621: The Most Important Message If You Want to Change Your Life

Jun 26, 2019

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 621 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!

Okay, you guys, I am really excited to share this episode with you. This is a special one, and I know I will remember it as one of my all-time favorite episodes. 

Last night I hosted a free webinar. I shared the three biggest barriers that I had to overcome to transform my life in the hopes that other people would be encouraged and inspired by my journey to overcome their own barriers. And let me tell you, it was a powerful conversation — one of the most powerful I’ve had in a long time. In fact, I wasn’t going to release this episode until a little bit later, but because this conversation was so impactful, I switched some things around in my schedule to bring it to you as soon as possible.

For many years I struggled with my weight. At my heaviest, I weighed over 350 pounds. I felt so much shame and fear about my weight, but here’s the thing: I didn’t have a food issue. My problem was not that I was using food to cope with stress and unhappiness. My problem was that I wasn’t doing the deep inner work I needed to do to understand my choices around food and start making healthier decisions.

But once I gained that awareness about myself, my world opened up. I stopped like in one tiny corner of my world and allowed myself to grow. I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t stuck; I had just stopped trying to improve myself and my life. And I found and continue to find so much freedom in that.

I think that after you listen to this episode, you will have a lot more clarity, fire, and determination. You can set yourself free. I did it, and if I could do it, you can do it too. Whatever you need to overcome, whatever you’re struggling with, you can move past it. You can transform your life. So let’s dive into the three major things I had to overcome to transform my life:


#1: The Barrier of Tomorrow


The first barrier that held me back from transforming my life for a long time was “tomorrow.”

Let me explain: I constantly used “I’ll do it tomorrow” as a reason not to make a good choice today. I was motivated. I knew what I needed to do. But I would make any excuse to push it off to tomorrow. I was using the future as a weapon against my present. I was using it as a cop-out, as a handy little card that I would play to let myself off the hook and feel better.

Have you ever done this? Have you ever just said, “I’ll start that diet tomorrow,” or, “I’ll go over my budget tomorrow,” or, “I’ll spend more time with my spouse tomorrow”? It’s an incredibly easy and useful way to avoid making the healthy decision that feels difficult today. 

But is that how you want to be? It wasn’t how I wanted to be. I wouldn’t accept the kind of exception from anyone else. If someone came into my office today and said, “Oh yeah, I was going to do that, but then I didn’t feel like it. I’ll do that tomorrow!” I wouldn’t accept that. So why was I accepting that from myself? 

I decided to stop letting myself off the hook. Because this isn’t about just another cupcake. This isn’t about just another hundred dollars on the credit card. This is about one life. I stopped accepting “I’ll do it tomorrow” and started making healthier choices each day.

Please take note, by the way: it starts with awareness. I could not have turned my life around and figured out how to make healthier food choices for me and my body if I hadn’t first realized that I was using “tomorrow” as a reason not to do something healthy today. So I want you to take some time to ask yourself, “What are my defenses?” What are you saying to yourself to let yourself off the hook and stop making progress?

Remember: you are not stuck. You just stopped. Why did you stop? This all hinges on awareness. When you become aware of your defensives, excuses, and negative thought patterns, you gain the power to change your thinking. And that allows you to change your life.


#2: The Barrier of Looking For a Way Out


The second major barrier I had to overcome is similar to the first, but there’s a critical distinction between them. The first barrier was using “I’ll do it later” as an excuse not to make a healthy choice in the present. This barrier takes that a step further. Instead of pushing my healthy decisions off into the future, I would also push them off and decide not to make them at all.

And seriously, I became ninja-level good at this. I would use anything as an excuse to eat food I knew I shouldn’t have been eating. It was like a magic trick! I would say, “I’m too busy,” “Work was stressful,” or, “I’ve always been overweight anyway. What’s the point?”

I would even use positive occasions as excuses. If something good happened at work, I could treat myself to a drink that night. If I was celebrating someone’s birthday, of course I would get appetizers and dessert — it was a celebration! 

Do you see the pattern here? I spent a lot of time pulling excuses out of thin air and preventing myself from making changes in my lifestyle.

But as with my first barrier, eventually I developed an awareness of my tendency to do that. And that allowed me to change my behavior.

Instead of making excuses, I would ask myself, “How can I have everything I want right now?” Because the truth is there were times I was stressed and needed to pamper myself and there were times I really wanted to celebrate something in addition to wanting to make a healthy choice. So I would ask, “how can I have everything I want?” And the truth is, sometimes I just couldn’t. Sometimes you can’t have everything you want. But sometimes there’s room for compromise, and that’s how you find ways to make changes you can commit to.

Here’s a good example. Sometimes I would recognize that I needed to work out, but, of course, I always had a million excuses ready. “I’m too tired.” “I don’t want to drive to the gym.” “I don’t want to sweat right now.” Okay, so in that situation, I would ask myself, “how can I have everything I want?” Well, I could go for a walk. That way, I don’t have to drive anywhere, and I don’t have to sweat, but I’m still getting some exercise.

Always looking to do that level-10 perfect thing isn’t necessary to make progress. Going for a walk may not give me as much exercise as a workout at the gym, but it’s better than sitting on my butt and probably eating more ice cream. So find ways to make healthy choices and make yourself happy. That way, you don’t have to make excuses. You only have to make small changes and look forward to seeing results.


#3: The Barrier of Commitment


The final barrier I had to overcome to truly transform my life was a little bit different and a lot bigger than the other two. The other two were relatively simple — I needed to gain awareness of my defenses and excuses so I could start practicing and repeating healthier choices. But this third barrier was different. I needed to ask myself, “How committed am I to practicing this new response versus submitting to the old one?”

For a long time, I would tell myself, “This is just the way it is.” I had always been overweight, so I assumed I would always be overweight. I had debt, but that’s because that’s what happens when you have a mortgage and student loans. I would never have the body I wanted, never be out of debt, never have the healthiest marriage, etc. I convinced myself that I was either indulging in behaviors that ultimately didn’t make me happy or somehow missing out on opportunities to connect with other people.

I put up so many walls and boxed myself into narrow spaces in my mind that just didn’t need to be so small! But the stories I told myself just weren’t true. The truth is, the more disciplined I am in my life, the more free and connected I am. I’ve seen this in myself, and I see it in my clients all the time. One of the things I hear often is, “I’m great at losing weight, but I’m terrible at keeping it off.” If you’re telling yourself that story, I want to encourage you to stop! It doesn’t have to be true, and by repeating the same negative thought to yourself, you are reinforcing a pattern that makes you feel confined.

You can change the story. There is a bigger life. There is a better life. There is more happiness, freedom, health, and wealth available to you if you choose to commit to changing the narrative in your head.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I have received came from my business coach. He said to me, “If you want to double your business, triple your growth.” And he didn’t mean to triple the size of my business or the number of employees or the amount of money I make. He meant that I needed to triple my personal growth. If I’m going to make strides and grow my business, I need my personal growth to exceed that. I need to commit to continually transforming into the best version of myself I can be so that I can be healthy, happy, and successful in my business and in my life.


Our Goal Is To Grow


I’m going to repeat myself here, but I think this is important to remember: You are not stuck. You’ve just stopped. And remember, our goal is not perfection. Our goal is to grow. Our goal is to transform.

That’s why coaches are so useful. Having somebody in your life who is there to motivate you and help you keep your commitment to identifying your negative habits and changing your behavior is priceless. I hope I always have coaches in my life, and I hope you’ll consider finding coaches too.

There are a ton of good coaches out there, but I would love to work with you myself! If you’d like some extra support, a little more coaching, and accountability, 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. 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! 

Join Now!

I’d also love to connect with you via text! I send out text messages with my daily mindset upgrades and daily encouragement. I know they will encourage you and empower you on your journey!

Thanks, everyone. I hope this message gave you the clarity and fire you needed to take the next step. Have an awesome day, and remember — your transformation can start right now.

Elizabeth Benton

If you would rather watch the video presentation instead of listening to this podcast episode, you can check out the full video here:

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