What’s the payoff?

This post will push a few buttons, but it is unbelievably important…

I’m just going to jump right in…

If you are struggling with something consistently over a decent period of time (3 months or more…) then I want to ask you 1 question…

What’s the payoff?

I know you hate whatever it is you are struggling with and you want nothing more than for it to stop and be a thing of the past…

But I’ll ask you 1 more time…

What’s the payoff?

If I’ve hit a nerve here and you want to jump through the computer and tell me I’m crazy…stick with me while I explain…

Let me do this by giving an example…

A friend of mine had been in theatre for years…

He was very successful and went from one tour to the next…

He never stopped working…but the one thing that kept eluding him was a Broadway Show…

He was more than talented enough…

He worked harder than most people in the business…

But it just kept not happening and it was driving him crazy!

One night we were sitting and talking and he was telling me how frustrated he was, how he was having trouble watching people who weren’t as talented and who didn’t work as hard get Broadway Shows while he didn’t.

I looked him dead in the eye and said, “What’s the payoff?”

He said, “What do¬† you mean?”

I said — “What are you getting 0n a subconscious level by NOT getting your Broadway Show?”

For a second I thought he was going to leave the table…so I continued…

“I’m not being mean…but seriously, you’ve already told me you are more than qualified and you work all the time in big productions…so what are you getting from it?”

He sat and glared at me for more than a minute…

And then his face changed — his eyes flashed and he got a weird smile on his face and then he said, “Wow…I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re right. Every time I complain about all the people who aren’t as good as me who are getting rewarded with what I deserve, I feel a weird sense of being better than them…like I work so much harder than them and deserve it more than them…so in my subconscious, by not getting what I want I’m somehow giving myself the message that I’m better than everyone else…”

I said, “Wow, that was honest…”

He said, “Yeah, but as I’m verbalizing it, I’m realizing that I don’t care about being better than everyone else, I just want my Broadway Show!”

Here’s what happened after that…

He consciously stopped judging people who were getting what he wanted…

In fact, whenever he wanted to complain about them, instead he said 3 words…

“That’s for me!”

It didn’t happen overnight…

It took a year of him sticking to his guns…

But he finally got his Broadway Show (and has been on Broadway ever since)…


I’m going to ask you 1 more time…

Whatever it is you are struggling with…

“What’s the payoff?”

Be honest with yourself…

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Go Big!


63 Responses to “What’s the payoff?”

  1. Melody says:

    Right on the nail!

    I love your straight between the eyes approach to creating what we want!

    Others may think they don’t want it – BUT boy! Do we need it! It’s the difference between success and failure.

    Thanks for the reminder……


  2. joe says:

    Iam sorry but I just do not get this one.I have not the foggiest of what I get on a “subconscious” level by not succeeding to my fullest.Sorry just cannot figure this one out.

  3. Leila says:

    Thanks for this thought provoking post. For me this idea of not getting what you want so that you can feel that you’re more deserving than others (or at least as deserving) goes with getting what you want but not feeling that you deserve it. To feel good about what you get you have to feel you deserve it whether that’s ‘true’ or not – the feeling’s key.

  4. John Goodhew says:

    Hi Kristen, you are right! We all it seems get mixed up with our thoughts; Not understanding what they mean. Lesson, one has to be very careful as to what one thinks.

    Your the best. JohnX

  5. Linda says:

    This is my story…
    I have been struggling to get my wants in many areas of my life. Work, relationship, material,social etc.
    Until recently I realised I am not satisfied with myself. I see so many flaws, faults and imperfections. I have to see the beautiful lady I am, before I can attract the beautiful things into my life.
    It may not happen over night. But it will happen. I am worth it.
    Great message, great timing and thank you for making me aware of this truth.

  6. Sile says:

    Wow! This is an incredibly interesting post and one that resonates with me.

    Thank you Kristin!

    I used to suffer from migraines for 15 years and it was only when I honestly looked at how migraines were serving me, could I start my journey to out of migraineville.

    If I am brutally honest (gulp) my migraines served me in these ways:

    I could get out of doing things I didn’t want to do – so I could get off the hook and not needing to have the courage of saying ‘I don’t want to’!
    It was the only way get attention from my mother
    I felt superiour to other people for having a condition with no known cure!

    Then when they got out of control and I felt I had no weekends, no relationships, no fun and felt a fear of dread in getting one, did my motivation to get rid of my migraines soar. Again, as your post says, it’s never an overnight change but I am happy to say that I am now an ex-migraine sufferer and help others do the same.

    My goal is to help 1 million migraine sufferers in 10 years!

  7. Peter says:

    The pay off is that I get to stay in my comfort zone and not face what I feel in my bones is what I want.

  8. sandra cherrington says:

    i am wondering if it will really happen to me

  9. Naomi says:

    wow kristen i’ll have to think about that one, that’s the best post you’ve done yet!

  10. Rosemary says:

    My consistent problem is an inconstant flow of money into my life. I work very hard at my real estate profession and care mightily about solving other people’s problems. I don’t blame other people for my problems, but my husband thinks that too many other people let me down and I should be angry with them over it. My response to his anger is that I could have done or learned something from the experience and can do better. Also, wasting emotional energy over this situation is pointless.

    So, what’s the payoff? Blaming myself allows me to justify not hiring other people to help me, which I desperately need to do. At least, I think that’s it.

    Thanks for the post.

  11. James says:

    my story is similar in that my ego keeps getting in the way…the aforementioned story above is relative to this in complete synchronicity. thanks for that ray of sunshine…sometime to you have to pull out all the stops to get the ball rolling.

  12. Helga says:

    Hi Kristen

    Thank you for your free report and your follow up emails. You seem to me to be one of the more genuine and caring coachs on the internet.

    Your email today made me think! I have always been able to get what I want. I have pursued my dreams and I’m constantly learning new skills, something that interests me. To get what you want you have to know what it is that you want, right? Well, my problem right now is that I have no idea what I want!

    I am now at a crossroads, I’ve had big changes in my life for the past year and now, I suddenly find that I don’t know anymore what it is that I really want in my life. I suspect that I’m supposed to be doing something similar to what you do, that is my main field of interest, but I’m currently studying something totally different and I’m not sure I’m in the right place. However I’m afraid to quit and start over in case I should find out after going through a lot of hard work that I don’t belong there either.

    Like I said, up until now all my studies, jobs, new tasks of any kind have been effortless. Was that because I had enough interest and therefore motivation? I’m a perfectionist I guess, but my lack of motivation right now, even if it has to do with subjects that I’m really interested in is baffling to me. I don’t know how to find out what it is that I really want, my purpose in life!

    As a conclusion, all the self help material, changing limiting beliefs to get to where you want to be etc. aren’t helping right now. I don’t know where to start and I can’t easily find the answer to your question, but as I read your email again I started thinking about “the payoff”.
    I might have the same problem as your friend. I know a lot about positive thinking, self help, motivation and I love helping others around me. People also listen to me and ask for my advice. Bottom line, I know enough to give free advice to friends and family, but if I were to make a career out of it I suddenly have responsibility towards a lot fo people who expect me to deliver! Is “my payoff” staying in my comfort zone, am I just afraid of failure and not doing well enough? Or, have I not yet found my true passion?

    Thank you again, Helga

  13. todd hensley says:

    very cool,Kristen

  14. Alina says:

    Hello Kristen.

    Thank you for your report and the encouragement.

    My dilema was very obvious, but subconciously I had refused to excepted and lived in this downward spiral focusing only on the negatives that I had been conditioned by others that wanted to tear me apart.

    Thanks to your report. I was able to recondition and correct that problem to be able to move on and come out of the subconcious rut that I was in. I recognize now how that had a lot to do with some of my failures.

    Now I am able to think possitively and not allow others thinking and negative thoughts
    to creep up in my mind, It is powerful.
    It is a constant strugle to keep yourself discipline and allow your subconcious not to ever go there. Allways keeping in mind what it is that you want and staying focus to that.
    Not allowing anything to diffuse it.

    I have a hard time with it, my mind tends to wonder. I think that happens to someone when they are very creative.

    The payoff is, realizing and that we are actually capable of achiving anything and everything that we set our minds to do. As long as we do not get distracted from it. If we put our energy to that particular thing. Heaven knows what the outcome will be!
    I think all along I realized that was possible and It happened in the past. Somehow I had lost that. I was also afraid of my own capabilities. I was attracting what I din’t want. because I dwelt in it.
    Now, being aware of it, I have the ability to change the outcome of things to my benefit.
    and that is what I will profit.!!!! right

    It is how we think, our thoughts are very powerful. Amazing. By George I got it.

  15. Ken says:

    Even if I had not read through the posts before responding, this post echoes where I’m at… By Peter, April 5, 2010 @ 4:57 am. The pay off is that I get to stay in my comfort zone and not face what I feel in my bones is what I want.

  16. Lydia says:

    Thank you Kristen .
    I like your style .I read from your ebook .Thank you remember me to ask myself what’s important ,what I really want .And above all ,to be myself .This is the most important thing.
    The purpose of a coach is this ,to identify where is your true power , gift …
    I decided to start a new career ,I have subscribed to many courses and still I am not there where I want .It takes too long …

    Thank you again .
    Best regards,


  17. Diana says:

    I don’t know what the payoff is. I wish I did.

    I definitely see the point in what you are saying, so my post isn’t one of disagreement. Maybe I’m afraid of positive attention–or of doing my best and still not getting recognition. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about this.

  18. regina says:

    I get that! I want so much. I am not being greedy it’s just I’m a “late bloomer” and I need to do so much to catch up!

  19. Babalwa says:

    Thanx Kristern, I always wanna play it safe, I don’t to be outstanding, kinda fear that attention. I have a car waiting 4 me, but am still content with the public transport, somehow I think am afraid of showing others my progress, but hey am getting over it, more could benefit from my success than my mediocre life


  20. The payoff is staying in my comfort zone, no fear of embarrassment or making MORE mistakes.

  21. Kevin says:

    My payoff is building a property portfolio big enough so that, firstly, I can leave my “Just Over Broke” and then move on to building a passive income sufficiently large for my sons to have (and then inherit an equal share of mine) that they have a choice to make as to whether they work or not for a living.
    I know that I can do it, it’s just a question of time before I make it happen.

  22. J says:

    Love it! I’m still working on getting over a 7-year relationship that ended eight months ago (when I discovered an affair he had had)…

    My payoffs?
    *Feeling righteous and feeling like I’m SUCH a better person, because I didn’t betray someone I cared about.
    *Staying in my comfort zone of not going out and meeting new people because I’m still “recovering.”
    *Not facing the fact that I played a role in the breakdown of the relationship.

    As uncomfortable as it is to say some of that, I also feel a bit of a release; I realize those payoffs aren’t worth it…so I’m ready to let them go!

    I think I just had an a-ha/breakthrough moment and I pretty much only accidentally came to this page…maybe that’s a bit of the law of attraction at work, too, because I have been trying hard to imagine myself “over it.” Thanks!

  23. Robert says:

    My work is my Passion. I am 77, my wife of 55yrs is in a nursing home for the last 3 yrs with a Total wiped out memory and is a medical alert for stroke or heart ATTACK. I am tired of giving all of my ideas to Owners of the places I have worked. IT IS TIME TO FLY!
    There are a few things that I have worked on in the past that have never made in the market place yet. because I am the only one that really makes them work!

  24. barney says:


    You ask the hard hitting questions and they rattle the cage. Whatever my answer is, is what is driving me at the moment. Thanks.

  25. Bev Hepting says:

    I feel smug by not getting what I want. I am more spiritual by being poor and giving away any money I earn. I can be superior in my knowledge that I am a giving person. WOW, what a payoff. Thank you. Now I know what the missing bit is.

  26. Jess Gjestland says:

    Hi Kristen,
    Its a very pertinent and challenging question and deserves a frank reply. My payoff for the grim position I’m in now, is not to “rock the boat”. The artificial “peace” of it was achieved by the 2nd youngest of 6 siblings vociferously defending the chicanery of the youngest one who had “doctored” a codicil of mother’s will to exclude the rightful portion of 2 of us after the 3 others had voluntarily donated their portions to her (the youngest one). “Shame, Poor XXX was in a messy divorce – let her have the 3-bedroom apartment to herself”, said the 3 well-off ones without consultation with the other two.

  27. Joseann says:

    Hello Kristen,
    very interesting post, thank you. So it seems that when we are caught up in comparing ourselves to others we lack the power to get what we want as our main focus is on “being better” or different than others and not on getting what we want. And it obviously also seems that “being better” doesn’t guarantee us to get what we want, as obviously your friend was better, but others, who consequently must have been “worse”, got what he didn’t get. I just wanted to mention that this also works in the opposite direction like not getting what you want and feeling inferior. I am not sure what the payoff is here but it feels that it has helped me to avoid conflict, to stay safe, to hide and to not having to take responsibility (as there are always those who can do it better). It is quite comfortable :-), once you have gotten used to not getting what you want :-(. And it is easier than being stuck in having to feel better, because then you expect to get what you want because of being better, but in the inferior position you don’t expect it, so it doesn’t come as a surprise :-).

  28. George says:

    My payoff for hanging on to my extra 20 pounds and pot belly (I’m 76) is that I look like guys my age, and I look prosperous, like I have plenty of money so I can eat whatever I want. No matter what weight loss program I have gone on, I have not been able to shake off my excess weight. I am also not motivated to exercise or to eat less or to eat fewer sweets. Interesting! I’ll see what happens if I equate wealth with a trim, slim-waisted figure and “old” age with a svelte fitness.

  29. Caroline says:

    Even though you wrote this back in April, I find it really interesting that you sent it out again now. I recently wrote the draft for a blog post with a theme very similar to the above and decided to let it “sit” for a bit until I felt the time was right to use it. Receiving this in my mailbox is, I believe, confirmation that I was on the right track.

    Kristen, I have been following you for a while now. You consistently provide value and practical advice people can immediately use. In addition, I listen to a lot of teleseminars and the one I heard you on a few weeks ago was probably the best I have ever heard. You are the real deal and you have my full support.

  30. Aba Nagel says:

    Thank you!
    It helped a lot!

  31. surendrarao says:

    i already said all start from thinking good,bad,ugly we can’t judge anything 100% b’se
    our eyes are too smal like ant but world exp is like elephant more words i think not nece…

  32. Dear Kristen,
    My hard work pay off all not in full but with peace. You know am a whole & sole of my family alongwith 8 members and am the sixth. My father passed away during my childhood and thereafter we are in a big soup, there is no one to look after anything for anything purpose. Being elder sisters I have no choice than to work right from child to survive for all for ever and still am serving in Saudi for a small company with less in salary with more responsibility. I am doing my work on trust worthy and I hope one day or the other, I will have a different style of life. This hope I never kept behind and I struggle for everything for every one of our family members including my family with childrens. My mother is also expired very recently and no one left in old age now. Due to all steps on my shoulders, am not getting any peace of mind for relaxation as a whole. Since there is no one else for ourselves, I myself giving a word to eveyone that all days will not be same, one day there will be a change in everything and all things will change in us automatically and effortlessly. Because of all this burdens on me, I am not getting any control on financially which making me more and more thinking only without sleep.

  33. Andrew says:

    Awesome Kristen! More great advice, I like it! ^_^

  34. Tony says:

    I’ve done this in my past. I think it’s something we do so that we can be “armchair quarterbacks”. This way, we can run our mouth without putting ourselves out there to face the possibility of failure or defeat. Good piece!

  35. Hi Kirsten
    Thank You for your upfront honesty with no backtracking.
    This subject is difficult for people to accept. It makes us squirm, yet is absolutely dead on.
    Again, Thank You
    In Peace and Light to All
    Dorothy Biagioni

  36. Barb says:

    I just have to post. Kristen’s blogs have helped me come through a tremendous amount of stress for at least the last year. It took that long to get over the downward sprial in my personal life. I tried so hard to overcome the feelings I was having, i.e. thinking positive,etc, and I kept on reading on Kristen’s posts. Ultimately, with reading Kristen’s blogs REGULARLY, with time, I finally got to the point that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train comming at me anymore. It took a long time, but I never quit reading Kristen’s posts and I finally pulled through it. It was BAD. I ended up shutting myself in and actually started losing my hair, which has finally stopped falling out as much. It seems like that is resolving. That’s what stress can do to a person.

    I believe in the law of attraction and if he was going to make it to broadway, the way that he would truly be happy once he got there, would be to do what he did, waited. You shouldn’t try to push life, let it come to you. That is the lesson I learned over the last year. Be aggressive in what you want, but when the time is right, in your life, it will come, and it will come better than ever if you don’t push it. Love your posts Kristen. Barb

  37. wanda flint says:

    dont have a clue wish i could figure it out ?

  38. Martin Koopman says:

    STRANGE how we avoid the best options and settle for less. What Kirsten has shared, and always share is the shortest and quickest way of dealing with issues we carry for years.
    Where an how od we learn to settle for the worsdt options and unhappiness when there is the straight forward option for happiness.
    I have thought about something in my life and I must admit my traditional response was a bit embarrassing to notice.
    THanks Coach!


  39. chris says:

    the payoff for me is also to make myself feel better than others.to stay in my comfort zone & not to make decisions for myself.(procrastinate)

  40. Mark says:

    Again,great insight to all that is going on with me. You shoot straight from the hip and never miss. I appreciate what you do for others!

  41. woodpro says:

    Thank you,
    That was a good one. Coming from a different source, it’s called learned behavior. I am the most guilty of all of trying to walk through a brick wall instead of walking around or climbing over it.

  42. MP says:

    Dear Kristen,

    I have been struggling to get my things wants in my life like work, relationship, own business, etc. I am not satisfied myself at all and so many flaws, faults and imperfections and I used to suffer from the age group of 13 years and my intention is to help others always. I am always with a step that one has to be very careful as to what one thinks to feel good.

  43. shantil says:

    wow!. is this comment for me or what. i have struggled with anxiety and depression followed with by tons of negative thoughts off and on since 2003. i have been on antidepressants in the past for it which has helped. but as part of my condition i have trouble with taking medication. its all like a bad habit or an addiction learned behavior. now for the payoff there is honestly no payoff the anxious feelings panic episodes not having an appetite which causes a person to lose weight all defenses shuts down your angry irritable at yourself because you have allowed youself to go to such a dark place. to me its no payoff just a place of misery but yet i get sucked in by some life experiences.

  44. Jered says:

    Wife left me 6 months ago. Found out she was having sexual emails with someone and when I confronted her she informed me that she was done. This week she informed me that she is dating someone. I just discovered that it is the same person she was emailing!! DUH
    I have been holding on to my love for her and the family, and the need for her to be atfault. I truley want to let go, but each time I start moving on she plays my emotions and pushes my buttons, and I repeatedly let these behaviours bring me back to square 1.

  45. sandra a. says:

    The Payoff…if I choose something and I do not achieve it; it is because it serves a purpose. I get to be…,it allows me to…, I do not have to be responsible for…., and so on and so forth. I want to write my story and have it published, but I get to be lazy and use my story as an excuse for everything…by writing it I don’t have to tell it or use it. It is very complicated, but we do have payoffs. It is like not reading most information, I get to stay the same and not be successful in my life. Now, to change my mind.

  46. Margie says:

    I struggle with my limiting beliefs about money; i.e., that I do not deserve to get more than I do; that life will always be a struggle for me around this issue; I cannot consistently keep reaching for the positive, happier thought; any ideas for me?

  47. Chic says:

    My payoff is mentally working harder to learn to better understand how to improve the two weaker areas out of the eight, in that super IQ test that gave me only a 99.9 percentile score, and just am IQ of 152. I’m writing an important non-fiction book to try to compete with the nearly 95% of those fiction books that were sold that year.

    Using bar graph displays at the end of 29 pages, it did point out my slower abilities, even though I made no mistakes.

    Is this the type of honest response that was anticipated?


  48. Paul says:

    very, very true.
    excellent post and I concur with all the people who have praised your ability to hit the mark with your writing.
    I can relate to your friend very much and I now give myself permission to fly.
    thank you

  49. George says:

    Being brutally honest with yourself is not an easy task and the ego will get in the way to stop you. Forgiving oneself and starting the reprogramming of the subconscious is not easy either, but boulders are there to help build our muscles

  50. Mark says:

    Hey Kristen:
    Not only are you beautiful but you are very sharp indeed. And to the point!!!! Making us look at ourselves as the problem and the solution is brilliant. Knowing that inside are all the answers we will ever need is intriguing and scary at the same time. Taking stock of ourselves honestly, our thoughts, our beliefs will bring us to what we truly are seeking. Thanks for your help!!!

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