Ep #56: How to Find a Solution When You’re Stuck

When trying to solve issues and problems in your life, it’s easy to get stuck on all the reasons why you can’t get past them. When your brain gets blocked up, it’s important to allow yourself to step out of the “Now” and step into the future in order to find clarity. In this week’s episode I share a new technique that helps you do this in a simple and practical way.

I’ll help you tap into the reality of why we get stuck and how we can channel our future self to snap out of how stuck we are. There are three important questions to ask your future self that will help you get started with this technique the right away. Tough answers will guide you through the process of change and improvement in a positive and time efficient way.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How our brains get unnecessarily blocked and consumed with why we can’t solve a problem.
  • Why it’s important to let your blocked-up “Now-brain” rest.
  • A new way to come up with real solutions when you’re stuck.
  • Three questions to ask your future self that will bring clarity.
  • How to answer these questions and use them to help you process.
  • The incredible benefits of focusing on what you’re doing right.

Featured In This Episode:

Get The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Katrina Ubell:      You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physician’s Podcast with Katrina Ubell MD, Episode number 56.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, the podcast where busy doctors like you get the practical solutions, and support you need to permanently lose the weight, so you can feel better and have the life you want.

If you’re looking to overcome your stress eating, and exhaustion, and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place.

Katrina Ubell:      Well, hey there my friend, how are you? Welcome to the podcast, so excited to have you here today. I have to say I might be doing B minus work here today, I have some roofers outside and they’re mostly quiet.

But, then every now and then they make this really loud noise, and I’ve been putting off doing this podcast for long enough, I need to just get it done. So, it might be a little drilly in the background, and if it is I apologize.

B minus work I do it too, it’s so good, I love it. So, you know what’s so funny is by the time you guys listen to this it’ll be in February. So, maybe the girl scout cookies will be coming in.

But, my husband just sent me a text the other day and said … Sent me a picture of the girl scout cookie order form, and he said, “Ooh, you might wanna promote your podcast about girl scout cookies again.”

So, if you’re new to the podcast last year as one of my first podcast … Think it might have been number four or five, I did a podcast about girl scout cookies and the whole scarcity mentality that comes with that.

So, if you’re like, “Oh no, the holidays are just over now. It’s already valentine candy, and girl scout cookie time.” Have a listen to that one so that you don’t end up eating your way in girl scout cookies like I used to do; so funny.

All right. So, one thing I wanna mention to you guys … Do you remember a couple months ago now I think it was, I told you about that marriage retreat that I went to that was so great that was for medical marriages?

So, either with one physician in the marriage or two physicians in the marriage? I did it in Seattle, it was fantastic. I just wanted to let you know that there’s gonna be another one that’s actually gonna be in Chicago.

So, totally way closer for those of us in central time zone and on the East coast. It’s right by the airport in Chicago, so it’s just very easy to be able to get to. So, you can stay right there if you want to, or you can even go into Chicago and check out all the amazing-ness that there is to see in Chicago. You could go see Hamilton, how about that? That’ll be awesome.

So, the next medical marriage retreat through the Institute for Physician Wellness is gonna be on April 28th and 29th of this year; 2018. So, if that sounds like something you might be interested in checking out, or learning more about please go to instituteforphysicianwellness.com, and check that out see if that’s something you might want to do.

I think it is really so fantastic. You’ve been struggling in your marriage, and you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more specific, especially to medical people. I think you’re not gonna be disappointed, it was such a great experience for us and not weird at all.

Those of you who listen to that episode know that I said, “You don’t have any like group sharing, or anything like that. It is totally chill, totally just you working on your own thing in a private way.”

But, also getting some really, really great actionable help that is also based on psychological research. And from psychologists researching couples who are successful and happy in their marriages longterm.

So, this isn’t just some made up thing, it’s actually very legit and very good. So, highly recommend it instituteforphysicianwellness.com.

Okay, guess what? I have 502 star ratings on iTunes, super excited, thank you so much. But, what I’m looking for is 500 reviews, that means people typing something.

So, right now I’m at 347 reviews, we are getting there you guys, we are trucking along, we are getting to 500 reviews. So, 500 reviews is what my goal is and so what do we need? A hundred and fifty-three more, we can totally do that.

So many of you I know listen and every week think, “Oh yeah, I should do that. Oh yeah, I should do that.” And if you could just do that then we’d be done, and I can just give you a break until I get a wild hair and decide that I want a thousand. Then, I’ll start … you all again.

If you’re new to the podcast you could leave me a review as well. Like I said, my goal is 500 reviews, I’m at 347. So, the best way to do that if you’re having trouble with doing it on your phone, is just to go into iTunes on your computer.

It’s super easy to download; if you don’t have it you just create it, login ID, get in there, search for Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, click on ratings and reviews, your right there. Super easy and it seems to work every time.

So, the review I wanna read today is by someone who writes PNWOBMD. So, I’m thinking she’s from the Pacific Northwest and she’s an OB/GYN. She titles her review Life Changing, she writes, “This podcast has been so inspirational, I learned about Katrina from a Physician Mom Facebook Group and have since recommended this podcast to many friends, colleagues, and patients.”

“Katrina teaches useful life skills that extend well beyond the scope of weight loss. I’ve even started implementing her thought model when teaching my kids how their thoughts about neutral circumstances will affect their behavior, which gives them the results they either do or do not want.”

“My nine year old daughter says, “Hey, is this what that lady on the radio keeps talking to you about?” Why yes, yes it is. Keep up this awesome amazing and meaningful work.”

That’s so great, when we start being able to teach it to our kids that’s when we really understand it. I often times am talking to my group members about this because they want to immediately start teaching their kids. It’s so important that you really understand it first because it’s like the classic See One, Do One, Teach One.

It doesn’t go See One, Teach One, Do One, that’s not how we do. You gotta make sure that we really understand it, and apply it to ourselves first, and then we’re able to teach our kids.

As we’ve said before on this podcast, what a gift to be a kid and actually understanding that you’re creating all of your results with the way you think, so fantastic. I think it’s one of the biggest gift we can give our kids by far for sure.

All right. So, if you would please leave me an iTunes review I sure would appreciate it. So great, thank you so much.

So, today I’m gonna talk to you about a new tool that I’ve not taught you about before. It is the concept of writing a letter to your current self from your future self. I do have another free download for you pertaining to this, so stay tuned to the end I’ll tell you all about it.

Now, some of you might already be rolling your eyes, you’re driving to work and you’re like, “Oh God, I hate those writing a letter to yourself things. Those are so lame.” You’re like, “Oh my God, come on Katrina you don’t have anything better for us today?”

So, trust me on this, this is super powerful, it’s so good. I just want you to trust me on this, and take a leap of faith, and try it, okay? Before you roll your eyes and not do it, and think, “Okay, I’ll do what she says next week.”

So, why is this such a good idea? Having … You’re basically channeling your future self, and writing a letter to your current self from that place. The reason why this is so powerful is because what you’re doing then is you’re accessing your inner wisdom.

Now, that alone might turn some of you guys off because it sounds kind of woo, right? It’s kind of like, “Oh, my inner wisdom and whatever.”

But, what I mean by that is that so many of us are blocking our brains with obstacles, and not letting them come up with any solutions on a totally regular basis.

We think we need a solution to whatever issue we’re having, and all our brain is able to offer us is all the reasons why we can’t overcome it, why we can’t solve it. So, then that’s where we are, we’re completely stuck, and then we aren’t making any progress at all.

So, this process of writing this letter is such a great way to let your brain offer up solutions. It’s basically letting your brain right now just take a rest, and letting a different part of your brain offer up some other solutions.

So, at first you can feel a little weird and a little awkward, okay? You’re not sure what to write, and of course as I’m giving you all this attitude, right … Of course, this is what my thoughts were when I was first doing this stuff. You’re not the only one, I was like, “Woo-hoo, I get to write myself a letter.”

But, I’m telling you this is such, such, such good work. I started doing it for the first time and couldn’t even believe what was coming out unto that paper. It was just literally like I was getting these answers that I had been looking for, and they were right there in my brain the whole time; I just didn’t know how to access them. So, that is what this letter is for.

Wanna make sure you’re not totally overthinking what you write, there really is no right or wrong way to do this. I want you to focus on just letting the words just pour out of your pen, or out of your fingers unto the screen. And just go stream of consciousness and keep writing, and writing, and just let it all come out.

Then, after the fact you can go back and read it and decide what you wanna do with this. Now, there’s so many different ways of doing this, I mean, you really can ask yourself to write about a certain situation, or certain issue in your life, or any kind of particular problem that you’re having.

But, I recently heard about a different way to approach this and I think it’s brilliant, and that’s really what I wanna share with you today.

So, what you do is you ask future yourself three questions in this letter. So, your future self is answering you back in this letter. So, what you’re asking your future self is, what should I stop doing? What should I start doing? And what should I continue doing?

So, I had this made into a worksheet for you that you can print out, you can access that at katrinaubellmd.com/56download, and … Again, /56download, and this is this great beautiful worksheet that you can just print off, and then you can just write everything out.

I usually find that when I have a beautiful piece of paper in front of me, it makes it easier somehow than just staring on a blank sheet of paper. Maybe you’re not like me, but I would love to be able to just have this beautiful little printable to be able to do this work on.

So, that’s something you’re interested in as well, katrinaubellmd.com/56download. So, I can guess that many of you are already answering these questions in your head really quickly right now.

As you’re driving, or as you’re walking, you’re working out or whatever, and you’re like, “Yeah, I already know the answers to these questions. I already know what I should stop doing, I already know what I should start doing, I already know what I should continue doing.”

But, I really want to encourage you to get the download and carve out 10 minutes of your time to do this. Or you can just type it in on the computer if you wanna do that too. It really is worth your time and effort to sit there and actually focus, not just to do this in your head, not think you’re doing it, and not ever actually taking action on it. Like, having it down right in front of you for you to see.

So, I know many of you are gonna be like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, that sounds good.” And you say you’re gonna do it and then you don’t. In fact, many of you tell me that you kind of consume this information, and it totally resonates, and you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah I’m gonna do that.” And then week after week you don’t.

So, let’s this time make sure that you actually do this. So, the first thing that means is that you’re gonna put on your calendar when you’re going to do this. Don’t just be like, “Oh yeah, tonight I’ll do it.” Then, you know how it happens tonight rolls around and then you’re tired, you’re exhausted, you forget, and then you just never end up doing it.

One thing you can do if you can right now is download that file right away so you have it for yourself to remind you. So, I want to just really encourage you to take those steps to make sure that this actually happens.

So, let’s break down the questions a little bit because it’s just so easy. What should I stop doing, start doing, continue doing. So, I wanna give you some examples of ways that you can start utilizing this.

So, let’s start with what should I stop doing. So, here is some examples; you might list you should stop snacking. You should stop eating little bits here and there, and justifying it by saying that it was close enough to meal time, that it was part of that meal. Have ever done that? You’re like, “No, I mean, it’s been 30 minutes it’s not a snack, it’s just dinner continued.” It’s probably not a good idea.

You might decide to stop bailing on your commitments to yourself. You might want to stop living in emotional childhood; remember emotional childhood is when we are blaming other people for how we feel. And living in emotional adulthood means that we take full responsibility, a hundred percent responsibility for every emotion that we feel.

We know that nobody can make us feel anything, and that all of our emotions positive and negative, good and bad, wanted and unwanted are a hundred percent created by us. So, you might want to stop living in emotional childhood. You might want to stop being emotionally cold to your husband, or somebody else in your life.

You might wanna stop spending so much time on social media. You might wanna stop overeating, thinking that you’re making a positive experience even better when you’re eating more food.

You might want to stop yelling at your kids, or being short with them. You might want to stop being so judgemental in your head about your patients. You might want to stop beating yourself up when you don’t do things perfectly.

I have definitely done that … I don’t know if you can hear it, but the roofers are pounding on my house right now. So, I’m not doing this podcast perfectly and that is A-okay. You probably can’t even hear it anyway, but if you can it’s probably not even a big deal; B minus work.

Okay. So, what should I start doing? I think a great one … Number one, managing your mind. How do you manage your mind? By doing a daily thought download, and doing your models.

If you’re new to this podcast and you don’t know what I’m talking about, go back to the first 10 episodes and all of this information will be laid out for you on how to do that.

Another thing you probably should start doing if you’re not already is planning your food the day before, and then following that plan 100%. It’s so important that you use your pre-frontal cortex, that rational part of your brain to create your plan for yourself, and then you just have to stick to it. That’s all you have to do.

You might think that you should start managing your thoughts about your kids, your husband or your spouse, your partner, your mother, your mother-in-law, your sister, your sister-in-law, your boss, your co-workers. So many different people you interact with, right? Other drivers on the road, so many relationships that you can work through.

Maybe you should start having some grace for yourself, when you make mistakes, or you slip up and you don’t follow your plan. Rather than thinking that it’s over, have some compassion and grace.

But, then still spend some time after you make these mistakes making sure that you learn from them, and you create a plan for how you’re gonna address something similar in the future. Not just, “Okay, I did that I’m not gonna beat myself up.” Moving on yet never learning the lessons, so then you continually repeat that same mistake, or indiscretion, or whatever over and over again.

Maybe you should hire me to help you in my next coaching group. Who knows, I … But, I know that you know what you should start doing.

Now, let’s look at what you should continue doing. What we wanna look at is what’s working for you right now. It’s so easy for us to think we’re not doing anything right, and that’s really never true.

You’re always doing somethings that you should continue doing. So, I wanna really encourage you to make sure you find at least three to five things that you’re doing right now that are serving you, that are helping you get the results you want, and that you want to continue.

So, don’t let your brain just be like, “Oh yeah, there’s nothing I’m doing right.” See, again, that’s that brain just keeping you stuck, telling you that everything you’re doing is wrong, and we wanna make sure we’re not doing that.

Once you open that door to realizing, “Oh, there are things that I’m doing that actually are really serving me, that actually are really great.” That’s when you start realizing, “Okay. Well, I’m already doing these things what if I just add one new thing to that?” It helps you keep that momentum up, it’s so good.

So, let’s look at what’s working right now. Maybe you’ve stopped drinking soda, or diet soda, and you definitely wanna keep that up; absolutely no reason to go back to that. Maybe you’ve been fasting through breakfast many days, and it’s been super easy and you wanna continue that.

Maybe you’ve been meditating a few times per week and that is so good, for sure keep that up. Maybe you’ve been really working on getting enough sleep most nights, or nights when you can and that is totally great so, so, so important.

See this all the time with my clients if they have a really busy week on service, or a time when they’re on call, or they’re working a bunch of night shifts and they’re really behind on sleep.

Even when they’re following their plan many times they will not lose weight. You have got to be getting the rest you need and keeping that cortex all down as best as you can. By managing your mind and then also meditating.

Maybe you are making a concerted effort not to gossip so much, not to be so judgemental of other people; that is fantastic you should definitely continue that.

Maybe you’ve been reaching out to friends a little bit more so you can stay in touch, and connect with them a little more, and get some of that connection that we all crave; that’s fantastic.

Maybe you’ve found a new hobby that you really love. So easy to start thinking, “Oh, I’m too busy I can’t do it anymore.” But, make sure they continue carving out time for that, that’s super great as well for you to do that.

So, there could be so many different things that you’re doing. You might be doing most things that you wanna continue and that’s fantastic. But, you’re never really gonna know unless you spend the time asking yourself these questions. Channeling that future self, and asking her from that place of already having the result that you want.

What is it that I should stop doing right now so I can get that result in the future? What is it that I should start doing right now so I can get that result in the future. What is it that I’m doing right now that I should continue so I can get that result in the future?

Then, literally your answers are right there on the paper, that’s what you need to be doing. We get so tied up and caught up in, “But, I just don’t know and I need another plan. And maybe I should join this gym, and maybe I should signup with that nutritionist. Maybe I should … That trainer, I heard that he’s really good.”

You don’t need any of that, you already have that wisdom yourself. You wanna keep this really simple and tune into yourself for this wisdom, and not keep thinking that you need more information from other people. I guarantee you, you really don’t.

So, to get that PDF download so that you can print it out, or even just modify it on your computer, go to Katrinaubellmd.com/56download. And let that future version of yourself share her wisdom with you.

It really is all there available to you, you just need to take that little bit of time to just be patient, let the answers come to you. Like I said, let them pour out of your pen, or come right out of your fingers and there you go.

Like you knew it this whole time you just didn’t know how to access it, and this is exactly the way to do that. So, I want to definitely have you do that. Then, after you do it go to the comments on the show notes page, you can find at katrinaubellmd.com/56, and let me know what you found out.

What did you figure out about yourself that you basically had either forgotten, or didn’t even know, so fantastic. All right, my friends so happy to be able to record this podcast. Now it’s quiet so maybe they’re taking a lunch break, I don’t know.

Hopefully, what they did was not too distracting for you and I look forward to talking to you again next week. Have a great one, talk to you later. Bye-bye.

Thanks for joining me today, if you like what you heard here be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app so you never miss an episode. You can also get my Busy Doctor’s Quick Start Guide to Effective Weight Loss for free by visiting me over at katrinaubellmd.com.

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  • Jody

    I just wrote the letter and wanted to share what I learned.
    I need to stop finishing my kids meals. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a bite of this or 2 bites of that – it wasn’t in plan. It’s okay for me to either throw it out, or put it in the fridge for later.
    I need to stop eating in front of a screen. I’m not able to focus on my body’s cues when I’m so distracted and that means that I’m not stopping when I’m full, I’m stopping when the container is empty and wondering where the rest of my food went.
    I need to stop eating when I’m bored or when it’s mealtime (just because it’s mealtime). If I’m not hungry, I need to not eat.

    I need to start listening to my body’s hunger cues. If I think I’m hungry, I need to have a big glass of water and wait 10mins. If I’m truly hungry, I’ll still be hungry in 10mins.
    I need to start practicing loving thoughts towards my self and my body. My body is amazing and has done and can do so much. I need to recognize and appreciate it.

    I need to continue doing yoga everyday. And keep closing my rings (Apple watch). Being more active is helping with my energy levels, and realizing that the hardest part is just starting. Once I start, things are easy.
    I need to keep eating boring foods. Boring food, exciting life.
    I need to keep staying well hydrated.

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