769: Are You Doing What It Takes?

by | Jun 12, 2020 | Blog

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 769 of Primal Potential with you today! Primal Potential is a podcast all about you — your ability to change is not defined by yesterday and doesn’t need to wait until tomorrow. Your transformation is now, no matter what stage you find yourself in life!

Today, I want to start by asking you a question, and I bet you can guess what it is: Are you doing what it takes?

Let me expand on that a little further: Are you really doing what it takes to reach your goals, or do you just look like it? Because let me tell you guys, there’s a big difference.

Sometimes, when we have big goals and aspirations for ourselves, we think about the goal, we plan to achieve it, we may even become financially invested, but we never take the necessary steps to get there. We make ourselves look like we’re working super hard to achieve something, but we’re not genuinely putting in the effort required to get the job done. 

Let’s take weight loss as an example. Those of you on a weight loss journey right now, ask yourselves, “Am I really doing what it takes to lose weight and get healthy, or does it just look like I am?” Are you spending money every month on a gym membership to look like you’re getting fit, but not putting in any hours actually working out? Are you doing all your grocery shopping at Whole Foods and buying lots of fresh fruits and veggies only to let them spoil in your fridge the next time you’d rather run through a drive-through for dinner?

“Yup. That’s me. Thanks, Elizabeth, I feel like crap now,” you may be thinking. But here’s the thing: so many of us relate to this problem! I have experienced this over and over in various areas of my life, including my own weight loss journey as well as my relationships. That’s why I wanted to discuss this with you today. I truly believe that if we’re honest about whether we’re really doing what takes, we can start taking action to achieve our goals and get real results!


“Prepared” Doesn’t Catch Fish


Let me give you guys another illustration to explain my point. I live on Cape Cod, right near a canal. Every morning I like to go for a walk, and one morning when I was out particularly early, maybe 6 AM, I watched as a couple of fishermen walked down to the canal. And these guys had all the gear. They were out there that early in the morning wearing their waders and carrying buckets of bait and poles. They were even tricked out with these little holders for their bait; they were all ready to go!

But here’s the essential thing: None of that stuff guaranteed those fishermen were going to catch anything. They definitely looked like the ideal fishermen, all geared up and ready to go! But even though they got up early and hauled all that stuff (which honestly was probably pretty expensive) down to the water, none of it was enough to ensure they were going to catch lots of fish that day.

They were going to catch fish by getting in the water, casting the line, and reeling it in when they got a bite.

If you’re going to go fishing, having a fishing pole — even a nice one — isn’t enough to catch fish. Having tons of gear isn’t enough. Getting up early isn’t enough. Reading all the fishing magazines and buying a million kinds of bait and researching where the fish are going to be and planning the fishing trip aren’t enough.

Now, those things are all great, and they can make you feel prepared! But being prepared doesn’t catch fish. Only actually getting in the water and casting the line and doing the actual work of fishing catches fish. After all, anybody who stumbles down to a pond with a little net without doing any preparation at all can catch a fish! The only thing that ensures results is doing the work.

This idea applies to you too! Let’s go back to the weight loss example since that’s a little more relatable to most of us! You can buy a fourth pair of running shoes even though you have three perfectly good pairs. You can go to your favorite store and buy a new sports bra and new leggings and tell yourself those things will make you feel more like working out. You can listen to fitness podcasts and talk to a nutritionist and even buy healthy food, but none of it will help you lose weight if you don’t start exercising and eating healthy.

That fourth pair of running shoes isn’t going to help you lose weight, but running will. That new sports bra and leggings won’t help you lose weight, but working out will. Fitness podcasts and nutritionists are great for helping you learn ways to exercise and eat healthy food, but they won’t help you lose weight unless you take their advice and start eating healthy foods.

But how can you know if you’re truly doing what it takes or if you just look like it? The answer is simple: Ask yourself, “Am I getting results?” If you are, great! Keep doing what you’re doing, clearly it’s working!

But if not, it’s time to take action. It’s time to wade out into the water, cast the line, and reel in a fish. It’s time to put on the running shoes, go for a run, and finally start losing weight.

And guys, don’t be discouraged! Just by asking yourself these questions, you’re developing new self-awareness, and that is so important. When you’re honest with yourself about whether you’re really doing what it takes or whether you just look like it, you’re in a great position to reevaluate the steps you’re taking to achieve your goals, start taking action, and get results!


Be Specific With Your Goals!


So how do you take that first step? How do you bridge the gap between looking like you’re working toward your goal and actually doing the work?

This is where you take out the paper and pen, friends. It’s time to get writing!

First, figure out your goal — and be very specific! I tell my 12 Weeks to Transformation all the time that specificity is a superpower. Let’s stick with our weight loss example here. “I want to be healthier” is not specific enough. “I want to lose 25 pounds before labor day;” now we’re talking! “I want to learn to do push-ups” isn’t quite specific enough. “I want to be able to do 50 push-ups unbroken on my toes” is a specific goal! By identifying your goal with that much specificity, you start to unlock your massive potential and gain confidence that will help you take action. 

Once you’ve identified your goal, think about what “just looking like it” actually looks like. And don’t stop writing — make another list, and make it as long as you can! This goes back to what I talked about earlier — do you have several pairs of running shoes and lots of cute workout clothes that you never wear? Do you have long receipts from Whole Foods that are mostly full of cookie dough and sugar?

I know this stuff isn’t fun to think about, but keep going. Keep digging and being honest with yourself. When you’ve thought of one or two things, force yourself to think of five more. Because here’s the thing: By forcing yourself to expand the boundaries of your mental capacity, you become a better thinker, and that will have a huge impact on every area of your life! You become more self-aware, and you’re better able to identify your particular strengths and weaknesses, and that makes it so much easier to feel clear and confident as you pursue any goal!

Finally, when you’ve got a specific goal and made a list of things that just make it look like you’re pursuing that goal, ask yourself what it’s going to take to reach that goal. And again, be very specific! Make a list, and keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything on your list right now.

So what will it take to accomplish your goal? How are you going to lose those 25 pounds by labor day? Maybe you decide to follow the Golden Rules of Carbs and Fat Loss consistently (which I explain in detail on Episode 195!). Great! How consistently? Five or six days a week? 27 days out of 30 each month? You decide! But if you lay down those specific ground rules for yourself, you set yourself up for success and real results!


“I Don’t Know” Is The Beginning of Your Work, Not the End of It


So as you’re working through these questions and trying to write down your responses with as much specificity as possible, I want you to know that you are eventually going to a point where you just have to say, “I don’t know.” 

And you know what? That’s okay!

Seriously you guys, it is okay not to have all the answers immediately. When you realize that you simply do not have the answer to something, you have a place to start. Now you can take action with a direction and seek the answers to your questions.

Let’s return to this hypothetical weight loss journey one more time! Maybe you take a hard look at yourself and realize that you’ve just been looking like you’re trying to lose weight without actually doing what it takes. So you set your specific goals, start using those running shoes, and take steps toward losing weight. And that’s great! But maybe when you ask yourself, “How can I eat healthier foods? How do I know what kind of nutrition plan is best for me?” you have to admit you just don’t know.

That’s also great! Now you get to start actively seeking answers. Seek out a nutritionist, doctor, or fitness advisor who can help you create plans and strategies for your diet to support you in your weight loss goal. Just remember, when you seek answers and find them, continue to take action! Take the advice you get from trusted sources, and celebrate as you finally start seeing results!

Here’s the thing, guys, if I could just encourage you for a minute: oftentimes we go a mile deep on the problem and only an inch deep on the solution. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You truly can see results if you choose to go as deep with the solution as you go with the problem!

That’s what all this specificity and self-reflection is all about. If you take the time to be honest with yourself, admit it when you don’t have the answer to a question, seek out the answers you need, and implement them in your strategy, watch out! Nothing can stop you!

And as difficult and frustrating as it can be not to have all the answers, remember: This is the beginning of your work, not the end of it. Finding out where you don’t know how to move forward is the perfect opportunity to seek help and start making real progress! It takes honesty and effort, but it’s so worth it when you begin to see those awesome results!


We Have To Be Creative, Energetic Problem Solvers


We’ve talked a lot today about one of the biggest problems we face as we strive toward our goals. It can be challenging to be honest with yourself and to realize that you just look like you’re doing what it takes instead of doing it for real.

But we are problem solvers, guys. When we arrive at a place of self-awareness and specificity, we can be creative and attack our goals with so much energy! We can wade right into the canal (with as much gear as we want!), cast our lines, and start reeling in the fish!

Would you like some extra support, a little more coaching, and accountability? Maybe you want someone to come alongside you and help you set some goals with as much specificity as possible? I want you to get on the waitlist for our next 12 Weeks of Transformation! In this program, I work with people in a much more personal and structured way to create change in their lives. We tackle our excuses head-on and find the core values that will motivate you to take action. If you’re not sure what to do next, I encourage you to check out 12 Weeks to Transformation and get on that waitlist! 

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I’d also love to connect with you via text! I send out text messages with my daily mindset upgrades and daily encouragement that we could all use during these uncertain times of COVID-19. 

You can reach your goals, friends! And I’m happy to help you get there!


Elizabeth Benton

The Primal Potential Podcast

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