How To Get Someone Else To Change

How To Get Someone Else To Change

Are You Really Worried About Someone in Your Life?

Are you being negatively impacted by the consequences of someone else’s behavior? Few things are more frustrating than seeing someone you love suffering, spinning out of control, and unable or unwilling to get help. What to do?

On today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’ll teach you how to avoid the biggest mistake you can make in this situation, and the surprising way to not just help– but get your inner peace back.

We’ll talk about what it really means to “help” someone versus accidentally enable them to persist in their problems.You’ll learn about how to avoid damaging your relationship with your loved one, and how to avoid the power struggle of co-dependency.

By shifting your definition of what it means to help, you’ll learn how to regain control of the situation. Getting clear about your boundaries, your values, and the one thing you really have power over (you) you’ll start helping your loved one develop the authentic, inner motivation they need to make lasting change.

The road to recovery is hard, but when you learn how to stop controlling, stop being upset, and start giving people the kind of help they really need you can change from being an accidental obstacle to recovery, to a catalyst for their growth.

Lastly, I’ll be giving you some practical steps for how to help yourself during your loved one’s change process. You’ll learn how to maintain your boundaries, regain feelings of control, and get the support you need to stay committed to being a true agent of change.

Listen Now: How To Get Someone Else To Change

Music Credits: “Needle In The Hay” by Elliot Smith

What’s Holding YOU Back From Success?

What’s Holding YOU Back From Success?

Feeling stuck? Here’s How to Break Free…

Most people who want more out of life seek out counseling or coaching because they are not willing to settle. They want to make a positive change in their lives, their careers, in their relationships, or in themselves, but have run out of ideas. They have tried everything that they, personally, know how to do to improve the situation… and it hasn’t worked. They feel stuck.

If you’ve been feeling this way lately, I want you to know that 1) you’re not alone, and that 2) I’m going to help you with this. Like right now.

Here’s the big secret to getting unstuck: Self awareness. What nobody realizes, before entering personal growth work, is that “the problem” they’ve been trying to fix is not actually what needs their attention. Focusing on the circumstance, or the situation, is not going to move the needle for you. The answer is not outside. It’s inside. Only when you identify the unconscious, inner obstacles that have been getting in your way will you start to move meaningfully forward.

Until that happens, you’ll spin. (And seethe. And beat yourself up. And get increasingly frustrated.)

As frustrating and uncomfortable as this stuck place is, can be it’s really an amazing opportunity in disguise. Why? Because it’s often feeling ABSOLUTELY FED UP WITH STUCK-NESS that launches people into the life-changing journey of growth and soul-expansion that would not have been possible otherwise.

Often, this journey carries people through places inside themselves that they’d never even imagined existed. As people move towards empowerment, towards designing their lives, and towards “creating change” they often discover that the path is one of growth. Of personal evolution. Of compassion. Of self actualization. Sometimes, even one of healing.

This is a beautiful experience and one I believe passionately that everyone deserves. So on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m actually going to give you a “Master Class” of the main ideas that all our counseling and coaching clients arrive upon, eventually: The path to creating change outside yourself starts from within. Only by uncovering the inner, hidden obstacles that have been holding you back will you be able to move forward and create meaningful and lasting change in your life, your career, your relationships… and in yourself.

Self awareness is the first step of personal transformation. Only when you understand yourself, and the unconscious obstacles you’ve been wrestling with, can you make the changes that will actually help you break free.

How to Cultivate Self Awareness:

Step 1: Listen to the podcast to learn about the “four domains of stuck-ness” that people often get trapped by. See which resonates with you!

Step 2: Click here to take the “What’s Holding You Back” quiz to find out which of these domains is the most powerful in your life.

Step 3: Then use your newfound self-awareness to take positive, and most importantly effective, action.

Step 4: Share your experiences in the comments. We all learn and grow from our connections with each other, after all… (I’ll even go first).

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby


What's Holding YOU Back?

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Subscribe to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher. Don’t forget to rate and review if you enjoy the Podcast!

Music Credits: Sallie Ford, “Record on Repeat”

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How to Move Forward? Stop.

How to Move Forward? Stop.

Sometimes Leaping Forward Requires Letting Go…

As a Life Coach and Executive Coach I talk to a lot of driven go-getters. My clients often have an insatiable appetite for constant-and-never-ending growth, achievement, and self-improvement. They are truly amazing, talented, and incredibly successful people with an unquenchable thirst for forward progress and success. Does this sound like you, too? First of all: Thank you. The world as we know it exists because of people like you. Your motivation, your drive, your vision, and your optimism are the psychic fuel that runs the engines of our civilization. Thank you for being you.

And… If you are like most strong, naturally driven and forward-focused people there are also not-fun times when your energy flags, your focus becomes diffuse, and your wheels spin. And spin. And spin. And for naturally focused, driven, achievement oriented people that “down time” can be a very anxiety provoking experience. In fact, many of my Life Coaching and Executive Coaching clients show up for help when they have this experience, because they feel like something is wrong. They’ve lost their sparkle, and their clear sense of purpose. To an uber-achiever, this can feel like they are losing themselves, or even falling apart.

Of course if you are achievement-oriented, your natural instincts are to hit it harder. Buckle down. Get up earlier. Grind away, until you make manifest the force of your will. But during certain periods, you just can’t gain traction. You stay busy — to everyone else you look as productive as ever — but on the inside you feel the anxiety of mediocrity.

Feeling so listless can feel like doom for a go-getter. It feels like your endless drive has stolen your car, and absconded to parts unknown… with your optimism riding shotgun and inspiration sprawled across the back seat. You imagine them speeding down an arrow straight highway through the desert, windows open and radio blaring… while you sit at your desk and think about things that you should probably be doing but don’t feel like today. You probably criticize (perhaps even berate) yourself for your self-indulgent lethargy, but no matter how sternly you talk to yourself it doesn’t matter. You just don’t care that much anymore.

What to Do When Your Get-Up-And-Go

Has Got-Up-And-Went

I myself am a recovering perfectionist and have an achievement orientation too, so I will wince with you as you read this:

Sometimes, if you want to get ahead, you have to let things go.

And by letting things go, I mean to stop trying so hard for awhile. Visualize yourself shoving all the scribbled notes with the grand plans in a drawer, clearing your calendar, saying no to everything and everyone, putting down the quad-latte, and just allowing yourself to do the bare minimum for a bit. Coasting. Being.

My guess is that idea might feel really scary. Unwise. Dangerous even. Here’s the problem: If I told you that the path to salvation was to get up earlier, stay up later, implement some novel new strategy to get more things done in less time, do a draconian cleanse, or retrain your brain to think more successfully you would probably like that. It make you feel energized and hopeful, and like there was something you could DO to turn things around. But we both know that you’ve tried that. In fact, you’ve probably spent years getting up before dawn, sacrificing your sleep, self-care, and possibly even relationships in the service of getting things done. Continuing to grind away is not always the solution. It’s time to do something radically different. Like stop for awhile.

This is not just my opinion. Check out a compelling article that was posted in Scientific American about the benefits of turning your brain off periodically to your memory, creativity, and emotional wellbeing. Many, many research studies have shown that your brain simply requires down time in order to consolidate information, achieve clarity, and work efficiently. The author of the article puts it so beautifully:

Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self. — Ferris Jabr

And… as great as it sounds in theory, resting the mind can be extremely difficult for over-achievers to actually DO. I believe that part of the reason for this skepticism is the fact that truthfully, sometimes working to the brink of exhaustion actually is the solution. There are seasons of achievement that are activity intense. If you are actively launching a start-up, finishing a dissertation, or embarking on a new chapter there is often, objectively, a lot to do. In the springtime farmers really do have to work their butts off for 16 hours a day to plow fields, spread fertilizer, plant seeds, and get things going. But there is an ebb and flow to productive activity. Other phases of achievement are like a “tending” phase, where precarious, fragile plates are kept spinning in the air: farmers watch, water, keep the bugs off, pull weeds, fret about the weather, and let the grow-ee do it’s thing. Then there is the necessary insanity of the harvest time, when farmers are back to driving tractors around in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes up, pulling things out of the ground frantically at just the right moment – not too soon and not too late. There are seasons of busy-ness for everyone. Accountants have tax season. Families have newborn babies. Students have the end of the semester. Real-estate agents have summer. Everyone has big explosions of necessary activity sometimes.

But it’s easy to over look a crucial, necessary part of the growth cycle: Dormancy.

In the fallow, still period of winter nothing obvious is happening. Even the most on-the-ball farmers are laying around eating Cheetos and watching Deadliest Catch reruns while the soil in their fields gently decomposes itself, gets churned by worms, and the rain falls and freezes. Nothing is happening, but everything is happening. The earth is doing the necessary work of preparing itself for another burst of growth and glory.

Your creative process requires dormancy too. You might not think of yourself or what you’re doing as being “creative” in the oil-paint and poetry sense, but everyone who makes things happen is a creator. When you are engaged in any act of creation, from starting a business, to starting a family, to leading a team, to moving ahead towards distant goals, and making your inner vision a reality, you are bringing things into being. You are making something out of nothing, just like Michalangelo  chipping David free from his marble encasement, or like a tiny tomato seed that miraculously pushes out a gigantic, sprawling bush with dozens of juicy fruits with nothing but a little water, dirt and air.

To unleash true generative power upon the world requires intervals of deep rest.

Why? Because when you are constantly pounding away on the same problems with the same tools you do not have the headspace to entertain new ideas. When you are ceaselessly doing, and doing, and doing you are often working yourself deeper into the same rut that you’ve been running in for weeks, months, or even years. It gets old and boring. And over time, your energy, inspiration and motivation flags and fails as a result.

Expansion requires space. When you are constantly doing and thinking and running around in the hamster wheel of your life without stopping once in a while to look at the bigger picture and regroup, you may be “getting things done” but you are not really moving forward. Even as fast as you can run, nothing is changing. You’re treading water and exhausting yourself without getting any closer to a meaningful destination.

It can feel catastrophic to driven people to think about stopping. Over-achievers (even if they know that it’s not rationally true) emotionally feel like letting go and coasting for a little while will lead to total collapse and something terrible will happen.

But your full creative potential will be blocked until you pause long enough for fresh creative energy to refuel you.

So what do I mean by really resting and letting things go for awhile? I don’t mean “vacationing,” particularly not the kind of snorkeling amongst barracudas / trekking up mountains / zip-lining through jungles / marathon-related vacations uber-achievers tend to have.

I mean spending at least a couple of weeks (yes, WEEKS) doing the bare minimum that you need to do to keep your life going, and allowing your physiological, psychological, and emotional stress levels to return to baseline. Ask yourself what the basic basics really mean for you and your family:

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Spending as much time engaged in non-productive activity as possible (i.e., “Playing”)
  • Being with people you like
  • Giving yourself permission to spontaneously do whatever you feel like, in the moment
  • Doing as little work as you possibly can get away with and still meet your responsibilities and not create consequences.

It’s such a paradox, but it’s true: disengaging and not thinking about or doing anything productive at all for a little while will wipe your slate clean and create fertile ground for new growth to occur. After you’ve been resting for a few weeks you’ll notice that you have little flashes of genuine inspiration and enthusiasm again. Authentic new energy, inspiration, and motivation will start nuzzling into your soul like tender daffodil shoots pushing out of the frozen, dead ground. You’ll know when resting time is over because you’ll have a new vision for where you’re going, and feel genuinely excited to get back to work.

You can’t make creativity happen. You cannot chase down inspiration, and catch it with a net. You can’t tackle motivation and make it submit it to your will. Cultivating motivation, inspiration, and enthusiasm requires getting comfortable with the paradox of letting it all go. When you place your trust in the restorative power of doing nothing, they’ll show back up on their own accord when you’ve prepared the soil and given them space to grow.

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby



Music Credits: I Live in the Springtime, by The Lemon Drops

How To Move Forward, by Stopping

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast

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How To Stay Motivated

How To Stay Motivated

Do you know what you need to do… but then don’t do it?

Here’s some free advice from a Life Coach: Setting goals and making plans are necessary to achieve your dreams. But your success will ultimately hinge upon your ability to do what you know you need to do consistently. And — here’s the hard part — even when you don’t feel like it.

One of the biggest things the Life Coaches do, as a matter of fact, is help people stay motivated. Having an accountability partner, and someone expecting you to do your homework rallies your motivation. Something about doing things “just for yourself” leaves you vulnerable to the opposite of motivation — which is being comfy, and indulging instant gratification. (Trust me, I know — it happens to me too).

If you’re like most people, it’s a challenge to stay motivated for the long term. Even though we logically know what needs to happen, it’s like there’s this imp that pulls us off track. “The Imp” loves being comfy. It wants to do whatever feels good right now. It whispers excuses in your ears like, “Just watch one more episode” when you know you need to go to bed. It promises, “We’ll exercise tomorrow!” when know you need to get your butt to the gym instead of tapping-to-snooze nine more times.

And — as you know — it is very, very powerful.

If you’re like most people you started the new year with some firm plans in place. You were ready for a fresh start. You were hopeful about making positive changes this year. And, if you’re like most people, since then you’ve had time to notice the war inside of you that happens when you are trying to stay motivated: Your head pulling you in one direction, and “The Imp” pulling you in another. If you’re like most people, “The Imp” has had a few wins since New Year’s Eve… and may even be well on it’s way to throttling your motivation back into apathetic acceptance of the status quo.

In other words: You’re already in the danger zone.

Developing a new kind of relationship with the forces inside of you and learning how to keep your motivation strong (and your “Imp” in it’s place) is absolutely crucial if you want to make things happen in your life. It’s the core of the work you do in Love, Life or Career Coaching. (Read: What’s the difference between Life Coaching and Therapy?)

We started this year off by reflecting on your strengths and accomplishments, connecting with your core values, and thinking about what kinds of positive action would actually move the needle for you this year.

Now it’s time to work on building the motivation that will actually get you there. On episode 64 of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m discussing how to get a handle on instant gratification, and how to keep your motivation firmly in charge.

While you’re on iTunes listening, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast. Also, if you podcast like the it would mean the world to me if you left a review saying so — YOUR support is what helps this show grow!

Now, let’s talk: Self awareness is key to mastering motivation. What’s your first clue that Instant Gratification is taking over? How do YOU get motivation back in charge? Discussion time is in the comments!

(Music Credits: Ray Rude, “Transform”)

How to Stay Motivated: Listen Now

How To Stay Motivated

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Subscribe to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher. Please, rate and review if you enjoy the Podcast!

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How to Stay Motivated

How to Stay Motivated

The Power-Struggle Inside Us


Immediate Gratification sees an opening. It elbows its way past Motivation, to grab the wheel at the helm of my mind.

Sometimes Immediate Gratification it steers me towards a lagoon of lounging around, making ambitious lists of things I never do (which is a very satisfying substitute for actual activity). Sometimes we careen back and forth between small, time-frittering tasks. Sometimes we drift along, chatting with whoever is in the vicinity. Sometimes we go swimming. Sometimes we sail madly for The Emergency of the Day, firing off emails and phone calls in every direction, and that’s very exciting. Sometimes I am marooned on a sandbar of stalled time where fifteen, thirty minutes slide by when I could be something productive but instead am sipping tea and absorbing mildly interesting content from the face of my iPhone.

I am relieved when Motivation finally frees itself from whatever dark corner of the bilge it’s been temporarily trapped in, and strides back in to re-assert it’s authority. Immediate Gratification chews it’s nails and watches Motivation spread the chart out on the table, plot points with sliding rulers, take notes, perform elaborate calculations with sextants and compasses, and then competently steer me towards an attractive destination.

Motivation prods me to get up at uncivilized hours and do important things I’d not otherwise have time to. It compels me to exert myself, tolerate discomfort, set boundaries around distractions and move forward every day. Immediate Gratification pretends to stand respectfully in the distance, but has a long fishing pole with shiny lures on the end that occasionally dangle in front of my face: Online shopping, trip-planning, Twitter-surfing. Motivation swats them away, keeping the other hand steady on the wheel and eyes on the horizon.

Does this sound familiar? I bet – This struggle lives inside us all.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about how to keep Motivation in charge most of the time:

1) Stay Scared.

Tony Robbins (I love you Tony) astutely pointed out that we’re motivated not just by anticipation of positive reward, but by clear understanding of the negative consequences of our actions. This is supported by research in the study of motivation and persuasion. Fear is a powerful motivator. We can lull ourselves into believing that when Immediate Gratification is in charge, it’s really okay. It’s fine. It’s okay to spend an afternoon cleaning out the kitchen drawers or watching three movies in a row or FaceBooking for hours because it’s just fine.

But what’s actually true is that what we put effort and energy into every day creates our future reality. So indulging Immediate Gratification really equals Future Failure to meet our goals. Envisioning Future Failure and then linking that negative vision to something pleasurable (like watching TV) “reframes” the activity.

Remind yourself that: “I’m not just watching TV, I’m loosing the opportunity to [insert important goal here]. Choosing to watch TV means that I’m choosing [insert scary future outcome here].” Watching TV is not a benign activity when it’s a conscious decision to fail. When it becomes associated with danger and failure instead of pleasure, you’ll feel less comfortable with it. Then it’s easier to reconnect with Motivation.

To be a little anxious is a good thing. Go ahead and worry about what will happen if you DON’T follow through. Immediate Gratification will seem less like a laid-back friendly buddy, and more like a flaky, chain-smoking neer-do-well with trembling hands. You’ll run right into the arms of clean-cut, trustworthy Motivation.

2) Don’t Kill Yourself, or Get Confused

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that when Immediate Gratification takes over it’s because I’m either tired, or because I don’t know what to do next. That awareness helps me 1) Not beat myself up for going “off the reservation” once in awhile and 2) Get back on track. Because in the ebb and flow of motivation, sometimes you really do need to rest and re-group before moving forward again.

Motivation will flag if you get burnt-out. Don’t go crazy and try to achieve big huge goals quickly. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Build time for rest and renewal into your day, every day. Just stay the course and keep working towards your goal a little bit every day too.

But you’re not going to be perfect all the time. You can be laser-focused and achieve an important goal and then…. Drift for a little while. And then sooner or later you’ll look around and say “Hey. What am I doing?” and then you’ll have to reconnect with Motivation.

This requires looking at your map again, to see where you are in the arc of progress. This is why it’s so important to have written goals, and a clear plan of action to refer back to. This is especially true when you have a big goal with lots of twists and turns.

You can make a lot of progress, but you will periodically falter. At those moments you need to pause and re-orient yourself as to where you are now and what needs to happen next. Without that clarity Immediate Gratification will jump right in, swing the wheel around and head for Vegas.

3) Do it Every Day

In order to keep Motivation in charge long-term, you must intentionally check in with it every day (unless Motivation is already in firm command). The way I do this is by journaling. I just check in with myself: “What’s the most important thing for me to be doing today?” And then write about it for a few minutes. I often re-write my goals in order to keep track of what I’m doing and why. When there’s an ebb in motivation, or when I loose track of The Most Important Next Step, this moment of touching base re-orients me and helps me prioritize my time.

But the single most important thing I’ve found is to create a routine where time for me to work on my goal is blocked out every single day. It is much more important for you (us) to work consistently than it is to do huge amazing things once in awhile. Twenty minutes of jumping around in front of a work-out video every morning is much more effective than a big heroic three hour work out once a week.

When you work a little bit every day, you know what to do, and you have the time to do it. You don’t have to start over every time you re-engage with a project. You don’t have to re-motivate yourself. You just stay the course.

Bottom Line

So: Go forth and cultivate a little anxiety, don’t over do it on any given day, check in with Motivation and “The Plan” frequently, and create routines that support progress. Let me know how it goes! — Lisa

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