EPI 25: Bipolar: I Feel Lonely, Misunderstood, Ignored, Disrespected
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast. Episode 25. I Feel Lonely, Misunderstood, Ignored, Disrespected. This is part of the Life Of An Outsider series. You’ll find the link to that series in the footer of the website bipolarexcellence.com.
This feeling bad about yourself when you’re trying to get your work out into the world and get people to appreciate it and take you for real and/or pay you substantially for it? This is really the journey of the entrepreneur. That’s the hero’s journey. It’s a part of the hero’s journey.
Joseph Campbell came up with that term, wrote a book about it. I think the hero’s journey is, I’m going to focus on that context. Hero’s journey. Simple. You grow uneasy with where you’re at unsettled, unsatisfied, and you launch out on an adventure. On that adventure, you all but die.
You fight a lot of battles, most of which you didn’t see coming, you question yourself at every turn. You’ve gone too far to go back. You don’t know if you should go forward. You keep going forward and throughout it all, you not only survive, you learn something very powerful that you can then return home with and share with the world and then change people’s lives.
That’s the hero’s journey. This feeling lonely and misunderstood, ignored or disrespected. It’s the more modern, subtle version of being in the middle of that adventure. You’re somewhere on the ship, out on the ocean. I don’t know how far from the shore. I don’t know how close to the middle or close to coming back home you are, but it’s all in there somewhere out on the water.
Or I now realize, maybe you come home and it’s because you’re trying to share the gift and it’s not working well, maybe, maybe, actually that’s more correct.
Anybody that’s tried to do something great, automatically means they’ve stepped outside the status quo and the fucking herd does not like when another cow does that. It’s upsetting to the herd. You’ve become like a canker sore. You’re bothering them. You’re all excited about this thing. Your going against the grain.
You’re saying some changes need to be made. You’re saying there’s a new way to go. Nobody likes change. People strive for homeostasis, no ups, no downs. Can we just cruise evenly right along that line of zero on the graph. And you’re messing with all of that. You’re going to bump into the crab bucket syndrome.
As one crab tries to climb out the other ones grab it by the leg and draw it back in. The crabs, like the cows don’t want anything new happening in the bucket/pasture.
There’s a, a progression… probably would have been helpful to have it in front of me, but I didn’t know I was going to talk about this… that shows what happens when somebody comes up with a new idea. There’s like four phases, at least if not five. It starts out with you’re a heretic, you’re delusional. You just couldn’t be more wrong. You’re laughable.
Then it becomes anger because you hang in there and now people start resisting mightily. And I don’t remember what the other ones were exactly, but eventually you find a way to get your material in front of the right people, on a large enough scale that you affect positive change. And now you’re a genius.
When most people read about success stories or an article about them, let’s say, or just… an interview… a lot of times people only hear the part where we, I made it. They don’t hear the struggle or they’re not aware of it, due to however the story got presented to them. We normally only see things in the format that’s most enjoyable to consume. And that’s the win.
Or we simply know that a thing exists the way it did and thank God for that person, but we don’t realize what they went through to get it to us. We think like, how could you not have this? This only makes sense. There was a time when most of those people did not make sense to all the other people around them.
There’s a strength you’re going to have to engender within yourself. You’re going to have to transform to a certain degree. You’re going to have to learn how to push forward in the face of heavy resistance.
In my own experience… I’m realizing I’m whittling this down to a very tiny group of people… being a Marine, my Marine training, like nothing else, taught me this thing might kill me, but I’m not gonna stop.
That was the biggest part of the Marine Corps for me. We’re going, even when it was clear we’re going to lose, they’re going to remember we tried. And I’m going to get at least one of them before I go down.
That pushed me through a lot of moments where I could simply fall back on, in my moments of severe doubt and just questioning myself and just feeling all these things that this topic is about. I would tell myself I don’t have a choice. Marines don’t fail.
I just wanted to put that out there. That’s what drives me on many occasions. Not quite so much anymore. Honestly, I don’t need to lean on it like that like I used to. I realize most of you are not going to be Marines.
So what’s going to help you the most… you might have some similar training from some sort of other entity or just life experience. If you don’t, find something bigger than you. Make that the goal. Make that the thing you’re going to strive for. And then your project is the vehicle that’s going to make that goal, larger than the project, happen. It’s going to carry you through the dark spots.
If all you think about is your needs, it’s too small. You’re keeping it way too small. Then you’re trapped inside your own head. It’s way easier to do something hard if you’re doing it for something that matters to you more than even yourself. Now, for most of you, that’s going to be your family.
If you unfortunately have no family, you’ve probably got some friends that are like family. If bipolar has wiped you out, to such an extent that you either don’t have, or don’t think you have anybody close, then you’re going to have to go a little more abstract and pick a group of people you care about the most, or who impress you the most. And you want to impress upon them that you belong within their circle.
You’re simply going to be someone that deserves that group of people’s respect. And you’re not going to stop until you’ve earned it. This thing that you’re doing has to be bigger than you. Now, I know there’s a lot of people, again, in my own case, when I’m in the gym. I’m never going to compete.
I don’t work out steadily enough ever in my whole life to pursue anything, to be recognized as, as any kind of athlete within the weightlifting realm. I do that particularly for me. I love it. And I do not have to be told to do it. I, I don’t want to live without it. That is totally for me.
But even within this… I learned this all from Arnold over the years and a few others, but primarily Arnold cause I’m of the Arnold generation… me staying physically fit and strong gives me the willpower, fortitude and clearness of mind to pursue other goals outside of the gym.
When you’re in great shape, it has an effect on how people view you and interact with you. And I can guarantee you that that’s true. It’s not that you lord over them with your strength and size. Most people have no idea how strong I am. They just assume things. And I let them assume because it works for me.
How about that for some honesty? Let them wonder. Let ’em assume. It’s not a physical thing. It’s just a sense of what I am when I enter a room.
Now, that’s just me with weightlifting. With you, your work is going to somehow, you know, if you’re not a weightlifter as well, your work is going to have to represent you when you enter a room. Or, you know, or already already be there. It has to represent you when you’re not around.
But whatever. You have to go after a goal that’s larger than yourself. And then you won’t feel quite so lonely, misunderstood, ignored, and disrespected.
So there was the huge lesson. On a smaller lesson, you got to give yourself a break. You may think people are doing these things to you. They’re doing things. They’re saying things. Some of it can be quite hurtful, but how you feel is completely up to you.
The only thing you can control in this life is your reaction to anything. You have 100% control over that. I understand, it is not as easily done as said, of course it isn’t. And I struggle with it to this day and I’ll probably die struggling with it. I don’t know. But, I get better at it as I go. I get more faith in myself as I do this.
And by continually going at it and here and there, getting the feedback from people higher up on the food chain, at least in the coaching world, I know that I’m on the right track. I know it when I read somebody else’s material or listen to a video or a podcast from somebody else who’s where I want to be and they mention certain things they do that I’m already doing as well.
I’m like, all right, I got that part going. Look for templates outside yourself. Another huge lesson. Just like I just said, find people that are where you want to be in the field that you like. And emulate as best you can, at least parts of what they’re doing.
You’re not going to match totally with everybody that impresses you. Just take what you need from what they share… same with me… and just rock out the parts that make the most sense. That is going to get you through the bad feelings when the thing you’re doing hasn’t popped yet.
And know this, finally. I’ll just say it again. Everybody on the path to greatness goes through this.
Sometimes you are flat out wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong. You’re pursuing something you shouldn’t. You’re not going to know till you pick at it and push for awhile. But as you go and keep trying and make mistakes and trip and fail and screw up, as long as you keep going, you will learn from it. You will get better.
Just don’t give up!
And take strength and solace from the fact that you’re willing to do something most people, in all areas of the world, are not willing to do. And that is break free from the status quo. Just by agreeing to make that move, as bad as it might feel, as much as you might suffer as much as you might embarrass yourself or screw up or unintentionally hurt people while trying to do the best you can do, you’re still winning.
You got to trust me on that. You’re still winning. Staying aware of these things? It’s what’s going to get you through the times when you really start, like, woe is me. I still experience that myself and I’ve been at this over 20 years. I do.
I can tell you this much. It doesn’t last long. I have a little moment of fuck this shit. This is not… I’m working, I’m working.
The answer! Ah, last biggest lesson! The answer to this, the antidote is work.
When you get down the most like this, work some more. Action has a way of assuaging these nasty feelings and removing them entirely because it’s an accomplishment. Just doing something is accomplishment.
Sitting with the feelings and not acting? Now you are moping. That’s not accomplishing anything. Let it happen for a bit. It’s good to sulk every now and then. Nothing wrong with that. I think it serves a positive purpose in its own. Right. But limit. Limit its length. And get back to work.
Steven Pressfield, the author, Steven Pressfield talks about this in all of his little books that are very easy to read and very short on each page. Go get some Steven Pressfield books and you’ll see examples of everything I just said. All right guys. See ya in the next episode.