Challenging You To Challenge Yourself

The Mel Robbins Challenge

Why should you challenge yourself? A great answer to that question comes from the Immerse Education website – “By challenging yourself, you push the boundaries of what you can achieve as an individual. You’ll gain confidence, resilience, and motivation. You’ll find opportunities and new goals to chase, maybe do something extraordinary.” Yes!

Article is Sponsored by Neely Coaching & Training

I’m a big Mel Robbins fan. She is a motivational speaker and author who helps others get what they want out of life. I was listening to her on the Making Space with Hoda Kotb podcast and I noticed that I was filling up my journal with her tips. When I would listen, I kept thinking – “That’s a good one!” and “I need to try that!” – So, I did. I created my own Mel Robbins challenge and implemented her tips for one month. How did it go? Read on….

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Making Decisions

Mel’s tip for making decisions is to notice your energy when you consider the different choices. Does the choice make you feel expansive and hopeful? That’s a yes. Or does the choice make you feel depleted and minimized? That would be a no. It doesn’t mean you necessarily want to do it or think it will be easy, but if it feels like you will grow, be energized, and it opens your heart, it falls into the yes category.

Paying attention to your energy is the first step, then check in with what you want and don’t want and ask yourself what you are going to do about it. When we don’t take notice, we can stay in jobs or relationships too long. We lose sight of our passions. We forget that our purpose is to share our authentic selves and stories with others, and we get trapped in self-doubt.

My Results:

This one aligned with my word for the year – ENERGY. For my new year intention, my focus is putting positive energy into the world, noticing who and what gives me energy and who and what takes my energy, and then most importantly, doing something about it. I’m very much in my head. Being a coach and reiki master has pushed me to also tap into my gut and my heart and pause to consider what all three are telling me. Practicing this tip is a work in progress for me. My motivation to keep working on it gives me permission to say no and to release relationships. That makes me feel empowered.

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Feeling Stuck

Feeling stuck or trapped is your mind’s way of signaling that you have stopped growing. The fastest way to get unstuck is to do something – sign up for a class, volunteer, or pursue a hobby. Challenge yourself to do something, even if it’s a small something. 

Sometimes our brains can work against us. When we wait longer than five seconds to act, our inner critic can take over and sabotage us. Mel’s tip is to count down. At the end of a countdown, our brains expect something to happen. She recommends you create a starting ritual that will stimulate the part of the brain that helps you act with courage and confidence. Count “5-4-3-2-1“and then move to action.

My results:

I believe that the key to not feeling stuck and taking your power back is to realize you have choices and to act. In fact, I share this with my coaching clients often. The countdown was new to me but having an inner critic that can sabotage me was not new. I’m working on being intentional about using the countdown but when I do, it works!

Challenging yourself with advice from Mel Robbins

How You Start Your Morning 

Mel says that how your day is going to go can be tied to the first decision you make when you open your eyes. Get out of bed, make the bed (it’s a way to keep a small promise to yourself and have something nice to come back to later), look in the mirror, and high five yourself. (Yes, you read that correctly)

Some interesting facts:

  • Hitting the snooze button can impact your productivity by up to four hours
  • 50% of men and women cannot look at themselves in the mirror and the rest of us glance at ourselves and focus on what we don’t like. 
  • You don’t have to say anything when you do the high five. It’s the act of raising your hand. A lifetime of positive neurological programming attached to a high five is focused back on you. In a study of individuals who did the self-high five for five days in a row, not a single person reported that it did not positively impact their mood.

Mel encourages us to check in with ourselves before we check in with the world and wait to look at our phones when we wake up. Why give away your hottest commodity, your time and attention, first thing? You deserve to start your day as a priority. You matter. Also, do not sleep with your phone and stop looking at your phone one hour before bedtime. You deserve a good night’s rest.

My Results:

The get out of bed and make the bed part I had down already. However, I realized that I had created some habits with my phone – like looking at it during the night and first thing in the morning. I compromised by putting my phone on the other side of the nightstand which minimized how often, if at all, that I look at it and wait at least ten minutes after I wake to look. Baby steps. 

Looking at yourself in the mirror and high five was hard for me, I don’t even like to see myself on video. I stuck to the challenge and did the high five for five days. I got better at looking at myself in the mirror and showing self-compassion vs picking myself apart. There is definitely something to this!

Mindset Practices

Practice #1 – Take 5 minutes each morning to consider – what is one thing that matters to me that I’m going to make progress on today? You don’t have to complete it, just make progress. Studies show it creates a deeper sense of fulfillment. It gives you a sense of control, makes you feel like what matters to you is a priority, and you feel less resentful of all the other things that pull your time and attention away. 

Practice #2 – Get quiet and imagine what you want your life to look like and align your actions to that. An exercise that Mel recommended that I have also seen used in business settings is the start, stop, and continue. To achieve the desired results, what do you need to stop? What are you doing that is working and you want to continue? What is something new you need to start?

Remember, your life is made up of little things. Things like what you do first thing in the morning, how you greet people, the mood you bring into a room, and how you connect with others. Bring intention to these little things you do every day.

My Results:

I really like practice #1. I’m someone who likes to cross things off a list. So, identifying my personal priority for the day was motivating and seeing more of those get completed was very satisfying. Giving myself permission for progress and not the expectation of completion immediately took the pressure off and increased my succession rate. I like the idea of practice #2. I get in my own way of executing this. It’s a work in progress.

Mel Robbins advice to connect with others

Connecting with Others

Both activities are intended to embrace opportunities to spread positive energy, receive positive energy, and strengthen relationships with others and yourself. 

  • Play the smile game – make eye contact with a stranger, smile, hold 3-4 seconds, and see if they smile back. 
  • Send “thinking about you” texts – Each morning text someone that you are thinking about them. 

My Results:

Again, this feeds into my intention for the year around ENERGY so I was all in. The smile game was hard for me. I aborted the mission on the first try. and I got mixed results on the second try as it felt awkward to hold the eye contact and the person started a conversation. I don’t know why I didn’t expect that might happen, but it caught me off-guard. The third time was the charm. I smiled, held eye contact, and received a smile back. Success! 

The ‘thinking about you’ texts were easy because this is already something I do. I believe it’s important to check on your friends, to send them prayers and positive thoughts, and to let them know you love them. It wasn’t something I did daily though so I’m working on making it a habit.

My challenge made me consider my habits and mindset and push myself to try new things. Will it all stick? Some of it will. Part of the process is to take what works for me and supports me in being the best me. I invite you to try the Mel Robbins challenge or find other ways to challenge yourself to shake things up and step out of your comfort zone. Know that when you do, I’ll be sending you positive energy!

Debby Neely is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation who specializes in leadership coaching and facilitation. Her business, Neely Coaching & Training, supports both formal and informal leaders in realizing their potential and in getting results. Their mission is to help you be the best you can be.

Debby Neely
Debby Neely

Debby Neely is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation who specializes in leadership coaching and facilitation. Her business, Neely Coaching & Training, supports both formal and informal leaders in realizing their potential and in getting results. Their mission is to help you be the best you can be.

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