Speak Up, Say What You Want, And Fully Enjoy Yourself Around Anyone

Do you feel uncomfortable, tense, or awkward during Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings? Do you find yourself staying small, being quiet, and just playing it “nice.” Join Dr. Aziz to discover how to break through the most common holiday challenges so you can confidently show up and enjoy Thanksgiving and any other family event.
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Learn How to Show Up Bold, Powerful and Confident

Do you have challenges with thanksgiving or other holidays around this time of year? Maybe it’s interacting in large groups, spending extended periods of time around people or interacting with certain distant relatives or people that you don’t see very often that you have challenging experiences with. There’s a lot of stuff that comes up around Thanksgiving and other holidays. And in today’s episode we’re going to help you clear all of that stuff and find a way to move through Thanksgiving to be the eye of the storm and to show up as you’re most bold, powerful, relax confident self. So you could actually interact with people, enjoy yourself and really make it an awesome holiday.

I’m Dr. Aziz and today we’re going to be diving in to how to rock Thanksgiving with confidence. And even if you don’t live in the US and you don’t have a Thanksgiving per se as a holiday. This is not about the actual holiday of Thanksgiving where you’re going to eat a turkey and I talk about turkey-eating strategies or something. Or soy substitutes to turkey if that’s your thing. My brother has been a vegan for like two to three years now he’s been rocking it. He is rock, solid, unwavering I admire that. I’ve gone on and off to vegetarian or vegan train like 20 times probably in the last 13 years and I’ll stay on it for three, six months at a time and then go back to eating meat. Not because I changed my values but because it just taste good and I’m not made of stone.

But whatever it is this is not about specifically the nuances of Thanksgiving this is about how to be in a holiday situation. And here are some of the challenges that people experience around any holiday including Thanksgiving. For one maybe you’re dealing with family you’re spending time around family, more time than you normally do. And that could be any family, it could be closed family, parents, brothers, sister that could be more extended family, cousins, aunts, uncles, second twice remove this or that. And spending time around those people that could be challenging because I found that nothing can be harder on our confidence than dealing with family. In fact there was some teacher, maybe it was Rhonda because I don’t remember some spiritual teacher who said if you think you’re enlightened try spending a week with your parents and see what happens. You know there’s some truth to that it can push our buttons to be around family. And in my experience I could be just, I mean I have this kicking ass on my business and writing a book and just showing up bold and confident and it put me in the right combination of people for a long enough and I feel like I’m 12 years old and not good enough. I’m just like damn it!

So being around family can cause something called regressing. I mean just regression is just a fancy word for saying going backwards. It’s almost like you feel like you’re a kid again, you feel like you’re 12 or 15 you’re awkward again and that can happen when you’re around family so that can be a challenge. What are some other challenges that you experience around Thanksgiving? What in the past has been difficult or challenging for you? Do you… in fact when you think about it do you a feel of sense of dread or like, “Oh boy” around any part of your experience? Here’s some other ones that come up that I’ve noticed for myself and others, one is, and your family your family might see you as different as you actually are. Now oftentimes people from a family might have like an old perception they might even see you as, “Oh yes that’s the little Jimmy,” and you’re like, “Dude, Jim is like 35 years old, I’m not little Jimmy anymore.” But it doesn’t matter you still see that way, they may treat you that way people in your family might tease you or criticize you or mock you and maybe these guys is like harder than fun and you’re not supposed to take it seriously. Maybe it’s more unpleasant and cruel than that I don’t know I’ve seen a lot in different family so that’s a challenge that comes up.

Also this one’s big, getting stuck in conversations that when someone you don’t really know and don’t really care about. So like you’re sitting there talking to around the dinner table you got place next to your cousins, husbands, mom this like talk with once, “Now, I go, god, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to talk to this person.” Right, so that could be just difficult to you in talking to someone you don’t know or being force to sit there with them. This might lead to you a times during the weekend or during Thanksgiving feeling like a kid again just going silent or shutting down. Comparing yourself and feeling insecure and maybe just wanting to escape and just want to get out of there.

And maybe it’s another set of challenges for Thanksgiving, maybe you don’t have family to go spend time with it or you don’t have a group of people that you share and you know how much going on and yours got a kind of do a normal evening maybe not even do anything. And maybe you’re totally okay with that but sometimes people feel lonely they feel, they judge themselves I should have something going on, “Oh men I’m such a lonely loser.” And it is they don’t make it okay they make it real bad there’s something wrong with me for this. So that is a just a big list of fun things and maybe you have other specific things maybe you’re like, “Oh yes it’s dealing with my cousin Tom for that guy. Make fun of me Tom I’ll show you this year, I’ve been working out.” Great, so whatever it is think of it specifically for you because I can share in general and I’ll be sharing some stories and some of my experiences and clients and other things. But if you are locked into your specific challenge, you’re working on or the things that you’re going to be facing you’re going to get a lot more out of our conversation today. So in fact we’re going to take a quick break right now and during the break once you think about any other challenges if you take no strings this episode which I recommend maybe write a few things down some of the challenges that you plan on facing or have faced in the past and when we get back we’re going to just blast right through them and help you rock thanksgiving with confidence so stay tune for that.

Hi it’s Doctor Aziz and I want to take a quick second to invite you to my upcoming live event, it’s called supremely confident conversation master and it is going to be an awesome experience we’re going to get together for three days in Portland, Oregon and we’re going to dive deep on exactly this topic. So if you get stuck in conversations, if you don’t know what to say or how to start them or how to keep them going or what questions to ask, you freeze up, you stall out, people don’t seem that interested in what you’re saying or you can start it but then going in deeper. You find this urge to escape, this urge to reject and it’s hard to share yourself and create those real deep connections whether it’s for dating a relationships, friendships, your business and career anything that’s getting in the way as you being a supremely confident conversation master that’s what this weekend is design to help you dive into and do. So you’re going to discover exactly how to start conversations with anyone in a completely relax casual way.

And then how to be engaging, funny, dynamic and highly charismatic with others. You’re going to learn how to stay in conversations deep in them and share about yourself so you can easily connect with others. And ultimately how to access powerful authenticity which allows you to influence others, impact them and inspire them draw them to you become a magnet to other people by being your most authentic self. So this weekend is going to be powerful like all my live weekends we work a lot on strategy, you’re going to learn a ton and we remove all the inner blocks, we go deep and take anything that’s getting in the way of stopping you so I would love to spend the weekend with you. It’s going to be a limited size and tickets are going to sell out. I’m sure… we’re doing an early bird right now. So if you go to the website which is socialconfidencecenter.com and then click on the events tab you’ll be able to learn all about it, find out the details it’s going to be March 4th through 6th in 2016 here. So March 4th through 6th that’s a Friday through a Sunday. So go to the website socialconfidencecenter.com click on the events tab get all the info and secure your spot now and I would love to spend three days helping you become a supremely confident conversation master.

What are some of the challenges that you notice? I was, I was reflecting there for a moment I was thinking about one challenges that I had is I would get there and I have one cousin who’s older than I am Kevin and he was, he is a psychiatrist and I remember a number of years ago when I was trained to be a psychologist and he was some years ahead of me and he would talk, he always did his whole life he would speak with such certainty in what he was saying. And in this is not just about his career or anything like anything even when we are kids and we’re talking about basketball or magic to gathering because mega nerds we were and I still am. But he was talking about, it was just so much certainty behind what he said. And I remember when we get down there to Los Angeles is where we would spend the Thanksgivings. And he would be talking about something in his career or a patient he saw or whatever this or that and he would just have so much damn certainty in what he was saying. And I didn’t have that certainty I was new in my training. I was still kind of being like what is this going to cost psychology thing that I sign up for and does it really work? And I don’t know, am I really even good at this I don’t think I am. And I would hear I’m talking and somebody would just ask me questions and I don’t even really know what to say or I felt like I didn’t sound that certain when I answer and I just felt so damn inferior. I felt like worthless and then I would go and should be like so critical of myself like, “Oh men suck of the…” and it was less of a head thing of the inner… and more just a feeling of like shame of not good enough I’m bad. And it made it really difficult to like enjoy myself and, and I couldn’t disagree with him or on anything or sometimes he’d say something and I didn’t really fully wasn’t fully onboard with it but I just didn’t know what to say or I would just kind of go along with it because I felt so like he was so much better than I was. So it was just one challenge among many that I experienced in my Thanksgivings. So I definitely relate to whatever that is you’re coming up with. I’ve probably have been there myself.

So how do we shift this? How do we break free of, of this problem? So here’s the thing this is a question I get off and someone’s like, “How do I handle situation X?” I just had reason I was talking to someone and I said, “Okay, so before I go talk to someone that really intimidates me what do I need to do to get out of that inferior state and just rock it?” And there’s maybe a strategy or something I could share, a quick solution. Probably I was like that’s sort of like saying, “Okay, I got to move this huge object.” I need to, I need to. I’m moving soon and there some big objects that I want to be able to move by myself because it would be just easier and it’s just a dresser and it weighs like a 180 pounds and I want to move it myself. What something I can say to myself right before I lift it up it just got pump me up to do it. And well if you actually pump yourself up and you can do a powerful state at my help. But the real answer is well maybe lift weights for a couple of months ahead of time and get a really good shape that’s probably the answer. I don’t even know. I mean 180 pound dresser I weigh like a 150 pounds so maybe I could lift it but probably not. But anyway it will be like get in great shape leading up to that and then you have a much better chance to doing that.

And that’s the exact same thing for how to rock Thanksgiving, how to… before you talk to someone who’s intimidating to you how to do it well you got to be building up the muscle of confidence you got to be in shape. So if you’re doing nothing at all in any way it’s going to be a lot harder. So the best thing to do is to be practicing all the stuff you’re learning from this podcast, all these stuff you’re learning maybe from my book the “Solution of Social Anxiety” or maybe got one of my programs. Be like refreshing and practicing and doing that stuff and that might be starting conversation with strangers that might be doing some inner work each day to be working on your self-esteem. That might be challenging to edgy your comfort zone at work and speaking up. That might be making more eye contact to strangers, little things build up that muscle. So basically you want to be in good shape, confident shape going into Thanksgiving. That is a key piece because otherwise it’s a lot harder to do all these other stuff. Okay, that’s one sort of overall thing.

Then here’s the big one, take a moment right now and imagine, you can even close your eyes not if you’re driving. But imagine for a second, exactly how do you want it to be. If this was the best Thanksgiving ever, the best holiday ever, what would you want to happen? How would you want it to go? And just notice what you see, what you experience, what emerges? See how you want to deal with certain people? Notice how you want to respond in certain situations? What you want to do? Notice how you want to be, do you want to be relax, comfortable, confident, nonchalant. Just really allowing yourself to imagine exactly how you want it to go. Good, that’s a big first step because you actually create that you’re like, your will, your intention, you intending that to happen has a lot of power and influence not only over what you do, what you choose to do but how the whole thing goes and how other people might respond to you and all of that. So, super powerful to get clear on what you want. If your thing is like, “I don’t want to talk to Cousin Tom. I don’t want Cousin Tom to make fun of me again.” That’s not what you want, that’s what you don’t want. So think about what do I actually want. Well maybe I want to be comfortable and confident and be able to respond to Tom. Maybe I want to be able to take get away from him and go to something else instead of hangout with him the whole weekend.

Maybe I want to tell him to, “Shut up,” that’s cool, too right? Whatever it’s actually you want to do. Great, now let’s do this think of the top three challenging scenarios that are going to throw you up your game, the top three challenging scenarios. Right, so for me one of them would be like, “Well I’m going to be sitting around the table playing cards because that’s we do we’re learning what do you else going to do with family. All right we’re sitting there playing cards around the table and Kevin’s going to be talking about something and I’m going to feel insecure.” All right that might be something that I would when I was working on this before. So think about the exact scenario or Cousin Tom is going to tease me, great, think about that scenario. In fact go deeper because the beauty of this is usually Thanksgiving it’s a yearly ritual and it’s kind of the same shit every year right? Tom teases you last year, his probably going to tease you this year. And not only that he probably know what he is going to tease you about, he know how it’s going to go or you know, “Oh, uncle so and so always talks about this and always goes on a jag about the democrats or the republicans or tells me I should believe this or I shouldn’t do that.” So you might already actually know I have a pretty good guess of what’s coming your way.

So if you think of those challenging scenarios you can also start to think of come backs or how you want to deal with that situation, what would you want to say? So if Tom teases you about being scrawny, what are you going to say? Actually come up with things that you can respond with ahead of time, think of them, what are your comebacks. What would you say in response? Good, just get your mind, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.” Well just slow down, take a breath, what did you did know? I guess as you do know, you just might be scared, scared to confront Tom, that jerk, that made up jerk. Great so in addition to being able to practice your comebacks there’s a few other things where you get into including I think hands down the most important thing we’re just not what we think about it’s kind of, again it’s like behind it’s one or two layers deep. And I’m going to share a really cool story about the client that I worked with his new experience and we’ll share a follow-up about some of my Thanksgivings as my confidence just continue to increase as to more bad ass levels.

So let’s keep talking about how to rock your upcoming Thanksgiving. So what we’ve done so far we’ve helped you imagine exactly how you want it to go either crystal clear vision of how you want to show up and how you want it to be. And then we looked up the three main challenges that you imagine to come up dealing with this person dealing with that, oh my god it’s so loud and I hate the dinner part of the evening. Whatever it is think of your three challenges, start practicing your comebacks and thinking about how you are going to handle those situations, how you would like to handle those situations. And here some other things that I had to suggest to make the experience to allow yourself to be more confident and to enjoy yourself more.

Here’s a bay one, let yourself be different than you’ve been in the past. Let yourself show up differently, such a fear in people this isn’t just around family this is around change in general I see this all the time. And there’s out of shopping at the weekends, too. People come to a live weekend have a massive shift just big boost in their confidence feeling really strong in themselves. And they’re like but what happens when I go to work and I’m different, I’m stronger, I’m walking different, I’m taller, I’m looking at people in the eye, I’m saying more, I’m asking questions, I’m talking to people. People are going to notice that I’m different and oftentimes people just like, “That’s scary and that’s bad and I don’t want to do that.” And we haven’t actually examined why that’s bad. And some sort of idea that I guess the fear that someone would challenge you and say, “Hey, hey, hey you what’s going on with you? Why are you all confident and talking to me right now?” I thought, really, is someone going to do that and if so couldn’t you handle that? “Oh, thanks for noticing. Yes, yes I’m feeling better I’m just feeling the… I’m feeling strong today how are you doing?” All right I mean that’s it, and actually that’s not how someone is going to approach you that how someone might say it is they may be like, “Whoa, what’s going on, what’s gotten into you?”

And one time I went to a weekend event and just like man I have some major breakthrough I’m just feeling awesome and certain strong on myself and I remember I was walking with a, with a friend and he’s like, “Yes, you got some pep on your step.” I was like, “Damn right, feeling awesome.” All right and so people are going to probably comment in a very nonchalant casual way and then you’re just going to own it. Then the fear is not about they, the fear is about me, the fear is about, “I’m scared to change my identity. This is who I am, I’ve been the nervous quiet guy and if I’m different maybe that stuff will happen that’s really what it is about.” And the same thing with family, it’s like, “Well I… well I can’t wear different clothes than I’ve used to wear or I can’t stand or move or talk differently or I can’t act differently or I can’t speak up or I can’t share different ideas than I had last year.” It’s like what? No, be… allow yourself to be different, you are constantly different and evolving and changing and hopefully you are constantly growing. And so maybe some other people in your family aren’t growing that much but you don’t want to settle to lowest common denominator and pretend like you’re not growing or changing at all just be. So they don’t have any thoughts or questions about that, no, no, no, no you want to like you holding back is not in any way serving them or you. So allow yourself to be different, show up differently than you have in the past.

Another super small tip this is very strategic which I didn’t know and didn’t allow myself for but it’s super important. And it’s maybe hard if you’re the nice guy or the nice girl and that is carve out some alone time. Carve out some alone time make it so. Don’t be like, “Well, we are all going to get up and we’re going to do this and just walk down, hang up in the living room, and we’re going to see this movie and okay it was people, people, people, people…”, is you need to like getaway and just like remember who you are. And just find that time whether it’s first thing in the morning or as I started to use this during Thanksgiving I’ll go for runs. Sometimes I go for us by myself sometimes I go with my brother and then I’d still also take some time alone too although it’s just me and my brother it felt like a great recharge for me. But sometimes just time alone I take some time alone in the morning or I just go for a walk. I’ll just be like, “Hey, I’m going to go off a little bit I see you guys in about half an hour. Oh yes, where are you going? Oh, I’m going to go for a walk.” Really what…? Yes, see you guys in a bit and just do that just take care of yourself and then as you walk just reflect as you run, okay here I go here I am I’m going to deal with this what’s going on how am I feeling? And be feeling some of those uncomfortable, feelings that are building up as you’re around people you can process them, you can focus them, you can get them attention, give them acceptance let them pass through you, super simple but super life changing and powerful.

And here’s the biggest thing of all, you know what’s underneath all of these discomfort, all of these fear? The same stuff as elsewhere needing approval and the hardest place where it’s to let go of needing approval is with family, with your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your cousins, your aunts, your uncles. I need them to like me especially parents, right? Like, “You got to respect me, be proud of me, love me.” And of course there’s nothing wrong with that, of course you want that and more attach to needing that it’s just, it’s just fuck shit up man it makes you nervous, it makes you uncomfortable, it makes you tense, it makes you needy or demanding or awkward or trying to be someone you’re not it’s just that nothing good comes of it. So it’s key to just remind yourself before you get there in the morning each day maybe on your walk alone, “Okay, like I don’t need anyone’s approval, it’s really okay if so and so has a different opinion than me. It’s really okay, I don’t need anything from them, I don’t need them to see it my way, I don’t need them to like me, I just don’t need it, just remind yourself of that.” And of course that’s a bigger thing you’re working on in your life in general.

So, I want to share a few quick stories here and then we’re going to get your action step. Here is one story, this is from a client that I worked with who every year he go to Thanksgiving and it will be the same thing and there’s this cousin of his who would be there who was like the exact opposite. He was outgoing and loud and funny and he would tell stories at the table and everyone loved him and my client would just feel so small, insecure and unworthy around this guy and he’d shutdown and he couldn’t even really interact with them. Which really suck because when they’re little kids they used to play together all the time but then as they got to be adults and this guy kind of winged down one path more confidence and my client got stuck he just, he couldn’t even really interact with the guy even one on one without feeling so low. But then what is amazing is we worked together, here’s a one on one client and over the course of the year by the time Thanksgiving rolled around he was just totally different. He spoke up, he shares his ideas around the Thanksgiving dinner, he will make jokes, he would ask questions, he just walk right up through his cousin when he first saw him and gave him big hug and ask him questions. How’s it going? How are you doing? And he’s like it was amazing. That was the Thanksgiving Day it was like totally different experience.

It’s like you know what’s the best part was Aziz? I say like, “What?” It’s like the next day I was hanging out with my cousin and we actually went fishing, he went fishing one on one with his cousin and his cousin said something to the effect of like, “You are so much more confident and just outgoing and awesome or I don’t know what the exact words he used but he noticed he’s like you are something it’s different.” He’s like, “I love it, it’s awesome, and it’s so great to connect with you I really…” And he just like was so loving and impress and it’s like and that was the best part. And it was really cool and this can actually happen you can actually transform your experience. And that has been my experience because it’s totally shifted there in Thanksgiving, now when I go down there it is I said it takes time for myself the way that I decided I want to be and how I show up is just totally irreverent and like not taking anything seriously. So I just make jokes, I crack jokes I just say random stuff I blurt stuff out and someone’s talking like, “What, no way come, no BS.” Could you say stuff like that blurt it out because that’s how I want it to be just more, free to do that. And then as I’ve gotten more comfortable and certain on myself I speak with more certainty around Kevin but also I don’t feel like I’m able to see like, “Okay he’s got he’s certain about things and I don’t initially have to agree with him and it’s okay if he’s really certain about that and this is really cool this was a sign of growth.”

I remember this was a couple of years back and it was like about a month or so before our first son was due. Now I have Candace was like eight and a half months pregnant, little baby is coming in like a month. And Kevin who is a psychiatrist and a more traditional medical doctor said something like, “So I heard you guys are going to plan for a home birth?” And that was true we were hippies although our second birth was hospital all the way because the home birth actually suck. But anyway we were hippies and we’re going to do a home birth with candles and shit around the living room or the bedroom and we have midwife and all that stuff. And he was kind of like mainstream, “Look you got to go to hospital.” So he sort to say that and he’s like, “You know, there’s all kinds of problems that can happen at a home birth blah… blah.” He start to launch into that and this is like three weeks before my first baby is due I’m already nervous. We are already committed to this, we already assessed the risk I don’t need him telling me and freaking me out about all these disaster scenario. So he started talking and I was like, “Hey, hey Kevin”, I said just like that I kind of put my hand I was like, “Kevin, Kevin listen man I don’t want to hear this right now this is not helpful to me,” and he’s like, “Oh okay,” and he was like, “Boom” it was a new level of assertiveness of confidence in myself of saying what I want and saying what I didn’t want and afterwards I was like, “Yes, sign of progress baby it’s all coming together.” So this year unfortunately not able to go down to Thanksgiving, I love them all but we knew little but a little guy Arman just came like a week ago it was a 10 days ago so pretty… got our hands full and not going to get on a plane.

But anyway you can do this you can completely change your experience it just takes working on this stuff outside getting in shape beforehand, deciding how you want to be and then it’s scary, yes it’s scary to face this stuff but when you do it and you face what you feel so much better even those small steps. In fact speaking of small steps guess what time?

Time for action.

Action Step

Your action step for today is to put into practice like I mean Thanksgiving is coming up like right away so put into practice. Look for those small things, do one or two little things each day or it was just one day that you’re hanging out with people during that one day. Don’t focus on a big transformation, it’s going to be a totally a thousand percent different. Just, what’s that one moment that I could speak up? What’s that one moment where I could go leave and take care of myself? What’s that one moment where I could respond to that person who is critical of me who is not listening to me? Whatever it is, what’s that one moment where I could just let go of needing approval and just not care as much and go on to the next thing? Whatever it is find those little moments, apply them in your life and go out there and rock Thanksgiving. Until we speak again may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you are awesome.


Music Credit

All music is licensed or royalty free.

DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Ask The Shrink:
Boccherini Minuet
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Action Step:
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)

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