057. Accept Where You Are to Move Forward with Natalie Janji

Natalie Janji saw that she was headed down a path that wasn’t what she wanted. Despite the odds being stacked against her, she pushed for her dreams, and learned so much along the way about how anxiety and social pressure can hold us back, but more importantly, how we can keep them from doing so.

Natalie began her career in personal development at 22, when she became the bestselling author of her first book, The Miracle Morning for College StudentsShe is the coauthor of three books in The Miracle Morning book seriesHer books have been read from students all around the world, and have been translated into multiple languages, including Mongolian, Russian, and Kazakh.

She is a speaker and coach, teaching others how reciting powerful mantras, like Do, Not Worry(tm), can help them overcome their anxiety and take clear, focused action forward. She has spoken on stages for non-profit organizations, companies, and universities around the country. Her mission is to help others stop overthinking and start taking action so that they may design and live a life of purpose, filled with joy, success, and fulfillment.

More than any of that, she is just an inspired and inspiring woman who I got so much out of talking to, and I know you will, too. The way she went after dream, the way she sees through what binds us up in life, and just her general attitude and clarity – love it!

Key Points from the Episode with Natalie Janji:

  • At 16, Natalie heard Hal Elrod speak at her high school, which was a time she was feeling depressed by things going on in her life. He was saying things like, “Positivity is a choice,” that really stuck with her. She didn’t know you actually get to do that, and it really stuck with her.
  • As she went forward, she was on a path in school (studying chemistry) wasn’t resonating with her, and she kept coming back to the feelings and thoughts she got from Hal, and picked up his book, The Miracle Morning. She kept reading it over and over again, practicing it every day for over a year and a half.
  • She decided it was ok not to continue with her path on chemistry and becoming a doctor despite the investment she had made it throughout her college career. She wanted to help people, and thought being a doctor would be a good way to do that. She did love science, and loved how she was learning something new every day. But she never felt a natural inclination for it, and yet was struggling with this feeling that it wasn’t who she was. She described it as pushing against a wall.
  • She wanted to discover something she loved to do as much as her friends who were clearly loving what they were studying. She just had to figure out what that was.
  • So she looked back on what in college she seemed to take the most from and have the most love for. She found it centered around her work helping other students. She paired that with her studying of The Miracle Morning, and decided she needed to reach out to Hal to create a version of it focused on the life of students.
  • Hal asked for a proposal, and then invited her to an event where he turned down her proposal. Despite hearing, “No,” 24-hour laters, he decided to move forward with her on the book, which was a great reminder not to just abandon your dreams just because you hit a roadblock. She started moving forward with writing The Miracle Morning for Students and went on to write a planner tied to it that is now being adopted as the planner for all Miracle Morning books. And now her books are very successful, being translated into different languages and sold all over the world.
  • The thing that made her persistent was the feeling that people needed this book. She wrote for the love of helping people and making a new friend with the audience rather than because of any pressure or anxiety around due dates she had to complete the book.
  • She found a lot of power in ideas like those in Do a Day around taking action and not getting caught in the anxiety traps we face in any given moment.
  • For people with anxiety, you judge yourself before anyone else has a chance to. We are so quick to self-judge. She’s worked on not feeding that noise and reminding herself that they’re just false.
  • We got into the crux of what she’s working on now. Natalie asks if anyone has ever said, “Hey, don’t worry.” It is the worst advice she’s ever gotten! Things don’t just work out, or work themselves out. It’s like a passive interpretation of how to live your life (it lives itself and works itself out so you don’t need to).
  • Instead, Natalie has embraced another phrasing of that advice that turns it more action-oriented.  Instead of, “Don’t worry,” she says, “Do not worry.” “Do,” is a verb here, with the action you do is that which keeps you from worrying.
  • “Don’t worry,” suppresses and avoids problems.  That is not helpful. “Do not worry,” is about facing your fear or anxiety. It’s about reading the signal your body or mind is giving you so you can learn what to do to move forward.
  • She breaths with it, inhaling on the “Do” and exhaling on the “Not Worry.” It calms her mind, and the actions become clear. And as a result, the anxiety diminishes.
  • No matter the case, there’s always something you can Do about your worries.
  • This is so important and valuable, especially with how young anxiety is emerging today, with studies showing kids as young as 12 being overwhelmed with daily anxiety.
  • We talked about social media fueling this as it creates a lot of opportunities to compare ourselves to others and pass judgment that we aren’t good enough, and therefore won’t be loved.
  • And if we are posting on social media boastful things about us, we are still perpetuating the problem by giving a basis for someone else to feel less of themselves.
  • To go through your day without huge spikes in anxiety, you have to start by loving yourself. Living in the present moment and approving of yourself in that moment is so important.
  • We should be taking deliberate steps to move forward in our lives every day, and be grateful for where we are in this moment. If you’re not where you want to be, you can be grateful for being where you are as it is a step toward that place – even if it is the first step. Be grateful that you have begun your journey.
  • She talked about starting from the ‘motherboard’. It’s what controls everything. It is our mindset around everything – our self-love mindset, financial mindset, health mindset.
  • When you focus on that, you can work on rewriting it to support you moving forward. If you set a big goal, but don’t have the underlying thoughts around that goal in the right place, you will self-sabotage.
  • We aren’t all born where we want or need to be. Growth is a part of the human experience. We should be thankful for this, and accepting of it.


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