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  • Marie:                     Hey it's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV,

  • the place to be to create a business and life you love. I got a question for you: have you

  • ever struggled to create change in your life? Maybe around a birthday, you've said, "this

  • year is going to be different, it really is," but then it becomes a sad repeat of the past.

  • If you've ever struggled to create meaningful change in your life, my guest today is here

  • to help.

  • Todd Herman is the founder of the Peak Athlete, a peak performance coaching and researching

  • company working with hundreds of pro and Olympic athletes on the inner psychology of winning.

  • Todd also consults with leading executives and business owners on leadership, sales and

  • communication. His corporate leadership programs are used by over 17 organizations globally

  • and three governments reaching over 250,000 people.

  • In 2010, he was awarded the World's Greatest Salesperson and the Con International Advertising

  • Festival and has been featured on the Today Show, the Australian Today Show, Sky Business,

  • the New York Times and other media.

  • Todd Herman, thank you for being on MarieTV.

  • Todd:           I'm so happy to be here.

  • Marie:                     I think you're amazing and you and I have been

  • friends for years. One of the coolest things that you taught me, and this was a few years

  • back, was on the biology of change. It's this concept and these ideas that really have

  • stuck with me, so I am so excited to have you share that with everybody here today.

  • Lets get right into it. What's happening on a cellular level when we try and create some

  • kind of change? A new habit, learn a new skill, anything like that.

  • Todd:           There's a chemical cocktail of changes happening inside of us

  • and it's working from the inside out. Anytime we're trying to break an old habit, embark

  • on a new skill or try to improve ourselves, generally there is a biological process that's

  • going on inside of us and most people would tap into it as an emotional part of what's

  • going on. It's this part that trips people up; it's this misunderstanding of what's

  • happening that prevents people from actually continuing on with the change. There's some

  • great research that was done and last year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to

  • two researchers on this very subject.

  • What's interesting to note about the cells, what's important to know, is that they are

  • constantly receiving information and they're constantly replicating themselves. It's

  • important to know this because this is actually what's happening when we're going through

  • our process of change. When we actually start on a process of embarking on a new skill or

  • changing a bad habit or something like that, we're actually sending some positive "juju"

  • through our body. Positive emotion that comes in the form of hormones; dopamine and serotonin

  • would be the two main ones. But if our cells are used to being constantly bombarded with

  • cortisol, because they're receivers of information, they're used to getting cortisol, just like

  • hungry little hippos; they just wanting to be fed anything and if you're constantly feeding

  • them cortisol, they'll accept it. They're going to get more of it and they're going

  • to send information up saying, "give me some more cortisol and stress." If you're

  • wondering why you're always stressed out, it's not that you're a bad person and

  • you're supposed to be living that way; it's just what your cells are used to.

  • When we stick with change, the replication of the cells that happens, if we're constantly

  • giving them dopamine and endorphins, they're going to want more dopamine and endorphins

  • when they replicated because the cells replicate based on the last information that happens

  • to them.

  • Marie:                     Tracking here, so we start to create a new habit; for

  • example, we're starting to exercise. Before our butts were on the couches, we're all

  • stressed out all the time and all of a sudden we said "alright, I'm going to start working

  • out." You start sending these new hormones, the dopamine and serotonin and your cells

  • start getting bombarded with some new hormones and they're shaking and they're replicating

  • then they want to start going in a new direction.

  • Todd:           They're vibrating away because they're not used to getting this

  • information so they need to vibrate to accept it because they need to change the receptor

  • sites to allow in this new information. It's this vibration that trips people up. This

  • is the cause of what we would call self-sabotage and resistance many times in people because

  • they interpret this as "this doesn't really feel good or doesn't feel right to me,"

  • and that's their own story that they're attaching to the cellular change that's

  • happening. You got to remember that those cells automatically always want the good stuff

  • right away because they're still elements of the need for cortisol. You are going to

  • still get some stress going on in your body, but overtime if we just stick with it, that's

  • why the greatest breakthroughs always happen when you are wanting to quit almost, and then

  • around the next corner is this massive change that happens for us.

  • It's this knowing part, when I've shared this with clients and even when we talked

  • about it for the first time, that people relax into it because now it explains so much of

  • why sometimes we've quit and when we've been doing something that was really positive

  • but just knowing that this is how we work, people can relax into the change more. It's

  • like now you know what to expect. I'm not going to be positive forever because day one

  • exercise is easy, day two is easy too, day three a little bit of resistance kicking in

  • because maybe we're a little bit achy, day four maybe we don't want to go to the gym

  • and day five we just end up quitting on ourselves. The change was happening if we would have

  • just stuck with it, then when our cells are used to all this dopamine and serotonin that's

  • coming at it, they're going to be wanting more of that which means that the activities

  • that you're going to be choosing are going to lead you to be sending that information

  • back down; the activities, the action you take on a daily basis.

  • Marie:                     It's almost like we have to stick through it to

  • get through that transition period so that our cells have built those new receptors,

  • want the dopamine, want the good stuff and then they become hungry hippos for the good

  • stuff; it's like give me that juice.

  • Todd:           And you're only going to be doing the things that give them the

  • juice, which is usually these new activities and new habits that you've done in your

  • life.

  • Marie:                     What we're doing is misinterpreting some really

  • good stuff that's happening inside of our body especially when we're around that stage

  • with resistance. I think resistance is such an interesting topic so let's dive a little

  • bit deeper into that resistance.

  • Todd:           After all the work that I've done with professional athletes,

  • amateur athletes, Olympic athletes and executives as well, there's basically two categories

  • of people that I've classed people in; there's OWW brainers and WOW brainers. The difference

  • between the two is this: OOW brain people, when they're faced with a challenge, some

  • sort of obstacle, when they're going through a process of change will automatically start

  • the dialogue or the story that they tell themselves. They feel this vibration that's going on

  • and then what they attach to it is "I'm not really feeling this, this isn't right

  • for me, why should I bother anyway, I've always been like this," things like that is all

  • wrapped around that type of story. When you're telling yourself that, of course you're going

  • to end up quitting on it.

  • There's basically three categories of story that we wrap around it; there is this feeling

  • of being stuck, this feeling of being bored and then this need to feel safe, retracting

  • into ourselves so it's like a comfort zone. People are stuck, they're bored and they're

  • safe. If you notice that's what happening in your life, you've fallen into this path

  • of this OWW brain.

  • Marie:                     The OWW brain too is like "ow, that hurts, I

  • want to step away, this isn't feeling right, this isn't feeling good, let me go retreat

  • to my old habits." If we can, before we go onto the WOW brain, I've seen this so much

  • in the programs that I teach because I see the two different people and the folks that

  • have the OWW brain the moment that they're trying a new framework in marketing or they're

  • trying to be more organized or trying to stick to a schedule, they're like "I'm just not

  • built like this, this doesn't work for me," and that's amazing because I'll see this

  • whole other track of people that respond to the same information in a different way and

  • it's just extraordinary.

  • Todd:           It's not like we're just one thing; it's segmented parts of

  • our life. For me, it could be the idea of me giving up chocolate cake; that's OWW

  • to me. Another word that's wrapped around it is pain; it's a pain part of our brain

  • and OWW is about pain. The dialogue that happens and continues on with that is "maybe my

  • friends will leave me as well if I continue on this." Here's the reality: if you're

  • going to build a business for yourself and you're going to become more successful, you're

  • going to lose friends. You will. I did; you probably did as well. You don't hang around

  • with the same people anymore.

  • Marie:                     Lets talk about the WOW brain.

  • Todd:           WOW brain people, when they're going through this resistance,

  • is they're seeing things as more pleasurable and it's "this is feeling really good,

  • I can't wait to see what happens out of this, I wonder what opportunities are going to unfold

  • for me because of this, there's so many things that I'm learning and growing and I never

  • would have expected this." It's all about this sense of WOW. Three other categories

  • that they revolve around is growth, confidence is another and the other one is adventure.

  • People that are going through the OWW brain, they're dealing with feeling stuck, bored

  • and feeling the need for safety; growth, confidence and adventure for people that are in the WOW

  • brain.

  • When you move those circles together, if growth, confidence and adventure were all circles

  • and we moved them together, where growth and confidence overlap, then we get momentum when

  • we're growing and we feel good about our growth and we're moving on things. Momentum

  • is the exact opposite of feeling stuck. Then when we have confidence and adventure coming

  • together, now we have excitement in our life as well. Excitement is the exact opposite

  • of feeling bored. Then we have growth and adventure, which is all about transformation.

  • When we go on an adventure and we grow from it, we transform and we're not safe. And

  • in the center of it all is leadership.

  • When you take a look at your own brand, and I'm not doing this because I'm on MarieTV

  • and give you a bunch of affirmations, it has all those things going on and if people just

  • wrapped their lives more around this idea of just growing, getting more confidence from

  • our growth and learning to look at life with more of an adventurous spirit, then change

  • isn't so daunting. Plus with this new knowledge of this chemical cocktail that's going to

  • go is going to go on all the time anyway and I'm tired of feeding those hungry hippos nothing

  • but cortisol and stress.

  • Marie:                     Right. I love this. This is so fun. Every time I

  • hear you talk about this, I really just get excited. We've got the framework, we're

  • starting to know this, we've got the OWW brain and the WOW brain and we all have a little

  • bit of both in our lives, so let's go on. If we find ourselves in the position of being

  • in OWW associating some kind of pain pulling back when we know the change that we want

  • to make is really in our best interest, it's something that's really good for us and

  • something ultimately we want. What are some practical steps that we can take to support

  • ourselves to move into more of that WOW position?

  • Todd:           There are five prescriptions that I give people. One is you have to have

  • a vision that's clear and very specific. People have heard that before. It's not

  • that its something new and shiny object type of thing. I'm not talking about this grand

  • vision off into the future but if it's a very small change that we're trying to make

  • or if we're trying to break a habit, what does that look like, specifically what am

  • I trying to change about myself or what's the new skill? If we take a look at growth

  • and confidence and adventure, what's a vision that I have about my growth that I can be

  • growing in my business and what does that look like for me and very tangible it has

  • to be.

  • Marie:                     I can give you an example that can help illustrate

  • this. I just did this 14 day detox with Josh and it wasn't necessarily like I had this

  • ultra clear vision of what it would look like, but it was a specific thing. These 14 days,

  • it was concrete, I understood there was a plan, there was a place I was going to get

  • to and I knew the kind of things I was going to eliminate on my path, so it made it so

  • easy rather than this big grand vision of being the perfect healthy person forever.

  • It was specific, it was concrete and it gave us something to work from.

  • Todd:           You used the keyword "path"; the path is everything. You saw

  • the path. There was no guessing and uncertainty. Uncertainty is the enemy to the OWW brainer.

  • If there is uncertainty, you're going to get resistance and self-sabotage in your life

  • then. Just be specific and clear about what it is that you're trying to go after.

  • The second thing is to set trigger goals for yourself. Trigger goals are about the little

  • micro changes that we need to be set up for ourselves in order to maybe accomplish the

  • bigger goal. If I'm trying to start a new exercise regimen, a trigger goal is if I pull

  • the thread on that goal of going to the gym, what's one of the first actions I would even

  • ever have to take in order to get to the gym? It would be four times this week, I'm going

  • to get dressed up in my Lululemon gear in my home because probability says that I'm

  • more than like going to take the next step which is maybe walk out the door. Trigger

  • goals would be five times this week, I'm going to get dressed up and it's the complete

  • opposite about what most people hear about goal setting. I want to find what is the behavioral

  • action step that you can take because I know that if I get you to walking down that path,

  • the likelihood of you getting to the gym is just that much more likely.

  • The next goal on top of that would be to open up the door five times this week with the

  • mission of going to the gym. We're not even at the gym yet and those are things we do

  • when we accomplish it. There is a little dopamine dump that we get because we did achieve the

  • thing that we set up that we were going to do.

  • Marie:                     It's almost building on small wins. I can think

  • about it in terms of productivity. I know for me one of the biggest habits that I developed

  • that serves me so much, and I always recommend it, end of day and take out my notebook, setup

  • for the next day. Huge, simple trigger goal impacts my level of accomplishment, how I

  • feel about myself, how rested I can be when I go to bed, just doing that one simple tiny

  • action that cascades into incredible results in every part of my life.

  • Todd:           What's funny about that goal you set for yourself is when I take

  • a look at one of the hallmarks of a WOW brainer, people who do achieve quite a bit, that's

  • one of their things that they. They are fantastic at planning out their tomorrow, today.

  • Marie:                     I love it; it gets me high. I get so excited.

  • Todd:           Think about it. For me, it's like this sense of excitement expectancy

  • now because I'm taking control of my day, not control in that I'm going to force things

  • to happen but there's an internal power that we get from that.

  • Marie:                     Absolutely. Also, a sense that we know that we can't control

  • so much of what happens so to go in at least with a plan of "okay, this is what's really

  • important for me, so no matter what else happens, I got this to go in there with. It may not

  • always work out but at least coming in prepared."

  • Todd:           Number three would be to set improvement goals. Improvement goals

  • are really important and are all about numbers with a date attached to them. The great thing

  • about photo albums is that we can see change in photo albums. When I see myself at 5 or

  • at 15, I can see the visual change that's happening, but when people maybe sign up for

  • one of your programs, if I don't set up an improvement goal for myself, then it's

  • really hard for me to know and get feedback for myself of, is this improving, am I growing

  • from this, so I can get more confidence with my abilities and capabilities.

  • An improvement goal would be, for example, if it's working out again; I will improvement

  • the number of pushups I can do consecutively from 5 to 15 by X date, six weeks from now,

  • four weeks from now, whatever it is. If someone is in a sales type role, I will improve the

  • number of successful calls that I make to prospects from three per day to six per day,

  • by a date. Then I can put that on a plot chart and I can see it go up or I can see it go

  • down, and in the feedback loop we see, "no wonder my sales are dropping because I'm not

  • doing that one little activity." I don't need to beat myself up over it; it's just

  • an improvement goal.

  • Marie:                     It's that classic phrase; anything measured improves,

  • anything measured and reported improves exponentially. Again I'll go back to this detox I was doing.

  • It's related but I drew 10 little glasses on my one sheet of paper every day because

  • that was that I needed to do, have 10 full glasses of water everyday and I got such a

  • high out of ticking those little babies off, it just feels good, but now I have a record