Ep 224: When You Want to Prove People Wrong

16 Minutes Read

If you want to do something big in this world, you have to tap into your wellspring of motivation for energy.

On this episode of the Superabound Podcast, Master Coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase explore the different types of motivating energy—particularly "When You Want to Prove Them Wrong" energy.

You will discover:

  • When and how to use different types of energy for motivation
  • When "Prove Them Wrong" energy might backfire and create bigger problems for you
  • How to shift away from an energy and motivation source that no longer serves you

To take your business and life to the next level with Erin and Steve and hundreds of other business owners, join the Superabound Collective at besuperabound.com/collective

Watch the video here:


Episode Transcript

Steve Haase  

Today on the Superabound podcast, we are talking about energy, the energy that you use to grow your business. Hello, Erin. Hi.

Erin Aquin  

Well, I mean, I'm having some coffee right now. Does that count?

Steve Haase 

Yeah. Is coffee actually energy though? No,

Erin Aquin 

that's that's a episode for a different day. We can have that debate for you and I.

Steve Haase 

Today, we're going to talk about your spiritual energy, your human energy, your lifeforce, your motivation. That's what we mean by energy today.

Erin Aquin  02:55

Yeah, and I think the thing that kind of I've been noticing, we're working on our book, and we've been doing these different interviews with various entrepreneurs, and as probably some of you know, I've been an entrepreneur for a really long time. Steve has as well, but he's been also, he's worked for corporations. And he's worked for like bigger companies. He has been an employee. Probably long. I know. Sacreligious. Have you on this show? I can't believe it. But there's something when we were interviewing a couple of the entrepreneurs that we're including in our book. There has been a theme through some of those conversations were a big what's it called? I don't know, like a big reason. motivator. Yes, that's the word, motivator, a big motivator for starting a business was to like, prove other people wrong to show someone who didn't believe in me that I could do it. And I remember last week, we were talking to one person who was kind of detailing their experience. And I was sitting there nodding along. And Steve turned to us. And he was like, what is it entrepreneurs needing to like, prove something? Like, if you want to prove something to someone or the world, there's far easier things to do than to start a business. And yet, it's the path that so many of us chose. So we're not only just talking about like the, the light woowoo fluffy energy, which we love as well, but we're also talking about sometimes the energy that you may not think of as being fuel, that does actually motivate a lot of people.

Steve Haase  04:43

And the thing that made me really curious about it is it had come up a number of times, and I just thought, What is it with the proving it to the world energy like that? It's a common enough thing. What's the deal? Is it good? Is it bad? Like it gets things done, people can move mountains to prove somebody else wrong. At what cost? How sustainable is it? Those are the things that I was curious about. And so that's what we're going to explore in this episode.

Erin Aquin  05:17

Yeah. And I mean, I'll just share, I'll start with my opinion. My opinion on this is no source of energy is really inherently good or bad. You know, people sometimes will say, like, well, something like an emotion, like anger is bad energy, you don't want that bad energy near you. But you think about it, anger, frustration, that has started revolutions that have changed the world for the better. So there, it really I think you kind of alluded to it, it really does kind of depend on how it's used, and whether it's sustainable. So let me let's start talking about the Pruvit energy. This was one I have used for many years, quite successfully, wanting to prove myself to other people. When I was running to small businesses, I just wanted to show the world that I could make it as a yoga teacher and as an acupuncturist. When I left those, those arenas to pursue coaching, I definitely wanted to prove to you, Steve, that I could make it that I could, you know, not just like, pay back the investment for my coaching certification, but actually create a real company. I actually hadn't even said this on a publicly on a podcast that my goal for my business, that particular year was to make more money than you. Which is kind of funny now think about it. Yeah, yeah, I did that year. But it's, it's kind of the thing with that energy is that it's adversarial. And there's going to probably be points in your life where you need that. I didn't really need that in our marriage, probably could have not used the competitive adversarial energy. But for sure, when you're surrounded by people who don't believe in you, when you are doing something new. I remember a yoga student. When I told them I was leaving to become a coach. She was like, Ill I hate, like life coach. It's such a terrible term. Like, what does that even mean? You should not call yourself a life coach. I just like can't even take that seriously. I was her yoga teacher. And she was saying this to her yoga guide. And I just remember thinking like, well, it's cute that you think that this is not going to work because I will show you and I will have I will delight in being very successful. Not as like an fu to anybody but really just I I love proving people wrong about me. I love people thinking, you know, I'm just this mild mannered person and then I'll go kick some ass. It's really super fun.

Steve Haase  08:29

And what resonates for me is the spirit of competitiveness. I usually don't have a I'll show you kind of vibe. But I I love to compete, right the moment the moment the scoreboard starts ticking, I'm in baby I'm gonna give it my all and and I think that will have me rise to new heights. Like when I'm you know, finishing up a peloton ride and someone's just a couple you know, what's ahead of me a couple kilojoules ahead of me, I'm like, I'm going to get you you know, and that will that will push me beyond where I would have gone otherwise. And so that can be powerful fuel.

Erin Aquin  09:21

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, it's it's true. It's sort of like that flavor of energy is really useful when the odds might be against you. Or, you know, you don't have a cheering section. And you're really just like, all you've got is you when all you've got is you I think competitive energy and proving it energy can be really, really useful to get you through kind of the the dark mist of disbelief. From the world.

Steve Haase  10:02

And it's Yeah, I was thinking like, if you feel like the underdog, if you've been cast as the underdog, if you haven't felt people's belief in you in the past, then that I'm going to prove it to you energy would be the fuel, honestly, because the opposite like the alternative to that is oh, I guess you're right. Right. It's basically defeat energy, which and the thing that was fascinating about the conversation with the entrepreneur, that that you were mentioning, Aaron, is, in his lowest moments when he was working the night shift, at a, you know, dead end job. Everyone around him, was complaining and down about life. But he knew that that was not his fate. And part of how he knew that wasn't his fate was his ability to fight through adversity, and to bet on himself. And so he kind of took that cocktail of I can get through hard things, I can bet on myself. And I'm going to show everyone who thinks that I'm lumped in with, you know, the crew of folks who aren't going anywhere, but I'm going somewhere. So that was kind of his own. Yeah. His own juice, right, his own health food drink that he took on a daily basis.

Erin Aquin  11:23

Yeah, so I totally get it when people have that energy as entrepreneurs very deeply resonate with it. But let's talk about when that becomes a problem, because that energy can take you to a certain point. But if you've ever worked with or been in contact with an entrepreneur who still acts like the underdog, when they're making millions of dollars, it's kind of weird. When they're like, I'm gonna outwork everybody here. But they're, like, really successful. It's a, it's just a strange vibe.

Steve Haase  12:06

Because it doesn't jive with reality. Right, there's a certain breaking through a barrier that you need to have early on. But once you've broken through a barrier, a more collaborative approach and acknowledgement of the resources and attention that are coming away basically, your shift from underdog to collaborator to not not like favorite, but like an accepted and accepted player in your space, will help you allow in more of those resources and basically help those resources flow, right, you're not so much trying to get trying to prove trying to break through. It's more of a more of a dance, right? You can you can lift other people up, you can you can collaborate with others more than if you're still trying to prove something.

Erin Aquin  12:58

Yeah, because there's something about the trying to prove it energy that it's, it's a natural, like it's self protection is built in. So you're very walled, very guarded. Probably pretty stubborn, if you're like me. And there's something to that, that experience that when you have, what you need, and more when things are actually working in, in your business and in your life. You can almost create like a paranoia. Remember, someone was telling us that their fuel was there that their partner didn't believe in them. And they would just tell themselves all the time, like, Oh, my, my partner doesn't believe that I can do this. They don't believe I can do this. And they would just keep trying to prove their magical idea of what they thought their partner thought. wrong all the time. And at some point, it was grating on the relationship. Because nobody wants to be told that, hey, you're not supporting me. If you are, so it's fuel that takes you to a certain point in the race, but it will not take you to the end of the marathon. And I'm curious, Steve, what you think when you talked about the breaking through that certain barrier? What is that actually, like? So for proved them wrong? You actually proved them all wrong. You get to this new place. How can people who maybe are resonating with this start to shift into finding their new energy finding their new fuel to take them where they want to go next?

Steve Haase  14:52

Well, the place to begin is recognizing where you're coming from now. Like if you've seen yourself as the underdog, it's probably been there. For a while, grade school high school, right, you kind of rewind the tape and there was some kind of a hardship that you may have gone through or some struggle that you face that imprinted this idea that no one believes in you, you know. And if you're going to shift that, you have to start by realizing that might be where you're coming from. So, so starting with that acknowledgement, because if you just try to plaster on collaboration to a fundamentally underdog attitude, you're just not going to let people in because like you said, Aaron, there's no room for, for trust. In others, it you think that it's all on yourself. And we see this a lot with leaders and business owners, who build their team slowly, if at all, and allow others to take on parts of the business, if at all. And suddenly, they're they're overworking, and nobody believes in them. Because that's the story they've been telling themselves the whole time. It's like, it's all up to me, I'm the only one who cares this much. Nobody really believes in me, those things start to become real in the world, right? If those beliefs are firmly held the belief, I'm the only one who can do this, I'm the only one I can count on, that becomes your reality. And so the way to shift out of that is realize that you've been creating that and that you want to actually graduate not graduate, but like shift to an energy that reflects the stage that you're at. And it's more appropriate for the resources that you've brought in from your earlier work.

Erin Aquin  16:43

So good. And I think easier said than done. Right? It's, it's epically hard to let go of a way of being that has gotten you really far in your life, that's worked for you that's helped you overcome challenges, which this energy definitely does. And even when it's clearly kind of starting to suffocate you, it's challenging to let go of that. So a few of the things that we often work with our clients on are cultivating what we call sustaining practices, and visionary practices, which is kind of a fancy way of saying, doing things that provide you with fuel. That is, maybe of a higher caliber, you're driving a luxury car, now you need different fuel. unleaded is not going to unleaded so what it's called, I don't fill up the gas tank, clearly. Just the gas is not gonna work.

Steve Haase  18:04

Right, you need the alternate you need Premium Ultra.

Erin Aquin  18:09

Yeah, so I think practices, you know, we, we've obviously shared a lot about meditation and yoga and working out and like having physical practices that support your body so that I actually love a hard workout for this. Where I can actually use my little underdog energy to lift some heavy weights. And then I feel like that has been sort of moved through me in a way where I can now come into my day, I've accomplished something that I'm proud of something that maybe I didn't know if I could do didn't think I could do. Having those kinds of things peppered throughout your life, whether it's taking a new course, or getting a new certification or just going for, you know, your trip to the gym. I think having something where you get to cycle through that pattern in a way that's not detrimental to your personal life or your business.

Steve Haase  19:18

Yeah, that's brilliant. So those would be the sustaining practices, because they keep your fire burning, right? And they use the ways that you know, and like to interact with the world. Like you said, Aaron, in a way that doesn't cause any ripples right? You you, you realize that you kind of get something from that underdog energy. So you crank up that leaderboard, and you just go for it right? You see how heavy you can lift how far you can go in support of yourself and have the life that you're building. The other side of that is the visionary practice. And this is how you make a sustainable, powerful shift into The basically the next phase of your life, right? Once you've created enough success to say, alright, I'm no longer, you know, struggling in trouble the underdog, the one No one believes in, but actually, I got my name up on the building, right? It's like, I got a real company, there's a real business, there's real money coming in that that's the opportunity to really invest in your visionary practices. And so what those look like, are understanding where it is you want to go. So you know, taking time, maybe in the morning, maybe on a retreat, maybe with your coach, to really get clear on what is it that you want to create? And how all of it right? What do you want your relationship to look like? Your core relationships, whatever those may be? What do you want your business to look and feel like, if you could just paint anything on that canvas of life? What do you want your accomplishments and impact to be? Again, if you just had a wide open, blank canvas and all the paints and all that artistic skill in the world? What would you what would you paint there? Those are how you start to create a real vision for yourself. And not just in reaction to someone who says you'll never get there, you know, some some shit talker who thinks that you'll never get there.

Erin Aquin  21:33

So good. Yeah. So any other energetic points that you want to share today, Steve. But

Steve Haase  21:45

once you create those visions in those areas of your life, develop a simple repeatable practice that you can do each day. So the visionary practice means you see yourself, you know, let's say your business is that half a million right now, you see yourself at 3 million, and you see what your life is gonna look like, you see that you're not the one doing all the deals, you're not the one, you know, answering the phone all the day all day long. What does that life look like? And then what are you going to do each day, to bring that closer, it might look like mentoring a team member, it might look like creating something in your internal documentation about what your what the CEO job description is, because that's what you have. And then what the operations job description is, right? It might be something that is a sort of visionary practice is your daily activity that is infused with belief in where you want to go and your ability to reach it, that you can just turn the handle on or you just turn that crank to move you one step closer to that. And over time, you can't keep the same energy, right? That that you will that you're using. To run that visionary practice each day is start is going to become what animates your life.

Erin Aquin  23:15

Because feeling like I have to prove something to the world, prove something to myself prove something to someone in my life. That energy is like you're always trying to catch up to something. It's literally like creating from scarcity or reacting in the moment, or five steps behind where it is you think you want to be. Whereas with a visionary practice, whether it's something you you've journal about every day, or something that you put on your calendar, one hour a day, this is my visionary practice time where I'm going to mentor that team member or create that job description. That is so focused on the future, that the two cannot compete, or they can't exist in the same if they compete, they will die try because they cannot really coexist in the same person in the same business. So I love it, because visionary practice actually will help you shift to that new fuel. And that's kind of what we want to do when the old way of doing things has kind of exhausted itself. And it's now maybe starting to chip away at the infrastructure that we've worked so hard to create.

Steve Haase  24:38

And it's such a common thing. I mean, the fact is, the person who started your business needs to become a different person, once your business achieved a certain amount of success, right? The the, what it took to go from zero to wherever you're at, is different than what it's going to take to go from now to The next place. And so just having an internal audit, maybe you know, you don't feel that sense of I'm going to show them. What was it that that brought you to this place? Some business owners, it's like they love the the scrappiness, the Thrift, like, how can I start something on a shoestring? And they're like, still operating on a shoestring when they're doing 2 million a year, you're like, Why is this still on a shoestring? Like you can invest in real systems, you can actually, you know, spend some of this money to grow up basically, they're like, Oh, I didn't, I didn't realize I had grown up like, yeah, your

Erin Aquin  25:39

Peter Pan syndrome. Yeah. So good. Yeah, you don't want to be a Lost Boy forever. I have this very vivid kind of, it's like a nostalgic memory. I don't know if we can call it and style just because it was I was definitely having a future focused moment. But you and I were away for a night at like a spa. And it was snowing really badly. So we had done are kind of like night away, or two nights away. And we had been at this like, indoor outdoor spa. And then the snow started coming. So we were like grabbing our coffee, and we were gonna get on the road. So we could get home before the weather got really bad. And I just remember being in the coffee shop, waiting for coffee. And having just this like little tender moment with my future. I was like a year from now, I'm gonna have made six figures. And I'm going to be so proud of myself. For all the people I've supported. And all of the work I've created, and all of the things that failed. And all of the things that I figured out that worked. And I think about this now, and I'm so grateful to that version of me because I do think that that was the moment where I stopped being motivated by what other people thought I couldn't do. And I started listening to what my future was calling me to do. And that's what I hope for everybody here today is to just take some time to really consider as we've been talking about goals over the last few weeks, what it is you really want to create. And the essence of why it's okay if some of it is to like, stick it to your grade to teacher who said you never amount to much. Hopefully no one's teacher is saying this thing. But it's okay if there's like that component is in there. But try doing something to prove other people wrong or prove yourself to the world, which may be a better way of saying it. That is never going to be fuel that sustains a long term, big impact legacy level vision.

Steve Haase  28:16

Well, and you're also missing the most important part of the whole journey, which is that who you are right now is absolutely enough. In every sense. 100%, complete, total perfection in this moment, with your business exactly as it is I'm just gonna keep going off and on forever, like there is no end to how perfect you in your situation are right now. And if you can't hold both of those, that you want to go somewhere, it's really important to you for a lot of reasons. And you're completely perfect. Absolutely as you are, then you're only ever going to be running, you're always going to be running, you'll never be able to turn off. We hear from a lot of people that the big challenge is I can't turn off I'm always on a business needs me I can't turn off is because you don't actually give yourself time to sink into the fact that your life right now yourself right now is complete and whole.

Erin Aquin  29:22

And for anyone who hears that, and maybe your hearts a little closed right now and you can't really fathom how those two things could be true or they could happen in the same paragraph. I totally get it. But also it's so much easier to work on the things you want to build in your business in your life. When you just entertain that there is inherent perfection right where you're standing. Because if we're even trying to build, just the next 30 days, whatever your goal is for this month, whatever the next and lantern, you want to live in your businesses, if you're doing that thinking, I have to do this to prove to myself or someone else that this is going to work that I deserve this time, this space this platform. It's not going to be very fun it like let me just say it plainly, it's just, it's going to suck. But when you say maybe this is all great, and I just, I'm lucky enough to have woken up today. So I would like to cash that day in, as best I can. And I'm going to put something out there that's powerful and beautiful, and know that it's not going to be maybe perfect in the eyes of the world, or in the eyes of the people I wish to impress. But I'm perfect. This is a step towards what I'm building. This is the body that's going to carry me up the mountain. Absolutely, I challenge you to just experiment. See how that feels instead.

Steve Haase  31:21

That's an invitation invitation to the most beautiful experiment you could possibly run. The worst that you'll discover is doesn't work for you. And just keep on going. But the best you'll discover is that you can rest that you can be happy as you are the whole

Erin Aquin  31:38

way, the whole way. Happy and sad and all the things in between. Like, none of it's bad or wrong. It's all just we have to have our whole selves here at the table if we're really going to do this business thing.

Steve Haase  31:56

Accepting accepting the whole thing.

Erin Aquin  31:59

Thank you, Steve.

Steve Haase  32:00

Thank you. All right, if you want to keep going with this conversation, come on over be a subscriber to the podcast head over to besuperabound.com/collective So we're gonna join superabound collective all the good stuff is there. What else is there?

Erin Aquin  32:18

We have some goodies coming up like some pretty major awesome giftees. And I'm we're going to talk about them for the members of the collective this week. You'll hear about them soon. Best way to get in touch is to join the collective. I'll see you over there. Okay, take care.