Search
  • Andrew Keller

Guest Dr. Ellen Reed - Relentless Solution Focus


Andrew

This is reposted.


Every morning Larry and I dig into a quote or idea that has caught our eye. Our hope is that our chat inspires you to never stop thinking and possibly challenges you in a new way. If you'd like to help support the show, please visit patreon.com slash repost it. Thank you for stopping by.


Larry

Dr. Ellen Reed is a performance coach with a background in academia and the performing arts. She helps athletes, students and business leaders reach their peak performance by developing mental toughness. She's co written a great book, relentless solution focus. You can find more about Dr. Read on the Twitter's at Ellen underscore read underscore. Dr. Thanks for coming on the show. You know, I love Love, love, talk, talking about the idea of the original human being sitting there on the Serengeti. And our brains were wired to focus on problems because if we didn't, we'd get eaten by a tiger. It served us well there but not so much. Now you're basically telling us that we have to rewire people's brains these days?


Ellen Reed

Yes, well, you nailed it. And that's exactly it, you know, we were wired to focus on problems, because that was really important to our survival. But now, you know, we live in much more stable environments, you know, arguably, although 2020 might try to prove otherwise, you know, our resources are much more plentiful. And this problem centric thought, as it's called really wreaks havoc on our happiness on our you know, our performance, it causes us to underperform. And so you know, mental toughness, or relentless solution focus, which really are one in the same, and I'll tell you a little bit more about what relentless solution focus is. But those require that we retrain our brains away from this problem centric thought, because it doesn't come naturally, you know, for for most of us, we do 99 things right in a day, and maybe one thing less than perfectly. And for most of us on that drive home from work, or, you know, when you're kind of reflecting on your day, you know, what's that? What's the thing that's on your mind? You know, for most of us, it's that one thing that went less than perfectly, unless we do the work to retrain our brains towards this mental toughness and relentless solution focus. But you know, the good news is that it can be done, you know, just because there's a very, very small percentage of us that are born with this kind of relentless optimism, the rest of us can learn it, the rest of us can do it.


Andrew

So you're a dancer and an athlete. And I want to preface this with I agree with the whole rule and this thing, keep going. But like, at what point? Do you figure out when you need to stop, especially in athletics? Like, most people can't run to failure, but some, some people can like when do you know, I'm injured? Or I'm too old or you trained when you are pregnant? And you can't stop at some point, like, yeah, how do you walk that line of being stubbornly relentless, and protecting yourself?


Ellen Reed

Yeah. So you know, it all boils down to being able to recognize what your body is telling you, you know, what your mind is telling you, you know, and recognizing is a really key part. You know, in the book, we've got this broken down into three steps toward developing a relentless solution focus. And the first step is to recognize, you know, recognize what your critical alarm system is telling you, you know, we all have this alarm system built into us, which is really the gift of negative emotion. You know, whenever we're experiencing any sort of negative emotion, whether it be worry, stress, anxiety, fear, that's our brain telling us that, hey, you know, we're focused on the wrong stuff right now. Or we're, you know, we're going after the wrong stuff. And so, you know, the relentlessness is a really good question. I think, you know, the relentless pursuit of whatever it is, that is your pursuit, you know, that means different things to different people. And, you know, relentless solution focus is it's an approach to teaching you how to deal with the problems that life is going to throw at you, you know, and those come in different forms to different people. And I think being able to recognize when your body or when your brain is telling you like, Hey, I'm I'm seeking the wrong thing right now or my mind is focused on the wrong thing right now.


Larry

So you wrote a lot about along with being a success coach, you also being a professional dancer, which I think is great in terms of teaching because teaching success because dancing is subjective, right? Like in a race. It's the winner who ran to the finish line fastest. We say that when in dancing, there's a judge who gives scores and maybe they don't like your leggings, and so they give you a bad score. So life is like dancing. It's objective. How do you teach subjectivity when it comes to solution and success?


Ellen Reed

Well, you know, I think it comes down to whatever it is to the individual. You know, I think art, you're exactly right. You know, any art form is subjective, right, but there are certain skills, right, certain fundamentals that are more objective, right. So we start our day with the dance company, every day with ballet class, you know, we're we're working on our fundamentals. And for us, that's starting every day with plays and tondeuse. And working on our fundamentals, just like a basketball team, you know, starts every practice with drills, you know, so continuing to work on your process, whatever you've identified as, hey, what are the most important things that I need to be doing on a daily basis to achieve my goal, you know, whatever that goal is. And so in the book, we outline, and we teach people how to develop what we call product and process goals. So result oriented goals, but then really narrowing it down to Hey, what are the what is the most important thing I need to be doing on a daily basis to achieve what I want to achieve personally, and professionally? You know, again, we throw the word success around a lot. And I think that that's, you know, kind of the common thread that my colleague, Dr. Jason Selleck, who co wrote the book with me, and he's the one that's developed these fundamentals. He spent years and years and years working with and studying, you know, some of the most successful people to walk the planet. And that common thread that he noticed in them is that they had the ability to keep their minds focused on solutions, especially when it mattered most and especially in the face of adversity. And so really, that is what relentless solution focus is, it's a way of training your brain to stay focused on solutions, or stay focused on that next step, that next one inch of improvement, whatever it means to you, and whatever it is that you're trying to pursue, whether it be improving your your artistry, or your dancing, or your athletic ability, or your career, or your, your parenting, you know, your relationships.


Andrew

So I guess you guys, your book came out earlier this year, you've been working on this for years, I'm curious if your perspective of this has changed, or your approach to helping people over the past year, I have a lot of friends that through the pandemic have been like, Oh, I wish I had done this. I've nothing like I wish I was making better use of this time, but I'm not. So it's like people are spinning their wheels a lot more, because it's like discouraging. Have you have you changed your approach to interacting with people because of that?


Ellen Reed

Well, I wouldn't say that I we've changed the approach. But what I would say that's so crucially important, especially right now, like you're saying, people, a lot of times people have more time on their hands right now, because we're not going places that you know, this is a really common mistake that we see people make when trying to improve themselves, or when trying to set goals is that they try to do too much. And really, you've got to respect the brain's channel capacity. So channel capacity refers to your brain's bandwidth, the amount of information that you can hold in your brain at a time. And for most of us, probably all of us, you know, we're all trying to do too much. And when we try to do too much, we don't do any of it. Well, you know, this is why people tend to not stick with their new year's resolutions, you know, a few weeks into the year if they even make it that far, because we're trying to do too much. Now, here's what we know about the brain's bandwidth. Here's what we know about channel capacity. I think this is really important for anybody listening to this or watching this, to apply to what you're trying to do and making improvements in your life that anything more than trying to improve one new thing at a time is a recipe for inconsistency, anything more than one. So if you're, you know, you're coming into 2021, and you're trying to make improvements in your life, or you're trying to really like do something productive in this kind of newly found downtime. Pick one thing, one thing that you want to work on improving, and make one small change. And then what that does, is when you're successful at making that one small improvement, that fuels your self confidence to make another and then another. But what happens to most of us when we're trying to make too many improvements is that we get discouraged. Right and discouragement is going to kill your goals and your progress and your performance faster than anything. Let me say one more thing about this because this is really important. That self confidence is the number one barrier. For performance, so when your self confidence is high, you're going to perform at a high level, and that's been empirically studied. There is no, nothing more that's going to affect your performance more than your self confidence. And so trying to do too much kills self confidence, which is going to kill your performance. So I think that that it's not that our approach is change, but it's that the approach has become more important. Right. And I think that, you know, it sounds weird to say, but you know, I think this book has kind of come at the best worst time. It really is, you know, without trying to kind of pat ourselves on the back too much. I think, you know, I truly believe that this is something that everybody needs right now. People feel out of control, you know, and this relentless solution focus gives people back control. And I think my Sorry, I know, I'm talking a lot. But let me say one more thing that I think is really important that it's not about putting on rose colored glasses, right? It's not about just kind of keeping your head in the clouds and saying, Oh, I'm not gonna pay attention to the world's problems. And I'm just gonna focus on the positive, right? It's not about that. It's about looking at the world through more accurately focused lenses, where you're able to recognize the problems in your life, but you're able to get to solutions much more quickly.


Larry

I think the two practical aspects that I've got from the book are, number one, force your brain to recognize the small things that you're doing well, each day, and the opposite of that, always have one thing that you're trying to improve. If you just did those two things, I you could just see some dramatic change in your life.


Ellen Reed

Yes, absolutely. I'm so glad you said that. Because I think that that if, in this, you know, 10 minute interview, if you take one thing from this, it would be that to get in the habit of consistently writing down three things that you've done, well, each day, we got this broken down in the book and a tool called the success log. Now, even if you don't go through the whole success long, if you just do that one thing of spending 30 seconds on a consistent basis. So maybe, you know, three or four days a week because all it takes 30 seconds to write down three things you've done well that day, because we don't do that. Right. Again, you know, we did 99 things right in a day and one thing less than perfectly and for most of us that one imperfection is where our mind is going to be at the end of the day. It requires that we force ourselves to give ourselves credit for the little things that we've done. Well, you know, coach, john wooden, he's probably arguably one of the one of the most winningest coaches of all time said this, that the little things done well on a consistent basis that really cause greatness. And the more you're recognizing what you're doing well, the more you're fostering your self confidence, the more you're fostering your self confidence, the more things you're going to do. Well,


Larry

if we had more time, Dr. Reid, I challenge you to a breakdance off but we don't work. He is relentless solution focus. You can find Dr. Reid on the Twitter's at Ellen underscore read, underscore, you're so great. Thank you for your relentless focus with us this morning. Thank you.


Ellen Reed

Thank you.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


1 view0 comments
Los Angeles, CA, United States of America