Hi, friends! It’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 696 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!
That said, I know sometimes transformation can be painful. Bringing some positive change to your life — whether that be in your family, your romantic relationships, your career, your mindset, whatever it may be — is not easy! It takes hard work, and sometimes putting in the effort feels like a significant challenge or even a chore.
We often tell ourselves this story that to transform our lives, we have to find the right motivation. We have to find this deep well of pure will power to get ourselves up and moving. We’ve all got a favorite sports movie, where the main character has to force themself to train really hard and ultimately prevails because they found their motivation and just worked hard enough to win! Those movies are inspiring because they make us believe we can work just as hard and be just as successful if we can only find a special source of motivation.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t always have that kind of motivation going on. I have days when I just do not want to get out of bed! Here’s the thing, though: I don’t think you have to have any motivation at all. You can be very successful and make progress toward your goals and totally transform your life without any motivation at all. It sounds crazy, I know! But today, I’m here to tell you how you can do it.
Working A Lot Vs. Working Hard
Today, I want to tell you all about a different kind of sports movie I saw recently. It’s this really cool short documentary — you can watch it here if you’re interested — about a few real-life elite athletes. The filmmakers asked these athletes about their training schedules and how they motivate themselves, and one girl identified a fascinating problem.
This particular athlete spoke about how, for most of her life, she’s worked on a lot of different things rather than focusing hard one just one thing. She felt like the was putting in the effort and the hours and keeping herself busy working toward her goals, but after a while, she realized she just wasn’t giving 110% to any one particular thing.
My sister and I had a conversation about this recently, too. She is one of my best friends, and we were talking at Primal Potential’s annual weekend workshop, Ascend, last November. It was a fantastic time, and I love that my sister enjoys attending with me every year, but this year coming out of the experience she said to me, “I’m always so busy, and I would say that I work hard, but it’s not necessarily moving the needle.” She feels like even though she’s working hard, she’s just not getting where she wants to go.
Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re keeping really busy and spinning your wheels just as hard as you can without making much progress? I know I’ve definitely experienced that!
I’ve recently started evaluating myself and asking questions like, “Am I just working a lot? Is there a general sense that I’m working hard, or can I say that I’m working really hard on any one thing?” For me right now, Primal Potential is my “one thing.” I work very hard on this business and this podcast because I genuinely care about my listeners, and I want to help you guys reach your full potential! But I probably don’t have to tell you that being “all in” on something can be extremely difficult.
We all have a lot going on in our lives at any given time! We have relationships, jobs, kids, dreams, and things we care deeply about. We work hard at those things, and we should! But sometimes, we do need to reprioritize and make sure we’re giving our all to those things that are most important to us.
I’ve found this to be true in my own life. For me, getting out of debt was something I had to be all in about. I worked incredibly hard to get out of debt! I had to give it 110%, and it was so worth it. Now, I have the emotional satisfaction of having thrown myself into working toward one specific thing and having accomplished it!
I would say that going all-in on something can actually be less emotionally stressful than not going all in! For so many people, the thing that causes them the most distress is that feeling like they’re working hard but not getting anywhere. On the flip side of that, when you’re all in on something, giving it the maximum effort, and seeing progress, even though it’s not easy, there’s so much satisfaction and pride you get to take in your success that the effort is worthwhile!
Let’s stick with this sports theme for a bit. Another of the athletes in that short documentary I mentioned said that her favorite part of a workout is when it’s most painful. It sounds a little weird, sure, but think about it. Do you know the difference between sprinting at your actual maximum speed and merely running at more of a low jog? When you’re all in on that sprint, you’re working hard, and it’s easy to get tired, but eventually, you push through that feeling. That runner’s high hits and you’re able to run faster and farther! You feel great! But when you’re just trying to maintain a low jog for a long time… well, that gets tiring, and often quicker than you expect.
Or, for those of you who prefer yoga to running, here’s a different example. A couple of years ago, I participated in a 30-day challenge, and as part of that, I took some hot yoga classes. The yoga instructor told us something I think is so crucial here. She said, “the tension is the beginning of your pose, not the end of it.” The tension happens at the beginning, not at the end. When you push through that initial pain and stress on your muscles and go all-in on a yoga pose, that’s when you start to relax and enjoy the maximum benefits of the exercise!
If you’re feeling tension, if you’re struggling with a specific aspect of your life, it may be time to give it your all. Give 110% to it. Push through that tension, and remember that the pain and difficulty are not the end. In fact, it could be the beginning of something great and beautiful!
It’s About Your Routine
Okay, at this point, you might be thinking, “Well, all that sounds just great, Elizabeth, but I still don’t quite understand. How am I supposed to be ‘all-in’ when I just can’t find the motivation to do it?”
Never fear! I’ve got an answer for you.
Let’s go back to that documentary one more time. There was another particular athlete who stuck in my head, and her name is Brooke Wells. In her interview, Brooke talked about how people think they need motivation to work harder and accomplish their goals, but they really don’t. Brooke says all you really need is a routine and the discipline to stick to it.
Here’s the crucial thing, friends: If you have a routine, you don’t need motivation anymore. Whether you have motivation on a given day or not, you can still be successful if you put a routine in place and stick to it.
It’s that simple. All you have to do each day is intentionally choose to follow your routine. Don’t get caught up in worrying about the future — you’ll create the future you want automatically just by choosing to follow your routine each day.
Now, maybe you’re not an elite athlete, and that’s not really a goal in your life. I promise the same system applies! Maybe instead, you’ve been working hard in many areas of your life, but you haven’t made a lot of progress getting your new business off the ground. That’s okay! I know it’s easy to get discouraged, but ask yourself, “What can I do to establish a routine that helps me here?” It could be that you need to routinely dedicate the first hour of your morning to planning and building your business. Maybe it’s something different. What’s important is that you find the area of your life where you need to go all in and build a routine that will help you put in the effort to get there.
After all, when you’ve established a routine, things start to become automatic. That’s why it’s called a routine! When you have a routine of getting up in the morning and making coffee, you don’t question it; you just do it. If you set up a routine that makes it easy to put effort into the things you care most about, you’ll automatically do them — no motivation required!
Choose To Get Unstuck
Recently I took a trip to Costa Rica with a group of other entrepreneurs. One night we attended this leadership talk, and the speaker said something that I think perfectly fits into my point here. He said, “You’re not unique because you feel stuck. The challenge is: How many times do you choose to get unstuck?”
If you feel like you’re working hard and not getting anywhere, it’s okay. You can get unstuck. The crucial thing is setting up a routine for yourself. Once you have a routine, you can go all in and reach your full potential — no matter what you’re working toward!
Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Now, 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!Grab Your Spot!
I’d also love to connect with you via text! I send out text messages with my own daily mindset upgrades and daily encouragement that we could all use during these uncertain times of COVID-19.