Mel Savage Executive Coaching
The Highly Valued Leader Podcast - Building Your Brand

Episode 24 – Two Truths and a Lie About Your Career

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Episode 24 - Two Truths and a Lie About Your Career
Summary

Step right up to a game of “Two Truths and a Lie” – your ticket to career clarity!

This week’s episode is your golden key if you’re feeling a tad stuck in your career, and unsure of the next step. Buckle in, because we’re not dishing out a checklist of “unstuck” tactics – instead, we’re diving into the power of mindset shifts that’ll make you your own career hero.

Truth bomb: Often, we’re the ones pumping the brakes on our journey. Our stories, thoughts, and beliefs tie us in knots, dimming our potential. Time for a change.

Tune in as we flip the script, playfully unraveling the “Two Truths and a Lie” of your career. Get ready to shift gears and steer your path to the open road of growth and success!

Read the Transcript

Disclaimer: Some of the content and information mentioned in this episode might no longer be applicable. This includes references to specific links, courses, or programs. As a result, all the links mentioned will now redirect you to our current website. There, you’ll find up-to-date information, resources, and exciting new content to support your journey. We appreciate your understanding and unwavering support.

Welcome, my friends. It’s great to be with you. Thank you for joining me on the podcast. 

I am super excited. I’m always super excited. I love doing the podcast. I love what I do for a living. It’s not a brag, I’m sorry. But I worked really hard to find something that I love doing and I’m really excited about it. But I’m working extra hard right now. I don’t know, I guess I’m just really super focused right now because I have two really big goals. One is, that I’m working hard on myself. And the other one is I’m working really hard on the relaunch of my monthly membership program. 

The first one was on me. I talked about it at the beginning of the year, and I’m really focused on managing my mindset around weight loss and breaking the pattern that I have about gaining and losing the same 50 pounds. I’ve been getting coaching on it, I’ve been really focused on it, I’ve been journaling on it, and I’m starting to feel a shift in my relationship with food. I’m not officially a weight loss coach but I’ve learned so much from this process and personally, breaking my relationship with food being a big source of joy in my life. 

It’s not so much about giving up that joy, it’s finding other things to fill that joy than with food. So that’s been a really fulfilling process. It’s been making this whole journey so much easier, working through my thoughts around fitness and running and the idea that it’s hard when it’s not really that hard. My body can do so much more than my mind gives it credit for. It’s been a wonderful journey. That’s something I’m really focused on right now is changing my belief system around food and exercise. That’s something we’re going to talk a little bit about today. Not food and exercise, but the belief system part. 

Today, we are talking about two truths and a lie about your career and I’m going to get into what I mean by that. Many of you probably have heard of the game two truths and a lie. But I’ll come back to that. This episode is really for people who want to grow in their careers and be successful at work. They want to make it happen and they just don’t know why it’s not happening. If that’s you, this one’s for you. In fact, it’s for everyone who wants to be successful. But it’s particularly for you if you’re a little bit stuck. 

What we’re going to focus on today is the stories that we tell ourselves. We get caught up in our own stories and the stories that we tell ourselves, which become truths to us, hold us back from really reaching our potential, from really exploring our potential, and being as successful as we could be. We have all these thoughts and all these beliefs about ourselves that are really not serving us. I want to talk about it in the context of this framework of a little game that I used to play called Two Truths and a Lie

It’s kind of a party game. For me, when I played it, it was kind of a drinking game. Let me just say this right off the top. Don’t over-drink, drink responsibly, all that stuff. Please don’t sue me because I’m talking about drinking. Basically, the way the game works is that you make three statements about yourself, and people need to guess which one is the lie. If you’d guess wrong, then you would take a drink. Again, drink responsibly. 

Unfortunately, although it was fun at the time, it would devolve into sharing very weird secrets about yourself and things that you really didn’t want to know about your friends and colleagues and co-workers and all that stuff. So we usually would play this game with workmates or colleagues after an event, stayed too long. I was always about the final final when I was young. The final final, which was, when you’ve had your last drink, you just have one more. One for the road type of thing. But not on the road, don’t drink and drive. 

Yikes, how did I get down this rabbit hole? But we had so much fun. Now that I’m approaching the Big Five, I pulled back on the final finals, mostly there at my house now when I have guests over. But I’m going to use these two truths and a live framework today to dispel some closely guarded myths or beliefs that people have about themselves and their careers. Honestly, it was hard to work in this framework. I thought it was such a great idea because it was such a fun game. 

But honestly, people believe lies so hard, I should have just called these three really big fat lies or something like that. But I’m going to try this framework and I’m going to see how it goes. Plus, the other thing that was difficult is there are a million truths and a million lies that I want to share. But I’m going to keep it as tight as I can. You don’t have to guess, I’m just going to put it out there. I’m going to tell you what the two truths and a lie are. There’s no drinking involved in this game. Hopefully, I’ve covered my butt enough here. 

So here is the first truth. You are what you believe you are. If you’re someone who says, I’m only good at this, then you’re only good at that. If you’re someone who says, I can only ever go this far in my career, then that’s how far you’re going to go. If you say, I could never achieve that, then you’re never going to achieve it. If you say, I’m not good at this, then you won’t be good at this. Those things that you’re not good at, or that you’ll never be able to achieve are true because you believe them to be true. 

All of those things I mentioned, I’m not good at this, I can never go this, I can only ever go this far, I’ll never achieve all those things. They are just thoughts. Beliefs are just thoughts that you think a lot and you think them so much that you believe they must be true. And you look for evidence that they’re true. You’re creating your behaviors because of what you believe and that creates evidence for you. Or you say, People have told me I’m not good at this. Every time I try this, I fail or it fails. Or people don’t engage with me. Because it’s in your head already. 

Beliefs are just thoughts and thoughts are not facts. Beliefs don’t have to be true. Thoughts don’t have to be true. It’s just your perspective. And your thoughts are creating your reality. I was talking to someone recently who has worked in a particular field of marketing for their entire career. When I say their entire careers, I’m talking like 10, 12 years. They’re not that old. But this person doesn’t think they’re qualified enough to work in another field of marketing so they don’t apply. 

They don’t even think about what they want and how they’re going to get there. They stop their own success before they even start because they think, I can’t do that. No one’s going to hire me to work in that field of marketing, because I’ve only had to work in this field of marketing. And boom, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. No one’s going to hire her because she’s not applying. I have lots of stories like that in my career. 

I’ve said this before, I believed I was a great number two, versus trying to go for being number one. I believe that because of imposter syndrome and because of fear. I believed it and I acted like a number two. I didn’t act like a number one. So whatever’s in your T-line becomes your R. If you’re involved with me, or this is the first time you’re hearing about T-lines and Rlines, this is a process, the Self Reset model that I’ve adopted by working with the Life Coach School. 

T’s are thoughts. Thoughts drive your feelings, feelings drive your actions, and actions drive yourself. Whatever you think creates a feeling and that feeling creates an action, which drives a result. If you think, in my case, I thought that I was number two, which created a feeling in me that I could only be that good. That created a certain kind of confidence in me, a lack of self-confidence, really. I acted like a number two and my result was that I was number two. Whatever I’m thinking becomes my result. Whatever’s in my T-line becomes my result. 

On the other hand, it works the other way, too. I believe that I’m a great presenter and I act that way. I am confident when I present because I believe that I’m good at it. I used to believe I could never lose weight and so I did it not consistently and not sustainably. The question is, what do you believe? Ask yourself that. What do you believe anything about your career? Let’s keep it on the career world for now, since we’re talking about it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. What do you believe and does it have to be true? 

Ask yourself, what do you really want? Then ask yourself, what do you need to start believing instead? What thoughts do you have that are holding you back? If you believe that you are what you believe you are, why not pick something amazing to believe? I believe I’m going to make $10 million, I believe I’m going to run a marathon, I believe that I can do a TED talk, run a successful business, or work in any field of marketing that I want to work in. You can decide to believe any of those things. 

If they don’t feel believable to you now, pick something that does feel believable on your way to believing this thing. I didn’t start by believing I was going to make $10 million. I started by believing I could make half a million dollars. That was believable to me. And now, I know I’m going to make $10 million. That’s going to be my long-term goal. This isn’t a secret. This isn’t where you just believe something and it happens. I don’t even think the secret is actually that. 

But anyway, this isn’t that this is about believing something and then taking action to make it happen. Because when you believe it, you feel a certain way. You take action in a certain way and you get a certain result. But the key thing is, you can’t make any of that happen if you don’t believe. So the first truth is, you are what you believe you are. And I invite you to sit down and think about what you believe about your career and what you want to believe about your career. 

Number two truth. Failure is the road to success. Every successful person sits on top of a giant steaming pile of failures. Number two. Learn to fail, my friends. Learn to fail. Failing is great. Failing means you’re getting successful. Failure means you are getting smarter. But people try and avoid failure. I know I say these things, but it does take work. I’ve feared failure all my life, I still feel it coming up. And I have to work it out in my journal. 

People don’t take risks because they’re afraid to fail. They’re afraid of what people are going to think about them. They’re afraid of what it’s going to mean about them. The secret is, that you get to decide what it means about you. But still, we are afraid. What will it mean about me if I fail? The idea of failing is very uncomfortable. We don’t want people to be uncomfortable. We don’t want to be uncomfortable. We want to stay in our comfort zone. 

The truth is, and you know this to be true, if you want to grow, if you want to be successful, you need to get out of your comfort zone. You really need to get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. I am sure that in your social media profiles somewhere, whether it was LinkedIn or Facebook, there’s some great saying about getting out of your comfort zone or being uncomfortable as growth or failure is the road to success or some kind of saying in that world. 

You’re like, that’s right. Maybe you’ve liked it, or you put a thumbs up or you’ve made a comment. It’s true, you know it to be true. It’s about taking action on that idea. That’s the hard part. It’s not that hard, actually. You think it’s hard, but it just takes small steps doing it one step at a time. I’ve said this before, Napoleon Hill says, the obstacle is the way. The thing that you think is the challenge, the thing you’re afraid of doing because you think you’re going to fail, the thing that makes you uncomfortable, is the way forward. That’s where your success is. 

Remember that you get to decide what things mean to you because you are in control of your thoughts. So failure means what you decide it means. I talked about this a little bit a couple of weeks ago on boundaries. You get to decide what things mean to you, and whatever they mean to you, people will mirror that back to you. You get to decide what you let failure mean. If you look up failure, failure basically means not achieving a pre-determined outcome. If you look up failure, it doesn’t mean you are a terrible, awful, incapable, worthless person. That’s not what failure means. 

Failure simply means that you didn’t achieve a predetermined outcome. Big deal. BFD. That’s what I was going to say, big deal. So what? You can decide what that means and it doesn’t have to mean that you are a terrible, awful incapable, worthless person. It just didn’t work out. What did we learn from this? The more comfortable that you get with the discomfort of failure, the faster you learn, and the more things you try. 

If you don’t apply for jobs because you’re afraid that you’re not going to get them, you’re not going to get them. How can you get them if you don’t apply? If you don’t have tough conversations because you’re afraid that you’re not going to get what you want out of them? Or that they might go sideways, or whatever. Or they won’t go well, you’re not going to get what you want. You’re not going to be successful. Or if you’re afraid a conversation won’t go, it probably won’t go well. 

If you don’t try new things because you know that you’re inexperienced at them and you’re going to look foolish in the beginning, or you think you’re going to look foolish in the beginning so you don’t try, how are you going to get the experience? How are you going to learn? If you’re afraid of asking people for things because you’re afraid they’re going to say no, or you’re afraid they’re going to think it’s so cheesy that they’re asking me for that, then you’re never going to get it. 

Because sometimes, people say yes, and people will take your lead. Have you ever noticed that people will take your lead on how you react to the failure? If you think the failure is a BFD, like no big friggin deal, then other people are going to react that way. If you think it’s the end of the world and that you’re such a loser, they’re going to think that, too. They’re going to mirror that back to you. If you think it’s a learning experience, then that’s what it can be. 

When it comes to the context of work, because I know what you’re thinking, you’re like, Yeah, yeah, nice, nice. But my boss thinks I’m a failure. What I think doesn’t matter. It’s about what my boss thinks. First of all, it does really matter what you think. It doesn’t really matter what your boss thinks because, at the end of the day, your boss is going to change 100 times in your career. What do you think of you? What you need to learn to do is manage your expectations with your boss. You don’t have to overqualify things to them. 

But you can say, Look, I’m going to do this thing. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to try this, this and that. Or you can say, I don’t have experience with this, but this is where I want to grow. So I’m going to try and I’d love you to be part of the journey with me. There are lots of ways you can pre-manage your boss’s expectations. 

Like I’ve said many times before, as a boss, I love it when people manage my expectations. Because I’m on the same page, we’re on the same page, we’re on the same team. Let’s talk about it. I don’t expect everyone to be perfect. Because guess what? My version of perfect and your personal perfect are not the same thing. There’s no way that we’re ever going to align on that. The only way we’re going to align is if we communicate. So my advice to you is to focus on getting used to being a failure. 

I listen to a lot of different podcasts, be they online business growth podcasts life coach podcasting, or just fun entertaining podcasting. A lot of people have suggested this tactic. I like the idea of it and I’ve done it and it’s great. Try to fail five times a week. Set yourself a goal that you want to fail five times a week. That’s your goal. I think I heard this from Ramit Sethi, I heard it from Pat Flynn, I heard from Amy Porterfield, five failures a week. Set a goal for yourself and then journal it. Celebrate them, and put them in a folder. Awesome. 

I’ve been doing something similar. It wasn’t five failures a week, but I’ve been doing a minimum of two things a day that make me uncomfortable. Because of that goal, I have worked out almost every day this month. I’ve got 500 New LinkedIn connections, I got five new clients, I pitched 12 articles, and I got one accepted to be published, I pitched eight stages with people that I don’t know, places I want to speak, whether it’d be podcasts, guest podcasting or live stages. They were cold stages, meaning I didn’t know those people, and I got one. 

All of those things made me extremely nervous because what I believe about myself, is that I’m not good at asking for what I want. It makes me uncomfortable to ask for what I want. That’s what I used to believe. I’m working on it. Now I believe that my success depends on asking for what I want. I believe my success depends on doing things that make me uncomfortable. And I believe that my success depends on failure. 

Let’s get some perspective here. I could easily think, hey, I pitched 12 articles, and I only got one. I’m such a freakin loser. Or I could think, yay, I’m getting an article published. I’ve got almost a 10% conversion rate. Woohoo, that’s a huge win. Both of those things, both of those thoughts are available to me. The loser thought and the winner thought. I get to choose which one I believe. I get to choose which one I hold on to, which one I think I could say, I only got five new clients this week, this month, sorry. Or I could say, I’m so grateful to have those five new clients. 

Both of those thoughts are available to me. I can decide it’s a failure, or I can decide that it’s working. I can focus on what’s working, or I can focus on what’s not working. So the two truths, you are what you believe you are and failure is the road to success. Like I said, I invite you to think about what you want to believe about yourself. What are you not doing today because you’re afraid to fail? Think about that one or set it a different way. This might resonate with you. What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing? Sit down and journal on that one for a little bit. Let me know how it goes. 

We’ve got our two truths. Now it’s time for the lie. Are you ready? The lie is, that you can figure it out on your own. People who listen to my podcast, there are so many smart people. You’re all smart people. You’re all working hard at your jobs. You’re all making it work. Being smart is great, isn’t it? I love being smart but it’s also a challenge. Because you think you’re so smart that you can figure anything out. I’m so smart, I don’t need help. But we all need help. 

Sometimes that person is a friend, sometimes it’s a family member, and sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes, you need people to help you who have experience with the goal that you set for yourself. Whether that goal was a particular performance challenge you’re facing, a blind spot, a leadership goal, a promotional goal, or whatever you’re facing, we all need help. We need a mentor or a boss to help us or you hire a coach or a teacher or get the tools you need to make it work. 

But a lot of people don’t get help or they don’t seek out strategic help. When I say strategic help, I’m saying help that aligns with what you want. Not just random, I’m having a bad day, and I need to download my thoughts on somebody. But so many people don’t get strategic help because they haven’t sat down and thought about what their goals are. The second thing is they think it’s a sign of weakness. They don’t want to fail in front of others or look stupid. If I share what I’m going for these goals with people and I don’t reach them, what are they going to think of me? 

Back to the two truths, failure is the road to success. Think about it. I talked about this before. I love tennis. I love watching tennis. I believe that I’m not great at playing tennis. But what else? It’s not something I want to invest my time in. I much prefer to watch tennis and pro athletes. If you think about pro athletes, especially tennis players, most pro athletes have teams of people supporting them. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Bianca Andreescu, our great Canadian tennis champion, have a coach. 

Sometimes they have a technical coach, and they have a mindset coach, different coaches. They have a trainer, they have someone who is their massage therapist, or who takes care of their body health, and they have a nutritionist. They have their family and friends who support them at games, and they have their spouse, they have this whole team of people supporting them to make them the champion, to help them become the champion that they believe that they are. 

So if you were treating your career like you wanted to be a pro, like a pro athlete at the top of your game, what kind of team would you surround yourself with? What kind of team would you invest in? Back to tennis. Sofia Kenin just won the women’s singles Australian Open. She’s an American. I’ve never heard of her before. She’s been playing tennis since she was five years old. I’m a big tennis fan, I just haven’t heard of her before. She has a very good, very great technical game. 

The thing that differentiated her from her opponents that everybody was talking about was the fact that she could reset her brain before every point. Because tennis is a very mental game. She doesn’t hit the ball the way she wants to on a previous point, or something happens or the umpire rules incorrectly, or whatever happens happens, she might get upset, but she has this amazing ability to just reset her mind and calm down before the next point.

After she won the championship, Chris Everett and all the other commentators were talking to her, interviewing her. Mary Jo Fernandez and they were like, so how do you do this? It’s such a hard thing to do to reset your mind before every point. And she just said I’ve been working on my mental game all my life. The mental game is half the battle. In fact, I think it’s more than half the battle, but it is at least half the battle. And we all need help with our mental game. 

It’s not just the technical skills, we need help with how we’re showing up, how we think about ourselves, how we think about situations, and training ourselves to be able to manage and think through and manage our thoughts in those situations. But a lot of us think, look, I can work it out. I can work it out in my head, I don’t need anyone helping me with my mental game. The problem is, that the problem is in your head. And that you can’t go into your head to fix the problem because that’s where the problem is. 

So you need to get the problem out of your head. I always recommend that people start by journaling. Start with thought downloads, start by understanding what thoughts you have and decide what the main thought is holding you back. Do you want to continue having that thought? What feelings, actions, and results are you getting from those thoughts? Get the thoughts out. Oftentimes, people who don’t journal are uncomfortable looking at their thoughts. Because there they are right in front of you and in pen, black and white. It’s very uncomfortable. 

But I’ll remind you, being uncomfortable is the way to growth, it’s the way to success. So you don’t have to sit down and write pages and pages every day. Start with three minutes a day of journaling, get those thoughts out of your head, figure out what kind of team you need for your technical game and your mental game, and start building it based on the goals that you’re setting for yourself. Those are the two truths and a lie. 

Let’s summarize those two truths and a lie. You are what you believe you are. Failure is the road to success. Those are your two truths. And the lie is you can do it alone. Yes, you are the driver. Yes, you set the destination, you set the parameters for success. And then you got to find the right resources and tools and people and coaches and teachers to get you to your destination. That, my friends, is what smart people do. That’s it for this week. Until next time. Fail like you mean it, my friends.

I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.

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HI, I'M MEL

I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.

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I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.
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