in which we do that. I know you and I, when we’re confronted with fears, either jointly or individually, we just laugh at each other sometimes in how we both look at it so differently. I think I know one thing that’s really changed and I wanted to focus most of our conversation on this one thing that’s changed our perspectives is the revelation or connection we’ve had to the Enneagram, which has kind of been around for awhile, but it’s had a resurgence recently. First maybe tell, how did you get connected to that and maybe just share a little bit about what it is on a high level.
Lindsay: Yeah, I think the timing was no coincidence. I’d just gone through major health challenges and lifestyle changes you took on with me and helping me get better. The summer after that had all happened, you and I were at a retreat center in Texas and some of the people there were talking about the Enneagram and I couldn’t join in the conversation, and I was really curious, what are these numbers and what are these people talking about? I kind of wrote it down, like I do with a lot of things and never got around to researching it yet. Then over Christmas some really close friends of ours, who we value and respect their opinion and their marriage said, “You guys. We’ve done this test an it’s absolutely life changing. You have to do this. It’s just incredible.” To hear him talk about it and to see them talk about it together, sparked my curiosity.
Joe: I think we were probably … we’ve both done personality tests in the past, so we were probably skeptical of them.
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah. We’d done Myers Briggs. Yeah, a little bit and oh, they went to this workshop and blah, blah, blah. But then, a few weeks later I was just having real conflict with a couple of my coworkers, who I’d worked with for a long time, but I knew at my core that the problem was me, it was not them. I hated the thoughts that I was having and the feelings that were coming, so I texted that friend and I said, “Can you tell me again what the name of that test is? This Enneagram thing?” He told me and he said, “By the way, you might want to start here,” and he sent me a link to the podcast The Road Back to You, which was written by two authors who then did a podcast when the book released.
They said, “Take the test and when you find out what you are, let me know, and then I’ll send you the next podcast to listen to.” I remember sitting and listening to the podcast once I learned my number and just laughing and crying through the whole thing and listening to it twice, because finally I heard other people who sounded like me and I didn’t feel so alone. I just felt like I suddenly had this sisterhood of other people who viewed the world the same way I did.
Joe: It’s been around for a while.
Lindsay: It has been. It’s been all sorts of forms for thousands of years and it has roots, some religious roots, some not, some spiritual practices take one way, some don’t, or they do take it another, but basically, in summary if I could explain it, it’s basically nine different ways people think, and feel, and act, in relationship to the world, and others, and themselves. It’s not like Myers Briggs with introversion and extroversion, and thinking and feeling. It’s more these nine numbers that we are all more or less, more like. Not say like once you’re a number you can’t be another number. It’s just the one you identify with the most. Then they group them into three different triads based on core motivations.
Joe: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lindsay: So do you want me to get into that a little bit?
Joe: Yeah, maybe just on a high level, talk about those numbers. Then we’ll kind of talk about ours specifically as we get into that, but just to give people a sense of … you know them way better than I do, so if you can walk through one through nine.
Lindsay: Well, so there’s basically three triads. There’s an anger triad, the shame triad, and the fear triad. Again, the underlying core motivation, what makes you move in that way. Basically, I’m going to actually start at eight, so this is the anger triad. An eight, is the challenger. The nine is the peace maker. The one is the reformer. Those three numbers kind of all share similar motivations.
Joe: That’s one of the triads?
Lindsay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Then the next triad over is the shame triad, so at the base there’s always shame. Two is the helper. Three is the achiever. Four is the individualist. Then the last triad, which you and I both fall into is the fear triad. The five is the investigator. The six is the loyal skeptic. The seven is the loyal enthusiast.
Joe: Why is it the fear triad?
Lindsay: When you boil down to why are you doing what you’re doing, it’s from a place of fear. If you could ask … “I’m nervous about starting my new job.” “Well, why are you nervous?” “Well, because it might not work.” “Well what would happen if it wouldn’t work?” “Well, then we won’t have any money.” “Well, what happens if you don’t have any money?” Well, then … and you go to worst case scenario, so there’s fear. Whereas another person might say, “Oh, it makes me not look good in front of my friends,” or “It tarnishes my image,” or “People might think I’m fat.” That’s more from a shame base. Fear is the base, where we come from.
Joe: Gotcha. Yeah, you’re a six. I’m a seven, maybe just break those down for us on a high level.
Lindsay: So, you and I actually view the world through very similar lenses, but then our interpretations, you go north and I go south. A six, at my healthiest I am responsible, dependable, and courageous and I move through the fear, but at my unhealthy, I am severely anxious, depressive, incessantly worrying, and never able to see the bright side. Then you, at your best, are also some of those things; very responsible, courageous, dependable, but then at your worst you have way too many things going on, you make it more about you and less about others, and you can just push pain way down. I would focus more on the pain and you would ignore the pain.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, I know that with mine, of course you know this way better than I do, but I think it’s called the Peter Pan-
Joe: Complex, yeah. Number seven, just because the world is awesome and there’s just. . .
Lindsay: You’re kind of like Emmett. You’re Emmett from the Lego Story.
Joe: Well, yeah. I’m everybody but myself. I’m Peter Pan or I’m Emmett. No, and it’s true. I mean, I just remember this one story, we were talking earlier today and at our last house we had a … rhododendron bush out front. Is that right?
Lindsay: No, it was a hydrangea bush.
Joe: There you go, okay. It doesn’t really matter for this story, but-
Lindsay: Yeah, it does, because it has to do with life and death of the bush, yeah.
Joe: Okay, so the bush we had planted a couple years before, had a really dry summer, the summer before I think, and this one was not starting off well. We were both out in the yard looking at it and you were like, if I remember right, said something like, “Oh, that thing is dead. It’s done.”
Lindsay: It does, because the hydrangea shows the wilted and you’re supposed to leave the pods of flowers on, to kind of dry, but then it can look completely dead and there’s no hope. I was like, “Just dig it up. This thing’s done.”
Joe: And I looked at it and said, “Oh my gosh, it looks so much better than last year.”
Lindsay: And I see green on it.
Joe: Yeah, there’s so much potential and we’re looking at the exact same bush, but then we both started laughing in that moment, because we were starting to learn more about the Enneagram, and so we kept, “You’re such a six. You’re such a seven,” because it just, in that small perspective, it’s the same bush, we’re standing in the same spot. We can see both the dead and the living in it and you’re like, “Let’s call it a day. Let’s wrap it up,” and I’m thinking, “Let’s just see what’ll happen. It’s going to be great.” I mean, that was just a small example. We’ve had that many, many times over the last several years.
Think about … we’ve had a crazy couple months coming out here, maybe really a couple years. Well, it’s funny, even that’s probably even just a quick note there. For me, it’s been a couple months, for Lindsay it’s been several years. I mean, we had been talking about moving out here for several years, but I didn’t really kickstart my apprehension or fears about it until probably when we were already out here, thinking like how to get house-
Lindsay: Which actually, when I was talking about that conflict I was having with co-workers, it was around moving to Colorado, because it was the way I was initially very excited and then I was very fearful, and I was so stuck in my fear that their optimism was frustrating me, because I didn’t think that was possible, because all I saw were the negatives.
Joe: I did actually on this podcast … I’ve already shared some of my fears and apprehensions around moving, so there are … there were several in my life, but I would ignore them as you said earlier, my seven thing, it would just sort of push it under the rug, everything’s great. Eventually it comes to haunt me in the middle of the night and now I’ve got 30 fears that I’ve been accumulating over time and haven’t been dealing with, but talk about some of the fears that you processed over the last couple years and then how did you respond to those?
Lindsay: Yeah. I think I’d start by saying that we all kind of come by our Enneagram pretty naturally based of our family of origin and how we were raised, so when I can kind of unpack and look at the numbers, I can very clearly see in my family, which parent was a six, which grandparent was a six, and who I related to the most. What I thought was just natural, or like, “Oh, this is how everybody responds, because my dad responded this way and his dad responded this way.” To learn and understand like, “Oh, that’s actually a really unhealthy place to be coming from, from a scarcity model.” They came from a very fear, scarce mindset, so some of the … which would also then explain why they never moved. I’m kind of unpacking this right now.
Joe: This is live, folks.
Lindsay: So, my dad has lived in the same county and practically the same city for 76 years, which is the same one that his dad lived in for 86 years, which is the same one that his mom lived in for 60 years. Actually, my great-grandma never left the state of Indiana. I mean, it was a different time, but I see that fear underneath it. Some of the fear with me, was just this moving thing of like, “What are we doing?” Even though you and I had done it before, we’d never moved with a dog and a kid and so it was the fear of, what if somebody gets sick? What if somebody gets injured? I remember our dog, Rudy, at one of the Airbnbs we were staying at, he hurt his leg and I’m panicked, because we don’t know a vet, and we just got here, and what if he’s going to die. Like, I go straight to that, like, “Oh, he has a limp leg. He’s going to die.” Now, how do we explain this to our son and so much trauma, we just moved?
It just all became awful, rather than being able to stop that train of thought and say, “Okay.” I get there eventfully, it’s just the speed with which I get there is differing. I had a fear of health, that was a big thing for the dog, for Quinn. Quinn had a couple health issues and I’m like, “What if turns into this, and this, and this,” or maybe that’s just anxiety coming out of this body. Fear of money, cost of living here is astronomical compared to where we came from, so how much is our mortgage? And wait, how much are utilities? Can I get a cost of living increase in my salary?
Two of the biggest ones, one was failure, so what if we come out here and our friends gave us this big going away party and we had all these people send us off really well, and then a year later we’re like, “We couldn’t do it. We have to come home.” I remember a few friends, I think meaning from a good place were like, “You can always come back.” And I was like, “Oh, but I don’t want to.” No, I can’t walk into this adventure having a fallback. I need to go all in. I hate that phrase. Go all in, but really, truly I couldn’t have a, “Well, just in case it doesn’t work out, I’m going to go this way.”
Joe: Yeah, which is why it took us several years to make the decision. We had to process this all and not just in the middle of the night just decide, let’s just pack our bags and go.
Lindsay: Then the fear of failure of like … this is so crazy. Did we find the right house? Did we find the right school? Are we going to find the right church? Did we make the right friends? Did we get the right car?
Joe: Why do you say those are crazy?
Lindsay: It’s all fear of failure, thinking that, forgetting that failures can be some of the best things that ever happen to us, which comes from a perfectionist mindset. I think that inherited of like, “Get it right.” It wasn’t like, “This could go wrong, but that’s okay too.” It was always, “Get it right and do your best.” There was never a Plan B of if it didn’t.
Joe: Yeah, and I think it sounds like these numbers are a little bit both nurture and nature, right?
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: You said you’re in an environment, so that’s fostering which one you might fall into, but there’s probably also a genetic disposition to a certain amount as well. Part of the reason we’re … you’re a six and I’m a seven, mine might be just from my upbringing and the experiences that I had and it’s my coping mechanism to deal with some of the pain and rather than deal with it, it’s not there, it doesn’t exist.
Lindsay: Well and your personality also is very … you’re funny, and you’re sarcastic, and everyone looks to you for a joke. You’re typically like babies of the family, always looking for a laugh, which was your role in your family.
Joe: Always giving a laugh, not just looking for one. No, that’s true. I think what’s interesting about is, we both have to coach each other up in to how to respond to fears. You just talked about you always have that fear of failure and it’s always going to result in the worst case scenario, and it’s hard for you to see the other sided of that. Then I’m usually painting that other picture, because that’s where I naturally go is like, “What if it turns out here? What about this? Did you think about this?”
Lindsay: I think the difference too, is that you’re an extrovert and I’m an introvert, so when I have those fears, I keep them in and they go over, and over, and over in my head and my heart, and then they cause nervous stomach, or a bad attitude, or restless sleep. I remember learning this with you, oh probably seven or eight years ago when we had had all the adoption losses and miscarriages, and I was so afraid to adopt again. I remember our counselor said, “Write down in your journal every fear that you can think of, whether small or big, just write every single one down,” which was so easy for me to do. I think I filled two pages. The problem was, A, it was stuck in my head and B, I could not turn the coin over and see the other side. I had no ability to do that, and so then when I showed it to you, you so graciously walked through it with me and basically for every negative you then turned the coin over and showed me the positive, which just because of the trauma that we had gone through I wasn’t able to get there. Then with practice, I’m more easily able to get there now. I’m able to think, “Well, what’s the worst that could happen?” “This could happen.” “Okay, well what are the chances of that happening?” “Slim to none.” ‘Okay.” Then come back to the moment.
Joe: Yeah, and I think we’ve … going back to those adoption experiences, we kind of did the same thing as we do today, but we both hear each other in a different way, so when we had the adoptions fall through, I remember the first one that fell through at the hospital, a day or two later I was like, “Okay, we’ll just get right back at it. Let’s just sign up tomorrow and let’s get going,” and you’re like, “I’m going to be under a rock for awhile. I need to just collect myself.”
Lindsay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joe: And I didn’t understand. I couldn’t get why you were doing that. I didn’t understand the response. Like to me, the healthy, the best way was to just get right back at it. So, we still tend to respond in those same ways, but A, I already know if we have a hard experience that we walk through, to wait before I’m ready to cheer us onto the next step, and also I expect you to have that desire to sort of disconnect and reflect, and take a breath before you pursue, so I’m not holding you to some standard that you’re not able to reach. Vice versa, you’re more understanding when I’m onto the next thing, but you’re also comforting to tell me like, “Hey, why don’t you just take a moment and breathe, and sit down before you pursue this.” We kind of always did those years ago, but we heard it through ears of frustration and-
Lindsay: Right, or criticism.
Joe: Yeah. Just why aren’t you hearing me? Why aren’t you understanding me? We really didn’t understand ourselves to even know how to get the other person to understand who we were. I think that’s been the biggest revelation for us over time. That’s been the helpful thing with this Enneagram for us and I know a lot … we’ve had some friends who, they’ll never take the test and are not interested in it, and I get it, because it does seem like another personality test, but I can just attest to how much it’s meant for us as for as how we see each other.
Lindsay: Well yeah, and it’s helped me be more empathetic to people and to myself as well. Especially when you start to understand it and you kind of understand the tendencies with the different numbers, you’re not supposed to do this, but it’s pretty hard not to. You’re not supposed to like label people as numbers, but in my mind it often helps, because it helps me see the way that I think that they’re seeing the world and to not get upset with the way that they might react toward me. That you realize how different we all are and how we do need each other and some of my best collaborators in work are those whose numbers are way different than mine and their Myers Briggs are the exact opposites. That when we partner together, we make a great team. Where as, some of my friends who are my same number, we sure have a lot in common, but then we get ourselves stuck in a little pity party sometimes about it.
The fact that it can help you find connection, it’s made me braver out here as well. One of my biggest fears of moving out here was that I would not be able to make connection or find friends, and that actually goes back to a root fear that I’ve had since fourth grade. I just clear as day, I know when that started. The funny thing is that my Enneagram number, I am like one of the most loyal friends. They always say like, if you can choose a friend who will be there through thick and thin, you need an Enneagram six. I think I just so desperately want that with people, but then I realize not everybody wants that or needs that, so that helps me kind of move through, but I have to be able to extend my hand and introduce myself despite the fear of rejection, or it might not be a friendship, because that could also be my next best friend, but if I don’t stick my hand out and say hello, then how will I ever know?
Joe: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think for us this whole Enneagram thing has just been another layer on top of years of counseling and therapy, hard experiences, good experiences, and it just helps provide another lens. It doesn’t replace all and if you take one personality test in your life or you do one thing in your life like this, it should be an Enneagram, but I think for us it’s just given us a little bit more light. What would you tell … we’ve talked about a lot it in our personal lives, maybe share a little bit about how it’s impacted your business sense and how you connect with your coworkers, clients, and then just how people think through it and how it might be beneficial for them with fears they might be dealing with in their career world.
Lindsay: Yeah, when I was the first one in my company to do it and read about it, and I kind of secretly used it as a little super power, unbeknownst to my coworkers, specifically there’s a great website from the Enneagram Institute, I think it’s ennegraminstitute.com. You find your number and then it tells you basically how you work best, what are some of your triggers, and then how you relate to the other numbers, so I would read that and since then everyone on my team has taken this test, so all nine of us know one another’s numbers. Before that, I would read up on the other numbers and think like, “Oh, I think that’s her. I think, okay.” Then I would go to how a six relates to a one. It would say, “Try this phrase. Or try that,” and I would try it and I’m like, “Well, that worked. Okay,” or others like, “Nope, that’s definitely not their number.” That really helped me. It helped me. I work with a lot of very passionate visionaries and entrepreneurial leaders who are kind of like you in that like, “Let’s go. Let’s do this thing. Let’s start this thing. Who’s with me?” Then I’m back there saying, “Well, do we have a plan? Is there a map? Did you pack the supplies? Are you sure we have everything?”
Which again, the loyal skeptic, I’ll go with you, leader, but I also need to play devil’s advocate and help you see some of the blind spots that you have. I think that has helped tremendously. Then everybody on our team ended up taking the test and some people waffled between numbers and some people knew their numbers right away. It’s really helped us as a team to listen with a different set of ears. I know a couple people on my team are similar in kind of the way that they feel and view clients and before the Enneagram I would’ve thought like, “Uh-oh, this is bad. Oh boy. They’re going to quit,” or, “I’m going to have to help with this and this.” Now, knowing their numbers, I realize, “Oh, that’s just how … that’s just them processing that.” Or to look at someone else and not be annoyed of like, “She did it this way, and this way, and this way. I would never do it that way.” Well, of course I wouldn’t do it that way, but that doesn’t make her way wrong. It’s just different.
Joe: Yeah, again I think that’s always the hesitation people have with these tests is they don’t want to be labeled or they don’t want to label everybody else in these lenses, but I think when you find it helpful is when as you just said, you have that acknowledgement that we’re all different in this world and for example I know I need your input in my life, because everything will be … everything’s worth jumping off the cliff for, right?
Lindsay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joe: And here’s another new idea and I just want to create this and do this, but I don’t ever think about the pitfalls, the concerns, the things that I should think about and ahead of time. I’ll get there eventually, but that’s usually after they’ve already hit me versus preparing for them. You, I think you need the counter of that. You can sit in the fears and never move forward and you need somebody to rally you and go, “Let’s go. Let’s take these steps of faith.”
Lindsay: Yeah or, “Hey it’s going to be fun.”
Joe: Yeah. There will fun with it, yeah.
Lindsay: It will be fun. I mean, you’re the enthusiast and so, I need that, because I might just get so boggled down in the fear or I think about a couple weeks ago we went to the top of Pike’s Peak. I hate heights and I’m just driving up those curvy roads it’s kind of fearful and you did a really great job of pausing in safe places, not being stupid and risky. Where I think old Joe, might’ve been a little stupid and risky. And pausing and saying, “Hey guys, look out there. Look how beautiful it is,” instead of me white knuckling it to the top of, “We’ve just got to get to the top.”
Joe: Yeah, eyes closed.
Lindsay: Yeah, eyes closed. Right. You are helpful in our family in doing that and then always being up for an adventure or adding something, even as we’re thinking about planning a trip to Europe, I kind of got laser focused on, we’re going to go here and we’re going to do this. You were like, “What if we did this?” The list got a little long but-
Joe: In my world we’re visiting every country in Europe, but yeah.
Lindsay: But I still appreciate it, because I can get so focused on what I think is the safe option that I forget. I mean, we wouldn’t be where we are if we played it safe. We wouldn’t have adopted. There’s no way, because that’s a giant scary thing. We wouldn’t have stopped our life and picked it up and moved it across the country, because that’s another scary thing.
Joe: Yeah, we’re definitely a good combination in that regard. It’s fun too, to watch Quinn. I think you might’ve referenced this earlier, but I think we’re supposed to wait until what year, what age is it?
Lindsay: They say actually after 25, because so much of your personality’s changing, but there are elements that come up when you are young that kind of tend one way or the other.
Joe: Yeah, you have that environment you’re raised in, but then you also don’t have a lot of experiences that impact who you are.
Lindsay: Your number.
Joe: Yeah. We kind of waffle back and forth, because he’s waffling back and forth. Many days he’s like me and just like, “Let’s do this.” Then, for example going up Pike’s Peak, he was like, “I’m so nervous. Don’t look over there.” It’s just so funny, because five minutes before he was ready to run up the mountain. It’s just interesting to see him develop and of course that’ll change with experiences that we don’t even know are coming. We’re creating an environment for him, but that will change with situations as well, I’m sure over time. Anyways, thanks so much for your time. I know you’ve listened to … man, how many podcasts have you explored in this?
Lindsay: I lost track. I have some helpful resources for your listeners.
Joe: Sure. What do you have?
Lindsay: Like I said the Enneagram Institute is a great one to give basically like a really kind of scientific overview. Sacred Enneagram is a wonderful book. That kind of goes with also another podcast by an artist called Sleeping at Last, and he wrote a song for each Enneagram number and he talks to the author Chris Heuertz, from Sacred Enneagram and talks through that. That’s just beautiful and when you listen to the song about your number, I was moved to tears, because it was so me.
Joe: Yeah, I feel like that’s even like a good stepping stone for people who haven’t ever experienced it. If you could just listen to that song, there’s so many times where you’re just pulled in with that and then you maybe want to take another step. He has such a great conversation about it.
Lindsay: He does. When I’ve had friends who’ve waffled between like, “I think I might be this or this,” I’ll say like, “Well, go listen to the Sleeping at Last podcast and whichever number song you most resonate with, that’s probably you.” Then there’s also a book and podcast called The Road back to you by Ian Cron and Susan Stabile. Then Susan went on to write another book called The Path Between Us, and she has a podcast about that.
Joe: Have you read that one?
Lindsay: Not yet.
Joe: Oh, okay.
Lindsay: Then Ian Cron, made the podcast Typology, which is another one. I’ve really enjoyed those. I can geek out a little bit sometimes, too much about it.
Joe: We’ve listened to quite a few on road trips, but they’ve been good. The people they interview are really interesting to hear their stories, whether you agree with the Enneagram or not, I mean you just get a chance to hear their story and there’s probably pieces of that you go, “Oh, that-” you can connect with that.
Lindsay: Right. I think it helps you through the triads, through the core motivation, whether that’s shame for the two, three, or four, or fear for the five, six, or seven, or anger for the eight, nine, and one, basically that you don’t have to be stuck there. You need to know that that’s there, but don’t let that keep you there and say, “Well, I’m always a fearful person, because I’m a six.” Or “I will always struggle with self image because I’m a three.” Or “I’m prone to be angry, because I’m an eight.” That’s just not true. In relation, we talked about how the six and seven both have fear, but the seven goes up and the six goes down. In the eight and the nine, both have anger underneath them; the eight gets really angry and vocal and the nine gets really quiet and retreats, but they both have anger at their core. It’s just interesting on how those triads work.
Joe: Definitely. Thanks so much for everything.
Lindsay: You’re welcome.
Joe: This was fun. We should be … not our last podcast. We should do this again.
Lindsay: Well, let’s get that planned.
Joe: Oh my gosh. Of course.
Lindsay: Thanks Joe.
Shannon: Well thank you guys so much for sharing your story with us, both individually and just as a married couple. It’s really interesting from my perspective, just as an unmarried person. You know what that looks like and I admire you guys for your vulnerability in that.
Joe: Thank you.
Shannon: In this episode, we just talked about ways to respond to your fears. Looking at some unhealthy and hopefully moving towards healthy ways. In this final phase of the episode, we wanted to offer kind of our sense of motion or a final ritual to consider. This week, we’d encourage to you consider visualizing yourself sitting across the table from your fears, maybe it’s one, maybe it’s several, maybe it’s a lump of things you.
Joe: I’m sitting across from one right now.
Shannon: Wow. Hiding under the table. If you were to sit across the table from your fear, what would it look like? Give them a persona. Give them a visual. We want to know what, if you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of flying, what would that fear look like if it were a person? To get even more specific, decided what it would be wearing, does it have a gender, does it have a smell? Would it be a manly voice or a womanly voice? How does its voice sound? How do you hold a conversation with this fear directly across the table from you? Once you’ve kind of created that persona, as scary as this might be, talk to that person about your feelings, about its role in your life, how it impacts you. Hopefully you can say that you don’t want it to give you control anymore.
Joe: Yeah, that’s awesome. Hopefully you found some good value in this conversation. Lindsay and me sharing our story and thinking through some of these responses to fear. Again, maybe you have some of the ones that are helpful for you, we’d love to hear those. If you want to share those idea with us, you can always email us at hi, H-I, @keyholemarketing.us. If you do want to talk shop and if you’ve got some marketing needs, we’re happy to talk that as well. We’d love to hear from you in either case. Thanks again for listening. We’ll be back with episode four in season two.