I love to train. It is truly one of my favorite things to do. But during my speech at Summit this year, I decided instead of training, I was going to stand up on stage and be vulnerable. I spoke from a vulnerable place and if you know me, you know it’s hard for me to not teach a skill or a principle. But I decided that everyone needed to know more about me – who I am as a person, and the obstacles I’ve been faced with that have shaped me to be the person that I am. As the 3X Top Coach of Team Beachbody many people view me as this “machine” that has systems, guides and trainings for everything. I always get the comments that I make this business look so effortless. That could not be more far from the truth. While I definitely love structure and creating guides, I certainly have my fair share of obstacles on a daily basis.
We are all faced with decisions in life. Decisions as to whether or not we can become a victim to the circumstances or rise up and overcome the obstacles in front of us. For me, it started with a decision.
It was the spring semester of my junior year in college at the University of Pittsburgh and I was getting my undergraduate degree in psychology. I had an internship lined up as well as a summer part-time job and I had just started dating Matt. Honestly, things were great. We had a great community, great friends and we were just enjoying life. And then one day, just in an instant, I started to have some health problems. I started to get really sick and every time I would eat I would get sick. It was so bad and I couldn’t figure out what was causing me to have these strong stomach problems.
I started to develop anxiety. And I couldn’t control that either! I didn’t want to tell anybody that anything was wrong because I didn’t want people to think I was weird and I didn’t want Matt to break up with me. I tried to stay in my own little bubble and I started avoiding social situations. I stopped going out, I stopped doing the things that I loved.
If you have ever experience an anxiety attack before, you know that it is the worst thing in the world. I could be in the middle of watching a movie with friends and all of a sudden my entire body would go hot from head to toe. My knees would start to shake and my teeth would start to chatter. My heart would start beating out of my chest. It felt like I couldn’t get the pressure to relieve, no matter what I did. All of a sudden this tunnel vision would start to come in and I couldn’t concentrate on any of the conversations I was having.
The only thing I could think of was my exist strategy and how fast I could get out of that situation and get home. And even when I got home, it would take me a good twelve hours to calm back down. And this was happening to me sometimes multiple times a day, almost every day.
And then I hit my breaking point.
It was that summer of my junior year. I was at home, Matt was doing an internship in Baltimore. I remember waking up in the morning with tears in my eyes, and I couldn’t get out of bed. That was when I knew. I knew I had gotten myself into this horrible state and it was taking over my life.
I remember calling my mom that morning and saying “Mom, I know that I need to get some help. I cannot go on like this.” I needed to make a decision that I was going to make a change, that I was not going to let this control me.
Even though I made that decision in that moment, it didn’t get easy. It wasn’t like all the symptoms went away and I was fine and happy and back to my normal self. That was just the start of the 12-18 month process of getting therapy, taking yoga classes, teaching myself to breathe and meditate, and learning how to control the symptoms of IBS and anxiety.
I will tell you that I am not rehabilitated. I still go through this and pretty frequently I will have a relapse. I constantly have to work at it. But it started with the decision that day and that choice.
I learned a few things along the way that I want to share with you.
It All Starts with a Decision
The minute I made that decision, I needed to have a clear outcome of why I was going to get up every day and make myself do hard things. I had to visualize what I wanted my life to look like 3 to 5 years in the future and who I wanted to be. I knew that if I stayed in the state that I was in at that moment, I wasn’t going to be able to be that person.
Isn’t that how business works, too? We set goals and determine our why and visualize our outcome and attach our goals in our business to things that relate deeply to us and bring us joy.
When I think about my first six months as a Beachbody coach, I had NO idea what I was doing! But I remember setting a goal to earn $500 for the holidays. I remember thinking to myself, If I can earn $500 to pay for Christmas presents for our family, how much of an impact would that make on our family?
We were a young couple with two small kids, living on a single parent income. While we were making ends meet, there was no extra money in our budget. The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time! If you know my husband, you know he loves to save. The holidays caused us a lot of stress and we would argue about money. If I could earn that $500, it would relieve stress between Matt and I. We could write that check towards our credit cards and pay it all off and in January we wouldn’t have to worry about scrimping and saving and not being able to enjoy.
I visualized that every single day as I went into my office and opened my laptop. I thought about my kids, I thought about our relationship, and I kept track on a whiteboard of every single time I sold a Challenge Pack or Shakelology HD. I would tally it up until I got to 500, and everyone I got an objection or somebody cancelled, I just thought to myself, Keep going. Know your outcome. Know why you’re working so hard. Don’t lose sight of it. It has meaning to you and it will be worth it when you get there.
Know Your Outcome
For those of you reading this, you know your outcome. You know what you want to get out of your business and I bet you can visualize it – but you’re hesitating. You’re starting to think, What if? If I take action now, what if this happens? What if that person says yes? How will I train them?
I remember thinking that to myself! I remember thinking, Well what if I start going out to social situations? What happens if I have an anxiety attack and what happens if I can’t get out?
I’ve learned to stop myself in the moment and take that action. The longer you hesitate, the more you’re going to talk yourself out of that thing that is going to make the difference to help you achieve the goal you want to achieve.
Have you read The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins? Everything in that book just reaffirms that we have to learn to just take that leap of faith and trust the process. It takes courage to do the things that scare the living crap out of you with no guarantee that you’re going to have success! But you need to keep that outcome close to your heart.
Your Goal is Not a Shiny Object
Now let’s talk about shiny objects. We all have them! We all get distracted. We’re on a good roll, our life is going great, we’re building momentum in our business, and then BAM. Somebody comes in and dangles a carrot in front of you.
This actually happened to me in my fitness. I started out with Insanity and in the first thirty days I was COMMITTED. I printed out the calendar, I checked off that box every day after I worked out, and I was cardio-ing myself to death.
I lost two pounds in thirty days. Just TWO! So what happens? Doubt. Insecurity. I thought, What the heck? I am working SO hard and my body’s not changing.
What happened was that all of a sudden I started to see around me. This pill, this wrap, this quick fix. You don’t have to work out or eat right and you can lose thirty pounds. I started to get distracted by all of those shiny objects.
My coach asked me if I was following the nutrition plan. I said “Yeah! I’m drinking Diet Pepsi instead of regular Pepsi. I switched from white bread to wheat bread. I eat those 100-calorie packs, I’m doing really good!”
And she was like “Whoa. There’s your problem. 80% of your results are going to come from the food that you eat. We need to teach you how to eat clean and how to do the nutrition plan and portion control.”
As much work as that was, I knew that my outcome was not just to lose the weight but to create a lifestyle change. I went all in the next thirty days and I chose to stay focused on the nutrition. I meal planned and half the time we didn’t even like the food we were eating and we would throw it away but WE WERE DOING IT.
In those next thirty days, I lost 9 pounds. That made a total of 11 pounds with Insanity. But more importantly than the weight lost was that I achieved my outcome. I taught myself how to live with a healthy lifestyle, and I taught my children and my husband and my family and the people that I love how to not give up. I taught them how to understand that weight doesn’t come off right away – you have to give it time.
I knew that when my challengers started to struggle I could ask that question “What is your nutrition like?” Because I didn’t get distracted by the shiny objects or the quick fixes I saw around me, I became a better teacher, a better wife, a better coach, and a better mom.
Commit to Your Goal
We commit to these goals, and we say that we’re going to do them, but the first thing we have to do is create a plan. On the day that I got out of bed and said “Okay, I’m drawing a line in the sand. I’m not going to go down that path again,” I began researching. Google and the internet are your best friends! You can find anything you want about ANYTHING on there. Anxiety, depression, IBS, the signs, the symptoms. I learned everything that I could and I became a student because I knew that the best way to build my confidence was to understand what I was going through, so that as situations came up I could surround myself with people who had already gone through the situations I was going through, and that I could do it too.
When I became a Beachbody coach, I did the same thing. When I signed up to be a coach, the only thing I knew was Insanity. It was the only program I had ever done. I didn’t know what Shakeolgoy was, or network marketing, or the business opportunity. So I sat down with my little 3-ring binder and every single afternoon when the boys would nap, I would go through and take notes on every single video in the coach online office.
Why? Because it was my job. Everything I needed to know was right in front of me. If you want to know how to be a Diamond coach, all you have to do is go to YouTube! Every coach has made a video about how to do the thing you want to do – you just have to make a plan and figure out how to execute it.
Then we have to practice that discipline. It’s so simple. We all talk about being disciplined, but it’s not easy! But it is a game changer. When I think about the people that come into my business, I don’t care about how much talent or skill you were born with or how many forowers you have or what your placement is – the only thing that matters is what you do with those God-given talents that you’ve been given.
The only way to have success is to be disciplined enough to show up when its hard, to be focused and driven when there are objections and no’s, to be focused on creating results-driven habits that bring your natural skills to light.
And you know what? The more success that you have, the more obstacles you are going to face. Don’t let that be a sign as you move up the ladder in your business and in your life. When you hit roadblocks – because there WILL be roadblocks – don’t let it stop you. Don’t let it get inside of your head.
In 2014, the first year that I was the Top Coach, we had paid off our debts, I was speaking on stage at Summit, I could start a Challenge Group with my eyes closed but when you threw a bunch of leaders at me and told me that I needed to lead a team, I was scared to freaking death.
You know what happened? I started to get anxious. I started to get nervous. What if I fail them? What if I’m not a good leader? I started to throw myself back into that depression.
Instead of saying to myself, Okay Melanie, this is a sign that you’ve accomplished enough and you need to slow down, I said, Go back to being a student. Go and listen to John Maxwell. Go listen to Simon Sinek. Become a student and learn everything there is to know about being a leader and practice and be disciplined every day to learn the skills that you need to become the leader that you want to become.
As hard as it was to get through those times, it was those moments that really defined my path for me. Even now I’ll get people that come up to me and say, “You know, Melanie, haven’t you accomplished it all? Like, come on. When are you going to stop?”
Keep Stoking the Fire
That’s when I think to myself, I can never stop stoking this fire. Just like I can never stop waking up in the morning and doing that practice of breathing and meditating and making sure that I cut out time for myself so that I don’t end app back where I started, I do that in my business too.
I made a commitment to the people that I signed up on my team and I told them that I would train them. I told them I would be there with them for every single step of their journey and that I wouldn’t leave their side.
And that means that I have to lead from the front and I have to keep stoking that fire. Maybe it looks differently than it did five years ago, but I feel that it’s my duty to make sure that I stay relevant, that I stay coachable, that I stay up to date on the latest social media trends, because I know that when you start to lift your foot off the pedal, when you start to think coasting is going to be easy for you, your fire starts to burn a little less and put off less heat.
You are Not at a Disadvantage Unless You Think You Are
We are all faced with a choice. Whether we focus on opportunity and look at things in a positive light or think that we are at a disadvantage.
When I was in Italy in June for the Elite 10 trip, I threw a little Melanie Mitro temper tantrum in my hotel room because I got sick the morning that we were planning to go on this boat ride. I got sick and I stood in front of Matt with tears in my eyes and said “I hate this! I hate this stupid anxiety and I hate that I have to go through this. Why me? Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I just go have fun?” And he was like “Melanie, it’s okay. It’s who you are. You just have to embrace who you are and go with it.”
And it was in that moment that I realized I’m not at a disadvantage unless I think I am. And it’s the same thing in our business. We can look at the obstacles and the roadblocks and think that they’re happening TO US, or we can say This is happening because I know it’s going to be something that I can use in my future to help others. I need to make a choice right now to focus on opportunity versus disadvantage.
Any time I get stuck or sucked into that negativity, Tony Robbins taught me this – every time you think you have tried it all, I want you to sit down and make a list of everything you’ve tried. I find myself doing this very often. I’m stuck at a point in my business or my life – list it out. Wouldn’t you know? You always list it out and find that you have not tried EVERYTHING.
Focus on Others
Sometimes we get stuck in this Beachbody bubble and we don’t life up our heads and realize that there are more people in this world who need what we have to offer. We have to find those things that we can do right now to change our attitude to be focused on opportunity.
How many of us get sucked in to “What’s my rank? What’s my commission? Is my volume high or low?” We get so laser focused on that goal that we forget why we’re here.
Every time I get focused on the numbers, I find that my business slows down. So in 2014 when I said Okay, I’m going through a hard time and I had this setback with anxiety and it kept coming back up – instead of keeping it to myself, I decided to share it. I decided I was going to do PiYo and spent time in my own space, breathing and listening to Chalene and because I shared that and showed people how I was getting through it, I received this outpouring of people that wanted to join me. So I started a challenge group when I taught people nutrition and Shakeology and PiYo and then how to just relieve some of that anxiety and stress.
I didn’t care if people bought a Challenge Pack or were drinking Shakeology or if they already had PiYo – I just let people in. And that was a defining moment for me because I realized that when I care more about the people and their success rather than what kind of paycheck I’m getting, I’m going to be blessed in return. I had the most coach sign ups, I had the most referrals, the best transformation stories, and I developed the best relationships coming out of that group.
So the word that comes to my mind is elevate. ELEVATE yourself. I know that you are reading this and you probably have some heavy things weighing down on you and I want to tell you that I understand. It is not easy but you have to make a choice. it is time to draw a line in the sand – which way are you going to go? Victim of the circumstance or rise up and overcome that obstacle?
Make a choice. Visualize that outcome and write it down. Envision your outcome before you get out of bed in the morning. Promise me you will take action immediately and you won’t overthink it. I know it takes work but you will get there.
If you become committed to this path of personal growth and excellence, I promise that no matter what obstacle you are faced with right now, you can turn it into your own recipe for success.
I hope that this encourages you to overcome your current obstacles and rise up and attack the tasks at hand that are going to bring you closer to the goals that you want to achieve!