STOP trying to feel good about crappy things

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There are things that happen at work that are crappy, and we don’t want to feel good about them. Promotions fall through. Being expected to work nights and weekends without any acknowledgement or end in sight. Making less than people you manage. And the list goes on. So how do we show up, do our job, AND like who we are when things are crappy? Listen in this week as we talk about the 2 steps to follow if you’re in this spot. Listen and Learn Mentioned on the podcast: Want to get help with your specific situation? Let’s schedule a coffee chat. I offer a limited number of 1:1 coffee chats each week. There is no charge for this call so spots fill up fast.  Grab time on my calendar at and let’s get you feeling unstuck today.    

Hey friends, how’s it going? I got back recently from a conference in Orlando, and it was so fun! Like, I left motivated, excited, inspired. I’m not going to lie; I had some hesitation, some judgment of how the conference was going to go, and I was very pleasantly surprised. My judgment was wrong, and I was very glad I was wrong. So, I love it! What are you doing for motivation and to kind of get creative ideas? I love a good conference; I love being around people, being motivated, people that are thinking about similar things and struggling with similar challenges and helping and growing each other. But I hope you’ve got something out there like that, that inspires you and that you are participating in it often.


So, with that, I’m going to be making some changes in my business, and I’m so excited about it. I think you’re going to love it. The cost of entry is going to be a little bit more approachable for most people and give you so many more options to help you kind of feel confident and get those results in your career that you want. So, my past clients are going to be able to get access to it first, and then next, people on my email list will be able to get all the information. So, if you’re not on the email list, go to the show notes; you can join it, and you’ll be able to be one of the first people to know what some of those options are. They’re going to be amazing!


Today, I want to talk about why I think we need to stop trying to feel better about some things in life. And I know that sounds a little counterintuitive, and this is not going to be a doom and gloom, everything’s terrible, be afraid. But there are certain things that happen in life that I’ve had a lot of my clients come to me with wanting to feel better, and I’m always just kind of questioning them and challenging their brain a little bit to say, do we really want to feel better about this? And if not, how do we show up as a good person? How do we still be able to function, not get super depressed and in this negative spiral when things are really crappy? So that’s what I want to talk to you about today is how do we stop trying to feel better about really crappy things and what are the two steps I think you should take to not be okay when you’re not okay?


People come to me wanting to get unstuck for all sorts of different things. A lot of it is dealing with bad managers, or there’s been a lot of people recently that have been passed up for promotion and are kind of ticked off about it. Many people are bored in their jobs; they don’t have motivation; they’re not feeling valued and appreciated, but they’re scared to go out and find another job in today’s society. Maybe they’re really burned out. I’ve been working with a couple of clients who they can kind of see the writing on the wall, like their team is going to be disbanded or end in some way or like leave. Leadership is kind of driving it down to the ground, like they can see in the future things are not going to be well, and they need to figure out what do they do from there. I’ve also had a couple of personal friends and clients that are struggling with, as they are managers and managers of managers, they are making less than their peers or sometimes even less than people that they’re managing. Maybe they’ve been with a company for a long time and they brought someone else new and at a higher pay band. And as they go and talk to their leaders about it, generally doesn’t go well. There’s layoff people dragging themselves to work every day, people working crazy hours, getting paged in the middle of the night, and not feeling appreciated and pushed to do crazy things. Like there’s some real crappy, hard things that are happening out there.


What I want to tell you, the two steps we’re going to take to not be okay with it and yet still be okay as human beings, because here’s the real secret, okay? Life, whether we like it or not, we can argue with it all we want, life is 50/50. It’s 50% great, 50% hard. That is just the reality of what is. I’ve had so many of my clients try to argue with me, and they’re like, “What about 80/20?” I love a good 80/20, and I’m like, “I wish it worked out that way, it just doesn’t.” Think about the laws of physics, to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, a yin to a yang, an opposition in all things. The reality is, no matter how we slice or dice it, no matter how we look at it, about half the time things are great, and about half the time, they’re not. What that looks like, how it comes to life, shifts and changes as things outside of our control change and as we as human beings change, but it’s always 50/50.


I look at my sister; always jokes people cry at Disneyland. We take our kids there; they’re loving it, they’re so excited, we’re blowing their minds, and they’re sad and they’re tired and their feet hurt and they don’t want to wait in line and they’re melting down and they cry. We cry at Disneyland. It’s 50/50. There is no 100% amazing magicalness. A lot of us can understand this concept intellectually, and we can get on board with it, until something happens and it comes to how we’re feeling. And when I say a lot of us, I’m putting myself right there in that category. Okay, great and wonderful, until I’m like, “No, I’m tired of feeling terrible. I’m tired of feeling tired. I’m tired of feeling lonely. I’m tired of feeling insecure, all these things that we feel.” But what I want to help us understand today in this short time we have together is I want to help you understand this concept, a 50/50, and I want you to understand it like in your bones, in your soul, in your core. And there’s a really important reason why, because when we resist this reality, we are intensifying that 50% that’s hard, instead of it just being like frustrating and disappointing and a little sad. When we resist that 50% of the negative, we intensify it and make it much more extreme. So, I want to help us stop the chatter that intensifies and resists this reality of life is 50% great, 50% hard.


The chatter in our brain comes up when we’re thinking things like, “But it shouldn’t be this way, it’s not fair, I don’t deserve this, why are people so mean, why are they getting paid more than me, this isn’t fair.” These are very logical thoughts to be having, but these are the things that are making us intensify and resist that 50% of life is hard and crappy at times. That resistance to it is what intensifies it and makes it feel more hard. Stop resisting the hard parts. You know you’re stuck in this resistance when you are resisting the reality of that 50/50. This is when we really start to feel stuck, and we spin, and it gets worse and harder, and we start to lose hope, and we start to do unhealthy things to cope with it. Unhealthy coping mechanisms might look like turning to food that’s not healthy or alcohol or porn in unhealthy doses or drugs or yelling or quitting or making these big extreme decisions in the moment because we’re just like, “Ah, we just can’t get out of it. The negative is so intense.”


When we’re stuck in this resistance mode, we have a very low tolerance of discomfort, and we lose it really quickly. For example, this might happen like if you find yourself kind of dreading your job, frustrated with leadership and their lack of a strategic direction, you’re not getting paid enough, and you go to work, and you’re just kind of dragging yourself through the day, and maybe someone starts asking questions and kind of poking holes in the approach you’re taking on your project. When you’re resisting the part of life that’s hard, you’re more likely to get really mad, to get defensive, to start rolling your eyes, to start sighing, to lose it, to complain because we have such a low tolerance to the frustration because we’re already so intense in it that we just kind of snap. And now something that we know logically, they’re just asking questions, this is kind of what they’re supposed to do, it sends us over the edge. You know you’re stuck in the resistance where if maybe having a really hard five minutes of a day makes you have an entire hard day because you can’t get out of it.


Okay, so what are the two steps we should do to embrace the crappy parts, let ourselves feel the suck, deal with the crappiness, and not get stuck in the resistance of it? Okay, the first one is you need to ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” What we resist will persist. Okay, if you want to get out of the crappy parts, you gotta go in on feeling them. You can’t cognitively solve your way out of it, you can’t outwork your way out of stress and anxiety and overwhelm. You have to be willing to feel it to close that cycle and get back to that 50% good part. So, first, you want to ask yourself, “What am I feeling? Where in my body am I feeling this?” You got to get out of your head and into your physical sensations, your physical whole body. For me, I found a lot of times I feel it in my face, I feel it in my forehead, in my jaw, in my shoulders, my posture gets really terrible and I’m slunched and hunched over, I feel it in my gut a lot, that’s where I feel a lot of that 50% hard part.


Okay, so again, we’re trying to learn how do we not get stuck and how do we not be okay when things are really crappy. So, one, go all in and feel it. The second thing, ask yourself, “What do I need? I’m not okay right now. I am really frustrated. I’m really angry. I’m really worried. I’m really upset, whatever that emotion is. Knowing your body, where you’re holding that stress and that tension, where you’re physically feeling it with your sensations, and then two, be honest, what do you need? What would help you right now? Do you need to go scream in a car? Do you need to cry? Do you need to take a bath? Do you need to talk it out with someone? Do you need to be alone? Do you need to go for a walk? Do you need to listen to music? Do you need to eat? Do you need to take a nap? Do you need to drink some water? Do you need to focus and get a few things done? What would help you while you’re feeling this crappy part of life? If we’re not willing to feel the crappiness, that’s what it intensifies. And then three, go and do the thing. Go do that thing that you know is going to help you. You’re going to want to tell yourself, ‘I don’t have time. I just got to get through this deliverable, then I can take a break.’ You’re going to tell yourself, ‘It’s going to be better once I get paid more or once this leader rotates or once we’re through this launch.’ But guess what? That is you resisting the crappy parts of life. It’s okay for it to be crappy. Go all in. The more you’re willing to let it be crappy, the faster it leaves, and the faster you move back to that 50% of greatness. And you’re going to go back and forth, but we’re not scared of the crap. It’s not intense. Embrace the suck. It’s the fastest path to getting to where you want to go.


Okay, so how would these steps kind of come to life in a couple examples? Let’s say you are looking for a new job. Guys, it sucks, it’s not fun, we don’t really want to feel good about this. It’s hard work, there’s a lot of uncertainty, times are crazy. Okay, stop trying to feel good about that. Let’s just acknowledge a part of this process is going to be crappy. You know you’re resisting the crappiness if you’re just thinking about finding a new job and you’re not actually doing anything about it, or you’re taking really passive action of like talking to people but not actually applying for any jobs or putting together a plan of when you’re going to do it but not actually doing the thing you plan to do. Or you’re complaining about your current job and the current people on your team when you know you just need to go find a new job. You know you’re resisting it when you’re eating all the junk food you can find because thinking about finding a new job feels terrible, so let’s just pretend it doesn’t and resist it and go eat all the Halloween candy we bought early. P.S. don’t do that, bad idea. I know myself well enough to know I can’t buy the Halloween candy until right before Halloween.


So one, ask yourself, what am I feeling? Maybe you’re feeling uncertain, maybe you’re feeling uneasy. For me, when this happens, I feel it in my chest, it’s a lot of intense energy racing back and forth. My shoulders get really tight, my forehead gets really tight, there’s a ton of chatter in my brain, it’s literally uncomfortable for me to sit and focus because it’s just so much uncertainty and uneasiness in my body. That is what it feels like to me. Two, what do I need? If I’m feeling that uncertainty, that energy in my chest, that tightness in my face and my shoulders, you know what I might need? I might need to take a couple deep breaths, I might need a glass of water, I might need to take five minutes and go walk outside, and then I might need to come back and find my resume on my computer and then take a few more deep breaths because I’m going to have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that, and then I may need to go and just add in the barebone basic job information on my resume and take a few more deep breaths, and then I may need to go and write down a few really crappy bullet points that aren’t great with x’s and y’s, and then I might need to go talk to a friend about it, and then I might need to keep feeling my gut as it’s churning and wanting to eat all that Halloween candy and relax my body and feel that energy in my chest, and then go make up a few really crappy bullet points and send it to a friend and get their feedback on it, and then at the end of the day, I might need to take a bath and say thanks to myself for embracing and doing the crappy thing.


See, you’ve got to be willing to feel it, you’ve got to know how to take care of yourself through the process, not beat yourself up, not ask why is this so hard, what’s the matter with me, why can’t I figure this out, why is this system broken, but just take care of yourself along the way, and that is how you make the crappy things less intense.


Let’s look at another example of maybe you aren’t making as much money as your peers. It is not fair. I don’t think we should feel good about this. I personally don’t want to feel good about this. I don’t think it’s fair. It feels terrible. You probably have some resentment if you’re anything like I would be, then I’m judging them. They know better than this. They’re okay with it. They don’t value me as much. Then I start judging myself. What’s the matter with me? Why am I not standing up for myself? Why am I okay with this? It’s a crappy thing that you are not making as much money as someone else in a similar position, especially when you’re better at it and been doing it longer.


Resisting it is complaining about it to others, talking to your manager or leadership about it when you’re in that defensive place and being threatening. That’s resisting it. Resisting it looks like sarcasm and making little jabs about it to your manager along the way. Resistance looks like getting sloppy at your job and justifying it because you keep thinking, “Well, they don’t respect me, they don’t pay me as much as so-and-so, so why should I care?” That is resisting the crappiness. Resisting it looks like going and spending money and buying yourself things to feel better. Okay, that is just going to keep you stuck and make the 50% of this being crappy even worse.


So what do we do? One, we ask ourselves, “What am I feeling?” Again, I feel it in my chest. It’s heavy. It’s not as high energy as that uneasiness that I feel when I have to go look for a new job. It’s more of this heavy, dense thickness in my chest. I feel it in my stomach. It’s like a rock in my stomach. My palms get sweaty. My upper body is really tight. My shoulder blades start to get knots in them. I start to get pains in my neck. Okay, that is what I’m feeling in the crappy part as I’m thinking about that I’m not making as much money as my peers.


Two, what do you need? As you’re feeling that rock in your chest and your stomach and those knots in your back, what do you need? Maybe go get yourself a massage. Maybe you need to talk it out with a friend. Maybe I need to cry. Maybe I need to do some soul-searching and journal and really get honest with myself of why am I sticking around when I know I’m not being paid what I should be. Maybe I’m going to talk to my manager and I’m going to tell him the whole truth and say, “Look, I’m kind of mad. I’m really frustrated, and I’m a little worried because I like this job and I want to keep it, but I feel like you don’t appreciate and value me, and because of the rules and processes, I feel like I’m kind of stuck. I don’t know what to do for sure. I’m going to need to take a nap after I talk to my manager and tell him the whole truth. That’s going to be an emotional thing for me. I’m going to need to give myself time to rest and take care of myself.”


Maybe I’m going to need a 20-second dance party afterwards. 20-second dance parties help me feel better so often throughout the day. What do you need to take care of you? And go do it. You’ve got to have grace and compassion for yourself while you’re feeling the crappiness. Don’t resist it. Don’t push it away. Allow it to be there and take care of yourself while you’re doing it. Telling you, this is how you get on the other side. It’s going to be crappy to figure it out, and that’s okay. Life is 50/50. The less resistant we are to that, the less intense it has to be, and the easier it is for us to bounce back and forth between that 50% hard, that 50% great. Being a resilient, strong person does not mean you live an 80% amazing life and 20% hard life. It means you know how to take care of yourself and continue to shift and move in between that 50%. It means you have the mental and emotional strength and ability to understand what you’re feeling, to feel it, and to take care of yourself through it so you don’t get stuck in the suck.


Alright, y’all, you are amazing. I see you, I appreciate you. You’re doing good things. Be nice to yourself, okay? Life is 50% hard and 50% amazing. Stop resisting it. Give yourself permission to feel it and take care of yourself through it. Alright, you’re awesome. You got this. We’ll talk soon.


If what you’re learning from this podcast is helping, this is just the beginning. Each week I offer a limited number of coffee chats so that you and I can connect one-on-one and talk specifically about what’s going on for you. You’ll leave this call feeling more hopeful and motivated, but I’m also going to teach you a few things to try right away to get unstuck. Space is very limited, and these are free, so grab your spot before they’re gone. Click the link in the show notes or go to and sign up today. You got this.

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Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last ~12 years growing my career at Amazon. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

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