There’s a way around feeling stuck, and it takes looking into the brain and how it works. This week on the podcast, behavioral economist Melina Palmer is sharing how to use brain science to be more productive and meet your goals. We discuss why it’s so difficult to change your self-talk, why starting that new habit is so challenging, why you might hate seeing yourself on video (and how to overcome that) and so much more.
Melina, the host of The Brainy Business podcast, is on a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. Don’t miss this episode to learn more about how the brain works and how to avoid productive procrastination to actually get things done.
About Melina Palmer:
Why do people say one thing and do another? What really drives behavior? How does the brain actually work – and how can we best communicate with it? What does that mean for companies? Melina Palmer, host of The Brainy Business podcast, has dedicated her career to seeking answers to these questions for herself and her clients. Melina uses behavioral economics to help everyone from global corporations to entrepreneurs understand the psychology of why people buy, unlocking the secrets of small changes that make a big difference via her podcast, public speaking, and column on Inc.com. The result is messaging, branding, advertisements, pricing, and products that are more “brain-friendly” (meaning more leads, conversions, and revenue).
Links and Resources:
- Indestructible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal
- Nir Eyal Brainy Busines podcast episode
- Master Your Mindset masterclass
- Samuel Salzer Brainy Business podcast episode
- @TheBrainyBiz – Instagram
[1:36] – About Melina Palmer
[3:13] – Melina’s superpower
[4:25] – Applicable behavioral science – a new branch
[5:45] – Getting things done, make an impact, and feeling in the swirl
[7:01] – 99% of decisions are made by subconscious brain
[10:50] – Your brain is processing 275,000 things that aren’t important
[12:17] – What’s coming up may not be what’s useful
[14:30] – Why it’s so difficult to change your self-talk
[17:30] – Bikeshedding
[19:53] – “Busy” isn’t the stamp of awesomeness anymore
[21:21] – The opposite of distraction is traction
[23:05] – – “I’ll start Monday” effect
[26:56] – When you only get 3 things done today and feel bad about yourself
[29:47] – Perfectionism gets us stuck
[30:23] – There’s a good enough point where you can keep going
[31:52] – Set your goal on dream, but focus on the reality of right now
[33:31] – Our challenge with video is focusing illusion
[36:20] – The only way we see ourselves is in a mirror; we look different on video
[38:40] – Invest in what’s important to you
Unknown Speaker 0:01
You’re listening to the my biz bestie podcast, where female business owners find their support system to have their back through the highs and lows of running a business and to make the journey less lonely and a lot more fine. Here is your host licensed therapist, entrepreneur and your biz bestie. Amber Hawley
Amber Hawley 0:23
Welcome to season six of the My Biz bestie Podcast. I’m Amber Hawley. And today I have a super awesome special guest with me. I have the lovely Melina Palmer from the brainy business podcast. And we’re going to talk about all things sprain oriented and getting unstuck. Welcome. Melina,
Melina Palmer 0:44
thank you so much for having me.
Amber Hawley 0:47
I was like I said, there’s so many things I could say that I could just go on and on and on about your descriptions and all the things you know, but you are the podcast host of the brainy business podcast and you are a behavioral, economic.
Melina Palmer 1:05
I can hear all economist I know it’s funny. I was like, everybody gets hung up on that. Yes.
Amber Hawley 1:12
Maybe I was gonna say maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee today. But good. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in that. I was like, wait a minute, that does not roll off the tongue actually.
Melina Palmer 1:21
It’s a funny, I guess conundrum of the way that the brain actually works and where it gets stuck. And you realize you’re saying the wrong word.
Amber Hawley 1:28
But that is not right. But yes. So welcome. Lena, tell us a little bit a lot more eloquently. Tell us about yourself?
Melina Palmer 1:36
Sure. Well, so as you said, I have a business and a podcast called the brainy business where I help people to understand the psychology between how the brain actually makes decisions versus what we think it should do, and how that can be used effectively by people in business. So not just knowing how the brain works, but understanding the tendencies within your own self as well as people you’re trying to communicate with. And while most of the advice I give is catered around business, because our brains are impacting everything we do, the tips are really helpful in you know, relationships that either with, you know, people that you’re living with in your home to co workers and peers, as well as, like I said, the way you communicate with current and potential customers, and my master’s is in behavioral economics and my undergrad is in marketing and brand strategy. And that’s what I did for the bulk of my career before getting my masters and really diving in on how the brain actually works and helping people with with that aspect.
Amber Hawley 2:44
Are you feeling stressed out or unmotivated? Are things in your personal life affecting your business, as a licensed therapist, and coach, these are just some of the things that I help people with all the time. Right now you can book an SOS session for 50% off, just go to my biz bestie.com forward slash SOS. It’s why I love your podcast, because obviously, being a therapist, I’m really interested in psychology and how the brain works. But having somebody who translates it so well into, well, what does that look like for yourself and for your customers or your clients? And I think it’s that the marrying of the two worlds that’s so exciting, because, you know, I love all things business and all things personal development.
Melina Palmer 3:30
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s something that I didn’t realize when I was getting into the space that it really is my superpower. I guess, as people have said, where it seemed to me, it’s so easy to read all those academic journal articles and dig out and say, This matters, this matters, this matters. And that’s how you use it and just move on my brain just sort of naturally does that. And being able to then explain to someone else how to do it, I figured the, you know, the academics that are doing that research and writing that they must know how to explain and tell other people how to use it as well. But I have found that that is not necessarily true that people get really siloed into what their work is. And I do you connect and work with a lot of academics around the world on what their research is, and helping them to share that information, either through the podcast or otherwise to make it really applicable for people. So applicable behavioral science and behavioral economics is a new branch of this already very new fields. And that’s where I really focus my time and energy.
Amber Hawley 4:34
Yeah, and like I said, it’s I think that’s what’s so exciting about, you know, the work that you’re doing is we often can think like, Oh, I know myself, Oh, I wouldn’t do this, or I wouldn’t do that. Or oh, you know, whatever. And I mean, even just doing anybody who’s done any kind of work in the psychology field knows, that is often not true, right? We have research studies to prove that. There’s some big ones that sadly like the, you know, Stanford Prison Since study and you know, there’s a lot of a lot of those, maybe not so positive,
Melina Palmer 5:06
feeling not quite flattering
Amber Hawley 5:09
human species, yeah. The nice thing is figuring out, okay, this is actually what mostly goes on for people. And it’s like, once you can accept that, then it’s like you again, this is where you can make changes. And I felt like it would be such a great idea to have you on because what I’m seeing with people or hear hearing from, you know, friends, or even with myself, but also with clients is right now, with so much turmoil going on and so much. I mean, our world has been turned upside down in so many ways. I think people are in this place of feeling. Business owners are feeling this pressure to both get a lot of things done, or to try to make an impact or pivot or shift or whatever. And at the same time, they also feel so like, in the swirl of not knowing where to focus, and so they kind of feel stuck. So it’s like this immense pressure to be doing something. And then they’re just kind of overwhelming themselves and staying stuck, right?
Melina Palmer 6:11
Well, the thing about our brains, and just to take a quick step back, because I know you listen to the podcast. And so you know this, but for the listeners that may not be familiar, and kind of building on what you were saying about how our brains work. And we think we know ourselves and what we’re going to do, but we don’t, that’s one of the many biases of the brain, and what research has found. And through the study of behavioral economics, which is really just if you take traditional Economics and Psychology and put it together, and maybe with some neuroscience, neuro marketing, things like that, it gives you this behavioral economics and being able to understand, like I said, what people actually do versus what they think they should do what they know they should do what they want to do, what they hope they’ll do, is not often reality, so being able to understand the rules that the brain uses to make choices and how it moves forward. And so what studies have found is that of our decisions, about 99% of them are actually done by the subconscious brain. And it’s using rules of thumb that it’s developed over time to help predict what should be happening and using those proven rules to make a choice about what’s in front of you. And so we think that we’re in control logically of everything that’s going on all the time. And we assume that our conscious logical brains base is making all of these choices, and it’s just sort of informed by you know, an admin that’s running all these numbers in the back, and then we’re making the best possible choice. But really, that subconscious is more like a receptionist, or I kind of call it the gatekeeper, but it’s constantly scanning the world around you for things that it knows are normal, it has a rule for, and it’s making decisions when it thinks it knows what to do, whether it applies in that case or not, and will only elevate very few items to the conscious brain to be able to handle because your subconscious can actually handle about 11 million bits of information per second, that it’s constantly processing through in scanning and deciding whether it’s important or not how to handle it what to do. So 11 million bits per second for your subconscious. And your conscious brain can only handle about 40. Not even 40,000, which would still be a really lame ratio, just just for days for lane, right, super duper lame.
Melina Palmer 8:40
And so then when you realize those decision points and how much is being handled by the subconscious, when you do get overwhelmed, something that was going to be would have been handled by your conscious brain is now not important enough because you’re dwelling on something else. So your subconscious ends up handling all those really important things. Because you’re focused on some small little task that’s not actually important, but feels incredibly important in the moment because your subconscious is stressed. And because our brains don’t like change, because the subconscious is predicting based on what it knows is going to happen and what’s worked before this time where we can’t go into an office and we don’t have our normal routines. And we’re having to teach our kids science and see ourselves on video when we really hate it and all these other things is causing our brains to all get overwhelmed in a way where things were. Okay, otherwise, but it’s really being much more obvious to everyone in the day to day now.
Amber Hawley 9:46
Yeah. And I think, you know, a theme that I hear a lot is people also beating themselves up about that fact of like, why am I tired and why am I not doing this or XYZ and I’m like, Well, there’s a there’s a lot going on. All right now there’s a lot of good reason for that. As frustrating as it is right? But you I mean, you said so many really important things I think about, like how the brain works. And, you know, even when you said the one of the first things, you were talking about us how we think we use logic. And I was like, anybody who’s done couples counseling can tell you that logic is that everyone thinks it’s like this neutral thing. Like, it’s not subjective. It’s just this factual thing. And I’m like, No, we all use logic. It’s what data points are shaping our logic. And I think that’s the big thing of what you’re talking about is we’re extracting consciously, very few data points in reality of what’s going on. And that can easily shape and shift like our behaviors and what we’re thinking and feeling.
Melina Palmer 10:47
Yeah, absolutely. So taking that 11 million to 40 ratio and putting it in another in this context. That means for every one thing that the subconscious allowed to hit the conscious brain, there were 275,000 Other things that weren’t important enough to make it to that level. And so is it possible that your brain filtered one of those 275,000 things that my brain didn’t think was as important in that moment? Yes. And so we can be seeing and talking about two completely different things and still be correct. And just because we see things differently, and filter things differently, doesn’t mean either one is wrong. And neither one of us has to be wrong for me to be right.
Amber Hawley 11:36
You know, sadly, I’m telling you, that’s like the crux of most of my you know, work as a therapist with marriage counseling, is getting people to understand that, because it’s huge and often, and if you think about it, is our brain and ascend up the information that tells us how we were wrong, and tells us the things that we contributed, often not the case. But you know, that there’s all that other stuff that kind of filters into that, but I just thought it was worth mentioning. Because I do think, like even understanding that on a basic level, anybody who’s been in relationship with somebody where they have this conflict, it’s like, we see it so differently. There’s so many reasons for that. So then understanding like, as we approach things in our business, the same thing is happening, we’re getting inundated with all this stuff, and what’s coming up may not be what you’re wanting, or what’s most useful, or, you know, the thing you’re trying to make yourself do. And this is the thing where I see people, so very stuck. And even in, you know, this is where like having somebody on the outside kind of giving you feedback, or giving you a neutral point of view can be helpful. But even then, you know, when I talk to somebody, and they we’ve established, like, what their pattern is, like, Oh, this is my pattern, this is what I do. And then when we see it come up, and I’ll say, okay, so this is your pattern, this is what this is why your brain is telling you that these things are going to happen. But we know that that’s not true, they still have a very hard time moving past that. Right?
Melina Palmer 13:02
Well, that’s like, if you were to go ahead and say like, Hey, brain, effective, immediately, we will no longer associate the color red with apples, it’s just not a thing anymore. And we’re never going to think that ever again. It’s not gonna work out very well, right, because your brain, you can’t stop your subconscious brain from the associations that it’s making. But you can help yourself to be more aware of them. And every episode of my podcast, and my email signature, and everything I always say, remember to be thoughtful is what I put into everything. And so be thoughtful is what I am constantly reminding people of, and it is about, you know, stopping and asking a question, just because it’s a rule doesn’t mean it has to be and you can’t possibly handle all 11 million things per second, right? So you have to be selective about what you’re questioning. But if there is a behavior or something you want to change, if you just stop and think about it for a minute and say, Is this really what I want to do? Why do I feel like this is a good thing? Why do I think it’s a bad thing? What if I thought something else, and asking yourself those questions and actually really being open to the responses for at the beginning, when you’re trying to change any sort of a behavior, it takes some conscious effort to train your brain to move it into your subconscious space. So I’ve talked about anything, so people that have been bad at public speaking or if you hate seeing yourself on camera, we’re all having to get used to seeing your face on video a lot more. And I have a whole episode about that. But if you hate it, and you’ve been telling yourself I look weird on camera, everybody’s looking at me this looks bad. I’m terrible at this, you have reinforced that to yourself and said it so many times. But then when you go and are trying to change it and you think well I told myself that it’s not bad once and it didn’t stick. So obviously, that’s not going to work. And so same of whether it’s public speaking or anything else, you can’t just say, I don’t hate this now, you know, it’s helping to force yourself to think the positive thoughts about that process and say, I have important information people want to learn about people want to hear from me, it doesn’t have to be about how you look or whatever, you can focus on something else to help get over that hurdle, and move forward. But it’s not something that happens in in one statement, because you’ve been constantly reinforcing this other thing for, you know, in the best case, you know, a couple of months, but in for many of us, it’s been for our whole lives.
Amber Hawley 15:41
Absolutely. And, you know, two things come up, when you say that is like, this is why we say awareness is the first step of a problem, like, being aware that something’s a problem for you is like the first step. But the integration, you know, that’s a whole different thing. Like, like, you’re saying, We can’t, can’t talk yourself out of something, usually on the first try. I mean, that would be fantastic. But it really is. And, you know, I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but I often like when I talk to clients, I’m like, okay, here, you know, something like, logically, you can know something, and I’m pointing to my head, for those of you on the podcast, who can’t see. But I’m like, but having it here, like integrating it into your being just takes more time. And it takes really believing that I think you really have to get to the point where you accept it. Because like you’re saying, If you I think if you keep saying like, well, apples aren’t red apples aren’t red, you’re never really going to integrate that because you know, that’s not true. Now, of course, there are green apples, and there are other ones. But you know that that’s not a truth. And so I don’t know that that will ever integrate for you. Right.
Melina Palmer 16:49
And, you know, it’s just about sticking in on what matters. And knowing you can’t change everything. At any given time, I’m a really big believer in only having a maximum of three big goals that you’re working on. And that’s in your entire life and business and everything. Because if you’re trying to focus on too many things, then you have too many tasks and priorities. And it’s easy to kind of use each one as an excuse to productively procrastinate on the other thing that you want to be working on to where you never actually make progress on any of those. I know from working with you in conversations in the past that you have a lot of clients and that used to work in Silicon Valley. And so a common term, when it comes to working in computers and whatnot is this concept of bike shedding where you are working on, you’re supposed to be working on creating the new nuclear facility. And instead, you are all focused on designing the bike shed, because you can take an inordinate amount of time to finish this small thing, because it feels really important in that moment. But it’s actually distracting you from the big scary thing that you’re supposed to be working on. And so that does come up in projects all the time. But for our own goals, as well, where if you have a goal of writing a book, or launching a course, or coming up with a new lead magnet, or having this difficult conversation, you know, it doesn’t have to be something as big as design, designing a new plant, it could be something small, but if you aren’t wanting to do it, it’s really easy to get distracted by these other smaller things. So in goals of thought leadership, I can say that I need to be growing my social media, which means I should probably be doing some of these types of tasks of creating good content and putting that out and sharing it. But instead, it feels a lot better. And my brain wants to get distracted by observing other people’s social media for hours on end. But it’s important, right? That’s valuable research, market research, right, I need to do that. I need to scroll through Instagram for three hours right now, instead of working on my own marketing strategy, right, whatever that happens to be. So we are constantly bike shedding in our own lives and businesses all the time. And if you don’t have a really clear defined goal of what you’re working toward, and why it matters, and then you’ve also said, these other things don’t matter. And I can’t be working on them until I finish this one thing, then you’re just going to constantly kind of stay in that bike shed space, especially when everybody’s really overwhelmed with all the change of the time during the pandemic.
Amber Hawley 19:38
Yes, and I do think I think bike shedding is an epidemic. Like I do think it is something that is so pervasive, because it can also give us a sense that were being productive. So there’s, there’s a little bit of that reward in that. But it’s but it’s one of those things that you know, it’s like when people talk about being busy like so they stay too busy. you to be able to get anything done.
Melina Palmer 20:02
I’m glad that that’s not the the stamp of awesomeness anymore, you know, where people say, How are you? Oh, I’m so busy that that used to be good. And that’s, you know, busy doesn’t mean you’re doing anything. And I, I forget who I wish I could could claim that I came up with this term myself I forget where I first whom I first heard say it but productive procrastination is I think the best terminology on any of that to where it feels like you’re doing something. And I do have these other tasks that I need to do, I do need to post on social media. But it’s not more important to go post something on my Facebook as it is to write my next podcast episode in some ways. And so if it’s keeping me from the thing I really need to be working on right now. Then, it’s actually distracting me, I interviewed an author, his name is near Al. He has a book called in distractible, which is very much in line with all of this. And it’s a really fantastic book I highly recommend. But that has some of those tips to help you understand what you’re working toward, and what is distraction. And knowing that something in this moment, could be keeping you in line and the other in another moment. It’s a distraction. I love one of his examples of saints so that the opposite of distraction is traction, which is such an amazing way to look at it. And like he said, It took him five years to get that important little nugget. But it’s such a valuable way to think about how that works. If I’m not distracted, then I’m making progress and you need traction to get there.
Amber Hawley 21:44
Absolutely. And I can’t remember if it was I was listening to that episode or not. If it was him or a different one you did, but where he said it was a Swedish guy, so maybe Oh, is that?
Melina Palmer 21:56
Nope, that would be Samuel that Samuel Selzer? Probably
Amber Hawley 21:59
Okay, so when he talked to her, she even if you understand all of these concepts, that you can still justify to yourself why you’re going to do this thing. And I think like some of us get into that place as well. Like, I know, I’m very guilty of that. Like I can say, like, the one thing I have to do today is record a podcast episode. But then I will spend an hour and a half doing Facebook stuff are responding to people and feels very valuable. And I could justify why I’m doing that. And, and then there’s the whole piece where some people can even say, like, well, I’ve earned this break, or, you know, whatever the justification is, there’s, I mean, we can come up with so many things. But that’s why I do think it’s important to understand how our brain works and why we’re doing these things, because then we have a better chance of catching ourselves. Like, even if we allow ourselves to do that then say like, Okay, fine. But I’m acknowledging that I’m allowing myself to not work on the thing I’m supposed to and not be productive, right?
Melina Palmer 22:59
And that you’re making a choice and and how that all works. So the two concepts that are very, very key to what this problem is one of them is my one of my all time favorites, which is called time discounting. And I like to talk about this as the I’ll start Monday effect. And so if it was that easy to where we could just do all the things we know we need to do, you know, we all know what we should and shouldn’t eat, we all know that we should exercise, we all know, we should go to sleep, we all know, we shouldn’t binge watch NetFlix for eight hours a day, right? So we know these things on some, maybe not the last one, but the others. And so we know these things, but we don’t all do them, obviously eat and no matter how much we know it, it doesn’t mean you’re going to take the action. And that’s that conflict between the conscious and the subconscious brains, and they don’t speak the same language, they don’t work together as well as we would like them to. So what you need to do so if you think about how many times you’ve had that moment where you say, Okay, this is the last time you know, it’s Saturday night, and you know, maybe it’s with a bottle of wine or you’re having cake or whatever, and you say, Okay, I am starting my diet and exercise program on Monday, no magical Monday, that’s when everything’s gonna happen. I’m gonna change my behavior. And maybe you throw out everything in your refrigerator and you spend all day Sunday researching all of your options for what you’re going to be doing. And you come up with a whole exercise plan and you’re just feeling amazing. It feels so good about you. And these choices you’re making right now and just Oh man, I’m gonna kill it. I’m awesome. And you set your alarm for 5am and you go to sleep feeling really good. And then when it goes off, you just feel really groggy and start to think Man, maybe maybe I didn’t get that go to sleep and you know, if I’m gonna be starting this land today, whenever that is I need to have gotten enough rest. And so tomorrow is going to be the first day because I’m investing in me right now. And that’s what this whole plan is really about. And so tomorrow is going to be the day so you hit snooze and go back to sleep. And so the reason you feel like a completely different person when the alarm goes off, and when you wake up on Monday, is because our brains are very good at distinguishing between ourselves and others in many ways. And so if I’m saying, I’m running right now, my brain will light up differently than if I was to say Amber is running right now. And it will know that I’m talking and thinking about somebody else. And what studies have found is, when I’m talking about myself in the future, when I’m committing to the running plan, my brain is lighting up as if I’m talking about a completely different person. So future Molina is someone else that I’m committing to running the marathon and getting up at 5am. And eating nothing but dry chicken and lettuce. It’s really easy to commit her to all those things, because it’s not me. But when the alarm goes off, when the time comes, it is now me in the moment. And when I hit snooze, it’s pushing that to tomorrow yet again. And we have this optimism bias to think we’re going to be better tomorrow. I know I couldn’t even get one thing off of my to do list today. But tomorrow, I can do 10 things because I’m going to be really focused then. Right?
Amber Hawley 26:27
Yes, yes. Because sounds rested today. Because if I just quit early and rest, tomorrow, I’ll have the energy to
Melina Palmer 26:35
I’ll be revitalized and ready to go. And it sounds so beyond stupid and ridiculous when we talk through it in this way. And you know, it’s wrong, but you still feel compelled to do it. And I work with my group and with my clients all the time about this mindset anchor and things that you set for yourself. So we constantly want to say that you’re gonna get 10 things done, or maybe even five that you put on your to do list to say I have to get these done tomorrow, let’s say it’s five, and you only get three of them done. And at the end of the day, you just feel like a failure, like you didn’t make it through and do what you intended. And it’s so bad. And now tomorrow’s off. And you just really get down on yourself about what a bad job that you’ve done. If you only had one thing on your list and say this is the only thing I have to do tomorrow, and literally nothing else will matter if I don’t get this done, then the whole day is bad. So you get that one thing, you do it first if you’re in that sort of eat the frog mentality or whatnot. So first thing you do, you have to get that one thing done, it’s the only thing that matters. And then you were able to get two more things done. So you got three things done, where you only had one you had to do. Now you feel amazing. And like a superhero, because you got three things done instead of one, it may be the exact same three things, but the mindset that you had going into it will determine whether it becomes a vicious cycle or a virtuous one. So setting up one thing on your list may feel like it’s not going to be helpful. It’s not enough, I want five things I want 10 things I want to get all these things done. But that’s your brain working against you to keep you stuck and not have you actually accomplishing anything and constantly spinning. Whereas just having one thing, you’re going to be getting more done, and you’ll be in a better spot down the line than if you were to try to do 10 things every single day.
Amber Hawley 28:33
Yeah. And I will say I started practicing that. And it really does work. Because I am the queen of the never ending to do list. And and I think most business owners are like because reality is there are always things that pop up. And often so much is coming at us that I don’t even think we really evaluate with some of those things on our to do list are. And so and that takes space and time to write. So to me like even taking that time to say like, Okay, this is the day where I’m going to set the goals and figure out what matters and go through evaluation. Sometimes people feel like, oh, that’s wasting a day. And I’m like, well actually, really? You deleted things or delegated things or what is it delete delegate Automate, you know, those kinds of, like, if you go through and do that you’ll find like, you can get rid of a lot of stuff that that would be great for your ideal best self. You know, if I was Oprah, I could get these things done. Right?
Melina Palmer 29:29
If I had a team of 1000 people working for me, I could do a whole but even if I just had, you know, two or three
Amber Hawley 29:35
I know I was fired five people who could actually one Listen, when I say this is a mom of three I feel like no one listens to me. So to except for my clients maybe. And then too it’s like if you could just have those people Yes. But that’s I think that’s the problem as well as you know, we get into that and I love doing things and I feel like oh this I want everything to be professional and I want to, you know, I want to like show up being polished like that isn’t that’s important to me. But that’s what gets us stuck, right?
Melina Palmer 30:08
Perfectionism is bike shedding. Exactly right? Yeah, and not always right. There’s that 8020 rule. But I, in my time of marketing, running, you know, a department, I had designers that were artists, and that helping them to understand that art could never be complete, if you allow yourself to get sucked into the one little tweak here, the one thing there. And yeah, it’d be great. You know, if the bill every billboard was your masterpiece, but there’s a good enough point where we just have to keep moving. And you just have to go on to the next thing. And that’s a hard lesson for a lot of people and knowing that the in many ways your we all tend to compare ourselves to someone else’s finish line when we’re at the beginning. And so looking and saying, well, until I’m as good as Oprah, or whomever is the star in your space, who you’re comparing yourself to, you know, until I have a million hours of content, I can’t possibly do X until I have this, I can’t do that until my ads are good. I can’t launch my website until I have this. You know, you could just do that forever. And it’s because you’re setting your anchor on the wrong spot, instead of looking at what am I actually delivering today? And what would be better than that? So if you don’t have a website yet, or if you don’t have any presence on social media, you’re giving zero right now. And so what is it that you could do that would be just a little bit better than that. And then to the day after, what’s a little bit better than that? So the advice that I like to give in the way I kind of frame this is set your goal based on the dream scenario, right? You can put your goal against Oprah, if that’s what you’re looking to be, but your tasks and implementation and those kind of sub goals underneath, you have to be focused on the actual reality is of what people are getting from you right now. And that will help you to not be as stuck.
Amber Hawley 32:16
Yeah, it’s funny, I read. This was probably like 12 years ago or something. I was reading a marketing book. And I misread the quote. And so it always stuck in my mind. And I thought she said, It’s better to have a complexion than perfection. It was not the quote. In my mind, I said that just what I saw that as like, just show up, just like show up and put something it’s better to have something out there than to have it be perfect, right? I honestly couldn’t tell you what the real quote was.
Melina Palmer 32:47
Well, I’m sure it’s complete is better than perfect.
Amber Hawley 32:50
That would make sense. But just remember, and I do have ADHD, so sometimes I like fast read, but I was like, yeah, just show up. Like, I was like, yes, just show up.
Melina Palmer 33:06
Airbrush my face. Before I go to that networking event. I can just be there.
Amber Hawley 33:11
Exactly. Oh, that’s, that’s just not showing up. And then the beauty of most things on the internet is you can always you always change, you always iterate you always change anyway. So it’s exactly it’s gonna be fixed and made better. But I agree with you, I don’t think they ever become perfect.
Melina Palmer 33:27
Right? Well, one of the big problems that we all have with just to give the example of on video is we have what is this called the focusing illusion. And so we focus on one small thing about ourselves that we don’t like, or that’s distracting, or that’s concerning to us where it’s like, my nose is a little bit crooked, everyone must be looking at the way that I’m smiling or, you know, I woke up and my complexion wasn’t what I was hoping it would be today, you know, whatever that is, you’re really, really focused on those things. And everyone else is focused on their own junk, as well. And so they’re seeing you as sort of this entire entity and you’re the background around you and all these other things they’re kind of taking in, in general and so people will not remember as anywhere near as much about whatever you’ve put out there as you think they will even if you put out a price of something and then you have to change it or if you have the group included something and then tomorrow it doesn’t you know, you don’t want to be making changes constantly but people have shorter memories and don’t really focus in on what we’re doing as much as we think that they are, which can be humbling and also very liberating to say just keep on putting things out and trying something new and know that you are not required to keep your the rate you choose today or the product you put out there right now. You’re not obligated to keep it down the line and most people Pull out, if they even remember our understanding that things change.
Amber Hawley 35:04
Right. And, you know, there’s, this is something that I think comes up a lot for people. And I think the more we put ourselves out there and do that, the easier it becomes like we become less focused on like, how we look, you know, if we’re going to talk about that piece of being kind of self conscious, or whatnot, and I do think, just, it made me think of it that I heard somebody say, a long time ago, this is in regards to being a therapist and putting yourself out there because I was like, I don’t want to be on video. And then they’re like, look, nobody’s going to a therapist video is saying, Is she hot or not? They’re going to say they’re going because they want to know, can she help me? And so I think about all the time, which is good, because there have been times I show pretty haggard looking eyes, but I was like, you know, like, I feel like if I can say what I’m saying, like, that’s what matters. But I do think like you’re saying, you know some of that, that stuckness is the anxiety and the way around that is you have to take action. And so even just by doing it, we build that muscle. And we’re building those new connections in that building new awarenesses of like, No, I can pull myself out there, I can do this,
Melina Palmer 36:15
right. That’s a familiarity bias. So if we’re used to the way that we look, in one way versus another, so I used to, I’ve been virtual for my business for years, you know, before all of this, so I had gotten used to seeing myself on video and things like that, but I was still putting on makeup. Every time when I was going to do a live or whatever, I would make this extra effort, even though you know, I would have been going to work without that. So I don’t know why that felt like I needed to but you know, it’s lives forever. Something. But the other thing about just as the little tidbit of one of them of the main reasons we don’t like to see ourselves on camera for anyone that’s really getting stuck on that right now is we have this familiarity bias in the way that other people see us head on in the way that we truly look, the only way we ever see ourselves is in the mirror, which is slightly different than the way that you look because none of us are perfectly symmetrical people. And so when you see yourself in a head on vision, it just looks off and your brain really hates it because it’s gotten familiar and used to something else. And like for me, I have a freckle on my right cheek. And when it’s looking head on, it’s on the left side to me, and it looks very weird. And so my brain rejects and hates it, and then focuses on those things, and it makes me distracted, the entire conversation is worse. But if I just get used to seeing myself in the non mirror image on video, eventually my brain will just be okay and accept it. And it’s not that anything is wrong or different. It’s just what it’s used to and what it thinks I should look like. And so there are some things like zoom that naturally now do a mirror image of yourself. So it’s more comfortable for the person who’s speaking. Whereas Facebook Live and go to meeting do not just as a tip,
Amber Hawley 38:03
I know, I know, there are days I’m like, Oh, I finally found that one filter and zoom to make you look nicer. And then I started using stream yard I was like, Oh, great.
Melina Palmer 38:13
This is me.
Amber Hawley 38:14
I was like, I’m gonna go back to zoom Amber, because she’s way better. So going back to because like I was saying, I do feel like so many people are in this place of like, even if they understand, okay, I know what I need to do. But I just find myself coming up with so many reasons on what not to do them or I just feel that that overwhelming stuck? Is there anything you can give a tidbit to speak to that for people?
Melina Palmer 38:44
Yeah, I would say to take the time to invest in determining what your actual goals are, and what really is important to you in the longer term. And I do have a free mini course that helps kind of walk through all of that if you wanted to link to it for the listeners to be able to go and check it out. And so in this mastering your mindset, it’s going through this process of what all your goals could possibly be and helping you narrowed down to those top three things that are a priority to you, which is as much about knowing what you will say yes to as it is about knowing what you can then allow yourself to say no to and you understand why and what is important. And so, you know, for my goals, there’s about thought leadership and being a thought leader, as well as overall health and more time with my family. Those are my top three things in my entire life that I’m working on. And knowing that I also have to prioritize within them of what comes first. And you know, there’s more detail to all of that. But if you know what your three things are, and you’re able to say is this helping me to establish my thought leadership and should this be the most important goal right now. So for working on the podcast, Just that’s important in establishing me as a thought leader. And so I need to be doing that. And working on my book that is important in establishing thought leadership. And I need to be doing that there are other things that may be interesting, and that I would really love to be able to do if I had all the time in the world. But if it’s not helping me to be healthier, if it’s not helping me to have more time with my family, and it’s not helping to establish me as a thought leader in the field of behavioral economics, I just can’t do it. And it’s okay to say no to those things. And you can just feel the weight sort of removed as I can then be choosing tasks and goals that all align up to those top three things.
Amber Hawley 40:41
Yeah, and more importantly, you have to, if you don’t say no to things, there’s no way that you can ever really get to that endpoint and accomplish those things.
Melina Palmer 40:52
Right. And there are things that you have to say no to that you really like to do. I have always been a very avid crafter, I love knitting and quilting, and other painting and all of these things. And some of that can I can put into this classification of time with family. So if we can be working on something together, and it also could be a little bit in my own mental health. But if I was finding myself spending eight hours a day knitting blankets or whatever it is, potentially that’s something that is a bike shedding technique to keep me distracted from the thing that I actually need to be working on. That might be a little bit scary, like writing my Yes,
Amber Hawley 41:30
yes, exactly. Yeah. And I guess I would put Netflix in there. Oh, yeah, having limits.
Melina Palmer 41:39
I know, we’ve been I’ve been rewatching plenty of shows these days, and finding old old gems sort of in the in the mix. And you can still have time for Netflix and some of that. But knowing why you’re allowing yourself that right now and what it’s about and just being thoughtful about all of it, and asking why am I doing this right now? Did I finish what I said I was going to do today. And once you’ve finished your one thing, if you do want to watch some Netflix, yay for you, you know, you did the one thing you said you were going to do you can celebrate a little bit. And maybe you get motivated to do another thing after you watch a few episodes of whatever your favorite show.
Amber Hawley 42:21
Yes, no, I actually did recently start that backup for myself, because I found myself getting into that I because I do love like shows and movies and stuff. And so I said, Okay, until I do my one thing. I cannot watch any I mean Netflix or Amazon Prime or because I found britbox, which is really dangerous, because it was amazing, all these British crime dramas. And so I was like, Okay, I can’t do that until I do my one thing. But then that night, I did watch an entire series.
Melina Palmer 42:54
So you know, no judgment on any of that. I have all through through college. And I did book editing for a long time, or for a little while, I guess. But I did. I did edit books for several years. And in that process, where sometimes you’re kind of like, I have to go read another one of these chapters, you know, but I would help myself kind of through that process to say, you know, I do once I finished this one chapter, this one section of the book, or whatever it happens to be, once this one’s done, I get to go watch an episode of the crown. And once that’s done, I have to do another chapter. And so maybe it’ll take me longer overall to do the work in that moment. But knowing I just need to get to the end of this chapter. And then I get that little reward at the end. And then once I’m now really excited, and I want to go on to the next thing that I want to do, I have to do another chapter first. So that’s that’s a good way to help kind of motivate yourself along the way as well.
Amber Hawley 43:57
I love it. Well, I want to thank you so much for coming on. I feel like we could talk forever about all the things I feel like we
Melina Palmer 44:03
already do sometimes.
Amber Hawley 44:07
We may run out of time, because we pre talked for too long. But But yeah, I’m definitely going to link in the show notes to your free mindset course. And if people wanted to find out more information about you, where should they go?
Melina Palmer 44:21
Just thebrainybusiness.com. And so it’s the brainy business.com And that has the podcast and links to my column width, Inc, magazine, and all sorts of other content. And anyone can also find me on the socials as thebrainybiz bi Z.
Amber Hawley 44:39
Wonderful. Thank you, again, Melina. And I’m hoping this helps you out there get unstuck or kind of create a structure for yourself to get yourself getting some traction in moving forward. So thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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