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The Path To Self-Awareness: How A Simple Statement From One Of My Idols Left Me Speechless

As you may have read in my bio, my day job slash other passion is being a radio personality and programmer.

Recently, I've launched a weekly podcast with a "recovering singer/songwriter" (as he likes to refer to himself) friend of mine, Jared "Pete" Gile. The podcast is called "The Troubadour" and focuses on Texas Country and Red Dirt artists.

Currently, I'm editing the episode that's set to drop this Sunday. I love this part of the process because I get to go back to an interview that may have been done months ago and almost be a passive listener while I cut out background noise, long pauses, and anything that might interrupt the flow of the conversation. This allows me to move from the interview chair to the fan stands and just appreciate hearing what these natural story tellers have to share.

Today, however, I came to a part in an interview with a man I could most likely safely call an idol in this genre of "Dancehall Dreamers" that has literally stopped me in my tracks and has me wanting to share this moment with you. 

That man is Pat Green and it's a moment I had all but forgotten about until now.

Myself and Pat Green in 2017

I am always appreciative of people who cut to the chase and shoot straight, but sometimes that brevity and candor can be unexpected and really hit home. 

There's a part in the interview where my co-host Pete and I are discussing Pat's songwriting abilities and how he knew when writing one of the biggest hits of his career that it would be his first number one. During this story, his sense of self-awareness struck me as unique and I said something about how I typically have to ask twenty friends and family if they thought something was good enough to share publicly. That's when Pat Green, in one of the nicest ways ever, basically told me I was full of it.

His response to my self-deprication was simple, "I'm not sure I believe that." 

I was speechless.

Maybe those words don't seem like a whole lot, but here's my takeaway from them: Pat Green called me out on my BS and basically told me point blank that I know what I'm doing and to stop selling myself short.

Re-hearing this statement made me realize (much like the first time I heard him say it to me) that so many of us do this so much to ourselves. 

It's like how so many of us have programmed ourselves to say "sorry" when there's nothing to apologize for, we've also programmed ourselves to, even jokingly, portray ourselves as less than rather than owning our hard-earned or naturally attained abilities.

Maybe it's my midwestern upbringing where we are raised to be humble and not "braggy"...and that ideal most definitely has it's place, however, it has been a trait that I've actually had to battle against throughout my adolescence and adulthood.

I've had to teach myself to go ahead and toot my own horn, own my success, and stop myself from automatically saying "sorry" when there's nothing to be sorry for. 

In fact, I've even had a few times, while lightly scolding male employees for small infractions, that they thought I was apologizing to them when they were clearly in the wrong. (I cleared that up quickly by emphatically stating, "I am NOT apologizing right now." The look of shock and confusion was always amazing and slightly comical, though.) 

But, it appears as though I may still have some work to do on myself.

So, if you are the same as me, if you sometimes tell yourself that you're an awkward mess, or that you need approval from others to know you're on the right track, or that you're somehow, sometimes less than....well, I'm not sure I believe that.

Go on and toot, honey,


PS: Thank you, Pat.


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