808: Overcome Binge Eating & Heal Your Relationship with Food

I get a lot of questions about what clients can expect from the 12 Weeks to Transformation. They want to know what those twelve weeks look like and—more importantly—they want to know what they walk away with at the conclusion of the program.

In this episode, hear directly from one of my current 12 Weeks to Transformation clients, Beth, who joined the summer session with the goal of losing a few pregnancy pounds and in the process saved $4,000, transformed her family life, and, yes, her weight is down as well. This is Beth’s experience.

04:35 Everything Was Going So Well

Beth’s hardships this year are painfully familiar. A stay-at-home mom of two small children, Beth was interviewing for her dream job. She was in the final stage of the interview process and she found the perfect daycare, everything was lining-up. Then Covid hit and everything fell apart.

Beth was in a bad place, binge-eating, spending too much money, just trying to cope with the stress. Having read my book Chasing Cupcakes, Beth was aware of me and The 12 Weeks to Transformation. She was hesitant about joining because she’d already spent money on other programs that didn’t give her the results she had hoped for. She sent me a message and we talked about her doubts and the embarrassment she felt about spending more money in the middle of a self-described “covid-spending binge”.

With the stated goal of losing her last baby pounds, Beth joined the 12 Weeks to Transformation. As of the time we recorded this podcast episode, the 8-week mark, it was becoming clear to Beth that the transformation was manifesting in other areas of her life. After eight weeks, Beth has saved $4,000.

9:30 Big Changes in 8 Weeks

What changed? Beth went from making covid-guilt-ridden purchases, buying stuff to comfort her son about not seeing his school friends, to saving $4,000 in less than 2 months.

In the 12 Weeks to Transformation Beth found tangible tools. She made a plan, started a budget, and took control. She learned to direct her focus to finances with a new journaling practice where she writes down her purchases and really thinks through the intentions behind her spending impulses. With her identity journal, Beth makes the time and space for those changes to resonate.

She also flipped her view of the situation. Working with her husband, Beth and her family figured out a way to make saving money fun for them. By tying the process to her husband’s vinyl record hobby and instituting a fun Friday ritual, the whole family is engaged and enjoying it. Beth says it’s a better way to live.

17:00 The Lingering Problem of Binge-Eating

During our conversation, Beth also describes the challenge she’s faced by being in a repetitive cycle of binge-eating, followed by restricting eating.

Most people don’t know how good it feels to feel good. For so many of us, normal is the binge-restrict cycle or it’s inconsistency. What’s working for Beth is a change in mindset. She’s not eating to lose weight, she’s eating to feel good and to be less moody.

She told me (20:25) I am so addicted to the peace that I feel around food if I don’t have sugar. I can’t imagine having carbs in the middle of the day, or sugar in the middle of the day, ever again.

For me too, my mood stability hinges on how I eat and drink. So I can expect the struggle to be worse if I consistently make food and alcohol choices that don’t serve me and that make me emotionally volatile.

Yet, most people don’t know how they would feel if they made different choices. This is something that I wrote a chapter about in Chasing Cupcakes. Give yourself the experience of giving maximum effort. You can always go back to the way things were before, but giving yourself the experience is powerful because you will actually know how it feels. 

26:20 The Most Helpful Tools

For Beth, the most helpful tools have been:

1. The Identity Journal

When Beth is thoughtful about her journaling, it helps her, not just track her spending choices, but figure out what went wrong the previous day. 

2. Affirmations

Beth shared her two favorites:

I am a creative and energetic parent. She says this affirmation empowers her as a parent by helping her to identify as that kind of care-giver.

I am willing to be uncomfortable to see what I am capable of. Beth uses this one when she’s stressed out, wants to eat something she shouldn’t and “numb-out”. She tells herself, we don’t do that anymore, it’s going to be uncomfortable, and then 15 minutes later she’s moved on. 

*This is how uncomfortable things become comfortable!*

3. Working Out

Beth says, “I eat and move through the world to feel amazing. It doesn’t feel amazing to snap at my husband, to yell at my kid.” Beth has realized that when she’s feeling low-energy and moody, there’s no better way to feel better than working out. She describes how taking care of her body helps her mood, in turn making everyone in her family happier.

4. Gratitude

Looking for gratitude is part of the 12 Weeks to Transformation process and it’s one of the first things that Beth noticed, one of the first of many shifts she felt.

33:30 Trusting Yourself to Make Change

I asked Beth what she would tell someone who doesn’t trust themselves to actually do the work if they invest in the 12 Weeks to Transformation. Here’s what she said:

The reason that you want to do it and that you feel like it’s something that can help is because it can and YOU can and you want to do it because you want to change.

The thing about this program is that it’s not for everyone because if you don’t want to do the work, don’t bother, it’s not easy.

You feel the pull because you know that you are capable of better than this, and you know you can feel better than this.You have to take that step to find out because it’s there and you have it in you, you just have to let yourself succeed.

To learn more about the 12 Weeks to Transformation—opening again in September—visit primalpotential.com/transform. For a limited time, anyone who joins the waitlist for the 12 Weeks to Transformation will receive totally FREE access to my new Client Preview Series where we are tackling topics like consistency, resilience, goal achievement, fat loss, and more!

804: Do YOU Have a Hormone Issue? Interview with Dr. Beth Westie

Hi, friends! I am so excited to share Episode 804 of Primal Potential with you! Today I am joined by Dr. Beth Westie, author of the best-selling book The Female Fat Solution, host of The Female Health Solution Podcast, and a personal friend of mine. Br. Beth uses nutrition to help women work with the natural cycle of their bodies to achieve lasting weight loss results. 

In this episode, she and I discuss my experience with hormone testing and how a simple test—done conveniently at home—can help women understand their individual hormone profiles. 

After everything my mind and body have been through this year–pregnancy, a c-section, stress, and trauma–Dr. Beth and her business partner were among the first to reach out to help me after my body went through so many changes. I want to be healthy, heal my body, and grow my family and I had near-endless questions for Dr. Beth–and I have the text receipts to prove it! 

To get the answers to my questions, Dr. Beth recommended that we test my hormones (especially my cortisol and estrogen levels) and after putting it off for way too long, I finally did the DUTCH test and I’m so glad that I did.

What is the DUTCH Test?

The DUTCH Complete, which analyzes 35 different hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S, and cortisol along with their metabolites, is the most advanced hormone test available. An acronym for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones, DUTCH test results are used to identify symptoms of hormonal imbalances, while an assessment of the test results enables you to clearly see your hormonal health profile. It is also a tremendous help in accurately targeting an approach for healing.

Who is it for?

The DUTCH test is for women at any stage of life who suspect that something might be off with their hormones. Many people find DUTCH testing because they want to get to the bottom of why their menstrual cycle is irregular, painful, or heavy, or because they’re experiencing hot flashes, para menopause, or have gone through menopause already but are still having hot flashes. Trouble sleeping, acne, hair falling out, and weight gain can also be signs of a hormonal imbalance.

According to Dr. Beth, sometimes people are scared to do hormonal testing out of a fear that nothing will be wrong, but those of us who have noticed a change over time can really benefit from pulling back the curtain to see what is really happening inside.

Instead of guessing, hormone testing paints an exact map of what you’re experiencing hormonally and what your body really needs. As opposed to taking a blood test where you get stuck once in the doctor’s office, this kind of hormone test takes samples from different times of day, illustrating the pathway that your hormones take from early morning to evening.

How does it work?

The test kit is shipped to your house with paper collection strips, simple directions on how to use them, a health questionnaire, and a sealable envelope to mail back your test. At certain times of the day, you pee on the collection strips (similar to how you would use an at-home pregnancy test), the urine dries, and you ship the test back. 

After your test is returned and analyzed, you will set up a phone consultation to go through the results and receive recommendations based on your results. 

What can you learn from the DUTCH test?

There is a lot to learn from hormone testing. If you’ve ever suspected that you might have adrenal fatigue, PCOS, estrogen dominance, or any number of hormone-related issues, get the data and find out!

Along with a complete assessment of your various hormone levels, for example, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA-S, the DUTCH test identifies daily cortisol patterns which give insight into your adrenals, oxidative stress markers, melatonin, and organic acid tests include markers for vitamin B12, vitamin B6, dopamine, and norepinephrine or epinephrine. Dr. Beth’s analysis also shares a graphical representation of your results and video tutorials to assist in the hormone assessment. 

This kind of testing gives you the specific data on your hormone levels but it also shines a light on how you personally can manage stress better, how to make your goals more achievable, whether you need to reduce sugar, and even which foods and supplements to target.

To check out Dr. Beth Westie’s DUTCH testing analysis and get the hormonal insights you need, use this link https://bit.ly/EBDutch.

796: Manifestation Journaling

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 796 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 talk to you about a very popular topic: journaling. You guys know that I’ve been journaling for a long time. I think it’s one of the most important daily practices we can implement. Journaling helps us create awareness, and self-awareness is essential to changing your habits and transforming your life!

But more recently, I’ve started bringing a new practice into my daily journaling — It’s called manifestation journaling, and I love it. I learned about this technique during my powerful interview with Rachel Luna on Episode 777 — which you should absolutely listen to! I actually love the practice so much that I’ve tweaked the identity journal I mail out to all my 12 Weeks to Transformation clients to include a manifestation section.

So today, I’m going to dig into manifestation journaling! I want to talk a little bit about what manifestation journaling is not — spoiler: it’s not about making things appear out of thin air. I want to get into why I think this kind of journaling works. And along the way, I want to give you guys some essential questions you can ask yourselves to implement this practice into your journaling routine. If you want to identify your desires and start exploring ways to bring them into reality, this episode is for you! Let’s dive in!

 

What Is Manifestation Journaling?

 

Before I get into any specific journaling techniques, I want to break down the term “manifestation journaling” and give it a solid definition. Or rather, I want to define what it’s not so that it’s easier to understand what it is.

First of all, let’s talk about journaling. I hear this all the time from my clients — journaling is hard! It’s challenging to consistently sit down with a pen and paper or an open document on your computer and write down your thoughts.

But I think the reason it’s so tricky is that most people aren’t defining journaling correctly. Journaling is not just keeping a diary. It’s not about writing, “Dear Diary, I had cereal for breakfast this morning.” Journaling is about intentionally exploring your goals and dreams and generating enthusiasm for those things. Journaling is simply the process of becoming aware of your thoughts, habits, and patterns by writing them down so you can bring new change and transformation to your life. What’s more exciting than that?

Now, let’s look at the word “manifestation.” I recently saw a comment on one of my Instagram stories from someone who said she hates the word manifestation because it seems like you’re pulling things out of thin air. Not true! While I think the word “manifestation” has been used that way in other contexts, that’s definitely not what I mean here.

When I talk about manifesting my dreams into your reality through journaling, I don’t mean that I make things suddenly appear. I’m not a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat! I know that I still have to put in the work to reach my goals. Instead, when I talk about “manifestation,” I’m talking about bringing something into reality by establishing expectations.

If you expect something to happen, it almost certainly will. If you expect yourself to get up in the morning, immediately scroll through your social media for an hour, roll downstairs, skip your workout, and eat donuts for breakfast, you probably will. But if you expect yourself to rise and shine early in the morning, get in a good workout, and then enjoy a healthy breakfast, you’ll be significantly more likely to do that instead!

That’s what manifestation is all about. It’s about creating new neural networks — to use the science-y term — in your brain. By that, I mean that you establish new expectations for yourself so that you will put in the work it takes to bring your dreams into reality.

And when I talk about this process in relation to journaling, I mean that you need to write those new expectations down. That’s the best way to build those new neural pathways in your mind! By writing down your goals, you establish the expectation that you can achieve them, and you start to manifest the things you want into your life!

So how does this whole thing work? How can you engage in this process of manifestation journaling to create new expectations for yourself and manifest changes in your life? Believe it or not, it’s actually a pretty simple process. If you can follow these three steps, you’re guaranteed to create new neural networks and set yourself up for greater success!

 

Step One: Get Clear On Your Desires

 

Many people get stuck on the idea of manifestation journaling because if they’re honest, they just don’t know what they want. If that sounds like you, I want you to know that it’s okay! You don’t have to know exactly what you’re trying to manifest to start practicing this kind of journaling! 

The important thing is that you take the time to figure out what you want. Ask yourself: What do I desire in my career? What do I desire in my relationships? For my physical fitness? Personal choices? Pick any category and get started. 

Once you’ve gotten those juices flowing and you’re thinking about what you want for your life, take it a step further — why do you want those things? Why do you want to transition to a new job? Why do you want to lose 20 pounds? Why do you want new friendships in your life? When you figure out why those things matter to you, you gain a clearer picture of the future you want for yourself.

And finally, you can ask yourself my favorite question: What does my ideal life look like? If everything were perfect, what would your life be like every day? Would you be a mom? Would you be running a company? Would you be sipping coconut juice on a beach somewhere? Allow yourself to dream and be creative — this step is about figuring out who you are and what desires you have at your core.

 

Step Two: Ask Yourself, “How Do I Need to Show Up Today?”

 

Once you’re absolutely clear on what it is that you want, you’re ready to move on to step two! This is when you start thinking about your actions. Ask yourself questions like, “What do I need to do to bring those things into my life? How do I need to show up for myself today?”

For example, say you’re up for a promotion at work. You really want this new job because the position is more in-line with your professional goals, the pay raise will help you live the lifestyle you want, and you’ll be able to work a more convenient schedule for you and your family. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to get that promotion?”

How could you make yourself a more competitive candidate for the position? What initiative could you take at work? What conversation could you have with your boss? How can you show up for yourself and build the confidence you need to stand out as a leader?

Write down all your answers to those questions in your journal. Be as specific as you can be, and remember to be creative here too! Remember: by writing down the things you need to do to reach your ideal life, you begin to establish the expectation that you’ll follow through and take action to manifest your new reality.

 

Step Three: Practice Gratitude

 

Once you’ve discovered what you truly want and figured out what you need to do to get it, it is essential to practice gratitude for the process. Ask yourself, “What excites me most about my future?” When you’re thinking about how excited you are to be building your future the way you want it, you’re so much more likely to get up in the morning and start being productive and working toward your goals.

How can you demonstrate gratitude for the things you’re bringing into the world? What have you done already that deserves to be celebrated? And what are you thankful for as you make progress toward your ideal life?

When you bring an attitude and a mindset of gratitude and excitement into your work, you are much more likely to attack your action plan with enthusiasm — and that’s how you get results. I probably don’t have to tell you that when you’re feeling grumpy and tired and resentful, you don’t want to make healthy choices. You don’t want to workout. You don’t want to go the extra mile at your job. I know I’ve been there, and I also know that change does not happen when you’re in that place.

But when you’re practicing sincere gratitude and demonstrating thankfulness for who you are, where you are in your journey, and the opportunities you have to grow, you are willing and able to transform. You have the energy, enthusiasm, and drive to change your habits. And as we know, changing your habits changes your life! So make sure to include gratitude in your manifestation journaling practice every day.

 

Your Transformation Is Just Around the Corner

 

I hope this episode cleared up some misconceptions for you! Manifestation journaling isn’t about writing down whatever you want and then expecting it to show up magically. Manifestation journaling is about creating the expectation in your brain that the life you want is coming to you. It’s a method of creating new neural networks that will help you feel motivated to take positive action, transform your life, and demonstrate gratitude and excitement along the way.

If you want to start practicing manifestation journaling, remember these three key questions you can ask yourself:

  1. What specifically do I want to bring into my life?
  2. How do I need to show up for myself in order to have that life?
  3. How can I practice gratitude today?

If you remember those three questions and take a little time each day to write down your answers, you will start to see a change in your life. You will find yourself taking more positive action, and the life of your dreams will feel nearer than ever before. Your transformation is just around the corner, so start implementing this practice of meditation journaling today!

And 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! 

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

Thanks, everyone! I’m so glad you chose to join me today. Now grab a pen and paper or a computer and start journaling! I can’t wait to see what you’re able to manifest into your life.

 

Elizabeth Benton

795: Do More with What You Have

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 795 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’ve got a very special episode for you that I hope will completely change your outlook on life. I’m going to be talking all about scarcity and abundance and how it is absolutely essential for you to live with a perspective of abundance. I cannot stress this enough, friends, that living with a perspective of scarcity is toxic and unfulfilling.

I started thinking about this subject recently. I had to update my trust and will since Dagney passed away, and I was talking to Chris about money and death, and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by it all. I started looking over some of my finance books and came across Lynne Twist’s The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life. I wanted to share some of the lessons from that book and some of my notes that I took while reading it. The lessons helped me in that moment, and I know that they can help you too, so let’s get right into it!

 

Living in Abundance Rather Than Lack 

 

A crucial part of Lynne Twist’s The Soul of Money is the natural Law of Abundance. Abundance flows through the entire universe, but abundance will not flow if you’re living with a perspective of lack and limitation. Abundance will not occur if you’re living with limiting beliefs. 

We’re living a world that is dominated by conversations of lack. How often do you hear or say that there isn’t enough of something? Not enough time. Not enough energy. Not enough money. Every day, people engage in this narrative that they don’t have enough of something, and I’m here to tell you that if you find yourself doing that frequently, “not having enough” will be your default state of mind. You begin to see everything through the lens of “not enough,” and everything seems inadequate. 

People use the belief of scarcity to justify their unfulfilled lives. They fall back on, “Oh, I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t have enough money,” and therefore, they can’t do something. They use their beliefs in not having enough resources to justify not following their dreams. 

There’s an excellent quote from The Soul of Money that says: “Scarcity is a lie. Independent of any actual amount of resources, it is an unexamined and false system of assumptions, opinions, and beliefs from which we view the world as a place where we are in constant danger of having our needs unmet.” 

Scarcity comes from opinions and beliefs rather than the resources that people actually have. And comparison plays a significant role in this. People think that they don’t have enough because of what others have. If you approach life with the mindset that you don’t have enough, you’re never going to have enough. No matter what you have, you’re going to want more because you’re locked into that mindset of “not enough.” How are you ever going to be satisfied if you’re always thinking about wanting more?  

Rather than focusing on not having enough of something, you need to focus on how to better use the resources that you have. You focus on how you can better use your time or money or whatever else that you feel that you don’t have enough of. You have more than enough in your life, but you need to better utilize your resources, friends!

 

Changing Your Narrative from Scarcity to Abundance

 

Whatever it is that you think that you don’t have enough of, you can change your way of thinking so that you recognize your abundance and can better utilize your resources. 

I’ll use time as an example. How frequently do you say, “I just don’t have enough time”? Everyone has the same amount of time — you just need to use it more wisely. Whenever I feel like I don’t have enough time, I write down everything that I need to do for the day. I then determine what on my list is critical — meaning that something terrible will happen if I don’t get it done. My list often involves recording my daily mindset upgrades, spending time in my different Facebook groups, and working on my podcasts. After I write everything down, I determine what is actually critical. 99% percent of the time nothing is critical on my list. I can delay the things that are on my list, and nothing catastrophic will happen. 

When I approach my time with that perspective, I realize that I have an abundance of time. I have filled my time with the things that I want to do rather than critical things. 

You can also extend this line of thinking to another common problem: money. Rather than approaching your financial situation with the mentality of, “I don’t have enough money,” you can think about how your financial situation is much better than you realize. You have possessions that you can sell, and you can cut back on your spending. For example, you can cancel subscriptions, or you can eat out less. 

My point is that you should approach your financial situation with the mentality of making your finances go further rather than approaching it with the mindset that more is always better. If your default mode is “I need more,” you’re never going to have enough.  

 

Stretch Rather Than Chase

 

Today, I’m going to share with you a lesson from my veteran level 12 Weeks of Transformation program that will help you approach your life with abundance rather than scarcity. I challenge you to adopt the mentality of stretching rather than chasing

When I say “stretching,” I mean that I want you to stretch the resources that you already have rather than chase more. I want you to utilize your time better rather than wish that you had more time. I want you to think about how you can get more from your current relationships rather than thinking that you need to build more relationships. I want you to think about how you can better utilize your finances so that you don’t feel like you need to chase more money. 

Approach your life with the mentality of making your resources go further rather than thinking that you don’t have enough. 

You can also think about how you can get more from the things that you already know rather than thinking that you need to learn more. If you approach your abilities with that same “not enough” mindset, you will never feel that you know enough to do something. You might think that you need to read more books about money management before actually utilizing what you’ve already learned. You need to utilize the tools that you already have rather than chase new tools. 

If you’re living with the “chase” mindset, you’re always going to be looking towards the next thing rather than what you’re currently doing. You’re always going to be thinking about how more is better and it will never be enough. You’ll always be chasing the next thing rather than appreciating what you have.  

 

Find Adult Electives and Have Fun

 

Something that I think very much goes along with living with the perspective of abundance is taking the time to enjoy things. Often people say that they don’t have enough fun. Well, you can change that if you take the time to do activities. 

The entrepreneur Jesse Itzler said something fascinating about adulthood and hobbies. Do you remember when you were in school — whether college or high school — when you would take electives? You studied something outside of your career focus, and you did it because you enjoyed it. Jesse pointed out that once people leave school, they drop that mentality of doing productive, fun things. People stop learning subjects that aren’t related to their careers. 

Jesse challenges people to identify adult electives — activities that you’re interested in that have nothing to do with your career — and I’m going to challenge you to do the same thing. It can be a variety of things like yoga, basket-weaving, sculpting, or whatever else. Right now, Chris and I are looking into doing different kinds of cooking classes. It’s not going to advance our careers or make us more money — we’re doing it because we’re interested in learning how to cook new things, and we think it’ll be fun!

What’s on your calendar that you would consider an adult elective? What’s an activity that you’re doing because it’s fun or it interests you? And I know that it’s tempting to say, “I just don’t have enough time for that,” but, again, that’s coming from a perspective of scarcity rather than abundance. Do you have time to watch Netflix or check your social media? You can better utilize your time so that you can engage in fun, fulfilling activities! 

Another excuse that you might make is that you don’t have enough money to take up a fun activity. If you stretch your financial resources, you’ll find the money to do a hobby. Maybe you need to sell some stuff that you’re not using or cut back on excessive expenses, but if you stretch, you’ll find the money to fund an elective. 

 

Reject Scarcity and Excess

 

Even though the scarcity mindset of not having enough dominates our society, people also heavily struggle with excess. People are spending more and more money on unnecessary items and collecting physical and mental clutter while doing it, and then they say that they don’t have enough. Again, you need to stretch and better utilize what you have. 

Once you start stretching your current resources, you’ll realize that there are unnecessary things in your life that are causing you to think that you don’t have enough. You can rid yourself of physical clutter, and that can oftentimes clear your mental and emotional clutter.   

Today, I want to challenge you to approach your life with the perspective of abundance and begin stretching your resources. I want you to find a starting place and do it. Maybe your starting place involves getting rid of clutter in your home so that you can better utilize your living space, or maybe you need to take a hard look at how you use your time so that you can do more fulfilling things with it. 

Now is the time for you to stretch rather than chase. I believe that if people adopt this mentality of doing more with what they have rather than chasing new things, they can drastically improve themselves and society. People would be satisfied with what they have rather than think that they need more. 

Friends, you can do this! You can approach your life with the mentality that you do have enough. 

If you need additional help approaching your life with abundance and removing “I don’t have enough of …” from your vocabulary, I encourage you to get on the waitlist for our next 12 Weeks of Transformation! In this program, I work with people in a more personal and organized approach to help them overcome their perspective of scarcity and unlock their full potential! If you’re not sure where to start in accessing a perspective of abundance, then you should definitely check out my 12 Weeks of Transformation!

I also recommend that you sign up for our daily mindset upgrades during these difficult times. I send out daily texts of encouragement to help you think of ways to stretch your resources. 

Remember, you’ll never be satisfied if you live with the “never enough” mentality. Do more with what you have and live in abundance rather than scarcity! 

 

Elizabeth Benton

793: Your Stress Can Kill You

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 793 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!

I know many of you will be excited about today’s episode because it’s pretty science-y! I get many requests from my long-time listeners for more science-y episodes, so today I am bringing on the science.

I’m going to be talking to you about a topic I get a lot of questions about: adaptogens. Now, if you’re thinking, “Um, what the heck are adaptogens?” that’s okay! We’re going to go there.

Put simply: Adaptogens are natural supplements that help your body adapt to stress.

But there’s a lot more cool science to adaptogens than that! So today, we’re going to get into the details of what adaptogens are and why they’re important. We’re going to talk about a few different types of adaptogens and how you can find out which ones might be right for you.

Now before we dive in, I want to make one thing clear: what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for you. Some adaptogens are going to work well for one person and their needs, but your body and your needs are different.

That’s why I’m not going to share exactly what adaptogens I take in the episode — I don’t want anyone to think, “Oh, Elizabeth takes these, I should take them too!” Your needs are different from mine, and it’s essential to figure out what supplements are right for you.

If you think adaptogens are right for you, and you’d like more information, feel free to DM me on Instagram! I’d be happy to share more details with you, talk about the specific adaptogens I take, and even make a follow-up episode if enough people request one! But remember: adaptogens are all about what your body needs, so make sure you’re not just following my or anyone else’s program.

With that, let’s dive in! First, I want to talk to you about stress…

 

Stress: It’s Not Just About Worrying

 

Before I get into any specifics about certain adaptogens, it’s essential that we define stress.

Stress is not just mental and emotional stress. It’s not just about your experiences of anxiety or worry in your day-to-day life. It’s not just something that makes you feel crappy. It’s not even about the big emotional stressors that we experience — like dramatic life changes or traumas.

When I talk about stress in this episode, I’m talking about physical stress. I’m talking about the stress your body experiences due to certain stressors.

For example, one of the most common stressors is overeating. Overeating causes physical stress on your body, and the stress gets worse based on the degree to which you’re overeating and the frequency of your overeating.

Other stressors include sugar, gluten, and anything else you have a specific sensitivity to. I’m sensitive to certain types of dairy, so ice cream — when I eat too much of it — puts stress on my body.

And it goes beyond food. Illness is a stressor. When you have an allergy attack or the flu, your body is under stress. Injury is also a stressor — when you roll your ankle, your body experiences physical stress. And finally, lack of sleep is a major stressor a lot of people experience. Maybe you think you can make it work on just four hours of sleep, and I’m sure you can, but your body is not meant to function that way long-term.

Now not all stress is bad! When you exercise, you put stress on your body. But your body heals from that stress pretty easily. It’s when you engage in chronic activities that cause stress that you run into trouble.

And I’m talking about real trouble. I want you guys to hear me loud and clear when I say this: Your body is not meant to handle chronic stress. We were not designed to handle constant overeating, lack of sleep, illness, and injury.

Those things have serious consequences for our bodies. The symptoms may not show up immediately, but they will come up, and you can start having major health problems. That’s why I’m saying that stress can kill you! Our brains can actually degenerate, and we can create a whole range of severe health problems just by consistently putting our bodies under the kind of physical stress caused by any of the stressors I just listed.

But there are ways to combat that stress and help our bodies recover faster and keep working at optimum levels. That’s where adaptogens come in!

 

Adaptogens: What Are They, and How Do They Work?

 

Adaptogens are naturally occurring herbs and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress. They can be a fantastic way to help your body with its natural hormone production to ease healing, boost immunity, and raise your energy levels, among other helpful things!

Keep in mind: Adaptogens — like any other supplement — are just one drop in the bucket. If you don’t have a healthy diet, if you aren’t exercising, and if you don’t get enough sleep, adaptogens are not going to solve your problems. They’re not going to heal your body from chronic stress as if by magic. Like any supplement, they will support your body’s natural process when you’re already taking good care of yourself.

That said, adaptogens can function in a vital role for you!

One of the main things they do is support your adrenal system. You have two glands called your adrenal glands. They sit right on top of your kidneys, and they produce hormones that you absolutely cannot live without.

For one, they produce cortisol, the stress hormone — which you do need to survive. Your adrenal glands produce a lot of your sex hormones too. You cannot function at your best without well-functioning adrenal glands!

But sometimes, the physical stress we put on our bodies can cause our adrenal glands to work overtime, and they’re just not meant to do that.

For example, it’s a popular myth that when women enter menopause, they don’t produce as much estrogen and progesterone. Not true! The difference is that ovaries start to produce less of those hormones, and your adrenal glands pick up the slack. That is totally normal and healthy!

But remember, your adrenal glands are already producing hormones that help your body function and heal normally. So if your adrenal glands are already working overtime to keep up with chronic physical stress on your body and then they have to keep up with estrogen and progesterone production during menopause, they just get overworked. They don’t have enough bandwidth to keep you functioning at your best.

That’s why many women experience weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, and other uncomfortable symptoms during menopause. We’re not meant to experience those things! They’re the result of our adrenal glands’ inability to keep up with the demands of hormone production we’re putting on them.

That’s where adaptogens can help. Adaptogens can support your adrenal glands and help them to naturally produce more of the hormones your body needs so you can experience a healthier menopause!

 

Which Adaptogens Are Right for You?

 

First of all, I just want to say — I am not a pharmacist. I am not an expert, and I have no place prescribing anything to anybody. If you want to incorporate adaptogens or any other kind of medication of supplement into your health regimen, I’d suggest consulting a doctor or pharmacist, or at least doing some pretty thorough research first. (In just a moment, I’ll give you a great resource you can use to research different types of adaptogens and tell you what to look for!)

When you’re looking for adaptogens, remember what I said earlier: your body and your specific needs are the most essential thing to consider. That’s why the adaptogens I take may not work for you! Consider what effect you want adaptogens to have.

For example, if you want to support your adrenal glands like I talked about earlier, ashwagandha may be a good choice for you. Ashwagandha is a naturally occurring herb with properties that help with stress release and relaxation. It can reduce cortisol and moderate your stress, and a good side effect of that is improved cognitive function. It’s a good option if you’re looking to help your body respond better to stress.

But maybe instead of help relaxing, you’re looking for a supplement that will boost your energy levels and stamina. In that case, maca might be a better choice for you. Maca is great for adjusting your hormone levels to giving you increased energy.

There are also various types of maca that have different functions. Black maca, for instance, is excellent for male fertility, while yellow maca is more for female fertility and energy. Again, it’s important to consider your individual needs when you’re choosing the right adaptogens for you.

After you consider your specific needs, it is absolutely essential to research the products you’re using thoroughly. Some supplement companies do shady things, and you don’t want to be taking low-quality products.

A great resource you can use to research different herbal supplements is PubMed.gov. This is a fantastic resource where you can find peer-reviewed clinical studies on almost any drug or supplement you can think of. I highly recommend using it as a tool to research any adaptogens you’re interested in to confirm that they’re right for you.

And when you’re researching, there are a few things you should consider. The number one thing is: what ingredients are being used? You want to make absolutely sure that the particular product you’re considering is manufactured with the highest quality ingredients and the same ingredients that have been studied in clinical trials.

Some companies will try to use cheaper versions of ingredients to cut down on costs and make higher profits, but those ingredients haven’t been tested in clinical trials. Make sure to find adaptogens made from the same high-quality ingredients that have been studied!

Number two is: make sure that the amounts used in the products you’re considering are the same amounts that have been studied. You want to make sure you’re taking the correct amount of any supplement, and sometimes shady companies will try to sell you a lower dose so that you have to purchase more of the product, and they make more money. So do your research or contact a trusted source and make sure you’re only buying and using adaptogens that have been thoroughly studied and proven effective!

 

Stress Is a Killer, but Adaptogens Can Help

 

I want to drive this point home: Our bodies are not meant to cope with chronic stress. When we experience stress from sources like sugar, illness, injury, lack of sleep, or overeating too often or for too long, our bodies start to break down. Our brains can actually degenerate, and we can create severe enough health problems to kill us.

And the truth is, adaptogens are not going to help you all by themselves. If you have a garbage diet, never exercise, and consistently get too little sleep, your body will be under too much stress no matter what adaptogens you take.

But along with a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep routine, adaptogens can be a fantastic way to help your body adapt to stress and function at an optimal level! They really are incredibly helpful for me and my body, and if you’re interested, I highly recommend doing some research and finding the adaptogens that are right for you!

If you want to get more information about adaptogens or request a follow-up episode, reach out to me on Instagram! I am always happy to receive your messages there, so please feel free to DM me with any questions to have!

And 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! 

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’m so glad you chose to join me today. Now go do your research and consider what adaptogens might help you be your best, healthiest self every day!

 

Elizabeth Benton

777: Change Your Life with Rachel Luna

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 777 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!

I have a very special guest to introduce to you today, guys. Her name is Rachel Luna. She is an absolutely incredible woman and a huge inspiration to me, and I know she’ll inspire you too! In fact, I guarantee that the wisdom she shares in our conversation will leave you with more clarity, more fire, and more drive to take control of your life.

I really wanted to bring Rachel in and get her on the podcast because she has a crazy amount of genius when it comes to journaling. She says,

“Journaling, in my perspective, unlocks every secret that you have. … when you journal with intention, you manifest a new reality.” – Rachel Luna

Manifest a new reality… that sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? How many of you have dreams or goals that you just haven’t manifested yet? I know I do! Some of us are on a weight loss journey, some of us are trying to launch a new business… we all have big dreams! And it may be easy to think, “Hmm, I don’t know, I just don’t think journaling is going to be the thing that helps me achieve this…” but I promise, Rachel Luna’s wisdom and brilliance is here to change your mind!

So let’s dive in!

 

Who Is Rachel Luna?

 

But before we get in deep on the practice of journaling and how it can help you manifest the reality you want, I wanted to give you guys a little background on Rachel. She is such a special person, and her story truly inspires me!

Rachel grew up in New York City dreaming of fame and fun parties, but all that changed when a coworker at her job at Footlocker mentioned that she was enlisting in the Marine Corps. From that moment on, Rachel was inspired. She enlisted in the Marines herself, and shortly after was deployed to Iraq. She served in the Marines for ten years, and during that time traveled to 18 countries and learned four languages!

But her story doesn’t end there. During her time in the Marine Corps, Rachel met and got to know many wounded warriors who sustained lifelong injuries and disabilities but who nevertheless approached each day with confidence and determination. Again, Rachel found herself feeling the inspiration! When she got back home, she invested in a life coach, and very quickly got out of debt, married a wonderful man, had beautiful children, and launched her own successful coaching business to help people like you gain the confidence and clarity needed to understand their calling and experience financial freedom and incredible relationships!

Since then, Rachel has gone on to do so many other amazing things. For one, she survived cancer! She’s also become a highly sought speaker at events in the US and internationally, and she’s the author of a bestselling book, Successful People are Full of C.R.A.P.: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting it Together And Achieving Your Dreams (seriously, isn’t that title hilarious?). She’s a podcaster, a successful business woman, and the leader of Faith Activated, which is her year-long, faith-based journaling experience. In the program, she coaches clients through many of the journaling practices she talks about in this episode. It’s an incredible experience for so may people, and I highly recommend checking it out here!

I cannot speak highly enough of this girl. She is so genuinely passionate about helping other people grow in confidence and manifest the reality of their dreams. She has an incredible amount of wisdom to share, so let’s get into it!

 

Journaling with Intention

 

Let’s talk a little more about what it means to journal with intention. A lot of people I’ve spoken to have a resistance to journaling. They think journaling is kind of like keeping a little diary and writing things like, “Dear Diary, Today I had Cheerios for breakfast.” But that’s different from the kind of intentional journaling Rachel talks about. I asked her to clarify exactly how that kind of diary-keeping is different from journaling, and her response was so bright and perfect I’m just going to use her words:

“So when I talk to people about their journals or their diaries or whatever, it’s usually they are, like you said, keeping a memoir, a record of what happened … and that’s fine, right? But … That just leads to more of the same thing, right? If you think the same thoughts, you’re going to have the same feelings and you’re going to take the same actions or not take the same actions … or do nothing, and you stay in this loop.” – Rachel Luna

So when we think of journaling more as an exercise in record-keeping or in just writing down general memories or to-do lists, we keep ourselves in this loop. We’re writing down the same thoughts we have every day instead of using journaling as an opportunity for growth.

So how can we journal with intention and use that experience to manifest the reality we want? Of course, Rachel has a perfect step-by-step guide that she shared with me!

“… one of my biggest beliefs is that your thoughts and ideas are like three-year-old children. They need attention, right? What does a toddler do … ‘Mama! Mama! Mama!’ and they don’t stop until you actually acknowledge them.” – Rachel Luna

Okay, so step one: write down all of your feelings. You can write gratitude, frustration, fear, whatever it is you’re feeling in the moment! Then take it a little deeper and ask yourself why you’re feeling those things. ‘Why am I feeling afraid? What am I afraid will happen?’ Just be honest with yourself and emote all over the page!

Then move on to step two, the shift. This is where you start to get excited about what you want. You want to raise your vibration just a little bit higher. Write down some positive feelings, and give yourself some grace here! Maybe you write about how excited you are to be working on a new goal. Maybe you write down how grateful you can be for your period of uncertainty because it allows you to learn and grow. However you can, shift your attitude toward positivity and love.

And from that mindset of joy and positivity, you’re ready for step three! This is where you script your life exactly as you want it. So say your goal is to lose five pounds. In step three, you might write, “I am so excited today because I finally lost five pounds! I was frustrated before, but then I did the work, and I feel happy and proud of myself for reaching my weight loss goal.” Write in your journal as if you’ve already accomplished whatever it is you’re working toward!

“The brain doesn’t know the difference between the truth or a lie, so when you start to write with intention and script a new reality, your reticular activating system is looking around like, ‘Wait, we made better decisions. When did that happen?’” – Rachel Luna

When you script your reality as you want it to be instead of how it currently is, your brain notices the difference. And while that can cause some dissonance, it makes you more mindful of the choices you’re making, and that allows you to start making better choices that are more in line with your personal goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and write in your journal that you’ve already done it, the next time you reach for a slice of pizza, you won’t be doing it mindlessly. You’ll be better able to make decisions carefully, treat yourself with grace and forgiveness, and make strides toward your goal.

 

I’ve Been Telling Myself (Blank), But The Truth Is (Blank)

 

One of the journaling prompts Rachel likes to use for herself and with her clients is, “I’ve been telling myself (blank), but the truth is (blank). I think that is such an interesting way to have a conversation with yourself and see the places where you might need to acknowledge some truth and seek out areas where you need to grow.

“This prompt is the prompt that unlocks the creativity because ‘I’m telling myself this, but the truth is that’ … How do I really want to move forward? And … what if this were no longer the truth, and then you go into the script.” – Rachel Luna

When you use this prompt and ask yourself what the truth is and how it differs from what you’ve been telling yourself, you can unlock so much creative potential! Instead of staying stuck in your same old thought processes, you consider how you’ve been rationalizing old unproductive patterns, and that gives you the opportunity to move forward.

“So I think once you start to see that you are making justifications, then you have to go into the practice of figuring out how long are you willing to tolerate your own rationalizations?” – Rachel Luna

Let’s go back to the example of a weight loss journey. Maybe you’ve been trying to lose a few pounds for a while now, but you’ve been telling yourself, “I’m too busy to exercise right now.” If you go through this prompt, you may realize that’s not quite the truth. Maybe you write, “I’ve been telling myself I’m too busy to exercise right now, but the truth is that I’m afraid that I’ll get discouraged if I don’t start to make progress quickly.” Now we’re getting somewhere!

When you’re honest and begin to tell yourself the truth in your journal, you can start seeking solutions to the real problems. If you’re afraid of feeling too discouraged to maintain a healthy exercise routine, ask yourself what you can do about that! Maybe reach out to a friend and agree to mutually encourage each other. Perhaps consider ways you can reward yourself for taking small steps to get into your exercise routine. 

So by filling in the blanks in that prompt, you start to identify the real obstacles standing in your way. And when you see those obstacles clearly and treat yourself with positivity and grace through your journaling process, you can overcome your problems and reach your goals!

 

How to Build Confidence

 

In addition to being an excellent leader and mentor for clients going through the journaling process, Rachel is an expert at confidence. So I really wanted to spend some time talking with her about ways we can all build confidence in our lives, and unsurprisingly her advice was amazing.

Rachel has been through more than her share of trauma in her life. She’s experienced eating disorders, abuse, and date rape, in addition to her experiences in the Iraqi war and with breast cancer. This girl is no stranger to pain, struggle, and discouragement. But she refuses to let that cripple her:

“I just looked and asked myself… we’re all gonna have some sort of pain, right? So do I want the pain of living in this story, or do I want the pain of shifting and changing and growing and developing and using all of that for my good? Am I going to be a victim, or am I going to take the mess and turn it into a message and help empower myself and empower someone else along the way?” – Rachel Luna

What a powerful question. Are you going to let your negative experiences define your story while you live with the pain? Or are you going to shift and change and transform into something new and better?

You have the power to script your future. It’s not easy, but you can do it. Rachel was also kind enough to share a few of her best tips for growing in confidence, and they are truly golden.

“Number one: Keep your word to yourself. Most people don’t have confidence because they don’t have self-integrity. Most people don’t have confidence because instead of listening to themselves and connecting with their identity, they’re listening to what other people say.” – Rachel Luna

How true is that, right? So often we seek validation from others rather than from ourselves, and that is just a recipe for discouragement!

But how can we confront that tendency and learn to stop caring what others think? Well, for one thing, we can seek therapy. Especially if you have experienced trauma, therapy is an absolute necessity. But you can also question yourself. Remember the prompt I mentioned earlier? “I’ve been telling myself (blank), but the truth is (blank).” What stories have you been telling yourself? Ask yourself what falsehoods you’ve been telling yourself, and then ask what you can learn from that. How can you grow out of this situation?

And don’t be afraid to take baby steps. It’s okay if you’re not ready to totally recover from past trauma, stop caring what others think of you, and become a completely confident person all at once! Instead, Rachel suggests, make a commitment to yourself and keep it for five days. Make it something really easy. You might say, “I’m going to take a shower every day for five days.” And then do it. Then, make another small commitment to yourself and keep it for five more days. Each time you keep your promises to yourself, you grow your self-integrity and become a more confident person.

You can do this, one step at a time.

 

Be Willing To Ask Yourself the Hard Questions

 

Guys, this has genuinely been one of the most powerful conversations I’ve had on this podcast. Rachel Luna is such a wise and inspiring woman, and I hope her advice and insight have been helpful to you today. If I could leave you with one last thought from her, it’s this:

“A lot of people talk about self-love as like [getting] a manicure and a massage. Those things are great. I love all of the pampering, but to me, that’s … the superficial self-love. Self-love is having an intimate relationship with yourself where you can ask yourself the hard questions.” – Rachel Luna

That’s what all this journaling is about, guys, and that’s the answer to the question of how we can build confidence in our lives. Are you willing to ask yourself the hard questions, get to the root of your fears, problems, and obstacles? Are you ready to grow in confidence, script your own future, and live the beautiful life you were meant to live?

If you’re thinking, “Yes! I’m willing! I’m ready!” remember that Rachel’s year-long faith-based journaling program, Faith Activated is an excellent way to get into journaling and learn how the process and practice of journaling can truly change your life!

Remember, too, that 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! 

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. 

Thanks, everyone. I’ll talk to you next time!

 

Elizabeth Benton

790: #1 Tip for Less Stress

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 790 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!

We all have a lot of stress in our lives! Especially these days, when we’re still dealing with a global pandemic and a lot of uncertainty in general, it can be so challenging to manage our stress levels and keep being productive.

But I have one tip to help you get rid of stress and experience more peace in your life.

My 12 Weeks to Transformation clients know what this is because I talk to them about it all the time. And I’ll admit, I’m very early in applying this practice myself. But I’m telling you — it works.

I want you to know that a significant amount of your stress comes because you are putting yourself at the center of the story. But the truth is, you’re not at the center. You are not the center of the story — it just feels like you are because your individual perspective is the only one readily available to you.

But if you mentally remove yourself from the center of the story and realize that there are other perspectives that are just as valid as yours, I guarantee you’ll be happier. You’ll have more peace. Your relationships will get better. You’ll become a better spouse/parent/friend/sibling/employee/person.

I truly believe that this one mindset shift will genuinely help you achieve less stress and more peace in your life, and who doesn’t want that? So let’s dive in and explore this idea a little further…

 

What Do I Mean by “Story?”

 

Before I go any further, I want to clarify something — when I talk about your “story,” I don’t mean that you made anything up. I’m not referring to a fictional story that you’ve imagined for yourself. And I definitely don’t mean that you’re lying!

What I mean is this: our brains are continually processing a ton of information, and to make things easier, our brains gather all of that information into a story.

Let me walk you through an example. As I work on this episode, I’m sitting in my office. I have a couple of notes on my desk in front of me. I have my recording software going, and I can see the time spinning by on the little ticker. I have construction crew members going in and out of my house. I can see the trees blowing and my dog and a bunny out in the yard. I’m thinking, “I really hope the dog doesn’t go after the bunny.” 

And as I’m looking around and listening and noticing all these things, my brain is processing them all as a story. My mind is linking all these things together, understanding the causes and effects of everything going on, and creating a narrative.

And our brains do this all the time — it’s just how we operate! It’s not good or bad; it’s human. It’s just for the sake of efficiency.

But we humans, we tend to put ourselves at the center of that story by default. It makes sense — your perspective is the only one available to you all the time. To understand someone else’s perspective, you either have to ask them, assume, or make it up altogether. But your perspective is available to you all the time.

 

The Problem: We Put Ourselves at the Center

 

Here’s the problem: we tend to put ourselves at the center of that story. And when we put ourselves at the center of the story, we forget that other people have their own perspectives.

Say, for example, you get an email at work. Maybe that email comes through, and you read it, and the tone seems harsh or aggressive or short-tempered or impolite.

When you read that email, it just rubs you the wrong way. Why is that? Is it because your coworker was rude? Maybe, but I want to suggest that it’s creating stress and frustration for you because you put yourself at the center of the story.

When you’re at the center of the story, you get frustrated because obviously this other person should have treated you more kindly, right? They should have used a nicer tone and been more respectful to you.

But here’s the thing: You’re not at the center of the story. You’re just a part of the story. And the fact is, your coworker probably thinks they’re at the center of the story the same way you do.

So while it’s easy to get frustrated and think, “Well, that person should have been more polite,” it’s important to realize that that person has their own perspective. Maybe they just received a different frustrating email, and they came across as annoyed with you without meaning to. Maybe they just wrote the email in a hurry, and so the tone sounded off. Regardless, there are many reasons why that email might have sounded rude or too harsh that have nothing to do with you.

 

The Solution: Take Yourself out of the Center

 

Here’s the point: when you get a rude email from a coworker, you have two choices:

You can believe you are the center of the story, assume your coworker meant to be rude to you, and spend your time feeling annoyed and angry. 

OR

You can take yourself out of the center of the story, realize your coworker has their own perspective and reasons for sounding frustrated that may have nothing to do with you, and move on with your day.

I know which one I’d rather choose!

By putting yourself at the center of the story, you assume that you are the center of everybody else’s story too. If you’re at the center of your coworker’s story, and they’re supposed to be aware that everything they do should revolve around you and your feelings, the only conclusion is that they intended to be rude to you. So you sit and wallow in that frustration and resentment toward that person, and you experience a lot of stress!

But if you take yourself out of the center of the story, you realize that there could be a million reasons your coworker sounded tense or harsh that have nothing at all to do with you. You realize that that person has their own perspective, and you get to move on with your day without experiencing any more stress. Doesn’t that sound nice?

 

Do You Feel Good or Bad?

 

Some of you may be thinking, “But Elizabeth, sometimes I have to put myself at the center of my story. I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself!”

That’s very true! It’s essential to take excellent care of yourself so you can remain healthy and happy. And sometimes, that means you need to prioritize yourself and make sure your needs are met first. That’s not a bad thing! It’s just a fact.

So how can you tell when you need to keep yourself at the center of the story and when you need to take yourself out? It’s simple: ask yourself, “Does this make me feel good or bad?”

In moments of self-care, keeping yourself right at the center of the story feels good. It reduces your stress because you’re focusing on your needs and practicing self-care. You feel happier, less stressed, and more peaceful.

But in other situations, keeping yourself at the center of the story actually creates stress. You experience all kinds of negative emotions that aren’t necessary because you’re not acknowledging that someone else has their own perspective.

Here’s a real-life example:

 

The Dirty Dishes Are Not About Me

 

My husband, Chris, and I have an agreement: I cook dinner, and he washes the dishes. That’s why I go to bed before he does most nights! But sometimes, he forgets to do the dishes. It happened just this morning — I was on my way out the door to take a walk, and I noticed that all the dirty dishes were still sitting on the stove.

My blood started to boil! I couldn’t believe that he didn’t do the dishes. After all, I worked a full day yesterday and then cooked our dinner. I’d held up my end of our agreement!

I was so frustrated with Chris for being so inconsiderate of me and all the hard work I’d done — and then I realized I was putting myself at the center of the story. I was assuming that Chris’ actions were totally revolving around me and my story. I was getting worked up thinking that he was being inconsiderate of me and that he should have thought more about me and my feelings before he went to bed last night.

But the truth is: Chris just forgot. He wasn’t deliberately trying to be rude to me. He was just in his own perspective. It wasn’t about me at all — it was just an honest mistake. He watched a couple of movies and went to bed and honestly forgot to wash the dishes.

When I took myself out of the center of the story, I stopped feeling angry. I stopped feeling resentment toward my husband for his mistake, and I moved on with my day feeling a lot more peaceful and a lot less stressed.

Those dirty dishes weren’t about me! They were just a simple mistake. When I took myself out of the center of the story and realized that, I felt a whole lot better.

 

You Are Not at the Center of the Story

 

Earlier today, I could have chosen to stay frustrated at Chris, but that would have created a lot more stress for me and tension in my marriage. So instead, I chose to take myself out of the center of the story, realize that Chris made a mistake, and move on with my day. I felt so much less stress and more peace — and that felt good!

Next time you’re faced with a challenging or stressful situation, ask yourself — does it make me feel good to keep myself at the center of this situation?

If it does — that’s fine! This is just an opportunity for some self-care, and you should always take good care of yourself!

But if it doesn’t feel good — if it’s creating stress and frustration for you — realize that you are not the center of the story. Remember that other people have their own perspectives, and their actions don’t always revolve around you. I guarantee you’ll feel less stress and more peace in your life.

And remember — I’m still learning how to do this too! We’re in this together. But I know that this simple mindset shift can help us all experience less stress in our lives, which we all need!

If you’d like to partner with me on a more personal level — 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’m so glad you chose to join me today. Now take yourself out of the center of the story and start experiencing less stress and more peace!

 

Elizabeth Benton

786: If There Was a Shortcut, It Would Be This

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 786 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!

I’ve learned something interesting about the personal development space. I often meet people — sometimes they’re clients, sometimes they’re other coaches — who feel like they always have to be learning more. And I’ve been guilty of this myself! Those of us who have that drive to grow and improve ourselves are always listening to the most podcasts, attending the most webinars, and reading the most books.

Does that sound like you? No shame if it does! It’s great to try to learn more and more, and in our current technological age, it’s easier than ever to get access to a wealth of information. Sometimes, we even start to feel like we’re wasting time if we’re not learning something new right now at this moment.

But here’s the thing: if you don’t actually implement what you learn, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

I shared an email with my VIP list just a few weeks ago (by the way, if you’d like to be added to that list, you can message me on Instagram, @elizabethbenton, and I’ll happily add you!) that I love to read. And I’ve read so many books, but it’s disheartening to think about how little of what I’ve actually read I’ve implemented in my life.

This year, instead of reading as many books as I can, I’ve decided to pick just four books to focus on throughout the year and consistently implement their tools and strategies throughout my life. I think it’s much better to learn a little and consistently apply it than to learn a lot and not use what you learned!

Here’s what all this is leading up to: this episode is going to be one of maybe two or three that I want you to focus on. You don’t need to keep gathering resources and information to transform your life. You need to learn just a few key ideas and then implement them.

The tool I share with you in this episode is one of those few key ideas you must learn!

So dive in with me as I share the closest thing there is to a shortcut that will help you change your life and live abundantly today. Let’s go!

 

Here It Is: The Shortcut

 

I recently received a question for a Q&A episode that I thought was hysterical but also has a really good answer. This person wrote in and said, “I know there’s not a shortcut, but if there was a shortcut, what would it be?”

If there were a shortcut — if there were one tool that could make everything easier — it would be this:

Never, ever, EVER stop.

I have a few specific people in my life who have stopped working toward their goals, and it makes me sad because I know if they had used this tool and refused to stop, they would be in a dramatically different place right now. For example, I have a dear friend who is going through significant financial struggles right now. She has shared with me that she struggles with financial worries several times throughout the day, and sometimes even spends whole days just consumed with worry about her money.

But the reason she continues to struggle with her finances is that she stopped trying to deal with them. She gave up. She stopped trying to get out of debt, and so she still has major financial concerns right now even though she could have gotten out of debt if she had just refused to quit.

It’s a little sad to see that. I hate to see people struggling and feeling discouraged because they stopped working toward whatever goals they have.

But there is good news: You can always start again.

You can decide at any moment to take control and start working toward your goals again. I’m sad to see my friend struggling with her money, but I have hope because she can always stop stopping and pick back up with her effort to try and get out of debt.

Have you stopped working toward any goals in your life? What have you stopped doing? I’m not asking that to shame you or anything, but I want you to think about it. What were you working on in the past that you gave up on, for whatever reason?

Today can be the day you decide to start working again.

 

Consistency Is Key

 

It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true — consistency really is key.

No matter what you’re working toward, the only way you’re going to get there is by consistently refusing to stop. It’s not about having any special skills. It’s not about being smarter, wealthier, faster, or better than anybody else. It’s about being persistent even when you want to give up.

Growing up, I often compared myself to my sister. She was an academic and athletic superstar. Her grades were fabulous, and she was the captain of the team for every sport she played. She won all the trophies and got all the awards for being the best of the best.

But me? I was average. My grades were okay. I wasn’t particularly athletic. I was just mediocre across the board — not terrible, but not great either.

And honestly, I would say that’s still true. I don’t have a unique skill set. I have some experience in my job now because I’ve been doing it for several years, but I wouldn’t say I’m naturally gifted at it. I am successful today not because of any particular attribute or skill that I possess, but because I do not quit.

I never give up. I never stop. I refuse to quit. I have worked on Primal Potential seven days a week every week for the last six years because it’s my passion, and I’m not about to stop putting my all into it! And I’m not telling you that you have to work every single day of the week — even I will only work part of the day on Sundays or holidays. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack. It’s just not okay to give up.

And I want you to know that I’ve had setbacks. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve experienced fear and major loss — particularly as I’ve built Primal Potential — but I’ve never stopped. I have never stopped.

Now, does that mean we have to be perfect? Nope. Of course not! I don’t believe that perfection exists, anyway. I think perfection is misery-making because it’s not real, and you’ll never reach it.

But never quitting is not perfection. Never quitting is realistic. Refusing to stop striving and moving forward even in the face of fear, frustration, discouragement, and any setback life can throw at you is something you can do and do consistently.

 

Ask Better Questions

 

“Okay,” you may be thinking, “that’s fine, but … how?” Here’s how:

Ask better questions.

Let me explain. Asking better questions is part of how you can think differently and think better. It helps you look for different perspectives and upgrade your mindset.

Say, for example, you’re looking for a shortcut to financial freedom. First of all — don’t stop. Never give up trying to manage your money and get out of debt.

Second of all — start asking questions. Ask yourself where you can cut expenses. Call your cell phone provider and ask how you can reduce your bill. There is nothing wrong with calling, say, Sprint, and saying, “Hey, I really can’t spend more than (X amount) on my cell phone plan, and I want to reduce my bill by $15 a month. What can we do about that? Do you have any promotions? Are there any services I can drop or bundle to get a discount?”

If you can and have that conversation with your cell phone provider, your cable company, and your insurance agent, before you know it, you’ll be saving a couple of hundred dollars a month! And all because you didn’t stop and you started asking better questions.

Let’s walk through another example. Say you want to be healthier and reduce your overall level of stress. First — you know what I’m going to say — don’t stop!

Second — start asking questions. What habits have you adopted that are reducing your stress? What habits do you need to adopt? Go even deeper — what are the things you stress about most? Why do you stress about them?

Are you stressed about getting enough sleep? Okay, well, what could you do about that? Maybe you need to be a better steward of your time throughout the day, so you aren’t catching up on work late. Maybe you need to watch less TV in the evenings. Maybe you need to set an alarm that tells you to start getting the kids ready for bed thirty minutes earlier than usual.

You’ll discover what changes you need to make when you start asking yourself better questions. And when you figure out what you need to do — what changes you need to make or habits you need to adopt — do it. And do it consistently. Refuse to stop, and you will start seeing progress!

 

Say It: I Don’t Give Up

 

I want you to say it out loud: I don’t give up.

When you refuse to give up, when you continuously choose not to stop, when you don’t quit even when it’s difficult — that’s when you start to see real results. Whether you’re working on your marriage, weight, stress level, parenting skills, job, business, or anything else, do not give up.

Adopt the words, “I don’t give up” as a sacred mantra, and repeat them a million times a day! Refusing to give up is the best shortcut to results, and you are choosing not to stop and instead to continue striving toward your goals!

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’m so glad you chose to join me today. Now get out there and use your time to create the life you want to live!

Elizabeth Benton

784: The Fear Behind Your Excuses with Megan Everett

Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 784 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!

Have you kept yourself from accomplishing what you want because you told yourself that you couldn’t do it? Have you internally resigned yourself to “I can’t follow my dreams” or “I can’t go on that hike even though I want to”? My guest today, Megan Everett, knows all about falling into the trap of limiting beliefs. She struggled with letting her fears keep her from doing what she wanted to accomplish until she shifted her mindset from those fears and took “can’t” out of her vocabulary. 

Today, I am incredibly excited to share my conversation with Megan. Her journey very much parallels my own, and I am sure that it will help you push yourself past your excuses to accomplish your goals. Her story and advice will inspire you to bring awareness to your fears so that you can overcome them and transform your life!

 

Who Is Megan Everett?

 

Megan is the founder and CEO of the tech company Perfrm. Megan’s bravery and boldness drove her to become a significant contender in the male-dominated Software-as-a-Service industry.  

Before starting her own business, she struggled with unhappiness and obesity while working for a software company in San Francisco. After undergoing a painful breakup, she changed her life by starting her own company and losing 80 pounds in a single year. 

“I went from … [a] miserable employee and very unhealthy to a single woman, running a tech company that’s now funded, and on my health journey still. And it’s taken a lot of different things, and mostly it’s all been a mindset change.” – Megan Everett 

Megan completely changed her life by shifting her mindset. She started being honest with herself about the fears holding her back and worked through those fears. She didn’t let her insecurities stop her from accomplishing what she wanted. She evaluated her goals through the question, “If I thought I could, would I?” Then she developed the mindset of facing her fears and accomplishing her goals. 

 

Taking “Can’t” out of Your Vocabulary

 

A foundational part of Megan’s journey was removing the word “can’t” from her vocabulary. 

“I actually donate a thousand dollars to a nonprofit if I say it, so that’s how strongly I needed to stop saying it … For me, everything was, “I can’t,” and I would stop there … it always was fear-based. ‘I can’t go to that workout class … I can’t go on a hike … with my sister’.” – Megan Everett

Megan let the word “can’t” stop her from doing what she wanted to do. Behind this “can’t” was fear of judgment and failure:

“I’m scared that this person will think this of me. I’m scared that I won’t be able to finish it … I find [that] with every time somebody says, ‘I can’t’… there’s a massive fear underlining there.” – Megan Everett

Megan is entirely right, friends! That unhelpful word that we say to ourselves is a hindrance resulting from our fears. How often have you found yourself not starting something because you told yourself that you “can’t do it.” We need to overcome these limiting beliefs and realize that we can do what we want to accomplish! You can reach your goals! 

Megan changed her life by replacing “can’t” with “can.” She eventually overcame the fears that prevented her from acting in her life. 

“… I started first just replacing “I can’t” with “I can,” … but didn’t actually take any action or fix it because my thought pattern was still, “I can’t”… And when I realized that everything that I thought I couldn’t do came because I was scared, and there was this fear of, ‘I’m scared of what people will think.’ … So vocalizing the scared part and then actually taking action have been how I’ve really changed this mindset.” – Megan Everett

Rather than letting her fears stop her, Megan developed the pattern of vocalizing her fears and insecurities to her friends and overcame them. She started proving herself wrong by taking action and accomplishing what she thought she couldn’t do. 

It’s like having an imaginary monster under your bed. When you look under the bed enough times, you realize that the monster doesn’t exist. It’s the same for our fears and insecurities, friends! When you take action despite your fears, you can develop confidence in what you’re doing because you realize that your insecurities weren’t rational. If you avoid going to the gym for fear of judgment, you’ll never reach your fitness goals, but if you force yourself to go enough times, then you’ll realize that your insecurities were unfounded, and you overcome the fear of judgment that was hindering you. 

 

Determine What You Want to Do

 

Megan observed the importance of figuring out what you want to do despite whether or not you think you can do it. Megan uses the simple question, “If I thought I could, would I?”. This question determines our direction in overcoming our insecurities and distinguishes what you want to overcome from what you don’t. 

“We all do things we don’t want to … but with your free time and your recreational time, don’t do things you don’t like … and don’t force yourself into them. … Especially if we’re coming from a place of the insecurity being body-based, which there is so much for women … It’s really, really important to know what you want and what you actually want to try … because I don’t think it’s worth being in a room that you don’t want to be in just to overcome an insecurity because it’s actually going to have an adverse effect on you.” – Megan Everett

Don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t want to do, friends! Don’t push yourself to climb a mountain if you only want to prove that you can do it. For example, if you have no desire to skydive, don’t do it to prove to yourself that you can get over your fear of heights. Push yourself to do the things that you want to do and the things that will improve your life!

 

Becoming a Healthier Version of Yourself While Also Loving Yourself

 

There’s a common myth in our society that if you’re working on yourself physically, you’re not engaging in self-love and body positivity. This is entirely false, friends! You work on yourself because you love yourself and your body.

Often when Megan posts about weight-loss or fitness on her Instagram, she’ll receive messages from people berating her because they think that her working on herself implies that she doesn’t love her own body. 

“It’s always, ‘Your telling women they shouldn’t love themselves the way they are’ … but you can do both … And we think that if there’s someone who’s overweight in a gym or working on themselves, that they disliked themselves.” – Megan Everett

People often think that losing weight is somehow connected to a person feeling negatively about themselves, but this is a huge misconception. We need to love ourselves and our bodies regardless of our weight, and this love needs to be the driving force behind our desire to become healthier. Megan described how becoming a healthier version of herself had everything to do with loving herself and her body.

“… what if we did this because we do love ourselves. … And I want to like have this body for years and years. And when I have children, I want to be able to play with that. And I want to go on these hikes with my sister. And I just want to be a healthier version of myself, but I do it because I love myself. Not because I hate something about myself.” – Megan Everett

Megan has such a great perspective on this, friends! We become healthier because we love ourselves. If we engage in self-loathing, we’ll always find something to hate about ourselves — regardless of our weight, appearance, or bank account. Hating yourself will never lead you on a sustainable path to change. Loving yourself needs to be the primary motivator for the changes that you make. 

 

Bringing Awareness and Acknowledging Your Fears 

 

We finished our exceptional conversation by discussing how listeners can overcome falling back on the word “can’t” and the underlying fear that comes with it. The first step to moving past your fears is bringing awareness — whether it be through utilizing a support system or through journaling. 

If you have people supporting you, have them help you get past your insecurities and fears. Tell them about when you say that you “can’t” do something so that they hold you accountable. If you want to start doing hot yoga but feel that you can’t do it, have a friend go with you. That way, you’re training yourself to overcome your fears and insecurities by forcing yourself to do what you thought you couldn’t do. 

She also described how to overcome fear through journaling. She instructed listeners to set a five-minute timer and record all the reasons why they feel that they can’t do something. After they’ve finished writing their reasons, they need to ask themselves, “If I thought I could, would I?” 

“This question is so powerful because then you know if you want to, and then from there, you can say, ‘I want to do this. This is what I’m afraid of. How do I get over this fear?’ And it may be going to a yoga class alone. It may be going to Toastmasters … It’s these things like you have to start doing what you’re afraid of, but you can’t do that until you acknowledge that you’re afraid of it.” – Megan Everett 

Friends, the first step in overcoming your fears, insecurities, and the hindering word “can’t” is bringing awareness to what’s holding you back. Face your fears head-on so that you realize that you are fully capable of accomplishing what you want! 

You can connect with Megan Everett via social media through her Instagram (@megseverett). She answers every direct message personally! 

I also encourage you to get on the waitlist for our next 12 Weeks of Transformation! If you need additional guidance in overcoming your fears and taking action, this course is for you! The program consists of a more personal and structured approach to beat daily obstacles and realize your full potential! If you think this may be right for you, don’t hesitate to check out the 12 Weeks of Transformation.

Join Now

During these trying times, I also recommend that you sign up for our daily mindset upgrades. I send out daily texts of encouragement to help you overcome what’s holding you back from growing!

If you want to connect on social media, follow me on Instagram (@Elizabethbenton) and Facebook (@Primalpotentialpodcast)!

Friends, I hope this episode inspires you to ask yourself what fears and insecurities are holding you back from what you want. You are entirely capable of overcoming what’s hindering you, so ask yourself what you want and go for it!

 

Elizabeth Benton