Episode #11
High-Performance Syndrome
In this episode:

We decided to go out of our schedule for this episode to discuss the challenges that are relevant to things men face. Our host Aaron has had some struggles with setting unattainable expectations due to being a high-performance guy and he felt it was the perfect opportunity to have this raw conversation with Josh and all our listeners. The conversations go deep into Aaron’s emotions with Josh giving him some great and truthful advice. This episode is perfect for everyone that is feeling the pressure to be a high performer.

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Show Highlights
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Work Life Balance
  • Professional Success & Personal Growth
  • Realistic Expectations & Goals


Aaron Tharp 0:00
The information provided in this episode is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have questions regarding your health, please contact your medical provider. All right, welcome back. today’s gonna be a little bit different. We, we had to Josh and I had attended or intended, excuse me to do a discussion about fashion and grooming and our style and grooming rather. And we will at some point, do that. I normally have notes that that I prepared, but today is going to be speaking from more of the heart, I’m going to talk about some challenges and some things that have happened personally, and how they’re relevant to a lot of the things that I think men face. And you know, if you, if you read, if you read the bio, that I have, on the website for this show, there’s a couple of things that stand out. One is, I don’t know how you felt about doing the show. But I’ve always felt like this is a platform that I’m grateful to have and to share a message. And it’s one that we often come with tips and advice and knowledge and from time to time, it can be good to take stock in in, in the advice that you should also be obtaining from him. So given the challenges and some of the things that that I’ve, that I’ve faced, and as a consequence of those being my own decisions, it’s only fair to use the platform and to come and share our message of, Hey, I don’t have all the answers. And I face struggles, just like everybody else does. So in full in full disclosure, I have a natural proclivity for, for over, overcome, being overly competitive, and really keeping the pedal to the metal, if you will. And there’s been a theme that I’ve been hearing a lot more about, which is this, this this, this strive striving for balance to achieve balance in your life. And anything in the extremes is too much. I don’t really know much different, it’s really how I’m wired. But particularly in the last, I would say 10 days, two weeks, some things have happened at work, and it just in my personal life, that that you kind of feel like the chips are starting to stack against you. And one falls and then another one falls and then another one falls and pretty soon it’s it becomes really challenging. So you know, nothing terrible has happened, you know, no crimes were committed, nobody was hurt.

But it’s been, it’s been an extremely challenging couple of weeks. For me personally in the last two, and I felt it was just right to come here and share that and be honest and open about it. So as I mentioned, it was, you know, when I look back at some of the decisions that I made, they were all they were all based on, you know, achieving a certain metric and obtaining a certain goal. And my proclivity for for over performance, I guess you could say, which applies to overtraining, over working out, just over just doing things overly too much. When I look back at some decisions that I made, I’m now understanding and seeing the fruits of those things. And I wouldn’t even necessarily consider them fruits, because I’ve had a couple of goals that I’ve fallen short on. And some some things kind of crumble, I guess, if you will, professionally. And, you know, I’m it’s not something I’m terribly proud about, but it’s something I need to be honest about. And what I really struggle with personally is achieving balance. So with the pedal to the metal all the time, I really struggle with with, you know, taking stock and what I’ve achieved and a reward, you know, kind of treating myself based on those things that that I’ve achieved. And just a couple of things that have happened specifically with work, I work in sales, and I’ve been I’ve been really really putting my nose to the grindstone about you know, putting deals together and it seems like within the past, you know, two weeks of continuously, you know, bend decline, decline decline and, and then there are other things too, I won’t get into details, but it’s been extremely frustrating and very taxing on me mentally. And this is in no way a victim. Victim mindset. It’s more just my over performance and my over critic, my over criticalness of myself has really backfired. And it’s, it’s, it can afford you some really good things. Being hyper competitive and being an achiever and an overachiever can afford you some really good things. And that I have, but it has a backside. And it, it can backfire. And I think that the the balance that I struggle with most is, is taking stock and taking inventory in that. I know that this is something that the guys really face. There’s a there’s almost this archetypal ideal that that I think is tangible in terms of performance and achievement. And I, I have such a white knuckle grip on goals and things that I think I often don’t create a space for them to actually manifest in my life. And you know, you can, you can hold on to something so tight that you actually push it away. So I was hoping to have a conversation tonight with you about balance, and about ways that we can look for that. And to achieve that you’re a high performance guy yourself, you have a family of your own, your physician assistant, and you have a lot of irons in the fire. And it’s, it’s a challenge that that I just need to be open and honest about. And I’ve really struggled. Honestly, it’s been tough. And rather than come here and tell you guys how to be at your best, it’s important that you know that I’m not always at mine. And that, that I fall short a number of times. Is this something that that that you experience that you have? Some some detail and some experience around in your own personal life? Josh?

Josh Simms 7:04
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Man. And I think one of the one of the big things is that, you know, we all get really wrapped up kind of in like these, these leadership books and and all these guys who are super high performers, and they put out these 180 to 250 page little manuals on how you can improve your life and do well. But there’s not any of those guys, anybody who’s super successful, would be completely full of it, if they if they were to tell you that they never failed, right. And I think it’s, it’s going to happen in every aspect of life that we try, we fail as friends, sometimes we fail as spouses, parents work, like as co workers, we just it just happens, right? It’s part of life. Some people are super critical of that, and don’t want to accept that as part of their life. Because high super high achievers, people who run really hot all the time, they have a hard time dealing with that. So I mean, it’s really easy to let certain things in life, kind of whether it’s your job, or it’s a lot of times with guys, it’s career, kind of drive you to it kind of drives takes the wheel of your life and direction, wherever you’re going to go, right. Especially somebody who’s in sales, if you travel and stuff, like it’s kind of like I’m getting the job, and this is what we’re gonna do. And you see people like that, who are super high performers who have a really, really solid hard drive, and who can go and go and go and go, they can let their personal lives kind of kind of like the sand through their fingers a little bit. And then they’re like, have you called? I haven’t called Jared in like two weeks. And he’s like, my best buddy. And I haven’t checked in with my mom and, or whatever, right? Because we get so focused on those goals. In the balance of how do you balance that right? How do you take away from one to give to the other? And what are we willing to let go I think is the big the big challenge that people face. Because I think people face like if I if I go out for like a weekend trip with the dude’s and I take monday and friday off. Like that’s, that’s two days at work that I’m missing where I could be achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself. And that’s hard for people to do. I think one of the big things that I I started to do is I did a couple personality tests things I always kind of sometimes think they’re a little bit of a fraud but a crutch for people. Because you see people be like, well, like the enneagram tests on over familiar with those working on enneagram six, so I can just act like that all the time. And that’s the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. And it’s like, that’s kind of a it’s kind of an immature way, but I think it does provide a little bit of an insight to your personnel in the way that you tick. Like for me on the strengths finders, like my number one strength is futuristic, and then I’m an enneagram five. I honestly really don’t even know what that means. But what it what I did take from it is that I get overwhelmed easily by a lot of different tasks, I am not like a small in the details type person, I can’t, I just can’t keep that all it’s just boring to me. It’s not exciting. There’s nothing fun within it. So I can actually talk to my therapist about this stuff, but how to manage that, like when I start to feel overwhelmed by kind of all the little tasks that start to build up, and I’m one or two is slipping here. I’m just like, that’s that, that gives me anxiety, that gives me stress, right, that puts me in the position that you’re in. And I probably experienced that. Just this year alone two or three times where it was like, Okay, I’m starting to feel that heat, I’m starting to feel really overwhelmed. That’s when I just I just taped it, I just start saying no to stuff. Like, Nope, sorry, I can’t do it. And yours usually say yes. And I’m like, wait, yeah, but I’m not saying yes, this time, I just need a little bit time. Even if it’s like a day or two. That’s what I told my wife. Like, if I just get like an hour a day, just alone time, zone out, read a book, watch my show, like it’s a huge mental reset for me. So I think the big part of balance is finding those things that do distress you, which doesn’t include drugs and alcohol, over exercising overeating under eating, right, the unhealthy stress relief habits that people will develop to get through that stuff. And utilize them on a frequent basis, I think we get afraid, because we feel that that’s a weakness, right? Like, I find something that makes me feel it helps me relax a little bit and kind of take my foot off the pedal, and that feel like I’m grinding myself out. Because we do have to grind ourselves. It’s a grind. I mean, it’s you know, here’s what you hear the term grind all the time and some dude like work in life, dude, it’s a grind. Like when you look at all the stuff you got to do through a day as like a professional, it’s a lot of stuff, man, and it can wear you down. And so I think finding a window,

I guess, come off of that grind for a little bit in a healthy way, is super important. It’s different for everybody. Right? like yours is probably much different than mine, it may be the same thing. But it could be completely different. How do we find that? that’s a that’s a whole other question. I think in and of itself, I think you had to do a lot of self, a lot of introspective examining of who you are, you know, kind of, I mean, I think that’s one of the things that helps me to going through therapy is kind of finding out where how my life has led up to this point. And why I am the way that I am right, because your life shapes you the events, the traumas, all the stuff that we go through shapes us and puts us on the defense or, or makes us happy versus other somebody else. So I think I think digging into that really helps, and it helps you kind of okay, this is why I feel this way in these situations. This is what’s pushing me to do this, and how can I, because sometimes just having that I mean, you see therapist to having that healthy, objective point of view can open up your eyes to a lot of different things.

Aaron Tharp 12:43
Yeah, the, one of the one of the main things that he’s told me, because I asked for his brutal honesty, even if it stings is his feedback about what he sees from a professional standpoint. And one of the biggest things, if not the biggest thing has been my, the self critic. So there’s a difference between being, you know, critical, and then just examining, and then making a change, right. And I wouldn’t say that I have a proclivity towards negative talk, it’s more that I hold myself to a level of discipline or a structure, that, that that is an extreme, I think I, I’m prone to order. And I really like things a certain way. And then I get I get it the way that I want it. And I’m doing it very structurally where I get up, and I do the same thing, and I go to work, and you know, you have day after day after day after day, after day of that, and then the then things start to kind of stack up against you. And then you know, the thing is that like, when I look back at all the things that have fallen through, and again, these aren’t tragic things, but it’s,

Josh Simms 13:56
It’s important to you, man, right? That’s exactly. And that’s Yeah, that’s what we need to understand sometimes is that just because it doesn’t seem like it’s important to me doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an effect on you. So while may not be tragic, to me, it still affects you in a very negative way.

Aaron Tharp 14:12
Yeah, and fair point too, because when you when you isolate, to kind of only a few specific endeavors work would be one of the biggest. And then, you know, you kind of see things fall through or you see deals that that don’t go through. You don’t have you’re not really creating other areas that that you can maybe not escaped to, but pull from right because you’ve narrowed your focus to just do these things every day and whatever. And it’s it’s an unhealthy way of going about it. It’s not balanced at all. And the interesting thing was, is or is rather is that when I look back at What led me to here, they were all a result of the, of a decision that I made somewhere. So it would be inappropriate for me to point the finger, or to or to be I mean, I can be upset about it, but and have my moment, but it would be inappropriate for me to place blame somewhere else, because they were all a manifestation of decision I made somewhere along the way. And it’s important to recognize that, like, I contributed to this, you know, I participated in this. And I can also participate in my own rescue in this. Yeah. And it’s hard to do. Yeah, it’s extremely. Yeah. It’s extremely hard to do. And, but it’s important that that the message be be shared, because it can be very taxing. And when you shoulder a lot of responsibility, and you take on a lot of you take on a lot, probably more than you should, maybe more than you need to Yeah. It’s, it’s also not fair to you to do that. And you’re making it extremely hard on yourself. And you’re, you’re creating expectations. You know, I think that it may be that too is that I have some expectations that are almost unattainable.

Josh Simms 16:25
Right? When you say you’re not talking about me, you’re talking about yourself. Yeah, just want to make sure people understand

Aaron Tharp 16:30
Yeah, I have expectations that that I create for myself that are that are unattainable. And falling short of those is, is, is hard to contend with. But, you know, not having the balance in our other outlets, or, or letting go, you know, I’ve had moments like this in the past. And when I’ve decided at that point that I’m going to loosen my white knuckle grip, and I’m gonna let I’m going to allow things to happen to not have so much control over them. I don’t, I wouldn’t consider myself a control freak. But I like things in order and I like things a certain way. But then when I get them, I push things and potentially even people away by doing that. It’s it’s, it’s just a it’s just a big challenge that I’ve had and but when I’ve experienced it in the past, I didn’t do really much different in the way of activity. I mean, it was Yeah, of course, it was slight it was modifications. But in truth, it was more that that I maybe emotionally let go or I detached from an outcome. And then suddenly a space was created or things kind of started to fall my way I know that it’s not always going to fall my way. But I almost kind of just like let go and allowed things to kind of manifest themselves rather than me trying to go in there and control it. It’s, it’s it’s almost hard to describe, and it’s almost hard to it’s hard to get out. I mean, it’s hard to talk about. Yeah, because it’s admitting that I have a huge weakness, and a proclivity to this. But again, it would be foolish for me to come in here and say you should do this, this and this, and you should dress this way. And you should be fashion and grooming. And yeah, when I don’t have all my ducks in a row, because I think it’s important to get your house in order before you start throwing stones at other peoples and start giving advice. In my family. A lot of people come to me for advice. I consider myself the sage of our family. And then I come in here and I and I do the same thing. And I need to take the advice too. But that’s the responsibility that I need to take. So that’s probably more than you want to know. But

Josh Simms 18:56
No, no, man. I mean, I think it’s, it’s it’s I mean, thank you for sharing all that man even though it’s not easy. I think it’s people are really, people don’t like to do that. Because again, they feel they’re going to be judged by somebody else. Right. You know, we sit in this room every couple of weeks and kind of chat and talk and and it’s good man like you’re great, dude, I wish I mean, I wish we had more margin like just in our life to hang out and be buddies and get to know each other a lot better. Because I think you’re an awesome guy. I think you know, it is really tough. You know, as I go to church and I believe in God, that’s that’s my thing. I think when when I hear you say like, Why just kind of let go, that’s what like as Christians would prefer to like, let God take the wheel, like let that spiritual aspect of your life. Rely on that to kind of let things come together. It’s the it’s kind of if I were to relate it from a secular point of view would be the Don’t look down and then look up and out like the Draco thing like okay, I’m so hyper focused on these areas right now. And it’s It’s burning me out. So I need to take a step back, look at the big picture of it all. See what else was maybe moving outside of my view? Is there anything else that I can just let happen? That’s really, that’s really hard to do, man, because then you are kind of taking your hands off of the problems that your that you’re dealing with, and letting things kind of fall into place a little bit. And sometimes, man, if it doesn’t work, it might be for the best, right? But again, that’s a really hard pill to swallow in that moment, right? Like, if that doesn’t, that doesn’t work out if that deal doesn’t go through? Like what if, you know what if that deal to create 10 times more stress on your work life than if you didn’t have it? Right? It’s, uh, yeah, man, it’s, it’s really, really hard. I mean, I’m in a position where I just, I just naturally can’t take on more than account. If I were single, dude, it would be, I’ve been this, I would just never stop. Like with my job, I would travel all the time, I would never be in one spot I’d be I’d probably work six days a week, 5060 hours a week working at night. Like, it’s just because I enjoy what I do. I like the guys that I work with. I like the patients, I take care of it limitless male, and I want to be able to provide a place. That is awesome, right. And that’s kind of work, my, that’s where my drive comes from. So like I get it to it. And I’m just I just have a rate limiting step of the family, which thank heavens, it’s probably a good thing for me, right? I mean, like, I love my wife and kids would trade for anything. But I can see that I can feel that side of me sometimes kind of kind of tug and I’m like, okay, like I’m getting a little too far away from the core of of my life and getting out into an area that’s that’s not unhealthy. But it starts to rob me of the things that kind of make up me and who I am and why I do what I do. It’s me and life work. All that stuff is just super challenging. It’s it’s in its in its it can just feel so relentless. without even being told that it’s that way. Like, I think, especially in sales, right? A lot of the people I know who were in sales are very, I don’t want to say emotionally driven people. But they thrive on that win. Right? They get a sale It is like, that’s their high, that’s their natural high. And so they grind and when they lose that sale, that’s like their depression. And so they kind of go through this high and low week to week, day to day. Exactly. And it’s a it’s brutal. I don’t know how I can’t I couldn’t do it, I would be so spun out, it would be it would be out of control. I mean, like, it’s really, really, really, really hard to do.

Aaron Tharp 22:32
Yeah, it’s it’s every year chasing a huge quota. And it’s part and parcel of being in sales. I mean, that’s what you accept the responsibility of getting and obtaining and going through it in sales. But it’s looking at that tall mountain and then it’s hard to unzip your identity or your worth, in your or your attainment, or lack of attainment in that goal. So just for some context, if you are if you outsell your quota at the company I worked for if you outsell it by a certain margin then you get to take a trip each year and it’s usually somewhere tropical and

Josh Simms 23:09
yet my wife isn’t she does sales do so I get I I feel I see that from her too and how hard it is on her so I get it I can relate to what you’re saying. Yeah, it’s

Aaron Tharp 23:17
it’s it’s burns you out. And it is relentless. Especially the older you get you just you kind of I don’t know if I got it in the tank, but

Josh Simms 23:26
it started me to call you off to get the trip and

Aaron Tharp 23:27
yeah, no, you’re good. So I had I had earned it two years ago, and then I had earned it last year. And they, you know, they said we’ll be will, will allow you to go for two weeks and or we can have or whatever. And as a as a as a means of not punishment, but as a means of disciplining myself. And because I am not the best at rewarding myself. I declined to go. And that was this week. And I don’t say that as a as a means of you should feel bad for me because it was again, it was a decision that I made. So I looked at this week thinking okay, well, you know, I declined to go this year, and I’m going to use this week to bust my ass. I’m going to close a lot of deals. I’m going to put my head down when everybody else is on the beach. I’m going to get ahead and in every way possible that it could have backfired it totally did.

Josh Simms 24:30
Yeah, cuz that would be my first question to you. I could we were sitting down having a beer I’d be like so what if that doesn’t work out bro. Right. Like that would have been the first question I would ask you. I guess a friend.

Aaron Tharp 24:39
Yeah. It is. So exact your it because I was without internet at home for the better part of a day and a half. And

Josh Simms 24:49
that’s how you work. You have to Yeah. When you go to the library. Well, I couldn’t go into the office.

Aaron Tharp 24:54
I couldn’t go into the office and I was just losing time and I got fixated on it and it’s like, Okay, I gotta get this day. So then once I finally got back on, I was behind, and then I was I was uncovering, you know, nose and declines and nose. And then I got to a point where I got caught up and then I’d start reaching out, and it was nose and declines and nose declines. And I even no more than an hour before I got your two, I was still experiencing them. Yeah. And so I’m like, Okay, and now it’s it’s almost comical. Um, I mean, almost because it has to be Yeah, because I’ve experienced some tyranny, I guess, if you will, the last week, but and I don’t say that again, as a means of you should feel bad that I didn’t go to the beach. It was more. I have this. I have this proclivity towards. I’m going to punish myself this week when everybody else is having a lot of fun, because it’s my way of getting ahead. Yeah. And it was stupid. And I, you know, I’m the only one that paid the ultimate price for because I saw my friends and they were having a great time. And they were posting pictures and they look like they’re having a ball. And some of them even close deals while they were down there. It’s like so flat. I closed. Zero.

Josh Simms 26:05
Yeah, that’s brutal.

Aaron Tharp 26:07
And it’s not a pity party, but it’s the reality. And it was assigned that like, dude, have some balance. Yeah. reward yourself for the efforts that you’ve done and achieved. And don’t be so damn hard on yourself. Because it’s it. It didn’t afford you anything. Yeah, it was it completely backfired.

Josh Simms 26:29
Yeah. And I think the other angle from that is is like the the people that you work for, designed a program to reward you for your hard work and success. Because they understand that it’s, I mean, like, it’s one thing like, Hey, man, meet your quota, we’ll give you $1,000 bonus. It’s like, okay, that’s kind of cool, right? But like, Hey, we’re gonna spend like 10 G’s to send you to this really awesome resort. We did share with other people that you work with, maybe from other regions, you can act network party, like, it’s huge, right? We got to do that for my wife’s job we got to go to we got to go to Cabo. And it was awesome. And like, we had a great time, like, all the people that she was there that we worked with, that she worked with are super cool. I got to meet like the president of their company. And like, he came up and was like, Hey, man, can I buy you beer? And I’m like, sure. If you make it too, homey, but it was like super cool. And like for for my wife, like she, that’s huge for her. Because she’s like, Okay, I see, not on the financial side. But like, there’s this. It was almost like, a sign of gratitude from the people that she works, works with and works for that. They were like, Hey, we appreciate everything you’ve done, go have a heck of a time on us. And we want you to know that you can do it again next year, if you’re still if you’re still doing really well. So I think some people just get caught up in the number, right? If I just got to hit that number, then I’ll feel better about hitting the number than they will feel about going on the trip. Right. And that’s I think that’s the difficult part about sales is it’s sometimes not even about the money, right? It’s just about the actual like, look

Aaron Tharp 28:00
what I accomplished this because you attach your like I said, your your your value as a person as a sales rep. I mean, even beyond a sales rep, you attach your your worth, to your your attainment or not. Yeah, and I missed out entirely. It was an opportunity to go down there and bond with people I didn’t get to see last year, and go and commiserate and hang out and have a good time. And and, you know, I missed out entirely in more ways than just the sales. So I can’t look to anybody else and say, Well, you know, or or play victim it was I have to be responsible for the decision I made.

Josh Simms 28:35
Yeah. So So what do you think? What do you think like you learn from it from a personal and professional aspect, like you learned about that decision that you made to do that? How do you? How do you feel that that’s affected? You change? Do you what you learned from that?

Aaron Tharp 28:51
Yeah, I that’s a that’s a that’s a loaded question.

Josh Simms 28:54
You know, again, you don’t have to answer that. No,

Aaron Tharp 28:56
no, I’m all this is, will be as transparent as possible. I did learn I’m learning put it that way. I didn’t. I’m always learning or at least I hope to. I’m, I’m I’m learning that I get in my way very easily. And that I don’t have the best idea of how to reward or to treat myself. Anything in the extremes. If it’s just to donek pleasures all the time. It’s like that’s not going to do me any good either. But, you know, I think that I have such a competitive drive. My therapist told me he’s like, you’re super competitive. And I never thought that and I don’t think that I am with other people. I think I hold that against myself. Yeah. Which that can be good. You know, you want to be a little bit better tomorrow than you didn’t you were today. Yeah, that’s great. But again, it’s no it’s it’s the idea that like, you don’t you don’t need to go on the trip, almost as a punishment. Because you’re going to work really hard and you’re going to, you’re going to get ahead, you know. So that placing too much pressure on myself way too much pressure. I mean, even in here. I mean, I come in here with notes, I really give a shit about what we do in here. Yeah,

Josh Simms 30:14
you seem to come up with like nothing. Now, I pointed that out. No, I’m just saying like, I think it’s a difference in our personalities. I think it’s like I, most of the stuff that we talked about, I have known and studied for. So it’s, like, easy for me to kind of rattle that off. But like, I kind of look at stuff. And then I rely on the conversation, that’s kind of takings words, like you’re, I mean, like you trust me would be, we’d be so off so far off the rails in so many different topics, if you didn’t do that, right. So that’s, again, the benefit of it. So

Aaron Tharp 30:44
it’s, yeah, I placed a tremendous amount of tremendous amount of pressure on myself to make sure that what comes out of our conversations is valuable. And I spend days I spend hours on on the content and on the notes and trying to make sure that it’s valuable. And I care deeply about it, not least, because I think it can be helpful, but because it’s always going to be attached to my name, in some sense. And so I’m always attuned to that. And it’s, it’s that pedal to the metal all the time, that that I think, and that white knuckle grip on, it’s got to be perfect. And it’s got to be a certain way. And it’s got to be, you know, 100 miles an hour all the time. It’s, it’s a, it’s not a great recipe. And as a single guy, you know, I’m 37, as a single guy, it’s the outlets for dealing and coping with that are fewer and fewer.

Josh Simms 31:46
Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Tharp 31:47
So it’s important that I learned how to harness that. And I mentioned that because about halfway through this week, I kind of buckled under under the amount of stress and just lack of performance, I kind of buckled. And I didn’t like, the person that came out. I was speaking with a couple members of my family and I didn’t like what they saw. Yeah. And it’s important to understand, for me to understand that, if and when I’m called to, to, to lead a family and to be a beacon strength, and to, to be somebody that’s looked to and relied upon, that I get stuff like what happened when I buckled under control? Because if I’m that way, then and I’m the leader of a household, and I’m supposed to be leading your family into the years to come. And that’s how I conduct myself under stress. It’s, it’s no way to be and I need to get I need to get a grip on myself. Honestly,

Josh Simms 32:56
it’s, it’s hard, man, it’s hard to think about that’s a stressful situation, just not only be able to think about man, it’s really, really, I mean, you get it right. I mean, it, there’s an innate, natural inborn skill and man, either either want that or to be able to do it. Right. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s, I mean, from what I hear you say, I think one of the things you learned is that like, one you need more more margin and balance and then to just a little bit of reset of expectations. And kind of know when the red line is, and when you not only know it but know how to how to pull back when that when that happens.

Aaron Tharp 33:41
Yeah, the the, the, the over critical illness of the self is, is good, it’s good to take inventory, but the over critical illness is bad. And I have a natural tendency to do that. I don’t think that my negative self talk is, is something that, at least not, to my knowledge, something that I deal with. I know many people do, and I know how destructive that is.

Josh Simms 34:03
Yeah, they use that as their engine. Right? And it’s like, I don’t know how people do that man that that’s uh, I couldn’t function from that place. Maybe it’s just I just couldn’t do it. I would cry crash and burn way too fast because I would I would just probably get really depressed and and beat myself down and and have the outlet of, of alcohol and other things to kind of take that stress off me.

Aaron Tharp 34:28
Yeah, it’s, again, with with fewer and fewer outlets. I was so displeased with how I showed up and what my family unfortunately was a witness to more my parents than than anything and God bless him for it. But I, my dad raised me to be better than that. And I actually saw much better examples of how he conducted himself under stress. He wasn’t flawless but I saw That, the way that he did the way that he conducted himself under stress, and he had mouths to feed and have a job to go to, and he had a wife to contend with and family to lead, and that the way that he conducted himself under stress and the way that I did, you know, at a very similar age, and it just made me realize that I, instead of ignoring that, it’s important that I, I actually look at how painful that is, and actually confront it face on, I may not actually get the answer that I want, or ever get to the final result. But I have to get that under control. Yeah. Because it was it was really nasty. I was it was really piss and vinegar. And I mean, it was like, it was like venom coming off

Josh Simms 35:47
the part that you don’t that you don’t want to come out. I think one of the interesting things about like the generation of your dad, excuse me, and us is how how we come up right and and like how we’re raised by our parents are, but like this, so I’m 37 two. So we are I think we’re the most unique generation that has ever come to be because we we were alive in time of eight tracks. And now we’re in a time of talking about neural link, right? Like that expanse of technology and connectedness to other people, which I think is a terrible idea is like no other time in the history of the world. And probably never will be, we won’t make those from like, literally like I got to put a tape in or I got to put a record into I can hit this button on my phone, I have more power in my hand and my phone than I did on a computer 10 years ago. Like that is a hard technological leap to take and how it affects our brains, how it affects that we deal with people, our interconnectedness with people, how we communicate with people. And how it puts us on a 24 hour clock, right? A lot of guys back in your dad’s time they would go in and they would go home and they genuinely would be done. They might have a little bit of homework to do when they get done. But like, bossing going to call on a cell phone He’s not answering emails, he doesn’t I mean, it’s a completely different world than the expectations and so in some sense, he he may have a hard time relating to that with you which is a challenge because you’re like dang man like I if he can, he can be empathetic and be there for you and support you. But it’s a really hard it’s the age that we are growing up in is super challenging. And I don’t think people understand that or don’t want to hear that, but don’t quite get like, really, there’s no other generation that has faced what we face and that transition from Okay, I could get away but now I know I can’t. And it’s one thing to be like I can never I’m always on my phone. I’m like, you know, 1720 year old kids. They have no No, no other way. Right? We remember a time when it was like, man, I phone a ringing after nine because mom’s gonna throw that thing to the wall right? Now you can cancel your computer in your room and nobody No, it’s a completely different lifestyle. And what I’m trying to get at is that drives what you are experiencing right? It drives that constant on that constant pedal to the metal it doesn’t it almost doesn’t allow you to unplug. And if you do people think you’re dead. Even an answer your phone for like two hours from like, three 3pm to 5pm do you think people would be like Aaron Stan says he went off the reservation that like something really bad happen? That’s the incident because everybody’s so connected. You know, you should be connected to probably your your parents or your significant other so they can get a hold of you. But like Why? Why are we being beholden to a co worker at 730 on a Sunday night? I mean, it’s kind of crazy, right? Yep. But we do it almost almost welcome. We almost welcome it, because we think that’s what we need to do to be successful, when it’s actually a destructive pattern that we fall into. I mean, our brains need time to settle to settle down.

Aaron Tharp 38:48
Yeah, it’s, it’s shouldering I think, way more way more than when you need to, especially if you’re, you’re trying to be a high performer. You know, first of all, like you said, you have access and you’re always accessible. And, you know, it’s kind of expected for you to always be on and not least, because now it’s like, Okay, well, you’re not always in the office now because of what happened last year. So there’s almost like a ramping up of like, okay, you’re home, but like, we still need to make sure that you’re performing. And I don’t have any of that at my own. My own job, but yeah, you’re exactly right. The Times have totally changed. You know, my dad worked to say he’s getting close to retirement. I mean, he’s literally within a couple weeks of retire omega for him. And he worked. He was Nucor. He’s worked in the steel industry for I mean, Jesus, I think he started there, but he’s 18. Wow. And he’s in his early 60s. And that

Josh Simms 39:43
is rare, dude. Like how many people do you know are at the same job that they were when they were 25? Right? almost almost nobody. Yes. Unless they’re like in a trade or they’re they started out like a really, really big company that but dude, it is. That’s a rare that’s super rare now.

Aaron Tharp 39:59
It’s very And but that was a sign of the times, you know, you got in and you stayed in and then you know you, you got your pension and whatnot. And he’s now he’s now contending with with retiring, because so much of his identity is wrapped up and working there. And he gets up even to this day, I get up and I we have this thing that our family we’re all on this app, we can kind of make sure that everything’s okay. And yeah, it’s, we kind of see where everybody’s at. It’s like a car safety app like 360. Exactly. That’s exactly

Josh Simms 40:35
right. Yeah. How? My family we love the love that you knew that, like, you’re 60 hit us up.

Aaron Tharp 40:41
Yes. It is actually really good. It is.

Josh Simms 40:44
Yeah, I can’t wait till my kids are.

Aaron Tharp 40:47
But I can see that he’s, you know, even to this day, you know, 515 he’s driving 30 miles there. 30 miles back 30 miles, they’re there. I mean, he’s doing that every single day. And so he’s having a hard time really, really finding out what life is going to be like outside of that. Even when he did that, for all those years. He also ran a construction business on the side. He would work all night and then he would take me in wrestling tournaments in Schuyler, Sioux City or or Lincoln or Omaha from norfork. Yeah. So, I don’t know anything different than that. He This is just how he was. And I think, you know, I come by naturally and honestly. So,

Josh Simms 41:30
yeah, it sounds like that was like an observed behavior and not something that was forced on you either. Right, exactly. That was something that your dad felt like, you got to do this or

Aaron Tharp 41:38
Yes. Fair point. Yeah, it was. It was by methods of of encouragement. And because I observed what what he did and what he accomplished. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I was never, you know, he never ruled with an iron fist. It was, it was just something observable. Yeah.

Josh Simms 42:00
And what which is good, right? I mean, that’s at least you’ve got like, because some people, man, they’re just their parents just hammer. Right. And you’re gonna be this or you’re gonna be that and don’t ever give him the ad and agency to do what? Get what brings them happiness within their work. Yeah. So that’s a positive. That’s a good a good example of, of good father ship and good leadership, right to a son. Now, your dad worked really hard. It sounds like but he never made it seems like, you’re not gonna be like me, you ain’t gonna get what you want. Right? Because that’s a terrible thing to put on somebody. Right? Because then you’re always gonna feel like you’re never gonna live up to it no matter what. Yeah. Yeah, man, it’s intense. It’s We live in an intense world. And I think it’s really easy for people to deal that victimhood card out, like in this situation here. And we’re like, Woe is me. Look, when I’m dealing with. It’s, it’s, this is not my fault. This is somebody else made me do this. This is not what I wanted to do. Right. And I think it takes a lot of politics, a lot of courage, and strength to admit that it’s that take that Extreme Ownership of the situation in which you’re doing, man, so I applaud that. I think people I think people, we would be a lot better off if people were willing to do that. I just don’t think people have the courage to I think they’re afraid that they’re going to get judged. And that if they can put it on somebody else, then so be it. It’s way easier to deal with and you put the blame on them. I don’t get to deal with it, you can let me go and live the easier life instead of trying to make the changes to correct that right. And nobody wants to. I mean, it’s hard to, it’s really hard to look at yourself and be like, this is what’s going on with me. And I got to make all these big changes to fix it big or small. It takes a lot of work man takes a long time to it’s not easy. I mean, that’s, I mean, so I go to therapy, it’s why you do it. So long term. It’s not like Alright, we got a graduation therapy date on September 5, it’s like, that’s gonna keep going, bro. Yeah, I,

Aaron Tharp 43:56
I, I fully accept whatever judgment comes. That’s fine. Yeah. I look at doing this something like what we do here, I look at it is as that as that I have two choices. Either one, I can stand there and say, Boy, this is terrible. Somebody should do something about this. Or two. I could get involved and shoulder a load and get in and try and participate and do what I can to help. And part of doing that is to show that I’m fundamentally as flawed as most people are, and that I don’t have it all together to and that it would not be wise to throw stones. But I’m okay with with whatever judgment comes Bring it on, honestly, and I mean that my my responsibility will be to myself is how much of that should I shoulder and how much Have it? Do I keep in balance? Yeah. That’s not mine to to, to take.

Josh Simms 45:08
Yeah, I think it’s a huge ego check. And that’s a really hard thing for people to do. Even when we talk about the victimhood folks, I mean, like their ego drives them to blame it on somebody else, because then they don’t have to have their ego wounded to accept responsibility for the times when they made the wrong decisions, or push things too far didn’t do the right thing. So that so if I can just blame that on somebody else, and I don’t accept your responsibility for it, like you’re saying, Bring it on, I’ll take whatever lumps I’m gonna get. People don’t have the courage or the balls or the strength to do that, because they’re afraid of the outcome when in reality, right? Like, most people respect what you’re saying. If they don’t, then they have, they don’t have a lot of grace or forgiveness in their, in their heart or in theirs, however you want to put it. Like, that’s got to be a core a core tenet of somebody who is in any in any business, because people are always going to screw up. And if you just x everybody who messes up, especially your high performers, I mean, like, then you’re just going to bury yourself. And so I think it’s it’s it’s huge that you say that man is super important people to understand this. I mean, just for you, that’s that’s cathartic and therapeutic to new that people don’t understand that what you kind of just go, yeah, I messed up, but like, I’m going to take what comes my way off of that, and I’m going to learn and I’m going to fix it. Yep. So kind of what are you? What are you like, what’s, what do you have in your mind? And how you’re going to kind of move forward? What you’re going to do? Like, how are you going to practice to make things better, or to improve that?

Aaron Tharp 46:36
I would say, first and foremost, I would call on the people that that that are willing, and that will will tell me directly that they can see that I’m becoming too orderly, or or maybe I’m pushing too much. Yeah. So I would want people near me to hold me accountable. Even if it stinks, even if it hurts, I would rather know my blind spots. So I would kindly ask them to hold me accountable to that. Because I, I think I have in 37 years clearly demonstrated that, when left to my own decisions and my own choices, that I have a labyrinth and I can fall into the halls very easily if left to my own devices. So I think I need to be held accountable to, you know, to making sure that things don’t become too orderly. And then to just, you know, take a break and to let the I always think of the, you know, on a semi truck when they release the brakes, you know, just that big. kind of feels. kind of let go a little bit, you know, let things fall my way. I, I cannot be sold on it. But I liked what you mentioned about letting God take the wheel? Yeah. I don’t know that I’ve Well, it wouldn’t be fair to say that I have not been the best in terms of my, my, my spiritual path.

Josh Simms 48:14
So let’s be clear. No one is I mean, anybody who’s like an honest, open, practicing Christian, who is very transparent will tell you like two times, right, just like you think that’s bad. Let me let me hit you with this, right. And those are the people that you want to get in with, because they’re not going to judge you. And they’re going to walk with you, they’re not going to drag you by by your arms and to take you where they want to go. They’re going to lead you down your path through grace and forgiveness and through that growth pattern, right? Because it’s not I mean, everybody always the thing is like, if you’re, you know, it’s surrounded by love and forgiveness, right, this is a core of Christianity, right? It’s nothing like nothing else really matters. I mean, we could get into theology. And that’s not what this podcast is about. But I think it’s a good time to kind of, or a good point to talk about like that. You can live from that man. Things are so much not easier. But like, Man, you can really you can rally around a little bit of a tribe that we’ve talked about in the past, right? People that you can rely on, right, like, I got a couple guys that I know that I could call, like, if anything happened, that they would just be like, dude, I’ll be there, man. Oh, you know, my wife. We’re basically second families. We got going on, we’ll come over, I’ll be able to take care of you. Right. And I think that’s having that guy in that tribe. That community is important, which is kind of along the lines of the accountability portion that you said, We need somebody to call on that. But then somebody to help us with those things, too. Yes. Especially like you’ve set up the blind spot like management. No, I was doing that. Like, how do I get through that so it would be fair, I know the last thing that I’ll say

Aaron Tharp 49:48
because I want to be done with my my sorrow story here. But the last thing is that I also need to need to be a better a contributor to the other side of it, which is that I also need to become more dependable to other people, not least, because that’s going to get me out of my own stuff, but I think in in service of being there for other people that will help me become the more dependable person that when I let the when I buckled the other night, I don’t think I showed that I was as dependable as I could be, or as I should be, or as I need to be going forward. So I don’t need to be in receive in receive mode all the time. I need to be proactive, and I need to be in the in the contributing in giving service side of being a better friend to being more dependable friend.

Josh Simms 50:45
Have you have you read the book or heard of the book called The Miracle Morning? No, it’s by a guy named Hal Elrod. Okay, which I would I would kill to have this guy on this podcast. It’s an amazing story of the power of gratitude and positivity. So I’ll try to make it brief. He got under like a terrible car accident like I don’t know how we lived or came out of it even like as a functioning human being months and months of rehab and different types of things, and surgeries, and so on, so forth. And he was kind of, I don’t know if I don’t know if I’m, if I remember this correctly, but I think he kind of battled with depression and all these different things. And so I’m very much contextualized in it. So we started waking up early in the morning. Like I think he’s he’s like a 430 type of guy. And he follows this little this little mnemonic and I can’t remember the name of it. But it’s basically talking about how he does some light exercise in the morning, he does a little bit of journaling. And he does like a big thing of like gratitude. Like I am thankful to be alive today. I am thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for just the day today, right? To be able to go out and breathe the air and go to work with the people that I get to work with, right. Seems kind of corny, a little cheesy or or disingenuous. But if you can practice that and do it. In reality, man, you’d be surprised that like, because it opens up your eyes to the things in your life that you should be really grateful for.

Aaron Tharp 52:15
It opens up your heart to

Josh Simms 52:16
Yeah, and then we’ll be fair, yeah, then the dude get cancer, like stage four cancer, and he’s still like giving talks about this stuff. And he’s still alive. And he has a podcast and like his, his ability to generate positivity through through gratitude, and this kind of morning routine that he does. It’s, it’s almost it’s mind blowing, and how much and how you can see, like, if I really did do that, I’d probably be a lot better off. And I would know, I couldn’t be more grateful for all the things that I have and the things that I can do. The people around me and how I can manage kind of like go through my kind of daily to do lists, right? When I wake up and kind of like, prioritize, okay, these are the things I got to get done. These are the things that I should get done, but could maybe Wait, if I got to get overwhelmed with stuff is up, I got to do like, you know, I got to schedule a haircut, it can wait till tomorrow, right? And it kind of gets in the way just talks about it and prioritizing and not taking the small things too seriously. I think it kind of helps people mentally categorize and prioritize things so they don’t overwhelm themselves. Like I got 50 things to do on my to do list. And they’re all number one. Right? I think that would be helpful. I think it’s, I think I would recommend reading it. Do you volunteer? No.

Aaron Tharp 53:30
That’s another thing too, is that it’s clear that all the efforts and all this stuff and all this pedal to the metal stuff is all for me. Yeah. And that’s pretty self involved. And it’s a need to get in service.

Josh Simms 53:42
Yeah. I think it’s one of the most underrated things that people can do, obviously, for other people, right? But there’s a little bit of a selfish thing in there when you go and you give people something, which thing is very important to us our time and our money, right? And you give people your time and your money with no expectation of getting anything back. Right? You have to go into it that way. Like I’m just gonna go from I want to help people, whether it’s like we’re gonna go to like North Oman cleanup, Parker or we’re gonna pick up trash. We’re gonna we’re gonna clean up people’s lawns. Right? We’re gonna come out and say hi, how you doing, man? I’m Aaron’s Good to meet you. I’m so happy to be here for whoever’s gonna do some stuff here. Is there anything else that you need me to do today for you? Oh, yeah. Well, could you possibly move that thing? And then you do it. And then I go, man, thank you so much. I know I was gonna get that done. You’re just like they put Yeah, it really does put you at a 10 and a place that a lot of people don’t aren’t used to going in it’s, it’s awesome. I’d recommend doing i’m not saying I’m like, man, I volunteer every week, bro. No, that’s not me. But like, when I do it is you know, it’s like if you saw somebody who was standing side of the road, and they need 10 bucks and gas money and he gave it to them and you could just see that you just saved their day. Right? And you’re like, Oh, it’s no problem, right? I mean, that feels really good, doesn’t it? Or if you help somebody like you see your neighbor is struggling somebody to go over and help them do something and the gratitude that They gave you a white dude, I was not getting I didn’t know how can you get that done? Like, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And you’re just like, it’s all good, bro. Like those little things fill up your tank in a way that a lot of other things can the material side of the world that we live in how it can’t so I would highly recommend just looking into some basic volunteer you don’t need to go to like the Francis house and scoop soup and stuff like that. There’s lots of cool stuff you can do. For adults, for kids for everything, man that I think would be a big mover for you in a personal way that will not a lot of other stuff, I think can move that needle for you.

Aaron Tharp 55:33
Yeah, no. Point taken. I appreciate sharing. Yeah, that’s all I had. And again, we I kind of threw the guys for a loop today cuz I were supposed to have this grooming and style, which we will do and I’m I’m quite verbose in, let’s say, but I just felt like it was honest to come and just speak from the heart and to share your message. Hopefully it was good message. And hopefully you guys got something else. I just don’t want people to take that. It’s it’s good to want things and it’s good to want to attain good goals. And that can really serve you well. But it’s also important to be to be good to yourself. And to have some grace with yourself.

Josh Simms 56:23
Yeah, I think it’s, again, I think it’s it’s super courageous. And I don’t take it as like this was a podcast about you coming in needing to just vent. I think it’s a good example of recognizing a problem in and trying to find a way to turn it on realizing it’s a weakness, right, and then trying to turn that weakness into a strength for yourself. So you can be better in other aspects of your life. And then you don’t have to face that again, right? Because you see, a lot of time people just continue to step on those landmines. And they’ll reset and and lick the wounds and come back and drive into it again, and just ram right into that wall. And then they’ll just think like, well, there’s a wall in front of me. And there’s only one way through it. And it’s you know, there’s only one way it’s just through it, there’s one, I’m not going to find a way to go over I’m not going to find a way to go around it. I’m just going to headlong into it right. And generally, you hurt yourself and others. And people don’t people find that as a strength, which is odd to me. But I I appreciate that. I think it’s huge. And I think if anybody kind of takes it as like, what was Aaron’s episode, I asked, then you’re not you don’t get it right. You’re, you don’t get it. You don’t understand what the goal of the podcast was. You don’t understand that you probably have that same issue in your life, but you’re not willing to accept it and deal with it. And I’m comfortable saying I’m doing once. Whatever Bring it on, right. I mean, it’s just it’s true, right? Like, I’m more than willing to have that conversation with anybody.

Aaron Tharp 57:47
Yeah. Well, I appreciate you. You. You helped me out today.

Josh Simms 57:51
I’m fine brother. Yeah.

Aaron Tharp 57:53
And that’s all we had. So we appreciate you tune in. And again, have some grace for yourself. Thank you.

Josh Simms 58:00
Thanks guys.

Aaron Tharp 58:01
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