The Ease of Hustle Podcast

14. Program Constraint

You think that you can only do one program, read one book, or take one course at a time. Otherwise, it's all too overwhelming, and there's something “wrong” with you if you start them all and don't finish.

But there aren't rules that say that you can only do one or that there is even something wrong with you if you don't finish the program, book, course, etc. You can decide what is right for you, right now, in this moment.

Listen in today as I talk about using program constraint in a way that serves you. You may unintentionally use the tools you learn against yourself to further your story that you are a “procrastinator.” Is that serving you? Join me as I go over how you can decide what programs are right for you. I'll give you examples of how you can check what is meant for you.

What You'll Learn From This Episode:

  • How you use new tools/concepts you learn against yourself
  • How you bring your current mindset to a new tool and how it can impact your experience
  • What program constraint is
  • How to use program constraint to help you make decisions
  • Questions you can ask yourself as you make decisions
  • Examples of what it looks like to check-in with yourself as you make decisions

Listen to the Full Episode:

14. Program Constraint

The Ease of Hustle with Lauren Cash

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Effective Entrepreneur Podcast with Lauren Cash, Episode 14: Program Constraint.

Hey, hi, happy Monday. How are you doing? How's your Monday going? Are you enjoying it? I hope so. Right now, I am going through a whole lot of changes in my life and it's not just in my life, like inside me, personally. I'm also redoing the entire back end and front end of my business. Basically burning it all down, rebuilding it from almost scratch it feels like, and I'm also moving. I am yeah, redoing a lot of everything in my life, which I've done a lot over the last three years because I've gone through huge amount of growth personally and professionally in the last three years. But for some reason, this change going into 2021 feels even more significant than before, probably because I wasn't really planning on any of it.

I planned on a lot of the other changes I've had in the last three years for longer, but this has all unfolded and just flowed from what I've been sensing from my inner voice intuition. Check out Episode 4 if you haven't learned more about what I mean by that. And I'm just so excited to share this journey with you all and speak more about what I'm learning, what I'm uncovering. And you can see it all first hand if you follow me on Instagram @vivereco. The link will be in the show notes as well. So we can connect on Instagram. I usually share my day-to-day, behind-the-scenes, what's going on moment-by-moment over there. So if you want to check that out, head over there.

But there's a lot of changes happening. Are you feeling the energy shifting a lot too? I just feel like it's shifting a ton for me and for a lot of people around me. We're all getting ready for the new year and I'm just excited for that. So before we head into what I want to teach you about today, I want to give a shout out to one of the amazing reviews for the podcast on Apple's podcasts. And if you want to leave a review and get a shout out, I'll also talk about who you are, what you do, and what your Instagram handle is, if you actually drop in all that information for us at, that link will also be in the show notes. So we have a quick little form there for you to fill out so that I can tell people about who you are, what you do, and so that we can all connect on Instagram. I love DMing with you, engaging with you in the stories, all the things over there. So this will help us be able to do it more as a whole community of effective entrepreneurs.

We have a review today, five-star review. Thank you from Tallmom11. 11 is one of my favorite numbers, so I love that that is 11 there. The title is a 100% Love This Podcast. Thank you. And Tallmom11 says, “I've admired Lauren for a long time and I'm so glad she's sharing all her entrepreneurial knowledge with us in this podcast. The things she teaches about mindset, intuition, money, time, and systems will change any business for the better. Even though I know I might not implement everything, any small shifts I can learn here will be invaluable. Thank you, Lauren.” I love the way that you said that too Tallmom, I love it. I can tell that you must know my work because it is all about mindset, but also the intuition, that deeper inner knowing about money, time and systems, and your business. So I'm super excited about all of that coming to you next year as well. So thanks for that shout out. Feel free to fill out the form so I can shout out your review and connect with you and everyone else on Instagram.

Let's head into today's topic, shall we? The last few years I've had a front-row seat to see how minds will take a concept and then use it against themselves. So familiar to you? If you're identified as a procrastinator or a perfectionist, I bet you're raising your hands right now. And maybe you don't even notice how much you take a concept and use it against yourself. But I have noticed this in my own mind and also in other people who I'm coaching's minds. Honestly, I feel like almost maybe like 75% of the coaching that I do, I am coaching them on how they've used a concept or a tool against themselves, and now are binding themselves in a way that is not useful.

There are examples of this in how we do our calendars. So I co-taught a course with Brooke Castillo and Tyson Bradley that some of you may know called Monday Hour One. If you haven't checked that out, you can head to to check that out. But, we teach this calendaring system that's really useful for the mind in order to plan and make your goals as good as done through your calendar. And I have worked with so many people to implement this process and use this tool of time blocking their calendars, that I have found all the ways that the minds like to then use that against themselves. So they might, for one example, they might plan something that they're going to do in the future. And then maybe they don't do it, or they don't do it in the way that they had planned. So maybe they took two hours instead of one hour or they just didn't do it at all for some reason. And then the conversation that they have with themselves afterwards is usually not positive.

So, it just plays into this relationship with themselves, that they call themselves a procrastinator, that they can't trust themselves, that they can never get anything done. They can't finish anything, etc. And then they just want to throw the calendar out, the calendar tool out completely because they think that's the problem. That's what's making them feel bad. If they just plan on the go and don't ever use a calendar or project management solutions that then things will be better because they won't be beating themselves up and they'll feel better. So our minds really like going to these dichotomous places of all the calendar or none of the calendar, and there could be potentially some gray area where we don't use the concept or the tool against ourselves, but we use it for ourselves where it makes sense.

And then if we don't do the thing, we can be curious and have awareness, which I talked about more in the episode about how you can stop procrastinating. It'll be linked in the show notes if you haven't listened to that one yet. But this happens because we're coming to these concepts and tools with our current mindset, with our current scripts and programs in our minds that include really deeply rooted belief systems. So it might even be that they're even subconscious some of the times as well. So if we bring those to learning these concepts and we apply that mindset or mentality then to this new concept, we can potentially by accident hurt ourselves because we're using an inappropriate mindset to apply the tool. So it might be that you're trying to use scissors to cut let's say a piece of wood, and it's just not the right tool for the job.

So we can do this as well with our thinking. So we might learn about scissors. For example, let's say the scissors are like this calendaring tool. Then we try to apply it with our current mind of thinking. So maybe we try to apply it using that energy. So let's say maybe our energy is angry or something like that, not that that's the energy we're talking about here, but we're using the certain mindset and feeling space. And we apply that to the scissors to try to then use it on the incorrect thing. And it's just going to be very dangerous. So this is normal. This happens all of the time. It doesn't mean that we don't want to learn new concepts and tools. We just want to be mindful of what mindsets or constructs or belief systems are we bringing with us and applying to the tool. Perhaps the creator of the tool or the concept did not have that same belief system as you, and they weren't meaning for that belief system to be applied to that concept and tool all in one thing. And so then it ends up making the tool or the concept not work in the way that it was meant for.

So the concept I want us to talk about today is the one of constraint. So constraint can be very useful. It is, like many of these concepts, if it's used in a way that serves you, it can be really powerful. What constraint is meant for is it's meant to help your mind not get so overwhelmed. So overwhelm is an indulgent emotion. I don't know if I've taught you that yet, but this emotion is one that is not necessarily what we would call the primary emotion. It is more of a layered on top emotion covering up what the primary emotion is. So normally I see that fear, a deep-rooted fear of some sort is what is underneath overwhelm for most people, but their minds just go to overwhelm because that's so much easier to go to and feel than going to like, “Oh my gosh, I'm afraid that I'm going to be rejected and the tribe won't accept me.” Instead, we like to just parade around with like, “I'm just so overwhelmed. I'm just thinking there's too much to do. There's not enough time.” That's just so much more benign for our minds that it likes to go to that overwhelm instead of what it's really covering up.

So constraint can help us to shift our thoughts from “It's too much, there's not enough time, I don't know where to start.” All of that, that we just get stuck in. All of that indulgent that doesn't move us anywhere or teach us anything, to a place where we're no longer overwhelmed or in self-doubt, but to a place where we're thinking like, “I just am working on this. This is the only thing that I'm working on. The only program, the only book that I'm reading. All I have to do is this next thing in this course. I'm clear, I'm confident, I finished.” And it also can help you like actually finish something and break self-concepts that you may have around your belief about you not being a finisher or you being a procrastinator.

So I really like this tool of constraint to help show you that you are not somebody who just is overwhelmed all the time, that can't finish things, that can't be trusted. It can help eliminate some of the extraneous variables that could be a part of your construct about you not being able to finish things. But we can use constraint against ourselves as well because we might make it then be the rule that we can only ever take one program at a time, one course at a time, one book at a time. And there's something wrong with us if we start a bunch of different books and are reading different books at different times and don't finish them. I find that people then take this concept and think that they can't actually listen to their inner guidance system about what is next for them, either in the books they're reading, the programs they're doing, the goals they're working on, that they can only do the one thing at a time and that's just not true.

So as you're headed into the new year, you may find that this comes up for you a bit more. You may find that your mind wants to change all of the things all at once that you want to achieve your goal with a bunch of outside information, courses, masterminds, group programs. And it's not a matter of if you are constrained or not, it's more about have we evaluated the decision for each and every one of these things for you right now in the moment? So it's not that everyone can only, there's a rule that everyone can only have one goal at a time. It's not a rule that you can only do one program online at a time or one course at a time, or read one PDF download at a time or only start one book until you finish it. You must finish it. That's not true either.

But at the same time, we don't need to indulge in the overwhelm, self-doubt conversations about being someone who doesn't finish things or procrastinates, or can never accomplish their goals. Neither of those places are helpful. So instead, I want to offer you that you can think about things as decisions in the now. “Is this for me right now? Is it meant for me right now in this moment, or is it perhaps not meant for me right now in this moment?” And there are just multiple decisions that we're making in each and every moment that will inform that. So here are some ways that you can check-in on this, rather than making a broad sweeping, “It's either one constrained thing or all the things that I'm completely overwhelmed.” So notice how those, the mind wants to go to those extremes. It's either the one focused thing or it's all the things and I'm overwhelmed. I can't get anything done. I never finished anything. I never accomplished my goals. I'm the worst human ever.

It's neither of those. So here are some ways to check-in when you're making decisions about programs or it can just even be about things you want to read, courses you want to take, coaches you want to work with, etc. Here's some ways you can check-in with yourself to see what is meant for you in the moment. First question is, have you asked your inner voice? So for me, inner voice is not the voice of your mind in your head. When I talk about inner voice, I am talking about that intuition, the Holy spirit maybe for some of you. That deep inner calm knowing, the true essence of you, the you deep down. Have you asked that voice? Have you asked your true essence, inner knowing?

And when you ask, do you really make sure you exhale? Exhale all of the thoughts away from your face as I learned from Jess Lively. Do you exhale it, exhale, it exhale it the whole story? Notice the story, but don't listen for the story. But listen deep down where you've heard your inner voice speak to you before in your body somewhere. You might imagine where you hear it. For me, I hear it between, it's kind of between my chest and my gut. For me, it's not the gut thing. It's more in-between that, where my spleen is, but that's where I sense it for me. It's deep inside me, and it's this still calm knowing. So have you asked your inner voice, is this for me right now or not? Can I do this later or do you want me to do it right now? Just ask questions and listen, listen, listen, while you exhale.

Another question to ask is, are you in a hurry or are you in a rush? If you're in a rush or a hurry, most likely it's coming from your mind. And it's a space to get really curious about. What are you thinking the rush or hurry is about? Because the truth is there is no rush and there is no hurry. You never need to hurry or rush for anything that is meant for you. You also may want to ask, what are your reasons if you were to pick the thing or if you were to not do the thing? What are your reasons? Do you like your reasons? Are your reasons because it's what your inner voice is telling you or are your reasons, “I'm just afraid or self-doubt, like I might not be able to do it? Maybe I won't be able to keep my word or I'm not sure if it's for me or if it's just what everyone's doing.” Or what are your reasons? Check-in and see. Do you like them or do you not?

Have you considered waiting 24 hours? So for some people, they do best with waiting 24 hours to sense if their inner knowing wants it to be for them or not. So if you're one of these people, perhaps write it down, put it on your calendar, like one of my clients likes to do for 24 hours away to then check back in with your inner knowing and see what the answer is then. This also if you're in a rush or a hurry, will help slow you way down. And then where will the implementation go in your calendar? This is something interesting to look at. Not that if you can't find a space for it, does it mean that you cannot do it if your inner voice is telling you to do it. But it's checking in with where will it go in the now or in the future, current moment or the next moment? Where will it go?

Because sometimes when I ask clients about that, that brings up another thing to ask their inner voices about, about what do I need to let go of right now? If it's something else is displacing that time and energy location in my calendar and this thing is meant for me, I might be thinking there's too much to do and not enough time. Because partly there could be a reality of that currently with what I'm taking on. But maybe I'm supposed to let go of some things I've taken on. Maybe some things I've taken on were not actually meant for me. Maybe I didn't actually ask my authority, my inner knowing about if it's meant for me or not. And I just took it on and now it's time to let it go so that I can actually do what is meant for me.

And then finally, the last question I want to offer you today to check-in with yourself around this, around choosing programs, around making decisions, around your goals for the new year and who you want to work with, what programs you want to do, all of that. Will it contradict other work that you want to complete first? Will all of the work that you're working on compliment each other, or will they cause your mind even more confusion? Sometimes that's good confusion though, to work through and ponder and that'll help you with your growth. But sometimes it can do it in a way that'll just weigh your mind down that you can't get past. I've had this happen with some clients where they're working with one person that says one thing for marketing, but then they're working with someone else that says another thing for marketing. And then they're just super confused and they stay stuck in that confusion. So if anything's going to keep you stuck and you're not able to get yourself past it, you might want to just alter what things you take on. And if they're going to contradict one another so that you don't have to like, have that additional obstacle added on.

So here's the deal. We can be “unconstrained” in the programs that we take. That means we can take multiple programs, be in multiple groups all at once. That's never the problem. What you could be doing is blaming the programs for how you're feeling. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, scared, undecided, self-doubt, not finishing things you can make up all these stories about the programs, about how many things you've taken on, that you've just taken on too much. But that's never the reason why you're feeling how you're feeling. It's just because of what you're thinking, and maybe you have taken on things that were not meant for you. But it's not because you've taken on “too many things.” There's no such thing. If you're going to use constraint to help you focus and be clear on what you're going to work on. Make sure that you love your reasons why, and really apply that fully.

So, don't talk about it like you're not allowed to do anything more. You can't handle anything more. You have too much going on. You just can't find the time. Don't play into any of those lies and beliefs that are not true. You always choose what you want to do and choose what you don't want to do, every single moment. It's never about how many programs you're doing at once. So I just wanted to share really briefly before we wrap up today, this autumn, autumn/winter, I ended up asking my inner voice for quite a few programs if they were meant for me or not. Not just programs, but also a one-on-one coach, her group program that was combined. Mastermind and then also this other group. So there were like three, four things plus some other things that I'm learning, all at once. And my mind was telling me like, “No, we can't do all of these things. You only can pick one. You have to be constrained. You have a lot going on. It's all too much if you do more than one thing.”

But then I realized that's not true. My inner voice told me in every moment when I asked is this for me, I knew exactly that it was a yes for all three/four of these things. And it hasn't been a problem the entire time. And actually, it's so much not a problem that everything is really impacting one another. They're all teaching me different flavors of the same dish if you will. They all go together in ways that I never could have imagined before I took them all on, and I've never gotten stressed out about it. I haven't been overwhelmed about what programs I'm in. I'm just not available for any of those stories. And I love that I'm doing all of them and I think it was all the perfect time for me to take and be a part of all of these things. So I'm super excited about that. And I also am loving that it's teaching me this so that you all can understand that the decision is more about the decision than the number of programs that you're in. And about what your mind might be offering you as obstacles and how you can help your mind out around those obstacles.

So to summarize, you can use constraint in a way that serves you if it serves you. You can use it to focus, complete something, prove to yourself that you're not actually a procrastinator, that you are someone who finishes something. Of course, you are. Everyone is if they decide to, and you don't have to have an arbitrary number of things you're only allowed to do at one time. You can check-in with your inner knowing and see what is meant for you and what is not in every moment. And it can change and ebb and flow, and it's totally available to you. And I gave you some ways to check-in with yourself to see.

And as we wrap up today, I want to offer, I have some insight for how to manage your inbox. If you are having a hard time with maintaining close to inbox zero and an inbox that really feels amazing for you as you open it, based on what you're thinking when you see it, let me help you figure out your inbox. Go to to grab that download and in the future, teaser alert, there's going to be an amazing free course helping you walk through how to do that for both your inbox, your personal inbox, and as well as managing a growing team in the inbox for your company. So I'm super excited to share that with you.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks so much for listening and I can't wait to talk to you next week. Have a good one.

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