UFYB 100: THE INFINITE 1%
I’ve just returned from an amazing week of being around fellow coaches and I’m feeling so inspired and rejuvenated. To top that off, this week is the 100th episode of this podcast, so it’s time to celebrate. I’m diving into a brand-new concept that I’ve come up with and I’m really excited to share it all with you. It’s going to blow your mind.
1% feels tiny, doesn’t it? The same way you might think $10,000 is closer to zero than your goal of $100,000, or running one mile when training for a marathon is basically nothing. This might seem like basic math, but this math doesn’t apply here. This concept addresses the real hard work when it comes to doing anything, and why the infinite 1% is absolutely everything.
Join me this week to discover how this tool can shift your mindset completely. The difference between not doing anything and doing something 1% is huge so I hope you embrace it and start implementing this in your life because you will see some amazing transformations.
If you aren’t in The Clutch, I suggest you join us there! I teach you a simple five-minute self-coaching practice in there that will change your life. Clutch College is also coming up soon, where you’ll get the opportunity for in-person immersion in this kind of work with me, so what are you waiting for?
What You’ll Learn From this Episode:
- Why I love going to coaching retreats and events as a student.
- Why I think coaching is so powerful in person.
- What the concept of the infinite 1% is.
- The tragedy of being stuck in a perfectionist mindset.
- How doing a little bit of something, even if it feels pointless, is everything.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Full Episode Transcript:
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 feeling so inspired. I just got back from a trip to Texas for a mastermind with all the coaches who’ve graduated from the same coaching school where I got certified. It’s like a giant reunion every year.
And it’s also hilarious that I’m inspired because I gave a talk and my whole talk that I gave was about fuck inspiration, fall in love with application. Inspiration has its place. It’s just not everything. But it really truly was epic.
I always find that when I take myself out of my routine and I go to a different place and I surround myself with different people from my regular life who are all involved and invested in the same kind of work, it’s like my brain wakes all the way up and I start to have so much insight and see everything so differently.
It just really lights my soul up and it’s so energizing and exciting. It’s just transformative. And it isn’t just the insight. It’s the application. It’s not so much being inspired while I’m there but it’s just learning the practical things that I learned from what my teacher or other coaches teach, the conversations I have with my fellow coaches.
I come home with a whole list of different ways of thinking, thoughts I want to practice, techniques, things to implement in my work routine. This time I came home with a whole new kind of morning routine and different ways of up-leveling my coaching and different ways of using and thinking about the same tools that I’ve been using. It’s just so inspiring.
So inspiring and gives rise to so much application, which is really the important part. I think you know, when I used to work in offices, there were for sure annoyances, which were really just my thoughts. But there’s so much camaraderie and so many opportunities to get that kind of synergy for ideas and breakthroughs that can only happen in person, in conversation with other people.
One thing that’s funny about the way that I work being a coach is I’m my own best student, which means that I learn the most from observing myself and doing my own work, but I am also someone who learns best in conversation, talking my ideas out, hearing what other people think. Often, it’s just the talking part.
But sort of that interplay and exchange of ideas or hearing an idea someone else has and seeing how that illuminates an idea I have, that is so crucial to me. And when I became a coach, I realized that I really kind of missed having that kind of interaction and support. That kind of fun and intellectual development.
That’s one of the reasons that I try to attend as many coaching retreats and events as I can because I know that I always come away with a new perspective on my life and new tools to solve my problems and challenges. And I was having a conversation once with one of my more distant relatives. My immediate family gets this stuff.
But one of my more distant relatives, and they were like, I know a life coach and like, she’s just always going to events and coaching conferences and you know, you’d think that if she’s a coach, she should be able to do it on her own. And I was like, that’s exactly backwards. You would never say about, I don’t know, an accountant like, why do they need a company or to learn accounting? They should just be able to do it on their own.
Just working in a bubble, right? For me, this is my job but even if you’re just into personal development, you’re not a coach, it’s kind of bizarre that we would think that we should just be able to do this on our own. You didn’t put yourself through college on your own. I’m not talking about financially, but like, you went to a school where there were people to teach you and other students to talk to, right?
A lot of us work in companies where there are other people helping us come up with ideas and set goals and see if we achieve them and giving us support. It’s kind of – it’s such a weird perfectionist brain idea to think that because it’s our thoughts, we should just be able to do it all ourselves.
That kind of interaction and synergy and support is so crucial and that’s why for me, these kinds of gatherings are so important. And the next time I’m going to be coaching and teaching like I was this weekend is at Clutch College, which is happening in November, which I am super excited for.
And it’s really one of the reasons I created it is that I know how powerful it is when I go to one of these coaching or teaching retreats where I’m the student or a participant. And I know how much that changes how I approach my own work when I come home. I really want to create that for you guys.
I do not think people should have to be professional coaches to go to self-development events and workshops and to learn live and have that immersion experience. And I feel like this happens a lot in the life coaching industry actually is that people get really into this work and the self-development work and thought work, it really blows their minds. And they want to take the work deeper and then they’re like, I guess I have to get trained as a coach.
There aren’t really immersive teaching and learning opportunities available if you don’t want to become a coach. If you just are like, this is so great, it’s just like going to a yoga retreat, this is just something I want to do for me, and of course the way it benefits the rest of the world, but I want to have a time to really dig into this stuff and take it deeper, and I don’t want to be a life coach, I just want to do this for myself and for how it impacts my world and my family and how I can show up.
And like I said, there are yoga retreats, people go on golf trips, there are so many – for a lot of kind of non-work pursuits, there are these opportunities. Life coaching, it’s kind of like, okay I did a program so now I guess I have to get certified as a coach. I think that happens with yoga too. People get certified as yoga teachers who don’t want to be yoga teachers, which is totally fine.
So that’s one of the reasons that I created The Clutch is that I really wanted to create that kind of opportunity for in-person immersion self-development, learning, that kind of transformation without needing to go through a certification program if that’s not what you want to do.
So I’m super excited for Clutch College. I love coaching and teaching live. I actually think I’m at my best live and in person and I think that coaching is so powerful in person because we can really be present together and connect in this profound way. It’s kind of like just like there’s no way for your brain to distract itself in person.
It’s like as long as you put away your phone, you can’t help but be changed by the experience. So I’m super excited for that. And we do have a couple of spots left. So if you want to come and you have not signed up, the universe is giving you a second chance, trying to tell you something.
You can check it out at www.unfuckyourbrain.com/college. You do not already have to be in The Clutch to attend to sign up. You have to be in The Clutch to attend but we take care of enrolling you in The Clutch when you sign up to come so it’s all handled at once.
So that was my amazing week. Here we are today in the present and I’m super excited about this episode not just because I’m riding the mastermind high, but because this is my 100thUnf*ck Your Brain episode. It’s not my 100th podcast episode because I did six months of the podcast as the Lawyer Stress Solution.
And by the way, if you have not gone back and listened to those, you should. We have them titled in the same feed wherever you’re listening to this. You just scroll all the way back. They’re titled pre-UFYB. The examples are lawyer specific but the concepts are applicable to anyone, so don’t ignore those just because they say pre-UFYB. So much of what I teach in those is relevant to everybody.
But so this is not the 100th podcast episode but it is the 100th official Unf*ck Your Brain episode. And that is an accomplishment. I have recorded and released an episode of this podcast every week for 100 weeks. Talk about commitment. We’re just getting started.
So in honor of my 100th episode, I want to teach you a brand-new concept I’ve come up with, which I am obsessed with. I only like to teach you things I’m obsessed with. It’s a huge mental reframe that can create enormous results in your life if you implement it, and it’s called the infinite 1%.
So that sounds weird, right? 1% sounds tiny and infinite is infinite. They kind of seem like opposites, but it totally makes sense, I promise. When we think about doing big things in our lives, I think that we assume, certainly lizard brain assumes it’s going to be a lot of work.
And the way we think about it, we think we aren’t close to the goal until we’re close to the goal. So if we want to make $100,000 as a life coach, we think we aren’t close to making $100,000 until we hit like, $90,000. If we want to run a marathon, we think we aren’t close to the goal until we can run 20 miles, let’s say. Or even if we want to run a 5K, we think we aren’t close until we can run 4K.
If we’re getting a PhD, we think we aren’t close to the goal until we’ve almost finished our dissertation. If we want to learn to drink less or stick to a budget or stop biting our nails or any other habit, we think we aren’t close to the goal until the habit is almost gone.
We think that the first few steps barely count, that they’re just like, barely more than nothing. That they are so far away from the goal. We think $10,000 is closer to zero than it is to $100,000. We think running half a mile is closer to not running at all than it is to running a marathon. We think making a drink or meal plan and then only following it 20% of the time is closer to just not following it at all than to following it 100% of the time.
It seems like basic math. But this math is wrong. Because the difference between doing nothing and doing something is the biggest difference there is. From zero to one is exponential growth. From zero to one is the part most people never do. From zero to one is the hard part.
Once you’ve gotten from zero to one, it’s just rinse and repeat. Doing 100 podcast episodes in a row every single week for 100 weeks was not actually that hard. What was hard was getting over my own bullshit to do the first one. After that, it’s just rinse and repeat.
Making more than a million dollars a year, not actually that hard. The hard part was getting out of my own way to make that first $20,000 that first year. The last two thirds of a run, not hard. The hard part is getting myself out the door and moving for that first one third. That’s always the hardest part.
Remember that your brain loves to save energy and it’s scared of doing anything new. Newton’s first law of motion, thank you to my classic studies at Yale – I may be the only person who went through the directed studies program at Yale and is now a life coach. I wonder if that’s true.
Okay, still though, listen, classical learning is important. Even if I’m the only life coach who talks about Newton. So Newton’s first law of motion is that a body in motion will tend to stay in motion, and a body at rest will tend to stay at rest. What is hard is overcoming the inertia of zero to get to one. What is hard is to be in a state of not being in motion, a state of rest, and go into being in motion. That’s where you need effort.
When you want to take a new action, you have to get over the inertia of not being in motion to get in motion. But after you’ve done it once and you know how, it’s just rinse and repeat. What’s hard is going from being in motion to being at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. When you want to stop taking a certain action you have, like you have a habit you’re trying to change, the inertia is actually to just keep repeating it.
Just keep taking the same motion, keep doing the same thing. And the effort is that you have to get over the inertia of just repeating the habit, the same way you always do to change it, to be at rest. But after you’ve allowed an urge without acting on it once or twice, just rinse and repeat.
The big difference in the world isn’t between people who have done a little versus people who have done a lot. It’s between people who do nothing and people who do something. And this is the tragedy of perfectionism because perfectionism keeps us thinking that doing a little is pointless. But doing a little is everything.
If you spend five minutes doing thought work every day, after a year, you will have spent 30 whole hours working on your brain. Now, 30 doesn’t sound like a big number but really think about 30 whole hours. That’s almost a whole work week of nothing but working on your thoughts. All day at work.
If you don’t spend those five minutes because it’s too little and it doesn’t count, a year later, you will have the exact same thoughts and results you do now. You will have gotten nowhere. A body at rest stays at rest. A mind in chaos stays in chaos. Unless you use your energy to overcome that little bit of inertia, that first 1%.
The exponential difference is not between you who are spending five minutes a day on thought work and someone who’s spending an hour a day on it. You are actually very close together next to each other. The exponential difference is between both of you and someone who doesn’t do thought work at all.
On the spectrum of change, if you want to think about it visually, the person spending five minutes and the person spending an hour are so close together you can barely see between them. It’s like if you think about those timelines of like, the development of the Earth, and it’s so long and then when human history started and where we are now are very close together because it’s like, billions and trillions of years.
And then it’s like, a few thousand years of recorded history and then infinity out in front of us. That’s what it’s like. On the spectrum of change, the person spending five minutes a day doing thought work and the person spending an hour a day doing thought work, so close together, you can barely see the space between them.
But the space between them and someone spending no time on thought work or whatever habit or goal you want to plug into this, I’m just using thought work, the space between the person doing nothing and the person spending five minutes and an hour, five minutes and an hour are so close to each other. The space between them and the person doing nothing is all the space in the world.
When you’re despairing about how what you can do is not enough, you know what you aren’t doing? You’re not actually doing it. You just sit around thinking about how it’s not enough and so you do nothing. But if you believed the biggest difference in life was between those who do nothing and those who do a little, then you’d have no excuse not to try because you would understand the infinite 1%.
That even doing something 1%, the difference between nothing and 1%, the difference between one minute or one hour, however you want to think about that time or effort, the difference between nothing and 1% is infinite. So you’d have no excuse not to try doing at least 1%. and that would change everything for you.
So if you aren’t in The Clutch, I suggest you join so I can teach you how to do this five-minute a day self-coaching practice that will change your life. But either way, pick something. Pick anything in your life and do it 1%. Embrace the infinite 1%. Have a beautiful week, my chickens. I will talk to you next week.
If you’re loving what you’re learning in the podcast, you have got to come check out The Clutch. The Clutch is the podcast community for all things Unf*ck Your Brain. It’s where you can get individual help applying the concepts to your own life.
It’s where you can learn new coaching tools not shared on the podcast that will blow your mind even more, and it’s where you can hang out and connect over all things thought work with other podcast chickens just like you and me. It’s my favorite place on earth and it will change your life, I guarantee it. Come join us at www.unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. It’s unfuckyourbrain.com/theclutch. I can’t wait to see you there.
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