Mel Robbins ON: If You STRUGGLE With Stress & Anxiety, This Will CHANGE Your Life! | Jay Shetty | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Mel Robbins ON: If You STRUGGLE With Stress & Anxiety, This Will CHANGE Your Life! | Jay Shetty".
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The purpose of going for a hike, ironically, is not to get to the top. It's to be on the trail. If you focus on the frickin trail, whatever step you're on, and you keep reminding yourself, this is gonna lead me somewhere. That is where the meaning comes in your life because you're best-selling author and host. The number one health and wellness podcast. On purpose with Jay Shetty. Hey everyone, welcome back to On Purpose, the number one health podcast in the world. Thanks to each and every one of you that come back every week to listen, learn, and grow. Now today's guest is someone who's been on once before, and when she came on last time, you exploded. The community was showing the love, feeling the love, and the feedback and response was incredible that I've been wanting her to come back on. And we were waiting to announce she's got a brand new podcast out herself. So if you don't already listen to her show, I'll announce it in a second, please go and subscribe. It's already crushing it. It's gonna be absolutely huge. And I know you're gonna love it. I'm speaking about the one and only Mel Robbins, who became one of the most trusted experts in the world on confidence and motivation the hard way. By first screwing up her own life as one of the most widely booked and followed podcast host and authors in the world, Mel is sought after by the world's leading brands and medical professionals for her research back tools and motivation. At the same time, Mel is a masked millions of followers online with her advice going viral every day pretty much. Mel is a New York Times best-selling author and self-publishing phenom, and her work includes the high five habit, the five second rule, and the number one ranking, the Mel Robbins podcast. That's the one that you have to subscribe to. Mel's female led media company produces provocative, life-changing content with millions of books sold, billions of video views, six number one audiobooks, and one of the most viewed TEDx talks in the world. Mel's work has been translated into 41 languages and has changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. And on top of all of this, Mel is one of my dearest friends. We bumped into each other last week in Montreal where we were both giving keynotes. It was around 10 p.m. And I get this text saying, "I heard you were in Montreal." I said, "I still am." And we hung out for like a couple of hours at the end of the day. I love this human. I believe in everything she says and does. She lives it all. She is the same off-screen as she is on screen. Please welcome to the show my dear friend, an incredible thinker, Mel Robbins. Oh my God. Can I just hug you? Yeah, of course you can. I love you. Oh my God. Let me do it. Oh my gosh, I just love you, James. Love you too. I just, you know, we've- I think we've, you know, whenever we've connected, the first time we met, I was thinking about that last week in Montreal. The first time we met, we were also both speaking. And we spent an evening together then and just hit it off. And I appreciate it. That was like four years ago now. Yeah. You know, I think we've all had this experience where you've been at a bar, or you've been at a big party and you look across a room and your eyes meet somebody. And it's like, immediate, like, uh, tractor beam, electric pole. I felt that way about you for a long time just by watching what you're putting out on social media. And so I had had a brain and soul crush on you for a long time. And so when we met, it was like, oh my God. So, and you know what else I love is that I love like I get both you and your amazing wife. I love that you are decades younger than me and very creative. And here's what else I love about you. I consider you not only a very dear friend, but my own personal monk. There you have it. I love it. I love it. Just put me in your pocket. Right there. Right there. But Mel, I'm so excited to talk to you today. Literally the last time you came on, it was unbelievable. And I've genuinely been wanting wanting to have you back on like as much as you want to come back. But I know there's a few things we want to talk about today. And I wanted to start off with this idea that you've always talked about how you learned about things the hard way. There were always challenges. And even now when we talk offline, we shared that even last week, we were talking about challenges we were both going through in building this opportunity to serve others. And I wanted to ask you like, what do you think is the hardest thing you're working on right now? Like what's the most challenging thing you're working on internally or externally? Could be creatively. It could be habit wise.
Understanding And Overcoming Negativity
Why am I holding on to the things that are making me unhappy? (04:41)
What is something that you're struggling with or grappling with that you're working through? Happiness. Wow. Okay. Yeah. Happiness. It's interesting. I was getting ready to come over here this morning. And so my daughter goes to school here at the Thornton School for Music. She's a senior and she spent the night with me last night. I'm going to tell you the story because it's relevant about both learning things the hard way and about happiness. So she slept in my bed with me last night and it was so awesome. And I just love her and she's 22 and she's about to like burst into the next chapter of her life. It is so exciting and I miss her terribly, terribly. And I'm going to get like totally choked up when I think about it because I live on the other side of the country. And I think one of the hardest things that you have to do in life if you really love somebody is to encourage them to leave, to encourage them to grow. And I can't believe how choked up I'm getting about this because I mean this just happened this morning and I was laying in bed and she sounded asleep, you know, like sprawled out like this 22 year old sleek and sweating and just like this. And I thought, oh, I want to take a picture of this moment. And then I thought, no, she's going to kill me because she looks terrible. And you know how that rolls when you're 20 years old. And so I close my eyes to just capture the memory. And I thought, why is it that I am always gripping onto the thing that makes me unhappy? What is it about this campaign? I call it the campaign of misery. Like instead of focusing on the fact that here I am, first of all, lucky enough to be in Los Angeles to be able to have the means to go see her for Parents Weekend, that I have a relationship with her where she would want to come and just snuggle up and spend the night that she is pursuing her passion and dream of being a singer-songwriter, that she is just killing it. She's happy. Why am I always defaulting to the loss? And so when I say that I'm working on happiness, what I've realized about myself, Jay, is that I have done a lot of things in life, but I've spent the vast majority of my life being so busy and keeping myself so busy as a means to outrun, I think, a deep-seated unhappiness. And that when the pandemic hit and I had to slow down and I had to truly say to myself, okay, you can't go anywhere. You cannot regulate your anxiety by running to target. You can't catch a plane. You can't-- like it's you and you're like you and yourself right now, Mel, and all the coping mechanisms that you used to have that distracted you from the fact that you're just not that happy. They're not there anymore. Unless I want to drink myself into the ground, which I don't, and numb it, or hit the vape pen or take a gut like-- unless I want to numb it, I got to deal with it. And so I've spent the last two years and I continue to focus right now on the number one goal that I have, which is to learn how to be happy and content wherever I am. And so this morning is the perfect example of catching this profound sadness, which is part of the human experience. Deeply missing somebody is also about loving them, right? And noticing that I was going into the negative. And part of being content and being happy wherever I am is not trying to fix things. It's being okay with things. It's allowing the emotion to rise up. And then noticing that there's a different way to feel. And so in that moment, I just am doing what I'm doing a lot of, which is just breathing through those deep moments where I'm like, "Why am I complaining about this? It's so stupid. Why am I obsessing about this thing tomorrow?" And I'm not even here right now. And reframing things in a more positive way. And this might surprise people because I am a very positive person. I am a very optimistic person. But when I really slow down, my mind runs a million miles an hour and normally it's 15 steps ahead, which means I'm never content where I am. And so I've been doing a ton of work like in my nervous system, in my body, instead of going right up here and trying to wrestle with my thoughts, I've been going down into here to just anchor in my body and slow things down and be physically where I am, where my feet are. And so then there was a second thing that happened. So again, I'm working on happiness. That's the thing I'm really working on. It's like a muscle, right? I'm in the bathroom and I am terrible at doing my hair. I know it looks really decent today, but normally I look like a frickin' labradoodle on a human day. Like that's just me. I just have never figured out the hair situation. And so I finally said, "That's it. I have got to figure out how to make my hair look halfway okay." Like I'm not even looking for amazing. I'm just looking for okay. And so I was watching YouTube. I'm learning the tutorials. I've got the right sprays. And so Kendall comes rolling in after she wakes up and I am sitting there trying to curl my hair, right, with this big fat curl and I'm terrible at it, Jay. And all of a sudden I hit my frickin' ear and I'm like, "Oh!" and I'm like, "Oh my God, I've just burned my ear." And Kendall casually goes, "Well, you got to learn somehow." And she walks out of the room. I think there is so much wisdom in that because that is how you learn. That is how you learn how close to hold a curling iron to your ear. You burn yourself. And then your whole body absorbs the lesson and you don't go that close to the fire next time. And I'm doing that dance with happiness and contentment. That when I feel the fire of discontent or friction or complaining or looking for what's wrong, I pull the curling iron a little away from the ear. And I go back into a safer, calmer place. That was a beautiful answer. I didn't know what to expect when I asked that question. I really appreciate you. You know, going that inward with it because you could have gone a number of ways. I fully understand and empathize what you're saying because my mom and my family do something similar. And I love my mom. I have a great relation with my mom. She's amazing. And anything that's good about me is because of her. But every time I go back to London, the day I land, my family will say, "Well, you only hear for 21 days." I'm like, 21 days. Like that's three weeks. Even if you add it up all the hours weekly that you spend time with someone, it probably won't account for 21 full days with full presence. And then a week we'll go and be like, "Oh, you've only got 14 days left. Oh, you've only got seven days left. Oh, you're leaving today." And that mindset just keeps forcing you to think that day 21 is day one. As in that day 21 days left is the same as one day left. And you're living all 21 days as there's only one day left. And I've taken time and I've sat with my mom so many times to have that conversation with her. And I said, "Mom, if you celebrate that we have 21 days, we're going to make the most of it and we're going to create new memories and create new experiences, then you're going to be happier for these 21 days." And yes, you're going to miss me the same. It's not going to change that. And I'm going to miss you. So I have personal experience of that on the other end of it with having that conversation with my mom where she's really grown in understanding how that thought hasn't served her. Right. And she's so much happier for it now when I go back. Yeah. So I definitely identify with that. What you touched on at the end there though was really interesting to me. When you talk about happiness, it sounds like you believe you deserve it and you sound like you believe it's yours for the taking. Like it's like it is a clear goal direction. It's there. Yeah. And I think what's happened is subconsciously or consciously, so many of us don't feel we deserve happiness or we don't feel we're worthy of happiness. Or we actually think mediocrity is a safer place to live because then we don't have our expectations being unmet. We don't have the fall of I wanted this, but I got this. Right. And so I've been, I had a friend the other day who sent me a message and he said, take a look at this. And it was all about how really we shouldn't strive for happiness. We should strive for mediocrity because mediocrity is where most people will end up.
The constant drumbeat of negativity (13:58)
So that's literally this is the message. So my friend messaged me and he goes, what do you think of this? I think it sucks. That's right. All right. So I think it's the worst advice I've ever freaking heard. How about that? It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Here's the thing. Jay. So one of the things I also wanted to say is that I'm 54 and it's taken me a long time to figure out that I was actually not a happy person. And I don't think I really, truly understood what happiness is. And maybe I'm using the wrong word. Maybe the word is the problem. Because I always associated happiness with parties and laughter. And I'm just full of joy. And it's like this very positive thing. And again, I am a positive person. I'm a very optimistic person. But if you were to put a speaker on my head and broadcast the things I said to myself, you would literally check me into the seventh floor at Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts because it was a constant drumbeat of negativity. And as I, one by one by one, Jay, started to fix the problems in my marriage and my finances, with my anxiety, as I built a business, a lot of people are surprised to learn that most of what you see that I've built has been built in the last six years, literally. And so I, as I started fixing things outside, that default drumbeat did not go away. It just was a situation where I no longer had anything outside of me that was rationally wrong. So I turned it back on me and just started hammering me in crazy ways. I'll give you an example. So this is where I started to have this breakthrough. So I was sitting, my husband and I have just bought a house in Vermont. And I know you guys, you know, are in your new home. It's an incredible thing to do. It is our dream house. It's the house that his parents built. It's the family house. We not only were able to purchase this thing, we've been able to completely renovate it, make it our own. This place is the closest place to God that I have ever been. We sit nestled between mountains with 140 mile view, straight down a valley with cascading, like it is just spectacular. When I would sit in therapy sessions eight years ago and my therapist would ask me to come up with like a, you know, like a totem or a spiritual guide or vision, whatever for truth or God or whatever, it's always this view. And so lo and behold, eight years later, we freaking live there. And I'm sitting on this covered deck looking down the valley. My daughter is sitting next to me. Our other daughter who lives in Boston, who's 23 and it's Sunday. And normally on Sundays, I'm not even present on Sundays because I'm now got the Sunday scaries. I'm now thinking about the week ahead. She is starting to now do that. Okay, I got to get going. I got to pack the car. I got to go on. I got a big week of work this week. And it's 7.30 in the morning on a spectacular day. And the energy is starting and I recognize the energy because that is the campaign of misery that I have lived with for 50 years. And I'm sitting there and I'm thinking, oh, this is interesting. That's me. And then I stopped in that moment, Jay, and I thought, I don't feel that right now. I just feel that exactly where I am looking at this view. It's exactly where I'm supposed to be. And it was so profound. It's almost like that moment where Eckhart Tolle has on the bench in the beginning of the power of now, where I have this profound experience where I think, wait a minute, is this what happiness is? That I'm not 15 steps ahead. I'm just able to be right here without the anxiety, without the stress. That is like a revolutionary experience for me. I don't think I had ever not felt the default of a revved up nervous system, an anxious mind, or a to-do list that was a mile long. And I don't want to go back to that sort of frenetic busyness that creates chronic stress. And the challenge for me right now is how do I stay in a space that's happy? Because I love the game of building a business. I love pushing myself. I love, and I realized, oh, wait, you actually need both. You need deep spiritual quiet time, and you need the busyness of Los Angeles or Boston or New York in small sprints. But that can't be your default anymore, woman. And that's a great realization and reflection. I think when you come to that, and it takes a lot of self-acceptance to come to that, because I think we think of life as binary. Like you have to make a choice. You're either going to be a hustler, or you're going to be peaceful. You're either going to be a winner, or you're going to be a loser. You're either going to be wisdom and Zen, or you're going to be money and materialistic, right? And it's almost like you feel you have to make those choices early in life. And I think when you came in here, we were talking about something, and I really, really think it's something that a lot of our listeners will resonate with. The idea that so many of us experience pain of not going after what we want, or what we need, or what we feel is our calling because of the pain that comes with that. And so we settle for the pain of where we are. And I think those two ideas are related because again, we think there's this choice you have to make at any point in time where it's like, I'm either going to live the life of my dreams, or I'm going to be stuck forever. And then we're like, okay, well, I'll be stuck forever because my dream seems so far away. I remember being there, and it's always hard to help everyone who's listening, realize how much I felt that way. So how old were you? This was six years ago for me. Yeah, oh my God, that's right. You were like this crazy parallel path. Yeah, six years ago. So six years ago, I was working a safe corporate job. Six months from now, I was about to be married to Radi. And I was making 31,500 pounds a year, and that was my salary at this company. And I was doing extremely well at the company, so I had a good tractor to progress there. And I'm sitting there going, I've been there for two years, and I'm like, I don't think this is where I'm meant to be. I was looking at people who'd been at the company for decades. So I've always said to people, look 10, 20 years ahead of you, and look at that person in the company and go, is that where I want to be? And I was like, well, even if they paid me as much as that person's paid, even if I got all the benefits that person got, I don't think I want to do that in my 50s. And so I thought to myself, okay, well, then I have to take a risk. And obviously that was like a two year journey of even convincing myself. Let's talk about that. If someone's sitting there right now passionate about something, wanting to get inspired, wanting to do something, but they're settling for the pain of where they are. And that's why I asked that mediocrity and happiness question.
Engaging in your own campaign of misery (21:56)
Yeah, it is really that dance between, I'm going to settle for where I'm at, or I'm going to be where I want to be. How do you think about that journey? How do you start? You know, it just popped into my mind. Yeah. And we're going cancer. If you got diagnosed with a cancer that was treatable, would you try to treat your cancer? Yes. Of course you would, because otherwise it would kill you. When you feel this call or this burning desire, and I feel like we all have this flame inside of us, we are not like a boiler where the pilot light can blow out. That is not how a human being is wired. You, whether you're stuck, whether you're in pain, whether you're suffering, you still have this flame inside you that is burning. And when you actively engage in your own campaign of misery, and you actively tell yourself the reasons why it's not going to work, or the reasons why you can't do it, or the reasons why now is not the time, or you're never going to make it happen, or it was great for Jay, or great for Mel, that nothing ever works out for. When you engage in your own campaign of misery, you are creating literally a cancer inside of you that eats at you. And we don't realize that by engaging in this campaign of misery, because it's active, that flame is burning inside you, and you are actively convincing yourself not to do anything. It is an active engagement. That's why I call it a campaign, because that flame is going to keep on burning, which is why the campaign has to get louder, and the excuses have to get louder. And you know what starts to happen? Is you start to listen to that campaign, and you start to feel pain, because there's something burning inside of you, and the only cure for this is to stop listening to that campaign, and simply start taking small steps, just one every day toward the thing that you want. I talk to my daughter about this all the time, so she dreams, absolutely dreams, of being a singer-songwriter, solo artist with a successful career, literally stadium tours. And if I'm being perfectly honest, this kid has all of the talent, and all of the, like she's one of those five-tool players, and she is a great person, kind and just awesome. And she's even in a program for it, the best in the country. She has everything. She just has to do the work. What is the work? Well, the work is simply writing crappy songs every day. The work is not listening to the campaign of misery, because all around you, you're going to see evidence of this person's better, or that person this, or this one's adored. Uh-uh. When you listen to that campaign in your head, it is like a cancer inside. It causes pain, because you can feel when you are giving up on your own potential, and that is the worst kind of life to live. And we're all, I remember, I was the president of that campaign in my own life. Like, you know, I was like, and I want people to understand this, is that everyone you think is doing something good with their life. At one point, they were the presidents of this campaign of misery in their own life. I remember saying, well, that never is going to happen for me. Those things only happen to those people. I remember also watching things. And this was the key one that I realized had to go. Me and my friends, and my dream when I was young, was to be a spoken word rap artist. Like, that was my goal. Like, I've always loved words. I've always loved having a large vocabulary. I've always loved bending words and making them rhyme. And I think that's why I love words today, and what we do so much is that. And we would sit there, and we would watch rappers or artists that were up and coming. And we would critique them, and we would almost talk badly about them. We would criticize them, and we'd talk about how rubbish they were, and how untalented they were, and if we had those opportunities, how good we'd be. And I realized that today's culture is propagating that even more, because now we're just scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, and you'll see someone who's doing what you want to do, and you may think you can do it better. But instead of doing it, we're spending our time watching someone else doing it, and going, well, that sucks, that's rubbish. I actually have friends who message me stuff like that sometimes, and they'll be like, look, I've been wanting to make videos for a while, and they'll send me someone who's made a bad video in their opinion. And I said, you know what's really interesting? When you're on social media, you look at everyone who's doing worse than you. I said, when I'm on social media, I look at everyone who's doing better than me, and learn. Right? It's like, there's those two mindsets. You're either criticizing someone, or you're creating and learning and growing. And so, I just feel what you're saying is so true, and I think I spent so much time thinking I had something, but then not doing anything with it. Yeah, yeah. So, a couple things. I want to give everybody a visual, because I find J's into words, I got to have a picture. Like, my mind is not the words, mind. You're either in the stands commenting about the game, or you're on the court plane. And right now, I want you to think about that flame inside you, that dream that you have. And I'm going to go back to my daughter, who is on the court. But she will be the first to say that for many years, she was engaged in her own campaign of misery, sitting in the stance, telling herself why she can't get on the court right now. And so, I like that visual, because at any moment, I love that visual. It literally cuts right to the truth. Are you in the stands criticizing the people who are playing the game, or being jealous of them, or in the stands telling yourself, it's not time to jump in. Or are you on the fricking court? There's only two places to be in life. That's it. There is no middle ground here. And so, what I want to say also is that being in the stands, it is loud, it is an active thing that you're doing. This is not a passive thing that we do to ourselves. We actively argue against our dream and our potential. And that is a thousand percent tied to your happiness, to your confidence, because if you are arguing against your own God-given potential, you are actively destroying your confidence, you are actively destroying possibility in your life. And here's the thing, you freaking know it. People know when they have imposter syndrome. They know it. They talk about it openly. And I also hate the term "fake it till you make it." And here's why. When you say, "I'm just going to fake it till you make it," you are calling yourself a fake. It amplifies yourself doubt. Instead, say this, "I'm going to get on the court and try until I make it." Because the pain of sitting in the stands and never getting down there is way greater than tripping on the court. Way greater. You're causing your... And this is the thing I want people to understand. You are causing yourself so much pain by laughing off and making jokes about how it's never going to happen. You are causing yourself so much pain by thinking about it. Get out of the freaking stands and get back on the court in your life. I did this to myself for years about the podcast. I'll tell you some insane stories. So here I am crazy successful in the audiobook world. The most successful self-published audiobook in the history of audiobooks is the five-second rule. That leads to a seven-book audible original deals with audible because of the success of that. And I kept telling myself, Jay, I'd look at you and I'd look at a ton of our other friends who have these amazing podcasts, you, Rich Roll, just everybody. And I'd be like, I missed the vote. I'm too late. There's two million podcasts out there now. I can't do this. I don't have anything different to say than Jay. Jay's already got it covered. Like, why would I jump in there now? And then I would like... In the stands for six years. And you know what else I would tell myself? Well, you're just successful because audible is your partner. And if you were to try this, you're going to fall flat on your face. And you don't have time. And here's another thing that I tell myself, well, who on earth is going to come to Boston to sit in a studio with you, Mel? Everybody's remote now. Boston is not a media place. Nobody travels there. Like, just in the freaking stands telling myself, no, no, no. Now, here's the thing about campaigns of misery. It does not actually mute the heartache and the pullet you have because your dreams actually can't leave you. They're meant for you. And so all that campaigning or the drinking or the numbing out or the avoiding the thing that is inside you, it doesn't make the dream go away. It just creates more pain. And so finally, you know, it was two years ago that I'm like, I have to like take my own advice. And I got to make some major changes because I knew when I was going to step into the podcast base that I was going to make it the only thing that I was doing, that I needed to complete all the speaking engagements that I had. I needed to create different boundaries around. Like, I had to get serious about taking the steps and getting on that court. And that's what I've been doing for the last two years. And a lot of people don't know that I actually got my start in 2007 hosting a local radio show. And I have wanted to get back to radio for almost 12 years because I love the intimacy of it. And so, and I can't like, you know this. You can't share your life in real time in an audiobook. No, I definitely don't. You can't do it in a 60 second reel. But I too sat there in the stands actively engaged in my campaign of misery. Here's another area of my life where I engaged in campaign of misery. Loneliness. I have been profoundly lonely for a while now. And by lonely, I don't mean alone because there's people around me. But I have, and I think a lot of people feel this way. And I know a lot of women do particularly when your kids get older and the social, you know like things change. And I think a lot of us are struggling with adult friendship. And especially coming out of quarantine. People are now kind of, I don't want to leave my house. Not because of anything going on, but because I like being home. And so, I started to get serious about the fact that I was really in the stands in my life complaining to myself that I didn't see my friends, that I don't have friends, that I'm really lonely, but I wasn't on the court. What are you going to do about it? Because it's easy to actually start making friends. If you send texts, separate people, and you make plans. Oh, Jason Montreal, why don't I text them? Oh, he's in the same hotel? Why don't I go up seven floors and go see him? Because my monk is in the penthouse, you know what I'm saying? I love what you're saying, I can resonate with it so much. And there's a journey from as we're talking. Where is your campaign of Esri right now? Oh, that's a great question. Where is my current campaign? Where are you in the stands in your life, Jay? Mine is actually, I grew up loving, I went to public speaking in drama school. And public speaking became a huge part of my life, and drama stopped. And drama is something I'd love to get back into. Really? Yeah, I'd loved acting growing up. I love the idea of getting into someone else's emotions. And I love the idea of learning about new characters and understanding. And I keep wanting to do it. And two years ago, three years ago, when the Bad Boys movie came out, I was asked by Sony to be in their theatrical trailer for TV. And so I played the role of a therapist with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. And I had so much, it was so uncomfortable, because I hadn't done it for so long. I went to drama school for seven years. It was so uncomfortable doing it. And I got to acting coach that week. And I practiced and I learned all my lines. And then I got there on the day and they gave me a new script. They said, "Oh my gosh." "Change." And I'm going, "Guys, I had five days." I knew about this five days ago. I had an acting coach every day for two hours a day. And they gave me a new script. Then they come in 10 minutes before, "I've been waiting around for two hours learning this new script." We get there and they say, "Oh, by the way, Will and Martin have scrapped this script. There's no more script. They're just going to freestyle." And you're going to have to freestyle. I'm like, "You want me to freestyle with two of the greatest to ever do it." And I'm not a comedian. Now, were you friends with Will at this point? Not in the way we are today. Okay. Because I think people might be like, "Yeah, but you guys are friends." No, no, no, no. But this is not a friend of mine. Yeah. We were acquaintances, but not in the relationship we had today. That's important. Yeah. And I didn't know Martin at all. I'd never met him in my life. And so I am fully feeling imposter syndrome. I'm fully in my discomfort zone. I'm and I had the most fun. You're on the court. Yeah. I was on the court and I had fun. But then since that day, I retreated. And so that's been, if I'm completely honest, that's where my heart is. I love the idea of getting to be. I've always loved biographies. And I've always loved autobiographies. I've always loved true stories. And so if I had the opportunity to learn or play or be in a true story, that would fill my heart with a lot of joy. Is there somebody that you would dream of playing? No, no, no. I don't have that. That answer, I don't have clear. But yeah, that would be my honest answer to that question of, that's something I'm in the stands on. There's so many excuses. I'm like, well, Jay, if you did that, then it discredits all the work you've done up to now. Well, Jay, if you did that, and it doesn't work out, then what about the people that you coach in that industry? Like if you did it and you did it really well, then people will call you a sellout because you chose to do something completely different. And it's not saying I want to do that and stop doing what I do today. It's just that there's a part of that expression that I'm so creatively inspired by that I'd like to try. Yeah. And again, it's try, right? Yeah. And I wanted to get... So that's what I want to talk to you about. It's what was the heart of my question before. I'm so glad you asked me that. Thank you. I've never publicly talked about that. Never shared that really with anyone beyond my wife. Is what is the difference? Because I think this is where it goes wrong. I meet a lot of people who talk to me about their dreams. And even minding, I want to clarify mine in a second, the one I just shared with you. What is the difference between a dream and delusion? And I'm going to share my initial thoughts before I hear yours. When I say I would like to do more drama or acting or experiment with that phase of my life, my dream is not at this point in time to win an Oscar.
Difference between dream and delusion (36:50)
My dream is to try to creatively express myself and see whether this vehicle is a form that brings me joy, happiness, and meaning in my life. Yeah. That to me is not delusional because it is giving myself the opportunity to put my using visuals, like put my... What are they called? Stabilizes onto my bike and see if this is real. Right. I often find people whose first dream is I want to build a billion dollar company and they've never built a business at all or have business experience. Or I hear I want this to be the number one thing in the world. And while those are nice aspirations, I'm not sure that... I actually think... And this is just my personal take. I never had those when I started. And I feel that sometimes without the skills, without doing the learning, without doing the experimenting, those things can actually stop you from doing it because it's so hard. It's so far away and there's such a big way to fall. So I want to understand how do you decipher between dream and delusion? When you talk about delusion, what I hear is like arrogance and conceitedness. And let me explain the difference here. Because I think confidence is this willingness to try and this belief in yourself and what you're trying to do. I think arrogance and conceitedness is thinking you're better than everybody else. Yeah. And so when you frame the delusion as this grandiose thing, it feels like it's coming from insecurity. Right. It feels like it's coming from wanting to be better than versus coming from a place where you're willing to take the risks and try and get on the court of life in a way that's aligned with this thing inside you. And so that's what I process in my own brain when you ask me the question, what's the difference between dreams and delusions. Yeah. Now, if you have a true dream, is it ever delusional? And my answer to that is never. And here's why. I believe that dreams are not meant to be achieved. I believe that your dreams are a directional signal. That the dream is out there in a different chapter of your life, calling you from this moment toward that direction. And that the reason why you still have this burning flame inside you that relates all the way back to something that you did when you were younger, that you frickin' loved, is because when you walk toward acting and what that requires of you to get on the court and walk toward that dream, and look, the dream could be an Oscar. The dream could be something like that's an award. It doesn't matter. It's in the lane of acting. What I believe about dreams is that the dreams are deeply personal. They are connected to that flame inside you. You are hardwired with them when you were born. It is absolutely part of why you're curious about things, why you're interested in things. Naturally, this is part of your natural intelligence. And that when you get on the court and you start walking toward them, that is what's supposed to happen because if you allow yourself to take on some roles in acting, it's going to make something come alive inside of you. That's the purpose of your dreams. It's to make that flame burn brighter inside of you. It's about you awakening something and your dreams are the directional signal that are trying to point you in what way to move forward. Going back to my daughter, will she ever have a stadium tour? I don't freaking know. She might, she might. That's not the point. The point is to have something come alive inside herself by getting on the court of her life and writing music and putting it out there. Yeah. Whatever happens, happens. The reason why I wanted to launch the Mel Robbins podcast is not so that it could become the number one podcast in the world. Of course, I have those goals. Of course, I want to be the number one female podcast host in the world. Of course, that's what I want. But the reason why I am pursuing this is because I wanted to connect with people at a deeper level. I knew that I would come creatively alive. I knew that I wanted to build an ongoing conversation that was deeper. And I also knew I wanted to learn more because when you're constantly putting out content or you're standing on stages or you're writing books, it's kind of a one-way conversation. And so part of my solve for loneliness was to stop griping about it to myself and to go, well, what would actually make me feel more connected? What would be of more service to people? What would create a deeper impact? That's why I'm doing this thing. Yeah. That's what I'm getting at. The clarity and the reason why I really want to get this really clear for people is that I had a friend last night I was talking to and they want to start a podcast. And it was the most beautiful intention. Right? Everyone wants to start a podcast today. Everyone wants to start anything today. They should. It's very nice. And they should. But what I've learned is that anything I've started intentionally has not only more likely brought out the consistency and creativity for me. It's not only been successful. It's also made me happy. And so what I'm trying to get to is how do you plant a seed that goes all the way from not only growing consistently to giving you joy as it grows, to then giving you that flour, to then giving you that fruit, to then giving you the seed to do more, rather than like I got the flour, we then cut it, it then broke. And so when I look at it, I go, I think a lot of people are so obsessed with the result that all they get might be the result. And then you have nothing else. And then that result feels dissatisfying. It's like when we had Gwyneth Paltter on the podcast, she talked about how like winning an Oscar in her teens like removed all aspiration because she goes, well, what do you do next? Right? Like when you've done that, you've done the epitome, the peak of that career in your teens. And now it's like, well, what do you do next? And it's like, well, when it was always, when it was, if it was only about the result, not speaking about her, but if it was only about the result, then you stop. And so I just want to clarify that what you just said is you started it, not to be number one. You started it because of the impact you wanted to make, the stories you wanted to totally, the connection with your audience. And I think if people leaned more into that, to me, that's the real dream. Yeah. And you know, it's interesting. I keep bringing up my daughter because she's an artist. And when she leans into the fact that she's not trying to impress her friends and in her pop music program, she's not trying to impress anybody. She wants to tell stories with her music that inspire people. And when you really get into the reason why you're doing something. So I'm going to give everybody another visual because there are two visuals that I think about a lot in life. For me, one of the most powerful things that I use to coach myself is that when I'm in the middle of something, I always remind myself, I'm on the bridge. So in launching this podcast, something I've been thinking about for more than eight years, something I've talked to myself out of for a long time, something that I finally stepped on the court and started working for about two years ago. And now we're here. I know that this is literally step one on a long suspension bridge that is leading me somewhere. And when you remind yourself that you're just on the bridge, you stop focusing on how long is it going to take and what's it going to feel like and I'm not there yet. You are on the bridge and you are going to be on the bridge until you get to this other side. And then guess what happens when you get to the other side? There's another freaking bridge. Every single episode is like its own bridge. The other visual that I use a lot is a trail leading up a mountain. Because the research is so conclusive and Jay and I can try to beat it into your head that meaning comes from working on something. I'm going to say it again. Meaning comes from working on something with intention that has importance to you. It's that simple. You can create meaning in your life by planting a garden if it's important to you. And for me, I think a lot about the act of going for a hike. The purpose of going for a hike ironically is not to get to the top. It's to be on the trail. And if you constantly stare at the top, you're going to be out of breath. You're going to tell yourself you have so much longer way out of the way we're going to get there. And you're going to miss the entire point of your freaking life, which is the ride, the trail, the bridge, the mile markers, all of it. And so part of my desire to be happier is to continually remind myself. It is not about getting on that mountain because when you get to the top of that mountain, the top of one mountain is just the bottom of another one. And if you're going up, eventually you've got to come back down. Like that is just life. If you focus on the freaking trail, whatever step you're on and you keep reminding yourself, this is going to lead me somewhere. That is where the meaning comes in your life because Jane and I will both tell you guys that you put all this effort into writing a book. It publishes. You're like, okay, now what? It's true. And we want it to be something else. We want to think that there is this silver bullet that if you get to the mountain, if you launch the podcast, if you meet the person of your dreams, then you'll be happy. And the truth is for me personally, happiness was really about ending campaigns of misery in my mind. It was about identifying where I was arguing against myself and my potential. And it was allowing myself to get back on the trail or start walking across that bridge. Yeah, that's it. I love those visuals. They're so powerful and so beautiful. And there's, I mean, when you said the bridge one, it reminded me of, I believe this is from the Christian tradition. I believe it's from the Bible, but the statement says, the world is like a bridge. Don't build your house on it. Cross over it. And I've always spiritually gravitated towards that statement very deeply. So when you said bridge, that was the first thing that came to my mind. The world is like a bridge. You know, I also like that term a couple reasons. So, you know, I was telling everybody earlier about how I woke up this morning. And I'm here visiting my daughter who's 22 and a senior in college and I felt this profound sadness. And I noticed it and I allowed myself to feel it because I wouldn't feel that if I didn't love her so deeply. And then I visualize this bridge that this is just one step on a very long bridge that I'm crossing. And a bridge that as a parent, like the most important thing that I need to do as a parent is to encourage my children to fly into this world and to leave and to become who they're meant to become, which means they're going to leave and there are a lot of goodbyes and it sucks, but it's also beautiful. And I also love this idea of a bridge because when it comes to anxiety, when it comes to separation, there is this concept when you say goodbye to somebody or when you're about to leave somebody who's going to do something anxious as you bridge that moment to the next moment, you're going to see them. So, I'm sure you do this when you say goodbye to your parents in the UK, you hug and say, I can't, you know, for me, I just said, I can't wait to see you on Thanksgiving break. I can't wait to hear how this thing goes tomorrow so that you are staying connected and bridging and closing that kind of loop of something's ending because things are not truly really ending. Yeah. They're always beginnings to something else. Yeah. One of the questions we get in my DMs a lot and comments and everything is, and I think people subconsciously or consciously have this as well, the idea that and you just brought it about is your parents' expectations. So either some people had parents who had very high expectations or different expectations to what the kids wanted. Like, you're very aware that what your daughter wants to be and you're happy to support it as long as she wants to be it.
Parental mismatch (50:04)
Some people have the experience of, well, my parents had very high expectations, but they're not the expectations I want. Or my parents actually didn't have any expectations of me and they were actually more negative and they actually didn't believe in me at all and didn't really think I'd get anywhere, anyway. Or when I want to try something, I get the toxic feedback of, well, you're not going to make it anyway. So I think we deal with parenting and a feeling of not believing in ourselves in two ways. One is your parents saw the path they gave you it, but you're like, that's not my path, this is, and then your parents don't believe in it. All your parents never believed in any path you were to take. And I think a lot of people I'm hearing right now are feeling like, "Hey, I'm just surrounded by family and friends who don't believe in me, don't believe in my ideas, don't believe in the partner I want to be with." I just don't feel like people support my decisions. Yeah. Chris and I have been married 26 years. We have three kids. They're 23, 22, and 17. There is no doubt in my mind I've screwed them up. How could you not? I mean, we're talking about millions of moments where somebody needs emotional support and you are a mismatch in that moment, right? And I love this term of parental mismatch because it allows those of us that still have a good relationship with our parents to acknowledge a fact. And the fact is, there are things that went down in your childhood that you may not even remember that left you with negative or toxic thinking patterns that you struggle to get rid of as an adult. It is a fact, period. And so I want to start off by saying that because we all deal with this and it is a result of childhood. In fact, Dr. Russell Kennedy, who is amazing, you should have him on your podcast, says that all anxiety results from a feeling of separation from your parents when you're a kid, probably before you were five. A moment where you felt separate, there was a mismatch. Maybe you were sitting on the floor, you don't even remember this, you're quietly playing, you're in a happy space and mom or dad comes home and they're frustrated. And all of a sudden they lie, like everybody does at some point because everybody has a volcano moment. It's a fact. And it startles you as a kid. Your body remembers that. And there's this concept in research called ghosts in the nursery that a lot of us struggle as adults with behavior that we're like, where did that come from? And where it comes from is the fact that if you're now an adult and you had an experience growing up in a household, where your parents raged or your parents were abusive or your parents just ignored you and you just felt separate or on edge, when you get into those same situations as an adult, your body has a feeling first. We think we think first, we don't. Your body has the feeling first. And then your body repeats the behavior that you actually observed as a kid. I speak English because I observed and absorbed the language my parents spoke. And so there are patterns that you're struggling with that do not serve you as an adult that are not your own. And so I want to say that first and foremost, okay, that one of the greatest gifts of being an adult is separating from your parents and deciding how you want to talk to yourself, how you want to change the way that you think, how you speak, how you support. So that's number one. Number two, it is so common and natural to feel this kind of complex mix of guilt and of pressure to want to please your parents. Why? Because you needed them to survive as a kid. It's not like you could leave. And what we learn as kids is that there is a give and a take and that oftentimes that love that you need and that support that you need is very transactional. That mom and dad are in a great mood and you get a lot of attention when you're doing law and sports or doing law and school or you're doing what they want them to do. And what we women learn in particular is that if you're not doing what I want you to do, that's bad. Because guilt by definition is feeling bad about what you just did. We learned that feeling during childhood and it happens to everybody. And so I want to just say this because I want to normalize that these are things that don't mean that you're damaged. It's stuff that we have to heal for ourselves as adults. And so here's rule number one. If your parents or your family are not paying your bills, they have no vote. If your parents are paying for your bills, there is going to be power in what they're saying. There is a transaction there because they're paying your tuition or they're paying whatever and not all parents are transformed. And so I'm saying that because one of the fastest ways to free yourself is to pay your own way. And when you pay your own way, you start to feel very empowered to pave your own way. I happen to believe as a parent that my job is to help my kids figure out who they are. And you do that by listening, you do that by validating their experiences, you do that by not seeing them as an extension of you that what school they get into somehow means that you're a good parent or a bad parent. The best thing that you could do for your kids is figure out what's going to make them happy and support them in doing that. And the other thing that you can do is help them make decisions by helping them figure out what decisions are right for them. So I'm saying all of this because zero to 18, so let's use another metaphor because I again love metaphors. Life's one big road trip, okay? Every year of your life is a mile marker. From zero to 18, you're not even driving the damn car. Somebody else's, you're in somebody else's car, they're telling you what to do, they're controlling what's happening. The second you get to university or you leave home, you get to navigate your own life, but not if somebody else is paying for it. Yeah. I think that perspective is empowering if you're willing to take that risk. But what we've found, the research shows this as well. There was a study a few years ago that I looked at which talked about how with men and women, when men see a job description and they can do like 50 to 60 percent of it. Right, it's an HP study. They'll say I can do it. Right. And then when a woman sees a job description and even if she can do 80 percent of it, she'll be like, I can't apply because I can't do 20 percent. And so I find that there's a... We do it in dating too, by the way. Right. So, yeah. So that disproportionate self-doubt that comes in there or that lack of self-confidence, as someone who's a mom of girls, like, does that... Do you see that playing out differently for you and for them? So, there's a tremendous amount of research on this with girls and confidence. And I have a theory as to what happens. And I know what age it happens at, typically for girls, because girls struggle with crippling perfectionism in numbers that far outweigh what happens to boys. And I believe there is a specific reason why. So at the age of 12, boys and girls have the exact same levels of confidence, Jay. At the age of 13, girls' confidence fall off a cliff, according to the research.
Girls struggle with crippling perfectionism (57:48)
And I think I know why. The reason why, in my personal opinion, is because that is the average age that a girl goes through puberty. And she starts menstruating. Now, here's the interesting thing about girls when they go through puberty. It's like a public conversation. And what's the first thing that somebody says to a little girl when they get their period? You're a woman now. And it's also something that happens to your body. So there's this implied maturing, this implied notion of sex. There's also the fact that your boobs are growing and your budding and people are self-conscious. And so now you're wearing a sweatshirt. You also know who's got their period. Somehow everybody knows when this is happening. Everybody's talking about it. And so you, in that moment, lose the control of the conversation about your body. And for most girls, it's incredibly uncomfortable. Like, I remember one of my daughters wore like a gigantic sweatshirt for two years just to hide her developing body. Other girls might show it off because you get more attention. But it becomes this public conversation about where you are in relation to everybody else. And most girls, in addition to the socialization that you get from the media and from culture, you start then wishing you look different. You start to obsess about yourself. If I could just get a perfect, if I were the perfect sweatshirt, then nobody's going to notice. And you start micromanaging as a defense mechanism to public judgment. That's what I think happens because the perfectionism is off the charts too. When you dudes get hit puberty, it's typically when you're 15 and it benefits you. I mean, because we're not talking about what's happening with your balls, right? It's not like some conversation about that. We're talking about the fact that your voice is deeper. You've gotten taller. It benefits you in high school sports. And so it doesn't impact your guys' confidence. It actually helps you. And that's where it begins in my personal opinion, along with the fact that there's so much that happens generationally, where boys are encouraged to take risks, boys are in sports where they're knocked around, boys are picked up and shoved back in the game. Girls are coddled a little bit more and told to be a good girl, be a nice sister, go hug your uncle, all those things that send a message that leads to women struggling with confidence. What do you think then are some of the things that you did later on and you want for your daughters to do to develop better confidence? Like what are some of those steps towards better confidence? Because I think it's so difficult, confidence requires you to do so many things you don't want to do to develop it. Yeah. Like I think the problem with the word confidence, when I look it up in the dictionary, it's one of my favorite definitions of a word. One of the definitions is acknowledgement and self-assurance in one's own abilities, right? Like you're acknowledging and you are aware of and you're reassured of your own abilities and your qualities. And so when I look at that definition, I go, okay, that requires you to do things that like you don't build your self-respect when you sat out on the beach. But you do build your self-respect when you went and hiked up a hill and then walked back down, right? Like your self-confidence doesn't grow because you sat out in your garden and didn't do anything. Your self-confidence grew because you learned how to garden or do something, right? Your self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence grow when you do things that are not obvious or easy or simple. Right. But like you're saying, we're not trained in that way. So what are some of the steps that people could take towards self-confidence? Yeah. First, here's what I want to tell you and then I'll give you some steps. So confidence is one of those topics, Jay, that we have backwards. Everybody hears the word confidence and they think it's belief, like up here. Yeah, I agree. Confidence, my definition of confidence that I want everyone to walk away with is confidence is the willingness to try. In research, there is something called the confidence competency loop. And what that means is that as you try something for the first time, like I was curling my hair this morning and I freaking burned my ear and my daughter casually says, "Got to learn somehow." By trying and by the way, screwing it up and burning my ear, I still am gaining a little bit of competence.
Confidence is the willingness to try (01:02:21)
I know to hold this thing a little bit further away from my ear now, by gaining competence, by burning my ear, I now am going to try again and I'm going to be a little bit better. And I'm going to gain a little bit more competence and then I'm going to try again and I'm going to learn even more. And so confidence at the heart of confidence is action. It's the willingness to try. And all you need is to know that if you try, you're not going to die, you're just going to learn something. And when you learn something, it removes a little bit of the insecurity so that it makes it slightly easier to try again. And so I would follow the 60% rule. Okay? And I use 60% because that is the figure that was in the HP study about men applying for jobs when they feel 60% qualified. If you look at something that you want to do or try or apply for and you feel whether it's 60% qualified, okay? I got 60% of the stuff because the truth is a job description, everybody, a dating profile, that is not requirements. That's a wish list. Okay? If you get 60% of this stuff, fricking go for it. That's rule number one. The 60% rule. The other thing is is that if you're looking at doing something that you're scared to do, maybe it's signing up for an improv class. Maybe it is ordering the podcast equipment. Maybe it's signing up for genius. Like you've been thinking about it, you've been thinking about it. You've been thinking about it. If you want to scale, you're on this teeter totter. If you tip more toward, I'd really like to. So about 60%, right? Wait versus 40%, I'm kind of nervous. Fricking do it. That's how you build confidence because back to the original thing that we're talking about, self-doubt grows when you engage in negative talk to talk yourself out of the things you want to be trying. There is so much pain, Jay, in talking yourself out of trying things. And it just makes me so sad and frustrated to see so many of you that are listening, wasting years of your life, really feeling this desire to try something and putting all your energy, all your energy into talking yourself out of it. Here's something that I just recorded an episode about this and it's the fall. So I'm thinking a lot about the fact that in the fall season, at least in New England, and I realize in other areas of the world, it's not the fall right now, the leaves fall off the tree, right? Here's an interesting fact. This is not a beautiful graceful thing that happens. The tree pushes those frickers off its branches as an act of survival because leaves have a huge surface area and they require a lot of water to be able to capture the sun and convert it into energy for the tree. And over winter, there ain't no water. And if those trees are there, the leaves are there, the trees are going to die. And it's an energy conserver. It is an energy issue. You are putting so much negative energy into things that you won't let go of, into complaining, into relationships that don't work, into your excuses. Do you know how much energy it takes to walk into a job you can't stand? And yet you do it every day. Imagine if, instead of sitting at your desk resisting, complaining, gossiping, and coming up with excuses, imagine if you just redirected some of that energy toward looking for something else that, like the leaves get pushed off a tree, you make a decision that today, I am actually going to let go of the gossiping and complaining about this because that is zapping my energy. And I'm going to direct my energy at something positive because once I get rid of that, I got room for something positive to grow. And complaining to yourself and robbing yourself of just trying something. And we don't think about it that way. Yeah, it takes the same amount of energy. I think more. Yeah, more potentially. It definitely, yeah, it's more draining. But it is, if anyone wants to think about it, yeah, it's, it's that same energy just put in a different direction could, could change the course. It does change the course. Yeah. And it just needs to try. I love that willingness to try. So the 60% rule, there is one takeaway in confidence, okay? The second thing that you can do with confidence, because it's action based, this is where the five second rule is a game changer. Just use my five second rule, literally in those moments where you feel self doubt kick in, you got to be careful because you have a habit of hesitating. You have a habit of doing what psychologists say. You have a bias towards thinking. And so a second takeaway is use my five second rule. And when you catch yourself hesitating, when you catch the self doubt coming in, when you catch the feelings and the excuses, rise up, count backwards, five, four, three, two, one. And by the time you get to one, the prefrontal cortex will have focused on the counting and you've got literally a split second to move. And the trick about this is when you start counting, you've made a decision to try. And the counting itself is like a Trojan horse because it's the first action. Yeah, I love that rule. And the books there too, in case anyone needs all the added information. I think our last interview is all about that. So I want to ask you about one final area of thought, because we were talking about it before. And I think a lot of our community does, I have to ask it because I just wrote a book called Eight Rules of Love, which is out next year. And I talk about this in one of the chapters. So I'd love to hear your perspective on it. But the idea where you've been married for 26 years, right? Congratulations. That's incredible. And that's beautiful. In that time, you and your partner are going to go through different stages of personal growth, personal evolution, collective growth, collective evolution. Sometimes you're going to feel ahead. They're going to feel behind someone. They're going to feel ahead. You're going to feel behind sometimes. It's not even about a head of behind. The question I have is if someone's listening and their partner, or even if they're not in a relationship, their friend, I was just being to someone the other day and they were saying, yeah, my friend is a bit envious that I just landed my dream job. I'm just meeting the guy that I, you know, we always feel ahead of behind of the people that were closest to, even if we love them and we want them to win, there's that feeling. If someone's in a relationship, someone's got a friend that's feeling behind, or maybe they're the person who's feeling behind someone else, what do we do in that scenario? How do we support ourselves, support others? How can we think through that? Because I think feeling ahead or behind is never fun. Even feeling ahead is not fun. Yeah. When you feel behind, that's your insecurity, putting a lid on what you believe is possible for you. So that's number one. Recognize that it is that's insecurity blocking you. And you can use that as a sign that, oh, all I have to do is start walking toward things. The second thing I want to share with everybody is that it is normal to feel envious or even be somewhat of a jerk when somebody that you care about changes. And I want to tell a story to explain why.
Why it’s easier to question how somebody’s changing (01:09:53)
And the story, I'm the villain, okay? Which is basically the role I've played in my marriage. Port Chris. Chris is wonderful. Yes, Chris is amazing. So Chris, a couple years ago, decided he was going to completely stop drinking. And he went on this deep spiritual journey and he was going to stop drinking for a couple of years. And he became a Buddhist meditation instructor and a yoga instructor and started his men's retreat business. And I'll never forget the first night that he was not drinking, I open up a bottle of rosé. I'm pouring a glass of rosé. Everything's great because I'm cooking. Great. The second night, as I'm opening up a bottle of rosé and Chris is like cracking open, like, I don't know, like a St. Croix, I'm starting to feel agitation. I'm starting to feel the campaign, the complaining, the this and the that. And I notice it. I'm like, don't say anything. The third day is when Mel the villain showed up. And I'm not proud to admit this, but I want everybody to hear this so you understand what's actually happening inside of your relationship. I crack open the rosé. I'm pouring my glass of wine. And I turned to Chris and I'm like, come on. You want to have glass of rosé with me? And he says, no, I'm good. And I said, it's like juice. It's like a jerk. Give it to a point on. Mel, I do not want a glass of wine. Stop asking me. And I said, okay, I'm sorry. It's just that it makes me feel bad. And this is when he said something that just he said, nobody cares what's in your glass but you. And if what I'm putting in my glass makes you question what you're putting in yours, then maybe you have some work to do. And it is easier, everybody, to question somebody else's change and even sabotage it, because their change in growth creates a change in energy and ripples and changes in patterns that make you wake up and start realizing that maybe some of the things you do don't work for you. So when that friend of yours stays in to write a business plan, how many of us on a Saturday night have been like, oh, come on, you were kind of tomorrow. Do you have to go to the gym today, stay in bed with me? That's that same behavior of dragging somebody to join in with you and pour what's in your cup. And so I want you to understand this is normal and it's a really good sign because it means that your behavior is not only changing you but is sending waves at somebody else that has just given them a wake up call. And most of us push against those wake up calls. And that's what they're doing because you're very safe to do it with. And so that's something that's really important to understand. And I find that the best way to support somebody, because we all know we can't change somebody else, is you keep a laser focus on what you're doing because the bigger the change becomes and the happier you become, the more difficult it's going to be for your friend or your family to ignore it. And the more it's going to stir up more things and eventually inspiration. And the best thing that you can do is ask leading questions. Do not tell somebody what to do. That is the worst thing you can do in a relationship or friendship or as a parent. Instead, like literally, hey, you don't seem happy. Is there anything that I can do to help? You don't seem like yourself. There's something going on. Do you need support in something? And my favorite sentence on the planet as a parent and as a wife is, do you need me to listen? Or would you like to know what I'm thinking? And nine times out of 10, my kids, my husband, the folks that work for me, they just want me to listen. And so I think when you create an opening for somebody to stop engaging in their own self doubt and their own very active and painful kind of reasons why they can't join you at the gym or reasons why they're not going to meditate or reasons why they're not going to join you in dry January or whatever it may be or the reasons why they can't, you, we all have a friend, can't look for a job. I never going to find anybody. That's not true. And you know it. So create the space. You be the light on the path ahead. And when you hold your light higher, eventually that jealousy and those excuses, it actually allows it to disappear and you part, you become part of the force that pulls them forward. And the other thing you have to understand is that there are going to be legs of your journey in life. And this is one of the hardest things where people are going to pull off and take a different route. That's okay. They may come back at another time. That's okay. And you know, the final thing that I wanted to say about this is it's a very simple exercise that you can do with somebody. And this helps somebody who is either struggling with happiness and doesn't know how to get started or is struggling with confidence and is not able to take action or who is resisting the changes that you are doing and you would love to see them do. We did this with our daughter who is now 23. And last summer when she graduated from college, really unhappy. I mean, two years of college had been imploded and she was extremely depressed and basically just drank her way through it and graduated and was not happy. Big life change. Nothing was going according to plan.
How to find happiness again (01:16:19)
She had planned this huge trip to go to Cambodia and do a big service trip for four months. That wasn't going to happen. Just lost. And so Chris and I sat with her for a couple hours and then I said, and she's like, I don't know what to do. I'm 22. I'm stuck. I'm miserable. I don't even know how to start. And I said, I actually think you do. I think you're just scared. Take out a blank piece of paper, draw a line down the center. On the left hand side, I want you to write happy me. Now close your eyes and think about a time that you remember being happy or more confident or alive. It could be any word you want, right? And you might have to go back to childhood. Our daughter closed her eyes and she said, it was senior year in high school. And I said, okay. So write down all of the things that you were doing in a week of your life, senior year in high school. Just describe your life for me. Oh, I got up and do in detail, everybody. I got up at 7 a.m. or 6.30. I was leaving the house by 7. I was with my friends all day. I was looking forward to go to college. I was playing varsity lacrosse. I was exercising six days a week. I was only partying with friends twice a week. I was in a healthy dating relationship. I ate four dinners a night at home, like just do, do, do, do, do, do. Great. Write down what your life looks like now. I sleep till one. I drink every day. I feel like I don't see my friends because everybody's scattered now that we graduate. I don't have anything to look forward to. My triptych Cambodia is canceled. I'm not exercising. Okay. Compare the two. Your own life experience offers the map. And we want to over-complicate these big words like happiness. I know I did for decades or confidence. It's actually found in the little things. If you do this simple exercise of drawing a line down a piece of paper and you write down what life looked like in great detail, when did you wake up? When did you go to bed? How are from your friends, family? What were you doing for work? Exercise? What were you eating? If you then compare that to what life looks like now, you now know what to do. And the fact is your whole life is the little things. It's when you wake up, it's the first thing you look at. It's what you do with your body. It's how you greet your spouse. It's how you talk to yourself. It's what you say to yourself when you look in the mirror. It's the mood that you walk into work with intentionally. It's how you greet your animals or your roommate when you end the day. It's the tone of voice that you use. That's your whole life. And if you were to just take the time and intentionally write down a few simple things that you do when you're happy in life and you were to focus for the next seven days on just adding one of those in a day, you would be very surprised how getting some of the little things right actually starts to turn your life in a completely different direction. So powerful. Now, it's been an absolute pleasure having you back on the show. The Miles Robbins podcast is out right now. You can go and listen, subscribe, share, please, please, please go and do that. Well, I love sitting down with you. I love, today was that perfect balance, as I was talking about before, playing tennis, going back and forth and at the same time, just getting some really practical, insightful advice from you on step-by-step strategic, systematic breakdown of how to do things. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a dear friend to me and Radi. I hope me, you, Chris, all of us get to spend lots more time together, genuinely, or even if it's not lots more time, but it's deep time together. That would make me very happy. I wish you all the best on defeating the campaigns of misery for yourself and everyone else in the world through your show, through your books on Audible, through your book in the five-second rule. Also, for helping me start working on my campaigns of misery as well. Thank you so much, Malay. Deeply appreciate you. Very grateful to you. I love you, Jay. I can't wait to see you acting. Yeah, now I have to now have accountability. So I want to offer another mistake I've made. I've made this with both Chris and with our daughter Kendall. So Chris, as he is running soul degree, which is Men's Retreat and our daughter Kendall, as she's writing music. One of the best things that you can do to help create momentum is to call out the teeny steps are taking. I made a mistake with our daughter for a long time where I kept talking about the big stuff. Or I kept saying, "But you're not writing songs," or "This would make a great song," or, "Play me something new," and she would go, "Stop talking about this. Stop telling me what to do," because when somebody loves you, they respect your opinion.
Recognizing Small Victories
Verbal acknowledgement of the little achievements (01:21:45)
And trust me, they know when they're not doing what they need to do every day. So you will support somebody more when you say, "You know, I'm really proud of you for the fact that you're very relaxed about this. I'm really proud of you for the fact that you're not beating yourself up, that it's not happened sooner. I'm really proud of you for marching to your own drum. I'm really proud of you for writing a song today and playing it for... That's freaking awesome. Acknowledging the little stuff is incredibly powerful because the person has to push through so much of their own stuff that if you go, "Oh, and you should do it this way," or, "Oh, have you tried that," or, "Oh, it'll be great if you do this," you're not actually building momentum. You're pointing out what wasn't done. And that was something I was guilty of for a long time, catching myself and trying to look for, "Oh, what are they doing?" And giving them that pat on the back, that hug, that high five, that verbal acknowledgement of the effort done, or even the fact that they haven't done anything, but they're thinking about it, that is worth it too. And the reason we do that, you know this, is because we don't give ourselves a pat on the back for doing something small. So we don't even acknowledge when we do something small, we're waiting and we're saying to ourselves, "Oh, well, all you did today was go to the gym. All you did this week was go to the gym twice. That's not enough." And because we talk to ourselves like that, when someone in our life does it, triggers us back going, "Yeah, they only went to the gym twice a week too. That's terrible." And so I couldn't agree with you more. And I've... Yeah, I think I've had to be my own cheerleader for so much of my life and noticed the little things that I've done and the little progress that with Radi, I've definitely seen that and she appreciates it where I'll just notice those smaller things. But I realize that any time I get triggered by someone's lack of growth, it's because I'm triggered by my own lack of growth. And I'm just reflecting that back onto them. I'm upset with myself for not going to the gym more times this week. And because they haven't, I'm now releasing that on them. And that's been such a great way of going, "Okay, well, I need to be kinder to myself too for the little wins. Yes, it took you two years to launch this podcast." But there were things in those two years that you learned about getting to where you are now that you made so many steps of progress and that's why it's so well. Yes, and also there are so many little steps about completing things that you can create room. Yes. And so one of the other things I want to offer too is yes, that tendency for us to jump in and be like, "Oh, did you try this or do this or do this or do..." And kind of create this snowball. It does come from the fact that a lot of us are not encouraging ourselves, but it also comes from a really altruistic loving space. Yes. Because you love this person so much, you want it so much for them that as soon as you see a tiny step forward, you're like, "Ah, let's do this." And you want to join in with them. And so it can come from both a place of your own lack of support for yourself as a default, unintentionally. But it also comes from a really good place because you're just so excited and you then amplify things and then they feel crushed because what they did do doesn't now feel like enough. Absolutely. I love that clarification. I agree with this both. Everyone who's been listening and watching today, make sure you tag Mel and I on Instagram, on TikTok, on Twitter, whatever social media platform you use with all your greatest insights. Nugget's a wisdom from this episode. There were so many scattered across the entire time we've been talking. Make sure you grab the screenshot of the episode. Share it with a friend. Maybe there's someone in your life that would benefit from listening to this with you and then having a conversation about it afterwards. I think that's something I'm really encouraging. I find that when we're collectively having an experience, it's even better than saying, "Hey, I just heard this amazing thing. Listen to it, friends. Listen to it, family." And then discuss it amongst yourselves. I hope we've given you enough tools and insight and thoughts to start a conversation, to ask a powerful question. And I hope that you're leaving here today, feeling happier, healthier, and more healed. Thank you so much on Purpose Community. I love you deeply. And thank you to Mel for joining us again today. I'll see you on the next one. Thanks everyone. If you want even more videos just like this one, make sure you subscribe and click on the boxes over here. I'm also excited to let you know that you can now get my book Think Like A Monk from ThinkLikeAMonkBook.com. Check below in the description to make sure you order today.