Managing our minds and massive action go hand in hand when it comes to changing ourselves for the better, and I teach both ideas frequently on the podcast. That said, sometimes I see my clients and students adopt the concept of massive action, relentlessly taking the steps to make their goals a reality, but they forget the thought work piece.
You could be going on hundreds of dates and not finding “the one,” or reaching out to potential clients multiple times a day and not booking a single person. If you’re confused or frustrated because the steps you’re taking aren’t working or getting you any closer to your goals, I’m giving you the answer today.
Join me to discover where you might be going wrong in your endeavors to get what you want. What I’m sharing today may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised when you slip back and catch yourself relying on actions alone to create your results.
Welcome to Unf*ck Your Brain, the only podcast that teaches you how to use psychology, feminism, and coaching, to rewire your brain and get what you want in life. And now here’s your host, Harvard law school grad, feminist rockstar, and master coach, Kara Loewentheil.
Hello my chickens. How are you all? I am amazing. I just got back from giving the keynote at the Boston Glow Conference. So fun. I got to introduce hundreds of people to the power of managing your own mind and I got to teach them that the path to any kind of liberation truly has to start inside your own brain.
And I got to see some of you. There were podcast listeners there from around the country and that was so fun to get to hug you and take a bunch of selfies and hear your stories. It made me think we need to have like, a podcast event where I can teach you and you can get coached and ask questions. That would be super fun. So I’m going to think about that.
But I actually wanted to share one story a listener told me with her permission because it’s so perfect. So this listener told me that she really internalized massive action and practiced it and she got really confident at her job. And then she got fired. I actually wasn’t sure if she got fired because she was confident, if it something to do with that, or it was just in spite of that or just random.
But either way, she got fired. And as she said this, I was thinking like, “Uh-oh, okay, well if she needs coaching, how am I going to coach her, got 15 people here waiting to say hi right behind her.” Then she said, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me because now I’m working as a consultant and it’s my dream job and all because of the podcast.”
I love this story so much not because she thinks it was the podcast, because that’s not really what helped her. She did that work. All of you working on your thoughts every day, you’re the ones doing the work. I am just your teacher. I am the midwife of the process, but you’re the ones doing the work. You’re the ones doing the labor, so you’re the ones changing your own lives.
The reason I love this story is that it’s the concept that I want to talk about today, which is massive thinking. So when we start to change ourselves, our results change too, and then sometimes our circumstances change. And I sometimes get asked by my clients, my students, “Well, what if I get confident and the people around me don’t like it?”
Now again, I have no idea if that’s what happened here. It wasn’t clear whether the firing was related to the confidence, but let’s say it was. That’s what we all fear, that we will stand up for ourselves, we will get confident, we will feel good about ourselves, we will stop people-pleasing, and then there will be some kind of negative consequence.
But what I love about this story is that it shows how what your brain tries to scare you with as a negative consequence is only a negative consequence if we think that it is one. So if this listener had gotten fired and then just gone back to the old thoughts, that would have been a bad outcome for her. But that’s not what happened because in learning to manage her mind to become more confident, she learned to manage her mind about whatever came her way.
So when she got fired, she didn’t see it as a problem. She saw it as an opportunity, and now she has the job she always wanted. And this isn’t like, secret vibrations the universe delivers to you nonsense. This is all about cognitive bias, what your brain chooses to see. When you think you aren’t good enough, all you will see is evidence of that.
But when you believe that you are worthy and awesome and kickass, you’ll just start to see more and more opportunities to play that out. And that really leads into what I want to teach you all today, which is massive thinking. I know a lot of you love massive action. Massive action is amazing. It’s changed my life. But what I want to make sure you understand is that massive action alone doesn’t do it. You have to practice massive thinking as well.
Because one thing I see sometimes is that my clients adopt massive action, but without the thinking part. They aren’t working on their thoughts about the goal the have. They are just taking lots of action and then they are frustrated or confused about why that isn’t working.
For instance, one of the 100K coaches that I’m working with through The Life Coach School was getting tons of consult calls through her online advertising, and she did I think 35 consultation calls in a row before she booked her first client. So she got 35 no’s in a row. This is for sure a statistical aberration. That’s not the normal rate in the industry is I think one in four. You would book one in four clients you talk to.
So how could that happen? How could she do 35 like that? Because her thinking was not in the right place. So she was taking massive action, she was going through all the motions. She was booking the calls, she was doing the calls, she was using the guide we taught her for how to do a consultation call, but no one was signing up because her thoughts were not in alignment.
If you think you can’t do it or you don’t know how or you don’t believe in what you’re selling or you don’t believe that you know how to get clients, it doesn’t matter how much action you take. You won’t get the result. Because the result always proves your thought true.
Often, the whole reason we come to thought work is because we don’t understand why we’re acting the way we are and the answer is our thoughts. But then we learn massive action and we sometimes slip back into relying on action to create our results for us and we forget that whole thinking part.
Trying to take massive action without doing the thought work part is the whole reason that I don’t tell people what to do or what action to take because if the thoughts aren’t aligned, then the action is pointless. Again, this isn’t mystical. It makes sense. If your thought is, “I don’t know how to get clients or selling is gross or I don’t know if I’m a good enough coach to help this person,” it’s unavoidably going to affect the way you show up on the call.
You’re going to be talking and interacting in a way that is totally created by those thoughts. And some of it may be obvious to you or to an expert who could watch you and analyze it, and some of it I think is so subtle that we don’t even catch it. But everything in the way we show up is created by our thinking and that coach that I mentioned, once she had a breakthrough in her thinking around selling, she started booking clients like nobody’s business because it wasn’t about the action. It was about the thinking that informed the action.
And I see this a lot in dating too and it’s something I’ve worked on in my own life. I mean, in consult calls as well. I’ve worked on this in my own life in a lot of places. I coach my clients who want to find a partner that they have to take massive action if it’s truly a priority. We don’t put up with that going on five dates a year and complaining that you can’t find anyone nonsense. That’s not how we roll in Unf*ck Your Brain.
So they have to approach it like a project and plan accordingly, but none of that works if they aren’t also working on their thoughts about dating. If you believe I’ll never find someone, or there’s something wrong with me, or I’m too old or too young, or too thin or too fat, or too smart or too dumb to find a partner, whatever your reason is, you can go on 100 dates and you won’t find a partner. You can go on a thousand dates and you won’t find a partner.
Of course, there will probably be people interested in you, for sure, just like there will be people who show up to a coaching consult call who actually were interested in coaching and maybe kind of wanted to sign up. But if you’re showing up in a way where you don’t believe you can have what you want and you don’t believe that you would be a good partner, just like you don’t believe you’d be a good coach, or you just don’t believe.
Some people think, “Well, I’m fine but there’s just no one who will pick me because of this thing,” if you show up that way, you will not be able to create the result you want because you won’t see the opportunities for connection. Whether that’s with a client or with a date. And you will show up in a way that blocks that connection from happening.
And the really insidious thing about the way our thoughts impact us, especially in the dating scenario I think is that if you don’t believe you can get a partner or a “good enough” partner, then even when someone likes you, you will find something wrong with them and not want them. You will automatically discount them.
So massive action on its own is not enough. You have to practice massive thinking as well. You have to be consistently evaluating your current thoughts and working on shifting them. And often in a big project like building a business or finding a partner, there will be stages. So you’ll come up with a thought to practice that’s a first step like, “I’m learning to get clients,” or, “It’s possible that I can find a partner.”
And that will help you but it won’t get you all the way there because your thought creates your result. Someone who has a thriving coaching business and more clients that she can serve isn’t thinking, “I’m learning to get clients.” And someone who’s in an amazing relationship isn’t thinking, “It’s possible I can find a partner.”
Those original thoughts that you practice to get the first step of the way are important, but you can plateau with them. And then you have to work on shifting them to the next level of possibility or abundance or certainty, or wherever you want to go next. So the thinking part is so important. And truthfully, if you have to pick one, massive thinking is probably more important than massive action because if your thinking is in the right place, your action follows pretty naturally.
For me, my belief about my work, about this work, this coaching work is I’m going to change the world with this work. And in fact, it should be I’m changing the world with this work. That’s my belief about my business and what I teach and my clients and my coaching. So of course I’m going to take massive action from that belief.
If you believe I’m changing the world, you don’t not do anything. You don’t just sit at home. If you believe my partner is out there waiting for me and I’m so excited to meet them, then of course you will naturally take action to put yourself out there and find them because you believe that they’re out there waiting for you to find them and so you’re excited to find them. You’re like, let me go on dates, let me talk to strangers. Who knows? They could be anywhere.
When the thinking is in the right place, the action flows. If you’re just trying to white-knuckle the action without working on the thinking, it won’t get you anywhere. What massive action really does as a tool is it just shortcuts some of the thought work around effort and failing. The reason that I teach massive action in addition to just working on your thoughts is that if you commit to massive action, which is doing whatever it takes to get a result, you’ve basically changed your thought from, “I’ll try and see what happens,” to, “I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.”
It’s really a tool that changes your thoughts, even though we call it action. It’s called massive action. It does involve a lot of action, but when it works, the reason it works is that your thought has changed from something like,
“I don’t want to fail so I won’t try,” or, “I’ll just try some and see what happens,” to, “I’m going to create this result no matter what and I’ll do and fail as much as it takes.”
The action always flows from the thought. Not the other way around. And the result you get always comes from your thought. Your thought is the blueprint. The action is just what builds what’s on the blueprint. So if you have a falling down hut covered in mud on a blueprint, that’s what your actions are going to create. If you have an amazing mansion on a blueprint, that’s what your actions are going to create.
And you can’t build anything without a blueprint. You have to know what your actions are going to create. Same with your mind. So, remember that if you’re working on massive action in an area of your life right now, your thought work has to be part of that. You have to practice massive thinking. Massive thinking is part of massive action and it’s the part that actually makes the whole thing work.
And if it’s simpler to think about it this way, you can just think that doing your thought work is part of your massive action plan. I just want to be sure you understand that it’s an important part. Just sitting around in your apartment thinking without taking action won’t get you where you want to go, but taking a lot of action without the thoughts in place won’t either. It’s not either or. It’s both.
So go forth. Massive think and massive action. I’ll talk to you next week.
Thanks for tuning in. If you want to start building your confidence right away, you can download a free confidence cheat sheet at www.karaloewentheil.com/podcastconfidence.