Episode 96: Committing to the Finish

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Committing to the Finish

Committing to the finish makes a massive difference in how you approach your goals and pursue the life you want to live. I watch too many people make lavish plans and deeply commit to getting started on them, feeling excited and motivated to take consistent action, until things don’t go exactly as they’d expected.

When the results they want are taking longer than they’d like, or when it turns out they need to put more effort in than they’d initially anticipated, that motivation starts to fade. But what you need to do is commit all the way to the finish line, so listen in to learn exactly what that looks like.

Tune in this week to discover how to start committing to the finish. I discuss the problem with telling yourself you’re ‘trying’, share why you’re struggling to fully commit yourself until the finish, and you’ll learn how to pursue your goals from a place of being fully committed to the finish.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I don’t believe it’s helpful to tell yourself you’re ‘trying’.
  • What it looks like when you aren’t committed to the finish.
  • The deal you make with yourself when you commit to the finish.
  • Why discomfort is part of the process of achieving the goals that matter most.
  • How to cultivate the kinds of emotions that will empower you to commit to the finish.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 96. Today, we’re talking all about committing to the finish. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I’m so excited to talk about today’s topic, about committing to the finish. This is a mindset shift that I really think makes a massive difference in how you approach your goals, and how you pursue what you’re working towards; the life you want to live, the career ambitions that you have, the achievements that you want to amass.

It all depends on the mindset that you have when you approach those end goals, those finish lines, those mile markers. I watch so many people make these lavish plans and truly, deeply, meaningfully commit to getting started on them, they get so excited. This used to be me, I used to be so gung-ho to start new ventures.

I actually started quite a few businesses in my 20s, before I started this business, and I would get so excited in the beginning. I’d feel so determined, so motivated, just so fired up, just committed, very confident, compelled that it was going to make a difference, that it was going to be successful, that it was going to work, that people were going to take me up on what I was offering. Everything was going to go exactly the way that I wanted it to go.

And then, lo and behold, I’d start taking action and it wouldn’t go the way that I’d planned. Results that I wanted would take longer to come, a lot longer than I wanted. Typically, what I also learned was that more work was required for me to get the results that I wanted than I initially anticipated.

So, I would start embarking on taking the action that I thought I would need to take in order to produce the results that I wanted, but then after I wouldn’t see a return on that investment, on that effort, I’d start getting really inconsistent. I’d start doing what I call “micro-quitting.” I would show up less and less, less and less, over time. I’d get more inconsistent, more inconsistent. My frequency, of whatever action I was taking, would start to go down.

And, of course, as your effort starts to decrease, so do your results. So, if you weren’t getting results to begin with, you’re going to get even less results at that point when you start quitting, when you start showing up inconsistently.

I really think what I’m describing to you is what “trying” looks like. I absolutely hate that word. My clients that work with me know that I hate that word. I deeply believe that “trying” means not doing. So, instead of telling yourself that you’re trying something or that you’re “working at it” or “working on it”, just tell yourself you’re not doing it. Because that’s actually what is happening if you take a closer look and examine your actions.

You’re showing up inconsistently. You’re not following through with the plan. You’re not taking enough action to produce your desired results. You’re kind of being a little flaky, right? Or you’re not getting started at all.

So, if you’re guilty of this, if the action pattern that I’m describing to you sounds quite familiar… Maybe you’re working on managing your time, and you do a couple of days of planning your schedule each day, like I teach you, but then you don’t stick with it.

You start to get inconsistent, and then you plan maybe a little bit of your day but you don’t plan the whole thing. And then, you don’t plan for a couple of days. And then, you beat yourself up and you tell yourself that you’re going to start again. But then you don’t, you wait till Monday. And then, Monday comes and Monday’s already busy. So, you just want to dive into the work and not make a plan. You tell yourself you don’t have time for it.

This is what I’m talking about. You’re not following through. Maybe you decided that this is going to be the time that you finally lose the weight. You decide what you’re going to eat, but then you cheat a little. And then you’re like, “I’ll be better tomorrow,” and then you cheat a little bit more. And then, you stop planning what you’re going to eat in advance.

You just let the instant gratification monster take over, and you start eating things that tastes good but don’t serve you, as far as your weight loss goals are concerned. And then, you tell yourself that you’re going to start again tomorrow or you’re going to start next week or at the beginning of the next month. And then, you don’t. You just get inconsistent and sort of flaky and your commitment drops off and you quit. You get inconsistent and then you quit.

Maybe you’re working on developing business. People that I work with on business development are guilty of doing this, too. They tell themselves that they’re going to do it, they’re going to put in the effort, they’re really going to “try”. I always call them out on that, when I see them thinking that or saying that to themselves or to me.

But you commit, you commit to developing business. But then you start to embark on the action required to develop business, which is figuring out what your offer is, meeting people, telling them what you do, adding value ahead of time, and making offers to help when it makes sense. So, you start to embark on that action, but then you get flaky, you get inconsistent, you start showing up less and less and less.

And then, of course, as you do that, your results become inconsistent or nonexistent. And then you quit, right? You micro-quit until you actually quit. This is what it looks like to commit to starting a goal instead of committing to finish the goal.

These are very different processes. Okay? So, I want you to think about whatever it is that you’re working towards right now, are you committed to starting? Or are you committed to finishing? Now, how do you think the two are different?

The examples that I just gave you are examples of what it looks like to commit to starting. You do actually start. You start taking action, you begin to move forward, but then when it doesn’t go the way that you want it to, it doesn’t happen as fast as you’d like it to, you don’t get the results you want in the time that you think you should have them, you start to get inconsistent.

You start to show up less. You start to waver in your commitment and you ultimately quit. You ultimately give up and jump to something else. Where, again, you commit to the start, you don’t commit to the finish. And this cycle just repeats itself over and over and over again.

Committing to the finish looks very, very different. Because what you’re doing when you commit to the finish is you’re making a deal with yourself that you’re going to embrace all of the negative emotion that comes from and with the pursuit of a goal.

So that means, you’re going to have to feel confused about why it’s not going the way that you want it to. Why you’re encountering some obstacles, and you’re going to have to work through them. You’re going to have to feel overwhelmed by everything that you have to learn and work through in order to get to the finish line.

You’re going to have to feel that overwhelm and work through it, take action in spite of and despite it. You’re going to have to feel frustrated that it’s not going exactly like you thought that it would. You’re also going to have to feel disappointed and feel that disappointment, allow that disappointment to be there, and take action in spite of and despite it.

You’re going to have to feel discouraged and maybe embarrassed or uncertain or worried. All of that negative emotion comes with pursuing a goal, especially when you’re pursuing a goal for the first time; when it’s uncharted and unfamiliar territory, and you don’t know what to expect. You have to be willing to experience that discomfort.

You have to feel impatient, and let that impatience be there rather than reacting to it negatively or avoiding your impatience by jumping ship and quitting or being inconsistent. Nothing will slow you down like inconsistency, I promise you. So, you want to sit with your impatience rather than reacting to it. Because you will just make things go more slowly if you react to your impatience.

Committing to the finish looks like making a deal with yourself that you’re willing to feel whatever negative emotion comes your way between you and the finish line of your goal. Committing to the finish also looks like making a deal with yourself that you’re not going to indulge in negative thinking that does not serve you.

You get to decide where to direct your brain when you’re pursuing a goal, when you’re working towards something. You can indulge in all of the negative thought patterns that just come to you by default, because that’s what our brains like to do in order to get us to seek pleasure, avoid discomfort, and conserve energy.

You can let your mind run rampant with all of that negative thinking, or you can make an intentional decision to course correct. To catch those negative thoughts, and to replace them with thoughts that serve you and fuel you forward. That’s an intentional choice that you get to make.

When you are committed to the finish you’re not going to allow yourself to indulge in thought patterns that don’t serve you. You’re going to catch those thoughts, identify them, dismantle them, and then work to replace them with thoughts that move you in the right direction. All right?

You’re going to do that with your thinking, and you’re going to do that with the emotions that come your way as well. You’re going to identify the negative emotions that you’re currently experiencing as you’re embarking on that goal achievement process. You’re going to make a deal with yourself that you’re going to be willing to feel those feelings on purpose instead of that knee jerk “No” trying to escape them and avoid them.

That’s not what you’re going to do. You’re going to decide, “Hey, I’m going to feel this type of discomfort whether I like it or not. Especially if I don’t like it,” right? And be willing to feel those feelings, and keep showing up taking that intentional action despite that emotional experience that is quite unpleasant.

And then, you’re also going to decide what positive emotions do I need to cultivate on purpose in order to keep moving in the right direction? So, you can indulge and wallow in all the negative feelings that you’re feeling, or you can decide to just embrace them say, “Hey, that’s part of the currency to living the life of my dreams.

I’ve got to be willing to feel those feelings. But also,” or and also, “I get to contrast them and counteract them by cultivating positive emotions with the thoughts that I’m choosing to think.”

So, think about it. If you’re committed to the finish, what positive emotions do you want to cultivate for yourself? Maybe you want to feel capable, or in control, or determined, or competent, or confidence, or compelled. Maybe you want to feel assured or proud. You can create all of those emotions with the thoughts that you choose to think.

So, identify the feelings that you want to cultivate that are going to help fuel you forward, keep you moving in the right direction, make it easier for you to tolerate that discomfort that’s just part of the process. Identify those feelings, and then identify the thoughts you need to think in order to cultivate those emotions, so you can feel better as you pursue your goal, as you work towards that finish line.

Just identifying whether you’ve been committed to starting or committing to finishing is going to be a game changer for you. You’re going to so clearly see where you’ve been committed to the start, as opposed to being committed to the finish. So, I want you to identify that.

And then, I want you to figure out what would be different about the way that you pursued your goals if you were committed to the finish instead of only being committed to the start? What would change? How would you approach the finish line differently? How would you approach the process differently?

I bet you’d make the discomfort much less of a problem than you’re currently making it. You’re indulging in comfort entitlement and avoiding discomfort as it comes, because you’re only committed to the start not committed to the finish. And when you’re committed to the start, you’re going to make that discomfort that makes an appearance a problem. And you’re going to work as hard as you possibly can to avoid it.

When you commit to finishing no matter what you don’t go to war with experiencing that negative emotion, you just embrace it as part of the process. You know that that just is inherently part of approaching and working towards your goals.

Now, once you’ve identified how you would show up differently if you were committed to the finish, I want you to go out there and work that action plan. Put that plan into practice, okay? Everything will start to shift into place. You’re going to feel so much better as you approach your goals because everything’s going to start to feel so much better.

You’re going to feel more in control. You’re going to feel more capable. You’re going to feel more in charge of creating and cultivating the results that you want. You’re going to have so much less mind drama as you pursue your goals, because you’re not going to be left wondering, “Am I actually going to do this? Am I actually in this?”

Because that’s what happens when you only commit to the start, you’re not decided about what the rest of the process is going to look like. You’re unsure about whether or not you’re going to cross the finish line, because you haven’t yet committed to crossing the finish line. When you commit to the finish line all of the uncertainty goes away, because you’re very clear on what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do.

And what you’re not going to do is quit. That’s what happens when you commit to the finish. I deeply believe that people’s success is directly correlated to whether they’re committed to only the start, or they’re committed to the finish.

I know when I approached my business, this business that I operate now, I approached it so much differently than the businesses that I started in my 20s. In my 20s I was only committed to the start. I wasn’t committed to the finish. So, when things got tough, when things got uncomfortable, I quit.

I stopped showing up and I jumped to something else new and exciting instead of committing to the finish and following my plan all the way through. Acting, auditing and adapting along the way, figuring out what worked, what didn’t work, what I would do differently, and then implementing that plan, tweaking things as I went, in order to ultimately get where I wanted to go.

When I started this business I committed to the finish. I took quitting off the table completely. I made myself a deal. I said, “I will not quit this, no matter what. No matter what.” And I’ve stuck with that. I’ve told myself, “I’m willing to be bad at this for however long it takes me to be good.” I committed to learning everything that I needed to learn, in order to develop a business successfully.

I keep learning at every next level; the learning never stops. I keep learning new things. I keep having to feel new feelings. Sometimes it’s the same feeling but in a different situation. I keep expanding my capacity to feel negative emotions. I keep growing. I keep doing more. I keep pushing myself to new levels, because I’m committed to the finish.

And here’s the thing, when you’re in business there really is no finish. I’m crossing mile markers, but there’s no end point. The point is to just keep going at higher, higher levels. That’s the whole point here. It’s an infinite game. So many of these games that we play are infinite games. Meaning, there is no end point. There is no point at which we’re declared “the winner”.

Developing business, managing our time, keeping our house clean, losing weight, or maintaining a body that we love, all of those things are infinite games. Meaning, there isn’t an opponent, we’re just playing against ourselves essentially. And the point isn’t to be declared “the winner”, the point is to keep playing, to keep winning, to keep doing it.

So, when you commit to the finish and you take quitting off the table, you just decide, “I’m never going to quit this. I’m going to keep at it, no matter what.” All right? I watch people not commit in this manner, they don’t commit to the finish, they just commit to the start. And then, they embark on their action plan half decided, half sold, half pregnant, between going for it and retreating.

Tony Robbins has a saying that if you want to take the island, if you are invading an island, the one way to ensure that you’re successful is to burn the boats that you’re approaching the island on. “If you want to take the island, then burn the boats.”

And I so deeply believe in that concept. This is what I mean by “committing to the finish”. If you burn the boats you commit to the finish, because your only option is to take the island and invade successfully or to die. You can’t retreat, because you have no other way back. It’s only forward, it’s only progress. It’s only moving in one direction, and that’s the direction in front of you, not behind you.

So, when you commit to the finish and you take quitting off the table, you show up with a level of commitment and determination that you will not otherwise have. You just can’t cultivate it when you’re only committed to the start.

So I urge you, whatever it is that you’re pursuing, commit to the finish. Don’t just commit to getting started. Take quitting off the table entirely. Make yourself the promise, “That no matter what comes my way, I will not quit. I’m in this, no matter what.” and watch how everything shifts. This is a total game changer.

If you want to thrive personally and professionally this is how you need to approach what you’re working towards. Only being committed to the start stops now. We’re going to commit to the finish. Whatever we pursue, we commit to it. And we do everything with that end result in mind. No micro‑quitting, no inconsistency. We stay focused, we stay determined, and we show up in spite of and despite the discomfort. All right?

Get out there. Go commit to the start and the finish, and watch your life change.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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