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My mentor once said, “You can step in the sh** traps, but don’t get stuck in them!” In this episode I’m going to talk about the sh** traps we all face. Those traps include obstacles big and small, sabotagers, distractions, and bad mindsets. The thing to know about sh** traps is that they are inevitable. No matter your journey, if you are pushing forward, you are stepping in sh** traps. The key is to have a strategy to get out of them as fast as possible. I’ll also share the simple 3-step strategy I’ve developed over my many years of getting sh** on my shoes. It includes #1) face it (don’t fake it), 2) innovate, 3) act.
Tamara’s Everyday Innovator style is Risk Taker Experiential. What’s yours?
Sticky Inspiration: You can step in a shit trap, just don’t get stuck in it
Lesson & Action: When you step in it, 1) face it (don’t fake it), 2) innovate, 3) act
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Raw Podcast Transcript:
Hello. Hello, Tamara here, your host, creator of the Everyday Innovator Method and zombie movie Aficionado. I love, love a good zombie movie and TV show. All right, today’s topic. Today’s sticky inspiration is all about what I call the shit. Now I’m gonna warn you right now that if you have kids in the room while you’re listening or, uh, swearing is not your thing, I totally get it.
But I’m gonna say the phrase shit trap a lot because it highlights exactly what I’m talking about today. So I actually drew this out for a friend of mine the other day when we were talking about getting stuck. Feeling like things weren’t going as planned and kind of why and what that feels like and how frustrating that is.
And I drew this, um, map for her that explained kind of what we think things are gonna be like when we decide to take action, to be innovative, to move forward versus what they really look like. And that’s where this kind of shit trap comes from. So let me, let me. oftentimes, and I know that I have most definitely been guilty of this.
When we decide to take action and we know it’s the right thing to do, we know it’s gonna get us where we, where we wanna go. Maybe it’s innovative, maybe it’s bold. Maybe it’s just the right thing to do. We think it’s gonna be a straight lineup. Right Point A is where we are now. Point Z is where we’re trying to go, but clearly we’re doing the right thing.
So it’s gonna go well. It’s gonna be a straight line up. Maybe there’s a few bumps in the road. Maybe there’s a little bit of a squiggly line, but hey, we’re on the right path. However, I think as we all know from our own personal experience, that is typically not , how it goes in real life. What I have found is that along the way, we hit a.
Of shit traps. And as my mentor once said to me, you’ll always step in the shit traps. But the key is to not get stuck in them. So if you see my stinky inspiration, my little doodle that goes with this that I drew for my friend, that’s on social media everywhere. And on the podcast page, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
Let me explain what a shit trap is. And I want you, as I’m talking about this, to visualize if you have a piece of. and on the bottom left you have point A, which is where you are now, right now in this very moment. And at the top right of that piece of paper, you drew a dot that was Z, and that’s where you’re trying to go.
So here’s where you are at the bottom left and on the top right is that goal you’re trying to achieve, that decision you made of kind of what you’re going for
and members I said, . Typically, we think it’s a straight line up, but I have found that you start at point A, that bottom left and you go up and then you kind of veer off into these little shit traps. Sometimes those shit traps get really big. Sometimes they get really long and they’re filled with a lot of poop, and other times it’s just a little bit, but we veer off, we hit these traps, and it’s our job to try to get back on track.
Move forward with what we’ve learned, what we’ve discovered the experience, right? Maybe we’ve had to pivot a little bit, but then we hit another one and then another one. And all along the way this path is filled like that until we get up to our goal. Now, what exactly is a shit trap? Well, I think can be one of many things.
It could be. A big obstacle, often one that’s not expected. Maybe it’s a big brick wall that’s kind of thrown up in front of you that’s keeping you from moving forward. But like I said, oftentimes it’s not expected or maybe it’s a lot of little obstacles or problems that start to wear you down and make you exhausted, or maybe that shit trap is full of sabotage.
You know those people, they love mediocrity. They don’t love that you’ve decided to move forward. And sometimes those sabotages are verbal is how, how they talk to you and they try to pull you down. And sometimes it’s physical. And what I mean by physical is they actually sabotage your efforts. They block your ideas, they shut down things.
They make it impossible for you to move forward for one reason or another. They just, they sabotage what you’re trying to do. So sometimes a shit trap can be full of sa sabotages. Sometimes it’s mindset. Maybe things aren’t happening fast enough. So you start to get frustrated. You start to doubt yourself, oh my gosh, so much doubt comes in, doesn’t it?
Or maybe you just start to get overwhelmed and exhausted, so you start to almost slow down. Let the shit take over you. Let that smell go everywhere and just stop putting in the effort you should be putting in because your mindset is not in a good. , or maybe the shit trap is full of distractions. You know, those distractions, all those other things that get in the way of your, of what you’re really trying to accomplish.
And that makes you feel disheartened. Like, I’m never gonna get th to this. This is never gonna happen. Maybe it’s a bad idea. I’ll get to it later after I focus on all these things. Now you and I both know that later never actually happens. So all these shit traps that you experience along the way can be like, I.
Big obstacles that make it really difficult to move forward oftentimes are ones you didn’t expect could be a lot of little obstacles that start to, or problems that start to wear you down. It could be those sabotages, either verbally, they’re jabbing at you. . Well, tomorrow that’ll never work. Why would you do that?
Here’s all the reasons why it won’t work. Or maybe they’re physical sabotages, meaning they’re actually sabotaging your efforts. They won’t sign off on your idea. They make it impossible for you to move forward. They throw up so many roadblocks that you can’t get that next step. Or maybe it’s mindset, it’s not happening fast enough.
You start to doubt. You start to get exhausted or distractions, all that other stuff that gets in the way of what you really wanna be going. So you start to get disheartened and you start to slow it down. It could be one sum or all of the above. Your shit trap could have a little bit of distraction, a little bit of mindset, and a lot of sabotages.
It could have a big obstacle and also distractions. I know that I’ve stepped into a lot of shit traps in my day, and they have had a lot of, all of the above, all of the. So the question then becomes, if we’re gonna experience these shit traps, is how do we get out of ’em? Because I think the biggest challenge that a lot of us face, and myself included, is that once we get into a shit trap, it’s hard to get out.
And the more and more bogged down by the shit that we get, the harder and harder it gets to move forward. You start to almost accept. , what is that old phrase? I’m probably gonna get it wrong. You know, I always mess up my analogies and my phrase is, but it’s something like, you know, when you’ve been surrounded by shit for so long, you stop smelling it.
Isn’t that it? Or something like that. You know what I’m talking about? You ever walked into a person’s house that has like, and I love dogs by the way, but they have like 10 dogs. They can’t smell the dog anymore, and you’re like, whoa, this couch. Ripe, right? It’s the same kind of thing. So sometimes when we’re in it, the problem we have is either we get too exhausted and we start to accept it as our reality, or we simply stop smelling the shit.
We don’t even realize that we’re in it until one day we wake up and we go, oh my gosh, why am I still here? How did I get here? I was moving this way, and now I’m stuck over on the left, over here on the right, in this shit trap that I can’t get out of. , let me tell you the lesson or insight that I’ve had about how you get outta shit traps.
And here’s the thing about what I, I’m about to tell you. It’s super simple, but it isn’t always easy. It takes some effort, it takes some shifts in your thinking, but it’s a hundred percent possible if you just follow these steps every time. And over the years, I have come to implement this every time I fall into a shit trap and.
We all have ’em all the time. I will have more in my life. You will too. So we gotta have a strategy to be able to get out of it because man, it’s no fun. It feels exhausting and overwhelming and it brings in a lot of self-doubt. And it’s frustrating and it’s, uh, for me it’s anger. Like there’s a rage.
There’s a lot of things to go into the shit trap. So we gotta have a strategy to get out of it. So I’m gonna share with you mine, the one that I’ve develop. over my many years, it has really helped make sure that not only can I get out of the shit traps, but I don’t have the anxiety about getting into them anymore.
So here it is. Number one is face it. Don’t fake it. So what I used to do in all truth, is I would get super. be like, no, this challenge is an opportunity. Oh my gosh, I’m gonna see the good in all this. This is not as bad as I think it is. So I’m all about optimism, but BS positivity keeps you stuck because you’re not facing.
The reality that you’re in and you’re in it, you’re in the shit trap. So just freaking own it. And I find that if we really, as someone once said to me, one of our everyday innovators, Mia actually in our, I was interviewing her for our, um, membership, for all our online events, our webinars, and where our community comes together.
They’re pretty cool. I love it because we get to bring all these people from across the globe. with the drive of being innovative come together. And I was interviewing her and she said, my motto is, face it till you make it. Not fake it till you make it. and actually interestingly, some people in the kind of mindset growth mindset research area have shown that fake it till you make it doesn’t work because our brain has this little BS meter that’s like, it’s not all, okay, Tamara.
That is a problem. Tamara, that is poop on your shoe. Tamara, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not chocolate. So fake it till you make it doesn’t work. And that’s the reason it’s so frustrating and I, it drives me nuts when I hear the people out there talk about like, you just have to be positive.
You’ll just be positive. I’m positive I can get outta the shit trap with these strategies, but the situation isn’t always rosy and we have to accept it. There’s nothing wrong with that. So face it till you make it. We need to really dig into what’s real about the situation. If we wanna get outta the shit.
We just have to own what’s really about it. And again, maybe it’s tiny, maybe it’s a little shit trap. It’s one piece of poop. Maybe it’s a whole pile of it. But either way, we just have to be honest about the situation. Optimism, in my opinion, comes from knowing you can deal with it, not thinking that everything’s rosy all the time.
I think that’s a huge, uh, mistake and something that really keeps us stuck actually. And I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that. Tell me in the comments section on our webpage, if you, if you’re listening through, . I find that that positivity feels good for a moment, but it doesn’t really move us forward.
We gotta face it. So that’s number one. Face it till you make it. Not fake it, no bs. Number two is innovate. You don’t wanna think or do what you’ve always done to get outta the shit trap, because whatever those things are probably dug you in a little bit deeper inside. To begin with, right? What is, what’s that old phrase?
What got you here won’t get you there. So whatever problem got us into the shit trap and is keeping us stuck there is not gonna get, get us out. We need to think differently. Otherwise we just end up deeper. So we’re gonna think differently to get out. We need new ideas, new approaches, new behaviors, new mindsets, new.
You know, um, in another podcast I talk about getting out of a riptide in the ocean and how you have to go sideways, which is not your normal inclination. When you are stuck in a riptide in the ocean, your natural instinct is to double down, swim harder, right? Move your arms faster, kick your legs harder, but that actually pulls you under and further away from shore.
and what we actually have to do to get outta that riptide is actually go sideways, get out of that lane. Right? If you kind of visualized it in the ocean. Well, this is the same way to get outta the shit trap. We gotta think differently. We gotta go a little bit sideways. So we’ve gotta use our everyday innovator mind, our talents to think differently about the situation so that we can actually get out of it for good.
What I find is that if I do what I’ve always. I think I’m getting out of it. Like I got one step out, but the shit trap pulls me right back because I’m not actually moving the needle. I’m not actually changing anything enough to really walk away from it and get out of it. So number two is you’ve got to innovate.
And then number three to no surprise is take action. If it all loves, it lives up in your head, you’re just standing in place in the shit trap, then you’re gonna end up like those people I was talking about before where either you’re so far in deep, you accept it as your reality, or you stop smelling the shit and everybody else around you is like, hello, Tamara.
Do you, do you smell that and you don’t? Now here’s the thing about the action. I find that the action can. Tiny, tiny, tiny. It can be small like little, or it can be big or a mix of all of the above. It can be a, you know, a lot of little steps. It can be one big leap, it can be a mixture of all of it, so don’t get hung up on.
It’s gotta be this huge big leap to move myself forward. I’ve doctor found that’s not the case for me. I found it’s a mixture of a couple small steps, a couple big, brave, bold leaps. Couple small steps, and here’s the. , the first step is the hardest because you’re fighting inertia and you’ve got 10 pounds of shit at your feet weighing you down.
But as you keep moving and keep moving, it gets easier and easier. And I’ve also found that those first steps don’t always get you completely out right. It, it loosens up your foot a little bit. Get your leg in front of you a little bit, and then over time, hopefully quickly, you move and move until you.
But like I said, sometimes it’s a bunch of tiny, sometimes it’s a big bold move. More often than not, it’s a blend of all of ’em. So the way to get outta the shit traps that you are experiencing and going to continue to experience is to face it, to innovate and to act. That’s what I’ve found for me anyway, and for a lot of people that I’ve talked to and shared this with.
That’s what gets us out of the shit trap. Now, here’s the thing, I have to remind myself of all the. . The shit trap isn’t a one time thing. In fact, it’s a constant thing. So once you get out of one shit trap, you get on track, and then eventually you’ll find yourself in another and then another, and then you’ll get back on track, and then you’ll find yourself in another.
Then you’ll get back on track. Life is full of obstacles, sabotages, distractions, struggling with your mindset. Those things never go. So now you’re thinking, well, tomorrow, why are you giving me tools to get out if they’re always there? Well, because you don’t, as my mentor said, it’s okay to step in it. You just don’t wanna get stuck there.
So here’s what I’ll say about that. I used to have a lot of anxiety about getting stuck in the shit trap. , I was afraid that I couldn’t get out. I was like, it used to just put me not in a panic, but let’s say high anxiety and pretty stressed out. When I found myself there, I used to have a very emotional reaction to it.
Or if I got out of the shit trap, I’d be panicked about what was around the corner, the next shit trap that was coming, that could I handle it? Could I not handle it? And it’s like I expected every time I got out that it would be smooth sailing from there, and it never ever was. And the anxiety was about not being sure I could get back on.
and not feeling confident in my abilities to handle the situation. Now I know that whatever shit trap comes my way, I have the ability to get out quickly. And I think, let me go off on a tangent for a minute here. I think realizing and owning the fact that your journey is gonna be filled with a bunch of shit.
makes the whole thing a lot easier because your expectations are right. You know it, you may not know what those are. You may not even know h exactly how you’re gonna handle it, but you know they’re coming. Don’t you find oftentimes when people are really thrown off, it’s because they weren’t expecting it and something happened, right?
An obstacle got thrown up, a distraction came along, whatever it was. Um, it’s because we don’t expect it. So now, Whatever comes my way, I’m like, I’m good. I know. I know it’s coming, number one and number two, I know I can handle it. And it’s not because I’m like, oh, the worst is always in front of me. It’s not that.
It’s much more of a realism perspective of, all right, it’s coming and when it comes, I’ll handle it and. Please know that, um, shit traps bother me. It’s not that. I’m like, okay, here we are again. Smells horrible. Love it here. It’s just that I know they’re coming and so they don’t bother me the way they used to in any way.
And of course, I have emotions when I’m in there. Sometimes I get angry, sometimes I get frustrated. , but it’s a point in time. I feel that emotion and then I move quickly into face it and then into innovate and then into action. And I think those who know me will tell you that I don’t get stuck in shit traps very long.
No matter how big they are. I find a way out and that’s the innovative mind by the way, if you really wanna get outta that shit trap fast, especially the big ones. It’s innovation. I always get out and I think now with my str my simple strategy and just really years of experience under my belt, I have the confide.
That I’m gonna be able to get out, and I don’t always know how, because sometimes the ones that come up are ones that I would never kind of have imagined. But I know that I’m gonna face it. I know that I’m gonna innovate and I know that I’m gonna take action. And just having that in my back pocket keeps me from getting stuck in the shit trap for too long.
And I hope that you. Use this very simple strategy and I hope you think about your work and your life and kind of, you know, that blank piece of paper of A in that small corner and Z up on top where you’re trying to go and know that there’s a bunch of little traps along the way, but also know that you have the tools, the mindset, the ability to get out of it.
That I know for certain.