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#031: The narrow road to achieving excellence
Can we agree on something? We’re not going to get to where we want to be by doing the same stuff we’ve been doing that isn’t working. Agreed?
It’s like two plus two equals four. You can’t keep adding two and two and expect to get anything but four. If you want a different result, you have to change something.
Change. This is one of the hardest parts of breakthrough work. You can release negative emotions and limiting beliefs — and that’s an excellent place to start — but, like it or not, your existing neural pathways still exist. They’re like ruts in the brain. They’re the paths of least resistance for the mind. It feels good, comfortable, familiar, easy to do the same things we’ve always done.
It’s hard to break out of ruts, even when you really want to do so.
But I know you want change; you want something better. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You want to see excellence in your life…and you can. It requires two key traits: discipline and self-control.
Identify what you want to change. Determine what are the habits and practices that you’re engaged in that are not supporting your goal.
Then decide what habits and practices you need to implement that will support your new goals. Why? Because it’s not enough to stop doing the same ol’ things that got you nowhere. You need to build a new practice, a new habit that will take the place of the old, bad habits and support your new goals. This is key.
Focus on your goal. Practice your new habit over and over again. You’ll need to be religious about it. You might need to rearrange some things in your life that will make it difficult to not do the new habit you want to establish. And — this will be hard — you’ll almost certainly need to say no to some things.
This ain’t easy. But it’s so doable. And you are so worth it.
Practice your new habit for 45 to 60 days and see what happens. I dare you. Once you see that you can do it, once you succeed, once you get a taste of excellence in one area of your life…watch out, world!
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Brenda: Hey there. Welcome to Episode 31 of the Mind Revolution Podcast. I am your host, Brenda Terry. A big, warm thank you to you for tuning in today. And my wish for you, as always, is that wherever you in and whatever you’re doing that things are working out and that you’re feeling good and that life is excellent and that you’re getting evidence of it all the way around.
Things here in Reno have been awesome. It’s been great. It’s been fun. It’s been busy. A lot of growing, a lot learning for myself and my clients. It just feels good to do what I do.
I’ve talked before about how clients come in in clusters. And typically, it’s the same type of breakthrough that happens at the same time for most people. So sometimes I’ll go through a little rush of business breakthroughs. Other times it will be around relationships. Other times it will be personal breakthroughs where someone just needs to get congruent and release negative emotions so that they can get resourceful and live their lives. And other times it’s about health breakthroughs.
All of that happens, just little clusters of people coming in for almost the same goal. That’s just how things work. And one of the things that is going on right now is that I am working with several people to achieve really big things — big things not only in their personal lives but also in their business lives. Big things for their body and their health moving forward. One of the things we do to make this happen is tasking. Tasking was a concept or a process that Milton Erickson used with his clients to ensure that they were committed and that they stayed the course and that they achieved whatever goals were set during that therapeutic process.
And tasking is one of those really big things in breakthrough coaching. The tasking period, the time between sessions where the client is assigned some tasks to do, that is really what makes everything stick. That’s what creates the neurology to support the goals. That is where all the good stuff they came in to get happens. So outside of the office, in between sessions where they really make that commitment to do things differently to help them achieve that outcome. So those things that they need to do that they know are going to help them direct focus and achieve what they want.
This last few weeks — it’s been a while, a few months — I’ve been working with people who are making big things happen. So big things in business, big things personally, big things in health. And the topic of excellence comes up so much, because all of us want excellence. I think that all of us want excellence, just about… I’m not saying everybody, but I would be guessing that just about everybody wants more, and they have a vision of what that more looks like. And so do my clients. And so do I for myself. And so does everybody else that I know.
So when I’m doing client work and we’re doing tasking, at the beginning of the breakthrough, everybody is all of board. “Sure, I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.” And it’s really easy to say that in the moment when they walk in when they’re usually sitting in quite a bit of pain and discomfort about whatever situation is going on in their lives that brought them to my office to begin with.
And so, they’re in pain and discomfort and they want relief and they can’t wait to get it. And so, in that moment, I ask the same question to every single person. If you were to ever become a breakthrough client, this is the question that you would get before I signed on to do and facilitate a breakthrough with you and that would be, are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal?
Are you willing, now, knowing, obviously that we’re only going to do good things, that we’re going to do resourceful things, that we’re going to be making some big change. So, I ask the client, are you willing to change the way you’re doing things now so that you can achieve this big, big, big goal and then, as a result, create the blueprint to achieve even bigger goals?
And the answer is always, “Yes!” “Yes, yes, yes, I’ll do whatever it is that you want me to do. Whatever it is that we come up with so that I can do this thing that I want. This big vision. I can live it.”
And then, we do the initial part of the breakthrough at my office where we get rid of the big stuff. The stuff that they can almost see that’s really standing in the way of their success. And so, we do that, and we align values, and we put goals in a timeline. Then, they get all this stuff that’s so fun to do about breakthroughs in the beginning. That very first three or four days in my office. And then, they go home and they start tasking.
And then they realize that tasking sometimes is hard. And I’m not going to say sometimes, I am going to say most of the time it’s hard. And so, sometimes clients come in and then they’re like “Well, I finished this, and I didn’t quite finish that, and I was wondering why I should be doing this?” You know, I don’t know that this feels good. I’ve had clients in my office asking me, almost begging and saying, “Please don’t make me do it. Please don’t make me do that, please don’t. Not that. Not that.” Knowing full well that we have arrived at this task together, based on the client information, feedback, negative emotions, whatever’s going on in their lives, and their like “Please don’t, please don’t, please don’t, please don’t.”
And then, over time, as they’re doing the work, they’re doing the work and then begin to see the change, and then they begin to see what happens on the other side of this tasking process. And after that, then people are like “Give me more tasks,” because they know that when they finish these activities that are helping them and supporting them in achieving their goal, that they’re not only getting closer to the goal, but they are transforming inside.
They are creating new neuropathways that are supporting this thing that they want to achieve. It helps them in achieving that but yet they’re transforming in the process. So then they’re asking for more tasks to help them do that.
And so, what it is that’s on the other side of this tasking is excellence and achieving that excellence, not just in the goal. Because the goal is almost like the carrot. Achieving of a big goal… I’m working with people now who are taking six-figure businesses, and we’re working to get them to seven-figure businesses, people who have their J-O-Bs and now are looking to really, fully, live the fullness and the bigness of their businesses that they’ve created that maybe right now are simply a side gig, and so now they’re transitioning into that.
I have people who are committed to reducing their body weight and as a result, getting healthier on the other side. and so we’re doing all of this work, and Time Line Therapy® and NLP and hypnosis are going clear the way for them to change and yet, they have to be the ones to do the work to create the change.
The topic of excellence comes up constantly. Sometimes I have client who come in and say, “Today I want to work on this, and I want to work on that, because I’m not doing the things that I said I was going to do, and so I want to release negative emotions, so I can go ahead and do that.”
And then I stop them and say, “Time Line Therapy® is not going to help you here, my friend. What’s going to help you here is you taking big action, because do you really think that achieving excellence happens as a result of you doing the things that you’ve always done in the way that you’ve done them that haven’t worked out for you yet?”
Can we all agree that doing what we’ve done the way we’ve done them is not the road to excellence if those things are not getting you to excellence? So the road to excellence is paved by two really important components, two traits, two qualities, and then a bunch of action. And those qualities are discipline and self-control. Discipline and self-control. Discipline and self-control all the way to the goal.
It is not about just doing whatever pops up and just getting sidetracked by emotional or compelling sensory squirrels to the left or to the right. It is about focusing on the goal to the exclusion of everything else that may be directing your focus outside of achieving the goal and then taking big leaps in that direction. It is about abandoning the things that we’ve done that haven’t worked, because sometimes it’s scary to stop doing the things that we’ve always done because we just do them all the time, and we feel this emotional connection to them.
I can tell you specifically that when dealing with somebody who is coming in doing a health breakthrough, they’re going to be doing some reading that’s going to be uncomfortable. They’re going to be tasking and doing some things that they’re not going to like. There’s a consumption journal that I created that is specific, really specific to what my clients are consuming daily. It’s really specific to the quality of their day as a result of what they’ve consumed. It’s really specific as to the quality of sleep they got as a result of what they consumed. And there’s reading involved.
There’s stuff that needs to go into the neurology, into the brain, to begin to shift and create a movement in the model of the world, to create a compelling reason to pursue excellence in this goal of them achieving…whether it’s an ideal body weight or simply just being healthier and, as a result, if there’s extra weight, the weight drops off.
So I’ve had oftentimes people tell me how hard things are, how hard the middle is, even though emotions are released, even after negative emotions about self and limiting beliefs about self are out of the way, we still have to create that neurology. We have to create neurology that’s going to support the achieving of the goal. We have to create new neural pathways that are going to get us there. And the only way that happens is to be very disciplined and have a lot of self-control and make a commitment to creating those pathways.
When we talk about habits and how those habits are formed and how things happen for us as a result, it’s all true. And it’s only true, by the way, not because we don’t have the self-will, or not because we don’t have the willpower to do it, or not because we’re not motivated to do it. It’s simply that we don’t have the neurology for it yet. We haven’t created all the neurological connections that are going to support this new activity or that are going to support this new way of doing, whether it’s food or the way that we do business or the way that we do expectation of things and then working out.
I’ve had clients who come in, and they really want to move through their breakthrough so quickly, and in reality, they’re still activating their at-effect-ness consistently. They haven’t shifted from the effect side of the equation to the cause side of the equation on their day to day.
They come in, and they just want a tune up so they can go out and have a better time for the moment, all the while, not consistently exercising the discipline that they’re learning and the self-control to direct focus.
So it’s discipline and self-control to do big things, whether you do them off the bat or you get there gradually and consistently to achieve excellence.
When we’re talking about excellence on a big-picture scale, that means living your dreams. That means achieving all of those things, all those ideas and bringing them to fruition. That means that you’re going to be focusing on how to get there, what steps are needed to get there, what you can keep that’s currently in your life that’s going to support you and get there, and then you’ll have to make the tough decision to say, “What am I going to let go of? What am I going to release? What am I going to stop doing in order to get there?” That’s always the hardest one. What are you going to stop doing that’s going to allow you to achieve excellence?
Like I said, the goal is the carrot. We chase the carrot, and it allows us to move in that direction. A gives us a motivation to keep moving in that direction. There’s something to look forward to, and yet the beauty and the magic of big goals achievement is the transformation that happens to us as human beings in the process. And that only happens when we commit to doing the things that are going to support us in achieving that goal and stop doing the things that do not. And stop doing the things that are going to derail our focus.
And what this looks like is like this. I have a client who wants to drop a significant amount of weight. And so for this client, what it means for her is to change the way she eats and the way that she consumes alcohol. And she doesn’t have an alcohol problem, yet it’s part of her experience. So is it a problem? That could be.
In letting go of that, if someone is drinking every day or every other day, if it’s consistently part of the experience, if eating a certain type of food and there’s an emotional connection to that food and we feel like we have to have it, or it’s really hard to imagine not having it, then we know that whatever those items of consumption are, that underneath it all, there is a need, and there is a void that this thing — either food or drink — is attempting to fill.
So part of achieving excellence in this context is to stop doing the things that are keeping us from achieving the goal. So this specific client is no longer eating this thing that’s she’s constantly eating and no longer consuming alcohol.
And then we do it for as long as we can create the habit around it, because the reason that we consume the things that we don’t want, the reason that we do the things that we know are not serving us, it’s only because the neurology is present. It’s there. It’s hardy. It exists. It’s actively wiring and firing. So you’re just making it stronger and stronger and stronger. And then it creates habit. That’s the only reason that this is happening.
And you can, in the same way that you created that neurology, create new neurology that supports the exact opposite. You can create neurology that says, “I don’t need to have the glass of wine with dinner every night or every other night.”
“I don’t need to be eating bread or this specific type of bread.”
“I don’t need to be having the cookies.”
“I can choose to drink water with my meal and feel really comfortable.”
“I can choose to enjoy foods that are of the earth and from the earth, that are unprocessed and that can be a satisfying experience. And it can be satisfying for me.”
“I can choose to believe that whatever I want is within my grasp.”
“I can choose to create the neurology that’s going to support me losing X amount of weight.” And in the process — because this always happens — in the process of achieving that, meaning I am now controlling my outcomes, moment to moment, and I am being disciplined in doing that, meaning I stay the course, and as a result, what’s going to happen is that that staying and course and that discipline and that self-control in the moment to moment will seep into other areas of our lives.
And this happens with my clients all the time. It happens with me. It happens with the people that I know. People live life a certain way. If you’re living fast and hard, then it’s really challenging to believe and experience fast and hard in one area of life and not fast and hard in the other.
If you’re living within discipline and control in one area, chances are you’re going to be looking at the rest of your life and then seeing where maybe you can add some of that.
And you can have fun doing it too. The road to excellence is paved with discipline and self-control and focus. Focus on that thing that we want to achieve. We’re not going to get to where we want to be doing the same stuff we’ve been doing that isn’t working. It doesn’t work. We already proved it to ourselves.
I know that for my clients, when they have a big task, usually tasks are 45 days to 60 days, and the only purpose for the task is to create neurology that is supporting the new behavior. It isn’t about stopping something that isn’t serving you for a week or two, because the neurology is still present. It is about stopping the thing that isn’t working and, instead of just stopping cold and doing nothing about it, create neurology that replaces it, something that’s going to be really positive and resourceful for you. And the only way you do that is by repeating the behavior over and over and over again. That is where that discipline and that self-control comes in.
And on the other side of that, discipline, self-control, keeping your eye on that goal. In the process of that, you will achieve excellence.
And what happens, which is just incredible, is that your internal representations begin to change. What you expect out of the world begins to change. What you begin to experience begins to change all the way around. If we know that perception is projection, if you, in some way, in some area, are living the opposite of discipline and self-control on the way to excellence, then it will reflect back to you in your environment.
So when you then adopt the behavior and say, “Okay, what big thing do I want, and what do I have to do in order to make that happen, and what do I have to stop doing that’s going to support me in making that thing happen?” Then when you do, you’re going to begin to narrow the field of play, so to speak. And you’re going to play in the space that’s not going to have everything in it. It’s going to have things that you have chosen to put in there. And as a result, as long as you’re feeling really, really good in the process — and change doesn’t feel good. Change is hard. It’s hard because of the neurology that’s created.
When I sit there with people and we talk about limiting beliefs and all the values that they’re living with and how those are not supporting their lives, and we get down to it, I always tell them the same thing. And that is, it’s easier than you think. And the commitment is small when we’re talking about the time that’s needed. So the commitment to do this from a time perspective is small. You’re really talking about 45 to 60 days max, and then you’ve created neurology that supports you.
I have a client who wanted to start working out in a specific way. And she talks about wanting to go to Pilates class. What she said was that it was so hard for her to go, and she just wanted to have this physical body. She wanted to be toned and firm and feel really good in her body, and this was the way that she wanted to do it.
In the very beginning, it was really hard for her to get up and get to the gym. So what she had to do in order to get there was sleep in her gym clothes, and that got her there. She had no excuse. She put on the gym clothes and then went to Pilates. And then the next day, put on gym clothes and went to Pilates. Next day, put on gym clothes and went to Pilates.
And eventually, she didn’t have to do that anymore. And so now, going to Pilates is one of the things that she loves to do. But it took months for her to get there.
So this is about creating neurology. It’s always easier than we think. The problem is that the existing neurology is so compelling. It’s so easy. If you think of your brain, the brain is kind of lazy. The brain works on the concept of economy. The premise is economy for the brain. That means least amount of effort, the path of least resistance, doing what we know, not necessarily what we want. It’s about doing what we know, not what we want.
And in order for you to do more of what you want, if excellence is what you want, then you’re going to have to make big changes. You’re going to have to start saying no to things and yes to other things. And then you’re going to do the thing that you don’t want to do but you know is good for you. You’re going to do that over and over and over again until that thing that you’re doing that is not easy to do becomes the thing that you love and you want to do.
I used to go to bed so late. I used to call myself a night owl, and it was a consistent thing for me to stay awake to one, two, and three in the morning and then get up the next day at seven, sometimes eight A.M., exhausted. I just thought, “Well, I just can’t sleep. I work at night. It’s much easier for me. It’s quiet…” All these things I used to say to myself about all the good reasons that it was good for me to stay up so late. And I really thought that I was never going to be able to change that. I really thought that.
It took some time.
I was working with a coach, and this coach always said, “Well, your morning starts so late. What if you started your mornings at six A.M., and then you did your self-care work in the morning, and then you got to the office by 9:00 or 10:00 and then you got to work?”
I said, “Well, it’s so hard to wake up early. I just have such a hard time waking up early. I have such a hard time waking up early. It’s really hard for me.”
And then I had to log my sleep, and I had to log the times that I went to bed and when I woke up and what I did the three hours before my sleep time. And then we arrived at the problem.
I thought the problem for me were the mornings. It’s so freaking obvious, but I couldn’t see it. I thought the problems for me were the mornings and the fact that it was just hard for me to get up in the morning. Well, we figured out that, no, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I went to bed so late at night.
So my work came to focus on the sleep routine, and I looked into clean sleep and what that meant. And now, today, going to bed right before 10, going to sleep actually, not even bed… I’m usually in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10. And I get a full seven or eight hours, and it feels amazing, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world now.
But the process of getting there was painful. In the same way that I used to eat three times a day and have snacks, and I thought that the was healthy for my body, and then I realized that, no, for my body, that actually doesn’t work. I changed the way I do that. Now I can fast, and I do intermittent fasting, and sometimes I only have one meal a day, and sometimes I’ll have a meal every 36 hours. And I didn’t think that I could do that. I had to learn to do that. And it’s made a huge impact on my health.
So it is about doing those things that are going to support us in getting there. That’s excellence. Doing those things and saying no to a bunch of things that are not going to support you in getting there. The saying no part is the hardest part, by the way, for most people, because usually in saying no to something, we’re turning our backs and doing our very best to turn our backs on our neurology that’s existing, that is hardy, that is compelling us to move in that direction.
But the road to excellence is made up of things that are uncommon. It’s made up of things that are different than what other people are doing. It is rising above the norm. It is about moving beyond the boundary of what we currently know. And it is about embracing that thing that we want so much to the exclusion of the things that are keeping us focusing in another direction.
That is all I have for you today. I hope you found the information useful. I’m going to ask you now to please go join our podcast community. It is called the Mind Revolution Podcast Community. Not super creative, but we thought it applied. It works well. So please come on in and say hi. There’s going to be so much fun stuff that we’re going to be doing in there. You’re going to get to see some stuff behind the scenes. You’re going to get to have some fun things with other people that are in there that are going to be exclusive to the community. So I’m really excited about that. You’re going to get to see me live in there a few times a week. And you’re going to be able to ask your questions and bring up topics of conversation and support other people who are on their way to greatness and excellence now.
I’m also going to ask you to visit MindRevolutionPodcast.com to access the show notes. Send us your feedback, because your feedback is how we create this content. And also, I’m going to ask you to please rate and subscribe to our podcast. All that stuff helps so much, and I appreciate it so greatly when I see new stuff come in.
And with that said, I just want to say thank you for joining me one more time. It means the world to me when I see our listenership growing. I have people listening all over the world, and I think it is fabulous. It’s fantastic. It fills my heart with joy. So I appreciate you greatly. And I wish you a wonderful time. I wish you success and excellence until the next time we meet.
I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.