Do you ever blame yourself for not having the success you crave or the life you want?
Do you think, “Maybe if I wasn’t so lazy or stupid, I could finally change my life...”?
You keep trying to “change your attitude” and “be positive" but is it working?
What if you -weren’t- the problem?
You might not be. Tune in to find out.
EPISODE 183 TRANSCRIPTION
Sari de la Motte:
Hello everybody. Sari de la Motte with you for another episode of From Hostage to Hero and we're going to start with a not quite a shout out. This is a shout out in that this is an email I received about our brand new H2H Fun-damentals course, which is now again open. So if you want to get in on all the fun, go to sariswears.com/fun and you can read all about our H2H masterclass. And she says, "Sari, I enrolled in the course because I had a medical malpractice trial at the end of September. In gearing up for that I found the prospect of conducting jury selection to be the most intimidating aspect. And I've been a practicing attorney for short of 19 years, the entirety of which has been in litigation. The preparation I attempted just didn't feel authentic. I don't want to do that again. And I hope your course would improve my confidence. It's not hyperbole..."
Is that how you say that? Hyperbole, I think so. "... to call your method earth shattering and revolutionary, you also present it in a practical, straightforward manner. I now feel that I have the tools to identify principles and create funnel-based questions to engage with prospective jurors. Thank you so much." So if you want to know what she's talking about, go to sariswears.com/fun. It is now open again. All right, well today we are talking about what if you weren't the problem. Now what I mean by that? In today's hustle culture it's very common when our lives aren't going well to blame ourselves, and not only to blame ourselves, I mean that's how we're wired, but for the culture to tell us that it's ourselves. I mean, and just Google inspirational memes. I did this right before we were about to talk and there are things like if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And that's true. I mean we talk about that. Here's other things. The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles. What are some other ones here?
You are not too old and it's not too late. Well, that's true. The problem is not the problem. Here it is. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? I mean, it's also shame based. In fact, something kind of exploded a few, maybe it was last year. See if you've seen this. It's a meme that says marriage is hard, divorce is hard. Choose your hard. Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard. Being in debt is hard. Being financially disciplined is hard. Choose your hard. Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard. Choose your hard. Life will never be easy. It will always be hard, but we can choose our hard. Oh my God, I hate that fucking meme. Why? Because it reeks of privilege for one and two, it makes it seem as though if you are in a marriage that is unsustainable, it's just you're not working fucking hard enough.
Nevermind he beats you or you were never meant to be together or you got married when you were 17 or whatever, but just fucking work harder. Or if you're obese that just stop fucking putting food in your mouth. I mean, come on now. It's that easy, right? Well, not easy, they said that it's hard, but choose your hard. Being in debt is hard, but being financial disciplined is also hard. Choose your hard. Yeah, except for when you are of a different skin color than white and you are segregated and you are in a cycle of poverty because of all the shit that this country has put people of color through. Not that all people of color are not financially stable, I'm just saying there are a lot of people in poverty, white people too, that aren't there because they're fucking lazy. All right.
So here's why I want to talk about this today because you're all getting messages, not just from your own brains, but from everybody out there telling you that if you just worked hard enough your life would be the way you want it to be. And if it's not the way that you want it be, if you're not getting success that you hope for, there's something fucking wrong with you. You're either lazy or you're stupid or whatever else may be. And this is so not the case. What if, just stay with me, what if you weren't the problem? Have you ever done Mad Libs? I remember doing them when I was a kid and now I do them with my kid and they're super fun. But it says put an adjective here, put an adverb here, put a noun here and then it gives a little saying so the kid knows what those things mean. And of course we all know from grammar school that a noun is a person, place or thing.
So I'm going to suggest today that we get a little selfish and let's just assume, and I'll talk at the end about what if you actually are the problem, but let's just assume you're not the problem. And we're going to look at this from the person, place, or thing paradigm. So I want you to think about something you're struggling with and I want you to ask yourself, could it be not my fault, I'm not the problem. Could it be someone else's problem? Could it be somewhere else that's the problem? Or could it be something else that's the problem. Someone else, somewhere else or something else. So here's what I mean. So I'll start with someone else, the person. I got in a big thing with my mom this last summer, I'm not going to go into details, but the gist is, is that we've always had a difficult relationship.
And she and my dad have taken me and my sister to Finland when we were children every summer they could possibly afford it. My dad worked two jobs so they could afford it. And it was this big deal. And I grew up knowing my heritage and knowing my family members. And it was such a gift. And all growing up I was really wanting to send them to Finland. Not just send them to Finland, but on my dime, but first class and this year I finally was able to do it. So we were in Finland and something really bad happened. Something that she did and there's no way around that she did it. My husband tells me and other people I've told will also back me up on that. But what did I do, for weeks, if not months I made myself the problem. Well, maybe I'm seeing this wrong.
Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. Maybe I'm not taking her past into consideration. Maybe if I had done this differently. When at one point my husband had set me down, put his hand on my shoulder and go, "You did nothing wrong here. There's nothing wrong with you. You're not the problem." So I ask you in your own lives is there a situation where it's possible that someone else is the problem? Just ask yourself that. Are you bending yourself into a pretzel to make someone else happy, to make sure that no toes get stepped on all the while telling yourself that the situation, the relationship isn't working out because there's something wrong with you when in fact there's really something else with the other person. And we had some friends and clients here a couple weeks ago and I was telling the story because apparently I'm obsessed with this and I'm telling people with the story because it really affected me very deeply.
And she said with total love, with total love, she's like, "But Sari, you're a communications expert, can't you work this out?" Which of course my saboteur would love to have a field day with. Yeah, see, go back. You're the problem. You're a communications expert, can't you figure this out? But what I have to keep coming back to is sometimes the other person is not willing to do what it takes to work out a problem. And I cannot, just like I teach you all, all the time, take on that full responsibility. Relationships are 50/50 and you can't take on the responsibility of winning your case because you don't have full control. I don't have full control. The other person ain't playing, then they ain't playing. So ask yourself, could someone else be the problem? The second one is, could somewhere else be the problem? Meaning place. Oftentimes we have lives that we don't love because we're in the wrong place.
So maybe you're going to firm that doesn't align with your values and works you 80 hours a week and doesn't let you try cases and treats you like shit and thinks the juror's the enemy and makes you go to stupid CLEs that back up that idea and never let you be creative and all of the things. And because I know so many of you are in that situation that I just explained and what do you do? You hate your life and so you start looking at, well I just need to have a better attitude. I just need to work harder. Again, you start blaming yourself when the problem is the place that you're at. If you just fucking removed yourself you would no longer have those problems. Now I'm not suggesting these are easy things to do, but I'm suggesting what today's podcast is all about is not about blaming other people, but it's all about not locking yourself into a situation that you think you can use your mindset to somehow get out of when the actual situation is shit.
I mean, I went there with my mom's stuff. I'm a mindset coach. I should imagine my mind around this. You go back to my podcast where I talk about the limits of mindset work. There are limits. Sometimes situations are bad, sometimes people are toxic. Just because you are a mindset master now, hopefully you are listening to this podcast, doesn't mean you need to stay in a shitty situation to somehow prove to the mindset gods that you got this shit handled, or you need to stay in a toxic relationship to prove to the mindset gods that you're just above it all. Sometimes you need to leave that relationship or leave the situation. Sometimes you are not the fucking problem.
Sometimes something else is the problem. So maybe it's a person, maybe it's a place, maybe it's a thing. So I go back to the diet example a lot because I listen to my diet coach. I don't want to say diet coach, she's my weight loss coach because there is no diet. Corinne Crabtree and if you don't know her already, go listen to her podcast. She's fantastic. And so she talks a lot about how the problem with weight loss isn't that people don't know how to lose weight. Everybody knows how to lose weight. Everybody on the planet knows how to lose weight, don't eat as much and exercise more. The end and yet so many of us are overweight. Why? Because we're not actually dealing with the real problem. But what do we do? We go on a diet that only allows us 500 calories and then we're injecting ourself with like human pee or whatever that HCG thing is that what happened a couple years ago.
Or we're only eating bacon and ground beef, or we're only keto this or that and we can't do it because normal people don't act that way. And who do we make the problem? Us. I don't have enough willpower. I don't know how to do it. I'm too lazy, I'm too stupid, when that is never the problem. Diets don't work. Every single research study in the world will back that statement up, they do not work. And yet we make ourselves wrong. We're the problem. If we can't stick to some batshit crazy diet we make ourselves the problem. So as you're thinking about this and you're thinking about your life and your world and something that's not working for you, a life that you don't love, a job, that you're not happy in, a relationship that's not working, I want you to ask, could it just as a mind game, just as an experiment, take yourself out of it.
I'm not saying that you're clean here. I had my part to play of course in my mom's stuff too, for sure. But first, take yourself out of it and say could the problem be the other person? Could the problem be where I'm at? It could be job, that could be your house, that could be your city, could be your country. Or is the problem something else? Now, if it's a person, I want you to release that shit. If you can really honestly go in and say, I've done everything that I could possibly do and I have decided for my own health and sanity that this person is not good for me, I want you to release it without any guilt. And I know how hard that sounds because I've had to do it. That'll put up some major boundaries, but whatever way you release in what I'm saying is you don't need to end the relationship.
Necessarily you might, but that you release your need for it to be the way that it is, that you change that so that you're protecting yourself and your own mental health. If it's a place, I want you to remove yourself from that place. Really ask yourself, is it really possible for things to get better here or am I just not in the right situation? Sometimes and most of the time between my clients and Kevin's and the other coaches here we talk about this. Our clients when they recognize they've been beating their head against the wall, trying to make their situation work, when then they just remove themselves after years sometimes of trying to make it work and instantly their life gets better. They'll say to us, "Why the fuck didn't I do this before?" Because you kept thinking you were the problem. Sometimes it's the place and if it's a thing, then I want you to refocus.
So for weight loss, it's not about the diet, it's not about you, you're lazy. It's about that no one was meant to eat that way, that maybe you're overeating because you're emotionally eating and you need to focus there. Maybe you aren't exercising because you're working too many hours. Maybe you need to pull back there. Let's start looking for solutions instead of blaming ourselves. Because when we blame ourselves and we go, I'm the problem here, we try to work hard at the same thing. It's like the hamster wheel, trying to do the same thing that's not working harder. And then we feel even worse, and then we eat more and we exercise less and we just keep the cycle going. So again, today's podcast isn't about how do you let yourself off the hook. It's how do we start looking for other places and solutions. Maybe you'll look and you'll say, "Yeah, the problem is partially the other person, but there's some things that I can also do."
Great. Yeah, the place is somewhat of a problem, but there's things I can shift. Great. If that's actually true, wonderful. But in a lot of cases, and this is what I wanted to talk about today, in coaching we find that people are trying to turn themselves into a pretzel and shove themselves into a box and they're hating every second of it, but they keep telling themselves if they just have the right attitude they can figure it out. And we're saying it doesn't have to be like that. You can let go of relationships, you can change jobs, you can stop doing stupid diets and all the other things and that's potentially where your salvation lies, where you'll actually get your success. Now, how do you know for sure that you're not the problem? Well, ask yourself those questions above. Could it be a person? Could it be a place? Could it be a thing?
And when you really are being honest with yourself, you'll know not everything is in our control. We don't have 100% control of our lives. Sometimes there are outside factors that are getting in our way that need to be removed or refocused or let go. And when we do that, then our life gets better. But even if it is, if you're like, actually, I am lazy. I did all the things and I'm just lazy. I doubt it. We're going to love ourselves to better lives. That's what we do here at H2H. We're not going to be hard on ourselves. We're going to say, okay, so what's one small thing that I can do? I just restarted my health journey. I really pulled back at work. I'm exercising and this was week one and I had to exercise every day and I exercised Monday, I exercised Tuesday, and today I wanted to sleep in.
And I got up and instead of beating myself up, I said, you know what, I'm going to take Wednesdays off until I feel stronger. I'm going to make it super easy on myself. I'm going to love myself to a better life. And I know that you can do that too. So I'll leave you with this. What if you weren't the problem? Start there and see if that changes anything for you. Talk next week.
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