I had no idea how important one podcast episode would be for me.
I was at Gold’s Gym yesterday, preparing to do my weight workout. Scanning through the 27 shows in my phone’s podcast app, I was drawn to one of my perennial favorites: the Tim Ferris Show. (Tim does extraordinary interviews with some of the world’s most accomplished people.)
I was drawn to Tim’s May 18, 2020 episode: “Jim Dethmer — How to Shift from Victim Consciousness, Reduce Drama, Practice Candor, Be Fully Alive, and More (#434)” I had never heard of Dethmer, but he said something during his interview that galvanized my attention.
Whenever possible, Dethmer and his wife of many years make a practice of sharing all the challenging thoughts they’re having about each other, as they arise. Especially the sorts of things most couples would never dream of saying to each other!
You would think that this would cause no end of conflict. But because of how they do it, this practice actually helps them achieve greater connection and intimacy. (I and many of my Law of One tribemates are increasingly using a similar practice based on Brad Blanton’s book Radical Honesty.)
One of the Dethmers’ techniques, when communicating a challenging thought, is to start by stating,
“There’s a story in my mind that says…”
This phrasing makes clear that the person sharing it doesn’t necessarily believe the story. And it brings it out into the open. There it can be discussed and dealt with. If kept to oneself, destructive stories can fester, grow poisonous, and ultimately ruin relationships.
My intuition led me to this technique because Maeikisala and I were in a rough patch. I was holding back on sharing some thoughts about our relationship, for fear of hurting her feelings.
Fortunately, we had recently done a round of Radical Honesty sharing, and had felt much better by the end of the process. Thankfully, the same thing happened when we communicated challenging thoughts using the “story in my mind” technique.
We were genuinely grateful for each other’s candor. And we were amazed that sharing challenging thoughts in this way led to mutual heart opening and a blissful sense of connection.
The work isn’t over — as I write this, we’re now processing another issue. But we can move forward confidently, knowing that we have the tools we need to deal with whatever comes up. And we know how much better we’ll feel once we’ve done this important relational work!
Jim Dethmer’s ideas could dramatically change your life for the better. I encourage you to check out his podcast interview.
I’ve also started listening to the most recent book Dethmer co-authored, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success. I’m only three chapters in, but have already gained a wealth of insight. I’ll be integrating this not just in leadership, but even more in my personal life. If you vibe with his interview, you’re going to love this book!