February 1, 2022

Episode 24: Expect to give up

You've made some progress towards you goal, when suddenly you hit a patch where nothing seems to work. This is where most people give up. Knowing how to get across that zone is the key difference between successful people and those who give up on their dreams.

What you will discover

• Why you lose your motivation

• Build the magic list that will keep you going

• 3 steps to succeed when it’s tempting to give up

• A practical example of the tools in action


Mixed and produced by Adrien Grenier

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Episode Transcript

Hi, and welcome to the Excellent Rider podcast. I'm Mélanie, I'm a certified life coach and I specialize in helping people just like you get things done, find ease and motivation again and get unstuck when it feels like you've lost your mojo. And today I'm speaking with a little bit of a cold, so you can hear it in my voice.

I think I have a very nasal tone, and I apologize for that. We've been talking about how to set a goal and what you do in order to reach it, how to set an epic fail, target, how to take massive action. So what is likely going to happen by now is that you have started to work on your goal. If you seem things have been working, you're making some progress and then you're going to hit the patch where nothing seems to work.

And where you cannot bring yourself to do what you want to do.And, you're not getting the results. And I just want to say that this is very normal. That's just the way change happens or change works. You need to build momentum. You need to take a lot of action and most likely you're not going to get proportional results to the amount of action that you're going to take.

And it's going to take a while to build the momentum. That's just normal. You just have to think of it as a... it's like a diesel engine. You need, the engine needs to get warm. The engine needs to get some momentum before it is going to start to produce the output that you want. And there's a point in which it will seem as though every little single action bears fruit.

And it's going to seem as though with very minimal effort you're able to reap maximum output. That's the later phase of change. But right now, you're going to put in a lot of action into the system and not much is going to happen. That's just very normal. So the difficult part right now is to keep steady and to keep on doing the action and to keep on doing the thing that you need to do in order to reach your goal, in spite of the fact that it seems that nothing is budging. Nothing is working.

So typically you're, you know, you're going to the gym and you're going to the gym and going to the gym and going to the gym and you don't seem to be making any sort of progress whatsoever. It's still as hard to do the abs and you don't see any change physically in your body. And you still need to keep on going to the gym every day, because at some point it's going to happen and it's going to happen exponentially.

So you're going to, it's going to be like nothing happens for a while. And then at some point, you're going to wake up one morning with abs basically... That's pretty much the way it's going to work. Same thing if you're trying to lose some weight: you're going to eat exactly the right things in the right quantities and be a good girl or good boy and do the right things every day, day in, day out, meal after meal after meal.

And it's not going to change anything when you weigh yourself on the scale. Maybe even you're going to increase, you know, go up half a kilo or a kilo or something like that. And that's the point where it's really easy to to lose faith. Same thing if you're trying to find a job; same thing for any goal, basically, you're just going to put in the effort, sending the application application after application, after application and nothing's going to happen.

So the way I like to see it is that you just need to put in enough effort so that you become fluent enough in the thing that you're trying to do so that your action starts sto be effective. So you have to imagine that all the things that you're doing right now until you start to see the effects, it's more like practice than the actual thing.

So it's exactly like if you're trying to ride a bike - I always come back to that example because it's such a beautiful example. You're trying to ride a bike. And if it takes, if it's, if we could know that it will take you a 10 hours to learn how to balance a bike and how to ride a bike. Well until nine hour and 59 minutes, you don't know how to ride a bike.

So all the things that you're trying before the time when you actually can do it, it's it's practice and it's vital. It's super important that you do it, but you don't see any results. So you're getting on your bike and trying to balance, and you're falling all the time, all the way until you've put in the 10 hours.

And at 10 hours, it feels like it's magic. Suddenly, for apparently no reason at all: boom! tadaaa! You balance the bike and you know how to ride a bike. But of course that wouldn't have happened if you had not spent 9 hours and 59 minutes beforehand trying to balance the bike. The key to change, the key to implementing a challenge or reaching a result or changing your habits or anything that you're trying to change, it's to plan for that moment where it's going to be difficult because nothing appears to be working.

You need to plan for it. If you don't plan for it, you're going to fail. Because it is going to happen. What might happen when you start to go towards your goal is that you're going to reap the famous low-hanging fruits to start with. So you might have a few results right away. And then you're going to hit that long plateau. And when I say long, it can be several weeks. It depends what you're trying to do.

It can be several months even. It depends what kind of magnitude of change you're trying to implement, but you need to plan for it. You need to plan for the moment where you're taking all the actions. You're being super diligent. You're doing everything. You're. You know, dotting all the I's crossing all the T's. You're doing all the right things and you do not see any result.

It is so easy to get defeated and discouraged and to give up in that moment. And if you give up, this is of course where you're not going to have any of the results. The way to plan for this moment is you need to identify all the ways it's going to be difficult. And some of the ways, you know they're linked to the goal.

So, so for example, I don't know, again, if you're trying to lose some weight to, you're going to be tempted to eat chocolate when somebody else is eating chocolate, for example. So you can imagine that even if you have never done a diet before in your life, and then you can also go back to your own experience of your own life and notice what are the ways in which you tend to give up or sabotage your efforts.

And make a huge list of this. So I'm going to, I'm going to give you a few example so that you know what to look for. So one thing that will be difficult is that you're going to be taking action and nothing happens. So you're going to need to manage your thoughts about that.

You're going to need to tell yourself the story of how it is actually working, how you are actually practicing riding the bike and you're falling still and it's okay because you're not yet at 10 hours. And everything that you're doing right now actually counts a lot. The second way is that you're going to want to give up.

So you're going to need to manage wanting to give up. You're going to compare yourself to other people who are doing the same thing apparently, and they're doing the same actions, but they are getting the results. And that's very discouraging if you don't manage it. You're going to be procrastinating.

So you're going to want to do everything else, except for the actions that you know you should do in order to reach your goal. You're going to be second guessing yourself and telling yourself that maybe the things that I have decided to do, they are not the right things. Maybe I should change my strategy.

So you're going to want to change everything. You're going to be eating or watching Netflix or any other kind of activity that creates dopamine instead of writing the resumes or making sell offers to prospects, or sticking to your eating protocol, to your diet. You're going to want to plan things to perfection and to not do them or to not do them consistently.

You're going to tell yourself how it doesn't really matter, how you can skip, you know, one... You can skip today, it doesn't matter, you'll pick it up tomorrow, but what happens is that when you do that, of course, you're practicing giving up. You're practicing not doing the action. So you get better at not doing the action instead of getting better at doing the action.

You're going to blame yourself, of course. You're going to worry. All of these things, right. And there's many more. You're going to be bored also. You're going to find it very boring to do the thing. So make a huge list of all the ways you're probably going to be giving up on your goal or sabotaging your goal.

And then for each of them, you're going to want to list how you're going to address it. So you're going to decide how you're going to talk to yourself when you're, for example, comparing yourself to somebody else. So the best way to do that is imagine that your best friend, somebody that you love and you trust in them, you have no doubt in your mind that they are going to succeed with their goal and they come to see you and they say, yeah, I'm doing all these things and it's not working.

And this other guy I'm comparing myself to, he's doing also all the same things, and he's getting all the results. What would you tell them? And write that down, okay. Write it down and put it somewhere easily accessible and somewhere where you see it.

So that on the day, when you start to compare yourself, you can read it. And you have this friendly voice talking to you and telling you exactly the thing that you need to hear so that you drop the comparison and you get back to doing what it is that you need to do in order to reach your goal.

Same thing if you have a tendency to procrastinate. List the thing that you want to tell yourself, you can listen to the episode of this podcast on procrastination. And imagine what you need to tell yourself or what you need to do, or list the actions that you need to do in order to tackle procrastination and write that down.

You need to basically write an instruction manual for yourself, where you describe all the things that are very likely to happen and how you're going to tackle each of them. You need to be ready with that. Don't rely on yourself to think of it or to come up with it in the moment. Because in the moment, you're going to be feeling the feelings of defeat of discouragement, of permissiveness, of frustration, of all of these things.

And from those feelings, it's going to be very difficult to have the kind of confidence and creativity and resourcefulness that you need in order to create this plan B. So do not, this is the biggest mistake that you, that you can make.It's to think that you're going to remember what to do in the moment when you need it. You are not going to remember by definition, because if you did remember you would not be doing the thing that is going to make you quit or is going to make you give up or is going to make you a procrastinate or be very permissive and think that you can do it tomorrow.

So do not rely on yourself to remember in the moment. If you do everything you can to make yourself remember in the moment, this is when you're going to succeed. So once you have written down the plan, how you're going to tackle each of these difficulties as they arise, and it needs to be a very clear and practical and detailed plan. Do not leave anything to yourself in the moment. You need to think that in the moment you're going to be in quick sands, very rapidly being swallowed by the quick sands, and so the rope needs to be ready.

Everything has to be ready so that you just can grab the rope and get yourself out of the quicksand. If you need to think, if you need to prepare something, if you need to overcome any hurdle in the moment, it will not happen. So make a super clear plan of all the thoughts you're going to tell yourself or the actions you're going to take. If you want to write down your thoughts, for example, if you want to fill out a model, if you want to process your feelings, all the things that I've been telling you at the beginning of this podcast, write it very clearly. Make a very detailed plan.

So step number one is to identify all the ways you're probably going to not do what you're supposed to be doing. Step number two is to define exactly how you're going to tackle each of these things as they happen. In all of the glorious details that you need to make it work when it, when you need to do it.

And step number three, it's to figure out how you're going to remind yourself when you are in the moment. So as I mentioned, you are not going to remember in the moment. So you need to have an external reminder. So an external reminder means that you have a reminder on your calendar. It means that you have something that is popping up on your telephone.

It means that you have post-its in the right place. It means that you have a paper in the right location. So the best way to do this is to identify where do you tend to be and what do you tend to be doing when the behavior, the sabotaging behavior or the giving up behavior tends to happen.

So I'll give you a few examples so that it's clear. So for example, let's take the example of the diet. , The problem happens every time you get bored, you tend to go to the fridge and find something in the fridge that you can eat. And that's the way you tend to sabotage following your diet.

So you're not really hungry. You're just bored. So you identify this. Okay, when I'm bored, I tend to go to the fridge. And then you need to write down what are you going to tell yourself in that moment. So for example, maybe you're going to tell yourself, I don't want to give myself these food because I want to give myself the body that I am looking forward to.

This is just one idea, right? There's many more things that you could do. What you're going to do is you're going to write this on a piece of paper, which you're going to tape inside of your fridge. Don't put it on the outside of your fridge. If you have like me tons of other things on your fridge because you're not going to see it, you're going to see it the first day, and then you're not going to see it.

Tape it in the inside of your fridge. Tape it on one of the shelves of the fridge. So that the paper, A4 paper is hanging down from one of the shelves of your fridge and all the food that you usually are tempted to eat is behind that piece of paper. So you cannot not see it. and that will help you in the moment to muster the resolve that you need in order to not take anything from the fridge and close the door again.

Another example could be, you tend to have random thoughts about giving up. And you don't know when they happen. So what you can do is you can have a random reminder on your phone. So there's tons of apps that do this. If you just Google a random reminder app, you're going to find tons that work very well.

And you pick one that you like. And those apps, basically, they all work on the same principle. They are used for affirmation. So I'm not a big fan of affirmations, as you know, but, these apps are very useful. So you write the sentence that you want to remember in the app and you program it so it will pop up randomly on your phone the number of time that you have decided.

So for example, 20 times per day, between the time that you wake up and the time that you go to bed. You program all of that into the app. And then as the name suggests randomly on your phone, the sentence that you have programmed will pop up. And because it's popping up randomly, there's a very good chance that you will have just read it a few moments before you need it. Or you will be reading it in the moment when you need it, or you will be reading it very shortly after the moment where you started to have all of these thoughts of giving up, et cetera.

So there's a very high likelihood that you will be, in a way, talking to yourself from the past, from when you programmed the app, just at the right moment when you need to hear it. Another way to do this is for example, if, you have this problematic behavior every time you go into a specific meeting with a specific person, you can put on your calendar just before you go into that meeting and remind yourself of the things that you want to remind yourself just before you go into the meeting.

So figure out where you are likely to be. So for example, in front of the fridge. Or when it's likely going to happen. So for example, a specific point in time, a specific meeting or randomly throughout the day. Or maybe you can figure out who you're going to be with or what you're going to be wearing.

So figure out something that is systematically present when you're having the behavior. And when you figured that out, use that to anchor the reminder so that you have the reminder just when you need it. So in summary: plan for wanting to give up. Plan for all the different ways that it's going to happen.

It's not abnormal. It's not a failure of character. It's not a problem. This is just very normal. This is just the way change happens. You start change with a lot of good intentions and then after a little while, when you don't see the results, it's very easy to lose faith. And when you start to lose faith, this is when you're not taking the action that would actually give you the results.

So. Identify all the ways that you're going to give up. Then plan what you're going to do in each of the cases. And I've given you different episodes of this podcast that helps you plan for different things. So for procrastination, for imposter syndrome, for all the things, right?

So go back to the different episodes and figure out how to help yourself succeed in those situations. And the last bit; and it's the most important: do not rely on your memory to remember to do the thing in the moment. It will not happen. If it would happen, you would already be the kind of person who doesn't need to create the change, because you would already be doing these behaviors as a second nature, and you would already have the result.

If you found this episode helpful and you want to help the podcast, the best way to do it is to share it with somebody else. So you can do that by leaving a review on one of the listening platforms, or you can tip a friend about it. And the best way to do that is to send them a link to the specific podcast episode that you liked. You find them on excellentriter.com/podcast.

Thanks a lot for listening today and remember that even when you cannot get yourself to do what you want. And even when you're stuck in negative emotions and unpleasant thought loops. And even when you don't believe it, especially when you don't believe it, you're not broken. You're not flawed. And you're definitely not jinxed. You're just learning how to be an excellent rider. There are no bad horses, only untrained riders.

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