Deprogramming From Early Impressions

March 15, 2022
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Unknown Speaker  0:01  
Hey everyone. Welcome to the self awareness Journey podcast. I'm Melissa Albers. And I'm JJ Parker. This podcast is for seekers, seekers of happiness and joy seekers of a centered approach to success in life. Seekers of their true authentic selves. Get ready for some real talk on everything from anxiety, emotions and habits to love, compassion and forgiveness. We know you'll be challenged and enlightened by this conversation. We're so glad you're here. Let's dive in.

Unknown Speaker  0:35  
Today, Melissa, we're going to talk about early impressions. Okay, like maybe like early childhood experiences,

Unknown Speaker  0:44  
you know, early

Unknown Speaker  0:46  
school, and maybe even work experiences and how those shape the way you think and behave today as an adult. Oh, oh, I like this topic. Ready? Yeah, I feel I feel like, I feel like it should be laying down on like, a couch. I should go. No, I know, whenever whenever we start to talk about something like this, I immediately sort of seize up. And I think it's because I've had such a squirrelly upbringing that I feel like, oh, the way I was raised is so different than most other people's. And I have to be so careful of the narrative. Yeah. So they're right there. I guess that's one of them. For this is what we're talking about. Right? This is what we're talking about is, is there's things that happened.

Unknown Speaker  1:37  
When we were young. Yeah. Right. Yeah, that have a big impact on you as an adult. Right? Yep. For all of us. And so many things that we don't even think about, right. It's just part of our natural way of thinking now and being Yeah, and not even in, you know, some of them possibly in a negative way. Yeah. Right. But plus some of them in a positive way. And, yeah, to me, it's, it's more just kind of exploring

Unknown Speaker  2:04  
what those things are. Right and deciding, like, are they serving you today? Is that how you want to be today? Right? And actually being able to, like, get some objectivity around it, and then choose, instead of just running everything on autopilot based on your past experiences? Yeah, for sure. For sure.

Unknown Speaker  2:24  
Yeah, that's a great, that's a great conversation. And actually, I hadn't even thought about it from the work perspective, but that's such a good one. Like, I remember when I was younger, and I was like, getting into high school. I was trying to figure out, I always sort of dreamed about what I was going to be when I grew up. Did you do that?

Unknown Speaker  2:46  
Such a nerd. I think I just dreaming was very limited. Or very focused. You were too busy tying ropes behind car bumpers and like skiing in a very young person. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  3:01  
Oh, no, I already. So what was your What? What? What did you think you were going to do? Oh, yeah. Well, I always fancied myself as being a pretty detailed person.

Unknown Speaker  3:12  
You're wrong about

Unknown Speaker  3:14  
I know. But I actually just like would picture myself, okay. So like, for example, I loved reading, I loved reading, I read, like, like, incessantly read from the time I was really young. And as I got a little older, the stuff that I would play, you know, like, some kids would play like, Well, little girls, it's like, let's play house. Let's play dress up. Nope. I wanted to play library. So I would like my grandparents were both ministers, and they and they each had their own offices in their home. And their offices were just packed with books. You know, and my grandpa had this really old big desk, and it had all of these cool drawers in it and, and it smelled like tobacco and ink. You know, it was just like this. I loved being in that office. And so I used to sit at that huge desk and this huge chair, and I would pretend that I was a librarian. And the way that I pretended I was a librarian.

Unknown Speaker  4:17  
I think this is so funny, is I wrote letters to people that hadn't returned their books on time with five

Unknown Speaker  4:26  
childhood fantasies via library books.

Unknown Speaker  4:30  
Well, if if we're gonna unpack that a little bit, yeah, what I would observe with you. Yeah. Is that is that while you can dive into detail work? Yeah. Are more of a big picture. There sure that what you do all the time is beat yourself up for not being so detailed. Right? Yes. Oh, my goodness. You do that all the time. Hmm. Right. You're right. You're totally right.

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
One of the questions I would have for you to think about, oh, oh, no. Like, you had an idea of how maybe you should be. Yeah, as a kid, right. And you're still kind of wrestling? Yes. Not being not fulfilling that idea. Yes. Yeah. Because whenever you and I, like even are in the creation mode, doing something new or whatever, like, you'll pick up on a thread of something, and you'll be able to just like, you know, just like, dive into it with all of this stuff. And then I always feel like, and I know, it's not truth. I know, that's not true. Yeah. And it's not a comparison thing. I just naturally go to, oh, I can't do that. Right. And then I just think, Oh, why can't I do that, like, everybody else seems to be able to do that? Well, it is something that affects me all the time. That's the interesting part. Right? That's like a narrative that's that is, was impressed on you maybe even by yourself, right?

Unknown Speaker  6:03  
Or the environment you grew up? And, and, and it's not working for you today. Right? Right. It makes me feel bad today, and actually never has never worked for me. Well, yeah. Like, for example, I got into jobs that were so not what I should have been doing in my early career.

Unknown Speaker  6:21  
Because I had this narrative going that I would get better if Yeah, yeah. So that's a great example of, you know, are our own early thoughts shaping? How we see the world, right? Yep. Yeah, but there's lots of, you know, family stuff, right? The what the way your family acted

Unknown Speaker  6:45  
as a, as a kid, you know, an early impression that would be probably pretty impactful for, for most people would be like, how did your parents deal with money? Mm hmm. The way your parents dealt with money really affects the way you your relationship with money as an adult, right? Yep. Yes. If if there was, you know, there was a mindset growing up, like, like, we don't have enough, we're always struggling your relationship with money as an adult, even if you become like, really? Like well off? Yes. Is is still a reflection of that childhood experience. Oh, yeah. I think that's so true. Like, I was just listening to something a couple of weeks ago, and I don't remember if I mentioned that to you or not, but I was listening to this spiritual in, like, teacher, she's like, really, really well known and just great. And she was talking about money and how we are programmed around money at an early age. And she started listing all of the things that you're told as a child, you just throw out, I love them. But like all of the phrases about not having enough money, and it really has caused imbalance in how most people perceive money. And, you know, she was saying how she had an older brother and her older brother any extra cash that the family had went to his sports. And, and that was really important because he was so athletic, and they wanted him to have every opportunity through his sports. And then when it was her birthday, one day, her father bought her a dress. And she said, why can't I have like some kind of sporting equipment? I can't Myrtles why can I have that? Like my brother does? And her father started to yell at her and said, You are ungracious. You don't know. Do you know how hard I had to work to get this money to buy this for you? Never ask again. You know, like so really, really pressing upon her. And there's so many things layered in that right? It isn't just money. It's also like, self worth. It's also like, Girl birth versus boy like,

Unknown Speaker  8:53  
and, and she said it stuck with her her entire life. Hmm. Yeah, that's a that's a big impact. Yeah. How about you? Do you think can you think of any that you had?

Unknown Speaker  9:04  
Well, now you can put me on a spot. I'm gonna keep asking you questions.

Unknown Speaker  9:09  
Oh, do you remember how we started the pod? Oh

Unknown Speaker  9:17  
well see so I would

Unknown Speaker  9:20  
say one of the big things for me as a kid I was very quiet. Like really quiet. Like, I was so quiet that that one of my teachers in elementary school like went to my parents. And it was like, Oh, I think there's something you know, like wrong with JJ because he doesn't talk ever. Oh, wow.

Unknown Speaker  9:40  
But like, but just sort of

Unknown Speaker  9:43  
going through like sort of my probably like elementary school and middle school experience. Like almost not talking at all. Wow. I remember. I went to a concert with

Unknown Speaker  9:58  
with my high school friends. I'm a

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
spend like 11th grade or something.

Unknown Speaker  10:03  
And there was this girl there. That was like dating one of my friends and I had gone to elementary school with her. Like, I'd been in school with her my whole life. Right? Yeah. And we're at this concert. And

Unknown Speaker  10:14  
yeah, I was like engaging with my friends or talking about the band as like as very engaged. And yeah, and I was talking a lot. And she pulls me aside and she goes, JJ, we've been going to school together since kindergarten. I've never heard you talk. Really?

Unknown Speaker  10:31  
Ah, so I have this this perception that of you're like,

Unknown Speaker  10:39  
this idea that I need to be quiet like, I am quiet. Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  10:47  
And that sort of feeds into my like, introverted tendency. Right. So, so we've talked about it when I'm at trade shows, and I have to do things that are Yeah, a lot more like vocal and yeah, talking.

Unknown Speaker  11:04  
I do get a little bit of that. Like,

Unknown Speaker  11:08  
I shouldn't be talking so much. I should shut my mouth. Really? Okay. So your impression when she said that, and like, even still, as you're reflecting on it, you actually feel like you should be more of what you already are? Well, this actually not her comment, but I think just more like, like my more comfortable spot. Is this like really? Quiet? Smart? Right? Like, don't talk a lot. Right? Hmm. So that's so interesting, because my more comfortable spot is talking more. And yet, I would make myself feel like I should be doing the reverse of that. Isn't that interesting? Like, as soon as you were talking about being in school and not talking and having a teacher call home?

Unknown Speaker  11:51  
I can promise you that was never my exam or your problem? No, there were a couple of times. I remember having my, my desk pushed to the corner of the room, because I was talking too much. Yeah. So your message is talk less? Yeah, exactly. And in my kindergarten report card, which I know I've mentioned in a previous pod, before I was given this feedback, Missy needs to stop bossing other people around again, again, so as a kindergarten.

Unknown Speaker  12:25  
Oh, and my bonus mom found the report card not too many years ago, and she slid it across this funny table. And it was an old brown manila envelope. And, and she was a she was a teacher. She was a teacher. And then she became a principal of a great school. And so when she slid this thing over, she said, Oh, well, I didn't I wasn't gonna look at anything or read it. I was like, Well, who cares? It's like, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  12:51  
She was already trying to protect me because she knew what it said.

Unknown Speaker  12:57  
Well, you said another earlier, you said another thing that has a big initial impact on young people. What's that, that carries through into their adulthood?

Unknown Speaker  13:11  
You said spiritual religion would be another one of those things. Oh, my gosh, you're so right, that people should reflect on right? Because

Unknown Speaker  13:23  
I'm not in a good or I'm not in a judgmental, right. No, just like, yeah, like even

Unknown Speaker  13:31  
even your early experiences with religion? Yeah, versus what you want it to be today as an adult, and how you want to use it and engage in it today as an adult, might likely be very different, right? Oh, my gosh, that's so true. Because most people I don't think would approach their childhood religious experiences with objectivity, in contrast, or comparison to what they're going for today. I think they naturally move in a direction based on that. And there's usually some energy around that. Right, like strong expectation. Either they loved it, and they were going to replicate it for their own family. And if they can't find something to do that, does that.

Unknown Speaker  14:16  
You know, that's, that's a hard thing. That's a hard thing for the family that yeah, they, you know, or if they like, we always say that my husband is a recovering Catholic. Because he had, you know, he went to Catholic school. And, boy, those nuns,

Unknown Speaker  14:33  
nuns up in St. Cloud are pretty serious, pretty serious about their trade.

Unknown Speaker  14:40  
Right, so there's just a lot of things that he remembers being guilted and shamed and feeling terrible.

Unknown Speaker  14:49  
And he's such a good person, you know, but he has all that, all these ideas about that, that he's still trying to unravel some so yeah, I think you're sort through right

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
Yeah, yeah, that's that's a huge impact.

Unknown Speaker  15:05  
The other the other thing that you touched on was work. Mike actually really liked this. This idea of how work puts an impression on us early.

Unknown Speaker  15:19  
Right. A lot of our first jobs are like entry level jobs. Right? Yeah. That and, and, to me even more than the job itself is your coworkers. Mm hmm. As I remember, one of one of my first jobs was, I worked at Circuit City. They're not even around anymore. They're like a competitor to Best Buy, right? Yeah. Yeah. Like consumer electronics kind of stuff. I sold car stereos. You did? Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  15:55  
Oh, yeah. They had huge speakers in my trunk, and the whole thing rattled, it was ridiculous.

Unknown Speaker  16:01  
And I lose my hearing. So it didn't bounce did it like when you went down the road, the car did not bounce. But the the mirrors like, visibly rattled and shook. My parents would always like, and then I always work on this stuff, like, super late at night, or like, basically early in the morning, and they'd be like, get woken up at like, 3am Because all we got to do speakers wired in, and we're testing it out. Shaking the whole house. Oh, my God.

Unknown Speaker  16:30  
Oh, my gosh, did you work on commission? I'm just

Unknown Speaker  16:33  
Yes. Oh. Oh, I did. I totally did not understand how it even works. Oh, my gosh, that's so funny. Yeah. And,

Unknown Speaker  16:44  
and one day, we like there was like a sales contests, which I didn't even know the rules of and then we won and I got like an extra $600 In my paycheck. It's like, holy crap.

Unknown Speaker  16:58  
Oh, my God did not. Unfortunately, that early impression did not make you know, did not turn me into a salesperson. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  17:08  
Yeah. I have never heard that story before. I never knew that you worked in a sales role mission commissioned sales role. It was for like a hot six months.

Unknown Speaker  17:21  
How many other cars were bouncing and lighting up all the way down the road after that? Well, in any case, working for for Circuit City in the car stereo. Like, whatever. Yeah. tardar store. Yeah. The guys that were the other guys that work. They're just such dudes, you know? Like?

Unknown Speaker  17:49  
Yeah, they were just they just had like, they just had no, for me, right, as I was, like, more into the electronics of it. Yeah. And sort of like the tech specs and all that stuff. You know, these guys were just sort of like Bros and knuckleheads and Oh, my God. But they did have an effect on me. I did actually kind of the thing I learned after I worked there. It's like, yeah, these guys are just crappy workers. Like they're doing the minimum. They're like disrespectful to the manager. Right? Like, they are just not good. Well, I fell into it for a little while. Like I kind of like started adapting into this that bad worker. Sure mentality with them. Yeah. And then it wasn't until two years later, I was like, oh, yeah, I was acting stupid back then. I don't know why, you know? Hey, isn't there a movie about something exactly like this? I'm sure there's like 10 movies. I feel like I feel like is it the 40 year old virgin? Oh, my gosh. Yeah. I'm all my classes. Yes.

Unknown Speaker  18:58  
Steve Carell works in an electronic department. And he's the nicest person and so thoughtful, and so particular and cautious. And then he works with a bunch of dudes. Oh, my gosh, tries to be kind of like him. And he's just, he's not.

Unknown Speaker  19:15  
That was it? Yeah. I love that. This idea that that those, you know, we when, when we're moving jobs, yep. And right now, right.

Unknown Speaker  19:25  
We had a guest on a few weeks back that talked about, well, we wanted to talk about the great resignation. But what he actually started talking about was a great migration. Yes, exactly. Doing a lot of jobs switching. And so when you're doing job switching, you have to have be conscious that your old sort of habits at your current job you move to a new job are probably coming with you. Mm hmm. Yeah. Well, and the other thing is, is that I think not only that, but it's also what you look for in your new job, like what you look for in your new thing, whatever it is, as you're moving like as you were talking about you

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
Your job and you're like when your first jobs, I started reflecting, you know, one of the very first jobs that I wanted to do.

Unknown Speaker  20:08  
Again, this is we could unpack this for hours, but we won't, was I was the president, secretary of a law firm at the age of 21. And I did not even know how to type when I took the job. Right. But there were a bunch of things within that role and suit like quite a hiring process. Do they have the law firm, it was like, it was sort of like, when the when the music stopped, they would take a chair and whoever was left standing would end up with that role. It was kind of like that it was a very dysfunctional place, honestly, extremely obviously. But what I was going to say is, along with that, I'm also thinking about, well, what are some of the things that I had when I was younger, that made huge impression on me in my jobs. And you know, in that law firm, there was one up and coming associate lawyer, who really hated me, because I was a strong female. He was so he was so mean to me, and he would wait till other people weren't around to act a certain way towards me. Wow. And, but that was actually a theme throughout much of my career is when you're a strong female. There are many men who are intimidated by that. And I believe that's why we're getting this huge wave of girl bosses and all these things, right? Like Sheryl Sandberg, and all all of these movements about elevating women to equal status with men in the workplace, but which is not what this whole topic is about. But I do want to reflect well, well, I mean, it is it No, yes. I mean, are we could do, I guess, what I meant to say is, we could do an entire podcast on that, and probably a series on that. But just in the reflective moments of this conversation, I actually had a boss that told me that I needed to wear a skirt or a dress, when I was going on appointments, that I was not allowed to wear pants, okay? Because that's not what nice young women did, like so and being informed of how to dress. And then

Unknown Speaker  22:14  
you know, that early programming was like, hey, lots of men don't like you if you're going to be strong. So tone it down. You know, be quieter, don't assert yourself in any way, shape or form. It doesn't matter how good you are. Some of those things might unconsciously affect you when you go out on sales calls today. Yeah. Or when you engage with people today? Well, and especially if you're not aware of it, right, right. You're very aware of it. Yes. Yeah. Working on it for a long time. Right. Yeah, you can get better perspective of it. But if you're not aware, right, that's affecting you, right? Yeah. Yes. Yeah. That's powerful. Yeah. So that whole, that whole idea of women in the workplace and this evolution that's occurred, you know, some of the early programming and and I you know what, it's so funny, because I think I am what I would call a survivor, just having the crazy upbringing that I did. So in that survivor mindset, it's like, well, don't really reflect on what happened, just do your best now and move forward. Like, don't think about the other stuff like that. That's unpleasant. So I actually almost forget about some of that stuff. Like, like, look at this, we're into this conversation this far. And I didn't even really remember that until you started reflecting on one of your earlier stories about work. So it's very interesting, which is exactly the hypothesis that you and I had when we first started this, it's like, How aware are you even of what some of those early impressions are? Yeah, the only other work related deprogramming Yang I want to touch on is we we actually use that as a word at our company. Like, like

Unknown Speaker  23:52  
that when we have people that come work for us

Unknown Speaker  23:57  
that have come from like a big company. Like maybe they've come from a big fortune 500 company, they come work for our little like, 50 person company, it's a whole different ballgame. And, and, and on top of that, our culture, you're we're very particular about our culture. Yes.

Unknown Speaker  24:17  
And the way Trust and Accountability works in it.

Unknown Speaker  24:21  
So we actually talked about how when, when we have new people come work for us. There is a deprogramming period. Yeah. And our managers know, that. Like, we need to try to instill our culture and bring these people like new people into our culture, then we need to actually give them a bit of grace, because we understand they're gonna have to be deprogrammed for a little while. That's programmed into our culture. Right. Right. Right. Yeah, it's true. And and it is just that it's, you know, what's funny is that when we're faced with truth in front of our faces,

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
We compare it to our past experience to prove it. Like that's kind of in that situation. It's like, well, we have a high trust high accountability environment. You don't, we don't really need you to be sitting at your desk. We just need you to get your job done. And you know what the person thinks first? Well, that's actually not true. Well, I think all the time. And how many times do we do that? When we're faced with absolute truth we got. That's actually not true. Yeah. Someone we hired two months ago came to me last week, and has JJ, everyone says everyone at all these companies say they act in these certain ways. Yeah, but you guys are actually doing it. I've never seen that. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  25:42  
That was powerful to me, because I was like, thank you. Yeah. So sad for all other companies. Right?

Unknown Speaker  25:49  
Yeah. But it is really interesting how much people

Unknown Speaker  25:54  
filter and sort in their brain when they hear something today, that's in their lives today. How much they you know, compare it to what they think and almost disavow it or disbelieve it, even if it is truth because there's so programmed with those early impressions. Yeah. Well, good. This was this was fun. I'm glad that we didn't completely derail you.

Unknown Speaker  26:19  
We could have for just a minute, I felt like I was teetering on the edge.

Unknown Speaker  26:25  
Did you enjoy this episode? Please go to your favorite podcast platform to subscribe rate and leave a review so others can discover it as well. Growing self awareness is a lifelong journey, and there's always further to go. And it's better when we're all in it together. Please think of someone you know who could benefit from hearing today's conversation and share this episode with them. We can't thank you enough for listening. Until next time, happy exploring seekers.

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Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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