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Eating an Elephant; One Bite at a Time - 113

podcast Jan 17, 2023

Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time.

Robert Maurer, Ph.D. tells us in his book, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way” that small steps bypass your brain’s built-in resistance to new behavior. Kaizen means improvement and moreover it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life and working life. With one small step or 15-minutes a day every day, your brain doesn’t react as if it’s a threat but rather it’s more like saying that you can’t possibly achieve much with just one small step or just 15-minutes a day and the truth is you can if you are consistent every day with your 15-minutes or one small step. Yes, this way of life every day can change your life in big ways over time...





Full Episode Transcript Eating an Elephant; One Bite at a Time - 113

Hi Aspiring Achievers,

Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time.

Robert Maurer, Ph.D. tells us in his book, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way” that small steps bypass your brain’s built-in resistance to new behavior. Kaizen means improvement and moreover it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life and working life. With one small step or 15-minutes a day every day, your brain doesn’t react as if it’s a threat but rather it’s more like saying that you can’t possibly achieve much with just one small step or just 15-minutes a day and the truth is you can if you are consistent every day with your 15-minutes or one small step. Yes, this way of life every day can change your life in big ways over time.

It’s the new year, and typically the time that people set new year’s resolutions. You’re excited and committed when you set your resolutions and often days or weeks later, you have failed to maintain your resolutions. Why? Your steps were too big and not realistically achievable as you set them up. We are a society of impatient people for the most part, and yet patience is an important ingredient for our success. I remember the one science class I took in high school where we did an experiment of putting blue drops one by one into clear liquid and waited to see when the blue would saturate the clear and turn it blue. We had to be patient. I don’t remember how many drops it took, however, over time the entire clear liquid turned blue.

It's the same with establishing a new habit. When you make it small enough, like 15-minutes a day every day or one small step a day, and you stay consistent and patient, you will see that habit established and growing stronger every day. At some point in time, it will feel like it has always been your way of life.

One of the guiding principles in my AIA-FS program is if you are struggling for more than 10 minutes, post in the forum and ask for help. What is the point in wasting precious time struggling when an answer can come to you simply because you reach out and ask? Yet many students stay in the struggle because reaching out for help is perceived as a weakness, and fills them with shame and self-loathing. The meaning I give to reaching out and asking for help is one of courage, strength, and desire to keep moving forward no matter the discomfort of asking for help to do so. Not a criticism of those who don’t; just the meaning that works for me.

Men and women are indoctrinated with different ways of responding to life circumstances. Or, perhaps we give a different meaning to circumstances than men. Recent articles about women and my own experience working with women seems to validate that women living with ADHD and/or underdeveloped EF skills experience and express shame, despair and regret about the condition of their homes (often messy), their timeliness (often late), and their lists (often long and rarely completed). How we women experience and express these circumstances often gets us diagnosed with anxiety or depression long before getting an ADHD diagnosis. And it’s not that we women don’t get depressed or anxious. What I have often asked myself is whether or not the anxiety and depression is secondary to their underdeveloped EF skills, which is part of an ADHD diagnosis. It’s so important to go deeper with a differential diagnosis to determine what is primary and secondary. Often the secondary will lessen when the primary is appropriately addressed.

This leads me to ask if you’ve gotten your free PDF, “13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back.” If not, you can grab your copy on my website; link in the show notes. And just because you learn about the strength or weakness of your EF skills doesn’t mean you have to do anything further; awareness can be enough for now.

Or, IF you decide you want to do something about your underdeveloped EF skills, get yourself on the Information List about the AIA-FS program. We will be reaching out to those on that Information List and offering you the opportunity to book a strategy call starting later this week, to determine if AIA-FS is a good fit for you and if it can help you achieve your goals - as well as answer any questions you have about the program. So, be sure to get on that Information List if that’s of interest to you.

And, if you want help running your life and changing your outcomes that is less interactive or high touch, you probably want to check out The Transformation Club. It’s my newest membership program where you can work with me for less than $1 per day. If you want someone to show you the way, and a supportive peer-to-peer community behind you, check the show notes for links to all opportunities and resources.

I love creating safe spaces, free of judgment, for groups of people to learn and grow together. I keep these spaces separate from social media sites so we have the privacy to do the deeper work of transformation.

You are a precious child of the universe; and are called a “human being” not a “human doing” for good reason. You don’t have to earn your value; you were born with it. Your value comes from “who” you are “being”; not what you are doing, which means that you can wake up every day with your value 100% and that’s pretty awesome. It’s a great win. And, if you need a space to feel the importance of this fact, consider working with me in some capacity, if it’s your time.

Speaking of wins, what’s it going to be for you today? You organized your books so you can find things more easily; that’s great! You created an alter or special space to showcase items that are of special importance to you; that’s awesome! You say, “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” to yourself at least once a day now; that’s fantastic! Each one of these WINS deserves your whole-hearted celebrating! YES!!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!! I know you all have daily wins, and I am hopeful that you are celebrating all the small ones every day, when the big ones are happening less frequently.

How much time do we have? Not much. So, let’s get to it.

Borrowing from The Kaizen Way, here’s some lifework for you to reflect on and engage with; remembering that you are able to take one small step every day with consistency – and that over time, those small steps will transform your life at a pace that is just right for you. To keep your fight/flight response turned off, keep it simple and small. Repetition is essential so keep things doable.

§ Ask yourself Small Questions such as:

o “What is one way I can remind myself to drink more water?”

o “What is one thing I can do to feel healthier?”

o “What is one thing I can do to relax after work?”

o “How could I incorporate a few minutes of movement into my day?”

§ Think Small Thoughts such as this process:

o Take apart a task into the smallest steps possible

o Rehearse in your mind the first step over and over again until you feel comfortable with that first step

o Move on to the second step and do the same thing until you feel comfortable with this second step

o Put step one and two together and rehearse them until you feel comfortable with these 2 steps

o Continue with this process until you have rehearsed all of the steps and have been able to put them together and feel comfortable with them all

§ Take Small Actions such as: o Take one step rather than rehearsing it in your mind. Remind yourself of how you felt rehearsing it and connect with that feeling

o Move forward with each step doing the same process

o Remove one item from your marketing cart before heading to the cash register (to reduce spending)

o Just stand up every 1-2 hours (to move your body more)

o Set the timer for 5 minutes to clean up an area (keep house cleaner)

§ Solve Small Problems (warning signs) such as:

o Your waistband feels tighter for 2 days in a row (explore reasons)

o You are resisting a small step (step is still too big)

o Saying yes when you know you need to say no (explore reasons)

o Small, persistent signs of pain when you exercise (explore reasons)

§ Bestow Small Rewards to support internal motivation such as:

o Break a relatively small task into 7 steps and reward after each step with your love language – words of affirmation

o Example – going to the gym in the morning 3x/week requires

§ Wake up at 5:30 am – reward

§ Get dressed for working out – reward

§ Leave by 6 am – reward

§ Arrive at gym by 6:20 am – reward

§ Stay focused on workout and complete it – reward

§ Leave gym by 7 am – reward

§ Arrive home by 7:20 am - reward

§ Identify Small Moments such as:

o Be fully present when you greet someone

o Be present when someone leaves and you say good-bye

o Take mental snapshots of small meaning-full moments to remember

o Be present for “first time” moments

All of these small steps may seem like a lot to add to your already full life yet the dividends paid are so worth it. Small consistent steps make change possible and resistance obsolete. Are you willing to take small steps every day for the changes you want to see in yourself and your life? I hope so because the decision you make will change the course of your life.

If you identify with being a Gifted Underachiever and know there’s more to you than what you see right now, you’re faced with a choice. Many adults wish they could be the Empowered Achiever but they don’t have the courage to face themselves as they are today and grow from there, wherever there is. So many adults are in a hurry and want quick fixes that don’t give lasting results. Being a Gifted Underachiever is definitely a tough way to live; I know because I used to be one and not any more.

If you believed with absolute certainty that you could learn the EF skills you are missing so you could achieve your goals, would you take action on creating that life for yourself? Moving from Point A to Point B isn’t so difficult when you have a structured path to follow and the support to help you overcome the obstacles or resistance you might encounter. Things can be figured out when you don’t run. You can study your situations, and see ways around them so you get to the other side.

If you want an intentional life, you need to be intentional about what you bring into your life. Only bring those ingredients that you want there to be. Be 100% responsible for the life you create for yourself. Even if you have challenges in your life, there are solutions, and you can increase the quality of your life tremendously.

If you decide to accept that your life is unfolding for you rather than happening to you, then be sure to notice the little moments when they occur. There are little gems in this episode, and all episodes that are of benefit to someone listening; and that someone could be you. Life has a way of working out and often times better than you planned or envisioned for yourself.

If you want to change your life in amazing ways, decide which small step you are going to start with today. And make sure the step is small enough so you can easily take it and complete it successfully.

If you resonate with what I share and my approach, and would like to benefit from more than just my podcast show, I have created options for you. There is the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program, which is a high-touch deep dive into the EF pre-skills and EF core skills that will change your life. Its 7-months of working with me, one-to-one, in a group format, that will bring you more than I ever could outside of this structure. Being together in this group energy and unpacking everything that I recommend you examine and possibly develop to have the life you say you want is powerful transformation. What got us to the places we are at now, won’t get us further. To move beyond today’s space, we need to be different, so we can do different, and have different than we have. This is an exclusive experience for those serious about more deeply transforming their life. It’s opening up again for the February 2023 group, and if you’re on the Information List, you’ll be the first notified when doors open as well as for booking a strategy call if you have questions about whether or not AIA-FS is right for you. Get on the Information List to learn more about AIA-FS and to be the first notified for opportunities.

If high-touch and 7-months isn’t for you at this time, then let’s work together in The Transformation Club for less than $1 a day. Whether you’re in the US or abroad, when you become a member of TTC, you are gaining more than just information. You are becoming part of a community of like-minded adults who are in TTC to transform their lives. You probably already know you need to develop your Executive Function skills, and the fastest, most time and cost-effective way is with TTC. It’s a gentle path of growth where you aren’t rushed, and can take your time each month to learn a new EF skill, practice what you learn, and share in a safe peer-to-peer community forum. It includes a monthly training and monthly Q & A (both live on zoom) and a monthly private Ask Dr B podcast episode based on questions asked by TTC members. This may be perfect for you; check the show notes to learn more. When you join, you’ll have immediate access to the replays of live trainings and live Q & A sessions from December and January as well as the private podcasts from December and January. There are also about 20 short educational videos I’ve done to help you with your transformation. Be sure to post your introduction when you join TTC so we can welcome you and get to know you. Check the show notes to learn more about TTC.

It would have been wonderful if we had been given this opportunity when we were kids, but that didn’t happen for most. We are being given this opportunity now, as adults, and it is our choice to close the gap now or not. Our quality of life depends on what we decide; it hangs in the balance.

I hear from many of you and will tell you all the same thing. If you want what I have, then develop what you need to have your version of it. There is a peacefulness that I experience by being able to show up and be me. Since there was no comprehensive program available when I needed to develop my EF skills, I had to piece it together from various sources instead of going to one place for all of it. How much easier that would have been but then it wouldn’t be my journey. And who knows if I would have been called to develop a truly effective, specialized training and coaching program where you not only get the “what” but you also get the “how” as well. And the “how” is usually unique to each person, which is why there is so much coaching available to guide your transformation in the AIA-FS program.

You can do something about developing those skills, so you can function more productively at work and create more balance in your personal life. The choice is yours. Are you seriously committed to putting an end to your needless suffering and developing your missing skills so that the quality of life you want to live is yours? The years will pass no matter what you do. It’s really the choice of what you will put into those years rather than them just be passing years filled with frustration and regrets.

You’ve heard me say it before and it fits for this episode. Slow down and become a student of your own life. Take small, consistent steps every single day. Understand what you need to succeed with the multi-faceted brain you have and give it to yourself. Take action on what you learn about yourself. This is the lifework that lies ahead for you if this is your time.

You came to this lifetime with an empowering gift, and I would love it if each and every person on this planet were able to express his or her unique, empowering gifts freely, without the threat of being shamed or criticized. Let’s put an end to that stigma once and for all and live as Empowered Achievers.

A Favorite Quote: Coach John Wooden said, “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”

I love this quote because I got to watch Coach Wooden in action when I was in college. He coached and guided his athletes not only with his strategies but his philosophy of life.

Think about it, if you are willing to invest just 15-minutes a day, every day, and let that be enough, over the course of 1-year, that’s over 91 hours of invested time. What could you achieve with 91 hours of focused and intentional attention? I bet it would be difficult to commit to spending 91 hours to achieve a goal you set but you could successfully achieve that same goal over the course of 1-year in 15-minute increments. Whenever a student overcommits on their goals they derail and get frustrated that they didn’t keep their word to themselves. However, when they commit to the 15-minutes a day every day or even 30-minutes a day if they have it, their achievements are massive. This works because we are flying under the radar of triggering resistance or fight/flight responses. Small amounts of time or action steps are the recipe for your success.





Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and a newfound freedom in your life!

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

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If you’re ready to stop your needless suffering, I look forward to welcoming you into the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills program or seeing you inside The Transformation Club.  Personal transformation is not exclusive to me; it’s happening for my students every day.  There are real solutions to the challenges you are experiencing, and they are available now.  Time is our most precious asset, and none of us have time to waste on solutions that don’t work.  I would love to help you realize a new freedom, that is…if that’s of interest to you.   

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