All It Takes Is A Goal

ATG 11: Building Resilience: 3 Soundtracks to Use When You Don't Feel Brave

March 22, 2021 Jon Acuff Season 1 Episode 11
All It Takes Is A Goal
ATG 11: Building Resilience: 3 Soundtracks to Use When You Don't Feel Brave
Chapters
All It Takes Is A Goal
ATG 11: Building Resilience: 3 Soundtracks to Use When You Don't Feel Brave
Mar 22, 2021 Season 1 Episode 11
Jon Acuff

Resilience is a popular word, especially in the midst of what we’ve faced in the last year. We all need it, but what does it actually mean? In this episode, I'm breaking down exactly what resilience is and how you can build it with the three soundtracks I use when overthinking starts to get in the way of progress.

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Order Soundtracks, Jon's newest book available wherever you find quality books!

Show Notes Transcript

Resilience is a popular word, especially in the midst of what we’ve faced in the last year. We all need it, but what does it actually mean? In this episode, I'm breaking down exactly what resilience is and how you can build it with the three soundtracks I use when overthinking starts to get in the way of progress.

Follow Jon on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

Order Soundtracks, Jon's newest book available wherever you find quality books!

Jon Acuff:

Hey everyone, and welcome to the All It Takes Is A Goal podcast. I'm your host, Jon Acuff, and I love goals. Why? Because a goal is the fastest path between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. And best of all, finishing a goal feels amazing. You will never forget the first time you hold a book you finish writing. Like when you actually get a real copy and you see it on a real shelf. That's amazing! You will never forget, the moment you cross the finish line of a 5k race. You will never forget when someone paid you to do something you love doing. That's why restaurants have their first dollar bill framed behind the cash register. They did it. They finished. I want that feeling for you. I want you to have that moment. I want to help you cross the finish line of whatever goal you care about, because the future belongs to finishers. That's why I'm doing this podcast. In today's episode, I'm going to teach you three sentences that will help you increase your resilience. I'm even going to give you two actions you can take immediately in your own life. But first, today's episode is sponsored by Medi-Share. Have you guys ever had buyer's remorse? You know that feeling of intense regret because the thing you thought you just had to have was only something used once or twice? For me it was the time I bought a really expensive road bike because I thought I was going to get into cycling. I proceeded to hang it on the wall in my garage and feel ashamed for six months. Well, I know some of you are experiencing buyer's remorse right now for something much more frustrating. You know what I'm talking about. It's the healthcare you rushed to get during open enrollment last December. Well, I have some good news for you. You've probably heard me talking about our main sponsor for this podcast, Medi-Share. And these guys have the answer to healthcare buyer's remorse. Check this out, members of Medi-Share save up to 50% or more per month on their health care costs. They say the typical family saves up to $500 per month. And here's the best part, you can become a member at any time. So that means it isn't too late to ditch your buyer's remorse and switch to a more affordable health care that will save you money and help you sleep better at night. If this is your first time you're hearing about Medi-Share, it is the best alternative to health insurance that allows you to share the burden of medical bills, offers access to 900,000 plus health care providers, and has a proven 25 year track record. Plus in addition to saving hundreds per month, as a member of Medi-Share, you will also have access to free telehealth and free telecounseling. You won't find that with any traditional health insurance provider. Guys, it only takes two minutes to see how much you could save. Go investigate that for yourself and your family at Medi-Share.com/Jon. That's Medi-Share.com/Jon. Remember Jon doesn't have an H in it. So it's a M-E-D-I, that's Medi, share, S-H-A-R-E dot com slash J-O-N. Alright, let's jump right in and talk about resilience. That's a, that's a popular word this year, isn't it? I mean, it's something we all need. But what does it actually mean? What is resilience? Well, first, let's define it. I believe that resilience is forward motion despite the absence of courage, comfort, and clarity. Now you might only be moving forward at one mile per hour. You might be inching your way down the road. You might be handling each day, one by one or hour by hour, but you're not stuck. There's movement, there's progress, even if it's tiny, and you're moving forward, even though you don't have courage, comfort or clarity. That's resilience. You wouldn't need resilience if you had those three things, right? Have you ever thought about that? If you were the bravest person in the world, if you were full of courage, you wouldn't need to be resilient. You'd have so much bravery, you wouldn't even understand the need for resilience. It reminds me of the time I asked one of the top sales guys at a really intense company if he ever procrastinated. He got quiet on the phone and then he said, "I don't even [sigh] I don't even really know what that word means. I just don't have space for it in my life." He was so locked in that procrastination bounced right off him. If you had comfort, you wouldn't need resilience either. Things would be so comfortable that you just go about enjoying the ease of your day. You never need resilience when you're wearing sweatpants. Now if you had clarity, same thing, you wouldn't need resilience. If you knew exactly what was going to happen a week from now or a month from now or a year from now, you wouldn't need resilience. No one who is driving to their local grocery store needs resilience. You know where it is. You've been there 100 times. The mental map to that location is clear. But when you don't have courage, comfort or clarity, that's when you need resilience. And all three of those things are in short supply right now, aren't they? Clarity for instance, we haven't had that for a year. We don't know what will happen next. Last March, I texted my friend Grant and I said, "I think the first half of 2020 is going to be difficult for a lot of people." The first half How adorable. I bet you said something like that, too. We all thought, "Okay, this whatever, whatever this is, will be over in a month, or by the summer, or by the fall or the winter or," and we just kept saying things like that there was only one person who last March told me this will take 18 months, at least. You know who it was? My wife, Jenny. She told me that in March, she said, "I think this is gonna be about 18 months." But we don't have clarity right now, do we? I think about time this way. Like I keep thinking about my calendar this way. Three days is firm. Three weeks is fuzzy. Three months is fiction. Three days from now, I have a firm idea that what I plan will actually happen. Three weeks from now, that's a little fuzzier. Three months from now, pure fiction. And things aren't comfortable either, are they? Every little thing has this degree of tension and awkwardness. Think about something as simple as shaking someone's hand. The other day, a stranger reached out to shake my hand and I immediately went through a mental checklist. If I refuse to shake his hand, will that insult him? Should I offer a fist bump or an elbow or just wave at him awkwardly from across the room? If I shake his hand, will it insult him if I immediately dip my entire hand into a gallon of hand sanitizer? Like all the way up to the elbow just like into a vat of it? "Hold on kind sir. I'd just like to clean off the deadly pandemic you just tried to kill me with. One second, if you don't mind." Are other people here shaking hands? Is this a hand shaking room? If they're shaking hands, what does that say about them politically? All of those thoughts went through my head about shaking someone's hand in a matter of seconds. Do you know what I thought two years ago when someone wanted to shake my hand? Nothing! I shook their hand. Even simple things are uncomfortable right now. What about courage? Oh, courage. Let's talk about that one. I've been learning some lessons about that one, too. Have you had any sleepless nights yet? I have. Have you done that thing where you go to bed and you give yourself a little pep talk. You say to your body "Look, if we fall asleep, right this second. If we fall asleep right the second," and then you look at the alarm clock and you do the math. "Alright, carry the one minus the three, we can still get six hours of sleep. So as soon as I close my eyes, we are falling asleep." That's what you tell yourself. And then you clench your eyes tightly for 10 minutes. And then 10 minutes later, you look back at the alarm clock and say "Okay, okay, okay, if we fall asleep right now we can still get five hours and 50 minutes of sleep. I'm serious. This time. I'm not messing around. It's time to go to sleep." And you keep doing the math countdown because you don't feel courageous and you feel stressed. If that's happened to you, I have a new soundtrack you can use for those moments, the moments where you have to be brave. What do I mean by a soundtrack? Well, I spent the last two years researching and writing a book about overthinking it comes out April 6th and you can read the first chapter for free at SoundtracksBook.com. A soundtrack is my word for a repetitive thought. A thought you have over and over again in your head. I've heard people describe thoughts like that as leaves floating down a river or cars passing by in a highway or clouds floating overhead. Those are all great metaphors, but I like to think of my thoughts as soundtracks, hence the name of the book. If the soundtracks you listen to are positive, your thoughts can be your best friend, propelling you on new adventures with creativity and hope. If your day is spent overthinking broken soundtracks, though, your thoughts can be your worst foe, holding you back from ever taking action on all the things you want in life. The heart of the book is simple. If you want to turn your overthinking from a super problem into a superpower, you just have to do three things. Number one, retire your broken soundtracks. I'm talking about all those thoughts that are getting in the way the doubts, the fears, the ideas that are holding you back, you have to retire them. Number two, you have to replace them. With new soundtracks, you have the permission and the power to create new thoughts that push you forward. instead of pulling you back. And number three, you have to repeat the new ones until they become as automatic as the old ones. You know why that mistake you made four years ago is so easy to remember? Because you've repeated that soundtrack in your head 1000 times. Repetition matters. Those are the three things that the book teaches you how to do. Retire, replace, repeat. Let's jump right into an example of how a new soundtrack can help you increase your resilience. Let's talk about the replace part of overthinking because a lot of people get stuck right there because it almost feels impossible. So you're telling me I don't have to listen to these negative broken soundtracks and I can actually replace them with something amazing instead? That seems too good to be true, right? I agree. So let's be hyper practical. In this episode, I'll give you three soundtracks you can use for resilience, and two actions you can put into place immediately. Ready? Here's the first soundtrack. Bravery is a choice, not a feeling. Write that soundtrack down. If you're somewhere where you've got a pen and a piece of paper, write that down. The next time you're tempted to overthink some decision, or new challenge, or even a new opportunity and you don't feel brave enough, remember, bravery is a choice, not a feeling. You can't wait until you feel brave enough, you just have to choose it. I remember seeing a perfect picture of this once at an event in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was walking to the stage in this conference center, there are 2000 people in the audience. And as I made my way to the stage, I saw something on the ground. There were two arrows taped there with two words, one arrow pointing to the right and said "stage", the other arrow pointing to the left and said "exit." It was a clear picture, such a clear picture of the decisions we face that I stopped and I took a picture of it. One way was the stage. One way was the exit. Now, you might never step on a physical stage. But every day, you face 100 different stage moments. Will you give yourself 30 minutes to work on your new book and actually do it? Will you call that client and win the account? Will you ask for a raise, even during a pandemic? Will you sign up for that class at the gym, even though you feel like you might embarrass yourself the first time you go? Will you blog for the first time or start a podcast or tell a friend you're stressed out about your finances, or do a million little things that you've been putting off because you don't feel brave enough? We choose the stage or the exit. That's the choice we all get to make. And that's today's first action I want you to take, I want you to think about your next seven days. Not the next 30, not the next 90, just seven days. As you look at your week, where are some stage moments? I want you to write down one to three stage moments. What are some stage moments you've got coming your way and how can you choose bravery? I'll go first, my new book, as I mentioned launches on April 6, which means I need to start asking some of my friends with platforms, if they will promote it. That, that makes me feel uncomfortable. Will I send the text or the email or make the call? That's a stage moment, I have to choose the stage in those moments. Got it? That's the first action, I want you to be deliberate about picking some stage moments in the next seven days that you're actually going to do. But let's get more focused on resilience by adding an additional soundtrack to the mix. One thing I've learned about resilience is that it's directly tied to purpose. You'll work harder and longer. When you know the reason you're doing it. When you have a purpose, you'll keep working. The flip side of that is nothing kills resilience, like the question "what's the point?" That's when apathy comes in and just wrecks you. So we need a new soundtrack. One we can actually remember. One that is simple. Are you ready? Here it is. The bigger your purpose, the bigger your resilience. Let me say it again. The bigger your purpose, the bigger your resilience. If we find ourselves struggling, if we have a sense of apathy, if we check the motivation tank, and it's particularly low, we can read that soundtrack, we can listen to that soundtrack, and remember, "Wait a second, if my resilience is low, it means I've lost sight of my purpose." And we can do something about that the goal of a soundtrack isn't just to have a new thought. It's to generate a new action. So when the soundtrack reminds us that our resilience is tied to our purpose, and our resilience is low, it'll help us generate actions around our purpose. That's what's fun about soundtracks. They can be statements, they can be questions, they can be whole paragraphs, they could be lyrics. You can turn anything that inspires you and moves you forward into a soundtrack. So there's a soundtrack question I use to generate resilience. If you ever feel your resilience dip, ask this question, "Who am I doing this very difficult job for?" Who am I doing this very difficult job for? That's one of the most powerful soundtrack questions you can ask to rediscover your purpose. And it's one I've taught 1000s of people at events around the world. For instance, I once asked a roomful of hospital CEOs that question. The reason I did is that it's difficult to be the CEO of a hospital. For one thing, they don't get to say two sentences that you and I get to say about our work. When we feel stressed about our jobs, we get to say, "Eh, it's not life or death." And we get to say, "It's not like it's brain surgery." If you're the CEO of a hospital, you don't get to say either one of those things because it is life or death and it is brain surgery. They also have a huge range of responsibilities. The range of responsibilities for hospital CEOs runs from save lives to people are furious we have Pepsi in our vending machine. Their range of responsibility runs from the miracle of life to we got a bad Yelp review because people hate our parking lots. It's a difficult job. So I asked them our question, Who am I doing this very difficult job for? One woman raised her hand and said, "I do this difficult job for the donor walk. That's who I do it for." And I didn't understand what the donor walk is. And so I asked her to explain it. And she said, "Well, every time someone donates an organ, we all line the hall and cheer from them as they're wheeled into surgery. The doctors, the nurses, the administrators, everyone." She said, "I do my job for the donor walk." I loved that. I asked the YMCA staff and volunteers that question and they gave me amazing answers. One 82-year-old volunteer named Judd works in the skate park at the YMCA in Brentwood, Tennessee, right near my house. One morning, while he was talking to a 13-year-old skater, the young man told Judd that he had just found out that his parents were getting divorced. And this 13-year-old said it was his fault. Now that's one of those moments where a broken soundtrack is about to take root. Where a 13-year-old is going to start believing he caused his parents divorce. But Judd was there. And he told them the truth. He told him, "It's not your fault that your parents got divorced. It's not." Judd doesn't skate. He doesn't ride half pipes or ollie. I doubt he's ever even owned a skateboard, except maybe that one that Michael J. Fox made in Back To The Future. He like, it was like he broke that kid's scooter and turned into a skateboard. That was so amazing. Judd might own that one. I mean, he's 82 years old. He's not there to skate. He volunteers because no 13-year-old is designed to carry the weight of their parents divorce by themselves. I asked teachers that question, who are you doing this difficult job for? Especially this year, because they've got a difficult job. And sometimes they'll tell me, "I do this difficult job for the me I used to be." They'll say, "When I was in eighth grade, I really struggled with depression. It hit me like a wave and my entire personality changed. My friend group changed and my grades plummeted, and no one showed up for me." They'll say "I'm a teacher, for the me I used to be, so that the next time that kid has a teacher who shows up. I'm going to show up for the me I used to be." Regardless of your profession, or the challenge you're facing, this question can really clarify things. I asked a diagnostic healthcare company that question a few weeks ago, and their answer is right there in their tagline. "Because every test is a life." Why do they work so hard? Why do they persist? Why do they have resilience? Because they're not just building widgets. Every test is a life. What's interesting is that the reverse of this question works too. When you know who you're doing this job for, you also know who you're not doing it for. You want to talk about a quick way to reduce the sting of criticism? Know who you're doing your job for. One day at a speaking event, for instance, another speaker said something mean about me. They criticized me to someone important, who then passed it on to me. It's so interesting when people pass on insults to you. That was one of those moments that had the chance to get real sticky. I could see me overthinking those hurtful words for years. I teach one of the techniques that's really helped me with criticism in chapter nine of my book Soundtracks. If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you totally should. The coolest thing is that if you pre-order before April 6, you'll get the entire audiobook for free. Okay, so in that moment, I start to over focus on this criticism from another speaker, I remembered something. At that same event, the same event, the client, the event planner, had raved about my keynote. As soon as I stepped off stage, she said, "My phone was blowing up during your presentation. That was exactly what we wanted, the audience loved it." So let's ask that question. Who am I doing this very difficult job for? Was I doing it to impress other speakers? Or was I doing it to serve the audience and the event planner? I was able to shake off that criticism (Taylor Swift) because I knew who I was doing my job for. That's the second action I want you to do today. Answer that question. Who am I doing this very difficult job for? Write down a few names. And let's be clear, you might be doing it for yourself. Maybe going to the gym is about getting some positive endorphins so that the rest of the day gets better. "Me" is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question "who are you doing this difficult job for?" That question will help you focus on your resilience. We talked about a lot today. Here are the new soundtracks I gave you, number one, bravery is a choice, not a feeling. Number two, the bigger your purpose, the bigger your resilience. And number three, who am I doing this very difficult job for? And I gave you two actions. Number one, write down one to three stage moments that are headed your way. As you look at the next week, you're going to face some stages. What are they? And number two, write down an answer to the question, "Who am I doing this very difficult job for?" That's all for today. Thank you for the amazing reviews you've been leaving. I was thinking the other day about why those are so important. My podcast is new, which means it's not super easy to get guests. I have a platform so that definitely helps. But the reality is that I have less than 20 episodes recorded right now. So when I asked someone to come on, I know that they are their assistant go to the iTunes page or Apple, whatever page it is, and see "11 episodes? What? That's not a lot of episodes. Nah, not worth it." But then, then then then, they see that you guys have left more than 300 reviews and they think, "Wait a second, maybe I should be on the All It Takes Is A Goal podcast." That's 100% because of you. So if you've got 60 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you'd write a review, wherever it is that you listen to this show. And remember, my brand new book Soundtracks comes out April 6, if you pre-order a copy before April 6, I'll give you the entire audio book for free. Not a chapter. Not a sample, not a smidge, not a taste. You'll get the whole audio book for free. I'm still blown away that the publisher was willing to do that. If you've liked anything you've heard on my podcast, you're going to love the book. Get all your pre-order bonuses at SoundtracksBook.com. That's Soundtracks.Book.com That's it. That's a wrap. Thanks for listening today. I'll see you next week. And remember, all it takes is a goal. This episode of the podcast was brought to you by Medi-Share. Text JON, J-O-N to 474747 for more information. Huge thank you to Medi-Share for sponsoring it. J-O-N to 474747.

Producer:

Thanks for listening. To learn more about the All It Takes Is A Goal podcast and to get access to today's show notes, transcript, and exclusive content from Jon Acuff, visit Acuff.me/podcast. Thanks again for joining us. Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of the All It Takes Is A Goal podcast.