Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 80: That Quit Voice

What does it take to succeed, and how do you silence that quit voice?

When you start a business there is a lot to learn and at various times you may feel uncomfortable, challenged, frustrated and scared. 

And let me tell you this – if you feel all of those things, it means that you’re doing it right. 

Welcome to the world of being an entrepreneur.

The thing is that along the way, you are probably going to hear an inner voice – that quit voice – the voice that tells you terrible things, like:

  • Who are you to run this business?
  • You can’t do this, you have no clue!
  • Why would anyone buy HW coaching services from you – you can’t even look after your OWN wellbeing.
  • I have no clients, nothing is working, I might as well just give up.

There are 100 other versions of these statements but these are some common ones.

If you’ve ever heard these voices in your head – this podcast is for you.

The Quit Statistics

You’ve probably heard the statistics that 95% of businesses fail in the first year of operation. 

But have you ever wondered what that actually means – that 95% of businesses fail

Sure, there can be mismanagement, lack of research into the demand for your service, poor marketing, or over capitalising. 

But I think what it means is that people have given up. 

It means that they lack grit and persistence – because all these so-called reasons for failure are lessons, and things that can be overcome. 

And I want to tell you that success may not come in your first year or even your first two years. But if you believe in what you’re doing and you know that it’s valuable and you persist then your chance of success increases.

So rather than call these business failure statistics, I want to call them quit statistics.

What Does It Take to Succeed?

As described in Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, there is a theory that it will take you 10,000 hours over 10 years to reach the expert level of proficiency in anything you want to do. 

Think about what that means in the context of giving up or quitting in your business in that first year, two years or five years?

The thing it takes to succeed is persistence.

Persistence means that you are resisting the novelty and freshness of shiny objects. 

You are committed to finishing what you start.

Persistence is doing things now that will set you up for success later – there’s no quick fix.

You’re working with the distant future in mind.

You are focused on a clear and definite goal.

You have the determination to stick to a course once you’ve committed to the goal.

You don’t abandon tasks in the face of obstacles.

And most importantly, you have a big vision of what you want to achieve that you just won’t let go of.

Right now I want to ask you to check in with yourself. How many of these traits do you have?

Persistence is doing things now that will set you up for success later.

Which of these might you need to sharpen up? 

Most people don’t have all of these traits, but when you are truly passionate about something and feel you have a big purpose, it makes persistence as I’ve just described it, a whole lot easier.

If you knew that you could succeed if you persisted long enough in your business, what would happen to your quit voice?

How would it affect your investment and commitment to your business?

Right about now you might be thinking to yourself…

…“Yes but I need to earn an income! What if I”m flogging a dead horse?”

This is a valid question and it’s one you need to answer because it will give you the confidence to commit to your idea and then persist for long enough to achieve your goal.

First let’s consider the reality – accept you will experience failure along the way. You will learn lessons about what to do differently and you will need to adapt your approach or method.

Secondly, you really need to research and test the market to know that there is both a need AND a demand for your services before you start.

Thirdly, you must be good at what you do, and that takes time and ongoing personal and professional development. 

If you do those things and make good connections as you build your business, you will likely succeed if you persist long enough. 

Aside from that, you need to find ways to make money to support you while your business is growing AND at some point you need to earn income in your business.

How long does it take to succeed?

Maybe the next question you’re asking is how long does it take to succeed in a coaching business or other service based business?

Let’s make it easy and assume that success means making a profit consistently for a period of time.

And let’s assume that you’re not mucking around, playing small, trying to do it all yourself, staying stuck in fear. Let’s assume you’re doing NONE of those things, and you’re proactively seeking good quality advice and support to help you develop a business in a viable niche.

With those things in place, the time it takes to succeed depends on your grit and persistence.

Yes, it comes down to you.

Going back a way, it took Thomas Edison almost three years to test around 3,000 designs for light bulbs and then, after getting a patent, he spent a year testing 6000 plants to get the filament right.

That’s an example of someone with a physical product who is testing and refining his invention to get it right.

It took life coach Marie Forleo many years to build her business and 2.5 years of daily online content and presence to build her brand online.

It took me, the lowly Melanie J White, about 6 months to develop and deliver a pilot program, and about one year until I was earning a full time income from the full version of that program. That success continued for the next two years until I stopped running that program and pivoted in my business.

In a tangible sense of income and clients, that’s what’s possible.

According to author Angela Duckwork in her book Grit, is roughly 10,000 hours and 10 years of commitment to a craft before you are at expert level in your craft.

You can definitely develop a successful business before then but having a high level of skill is ultimately the true measure of success beyond anything else – because it is ultimately what attracts people to your business.

The message is this – if you follow a road map and give something a red hot go, and stick with it, you will become good at it, and you will succeed.

Passion. Courage. Focus. Resilience.

How to Silence the Quit Voice

Hopefully this has given you some perspective on what’s possible if you put in the time, energy and effort – and most importantly, commitment to persist.

Maybe you’re feeling pumped up at the thought of succeeding.

That means you have the first two magic ingredients of success – persistence and grit. 

But beyond this, how do you silence the quit voice that can get in the way of persistence?

You need four other things – passion, courage, focus and resilience.

Passion, courage, focus and resilience are the things that help you to persist when your computer shows the blue screen of death, or you are overly emotional after a lack of sleep, or your marketing campaign gets crickets. 

With passion, courage, focus and resilience, you will be agile and objective enough to stand back, learn the lesson, change track and move on.

To build these skills, you need to practice self compassion and develop a growth mindset.

That means being kind to yourself, being mindful, reframing your failures as lessons, and embracing the discomfort of the unknown as an opportunity to gain new skills and insights.

In other words, if you want to silence the quit voice, you need to coach yourself.

This means focusing on your big why, managing your emotions and reframing failures. When you do this, you will be able to make rational decisions and act in a logical, calm and objective way, no matter what.

You will overcome procrastination, overwhelm and fear.

Just stick with it.

I want to refer you to some previous podcast episodes here that will help you get there:

  1. Episode 4 – How to Get in the Mood to Get Things Done
  2. Episode 59 – Becoming Your Future Self
  3. Episode 68 – Cultivating Self-Discipline and Self-Regulation
  4. Episode 73 – The Three Best Ways to Build Self-Confidence
  5. Episode 76 – The Importance of Self Compassion

Summary

Mental discomfort is part of being a business owner.

We all have an inner voice that can turn the tiniest problem into a catastrophe, or to revel in the slightest hint of self doubt.

Then you start to telling yourself reasons why you should give up on your business.

That’s your quit voice talking.

It’s what causes so many business owners to give up on their business or their big goal or dream.

But the fact is, you can do some important groundwork FIRST to make sure your business idea is viable.

If you follow a road map and give something a red hot go, and stick with it, you will become good at it, and you will succeed.

Then, if you persist with your idea long enough, keep troubleshooting along the way, getting the right support and improving your skills, you will eventually succeed.

Your quit voice might pop up along the way, and to get rid of it or at least manage it, you can practice self-compassion and work on developing a growth mindset.

If you would like some help to get started on persistence, you may like to join the my monthly Habitology membership for personal and professional growth. In April 2020 we are focusing on stretch goals – so it’s the perfect time to commit to yourself.

Visit https://www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology for more information.

Ready to mute that quit voice?

With passion, courage, focus and resilience you will be successful. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 59: Becoming Your Future Self

This podcast is about one of the fundamental things of becoming your future self: challenging and changing your beliefs.

You’ve probably heard the saying “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

You’ve probably also heard the saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Both of those sayings speak to the concept that if you hang onto the beliefs, habits and thoughts that you have right now then nothing is going to change.

Both of those sayings speak to the concept that if you hang onto the beliefs, habits and thoughts that you have right now then nothing is going to change.

In other words, if you want to become your future self, you have to start thinking and acting differently.

It SOUNDS easy, but your brain wants to hang onto your current beliefs, habits and thoughts because it invested a lot of energy in creating and habitualising them. 

That’s why I want to talk about this exact topic today in the podcast.

Let’s start with an understanding of what beliefs, habits and thoughts are, and then to talk about two methods to change them so that you can become your future self.

Definitions

Before we get into definitions of beliefs, habits and thoughts, let’s recap how the brain works, because this is a beautiful way to illustrate the difference between them.

When you first learn how to do something it takes a lot of focus and energy – in other words, it takes a lot of conscious thinking. 

Your brain loves learning things quickly and properly so it can turn the steps into automated habits that run on autopilot. Your brain uses your thoughts as motivation and instructions to get you to take the right actions.

When you practice those thoughts and actions repeatedly they become a habit.

And when something becomes a habit, your brain can switch into autopilot and save energy. 

In the recesses of your mind there is an unconscious thinking process going on to instruct all the thoughts and actions that will get you out of bed on time. 

You switch from conscious thoughts about what you’re doing into unconscious thoughts about what you’re doing. Your thoughts are still there, they’re just in the background, barely noticeable, quietly instructing what you are doing.

Here’s an example. When you are learning to drive a car, your focus is everywhere – put foot on accelerator, check mirrors, use indicator, change gears while depressing the clutch – and so on.  

But when you have mastered all those intricate steps, you can find yourself singing along with the radio as you drive and suddenly realise you are at your destination, barely remembering how you got there.

This process of forming a habit takes anywhere from 30 – 360 days, depending on the complexity of the habit. The average time to form a habit is 83 days.

And once a habit has been running on autopilot for an extended period, your brain notices the benefit or result of that habit.

From there, your mind forms a belief about that thing you’re doing.

Here’s an example. 

Let’s say that when you were a kid your mum woke you up really early in the morning. She’d say something like “Come on honey, get up, rise and shine! The early bird catches the worm.”

During this ritual your brain worked out the best way to think and act in order to get you out of bed early every day. That was reinforced by what your mum was telling you something positive about that habit.

Now if, as an adult, you are still getting out of bed early every morning, then you most likely have some beliefs about that habit and yourself. 

For example you might be saying or thinking things like “I’m a morning person” or “the morning is the best part of the day.” 

In the recesses of your mind there is an unconscious thinking process going on to instruct all the thoughts and actions that will get you out of bed on time. There is also the conscious recognition of the beliefs you have about that habit.

Watch your mind next time you get out of bed and notice what’s in your head as you get up.

So that’s the difference between conscious and unconscious thoughts, habits, and finally, beliefs.

One last nuance I want to mention is this.

Once you have formed a belief about something, your brain starts collecting evidence that your belief is true. 

Your brain filters out anything that doesn’t match with that belief. 

Your brain likes to be right. 

This is called confirmation bias. 

Changing beliefs 

Having said all that, I’m sure you can see how imagine changing your beliefs is a little bit complicated for two reasons. 

  1. You have a lot of autopilot going on. You have automatic habits and you have automatic thoughts that drive them or are caused by your habits. 
  2. You have confirmation bias. Your brain believes that what you are doing is right, is the best thing for you. And your brain hates being wrong.

What does this mean in terms of becoming your future self? 

It means you need a way to identify and then change those automatic patterns. AND, it means you might also need to challenge your perspective.

Might I just say at this point, that this is why coaching is so important. 

Most of us cannot see our own automatic thoughts and patterns. And we generally are stuck in our own perspectives. A coach can help somebody to do this work to see things differently to challenge their automatic thoughts and to become their future selves.

But there is still a lot you can do yourself to become your future self, so let’s talk about how to do that.

Begin With The End in Mind 

In his book the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey’s second success habit was to begin with the end in mind.

I want to talk to you briefly about what that means. It really means that to become your future self, you need to have a clear picture of what your future self looks like so that you know what you need to do to get there. You might want to listen to my episodes on creating a vision (#1) and on being specific (#14) both of which are relevant to this.

For now, let’s say that you have a specific view of how your future self look and feels. 

Maybe you can imagine your fitter self, or your richer self, or your more successful self, or your slimmer self, or your happier self or whatever it is for you.

I’m just talking about ONE area – pick one area of life that you’d like to change, and create a vision of your future self around that.

Once you have that idea in your mind of what you would like to be and what your future self looks and feels like you’re ready to do the work to start changing your beliefs so you can become that future version of yourself.

What Would You be Thinking?

If you want to become your future self, you need to start thinking differently. More like your future self would.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Let’s say that right now you feel like you’re overdrinking and that you want to eventually become a non-drinker. 

Right now, your thoughts might be things like:

“I’m only going to have a drink on Friday and Saturday this week.” 

Or, “I need to cut back on alcohol.” 

Or, “I feel so hung over and terrible I’m never drinking again.”

Now mentally propel yourself five years forward. Imagine that you are now your future self and that you’re a non-drinker. Pretend that you stopped drinking alcohol three years ago. 

What are your new thoughts about alcohol? 

Chances are, your non-drinking self is not thinking about alcohol at all, because you no longer drink it. It’s not even on your radar.

You’re no longer thinking about alcohol at 2pm, wondering if you’ll drink tonight or not, or whether you will be judged by others for not drinking at the party.

You will probably see other people slurring and stumbling around and think, “that used to be me. I’m so glad I’m a non-drinker. I have so much more self-control and I feel good about that.” 

Maybe your future self is quite happy to go out to a party or a dinner with others who are drinking, and when people ask if you want to drink your future self says “No thanks, I don’t drink.” 

And your future self would feel a sense of confidence, and conviction, and contentment about saying that because they really believe that it’s true.

Notice how different your future thinking patterns are compared that with what your current self thinks and believes. The dialogue is totally different. 

The same could be said about any other area of life. 

Let’s look at an example of a successful business.

Let’s say that you are struggling to get clients right now and your income is erratic.

You might be thinking, “I need clients!” or, “I wonder if I should run a Facebook ad!” 

Maybe you’re thinking “The market is saturated, nobody wants what I am selling.” Or perhaps, “That other person is so successful, maybe I should do what she is doing?” 

Or even “I wonder if I need to do more training courses.”

Now, what would your future successful business owner self be saying instead?

Probably the focus would be on quality of service and expansion.

Maybe you’d be saying things like “I wonder how I can serve my clients better.” 

Or “I would love to do a workshop on this topic that I’m really passionate about so I can share this with more people.” 

Or perhaps, “What could I do that would really help my clients to 10X their results?”

What’s interesting about this example is that both the before and after business person is striving for the same goals, but the language and feeling about the process is different.

Ok, examples aside, let’s talk about how to start taking action and getting traction with this.

In the words of Amy Cuddy, “our bodies change our minds.”

So I’d like to walk you through two ways to start becoming your future self, by tapping into the mind-body connection.

  1. Start Thinking Like Your Future Self

The easiest way to become your future self is to seed your mind with the thoughts of your future self. 

Let’s do a little exercise. 

Pretend that you are already your future self. Right now. Imagine being that person who has achieved what you want to achieve. 

Really take yourself to that place and imagine how you look, how you feel what your experience of life is every day. 

What would your future self be saying about this each day?

Notice that you will probably not be thinking about how great it is to be successful. That is the voice of your current self.

You’re probably passed that honeymoon period. You will probably be thinking about your next actions.  

Let’s use the example of body weight.

If you are currently overweight you might think to yourself, “I need to lose weight but I don’t know what to do.”

That may be a fact, but it’s unhelpful. 

So what would your future self be thinking and saying?

Maybe, “I need to schedule in three exercise sessions this week and block out my calendar”.

Or maybe, “On Sunday night, I’ll do my meal prep for the week.”

Perhaps you’d be saying “I love the way my body feels.” 

Or “Sorry, I don’t eat sugary foods, they’re not good for me.”

Your current self might be judgmental and self-critical. 

Your future self will more likely show self-compassion. 

So I want to offer that you can start speaking to yourself with compassion right now, because that judgement and self-criticism is unhelpful and will not support you taking action or achieving your goals. It will do the opposite.

In summary, consider the thoughts of your future self and say them, write them and practice them daily.

Start now. 

Start rewiring your neural pathways.

  1. Acting like your future self

Apart from the thinking work there are also the actions that your future self would be taking or not taking. 

Let’s talk about the business example. 

If you were successful in business as your future self what would be the actions that you would be taking each week?

Maybe you would use Monday morning as a big picture planning session. 

Maybe on Friday afternoon you’d be reflecting on what went well I need be planning the next week so you could totally shut off on the weekend. 

And maybe you wouldn’t be working on the weekend to be having fun instead. 

These are some of the things – the actions – that are successful business person might be taking.

What about the weight example? 

If you were at your healthy weight, the actions that you might be taking would be perhaps walking every morning when you get up as a not negotiable thing. 

Ask yourself now, if you were your future healthy self, what actions would you be taking regularly, as not negotiable actions that you were committed to?

Maybe at the supermarket you be walking past the junk food aisles because you don’t go there anymore. You’d be heading straight for the fruit and veg section.

Ask yourself now, if you were your future healthy self, what actions would you be taking regularly, as not negotiable actions that you were committed to?

Identify those actions and find a way to start now. 

Start rewiring your physiological pathways.

Summing it up

As you can see your future self is thinking and acting totally differently from how are you are right now. 

The starting point to become your future self is to simply work out what your future self might be thinking and doing and then, to start thinking and doing those things.

To do this, you will need to plug both the thinking work and the actions into your calendar as not negotiable.

You’ll need to make space for them.

This truly is a gradual, one at a time process. 

You can definitely fast-track becoming your future self, but you can’t do it all tomorrow it just doesn’t work that way. It’s too much for your brain to absorb.

Your brain takes time to create new habits – on average, 86 days. 

So the goal is to start with one thing or two things perhaps and turn those into habits stick with them consistently for 83 days at least.

Ready to become your future self?

Start the journey to become who you want to be! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 58: Removing Motivation Blocks

It’s all well and good to think about creating motivation. But what happens when something unexpected blocks your motivation?

It’s all well and good to just do it and to have a plan to take action, but at some point we get blindsided by the facts of life.

Things happen that disrupt our thoughts, our intentions, and our mood. So we need to be able to pull ourselves back on track quickly and easily. We need to be able to remove the unexpected motivation blocks that come up. 

That’s what this episode is all about.

No matter what your intentions sometimes you hit a slump.

Usually it’s because of external forces or situations.

But it can also be your own thinking patterns that trip you up.

Thought-Based Obstacles

For example, maybe there is some event coming up that is a block in your mind, as in you can’t move forward until that thing has happened. 

This block has come up for several of my clients. 

I remember one business strategy session that I did and the person who purchased that session was not ready to take any action or even to plan.

They were in a job and they felt that it would be morally wrong to do any planning at all or even any market research into their idea until they had spoken to the current employer about what they intended to do. 

And that was a scary conversation that they were afraid of having. So we could achieve plotting the later action steps, but that was it, because there was this block that had to be removed before the person could find the motivation to take action.

I’ve heard many versions of this for around weight loss too. 

There is always a holiday coming up or the wedding coming up for a job change coming up or some other thing that prevents somebody from “starting now.”

Usually it’s because of external forces or situations, but it can also be your own thinking patterns that trip you up. 

I call these things “just-ifications”. As in:

I just need to have this conversation. 

I just need to take the holiday. 

I just need to get past the wedding. 

I just need to get ready. I’m not ready yet.

The word ‘just’ becomes an excuse for not taking action.

And there goes your motivation trickling down the drain again.

Getting Back On the Horse

If we slow down for a moment we can see what the reality is. Life is full of obstacles and despite them, we can take action.

We don’t need to feel ready, we don’t need to have a clear run, we don’t need to get rid of clutter, although all of those things can help. 

But they are actually all just mental constructs. 

The fact is, there is often nothing physical that stops us from taking continuous and deliberate action – which is the secret sauce for creating motivation.

So then the question becomes how do you get out of your head and into action? 

How do you remove motivation blocks in all shapes and forms?

I want to talk about five useful tools that you can use to switch your brain into a different state.

Five Tools For Creating Motivation

Tool #1 is from Amy Cuddy – power poses.

This one is great if you are feeling a bit fearful or lacking confidence in yourself.

It works on the principle that your physiology – that is, your body and it’s systems – is directly linked to your emotional state.

They are interconnected. Our bodies change our minds. So the most powerful way to change your state, using your physical body, is to adopt a ‘power pose’ for 2 minutes.

Why two minutes? Because research from the Association of Psychological Science shows how power poses change your hormones and therefore your state in JUST 2 minutes.

Powerful postures are legs apart with feet facing forward, hands on hips or arms up and out, standing up straight.

A yoga class could provide an opportunity to practice this.

Tool #2 is from Tony Robbins – creating your state

This one is a daily ritual you can perform as a means of building resilience and motivation, or as a mental tool that you can use to get into the right mindset for taking action.

Practicing mindfulness meditation, talking to yourself with positive language about the positive outcomes you want, and visualising them, are all tools that you can use to create a more positive, can-do state of mind.

There are many versions of this.

If you know your Tendency, from Gretchen Rubin’s quiz, then certain rituals might work better for you than others.

Questioners might do well to bring curiosity to their motivation funk and query it from that perspective.

Obligers might get out of their motivation funk by thinking about how they could help others, or how their taking action might benefit others.

Upholders might get out of their motivation funk by talking to themselves about re-writing and tackling their to-do list.

Rebels might feel justified in their lack of motivation. It can be harder for a rebel to break free. But what often works is to ask yourself – what’s in this for me?  What am I getting out of being unmotivated, and what would I rather have instead?

Tool #3 is from Mel Robbins – it’s the 5-second rule

No, this is not about dropping food on the floor!

This one is great if you’re feeling panicky or anxious, but also when you are stuck in a loop of procrastination which is really just fear in disguise.

On her blog, Mel says “the 5 Second Rule was something that I developed to get myself to take action when I didn’t want to.

I was so busy feeling sorry for myself that something that is so simple became so difficult.”  

She developed the 5-second rule which is simply this – if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action.

Tool #4 is specific planning and rehearsal

When you make a specific plan around the thing you’re putting off, you will feel motivated. 

Just making the plan of action feels good. It feels like you’re doing something!

And often the plan helps you to identify the things you’re unsure of or don’t know, so that you can problem solve them and get unstuck.

Even better is rehearsing the steps in your mind. 

First you write your plan. Then you mentally walk through the thing you are demotivated about and visualise yourself doing each step.

This mental rehearsal plugs the steps into your brain as instructions, which helps you to actually do the steps.

Tool #5 is positive language

Building on the previous concepts, the words you use can make things worse or better, easier or harder.

For example:

“I will give it a good go” is stronger and more positive than “I guess I’ll try”.

“I’ll do my best” is more intentional than “I’m not expecting much”.

“I will do whatever it takes” is more powerful than “I’ll see how I’m going after a week or two”.

“I will do this” is more intentional and committed than “I hope I can”.

And “I will eat fresh salads with each meal” is more empowering and positive than “I will restrict carbs and cut calories.”

See how different the former statement is to the latter?

Notice how the stronger language is more motivating?

Right, now it’s time to get motivated! Let’s summarise what we’ve covered today.

Summary

There are plenty of circumstances outside our control, and sometimes they can bring us down. But at the core of it, our thoughts are actually the things that sap our motivation.

There are 5 different tools you can use to remove motivation blocks in under 10 minutes.

  1. Power poses
  2. Create your state via visualisation and meditation 
  3. The 5-second rule
  4. Plan and rehearse the steps
  5. Use positive language

At the core of it, our thoughts are actually the things that sap our motivation.

I hope you find a way to use these tools over the next week or two and find the ones that work best for you.

Better still, be proactive about rewiring your default thinking patterns and make a habit or ritual out of some of these.

If you want to proactively manage your mind, visit www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology to learn about my monthly membership. 

Ready to overcome motivation blocks?

Try these five tools and watch yourself succeed. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 54: Creating Motivation

This episode of the Habitology podcast is all about creating motivation.

Notice that I said ‘creating’ motivation rather than ‘getting motivated.’ 

That’s because motivation is not something you ‘get’, and it’s not something that anyone else can give you.

It is something you must create within yourself.

And rather than trying to overcome your lack of it, shift your focus to what you can do – which is to create it, and habitualise it.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is your willingness to act. 

And it is created when we realise that the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it.

For example, the pain of not earning money far outweighs the discomfort of finding the courage to do promotional talks in public.

The discomfort of being overweight or having a wardrobe of too-tight clothes becomes greater than the inconvenience of preparing healthy food or going to the gym.

When we weigh up the pros and cons of change – a cost-benefit analysis – we can easily see the risk versus the reward and make some decisions on what we will do.

Then we cross that mental threshold and the motivation appears!

The secret to motivation is this – it usually comes AFTER you take action, not before.

Think of the last time you ate a healthy breakfast. It felt good, right? You felt proud of yourself. So you felt motivated to do it again.

You can also create motivation by talking yourself into things, and thinking positive thoughts.

It’s useful to create your thoughts like this anyway, but know that it’s the doing of the thing that is important. 

You need to train yourself to make motivation a habit.

Types of Motivation

You might have heard of the terms extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is somewhat coerced. 

It is where your motivation relies on other things, situations or people.

If you are an Obliger tendency, then these external factors are a big part of what creates motivation for you.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is more powerful. 

It comes from within, and it only relies on you. It can be freely chosen at any time!

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

If you are a Questioner or Rebel tendency, then intrinsic motivation is a strong part of who you are and how you operate.

Sources of Motivation

Now that we’ve discussed the two main types of motivators, it’s also worth knowing the two main sources of motivation.

To keep it simple, one is negative, and one is positive.

Think of it this way.

Some people strive to avoid things because they’ve been conditioned to look for those negative incentives.

So you could say we are talking about ‘away from’ motivators.

This is you if your reasons for doing things tend to be based around cutting back, restricting, limiting or avoiding something, especially a consequence.

This is a ‘conserve and protect what you have’ mentality. 

And the main problem with it is that if you focus on what you don’t want, you have no exciting incentive to act, and no instruction on the action steps you need to take to move forward.

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

On the other hand we have what’s known as ‘toward’ motivators.

These are the things we define as desirable, the things we want and would be excited to achieve.

Positive or toward motivators are fueled by desire, inspiration, and the promise of a specific, pleasurable achievement or result.

So as you can imagine, thinking of what you want is way more compelling and motivating. It feels good.

And additionally, when you define what you want rather than what you don’t, you have more clues and instructions on the affirmative steps you need to take to get there.

5 Steps to Create Motivation

With this background understanding, you are ready to take the five steps to creating motivation. If you do these things and practice them, you will be able to create motivation and also, turn being motivated into a habit. Sound good?

Let’s get started.

Step 1

Think of the thing that you are not doing right now, but want to do.

Step 2

Reframe this as a positive thing you want to do or achieve. Talk about what you DO want, not what you don’t. Use positive words, or at least, plain and factual (that is, non emotive) words.

Step 3

Make sure you have been very specific about what it is that you want to do and when, and how often.

Step 4

Schedule it into your diary in a time-slot that is 100% not negotiable. This is important!

Step 5

Surround it with positives. Create a warm-up routine that is easy and enjoyable. Visualise yourself doing this thing and feeling good about it. Celebrate the feelings of achievement and success, and the results, afterwards.

In other words, step 5 is about thinking positive emotions and feeling positive feelings as you prepare, act and reflect on the thing you have scheduled in.

An example

Step 1 – Let’s say you want to find the motivation to go to the gym.

Step 2 – More positive wording could be that you want to feel that sense of satisfaction and post-exercise pump three days per week.

Step 3 – Allocate three timeslots very specifically and check you can commit to them 100%. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5pm for one hour including travel time.

Step 4 – Put them in your diary.

Step 5 – Get your clothes prepared for the week ahead. Set your alarm. Reschedule meetings. Mentally rehearse how good you will feel as you do the exercise. Celebrate finishing your session and feeling that pump.

In summary

As you can hear, motivation requires you to JUST DO IT.

Ready to create motivation?

Create habits that put you in charge of your own life! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

The Power of a Vision

One easy way to create positivity in your life is to develop a vision of what you’d like your life, business or health to be like.

When you write a vision, it plugs the outcome you truly desire into your brain’s GPS, so it can automatically start filtering in all the tools and resources you need to achieve it.

This article shows you exactly how to create a powerful, motivating vision that will help you to the become the person you want to be and the powerful results you want to achieve.

You’ll learn:

  • why visions are crucial to achieving goals
  • a step-by-step process to create a motivating vision that will help you get results
  • the difference between business and personal visions and how to get each one right.

To help you take action, I’ve included a free vision worksheet that you can use to flesh out your vision and get it right.

What is a Vision

You’ve probably heard of visions, vision boarding and creating a vision.

Yet so many people still don’t realise the power of a vision and how essential it is for you to get what you want in life.

Visions are linked with positivity and achieving goals.

But why else are they important?

Here are three reasons.

  1. They help you clearly define what you want to achieve

As a coach, most of my clients come to see me because they lack direction and clarity.

They aren’t clear on what they truly want, why or how they’re going to get it.

And when you aren’t sure where you’re going, it’s hard to see the path to get there. You might be fearful of what’s ahead if you step into the future without a clear plan of attack.

I love the analogy of holiday.

If you pick a destination, then you can start making plans, work out when you need to do each step, and whether to pack a bikini or a fur coat.

As you can see, a vision allows you to see and create the steps to get there.

  1. A well-written vision gets you excited and motivated to achieve the end goal.

Most people think that motivation is their #1 problem and that it’s the reason they can’t change. Never mind about having to learn skills or make plans!

You already know that visions can create clarity.

But they are also powerful motivators – IF you get the language right.

People often create visions around things they think they ‘should’ be aiming for, for what is expected of them – or talk about things they don’t want to do anymore.

For example – I want to stop being so stressed and anxious.

On the surface that sounds like a legitimate thing to want, BUT the problem is that it doesn’t define what you desire – so your brain can’t latch onto any happy, positive and motivating end point.

Inspiring vision statements are motivating, and you create them by using words that you find appealing, exciting and which talk about what you truly desire.

For example – I want to feel happy, calm and contented, at peace with everything.

See the different feeling this creates, compared with the first example?

  1. Visions are so important at the biological level.

There is a part of your brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) and it is your brain’s GPS.

You plug the destination into your brain, and then your subconscious mind works out how to get you there, by finding signals and opportunities to do so.

Here’s an example – think of the last time you were looking at new cars.

You had your eye on one particular model of car.

Then suddenly, you started seeing them everywhere. That’s your RAS in action!

The RAS also controls our belief system and it will only recognise or select the information that supports our beliefs.

Once you plug something into your GPS our brain will selectively filter the information around you and only identify and keep what’s relevant.

In other words your belief system will determine whether your RAS will work for you or against you.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow said it best in 1966 with his Law of the Hammer – “if all you have a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”

At this point I want to mention a great book that describes this in more detail – it’s called the Answer by Australian authors Allan and Barbara Pease, published in 2016.

Just to recap what we’ve covered so far:

  • Visions help you clearly define what you want to achieve
  • Visions help you create the motivation and excitement you need to reach your goals.
  • For visions to work, they must use positive language to describe what you truly want.

Do these three things and you’ll harness the power of your vision.

Three Steps to Create Your Powerful Vision

  1. Specify exactly what you want – this is end goal or result.

Even if you haven’t ever achieved this before, you need to paint a picture in your mind of what it looks, feels and sounds like.

This plugs lots of important cues into your RAS so your brain can filter in the steps to help you get there.

  1. Back up your what with a why – the deepest and most meaningful reasons behind the result you want.

Two common mistakes are not identifying the why, or, not going deep enough with the why.

The more meaningful your whys are and the more strongly its connected with your personal values, the more likely you will achieve your vision.

A useful exercise can be the 5 why’s which aims to peel off the layers and get to the root cause.

For example – one of my weight coaching clients says she wants to lose 10kg.

Her first why is because she hates what she sees in the mirror. Notice the language? She needs to dig deeper to find the positive, desired outcomes and values.

To find her second why, I asked, ‘what’s a positive reason to lose 10kg?’ So I can wear all the beautiful clothes in my wardrobe.

To find her third why, I asked, ‘what would happen if you could wear all those clothes?’      I would feel more confident about going out in public and socialising.

To find her fourth why, I asked, ‘and then what might happen?’ I could to make some friends because I want to have more fun in life.’

To find her fifth why I asked, ‘imagine you are having that fun with friends regularly each week, socialising, laughing and getting out more. Why is that so important?’  

Then we get to the heart of the matter – ‘because I want to be more active like I used to be because back then, I felt so alive, confident, powerful and courageous.’

See how compelling that last reason is?

The thought of losing weight to get away from the horrible image in the mirror is way less motivating that wanting to feel so alive, confident, powerful and courageous.

  1. Step 3 – put a timeframe on it so you can define a foolproof action plan to get there.

Normally, 6 – 12 months is a good amount of time to achieve an outcome; it’s close enough to stay motivated, but far enough that you can make enough change to get there.

You might want to reality check your time line with a friend or coach and make sure it’s realistic and achievable.

Three Steps to Create Your Powerful Vision

 There are lots of different types of visions let’s compare a personal vision and a business vision.

How to Write a Personal Vision Statement

You need to start by picking just one or two priority areas to focus on.

If you pile everything into your vision it will seem overwhelming, unbelievable and therefore unachievable.

A wellbeing questionnaire or a wheel of life are useful tools to help you find your priority area. Keep it simple and clear.

Then, you define your what like I described above – exactly, specifically, what does your desired success look and feel like in that area?

You write down the what, starting with ‘I am’.

For example; if your priority area was physical fitness, your ‘what’ might be “In six months’ time, I am fit, strong and running regularly.”

Notice the positive language used.

Next, you define your why – what would achieving that bring to your life?

You could follow the 5 why process I mentioned to get down to the nitty gritty of your core values and most meaningful motivators.

You write that down after the what, starting with ‘so that I …..’

Using the last example, “I am fit, strong and running regularly…”

…So that I can create more energy each day, be more positive and feel more confident and capable about myself as a person”

A well-written vision statement, when read aloud, has two traits:

  • It makes you feel motivated, inspired, hopeful, even excited and energized.  
  • It is realistic – you totally believe it is possible with the right education and/or support.

Make sure you tick those two boxes, otherwise, go back and explore your what and why to

Creating a Business Vision

A business vision is a vivid mental image of what your business looks like when it is profitable, successful and thriving – and why it exists in the first place.

It describes what success looks like, and the why often includes the ethos or core values behind it.  And it’s often much shorter than a personal vision statement, because it might be something you put out in public.

You might decide to have an internal business vision that only you see, and a more public one, to help attract clients to your ‘why’.

When you choose a time frame for a business vision, think about where you are right now in your business and what feels best for you.

Some people prefer a shorter time frame like 12 months as it seems more achievable, others prefer a longer time frame like 3 years because they are more inspired by the end result.

There’s no right or wrong, choose what feels most exciting and inspiring to you.

In terms of defining your what; business visions generally focus on a few key areas – income, fame, to be the best at something, a particular type of clients you want to help, one main problem you want to help solve.

Also, there may also be guilt associated with the money side of things.

Let’s first clearly state that every business exists to generate income. Otherwise it’s a charity, or a hobby. You need to be 100% clear on this.

Imagine you just walked into the door of your office and looked around. What is the result your business is creating?

Here’s an example – My business helps people to break free from social anxiety.

Here’s another – My business helps people to create a strong, healthy and powerful body.

Or another – My business helps self-conscious women to find their inner beauty.

The why in your business is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning and allows you to persist with the business no matter what.

You need to have compelling, meaningful, authentic and non-negotiable reasons to start and run a business.

To find your business why, ask yourself:

What is my compelling reason to start this business no matter what?

Think about the soapbox you like to stand on. Think about the causes you stand for. Think about why it’s so important to help a certain type of person.

Maybe you’ve been there yourself and you feel compelled to help other people achieve what you have so they can have a better-quality life.

Here are some examples, using the what statements I just read out.

My business helps people to break free from social anxiety so that they can find the courage to develop strong connections with the people around them and as a result, have more fulfilling careers.

My business helps people to create a strong, healthy and powerful body so that they can be fit and healthy as they age and be authentic role models to their kids.

My business helps self-conscious women to find their inner beauty so that they can feel better in their own skin, happier, more confident in the world and finally achieve their dreams.

There is SO MUCH energy in those statements.

In Summary

Let’s recap what we covered in this article.

  1. Visions are important for two reasons:
  • To get clear on what you want
  • To get the momentum, excitement and motivation to pursue the goal
  • It’s important to use positive language to define your deepest desire.

Your brain – the reticular activating system – is like a GPS for your body. Whatever you plug in there creates the filtering and instructions for what to do next.

  1. There are three steps to creating a vision statement:
  • Focus on one area
  • Define your what, written as ‘I am’, then
  • Define your why, and write it as “so that I …”

Remember to ask yourself why at least 5 times, in a few different ways, to get to your most powerful values and motivators.

Finally, when you read your vision out, you can check you’ve done it correctly:

  • Check that it energizes, excites and motivates you
  • Check that it feels realistic, totally possible and believable.  
  1. Write your business or personal vision with a slightly different approach
  • Focus on one area (personal) or on the overarching purpose (business)
  • Get in touch with your why (personal) or your soapbox (business)
  • Write out the what and why
  • Check that it feels right – exciting and absolutely do-able.

Then you’re ready to plan the path to your next success in life.

Check out this free vision worksheet to help you get started!

Posted on 1 Comment

Getting Whelmed

getting whelmed

Are you starting the year with a bang? With gusto? With a huge rev up? Or, are you planning on getting whelmed this year, like me?

Being an Entrepreneur

Lately I’ve been thinking that the definition of an entrepreneur is this:

You’re someone who can’t stand to work for someone else and just wants the freedom and flexibility to march to the beat of their own drum, and write their own rules.

Still, being an entrepreneur means you take the entire responsibility for everything in your business.

That means you are the face of your business, you are IT, and you have to generate your own momentum, schedule, energy, gusto and enthusiasm.

Which is all great stuff, but you can find yourself in a bit of an energy crisis at times.

Getting Excited….and Overwhelmed

Once upon a time, I would be geeing myself up at this time of year, creating massive energy and excitement, planning, and firing myself up to work relentlessly like a trojan for the next 12 months.

It’s a great way to start the year and it feels really positive.

In this state, I am able to crank out HEAPS of work, produce HEAPS of stuff, and keep my finger in 100 different pies at once.

People say to me, “I wish I could be as productive as you.”

“I wish I could get as much done as you.”

“I wish I could work and achieve as much as you do.”

Thanks everyone!

But when I realised this praise didn’t really resonate with me, I had to question why.

The answer I got was this: “Is THIS what I want to be known for? Getting heaps done at a rapid pace?”

Thinking about that made me feel kinda tired.

And the reason is this – working this way starts well, but it ends up exhausting and overwhelming.

You start on a big hype, get heaps done but you just cant sustain it.

You struggle to maintain that level of energy and quickly go from peak to trough.

Then nothing gets done for a while.

Then you just assume you’ve failed or done something wrong, or are missing something.

Then you might start comparing yourself to others and saying….”I wish I could get as much done as her.”

OH NO! We’re ALL in this together! ha ha ha.

But…what if this weren’t true, and we didn’t have to work this way?

Sure, starting super high feels energizing at first, but it invariably means you end up feeling panicked, overworked and overwhelmed.

Then comes the anxiety and insomnia.

I DON’T want to work like that anymore. Do you?

Plan B – Getting Whelmed

Maybe you want to join me in getting whelmed.

Getting whelmed is my plan for 2018.

I coined this term, and it simply means that I am working:

  • mostly on important but not urgent stuff,
  • intentionally,
  • in pomodoro
  • on purpose,
  • with balance and ease,
  • with calmness,
  • in a well-organised way,
  • making well-thought plans,
  • with clear focus
  • with direction on where my business is going and what I am doing in my life.

 

In other words, I am mindful, calm and productive.

 

It isn’t as exciting as the excitement, BUT…

I am working consistently.

And in business, consistency gets results.

 

So yes, excitement is great (and I do get excited)….but consistent energy, focus and motivation is better.

I am winning.

 

The Payoff

In this calm, consistent, getting whelmed state of mind, I find that I am laser focused, productive, leap over roadblocks, feel balanced and I am totally in command of myself.

I am getting shit done (GSD) – much more than in at the start of my rollercoaster.

The #1 Trick to Getting it Right

Working this way is also 100% sustainable because I have help.

Sure, you can absolutely get gung-ho and ramp yourself up for a big year and do it all yourself.

But trust me, the chance that you’ll crash and burn (at least once) is pretty high.

So I highly recommend you get some support.

I have my own coach, and I have other peers and mentors in my life to help me with specific areas of business when I need it.

As an entrepreneur living in country NSW, with few like-minded entrepreneurs around me, I know that I need support and connection to maintain momentum, headspace and confidence in my business AND in my life.

Now, I have people to bounce ideas off (so I don’t go off onto a mad, frivolous tangent).

I have people to reflect with (to get different perspective).

I have tools and support to make worthwhile, high-return plans.

I have the aura of calmness and having it all together (which as we know is the key ingredient for being a super-attractive client magnet and person of interest).

I have the energy to enjoy my personal life.

Now you know what getting whelmed is all about….will you join me?

What will you do to get there?

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Two Secrets to Help You Commit To Your Goals

Commit to Your Goals | Melanie J White
With summer in the air, are you suddenly excited and committed to better eating, exercise and self-care habits?

There’s something so motivating about the warmer weather and sunshine. It helps us commit to the things that we want so badly – to look and feel great.

But for one reason or another, it can become a struggle to maintain in the long term. At some point, the excitement and motivation wanes.

What’s the secret weapon in maintaining good habits, once the initial excitement fades?

I’d like to share one powerful strategy that really works – “connecting your focus to your feelings.” 

Here’s how it works.

Being Open

Deb came to me with concerns about some ongoing health issues: bloating, lethargy, IBS symptoms and other digestive issues.

She knew what to do to fix things and in the past, she’d been a regular exerciser and a healthy eater, feeling fit and energized. But for a myriad of reasons, all of that had fallen by the wayside.

Even thinking of her past success wasn’t enough to help her get started. She was despondent and felt like she could never make the change that she could stick to for the long term!

After some reflection, Deb realised that she really wanted to make it work this time, because making these changes would lead to a happier, better quality life as she got older.

What she did next was what really sealed the deal.

Firstly, she committed to experimenting for just one week. Not one month, or six months, but one simple week. This was a chunk of time she felt confident she could commit to.

Next, she devised some food and exercise experiments for the week.

Experiments help you to avoid that feeling of failure, because you’re just testing to see if something works (or not). There are no expectations (or feelings of perfection) around experiments.

So for that one week, Deb was flexible and experimental with her choice of foods, eating patterns and exercise approach. She was delighted to find a few things that really worked well – that she enjoyed, that fitted with her lifestyle, and that she could confidently commit to in the long term.

Being Mindful

What really made the difference, in fact Deb’s key factor for success, was mindfully observing how her body responded to the experiments. She connected her focus (healthy habits) with her feeling (how her body responded).

When we met again, she was excited about discovering what works, but more so, that she was strongly connected with the consequences of her habits.

On the days she ate right for her body type, she felt comfortable, energized and light – with enough energy for exercise. On the days she ate too much or the wrong foods for her body type, she felt heavy, despondent and limited.

Deb was suddenly aware that simply being mindful of the consequences of her habits – the physical, mental and emotional feelings they created – made it far easier for her to find the motivation for choosing the better option, more regularly.

And as Positive Psychologists say, strong motivators are essential for successfully making long-term change.

Connecting your focus with your feelings is a simple approach and is a core of Ayurveda, which has been around over 5000 years.

Simply being mindful – being in the present and noticing the consequences of your actions in an objective, non-judgmental way – is a powerful secret weapon for long-term change.

What is ONE thing could you pay attention to this week?