S1 EP6 – Why seeking approval is holding you back: hacking the pain-pleasure balance.
Hello fabulous listeners! In today’s episode, we dive deep into the moments that force us to evaluate our lives, the importance of making challenging decisions, and how pain and pleasure intertwine in our everyday choices.
Three reasons why you should tune in:
1) Unpack the Four D’s: Ever wondered why we wait for significant life events, like Divorce, Disease, Disaster, and Death, to truly question our life’s trajectory? I share insights into why we hold onto what I call “corpse goals” and how to find that middle ground without waiting for a major wake-up call.
2) The Pain-Pleasure Balance: Understand how self-respect influences our decisions and the balance between making hard choices that benefit our own happiness, even if it means disappointing others. Discover how our constant chase for pleasure can sometimes lead us astray and why a bit of discomfort might be exactly what we need.
3) Knowledge is Power: Get inspired by personal anecdotes, including lessons from my beloved dad, that showcase how continuous learning about ourselves can help us navigate life’s hard choices. We explore the science behind why our brain craves pleasure and how recognising the role of pain can be transformative.
Join me as we challenge the status quo, push our boundaries, and embark on a journey to make choices that truly resonate with our authentic selves. Remember, the path to happiness sometimes requires us to embrace the uncomfortable. Tune in and let’s start the revolution together!
Divorce, disease disaster and death. These are the four D’s the events that grab us by the collar shove us in front of the mirror forcing us to look at ourselves and ask the uncomfortable question what the heck am I doing with my life? And the question is why do we wait for such jarring life events to make us realize that we don’t get a do over? I’mma tell you why. Because we are waiting for the perfect time to make the perfect choice so we can live the perfect life. But this is what I call a corpse goal. It’s a goal that you are going to hang on to until you are dead so where is the middle ground between not waiting for one of the 4 d’s to wake us up and recognizing that the perfect life choice doesn’t exist. It’s understanding the pain pleasure balance. So you can not only make a hard choice but also be able to put your head on the pillow at night without regrets. If this sounds like something that you want to learn more about keep listening. And welcome back to another episode of the Self-Respect Revolution podcast where we learn how self-respect influences how we see ourselves and the lives we live as leaders executives parents dog parents sisters brothers friends and anyone else that you can think of my name is Doctor Katherine Iscoe and once again I’m so glad you’re here now if you are watching this episode you will see that I’m wearing glasses because last night I scratched my eyeball and I was in so much freaking pain which is ironic because today we are going to be talking about pain specifically the pain about making hard choices now let’s rewind for a second because the past two episodes kind of fit into what we’re gonna be talking about today so a couple episodes ago we were talking about self care and understanding how through the lens of self respect self care is not really a behavior that you choose so it’s not like the facial and spa days which don’t get me wrong my skin is the most expensive thing I own I love those things but self care is actually a question and the question is what is that I need to do right now to feel more like me hard question and often times when you ask that question sometimes you don’t even wanna hear the answer which leads me to point 2 which is a concept of being true to oneself now this is very different from authenticity if you’re interested to learn more about that you can jump on back to the previous episode but what you’ll find out as a spoiler alert is basically being true to yourself is making choices that prioritize your happiness but that means that you’re not always making other people happy and that’s not easy for all of us and I I brought up a quote in this last episode from my research study which said you can do you as opposed to pleasing other people and that’s really what being true to yourself is but if you are a high achieving people pleaser you don’t hear those are just like blurry words because what you hear is when you do you you disappoint other people am I getting a nodding head louder at the back thank you very much and this is probably why we wait for one of those 4 D’s death divorce disease disaster for us to be shooken up separate words shooken up to shake us up and make us realize that if we’re not happy no one else is gonna be happy I know that sounds so cliche but it’s so true because I know that as Canadian as I try to be I try to be a nice person but if I’m not happy I will bring down the world with me I’m not a nice person I know that it’s so it’s about balancing how do you make those hard life choices that you know in the long term are going to support your happiness with understanding the discomfort that you’re going to be feeling while you’re making those choices so today what I wanna dive into is how do we make choices that make us happy while also acknowledging that those choices are not always going to make other people happy and that sometimes we might lose people in our life that perhaps might have meant a lot to us but we realize through the lens of self respect is that it’s more important to respect ourselves than others so the question is how do we make a hard choice that we know is eventually gonna make us happy but in the short term we know it’s gonna be so uncomfortable and likely it’s not gonna make the people in our lives happy well I believe knowledge is power which is gosh a lot of cliches in this episode already but I’ll tell I’ll tell you why so my dad is my guiding light he’s my best friend and I always look to him when I’m looking for an answer and gosh golly I think it was like 5 6 years ago that you retired after what I believe is bet like a 400 year career he was a prof at Queen’s University in the medical sciences and I said to you know dad after all these thousands of years of you working and finally retiring you know what is what is one of the most important things that you Learned and he said Kathy you know what the one thing I know is that I know nothing and the underscore of that is that we can always learn more not only about the world but also ourselves and I think that’s why knowledge is knowledge knowledge that you know nothing is knowledge itself one of the things that I recognize when it comes to this whole pain pleasure concept is if you look at our lives do you think we feel more pain or pleasure the answer is pleasure because we are addicted to feeling good all the time we can get Uber Eats delivered to our office or home within 10 minutes we have Netflix where whether you admit it or not you will go through that whole home feed and after 10 minutes you will say I know you’re you’re gonna say without even me saying it there’s nothing to watch social media online shopping okay that is something that I don’t wanna admit but let me tell you online shopping makes me feel so good we are constantly looking for pleasure because we in our brains think that that is a normal resting state but our nervous system doesn’t work that way there’s a thing called homeostasis and basically what I want you to picture is like a balance you know those you know where the judgment person if you’re a lawyer you’re gonna help me out here but you know the the blinded lady a lady holding the scale you we cannot always live in Pleasureland it would be the equivalent of having every single day a sunny day for the rest of your life how would you appreciate sun if you’ve never experienced anything else if you never experienced like a torrential downpour all the sudden things that used to bring us pleasure no longer do and so it’s no wonder that we feel so gosh darn uncomfortable making these hard choices because we equate the discomfort and the pain and yuckiness that we feel as this is not normal but let me tell you it is absolutely normal it’s that thing that balances the equation so we need to understand that a little bit of pain is actually really good for us I’ll give you analogy here you know cold baths are the hashtag big thing nowadays and yes there’s a lot of research and benefits around that sorry I’m a warm shower person because let me tell you the screaming that you would experience you would hear me from wherever you are in the world I don’t like cold chairs I like warm chairs moving on the point being is that a lot of people as link okay it’s the cold water that is actually making me feel good so if you dive into the research you’ll see that noradrenaline adrenaline so forth spikes afterwards and also a neurochemical called dopamine it is associated with a mood boost so in our minds we’re thinking okay cold bath equals pleasure later through dopamine but that is not the link it’s actually the dopamine is released due to the pain so the pain that your nervous system experiences during the cold bath eventually makes or catalyzes dopamine release so what happens is your pain starts to come down and then dopamine is released for the next two and a/2 hours depending on how cold the water is and how long you’re in it for two and a half hours and can rise up to 250% so why is this important we need to start thinking that we really can’t experience true pleasure true pleasure without including a bit of pain in our lives so the point of this is when it comes to choices is that pain is not always a signal that we’re doing something wrong and also pain can be a signal that something good is going to happen so let’s circle this bag to making those hard life choices and I’d like to give you an example as a context and I’m gonna keep this very broad because it was lovely woman who messaged me on a social media her first message and I was so excited to get it the summary is basically she got a raise but the underscore of this or the preface of this is that she messaged me and said I would never have done this before which obviously massive ego stroked me she said you know basically thank you so much for all the information you put out there because this is now helped me get a raise so the context is is that she came back from maternity to leave to find a new manager and this manager said that you have no room to grow in your position and her immediate response was like oh well clearly I don’t so I’m just gonna you know move back and just sort of fall in line but then she said well no this doesn’t make sense I’ve been there for years I’m in a senior position so she zhushed up her resume put it on seek within 24 hours she had a whole bunch of offers at very senior in very senior positions at very senior prices she had a choice to make she could either just fall back in line or she could go through push through the discomfort of going to her boss and saying what’s up with the senior manager this is what I’ve been told but this is what I’m worth in the uh I guess in the world right now and lo and behold guess what she gets a raise but the interesting thing is yes she said the old me wouldn’t have done that but interestingly she also said the old me would have just continued to work hard and eventually hope for that position to move up now why is this important to know no matter what you do you’re going to experience pain because she could have just stayed in that position and chugged along the 9 to 5 or however much she works and chugged and chugged and gone through daily daily daily pain like Groundhog Day that’s pain that is chronic long term pain or like a cold bath she could knock on her boss’s door go through that excruciating uncomfort and discomfort stand up for herself and say this is what I’m worth throwing it back in your court now a little challenge if you’re unless you’re an alien on earth here there is going to be a decision that you’ve either either been avoiding making or that you’re just waiting for the perfect moment and the perfect time and the perfect situation and the perfect conversation to get that perfect answer it ain’t happening what is it called corpse goal so honey I do not want to see you with one foot in the coffin holding that piece of paper and saying this was my goal I wonder why I didn’t achieve it well honey this is a sign I know you can do it you are worth it put yourself in the position that you’re going to feel like in one two six 12 months and picture yourself in that moment of saying fuck to the yeah I’m so glad looking back that I made the choice to make stay true to myself prioritize my happiness because even though I’m disappointed a few people in my life they’ve gotten over it and now they’re watching me freaking smile ear to ear and now that I shine I’m helping others shine so take this as a fateful moment that you are going to muster up the courage and strength and bravery to make that hard choice you’re gonna plan it out you’re gonna think about the AB situation you’re not gonna go into it blind you’re gonna prepare for it you’re gonna practice it you’re gonna go in with compassion and courage you’re gonna be open to learning new things about yourself but you are going to do it so I wish you all the courage not luck the courage for you to go and not just aim for the moon you’re gonna aim for the stars that star is you shining bright thank you so much for being a part of this podcast I look forward to having you and knowing that you’re at the other end with your little AirPods and AirPods and whatever they’re called on the next episode so until that time stay fabulous
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