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Cracking Creativity Episode 17: Josh Barad on Making Yourself Uncomfortable, Relating to People Authentically, and Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

Josh Barad is the founder and chief Uncomfortable Officer of In the Middle Seat, a coaching company that helps millennials embrace discomfort and create adventurous experiences. In this episode, Josh talks about why he embraces discomfort, how we should be authentic with each other, and why you should have a group of supportive people around you.

  • coaching company for millenialists
    • what do I want to create? and how can I align them with what I want to do?
    • embrace discomfort of unknown
    • create adventurous experiences
  • 2013 he wanted to go to Thailand
    • every flight he was on standby in the middle seat
    • met travelers and talked about experiences
    • woman with stroke, feel empathy for challenges she faces
    • husband In real estate, created centers for Deepak Chopra
    • trains himself to go to uncomfortable places
  • World Domination Summit – what we do, not everyone will like
    • meetup he hosted, talking about coaching practices
    • went deep, asked for permission
    • a different person got upset about it and stormed out of the room
    • not everyone will like you, but the ones you do will be in your tribe
    • we won’t be liked by everyone, and often times it stops us
If everyone likes you, when did you stop liking yourself? Click To Tweet
  • Steve Jobs – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
  • first meetup – Authentic Relating with Krystal Brandt
    • feedback blew him away
    • sometimes the minor things you mention in passing make the biggest impression
    • agreements create trust and expectations create fear – allowed woman to relax
    • people are paying attention
What you say matters. Be responsible for that. Click To Tweet

“People are paying attention and people will always remember how you made them feel. They may not remember exactly the words that you use. So be mindful and be responsible for that.”

  • What you say matters and be responsible for that
  • Lewis Howes – School of Greatness – Is there anything I can say that will make you love me less?
    • met up with girl friend, and he mentioned this idea to her
    • she shared with her friends
  • Doctor in village doesn’t tell anyone he’s a doctor
    • doesn’t want to be outed as a doctor to make people think he’s better than them
    • hears screaming, then it stops
    • wakes up, everyone in village is frantic
    • next morning they found out a villager died that night
    • they looked for a doctor, but there wasn’t one in the village
  • the work you are doing makes a difference
    • don’t worry about what other people think of you
    • you can help save a life
  • Authentic Relating Games
    • most times we talk about things that don’t really matter, it’s just something we do
    • authentic relating games let you talk about things that really matter
    • starts with eye gazing – stare silently into someone else’s eyes, starts uncomfortable but you become comfortable
    • then shared things you noticed while in that experience
    • create a safe space that allows you to connect with others in authentic way
    • lets you start questioning things
    • people are craving this connection
    • there’s a connective energy of “I get you”

“People are craving this type of connection. It’s not uncommon, I know for me specifically, and many of my friends, and people who have just done this for the first time, you’ll play this connection game and you won’t want to stop. You’ll want to do it the next day. You won’t even be hungry because you’re so filled up on connection.”

“When we drop into a deeper space of connection and presence, it’s ultimately getting ourselves present into what’s actually going on.”

  • 2010 – graduated from school, got a job in corporate, climbed societal ladder to get a job
    • this is not where I’m supposed to be
    • was coming from a place of fear, not inspiration
    • started a blog – wanted to get into coaching space
    • family friend talked to her, but he couldn’t relate
    • didn’t relate to Tony Robbins either
    • saw guy name Jacob – talking about Sensophy
    • first person he could relate to as a coach
    • met up in NY, became mentor (2012)
    • the next year, took several months off and went to Thailand
    • was going to stay with friends who were playing online poker
    • didn’t feel right, so he met up with friend in Cambodia
    • felt he could do it, was invigorated
    • two months later – went through Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within
    • broke him down, was finally willing to step into the space
    • quit job and became coach full time
    • led to In the Middle Seat at end of 2013
  • taking small steps
  • creating lasting identity level change
    • Jonathan Haidt – change happens when we shift our relationships or environment
    • find someone you can relate to
    • always wanted to get involved mentorship role of supporting others
    • Buddhist philosophy
  • finding people that believe in you more than you believe in yourself
  • how do you take responsibility for your environment?
  • have a group of peers who support you
  • create a Mastermind
    • find someone that is ahead of you
    • who created something you want? learn from them
    • make sure you are teaching someone behind you
    • it forces you to step your game up
    • 1/3 of people ahead of you, at the same level as you, and behind you
    • question of persistence, diligence, and patience
  • power in numbers
  • no one does it alone
    • ex: president and his cabinet
  • going down the wrong path
    • always a happy kid, never had negative challenges
    • hard to get out of bed, went to psychiatrist – prescribed anti-depressants
    • asked what he was doing with his life
    • reach out and let others know you are having a tough time
    • there can be a lot of shame in that
    • was exercising, but wasn’t eating well
    • find meetups, what aligns with you?
    • admit you need help/support and talk about it

“I truly believe we all have this inner guidance system inside of us. This intuition in our gut… and when something feels off, a lot of times we don’t listen to it.”

“I think that one of the things that holds us back is the unwillingness to share with others, and when we don’t share with others and think we’re all alone in this, it creates this isolation and this shame spiral, and that’s when things get worse.”

  • helping guide people through In the Middle Seat
    • What’s most important to you?
    • get clear on your values
    • when we’re clear of what’s important to us, we can connect the dots
    • don’t do things that go against your values
    • curriculum is individualized but it all comes down to the integrity gap
  • for 25 years he was playing under the wrong rules
  • babies need to learn by failing and getting back up, we should do the same
  • morning routine
    • meditate using Calm app
    • stretching
    • oil pull & drink a glass of water
    • gratitude
    • give yourself space to get up without caffeine
    • meditation – just start with a minute, take 3 deep breaths (5 seconds in and out) and build it up
    • create space to clear your thoughts
There's so much freedom in structure. There's so much freedom in having a space for yourself. Click To Tweet

“It reminds yourself that you are worth it.”

“It’s this fluid infinite space for you to show up like a blank canvas and just splatter.”

“I think we’re all creative… it’s an inspirational space… not a shortcut to spirit but an inspiring, joyful, uninhibited you, that you are capable of being.”, Twitter, Facebook In the Middle Seat, Facebook Personal

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