The Power of a Small Shift with Anthony Trucks
At the beginning of each podcast, you’ll hear one of Karen Allen’s favorite sayings: Small hinges move big doors. Anthony Trucks, international speaker, author and host of the Aww Shift podcast, shares her belief in the power of small shifts as a way to reach your peak performance. In this week’s episode of In the Details, Allen and Trucks talk about tying your identity to your effort, the importance of what you do in the dark and how to make it through stressful times.
How to embrace shifts
A shift is a small, minute adjustment that can completely change an end destination by being one degree different. In order for this shift to be successful, you have to be open to it. Trucks said that the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. You’re presented with a choice. Do you want to stay with the same identity, and have the world conform to you? Or, would you rather grow into an advanced version of yourself that can better handle the situation?
You have the power to make it better
Trucks has always had the perspective that if he didn’t like something, he had the ability to make it better. He recounted his start in football, and the early realization that he wasn’t naturally skilled at the sport. He put in the work to become faster and stronger, and created a new sense of self. How do you handle adversity? When things get difficult, can you commit to leveling up? You have to put in the effort, like Trucks did, if you desire a certain outcome.
Your identity is tied to your efforts
You can achieve greatness through training and preparation, but your identity shouldn’t be tied to that outcome. Rather, it should be tied to the efforts that you’ve made. Then you’ll have the perspective that you’ve done too much work in the dark for anyone to take what’s yours in the light.
Trucks said that when he loves someone, he’ll do anything for them—but that love is also built on respect. When we’re not taking action to make ourselves better—like doing an extra set during a workout or staying accountable to responsibilities no one else may be privy to—we begin to lose our self-respect, and then our self-love. The things you do in alignment with your identity in the dark is how you will show up in the light. While small steps may seem difficult in the beginning, you’ll eventually find that you’re no longer making the choice to do that morning workout. Instead, you’ve simply become a person who works out in the mornings.
What would The Rock do?
It’s easy to get caught up in stressful emotions. We don’t always have a direct, intimate connection with our future self to assuage current fears and anxieties. So Trucks envisions a person he wants to be similar to, and thinks of how they might handle the situation. Let’s say Trucks wants to miss a workout. What would The Rock do? He would somehow fit it in. Next time you’re faced with a tough choice, think of what someone you admire would do—and act in that same manner.
Action ends suffering
While in the throes of a challenge, it can make sense to try to distract yourself from your feelings. But sitting there, streaming TV and binging on your favorite foods simply creates more of what you have in that moment, not the change you want to see.
Instead, borrow joy from people. Your friends and family won’t see you as a burden because people want to be needed. And they can provide insights that you wouldn’t have considered.
Your actions might not always move you forward. Sometimes the action you need is to just to go for a walk, write your feelings out or cry. But initial actions provide fuel for the next ones. And brick by brick, you can build a new path for yourself and look back with pride.
Jill McDonnell is a Chicago-based content writer and communications professional. She has a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller novel.
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