Good To Great – Changing the Programming

A lot of parents struggle with teaching their non-go-getter teens to go get. 

Why would you be okay with a C or not work to to get on the athletic team they want to be on? Or perhaps a teen coasts at a B and doesn’t understand why why they should push themselves when a B isn’t “bad”.  

If you think about it, though, most of their life they have been programmed for “good”.  They have been programmed to not be “bad” and to certainly do “right”.  

As a previous teacher, I’m guilty of that.  I remember teaching my kids to always do the “right thing”.  

Seriously. What the heck does that mean to a middle schooler? 

Half the time they probably truly don’t know what the right thing is to do and then they have so many voices telling them what is “right”.  Their friends, their teachers, their parents, social media.  How do they know which voice is the right voice?  

Even a pastor, Francis Chan, wrote about it in one of his books.  We get so caught up with teaching our kids to just be good and follow the rules that we forget to invite them to be great.  

Our kids programming right now is to not be bad.  Some of them, as they exercise independence and decide their friends are more important, actually believe they are bad or they want to be bad.  

It’s programming.  It’s beliefs.  It’s years of their brain believing this is the way.  This is THE WAY.  Not from you. All of it – school, church, the world, sports, etc.

What I work on with them is recognizing those beliefs.  Then we work on changing those beliefs.  And then we use those beliefs to accept themselves for who they are and then go for the dreams written in their heart! If they don’t have dreams, we start tackling that too!  

We take down the good shell and we create a great life.  Full of work, wins, and failures.  And they will love it.  Because they are no longer trapped into not being bad.

They are invited to be great.  

Best Case Scenario – A Decision Making Tool

Here’s one tool I teach my clients.  Best Case Scenario.  

You have a decision to make. Let’s say there are two options. Decide now that both options will turn out to be perfect – exactly how you’d want them to go. If that were the case, which one would you choose?  

That’s it. That’s the tool. Seems so simple and not effective, right?  I know. But try it. 

Here’s an example.

Recently, my husband and I found a house that just had framing up and we loved the floor plan.  It was perfect for our small family. And, if we bought now, we could finish building it.  We’d get to pick all the things.  So fun!

However, it was located much farther from my 2nd job and it was outside of our big city.  Away from all the restaurants and shops and activities we like to do.

We had to decide and we had to decide fast if we wanted to pick all the things.

Do we sell our home in Atlanta which is smaller and farther away from Darin’s work, and buy the bigger, newer home outside of Atlanta, or do we stay?

If we stay, we have to save more money to buy the type of house we want in the area we want.  And we’re not completely sure we’d find a house with this great of a floor plan.  

So how did I finally decide? Best Case Scenario. If all things worked out, and we moved out to the suburbs and loved our house and neighbors and restaurants and shopping or if we stayed and we saved up money in the next year and a half and found an amazing house in this location, which one did I really want?  

We stayed.  

Using The Best Case Scenario takes off the need to analyze all of the what-ifs, the cons, and constantly think about what could go wrong.  It makes a decision out of strength and abundance, not fear and scarcity.  

It’s so simple, and so effective.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you. Then try to share it with your teen!  

Questions To Ask To Help Your Brain Commit

The way you do one thing is the way you do anything.  That’s what my coach tells me. 

This hit me like a whiff of really strong perfume. Eyes opened!

You see, I have always done pretty well with my weight, my exercise, my finances and even my time – I could coast just above average.  A solid B+/A-.

This week, I started thinking. I ignore my alarm. I hit the snooze button. I choose to do one more thing in the ten minutes I “think” I have which creates me being late.

And if what my coach says is true, I lack commitment to my schedule, which means I also don’t commit to my financial budget or my food plan. 

Ugh. I had a bad feeling this was legit.

Yep, I “cheat” here and there with my budget and food too, and since I know how to just do enough, I fluctuate 2-4 lbs and never bounce checks.

I am technically late to things, but rarely am late to where I miss the beginning of things which don’t really “count”. “No harm done”.

Even when I was in college, I rarely studied and got a solid A-. In high school, I rarely studied, and I was top 15%, not top 5%.

Yep, this is legit.

I realize I had this thought ‘Why push myself and go ALL IN?’ I was coasting very well with little commitment and little effort.

And then I thought – What if I went ALL IN?  What if I committed to doing it 100%?  What would my results look like?  What would I create for myself?  Who would I become?  

WhenI realized this, my mind WAS BLOWN. I have been living my life coasting. From teen to 40. Not really committing to much and also not really shining. I’ve been holding myself back.

So I immediately decided my schedule was where I could really transform. Schedule my day, honor my commitments, show up for myself and others. And look out for who I am becoming!

Finishing up week one and have already blown my mind. I was EARLY to lunch with a friend. I did EVERYTHING on my schedule, down to the exact podcast I wrote I’d listen to.


What about you? What if you showed up 100% in your life even if it was just ONE thing? You’d blow your mind, wouldn’t you?

Share this with your teen. Challenge them to go ALL IN in just one thing.

Why are they holding themselves back at all? Why did they pick the goal they picked? Who do they want to become as they do it? What do they want to create by going ALL IN? What do they see as the obstacles and challenges? How can they plan to overcome these?

They can start now. So can you.

Y’all. Let’s GO ALL IN. I’m going with you!

When We Feel Controlled

 A whole lot of people in America – from teens to 80 year olds – feel controlled. Like they aren’t free to be themselves.  Are you one of them?  

Maybe it’s your mom, your spouse, your boss, your kids, your job, or just your schedule.  

You don’t feel like you have a choice in what you do.  You’re being told constantly what to do and how to do it.  It’s like you live locked into what you “have” to do.  

What inevitably happens is you lose control of yourself.  Then you lose yourself.

You don’t show up how you want to and you literally “lose it”.  Yelling, rolling your eyes, quitting out of nowhere, gossiping, crying in your car in the garage where no one can see you.  You spiral out of control with spending, alcohol, food, etc.

You feel controlled and then you lose control.  

You’re not living with the belief that you have freedom in your life. 

It’s actually how our teens think too.  

They’re trying to learn independence when they aren’t allowed to be fully independent. 

A lot of them feel controlled by their parents, their schedule, their future, and their friends. And when they feel that way, they end up losing control of themselves in some form or fashion.

They try to control something or someone else – their weight, friends, boyfriends, drugs, etc. – which is just losing control in an unhealthy way.

What I teach my clients is that no matter what their parents/teachers/friends say or do, they have complete control to think what they want to think, feel how they want to feel, and to a certain degree do what they want to do.  

Because they are 100% responsible for themselves.  

They start to see that even being told to clean their rooms is completely in their control. They can clean it out of fear, not clean it, clean it out of desire to be a loving daughter or a clean human, or none of the above.

I boil it down for them to see that even their feeling is a choice – they can choose annoyed, fear, love, calm, peace, etc. in those moments. No one tells them to feel those things.

They decide how they will show up as a daughter, a friend, a teammate, a student, etc. every day.  

That is freedom. That is being empowered.  

That is being in control. Not of other people, but of themselves.

When your teens start to feel empowered and in control, they will start being in control of themselves in a healthy way…not rolling their eyes, not yelling, not slamming the door, taking responsibility for their grades, their room, their body, etc.

It is NOT an overnight process, but it is a process.

Help your teens learn to live in the land of the free with true freedom – knowing they are NOT controlled by the people around them.  They are empowered everyday to be in control of themselves.  

Happy Fourth of July friends!

P.S. This is true for you too. You are 100% in charge of your life and you are the greatest example for them to see! Live your freedom too!

Freedom Quotes from my coach & teacher, Brooke Castillo.

“When you choose not to resist, react, or avoid any emotion, you will find freedom and strength.” 

“When you’re able to feel happy exactly where you are, that’s when you will have the freedom to decide what you’d like to do next.”

“When you accept something you cannot change, you feel long-lasting freedom.”