291: How to Get Unstuck w Dr. Una | Personal Growth | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Tanya Dalton and Dr Nneka Unachukwu talk about getting unstuck on the intentional advantage podcast
June 6, 2023   |   Episode #:

291: How to Get Unstuck w Dr. Una

In This Episode:

We are often sold on comfort in today’s society, but discomfort is actually necessary for achieving growth and success. I’ve got Dr. Nneka Unachukwu on the show to talk about becoming strategic in handling discomfort and understanding that every piece of pain has a purpose. We highlight the importance of getting unstuck by making choices and then taking action. We also address the challenges of looking within to confront internal wounds and the value of observing situations without letting emotions get in the way. The hard times in life can feel dark and hopeless, but they can also lead to growth and positive changes.

Show Transcript:

Watch the Podcast

The Big Idea

We create our own stuck… so we can get ourselves UNstuck.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I get unstuck?
  • What are some tips for finding purpose in difficult experiences?
  • What is a self-audit?
  • How can I recover from failure?

Actions to Take

  • Start to build up your self-trust using the method Tanya talks about on the show and in her book.
    • Ask yourself what identity you want to shift: Am I a procrastinator? Am I unorganized? Am I feeling stuck financially?
      • Then create a micro-habit (something very small that takes very little time). Tanya gives several examples in the episode.
  • Tanya walks through the entire Forgiveness Activity with Patrice Washington

Key Moments in the Show

[04:34] Why We Feel Stuck

[06:35] Why You Actually Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

[11:01] How to Be an Observer in Your Own Life

[14:30] Why Growth Means Failure

[18:36] Why We Need to Stop Searching for Comfort

[21:28] Real Talk About Marriage and Life

[24:38] How to Extract Lessons in Midst of Hard Times

[34:03] Reflection Exercise with Questions

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: I had come to this place where I had accomplished a lot of the things that I wanted to accomplish, and I became stuck because I had become this person who could accomplish things, but I’ll need to become another version of me to accomplish the new things.

And I was stuck because

this version of me has done everything this version of me can do.

So here I am stuck not realizing that I created the quote unquote stuckness.

Tanya Dalton: Evolution needs to happen, that means that we have to evolve and not just we, our brains have to evolve. We have to shift the way we’re doing life, we’re doing work, And if we are resistant to that,

It’s no surprise that we feel stuck. we like to say, oh, it’s the economy. It’s my team. It’s my kids.

Whatever it is, there’s always an external excuse when really a lot of it is looking inside of ourselves and saying, Hey, what’s going on here?

Hello, hello everyone and welcome to the Intentional Advantage Podcast.

I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 291. We have been having some fantastic conversations. If you’ll recall, this season, I’m not doing interviews. There’s no script. There’s no meeting ahead of time and knowing what the questions and answers are. It’s all conversations. And today, today’s a great conversation because we are gonna be talking about how we create our own stuck.

We’re gonna be talking about radical responsibility because we’re gonna be talking a lot about self auditing and that process of reflection, what that looks like, how it helps us, how you can do it, and really building our muscles,not those muscles, building different kinds of muscles.

Today I have one of my favorite people on the show, Dr. Nekka Unachukwu. Now Dr. Una, as she’s known to all of her friends, she is a fantastic woman. She is a pediatrician turned entrepreneur, so she built a thriving private practice and now she is a speaker. She’s a bestselling author. She is a podcast host of a top 100 podcast, The EntreMD Podcast.

What she does is she helps physicians make an impact and avoid burnout.

Dr. Una has set a goal for herself to help impact a hundred thousand physicians to build their practices so that they can live life and practice medicine on their own terms. Now, I will tell you, Dr. Una originally set the goal of 80,000 physicians.

But she’s pushing herself, she’s evolving, she’s shifting into discomfort, and she’s pushing herself to help a hundred thousand. See, high achievers like Dr. Una are constantly shifting to evolve, pivot to get into a little bit of discomfort, which is one of the things we’ll be talking about today.

So let’s stop talking about it. Let’s get to it.

There’s a spiritual art to work and life. I’m not talking about sitting in silence on a mountaintop or chanting mantras for hours a day, but finding meaning in your work in everyday life can increase your productivity, boost your happiness, and yes, make you feel so much better about your days. I’m Tanya Dalton, a bestselling author, motivational speaker, seven figure entrepreneur.

Oh yeah, wife and mom. So I get it. I understand the stress of daily life, but as a productivity expert, I’m here to help you choose the extraordinary life. This season, we will be exploring work, parenting, personal growth and more. Because when you choose to be intentional, every day can be filled with meaning.

Let’s create the world we want our daughters to live in. This is the Intentional Advantage.

We had such an amazing conversation a few weeks ago, and I think we were like, I don’t know, five, seven minutes into the conversation and I was like, oh, we should be recording this. It was so good, right? Yeah. And so we were talking about self audits in reflection and well, Let’s be honest, first of all that we, I think we had scheduled like a 30 minute call and then it stretches into like 45 minutes an hour, which is kind of how we roll.

but I wanted to dive into that idea to start our conversation today with that concept of self audits. Cuz you do such a great job with the physicians that you work with, helping them self, self-audit.

[00:04:34] Why We Feel Stuck

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Yeah, I think, I think self-audit kind of became a big thing for me, especially, you know, this year, taking the time to really stop and take a look at you. Right?

Take a look at the way you think, take a look at the things that you have visions for, because it’s, it’s possible. I think it started for me because I realized that.

I had come to this place where I had accomplished a lot of the things that I wanted to accomplish, and I became stuck because I didn’t realize I didn’t have a vision for where I wanted to go. I had become this person who could accomplish things, but I’ll need to become another version of me to accomplish the new things.

And I was stuck because I didn’t realize that this version of me has done everything this version of me can do. And so when I realized that, I had to pedal back and say, okay,

What do I really see for tomorrow?

What is the vision I have for tomorrow? Where am I in complete resistance?

Because I’m like, yes, I was willing to, dream up this level, but I don’t wanna dream of the next level like that.

I, I don’t wanna do that. Right? And so here I am stuck not realizing that I created the quote unquote stuckness, right? In the same way. I’m like, okay, to hit this new target, you’re going to need to learn to sell in a different way. Lead your organization in a different way. Hold your staff accountable in a different way.

Bring on new caliber of team members you’ve never had before. And I subconsciously decided I’m not doing that. Like I literally made a quality decision. I’m not gonna do that. But still, I wanted to have what I wanted to have, you know, and so that ability to just stop and analyze, what am I dreaming of, Where have I made quality decisions? I’m not moving forward. Where am I in complete resistance? All of those things. It just became really powerful for me, right? Like all these goals I set, why are they not happening? Because sometimes easy to say nothing’s working. It’s the economy. It’s almost never the economy, right?

Like every, you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while.

[00:06:35] Why You Actually Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: It’s never the economy. It’s never, you know, that person who you know quits or that it’s never that. It’s like stopping and going like, okay, what’s the real problem here? I don’t wanna lead those kind of people. I don’t wanna raise my level of leadership.

I don’t wanna invest in the coaching I need to get, I don’t want to have conversations with the people I need to have them with. And so I really started doing these audits and just stopping. And, you know, taking the radical responsibility of this is my fault, whether it’s working or not, and going like, okay, how am I creating this?

Right? And then, you know, like you alluded to, that’s what I started doing for my students. I started doing a lot of these reflective sessions. You know, I even did one with them last week where I was like, we’re in the middle of q2. This is the best place. Right? And okay, so where are you? Where have you. You know, where are you in resistance?

You know, to be resisting becoming the kind of person who accomplishes these goals that you set, right? The person who accomplishes goals like this, how do they show up? And they’re like, oh yeah, they show up like this. They show up like that, and all that good for the last six weeks. How have you shown up?

Oh, I’ve shown up like this and that. I’m like, okay, where’s the gap? What story are you telling yourself that allows you to say this gap is okay? Right? And after I did that, like, oh my goodness, I saw these things. I was like, hang on, one more question. What is one thing you know you should do to create this result that you have decided?

I am not going to do, they’re like, Dr. Una, get out of my head. I’m like, no, no, I’m in your head so you can get out of your own head so we can go make some, you can go create some results here. But it was so powerful to just stop and see you and see what you’re doing so you can course correct.

Tanya Dalton: I love that whole, I created the stuck. Because as evolution needs to happen, that means that we have to evolve and not just we, our brains have to evolve. We have to shift the way we’re doing life, we’re doing work, we’re doing all of those things. And if we are resistant to that, it’s no surprise that we can’t change.

It’s no surprise that we feel stuck. So that question of what’s the real problem, I think is so big. I think it’s huge because you’re right, we like to say, oh, it’s the economy. It’s my team. It’s this person over here. It’s, I don’t have control. It’s my kids. Whatever it is, there’s always an external excuse when really a lot of it is looking inside of ourselves and saying, Hey, what’s going on here?

And that’s hard. That is not easy to do because it requires peeling back the bandages. Right. Peeling back the bandages, looking at the old wounds, perhaps looking at the things you don’t like, the things that you wish you hadn’t said or done. The things that we wanna sweep underneath the rug, but those are the things that need the most light because they become bigger.

And if they’re in darkness, they’re creating a lot of mildew and mold and it’s gross and you bring it to light and all of a sudden we’re able to heal. I’m speaking doctor speak, Dr. Una, listen to me peeling back the bandages and.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: It works. I like it. I like it. And, and I mean, like your visuals, when you talk about mold and mildew, like that’s now like, okay, we need to stop it. Right? We need to shine some light there and clean and clean it all up, you know? But it, it’s so, it’s so much easier. To blame. And I think that’s why we blame, because if you look at it, you’re like, oh man, I didn’t, and you’re like, no, no, no.

Let me, and that’s part of my self audit because, you know, not this year, but earlier on, I realized that whenever something was looking like it was about to not work, my immediate reaction is, who can I blame for this? Because once I can blame them. Yeah. If I can blame them whoof, that I can take the pressure off me.

Right. Like it wasn’t me. Not me. Yeah. If not for that, this would’ve worked. And so y you know, it’s,putting yourself in that position. you’re really looking and you’re like, how, how, how am I allowing this?

How am I creating this? Right. What is my responsibility here? And so you can fix that and, and the control it gives you is unbelievably, it hurts, but the control is beautiful cuz you can change anything.

[00:11:01] How to Be an Observer in Your Own Life

Tanya Dalton: Oh yeah, you can absolutely change anything. uncovering what’s the real problem means that we have to be an observer and we have to take some of that emotion out of it because it’s really easy to get tied up to the shame, the guilt, the frustration, the anger, all of those things.

They tend to blind us from what the real problem is. And then it becomes easy to point fingers if we step back and we take emotion out of it. And I think emotion plays a very important role. First of all, it triggers us and it cues us to know, Hey, I need to stop and ask a question because your emotions, your body will tell you before your brain does.

Every single time. So the emotion is there to cue you, but then we need to step back, take out that emotion and say what’s happening here? And just observe, which is hard to do because sometimes our observations are not very nice or not very flattering. We could say. Because we have made mistakes. We’ve done things wrong.

We said bad things to our kids. We, we made the wrong decision. We held onto an employee too long. We do all of these things. You know why? Cuz we’re humans and sometimes it’s hard to admit that we’re humans.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: So, so what do you do for that? Like, you know, the, the emotional piece of it. How do you do that? How do you help your clients with that? Where, You know, like kind of put your emotions to the side and let’s, let’s observe objectively, cuz that’s, that’s the superpower of a very high, high capacity person, right?


Tanya Dalton: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it really is. one of the things, and I touched on this. Several episodes ago, I had Patrice Washington on the show and I talked about my Forgiveness Act activity that I do, and I talked about the fact that I visualize the scene and then I change it to black and white. That’s what I do. I change it to black and white because when you go back in your memories and you’re revisiting a scene, if you wanna amp up the emotion, you saturate the color, all of a sudden you’ll feel all the things.

If you wanna feel more gratitude, go back. Visit a time in your life where you were grateful, and then really saturate that color and you’ll feel the gratitude showing up and the love in your body If you wanna take the emotions out. Change it to black and white. It’s kind of a crazy little trick that you can do, but it does, it shifts you into a different way of thinking, almost like it’s on a movie screen.

So it’s a movie you’re watching and not you. And so that’s one of the things that I do. And then I just start taking notes about, how did I, how did I process this? What were the actions I did, and I focus in on the truths because we tell ourselves a lot of untruths, a lot of stories that a good person does this.

a better wife does these things. A good mom does this. I talk about the truth, not what I perceive, but what I actually see. How did I behave? How did that person respond? How did I pivot? How did I, or whatever the question is, and I literally take notes like a reporter. So it’s just notes as somebody who is observing.

And then I can take those notes and it can start to gather them together and process them. I can start to see themes, I can start to see ideas, and then it becomes easier because now I’ve taken myself and my emotions out of this whole story. That’s how I do it.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: I like

Tanya Dalton: What, I’m curious what you do, how do you do it?

[00:14:30] Why Growth Means Failure

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: I think, you know, a number of things. I think the first thing is I, I recognize as somebody who is trying to do better, who is trying to impact my world that it’s a, it’s a path riddled with mistakes and disappointments and quote unquote failures and all of those things. So I started changing the story around, what me failing, quote unquote, that something means, it doesn’t mean I failed. It doesn’t mean I’m bad. It doesn’t mean I’m weak. It does. It doesn’t mean any of that. It means I’m a warrior.

It means I am on the path to become

the best version of me, to serve my world so there’s gonna be those things.

And so with the disappointment or, oh, I didn’t get that right and all of that, it completely changes the story because the people who are trying to do nothing don’t have those problems. I have these problems and they’re self-induced because I’m trying to do better. Right. So it

Tanya Dalton: a warrior has scars, right? A warrior has to have scars. That’s that’s part of becoming that warrior. It’s part of embodying it. I love that idea.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Yeah, so it cha it changes the emotion around it. It’s like I’m part of this elite crew of people who are trying to do big bad things in the world, and this is what happens to us. So it, it’s a very, very different energy. and I think the other thing is I started practicing. Living in discomfort, right?

Because exploring those questions that it’s so uncomfortable and a lot of times the thing you have to do after it is so uncomfortable, right? Like, so when we think about the gap, right? I was talking about this is the way someone who gets your kind of results. This is the way they show up. This is the way you’re showing up.

So there’s a gap there. So you’re gonna need to show up in a different way. Uncomfortable. So

Tanya Dalton: so uncomfortable.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Right. And so I’m, I made this decision. looking at these things is uncomfortable. Some emotions may come up that’s uncomfortable. I may need to do things after that. Those are all uncomfortable, but I’m okay cuz apparently the pathway to the top is a pathway of discomfort.

So I just sit in it and I don’t make it mean a bad thing. I make it mean I’m going somewhere. And this is what people who are going somewhere go through. And so it’s okay. You know what I mean? It’s normalized.

Tanya Dalton: Totally, you know, you know how people do, like a word of the year, people will say, oh, I want a word of the year. So I, I had a year, a couple years ago where I really wanted to step into this, and so I thought about, well, my word of the year could be transformation or metamorphosis or something that sounded beautiful.

I chose the word discomfort as my word of the Year

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Ah.

Tanya Dalton: because I wanted to know, because you are absolutely right. When you’re evolving, when you’re changing, there is discomfort. When the caterpillar goes into the cocoon, it first has to liquefy. It turns into mush and liquid. Literally. That cannot be comfortable.

but that’s what it takes to turn into the butterfly. So I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone, and I wanted in those moments to go back and say, oh yeah, I chose this. Discomfort is my word of the year. I am choosing discomfort. And it’s not always an easy choice because it feels really comfortable right where you are, but to choose to step out of it and remind yourself, it’s like, okay, I can roll my shoulders back.

I can hold my chin up high and say, I am choosing this discomfort’s only short term. And I think that’s the thing we lose sight of. We. We are so scared of changing that we’re, we’re afraid of that five minutes of discomfort. Even though it means perhaps a lifetime of happiness or stepping into something that is meaningful or something that’s, that’s really gonna impact the world.

We will let five minutes of discomfort hold us back hey, you can do five minutes of discomfort. You can hang by your fingernails if you need it to. We can do all kinds of things. We really are warriors and we’re so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, but we’re like, Ooh, I don’t know about that discomfort.

I think I’ll just, I’ll just pretend like it’s not there.

[00:18:36] Why We Need to Stop Searching for Comfort

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Okay, so you, you’re unearthing all kinds of things. and I think it’s so powerful because. We live in a time where we are sold on comfort. We are so sold on comfort that I got to the stage, as an entrepreneur, as a mom and all, but I was like, something has to be wrong because I’m almost always uncomfortable like, Clearly there’s something these gurus are teaching that I don’t know, right?

Because I’m so uncomfortable, and I think this came up in, in, in the last conversation we had, where this is the real deal, right?you’re, you’re a mom, you’ve raised kids, they’re grown. You know, you’re, you’re the entrepreneur. You’re, you have, you’re a great speaker. You have all these things going for you.

You’re a real person who has these real results and you chose discomfort as your word. And I have no doubt that that year it created all kinds of massive wins for you. And this is the truth, right?

The Instagram highlight reel that talks about working, you know, a day a week and sipping margaritas on the beach and sipping your way to a multi seven figure business, it, it’s so prevalent that.

People almost get em embarrassed for working hard because you’re not, so it shouldn’t take all that. It means there’s something you don’t know. And I’m like, I have been in the in rooms with some of the most powerful people and none of them share that narrative, like not one of them.

But on social media and in conversation, it’s everywhere. And it’s so damaging cuz you can’t build anything that’s great and will have a lasting impact that way. You just can’t. So I’m glad you brought that up.

Tanya Dalton: The highlight reel looks beautiful and truthfully, if you were to go on Dr. Una’s site or my site, it looks really nice. It looks. Very put together because it’s the highlight reel. That’s what you have to remember. It’s the high points. It’s all the glossy pictures and the, and that looks really good.

But there was a lot going on behind the scenes. You gotta peel back that curtain and see the wizard who’s back there, who’s been sweating away this whole time. This is the whole concept with the overnight success that people get caught up in. Oh, it’s so easy for them. Oh, they just burst on the scene and suddenly, well, they’ve been bursting on the scene for 10 years behind that curtain.

You just didn’t see it sweating away, doing all the grunt work, and we’ve all been there. I think it’s such a disservice. I agree that we look at that and we think that’s the path, and somehow if it’s hard, if it takes effort, we’re doing it wrong. Because we should all be sipping margaritas by the pool.

Although I am not opposed to sipping margaritas by the pool.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Not, not, not, not opposed at all, but just, not expect some kind of result from that. Still, the work is still required.

[00:21:28] Real Talk About Marriage and Life

Tanya Dalton: Work is still required, I think. I think that’s the thing that that people lose sight of is that I was just having this conversation with someone the other day because we’re talking about it in terms of work, but also in marriage. I feel like my marriage is strong because we’ve been in the trenches.

It’s not when, hey, life is great and we’re on vacation. That makes my marriage stronger. It’s when we’re on the bathroom floor crying. Because something has happened when we are holding onto each other saying, I don’t know what we’re gonna do next, or How do we deal with this? It is during the times where we have dealt with trauma, with loss, with hardships in our marriage, because we all have them.

That is when we get forged into who we are meant to be, and that is how we create stronger marriages and we become stronger. It’s in those valleys, we just, we don’t enjoy our time there, but it makes us so much better. It’s all those, all those things in our past that we don’t really like that get us to where we are today. Ah, it’s just, you don’t wanna be there when you’re in there,

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: such a real conversation like this is, this is reality, right? Discomfort, valleys pain, trauma, and then the beautiful things that come out on the other side of it, right? Like that’s.

Tanya Dalton: There’s so much beauty that comes out on the other side.

And I think that’s what we forget when we’re in those valleys because we think it’s so dark in here. And I sometimes it’s so dark cuz I’ve definitely been in valleys where I couldn’t see the sun. And you think there is no hope and you think I am absolutely stuck and there’s no getting out of this.

And now you look back and you’re like, oh, it was in that valley where I made this decision, where I made this choice, where I changed how I looked at myself and suddenly there’s the sun. And suddenly I’m out of it. And I, I don’t have to be grateful in the terms of like, Ooh, I wanna repeat that again. But I can appreciate those valleys.

I know for me, there’s no way I’d be where I am right now if I didn’t have those valleys. They’re, they’re so important, so let’s not discount them or try to gloss over them. We don’t have to revel in them while we’re in them, but let’s recognize, okay, I’m in a valley, and this goes back to what you said. You know that idea of creating your stuck, let’s choose to get unstuck.

The opposite of stuck is not unstuck– it’s taking action.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Making a choice, making a decision. I wanna know for, for you, because I, I had a, I had a shocker, I wanna say two years ago. I was taking a walk and it just dawned on me like I’d finally come to this place where I was comfortable being uncomfortable. I never knew that was a thing, right? Like I’m, I’m, it’s so uncomfortable.

I’m trying new things, I’m doing new things and, and all that. But this time I was like, I expect it. Like I’m actually looking. Am I comfortable everywhere? If I’m comfortable everywhere, then maybe I’m not having opportunities to grow. I’m not having opportunities to try new things. I, you know what I mean?

And it’s not like looking for pain, but I recognize that discomfort equals growth in a way, right?

[00:24:38] How to Extract Lessons in Midst of Hard Times

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: And recently I had, this trying period. And as I was going through it, I couldn’t see how exactly I’d come out on the other side. But I was also looking forward to when I will use this as a case study to show other people like, when you go through this, this is how you handle that.

And I was like, Ooh, I wonder what lessons I will learn from this. I wonder how I’ll be so much better because of this, right in the midst of it. And I was like, wow. Like if you embrace discomfort, You know on purp, when I say on purpose, I don’t mean you’re looking for it, but when it comes, you’re okay with it.

You can get to that point where you’re comfortable and you’re almost strategic in your discomfort. Does that make sense?

Tanya Dalton: It makes total sense. I’ve had moments of absolute. Clarity at the height of discomfort, where I realize this is a story. This is a story that I’ll be able to tell later that maybe will help other people. And for those of you listening, if you’ve read my books, you know, I talk about how I, I lost my, my baby.

I talk about my sexual assault. I talk about the things that are hard, that were difficult, that were traumatic. And there’s so much good I can do with those because I can connect with you in ways that maybe you can see that the number of of emails or messages I get from women who say, when you talked about this in your book, which was a hardship, something that you went through that was difficult.

I saw myself in that because I went through that. It looked a little different, but I was there and then I knew. You understood me, or I knew you saw me, and that’s, that’s so powerful. Yep. Finding that it’s, it is, it’s one of those things where you have to really, again, step outside of yourself, become the observer in the height of the discomfort to say, how is this gonna help me?

I’ve had key employees leave where I am, just, I have a, had a moment. Where I was bawling my eyes out in my closet. That’s my favorite place to cry away from my kids. Um, I go to the closet, I start crying, and I’m just so, every emotion, angry, sad, mad, frustrated, wanting to point fingers, and then it was this moment of, this is gonna be good.

This is happening for a reason. I’ve had the, I’ve had bad things happen enough to understand there’s purpose in this. There’s purpose behind every piece of pain. So if I’m in pain right now, I don’t know what it is, but I know that there’s something in there. So there’s a little bit of peace that happens when you can acknowledge that, but I think it takes creating that muscle, that self-audit, that reflection muscle. At times when you aren’t in discomfort to be able to pull it out, right? It’s just like, how long can you hold a plank? Well, if you’ve never done plank before, you can hold it for like five seconds. If you’ve been doing planks for 30 days, then you’re like, ah, I can do it for I don’t know how long. A long time, right?

It’s the same thing. It’s building this muscle up that’s showing you your resilience. It’s showing you that you’re gonna overcome. And I think if people really recognize. That the future is built off what we have in the past. There’s a familiarity there, and it’s not so uncomfortable because you know it’s an iteration, something built off of something you’ve already done, something you’ve already accomplished, something you’ve already learned through a failure, and then it becomes less uncomfortable.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Okay. You’re making me all kinds of happy I this. Because th this is, it sounds so simple, but it’s so profound, right? it is so funny. last week I was having a conversation with my husband and we were talking about a mentee of ours who has been going in circles, right? Like doing the same, making the same mistake over and over again.

And he’s like, if people will only understand that, it all comes down to the muscles we’ve built. We are all building muscles all the time. And so every time you procrastinate, you’re building that muscle. You become so much better at it. every time you do something uncomfortable, you should do right.

You, you know, like this is the thing that’s gonna gimme the result every time you do that. Not because you felt like, but because you were practicing discipline, right? Doing what you should, when you should. Whe whether you feel like it or not. Every time you do that, you’re building this bigger muscle that you’re able to, create a goal and do what needs to be done.

To, to pull it off is like every, every time. You do the right thing, you’re building a muscle, so you’re so much better. But it’s not as though if you didn’t do it, then you’re neutral. He’s like, every time you say no to that, they’re also building this muscle and you become really good and not doing what needs to be done, you know?

And so when he said that, I just had this word picture, like we’re all like chiseled out, like bodybuilders. The question is, what are we good at building?

what are we, what are we good at building, right? So are you building, you know, things that will take you towards where you’re trying to go? Are you good at building chaos, building, being stuck, building, setbacks, building all of that?

Or are you just good at taking your life forward and taking your family forward and I was like, man, if we recognize that, Then we think about our decisions differently. We think about our actions differently because we’re like, what am I building? Because I am building, but what am I building?

And someone may hear this and go like, oh my goodness, I can’t do it right every single time. It really isn’t about doing it right every single time. It’s about doing it more, right? Doing it more with whatever level we’re at, doing it more. I’m building the right muscles, right more frequently on all of that, but.

If I think of myself as a, as a bodybuilder, and I’m just like, whoa, okay, we better be building the right muscles here.

Tanya Dalton: Well, and we wanna build all the muscles. You don’t wanna be a bodybuilder who has these gigantic arm. And these skinny little sticks for our legs, right? You have arms day, you have legs day, you have back day, you have chest day.

So you’re leaning in, and this goes back to that whole idea of letting go of balance. Leaning in and creating that harmony. So some days you lean in on arms. Some days you lean in on legs. Same way in life. Sometimes you lean into work, sometimes you lean into family. Other times you lean into a passion project that has nothing to do with work.

Is it about monetization, isn’t about promotion, is it about any of those things? It’s just for sheer fun. Remember those things? Yeah. Leaning into those, leaning into different friendships and relationships. leaning into spirituality, leaning into our emotions, all of that. It’s this constant leaning to make us into this well-rounded person. I love, I love how we were talking the same language with the muscles and, yeah. You’re

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: So fun.

Tanya Dalton: I’m seriously looking at my timer right now and I’m like, how is this possible that we’re already at as far as we are? I mean, I was like, we have like 25 minutes or so. We’re already blown past that. My friends, we’ve already blown past, which is how all of our conversations go because you’re so amazing. let me do this cuz we’re getting ready to close out this and then you and I will chat afterwards for sure. what would be one piece of advice or one nugget of wisdom that you would love for the listeners to hear from you today?

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Walking away from the habit of learning to know and walking towards learning to do. So for instance, this is a very powerful episode and we had some really great conversation and it’s possible to say, wow, that was so inspiring and walk away. But I wanna invite you to say, huh, self-audit. Why don’t I just put a 10 minute timer right now and why don’t I just do that right now?

You learn to do, and then what that means is every week when people come to listen to the podcast they’re creating one change, right? Which is 52 changes a year, which you cannot, like even people who know you will be like, what’s happening to you? That’s how dramatic the transformation will be if you can just learn to do.

Learn to do. Learn to do. So take what you learn today, just do. You don’t have to do everything. Maybe just do that 10 minute audit and keep it moving, but learn to do.

Tanya Dalton: I love that. I love that. Dr. Una, where can people connect with you and find out more about you?

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Yeah, so that would be on my website. It is entre md.com, so E N T R E md.com. And there’s, you know, links to my podcast, social media where I talk about these things all the time. everything is on there. So my website would be the place to go.

Tanya Dalton: I love it. I love it. Well, we could listen to you talk all day, thank you so much Dr. Una, for being here today.

Dr. Nneka Unachukwu: Thank you for having me. This is amazing. You’re amazing.

Tanya Dalton: Wasn’t that an incredible episode with Dr. Una? I love that whole idea, that concept of building up your muscle, building up your muscle so that when you really need it, it’s there for you. And that whole concept and idea of building the muscle, when life feels easy, when it feels comfortable, that’s what’s really going to help you When times get tough.

When you’re in that valley, like we talked about, you need to have that muscle there. I think this is why I feel so strongly about reflection and if you’ve read On Purpose, My second book, you know, it’s divided into sections. The first section is reflection because it is so important. It’s a practice that I do at least four times a year.

I schedule it on my calendar, like I do a doctor’s appointment like I do with my eye doctor or my gynecologist. I make sure it’s scheduled in there because it is a very important appointment for me to help build up that muscle, to practice observing what went well. What didn’t go well? What sucked? What was terrible?

What was hard? What do I wanna change? What did I learn? All of those are amazing questions. I think so often we wanna hold up the shiny trophies and it’s easy to wanna show everybody in the world, this is how amazing I am. I do all of these things well, but it is, when we peel back the bandages, it is, when we look at the things we don’t like, the things we don’t wanna repeat.

It’s so much more powerful. Than knowing what you do. We talked about that idea in my book on purpose as well,

building up resilience.

It comes from regret. We push against regret to build in resilience. The other thing we talk about is this concept, an idea that we touched on in this episode of building that self-trust, really reminding yourself that you have these muscles.

Now, self-trust is really not difficult to build up. It’s these tiny, incremental, small changes that you make little shifts that help you shift your identity. Do you see yourself as somebody who’s always disorganized? You start by making your bed each day and every day when you walk into your room, you think, ah, the bed is made.

It feels really good. Isn’t it funny how something so simple so small can make such a big difference? Well, if you’re a person who makes your bed every day and you start to identify that way, you can no longer be someone who’s disorganized. Can’t see yourself in that light anymore. Little things like that, if you struggle with your finances, building up that muscle of reconciling your accounts one day a week, 20 minutes to reconcile your accounts.

Once you start doing that, it becomes easy to see in yourself. Hey, I’m not a financial mess. I’m someone who keeps up with my finances. I’m someone who’s constantly checking in and making sure I’m in good standing. Those are little powerful shifts that build up that muscle, that build up the self-trust.

And when you believe in yourself, ugh, well, anything is possible. Well, everything is possible, isn’t it? So I want you to do that today. As Dr. Una said, set a timer, 10 minutes, take a little bit of action to get yourself unstuck. Let me give you an action you can take.

If you’re feeling a little stuck, like you don’t have enough time, you can watch My Oxford talk. It’s called Time Management is Killing Your Productivity. If you’re a person who feels like, ah, I’m stuck because I just don’t have enough time, you need to go and watch that Oxford talk.

You’re gonna really get a lot out of it, and guess what? It’s like nine minutes long, so very easy to do. You can grab lunch and watch. Make sure to comment, leave a thumbs up. I really would appreciate that. But go and watch my Oxford talk, Tanya dalton.com/oxford. I can promise you it’s going to shift how you look at time and how you manage your time.

All right, Tanya dalton.com/oxford. It really will mean a lot to me to have you go and check it out, and I think it’s gonna help you with how you feel about time.

Let’s talk about what, I want you to walk away from today’s show knowing, because we touched on so many powerful things in today’s show, which is why I love my meetings, my calls with Dr. Una. I think I always walk away with so many great nuggets, but that idea of building your muscle, that idea of believing in yourself to get yourself unstuck.

Ugh, that’s powerful. That’s the key to unlock the door to wherever it is you’re wanting to do. Wherever it is you’re wanting to go, whatever it is you’re wanting to lean into. Because when you believe in yourself, it’s so much easier to invest in yourself, to lean into who you are, to identify yourself the way you want to be seen by the rest of the world and by yourself.

And when you do that, that’s when you know you’ve got The Intentional Advantage.

Ready to take action on what we talked about on today’s episode. The easiest way to get started is my free take five challenge, five minutes a day for five days. That’s it. And yet it will boost your productivity and double your happiness. I can promise you thousands have taken the challenge. Go to Tanya dalton.com/take five to join or click the link in the episode notes.

And don’t forget to follow the intentional advantage on your podcast player so you don’t miss an episode.

**The Intentional Advantage is one of the best productivity podcast for women who are looking for advice on goal setting, creating habits, finding work-life balance and more. The transcript for this episode is created by AI, so please excuse any typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes.

Tanya Dalton is one of the top women motivational speakers. She gives keynote talks to corporations, companies and organizations. To book Tanya to speak go to TanyaDalton.com/speaking to have Tanya speak at your next event.

Image for podcast episode artwork is by Dương-Nhân