We all want to achieve a fulfilling life with meaning and purpose. However, we tend to talk ourselves out of it and self-sabotage. What can we do to make progress in our lives? Join our host Merrill Chandler as he talks about staying committed to our goals while still being gentle with ourselves in the process. He dives deep into discipline, habits, setting attainable goals, and the importance of staying true to our words. We will learn how to take our wins and avoid self-sabotage to achieve our ultimate desires and continuous self-improvement. So don’t miss out by tuning in!
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The Success Of Self-Sabotage
In this episode, we’re going to go on a little bit of an emotional, personal journey over some goals I set, some failures that I had, some things I learned, and most importantly, how you and I can both get better at keeping our promises, being true to our word and what that means for us, including how that leaks into our fundability™.
Multiple Club: How I Sabotaged Myself
This episode is a little near and dear to my heart because it shows poor planning on my part, epic fails, and small marginal successes that all ended up benefiting my life in a huge way. The title says, “How I accidentally sabotaged myself in a big way.” Back in June 2021, I was part of Multiple Club. I’ve shared with you Multiple Club is beyond the mastermind. It preps CEOs of companies to prepare their organizations with all the tools necessary to scale. I loved it. I’ve been there for quite some time now. I love my experience.
At that time, I was the heaviest guy in the entire Multiple Club. By heaviest, I mean I had 40 pounds above my optimal weight. That was 20 pounds above anybody else’s optimal weight. These guys were all older 20s, 30s, and some young 40 somethings. These are all alpha men and women who are CEOs of their organizations, and they’re all shaping their companies in order to scale. To share a little bit of the philosophy of Multiple Club, they have a formula that’s called IV equals EV. Interpersonal value, meaning the value that I am for myself, my network, who I am, and how I show up in the world, equals my enterprise value. The value of my company is going to be in the future.
One of the sets of goals, we worked on the CORE 4. The CORE 4 is the body, being, balance, and business. We have daily routines that have us engage in all of these areas. The one that I most significantly lacking in was body. I’ve been doing this since November 2020 with marginal weight loss and marginal improvement in my physical conditioning, etc. It was mediocre at best. In Q2, June 2021, Nick Alfano, a beautiful soul and one of the men who is not letting me get away with anything. In his presentation, he calls me up to the front of the room to be the poster child of an example of how to set goals, pick your end game, and work it backward.
I didn’t know this was coming, but I’m always up for a challenge. He calls me up and says, “Merrill, you are the heaviest person.” I’m like, “If it wasn’t Multiple Club, it would be fat-shaming, but we’re all about leveling up and improving.” He goes, “You have been working now for six months at trying to improve your situation. I got to tell you, it’s not happening and working.” I confessed lack of discipline. I’m a foodie and I have had poor habits since 2017. I wish I could make it an excuse about COVID, but I put on my first 15 of the 40 pounds way before COVID started and I put on the next 25 for a total of 40.
Let me illustrate how horrible this is for any of you who are in my condition. Forty pounds is one of those 5-gallon jugs of water that you put on the water cooler. Have you lifted one of those? I’m lifting that thing and going, “This is how much unnecessary extra weight I’m carrying around.” Forty pounds and I’m lifting it up and hauling it into my kitchen to put it on the water dispenser. No bueno, not okay. They said, “Merrill, if you’ve not had enough, we’ve had enough. We want you to have a goal. You’re going to keep this goal and tell us. We’re going to work it out right now.” I said, “I can commit to you in 90 days that I will be 30 pounds lower.”Practice creates competence and confidence. After it comes mastery and freedom. Click To Tweet
My ideal weight is 200 pounds. I committed to going to 215 pounds. I was at 245 to 250 pounds for two years and 20 pounds overweight for two years before that. There is a very powerful reason for me sharing this as part of this show. I committed to dropping 40 pounds in 90 days by the end of September 2021. We’re here right now. September 27, 2021, Thursday, is my goal date. I had never lost anything more than 10 pounds before in my life, ever. Before 2017, I had never needed to lose weight. I’ve been 200 pounds since high school. I’ve always taken great pride in my physique and everything. Like many of us, a show of a horrible relationship and the wheels fell off of my personal life. I processed all of that through food for two years and gained the appropriate weight that goes with that experience. I know I’m not alone in this. I was eating my feelings like it was a banquet.
They called me out, challenged me, and they said, “To lose 30 pounds in the next three months, that means 10 pounds a month. That means 1.75 pounds a week on average.” They did all the math. They said, “A pound of fat is 4,000 change calories. Your current Body Metabolism Rate or BMR is 1,700 calories. You have to be at a deficit of 750 to 1,000 calories a day.” I have to be under. At the same time, they said, “What is going to be your physical goal to make sure that you’re burning calories above and beyond that?” I’ve always wanted to do a 5K. I said, “I want to do a 5K. I’m going to train to do a 5K by September 30th, 2021.”
Without ever having done a 5K, which is 3.1 miles, without ever having run 3 miles since I was in eighth grade on the cross-country team, I had never run 3 miles ever since that time. Because a couple of guys had told me they do eight-minute miles, I go, “I’ll give myself some room. I’m going to do this in ten-minute miles.” Thirty minutes is 3.1 miles. There’s a lot to learn from my foolishness. First of all, I’m on track to hit my goal for my weight, but I could have hit that weight goal without my sabotage. I noticed how much time I had, the direction I was going, and what my trajectory was. I said, “I can cheat. Not a little bit, but I’ll take an entire weekend of just decadence. I mean, foolishness in eating.”
Rather than getting ahead of the game because before the end of 2021, I’m also going to be at 200. I’m not done, but the first milestone was hitting these 215 pounds, 30 pounds down in 90 days. I played with my own psyche over and over, manipulating all this. Because I didn’t know what a 10-minute mile was, I’ve gotten down to a 10-minute, 30-second mile on the first mile, a 14-minute mile on the second mile, and a 16 or 17-minute on the third mile. My timing continued to plummet because sprinting the first mile is completely killed me.
Here’s the point of all of this. I was down at Multiple Club because we had our Q4 meeting. I got up in front of everybody and confessed that I was on track for my weight goal, but I had effed around on it and I could have been further, but I wanted to keep the goal. Have you ever done that where you’re like, “I can skate because I can keep my goal?” The intention of the goal is to be healthy, move forward, and ultimately, for me, to get to 200, but I’m wasting time, eating unnecessarily, and going off the rails probably once a month. Not that it’s bad, it’s just I didn’t need to. It was sabotage for whatever reason.
Here’s my point. If you have not heard me say it before, I will say it now. I encourage you to write this down, make notes, and live from this place. Keep your word or renegotiate your commitment. Both are acceptable. I’ve shared this before, but I want to make sure everybody is on board here because I stood in front of my peers and said, “On average, I have not been below 36 minutes. I do not believe in all good faith that I’m going to keep my commitment that I promised you to do a 5K in 30 minutes. I do not believe I’m going to be able to do that. The best time I’ve done is 36 minutes, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll do that. I know I can be under 38 minutes. Will you accept a renegotiation of my commitment that I will do it in under 38 minutes, but I will do my very best because I know that I have done lower than 38 before?”
Unanimously, they all raised their hands, some of them clapped, and they allowed me to renegotiate my commitment. I can keep my word but stay conscious. Not just blow it off but renegotiate so that I’m within my integrity. Let’s define some terms here. Honesty is when you speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That accounts for withholds as well. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Integrity is when you do what you say you’re going to do. That means keeping your word or renegotiate your agreement so that you can keep your word and you can be of your integrity.
I knew enough to do that. I knew enough to renegotiate, but what I’m challenging each one of you is that how many times do we say something, make a promise, and then blow it off? We go unconscious. We’re so used to not keeping our word that it has become, if not a joke, that is at least irrelevant or unimportant to us. This was a big deal to me because I had a couple of people come up to me on the next break at MC. They were like, “I like what you did.” I shared with them that I recommitted to them but a new commitment. I asked their permission as a group that it was okay with them that I did so.
I came to them on my heart, which I was because I was not going to hit 100. With tilt, tear-filled eyes, I have never done a 5K. I foolishly blurted it out, thinking that if I could do 1 mile at ten seconds, I could do all 3 miles at ten seconds. That was not the case. It’s not even close. I didn’t set a conscious, attainable goal. I just put something out there. If not an error, that was the first place where I went unconscious. I did not clearly think. I didn’t do a mile.
If I had done the first mile and I would come in at thirteen minutes, I would be like, “How am I going to do this in less than 39 minutes?” I was unconscious when I was setting that goal. As part of this show, I want us to be clear. We’ve got to set attainable goals because I had never run one. I didn’t know what was true for me or even what was remotely close to me. It doesn’t seem like a big deal. Thirty-eight minutes to 30 minutes is 8 minutes. That’s two and a half minutes per mile. It’s sprinting the entire 3.1 miles.
Here’s the problem because keeping our word, we don’t take it seriously and we go unconscious. Too many times, we start not trusting ourselves. We start having those conversations in our hearts and minds that are like, “I put something out there, but I know full well that I’m going to not care about it at some point.” I’m going to bail on it because we don’t trust ourselves, and yet in our relationships, business partnerships and banking relationships, I’m going to keep my word to you. If we don’t, we get harmed on our personal profile and business profile.
In our relationships, if we say we’re going to do something and then we tell a story or have an excuse instead of keeping our word or renegotiate our commitment, all of a sudden, we’re untrustworthy and we wonder why people don’t trust us. We don’t even trust ourselves because we’ve made a habit of speaking our word, “I’m going to do this,” and then we don’t. We get angry when someone doesn’t trust us. That’s a huge double standard and it’s not okay, not one bit.
We see ourselves as unreliable. If we see ourselves as unreliable, then others are going to see us as unreliable and now we don’t get to play the game of life, funding, and relationship at the highest level. What does that feel like? I know what it feels like for me. That’s not okay. What do we do about it? First of all, we have to get conscious. Don’t give your word if you’re not going to keep the commitment or renegotiate the commitment. Just stop. “I will do my very best.” Say those words. Let those words become your best friend, but do not say, “I will have it ready by Monday.”
You’ve got to learn and look into yourself like I had to when I stood in front of all of my peers and all these youngsters. I’m freaking old and I’m holding myself to their speeds. That was foolish in the first part, but I had to come back to them with my hat in hand, humbly asking for them to renegotiate this commitment with me. You get to do the same thing. You get to be conscious, “Is this goal attainable?” Either keep your word or renegotiate the terms of your agreement. Both are acceptable.
Ask any person on my team. I have numerous times, but you have to do it before it’s due. You can’t say, “I want this done by 3:00 PM on Friday.” At 3:00 PM on Friday, “I’m not going to be able to keep this commitment.” Show respect and teach the people that you love to work with, admire, or who you wish to hope that they admire you. Teach them that you are conscious and committed to giving them what they asked for or what they need with as much clarity on your part as possible. If you can’t do it, then before that due date, time or moment, make sure that you renegotiate.
Make Smaller Promises
How do we fix this? Get conscious. Step number two is to start with making smaller promises to yourself. What this does is it allows us to win. Somebody asked me once upon a time, “Why are some people so confident and out there?” Many times, people call them alpha. I call the folks that were all my brothers and sisters in Multiple Club. They’re all alphas. What makes them an alpha? Any one of us an alpha is confidence, but how does confidence come together? Let’s go back to the little formula that I’ve shared half a dozen times in this show. Practice creates competence, creates confidence, and then after it comes mastery and freedom. Practice creates competence and then that’s where we get our confidence.
Folks who have been in sports and have gotten smaller wins got used to the feeling. They became competent at whatever it was they were doing, juggling, playing school sports, writing, or whatever it was. They practiced such that they become competent in whatever it is that they’re doing. That competence creates wins. When you win, you start feeling confident.
Start by making small wins. Practice keeping your word. Once you have some practice and a little bit of confidence, then expand your word. There is no harm for the next year saying, “I commit to do my best. I will do my best.” Maybe leave the word to commit out of it until I finish up here because I’ve got some thoughts I want to share about commitment.
Make small promises, keep those small promises, and then take the win. Acknowledge yourself. Sky is my producer and content manager. She asked me about whatever my PT was that day. When she comes into the office, she is like, “How did it go today?” I’m like, “I hit this new time.” I roll right through it and blow by it. I don’t take the win. I know some of you out there are similar. She was saying, “Merrill, you take this. Fifteen pounds in 5K in 30 minutes is the only goal. You’re not taking smaller, intermediate wins.” It’s true. That was a wake-up call for me. I don’t take the smaller wins like, “I hit 220 pounds. I got 5 more pounds.” I blow off that win. Consciously celebrate. That’s what I’m working on.
His name is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He said, “Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiation and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.” Providence is the 17th, 18th-Century version of what we call the universe or God. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then the universe, God, providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” When you commit, then that sets in motion. Imagine making a stand and putting down your commitment firmly into your space. It will reverberate and change things in your outer world. That will be to your benefit to make this commitment come to pass.
“Start small, keep small commitments, practice until you become competent at keeping these commitments, and then begin to trust yourself.” I put it accidentally in quotes because it’s tongue in cheek. I have failed at some of my goals and commitments because I have sabotaged myself because, like many of you, I don’t know how to take the wins. I don’t deserve the win. I’m looking for an excuse to be right that I’m a failure or that I’m willing to fail. If that’s not you, God bless. Godspeed. For many of us, we don’t feel worthy of the win. We push away the promise and commitment. We break our word and become slovenly. We become lackadaisical and care less about our truth, what we’re willing to say and mean, especially when we make promises to others.
Do your best. This is a journey for me. I’ll keep you updated here. You will read another blog around the end of 2021 when I hit my 200-pound mark. I’ve done well and I’m taking these wins. I’m committed to doing more, better, faster, but I’m being gentle with myself. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself as well. Make small promises, “I’m going shopping after work,” then go shopping after work and then acknowledge that you kept the promise. Say it out loud. Be vocal about it, “I kept my promise to go shopping. This is awesome.” Reinforce it and move on to the next one.
Your word is powerful, especially when it comes to building relationships with banks, your business partners, etc. This isn’t just a personal matter. How you treat your word and the promises that you keep to your lenders will determine how much they want to work with you. I challenge you. This affects all areas of our life. If you’re reading the blog, please subscribe so that you can get the latest and greatest. Rate and review. Tell us what you’re thinking. Share it with your friends. Be sure to follow us @GetFundable.
I appreciate those of you who have been reading this. Thanks for joining us. If this speaks to you, please share it with your tribes, groups, pages, friends, family, and anyone who might be struggling or somebody who might need positive reinforcement that you don’t have to go from zero to the flawless execution of your word overnight. Let them know that there is a way that we can all win together. I love you, guys. I’ll see you in the next episode.