Ted Lasso became the surprise streaming hit of 2020. Despite some initial skepticism from critics, the show is now universally acclaimed and has racked up 20 Emmy nominations.
If you’re not familiar, Ted Lasso is a small-time college football coach from Kansas played by Jason Sudeikis. He’s hired to coach a professional football team in England — despite having zero experience coaching soccer — because the new owner wants to tank the team to get back at her ex-husband.
(Yes, it’s starts off like the plot of Major League, but moves quickly beyond it.)
Lasso is impossibly optimistic, upbeat, and kind. Perhaps most importantly, Ted always sees the best in people — even when they give strong indications to the contrary.
This is where the counterintuitive key to self-improvement comes in. We’ll call it the Ted Lasso technique.
Research reveals that the best self-help advice may be instead of focusing on how you can improve yourself, the better approach is to start seeing more of the good in other people, more often:
- According to University of Georgia researcher Jason Colquitt and his colleagues, people who tend to trust others at work score higher on a range of measures than those who don’t, from job performance to commitment to the team.
- Studies shows it’s our relationships — particularly with our bosses and colleagues — that determine how happy and successful we are as our careers progress.
- Stanford behavioral scientist Chip Heath found that we tend to think our own motivations are intrinsic (“I work hard because I love my job”) whereas others’ are extrinsic (“They work hard only because they’re getting paid to do so”).
- Other research reveals that when we think others are capable of changing their attitudes, we’re more likely to advance our own views. But when we think others’ beliefs are fixed, we don’t try too hard to persuade them—what would be the point?
- Finally, research on optimism — including assuming the best in others — almost universally shows its benefits for success and satisfaction in both work and life.
Ted Lasso’s life isn’t perfect in season two. He’s trying to put together a winning team in a sport he still doesn’t fully understand. He’s going though a divorce. And he’s separated from his son by the Atlantic Ocean.
But he’s working through it. Not by focusing on his problems, but by recognizing and bringing out the best in everyone around him.
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It’s very likely that you are getting more calories and sugar when you drink a smoothie than when eating whole fruits or vegetables. That’s because people are often consuming a 20- or 24-fluid-ounce smoothie. That’s a lot.
The Downside of Smoothies (New York Times)
Generation X both earns more and has more debt than any other generation, while also dealing with stress as we juggle working with caregiving. We know all this. But did you know Gen Xers are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers in 2028?
Your Unretirement Plan
57% of workers today said they’ll earn money in some capacity once they retire, according to the 21st Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. And Gen Xers and Millennials are more likely than other age groups to plan to work during their “senior” years.
Hit the Road Jack
Anywhere with a connection to the Internet allows for remote work, but there’s more to consider. The top 10 U.S. cities for remote workers met five criteria such as WiFi speed, median rent, and cost of living. I’m guessing you’ll be somewhat surprised by this list of remote-work-friendly locations.
I’ve taken many a road trip to Moab, Utah and Arches National Park during the pandemic to hike, but haven’t made it up the road to Zion. Given that hiking is one of the best ways to see Zion National Park, it’s on my short list for future road trips.
Take a Walk on the Wild Zide: 8 of the Best Hikes in Zion National Park (Intrepid Travel)
By Trudi Roth
I’m helping a client who’s won several high-profile awards in a decades-long career write his memoir. I’ve noticed he repeatedly chalks up his success to “happy accidents” and speaks of his colleagues reverently as if his achievements pale in comparison.
Due largely to the pandemic, his work has recently slowed. When I suggested he consider teaching an online course or becoming a keynote speaker, he laughed. Who wants to hear what he has to say when he can’t even get a job?
This is a perfect example of imposter syndrome, where accomplished people feel like a fraud, perpetually afraid of being “found out.”
And the real crime is the thief that’s robbing their confidence and replacing it with depression and anxiety is their own thoughts.
Make It ’Til You Fake It
If you feel like you’re not enough, you’re not alone. Research shows up to 82% have experienced “perceived fraudulence” at some point.
The irony of imposter syndrome is it affects high-performing people disproportionately. As executive coach Robin Buckley, Ph.D. points out:
In large part, you experience imposter syndrome because of who you are. Individuals like you who are used to setting goals, working diligently towards those goals, learning and growing to challenge themselves, and expecting eventual success are the ones prone to imposter syndrome.
Perfectionists, in particular, are vulnerable to our “compare and despair” culture, which makes it easy to perceive others as more deserving. Negative thoughts about your capabilities fed by insecurity, worry, and self-doubt and unsupported by facts bubble up.
Before you know it, you feel like everything you do is under a microscope, so you stop taking risks and downplay your talents. In other words, you invalidate all the assets that help you grow and succeed.
Keep It Real
Generally speaking, you know it’s imposter syndrome if how you see yourself is not how others see you. A caveat: systemic workplace bias (gender, racial, etc.) can be chalked up to imposter syndrome, so be sure to consider that as you examine your feelings of inadequacy and exclusion.
To recover from imposter syndrome, start by considering this truth:
Imposters rarely experience imposter syndrome.
Take time to reflect on your accomplishments and the positive feedback you get from others. Think about situations when you’ve done well and the strategies you used to ace goals. And consider what success looks like to you.
Write it all down so you have an authentic point of reference when you feel like a phony.
As Seth Godin once pointed out, we’re all imposters. Any work worth doing involves risk, failure, and feelings of inadequacy at some point. So, be realistic — just do your best and leave the rest.
The Presidents of the United States of America, 1995
“Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man, in a factory downtown.” Who knew produce could inspire such an epic jam? Heh. (YouTube)
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