Mel Robbins on Why Motivation Is Garbage at Impact Theory (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of powerhouse speaker and author Mel Robbins’ fireside chat on Why Motivation Is Garbage at Impact Theory.

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TOM BILYEU: Everybody welcome to Impact Theory. You are here because like me you believe that human potential is nearly limitless but you know that having potential is not the same as actually doing something with it. Our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that are going to help you actually execute on your dreams.

All right, today’s guest is one of the most popular on air commentators and opinion writers for CNN and her unique brand of raw and relatable advice has made her one of the most sought after speakers and media personalities. Watching her you get the feeling that this mother of three is just getting started. Her well researched and really powerful insights into what it means to be a human come wrapped in both science and lovely mid-western charm, allowing her to cut through the formality of typical business jargon and grab her audiences by the emotions. She has made a name for herself by being; blunt, unapologetic and yet totally vulnerable.

She says what everybody is already thinking but is just a little too scared to say and it makes people absolutely love her. It is not hard to understand why her TED Talk titled; how to stop screwing yourself over is one of the most watched TED Talks of all time. It’s also easy to see why she is an award-winning talk radio host who is trusted by some of the biggest brands on the planet to help motivate and advice their teams. She has appeared on everything from Good Morning America and The Today Show to Dr Phil and Oprah.

Somehow she has also made time to found an inspirational news site called inspire52com and found and sell a retail and internet tech company. Please help me in welcoming the former criminal defense attorney who has been called an explosion of inspiration, the bestselling author with a brand new book titled: The 5 Second Rule, the master of motivation herself; Mel Robbins. It’s really good to have you on the show.

MEL ROBBINS: Oh my gosh, thank you.

TOM BILYEU: Absolutely.

MEL ROBBINS: You called me the master of motivation and I think motivation is complete garbage so maybe we should start there.

TOM BILYEU: That is a perfect place to start, so I totally agree with you but why do you say that?

MEL ROBBINS: You do?

TOM BILYEU: I do 100%. Now I said that in the spirit of I know what you are trying to do so it is meant with absolute reverence, but why do you say that it’s garbage?

MEL ROBBINS: Well and we’ll talk a lot about this but I think it’s garbage because at some point we all bought into this lie that you’ve got to feel ready in order to change. We bought into this complete falsehood that at some point you are going to have the courage, at some point you are going to have the confidence and it’s total bullshit frankly. Are we allowed to swear on this show?

Okay, it’s complete garbage so there are so many people in the world and you may be watching this right now and you have these incredible ideas and what you think is missing is motivation and that’s not true. Because the way that our minds are wired and the fact about human beings is that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable or scary or difficult.

Our brains are designed to protect us from those things, because our brains are trying to keep us alive. In order to change, in order to build a business, in order to be the best parent, the best spouse to do all those things that you know you want to do with your life, with your work, with your dreams you are going to have to do things that are difficult, uncertain or scary. Which sets up this problem for all of us, you are never going to feel like it.

Motivation is garbage, you only feel motivated to do the things that are easy right?

TOM BILYEU: Why do you think that is?

MEL ROBBINS: I know exactly why that is because I’ve studied this so much, because for me one of the hardest things to figure out was why is it so hard to do the little things that would improve my life. What I’ve come to realize and what we’ll talk a lot about today is that the way that our minds are designed is our minds are designed to stop you at all cost from doing anything that might hurt you.

The way that this all happens is it all starts with something super subtle that none of us ever catch and that is with this habit that all of us have that nobody is talking about. We all have a habit of hesitating. We have an idea, you are sitting in a meeting, you have this incredible idea and instead of just saying it you stop and you hesitate. Now what none of us realize is that when you hesitate just that moment, that micro moment, that small hesitation it sends a stress signal to your brain. It wakes your brain up and your brain all of a sudden goes, “Wait a minute, why is he hesitating, he didn’t hesitate when he put on his killer spiky sneakers, he didn’t hesitate with the really cool track pants, he didn’t hesitate with a NASA t-shirt. Now he’s hesitating to talk, something must be up.”

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