Listen to my latest podcast episode:

801: 10 Fitness Secrets Every Busy Parent Needs to Know

TMHS 368: Upgrade Your Environment, Practice Persistence & Create Your Own Meaning with Lori Harder

No one gave me permission to build a career in the health and wellness field, to start a podcast, to write a book, or become a speaker. Making your dreams a reality is something you must take control over. If you wait around for someone to give you the green light to pursue your passions, you’ll never be able to move forward.

Every single successful person I’ve interviewed has had the audacity to write their own permission slip, and today’s guest is no exception. When I asked Lori Harder how she landed ten magazine covers, she explained that in every single instance, she relentlessly pitched her story. She put in the time, the persistence, and she granted herself permission. 

On this episode, Lori is sharing her incredible story of overcoming deeply ingrained limiting beliefs, speaking your dreams into reality, and what can happen when you choose to reframe negative events in your life. Lori’s mission is to help you create a life you’re obsessed with, and I’m positive this interview will inspire you to give yourself permission to do so. Enjoy!  

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How removing yourself from your environment can spark change. 
  • Lori’s journey to becoming a 10-time magazine cover story.
  • The importance of being faithful in your path.
  • How having an accountability partner can help you achieve results.
  • Why being relentless is the key to success. 
  • The truth about motivations and how they can change over time.
  • How reframing your circumstances can help you gain perspective. 
  • The power that words have to change your reality. 
  • What it means to create meaning from painful events in your life. 
  • How to build a nurturing environment for yourself. 
  • The differences between embracing pain and resisting pain. 
  • Why having a morning mantra can change your reality. 
  • How building a strong tribe can help you unlock ideas and insights. 
  • The meaning of comeback rate. 



Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


You are now listening to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. For more, visit 
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I am so grateful for you tuning in with me today. 

Just yesterday I was writing in my office and I took a peek out my window because I just heard a bunch of like footsteps, like tennis shoes, slapping the concrete outside. And it was my son Braden and he was doing sprints with his friend, the kid next door. 

And I was assuming that his older brother was having him do it, but then I came to find out that his older brother was off doing something else and Braden and his friends took it upon themselves to start training. 

And I was like whoa, that really blew my mind. But then I realized like these are those seeds that are planted and he's just been around it, we've been going to the track for years, but it's always like, "Hey Braden, we're going," and he comes along, he's never on his own wanted to do anything like that. 

And it really is a big testament to the culture and to the environment, but also it's something that I'm starting to question and analyze a little bit more which is so great because our guest today is really going to speak to this. 

But he also asked me that evening, he told me about what he was doing and he asked me, "Dad how did you get so strong?" And I was like, "What are you talking about, bud, I lift weights, I eat healthy." And he was like, "But how did you get muscles?"

And now he's like paying attention, he's wanting to be strong like he sees with his brother, I guess what he sees with me. And I was thinking about that balance of him striving to become his best self and having a culture of health and wellness in my family, and also him knowing that he's enough as well. And that he's 7 years old! 

And I'm just like, "Buddy," because he was like, "But I want to get stronger, I want to be strong like you." I was like, "B, when I was 7, exact same frame, your abs don't count yet but I was built like you." I looked like I was probably a little hungry even though he eats all the time. 

And so just being able to have that balance of letting our kids know that they are amazing, that their bodies are wonderful instruments to express and have fun and to experience life and we see the images on screen, our superheroes, and all the stuff and we want to have appropriate responses to that, and us tapping into our own personal health and well-being, if that makes sense. 

Because the environment can push us in a negative direction and with our guest's story today you can see how that manifests, but also you can see at any point we can change the story and we could turn it around for something positive. 

I just wanted to share that with you, and also when my guest arrived here at the studio, I gave her a gift, I gave her some Four Sigmatic coffee. I gave her some Lion's Mane coffee and her eyes lit up as though it was Christmas morning and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. 

She was just so happy and pumped because she's a huge fan of Four Sigmatic as well and a lot of people in the fitness and health space are because Four Sigmatic number one it's organic coffee, number two and most important, this isn't just coffee, all right, this isn't your granddaddy’s coffee, it's infused with medicinal mushrooms and I gave her the Lion's Mane formula. 

And I've shared this before but I really want you to get this, the University of Malaya did a wonderful study and they're studying Lion's Mane mushroom because of its neuro protective capabilities. 

They found that this is one of the few compounds in food, in nature that is able to help to regenerate neurons. There was a time in neuroscience when they thought when your brain reaches maturity in your twenty's that's pretty much it, like the neurons that you're born with, that's what you die with and they just kind of die-off in the process. 

But now we do know that there are certain parts of the brain that we can have neurogenesis and create new neurons, but some parts, it's a little bit more sketchy. And also in relation to food, what foods can actually support the process of building new brain cells? Lion's Mane is one of those seemingly magical foods, or herbs, or medicinal mushrooms that can actually do that. 

And so this one is geared towards focus, productivity, brain health and you get that in your cup of coffee, and so we like to blend it with a little bit of healthy fats, maybe a little bit of some flavored stevia if you want a little sweetness to it. 

I like cinnamon in my coffee sometimes, so either way definitely check out Four Sigmatic, you're going to love is so much and just the way that it makes you feel without any of the weird crashes and addiction, and just any of that stuff, because the caffeine amount is less and also the mushroom really helps to balance out even the acidic nature of the coffee as well. 

And so it's just a wonderful product, dual extracted medicinal mushrooms which you are just not going to find at very many places. And so that's, that's and you get 15 percent off everything they carry. So pop over there, check them out, And now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week. 

iTunes review: Another 5-star review titled "Love learning about your back story" by Aligned747. "Very cool to learn about how Shawn arrived to where he is now with this podcast. Congrats on all your successes, your podcast is awesome. Such valuable content and love that you keep it real."
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, thank you so much Aligned 747, I love this so much. Again, thank you for taking the time to leave that review. And listen, if you've yet to do so, please pop over to Apple podcasts and leave a review for the show, let everybody know to think about the podcast or whatever medium you're listening to the show on. 

And also if you're in the studio with us hanging out, please leave a comment below the video after you're done watching, let everybody know what you thought about the episode. I appreciate it so much. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day.
Our guest today is Lori Harder and she's a true thought leader who's impacted the lives of literally reaching millions of people from the fitness side to the personal development side. 

She's been featured on 10 magazine covers for fitness and as you'll hear in her story today she made a pivot from that domain into a greater level of just service and really helping to uplift people and to provide real, tangible, actionable strategies for wellness. 

And she helps people to lock in their transformations by teaching how to create lasting relationships that support their long-term health goals. She is also a successful entrepreneur running 2 multi-million dollar businesses and she's also a coveted speaker, 10 Time cover model as mentioned, and what's so crazy and one of the most interesting things I learned about her she's a 3-time fitness world champion. 

And she's also the creator of one of the top 100 podcasts, "Earn Your Happy" and she's also the founder of the bliss project event with thousands of attendees and she's the author of the best-selling book "A Tribe Called Bliss". 

She's been featured in Oxygen Magazine, Health and Fitness magazine, she's been featured in NBC, Fox TV, TLC Networks, Forbes, Fast Company and now she's here on the Model Health Show. And I love this episode so much, so many great insights and an incredible story. I'd like to welcome you into this conversation with Lori Harder. 

Let's start with your story. You came from— were you from the Midwest?

Lori Harder: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Is that right?

Lori Harder: Super small town, upper Michigan, Marquette, Michigan.

Shawn Stevenson: Okay, in the mitten?

Lori Harder: No, the upper part, like the people don't even know about.

Shawn Stevenson: I thought Michigan was the mitten.

Lori Harder: Yeah, but here's upper, so I'm from up here. 

Shawn Stevenson: It's like the cuticle of the mitten?

Lori Harder: Yeah, like way up. So basically we thought we were more a part of Canada than actually Michigan.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, dual citizenship, I love that. Initially, I think that you were spurred on to kind of get into health and wellness in a seemingly negative context early on. So let's talk a little bit about that. 

Lori Harder: I love this conversation, because my whole life and just everything that I'm into now, and my whole business model, everything is formed around the idea of your environment. Because growing up I really only believed that I would go as far or whatever I was doing, as what I was seeing. 

So in my family, I was raised in a more restrictive religion, which meant, the reason that I share that is because I was only allowed to hang out with people inside of the religion. So even though I went to elementary school and middle school I was homeschooled through high school, I didn't get to hang out with anyone from school. It was just people from the congregation, so whatever the mindset was there along with whatever the mindset of what my family was. 

And growing up all I heard was, "We have bad genetics, we have bad genetics, we have bad genetics." And so my whole family is really overweight, my mom has 4 sisters they're all at least 100 pounds overweight. 

So everyone around me reflected back to me that I would struggle with my weight and that's what I had always been told like, "Just wait, you're going to get fat."

Shawn Stevenson: Just wait for the weight. 

Lori Harder: Yeah. So I'm sitting here and you're becoming like a teenager or even I remember being so highly aware of it at like 8 years old because I went to a pool party with a bunch of the kids from my congregation and it was the first time that I got made fun of for being overweight. 

And I was looking at all the girls' bodies and I was like, "Why don't I look like them?" And it was the first time I was so aware of my body. And it was also the first time that I completely disconnected myself from my body, which I don't think is a great thing either because I was like, "How do I love something that other people think is disgusting?" 

It started this whole self-talk in my own head but that's really where just the entire, just the cracking open of being on a health journey or being conscious or being aware of what was going on.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow. So a pool party, it was not like, what's that movie that was like a cool pool party?

Lori Harder: If it was cool, it wasn't like in that movie. 

Shawn Stevenson: Was it the Sandlot it wasn't like that. But having that, like you said it's the environment right, but having that environment, how on earth did you make this switch in your mind to focusing on changing your body or changing what the genetic cards you were dealt were supposed to be?

Lori Harder: To be so honest with you, the only reason that I started seeking about health in the beginning, was because I didn't want to feel the excruciating pain of being made fun of. Like when you're a kid, all you want— well, and an adult, all you want is to fit in. 

And I think for me, just wanting acceptance and to be loved and to fit in, I was like because I was being made fun of I literally remember, and I write this in my book, and I actually wrote a whole TED talk around this, because it was such a pivotal moment of just being marked into my brain of I was on the diving board at that party and all of my friends that I thought were my friends started chanting, "Whale." 

And it was like this moment of thinking the people that you loved were just, and to an 8-year-old, that's pretty traumatic. And I jumped in the water and underneath the water I remember thinking, "I will never feel this way again, I will never let them—" Whatever that translated to me, I didn't know the translation yet, it was just like, "I will never let these people do this again."" 

And I remember saying under the water like, "Just wait, just wait." While at the time it was like, "Wait, I'm going to show you," and it was more of like a vengeful, "Just wait" it still got the ball rolling of like, "What can I do to take control over what I think is this faith of being overweight and being made fun of and struggle," because that's all I had seen, was struggle with your weight, struggle with finances, struggle over not fitting in with religion, just a life of struggle. 

And while my life was great, I had a great loving family, it was great at home, but that was just what I had always heard and learned. And it was also those times when I learned as a teenager, when I started to implement trying to be healthy and reading fitness magazines and I would beg for them, like from my mom whenever we would go anywhere, just anything that I could learn, I was starting to understand that my environment was not supportive of my new habits.

Because I could try all day long to eat healthy, but then we'd go and we'd sit and watch a movie and we'd order a ton of pizza and there'd be so much ice cream and whatever it was on the house that I would end up breaking down because I would just want to sit and hang and like be with your family and be with your friends. 

So as a teenager, I started to learn that in order for me to actually make changes, I had to leave my environment more frequently. 

And while this is so challenging for me to tell people, because it was my family, I essentially had to break away from my family for long periods of time, but I was so miserable because not only was it because you want to be accepted or feel a certain way, it was because I didn't feel good.

I was having massive anxiety, I was having panic attacks, I was feeling depressed because we were eating so bad, we were eating so much sugar, we would have like 3, 4 desserts a night after multiple plates of spaghetti. 

So it was just like constant eating from 5 in the evening until 10 at night when you go to bed, that was like just constant snacking, it's what we did, it was a habit. So for me, it was like, "How can I break that?" 

The only way to break it was to get out of that environment. So I started going biking, I started going walking all night long, I started listening to different music. I would go walk and I would daydream, I essentially built a bubble that I lived in, but my reality did not yet reflect that. 

So I lived in this world where I could go and escape and go work out and go dream and go think, so I was becoming this other person while I was doing that, but I would go back to my environment and be like, "Well this is not supportive." 

So I'd stay out as late as I possibly could, I'd be walking, I'd be doing whatever I could, I'd go down to the water and I'd read, I would do anything to just kind of build-up that other world that made me feel like I felt good, like I didn't have as much anxiety, like I was building myself up as a person. 

And loved my family, this was a huge struggle, this was actually just like, to be honest, being a teenager it felt like a constant internal battle for me, because I loved my family and I loved all the people that I grew up with, but that lifestyle was causing so much pain that I knew that I had to make changes. And for me, that meant kind of isolating myself.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow, that's incredibly difficult, obviously. You being focused on for example, like the fitness magazines, and immersing yourself in a different world even when you were there, you can still do that in stages, we don't have to completely remove ourselves but most of the times that are the best possible solution. 

And I'm wondering how on earth you went from seeing these fitness magazines to you being on the covers of them?

Because I remember seeing you want to cover before I knew you, before I knew who you were on, I think you were like on 10 different covers or something like that, like major magazines and it's just like you're one of those people. How did you get from there to that?

Lori Harder: Oh my god, the longest journey of my life. So when I moved away I was 18 years old and I basically just spent about 4 years being a total psycho, just trying to find myself, figure it out. 

Because I left religion and everybody outside of that religion was off-limits and then all of a sudden, I'm in this world that's totally open and I don't know what I'm going to do for a living.

I was homeschooled through high school, everything that I was raised to do was to just go and preach and go door to door and live this lifestyle and dedicate your life to this religion, which was great but it was no longer the vision that I held for myself. 

So when I was 18 it was like just, it was almost like this whole world opened up I didn't even know what to do with all of it. So I tried all of it. And it was a disaster. 

But it was the best, most ugly dark phase of my life because I understand people, I can understand so many different lifestyles now, so it's kind of like learning from extremes, I got to learn from 2 completely different extremes. 

So the one thing that really I feel like saved my life through all of that too, was having fitness, because I always fall back to it, like when I would start to spiral out or when I would start to hang out with people that were drinking every single night or just getting into whatever, I was like, "Man, I don't feel like myself, I need to get back in touch with that person that I know that I am." 

Which the times that I would get in touch with that person were when I was walking, when I was reading, when I was running, when I was eating well, I would feel inspired, I would feel like I had energy, I would feel like even though I couldn't see the whole path I felt faithful in my path, so I was like, "I need to get back to that person." 

So in my mid twenty's I started getting really normal at the gym, I started learning more about health and nutrition and I met my husband and he was into fitness, he was kind of walking the same path I was, like wanted to be into fitness and wanted to be the person he knew we were, but we kind of just met and held each other more accountable to that. 

So that was really powerful for me, to have finally someone who was like an accountability partner somewhat like-minded in that arena. 

So from there, it wasn't until, I was still dealing with a lot of anxiety, so I was just working random jobs, like no joke, I was in so many different retail jobs at that time, I was a barista, I worked at a hair salon, I did make up for a while. 

And it wasn't until I got married and a couple of years later we lost everything, we lost our house, we lost our cars, we were 300 thousand dollars in debt, that I was like, "I need to make some serious cash, what should I do?" 

So I ended up opening a small gym because it was the only thing that I even knew I was capable of doing. I went and got my personal. Trainer Certification. First I worked in LA Fitness for 6 months for $6 per session and I was like—

Shawn Stevenson: $6 per session? That sounds very familiar, it was $7 for me.

Lori Harder: Oh, you had like, you were upgraded, okay. So I just had, and my schedule was full. So I was getting so much experience and I started to do something I didn't even realize I was doing, that was to start speaking my dreams into reality to actual human beings. 

So I had started telling some of my clients like, "I really want my own studio," and I would say stuff like that all the time like, "Would you ever come with me when I start my own studio?" Except I had no intentions of starting one. 

Then one day one of my clients came in and she said she had just started a chiropractic studio and she was super young too, I was like 26 she was 28, and she's like, "I have a lower level in my basement that if you want you could come to work out a trade for like 3 months train me for free, get the space for free until you get on your feet and you can come and do that."

I was like, "Sold," like, I am going to come, I am going to go do that. I went to Target, got some little bands, got the stuff that you put on your kids' floors like those little squares for the padding or whatever, like playpen, like padding basically, it was so ghetto, I had back door mirrors like taped on the wall, it was exposed beams, it was wires. You could see, basically just what is it that you, I can't even think of the stuff—

Shawn Stevenson: Drywall, maybe?

Lori Harder: No, it wasn't even drywall, it was like you could see the insulation. So I started that studio just like that for a year and everyone that came down I was like, "Oh come down I'm in the middle of remodeling." Zero money or intentions of remodeling this place whatsoever. 

And then after that year what happened is I started a bigger gym but at the same time I was like, "I need something to hold me accountable," I wanted to start competing in fitness. Because I was like, "Where do these people start? Where does a Jillian Michael start? 
Where does someone who's on these cover start?" And they were all doing competitions. 

So I was like, "I have no idea how to do that, who could help me with that?" I was watching MTV one day, they were doing total like some sort of reality show about like total body makeover for something and coaches like all these different people who wanted to do different things and there was a, there was a coach on there who taught people how to do fitness competitions. 

And I was like, "Oh my god, I didn't know anybody out here who did this." So I booked a plane ticket, the first time I'd ever been on a plane by myself out to this woman and she coached me how to do fitness competitions. And entered a fitness competition probably 3 months after that, wasn't placing whatsoever.

And then I started doing fairly well, but it wasn't until 3 years later that I ended up winning those. It did not mean that the covers came. I thought if I started winning competitions that I would just automatically be noticed and get these covers. It could not be further from what actually happened. 

I had to pitch myself probably, I don't know, maybe 30 different times to get even flown— I'm sorry, to be able to fly myself, to put myself up, to get a cover. Then when that actually happened when I was booked for a cover, what happened is I shot the cover, they were like, "Your cover is coming out," and it never came out. So I was like, maybe this is not meant for me like maybe I'm not meant to get a cover.

And then it's like those moments, I'm in one right now, like the "do or die moments" where you decide are you done, like are you going to throw your dream, like are you going to just throw in the towel on your dream or is it going to morph, is it going to change? 

Are you going to keep going, are you going to keep this dream, while you simultaneously start a new one? Like there are those decision moments that you just have to decide does it just need to change, does it need to pivot? So that's when those covers all started coming, and when I say coming, I pitched myself for all of them. Nobody ever came to me for one of those 10. 

Every single one of those 10 I pitched a story around, I built like I have a cookbook coming out, I built this audience over here, oh now I'm in Network Marketing and I'm about to speak on the stage of 15 thousand people, what if we could align it with this and I could have the cover. 

Like I painted pictures for people in order to see how I could add value for that magazine and the covers in order for them to even consider it, and I was like relentless. So you have to become the person who can add so much value that you have to be undeniable like you have to create someone who's undeniable. 
Shawn Stevenson: My mouth was hanging open, like Puff Daddy, he's always got his mouth open, "Just close your mouth." But it's just like I've never heard parts of this story before and it's just so mind-blowing. 

And I just want to direct people back to the persistence factor, because again, we think that if we do this thing then all of this stuff is going to happen and at no point did this stuff just land in your lap, you were incredibly persistent even with winning the fitness, I think you set a record, was it like 3 championships in a year or something crazy?
Lori Harder: You're good, yeah. You know. 

Shawn Stevenson: But here's the thing, but you weren't winning for like 3 years of like grinding and trying to figure out how does this thing work. And then once even with the magazines for example, and people see it just like, they see you on these magazines like on Oxygen for example, and it's just like, "Oh she's one of those people." 

But you were persistent and like 30 times being denied, how many of us give up after once? And so just huge props for that but the part about the debt and you guys losing everything— 

Wow, you pull yourself up from that and I guess that low hanging fruit for you was fitness, and I think that that's one of the gifts that for people just like, "What's that low hanging fruit in your life, that thing that you're connected to, that you are pretty good at and that you would probably do for $6 a session?" Because it might be a bridge to where you want to go.
Lori Harder: It always is for me. I even do that, I do that now in my life, I look at what is fun and what's working and if I'm loving that, is there a way to monetize it? 

Because I really believe that we are meant to be abundantly compensated for what we're good at or what feels like we're in flow, but there is workaround how to make that flow state and that time that you're really enjoying, there's going to be workaround monetizing it, but if you have to work anyway and everything becomes work, I don't care if you are living your ultimate dream like Oprah probably has to wake up every morning and reframe where she's at, because her plate is probably really full every single day or she probably has a lot to deal with every single day.

I think that sometimes few people can get to the dream or even before the dream and we sabotage it because we don't realize how hard it's going to be or what actually comes with it or that all of those little things along the way were actually meant to prepare you for all of the things you don't see that come with it. So I think just like reframing the low hanging fruit, but knowing that the low hanging fruit can also be the big thing and I think we underestimate it all the time.
Shawn Stevenson: Facts. Oh, man. So this leads me to, I had a conversation with J.P. Sears on the show a few months back and he was talking about this phenomenon in comedy where a lot of people who are comedians and they get into that space, a lot of times it's like a compensation, they're wanting to fit in and using humor is that's their tool and also finding significance through that. 

And sometimes they're so hyper-focused on the external world they forget about themselves. And so I see a similarity there with you with the fitness story, like he said that, "At some point, you have to shift that conversation to one that's more affirming, and more about self-love and maybe giving comedy as a gift to bring joy to others but also feeling joy yourself." 

And so for you, you had a negative push in the beginning but I would imagine that that didn't turn out well at some point you had to make a shift.

Lori Harder: Oh my god, this is the best question ever. Because it's so important, I think that we continue to go back to the original motivators and it doesn't work because motivations change constantly and motivations have their expiration date for sure. 

Because with fitness, even when I started competing, it was like I had a really tough love, hardcore, nasty coach in my head. It was like, "Oh you want to go back to being made fun of or you want people to do this," or, "This girl's going to get this and you're not." "Oh you're going to feel that pain again," and that motivated me for a long time, I was trying, I was running so hard from the pain that I just brought that coach in to remind me how painful it was. 

So pain was a huge motivator for me in the beginning, but then all of a sudden when I'm like getting the things that I thought that I wanted and it wasn't making me feel how I wanted to feel, then it was like the motivation wasn't necessarily working and I wasn't feeling the extreme joy that I thought I was going to be feeling from the accomplishment. 

So you're kind of just like in this weird pain state because now the hope that you were holding that was going to come with a thing didn't necessarily fulfill you the way that you thought it was going to fulfill you because you don't have a great relationship with yourself yet. 

So I had to figure out how to even talk to myself different, how to start enjoying the present moment because of the accomplishments weren't all about that, and that now I lived in the state of like, "Now I'm just coaching myself to get to an accomplishment that doesn't actually equal fulfillment." 

That to me is one of the scariest places that if people don't learn how to reframe and get present, I think that's where I see, especially living in L.A. I think that's where people can spiral out.

You can have all these dreams and then you get there and if you don't enjoy every day or make every day fulfilling, or make yourself happy every day or make sure you have a life and environment that you enjoy it's like, if the accomplishments don't bring the thing then when am I ever going to be happy? 

So for me, it was like a huge realization of all of that at once, because I had started winning the titles, I had started getting these covers, I was still using a bit of that coach in my head and then it was like, "Okay, if this wasn't it, then what is it?" 

And it was a really weird, empty, kind of scary spot of, "I don't know what's next, does this mean I have to pivot, but my identity is all over here? This is the only place that I got those accolades that I never got before, this is the only place I feel like I'm getting attention in my life." 

So I had to start really thinking like, "What am I good at? I'm so much more than just this fitness person." What else am I good at in my life and in my relationships? I started nurturing my relationships more, I started talking to myself totally differently even when I would work out, like, "You don't just work out for this accomplishment now, you're working out because it helps with your anxiety, you're working out because when your head hits the pillow at night you feel good, you feel accomplished. 

You're working out because you feel strong, you're working out because that's the time dedicated for you. You're working out because it's inspiring other people." I had to completely reframe everything that I was doing in my life because, to be honest, I was doing it driving for goals in the beginning. 

I had to switch to like, "Oh my God, I'm just left alone with me now." That was an interesting place to be. And it wasn't pretty and I don't think people talk about it when they're like if the accomplishments and the attention weren't it than what the hell is it?
Shawn Stevenson: Right.
Lori Harder: Yeah. 
Shawn Stevenson: I've got to mention this because even within that story, you said a statement on your show, which I love your show—
Lori Harder: Oh, thank you.

Shawn Stevenson: I was just telling you this, it's like, it's so good, so good. But you said that words are energetic. I know you drop so many jewels on your show amidst like The Tyrannosaurus Rex impersonation, it's just crazy stuff.
Lori Harder: Oh god, what episode did you listen to?
Shawn Stevenson: But you said the words are energetic. So the words that you're using with yourself like they have power. Can you talk a little more about that?
Lori Harder: Oh my gosh. I've learned so much of this not only with like the self-coaching but also even in my marriage. In every relationship like the things that we say to ourselves truly carry energy, I don't know if you, is it the "Water Experiment", what is that book?

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, Masaru Emoto, "Messages From Water".
Lori Harder: That was so powerful for me to watch clips from, it's also it a documentary—
Shawn Stevenson: What The Bleep.
Lori Harder: What The Bleep, yeah. And I remember watching that and I don't know if you remember the part where she was like writing words on her body and I just started bawling because I had this realization of like, "Those words would be the worst words, ever." 

And it's so visceral when you think of it that way like words are real, everything that we say, we speak our dream into life, so whatever you're speaking you're speaking into your reality. 

So if the way that things come about is from first of all an idea in your head, and then it starts coming because you're talking it out and then if you're going to do a business plan you start laying it out and putting it out and putting life to it, and pictures and words. And you're only going to speak life into whatever that thing is. 

And so we have to remember if that is how a true, actual tangible idea comes about is through words, everything that you're speaking is becoming real, it just is and you're feeling it, and people are feeling it. It's what you're bringing into your reality. 

So when we really start to think what are the words that we're saying because those are the seeds that we're planting. So what you don't see is obviously, it takes a while to harvest but every time you speak you're planting something, but it's up to you what are you planting more of.

So some people might be freaking out right now like, "Oh my God, I've only been planting crap, I have to eat crap next year," like, "You can still go in and plant amazing things right now, and that harvest will definitely come through." But it's so important to realize how real it is.

I think that we can kind of downplay it and be like, "Oh, no one can hear my thoughts," or, "This works for me," or, "This is how I lost 10 pounds before." This is how I got this business before, was kind of like speaking to myself in this way or whatever— you're a different person now once you're aware of what we're talking about it's not going to work the same for you like you have to actually do the thing that works. 

There are laws, there are literally laws and I know you know it if there's something that you desire in your life you have to follow the laws of how things come about, especially if you want to sustain it. 

And you want to make sure that it's going to come about in a way that again is sustainable. So you have to use words of affirmation, you have to create an environment for yourself that is going to sustain and that's going to nurture it, you have to put people in that environment. 

I basically, when I'm saying environment I pretty much just mean people for the most part. You have to get all of those reinforcements in your life that are going to reflect back whatever it is that you want and you have to build that. 

So simultaneously while you're coaching yourself, while you're building yourself up, while you're building a dream you need to consistently be making sure that you're also building a nurturing environment for yourself and that includes what you're saying in your head. 

So it's really easy for me, even in the mornings I'll wake up sometimes because I'm going to be so honest, I don't know what it is about me but the reason I do this work is because one of my default responses no matter how much work I do is in the morning to wake up and be like, "Grrrr." [long yawn sound] I've just never been that person who is super excited and jumps out of bed, I have to get myself there. 

Shawn Stevenson: How are you in the morning? Can you say that again?

Lori Harder: [long yawn sound] That's how I feel sick. Like I have to Mel Robbins myself out of bed, I'm not kidding you, I did it yesterday, I was like, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, get up! Move!" 

I don't know why and that's okay, I think that some people look at people who appear to be happy or successful and think, "They just wake up that way." And I have an hour of work to do on myself before I'm like, "Oh there I am." 

It's like I go to bed and I get spiritual amnesia, it's like no matter how I go to bed or what I did the day before, I wake up and I'm like, "Who am I? What is going on? Am I really a nice person, because I don't feel like it right now?" 

So it's like this priming that I have to go through and the most of it is with the words, so back to that I implant right away like Chris wakes up and he's somehow happy in the morning. It's so annoying, and he is like, "I'm happier, healthier, wealthier and more fit than I was yesterday," it's just been our mantra for probably the past like 7 years. 

And I hear it and it used to annoy me, and now I say it because I'm like, "I want these words I really felt," it's the beginning of my environment for the day so I say that I'm like, "This is what I want, this is what I want to choose, these are the thoughts I want to think," and right away it's like if I start feeling like you know, "I feel like crap" or, "I'm attaching myself to my body," or an identity or whatever it is, I'm like, "I don't want to feel that way, I don't want to feel that way." 

So what's the opposite of, what would be the opposite thought that would get me feeling something different? Because it's so easy to spiral out like we want to attach to those thoughts, but it's an addiction right, it's like I get addicted to attaching to those thoughts and following them down the horrible spiral. So I'm like I want to spiral up, I want to spiral up.
Shawn Stevenson: Spiral up, I love that. What you said earlier, these are really laws, these are laws of how the universe operates, truly. Thoughts have a physical structure. 

But we don't think about that because it's just like these random floating by clouds in our minds but there are electrical energy and currency that is taking place and just like the example you gave about like planting seeds, when you're continuously coming back and fertilizing a negative thought, like you're literally, neurons that fire together wire together is the general statement of neuroscience, but you are just laying down more and more myelin, you're making those nerve pathways stronger as your go-to feeling, thought, emotion. 

And so paying attention to those things and I'm so grateful you said this because we do have some power over this. We think that our thoughts are just like, they're their own thing, we can't control them, we have no say and if I'm going to think a negative thing or feel a certain way, we can change our state. 

Now, this doesn't take away from the fact that is more difficult under certain circumstances, if you are in a certain physical state, maybe you're injured, maybe you have something going on with your chemistry or your hormones or something like that, but there's still a possibility to change the way you feel and to change the way you think.
So there are so many things I want to ask you about and I've got a really cool question for you I'm going to ask you right after this quick break, so sit tight, we'll be right back.
I don't know about you, but when I was growing up I was obsessed with juice. I am talking about the juice boxes, Capri Suns. Do you remember when Capri Suns came out? The complication of getting that

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We are back and we're talking with the incredible Lori Harder. I'm a big fan of your show and I love the format of it, I think you've got like 3 different types of episodes. You've got the interview, you've got the weekly nugget where you just like lay down some just incredible gems, whether it's like personal development, financial wellness, whatever case might be. And then you've got the Q&A with Evans, cutest name ever!

Lori Harder: Best name ever.
Shawn Stevenson: And you guys just have a great time, those are my favorite, those are my favorite probably. But during within the context even when you guys are having a good time there might be random poop joke, but then within that you find these gems and you talked about meaning, right and it just like really hit me that humans really are meaning-making machines. 

And so all the stuff that you go through in your life, you attach meaning to it or it's just kind of automated, but we're always creating the meaning and the meaning creates your experience. So talk a little bit about that, because I think for a lot of us, we don't know that we can actually change the meaning of different situations that happen.
Lori Harder: Oh, okay, so I'm living this out right now because I just live it now. I love this idea because I think it's the most powerful idea that we can attach into to create a life that we enjoy or that we love or especially of purpose. 

Because there are going to be terrible things that happen in our lives, no matter what, we cannot escape them, it's the human experience, it's literally why we're here, it's because we are going to experience all of it. 

And I think that we can live into staying in resistance and being really afraid of it, or we can understand that they're going to happen and accept it as much as possible and create meaning from it. 

There's always, there are hundreds of different meanings we can create but amongst those hundreds of different meanings, you're going to get probably 2 that are going to stand out for you and you always have to ask what is the most empowering, powerful meaning that I can create from this thing that has happened, that I can now turn into some form of purpose moving forward. 

Because the way to attach power to anything that's been really painful or horrible or torturous or whatever it is, is to see how you can help someone attach a meaning to it so that you could help somebody who is in it or is going through it, or could potentially in the future go through it. 

And what that's going to do is help you move through, obviously, really powerfully and you're not going to be stuck in that thought or that thing or that event anymore when you start to attach a powerful meaning to it. 

I'm trying to think of the quote, I think its Reverend Joseph Rohr, I think that is his name, Reverend Rohr, he says, "If you don't learn how to transform your pain you'll transfer it to the people that you love." 

And that to me is exactly that, it's about if you're feeling pain how do you learn how to attach a meaning to why you have that pain and turn it into a purpose. 

Because the most successful, most amazing, most impactful people who are doing incredible things in the world, majority of them that I have gotten the opportunity to speak to and I know that you know this too from your podcast is because they had something painful happen and they gave it a meaning to help other people. 

And that's how you get through some of the most painful things in life. So for me, it's always telling you, even as an entrepreneur right now I've attached the meaning, every single day you wake up and there are problems and those problems are for you because without problems as an entrepreneur you don't have a job. 

So as an entrepreneur I believe that we are problem solvers like you are just put on the planet to solve problems. So how can I take out the emotional attachment to the problem and just be grateful that there's a problem for me to solve and figure out and maybe make better and maybe monetize that or teach people how to make money off of it, instead of getting attached to, "Oh my God, they don't like this," or, "This customer was unhappy," or this person is this or this program wasn't this— I have to attach an empowering meaning or I'm going to wake up and be like, "What’s going to hit me in the face next?" 

I can't have that meaning of like, "This is hard and why is this happening to me, "and, "Why did we lose our money," or, "Why did I go through that," or, "Why was I raised this way," or, "Why didn't I have this opportunity?" 

It's like because my job in the world is to help the underdog or because my job in the world is to X, Y and Z. Like decide what that is and make meaning out of it and just stick to that mantra in your head, so when things get hard you're like, "Oh, this is for me."

Shawn Stevenson: Yep, for me. I know that for me, even hearing this early on it wouldn't have really clicked and I know for a lot of people as was it's just like so you're just going to make up a meaning? 

We do that all the time, every single thing in our lives we make up the meaning and we have a socially accepted meaning that we attach to things as well that we do unconsciously. 

So all of it is made up in reality and when you were sharing that I was thinking like, "What is something negative that would be on the surface that I attached a different meaning to and turned it into something positive?" 

And for me, it was my grandmother passing away. And I shared this on the show, it was an episode that I did on natural treatments for depression and this was the only show I had to record twice because the first time I recorded a show I cried so hard, I was bawling like it was a total mess and then I tried to finish the episode in a cry voice. It was so many god nuggets, but I rerecorded the episode, this was a couple of years ago. 

Because she was like everything to me, she gave me that template of unconditional love, of significance and she was just even through my downtime, she was always like checking on me, even though it was annoying because she was my grandma, but of course, I'm sure she had her flaws but to me she was perfect. 

And my grandfather passed away and they were an entity, that's another great gift that they gave me, I saw what a relationship could be, it's the only example in my life yeah of a relationship of happiness and that actually worked. 

So I had a template, versus the people in my environment who didn't have that thing who are not with the person they started out with, or they wanted to be with or whatever. And so when he passed away she had a really, really hard time. 

And she lived out in the what we call the country, by herself, cabin, dirt road, and of course, she had tons of grandkids, everybody come through but her identity was attached to him. And she stayed around just long enough to see me get married and then she actually took her own life. 

And for other people in my family, they took it personally, my uncle Leroy which I love, but he was like, "She did this to us, she left us," and for me, of course, there are some negative feelings from it but it was more so like, "Wow, she really loved him." 

And I want to love like that, I want to love my wife so much that I couldn't live without her. And also it really made me have this huge revelation about the people in my life now, there are so many questions I want to ask her, that I would ask her now, now I ask the questions, I am just like interviewing everybody. And I think it may be better at what I do. 

And so like there's so many gifts I changed the meaning because I could have just been lost with it, and depressed, but we all have that opportunity. 

And so one of the crazy situations for you that took place that I was listening to on one of your interviews was you got snatched up, I think this is when you first left the family house?
Lori Harder: Yes, I was 18. 
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so that was a traumatic experience to say at least as well. Can you talk a little bit about that? When I say snatched up, you actually got kidnapped?
Lori Harder: Yes. I was 18, it's crazy because I can completely talk about it almost with no emotional attachment because it's been so many years and I've done so much work around it. 

But yeah, literally making meaning of that one took me a while because I didn't have the tools at all to— as you were talking people, in the beginning phases me have no idea how to make meaning. I went through every emotional phase of like what did that even mean and why was my life spared. 

And I think that's what started going into that. Just to rewind a little bit, I was 18 years old, went on a trip to Cancun, my girlfriends and I went to a club, did what you do at a club, get super, super drunk. 

I had to go to the bathroom, waited in line forever you guys know, spring break it's like an hour wait, came back, they were both gone. 

And we had gone with a group of guys from our hotel that we had just met and I was worried about one girl in particular because I didn't want her to get taken advantage of and I knew that she had like passed out in the booth. 

So I needed to get home as quickly as possible so they were like, "Don't take cabs around here," I didn't understand why. I thought a cab was a safer bet, I didn't even think of it to take the bus, but I needed the fastest way back to my hotel. 

So I took a cab and I essentially ended up getting kidnapped for like 8 hours with him and physically fought and ended up talking my way out of it, which was insane, this was the second time in my life, first time was like a near-drowning experience but second time that I was like, there is a God, there's a greater energy and it is so present in moments like that. 

I just had a massive download in the middle of it, meaning it was like I didn't know what was going to happen in the beginning and I was physically fighting for my life, I did not know how I was going to get out of it and all of a sudden in the middle of it it's like this extreme calm came over so clearly, it was like I could hear everything.

It's almost like in the movies when like time slows down, that's literally what it felt like. And I just felt a voice, I couldn't even tell you what it sounds like but it was like, "You're going to be fine, you're going to make it out of this." 

And I looked around in his car and he had all of these like religious paraphernalia, like crosses and Jesus and all these things, and I'm like, "I'm a religious background, I'm going to start talking about this." 

So I just started talking all about religion, God, family, whatever that is and something right away came out of my mouth, I'm like, "If you bring me back, you'll be forgiven, none of this matters, anything that you've done—" honestly you have those moments where you're like, "I don't know where this is coming from," I know you've spoken on stages or you speak through your podcast once in a while, if you just open up, it's like it just comes through. So I ended up after hours of us fighting like just talking. 
Shawn Stevenson: You were like bleeding.
Lori Harder: Oh yeah, this was like after 4 hours of physically fighting and I ended up convincing him to take me back. 

And he laid my head down in his lap and had a knife on my neck while we drove back to the hotel and I just basically like don't look back, don't look at anything, like don't report this, don't whatever, I got in the hotel and I immediately obviously reported, I was bleeding everywhere, some my teeth were knocked out. 

And coming back, this is a normal thing that happens, I did not know that, so then I talked to the cops they were like, "You're really lucky that you're alive and this happens a lot.". 

For me, that experience making meaning out of it, the only thing that I could go back to for a long time because let me tell you, I had some serious issues with trust, with trusting men, with so many different things. 

I started to just like detach from life, I remember I actually just went into like a really self-sabotaging place for a little while where I just drank and didn't care about anything that happened, I was just really like not caring, I did not care about my relationships, it was a very detached numbing place for a while. 

And then I think the meaning that started to be made from it is when I started to just be like, "Why am I still here?"
Shawn Stevenson: You're right.

Lori Harder: So I had to start going, "My life was spared, I better make something of it." And I remember just like praying and being like, "I'll do something with my life, because of this," I didn't know what, it still took me a few years. 

I think what happens for people is they can make those promises and something and they think they're immediately supposed to do something and then they get mad at themselves, you'll be just fine, it took me like 3 years to really clean up my life and finally start doing things with my life after that, maybe 4. 

But yeah, it took a while to make meaning but I'll tell you that I still use that as a powerful reason that sometimes when I'm in a really tough spot I'll be like, "Oh, that happened, still here. Gotta keep moving."
Shawn Stevenson: Oh man, thank you for sharing that. 
Lori Harder: Yeah, absolutely. 
Shawn Stevenson: And this is just for everybody, whatever hardship you've been through you're still here, we don't really get. Everything that is coming your way you've made it through like you were that strong. 

And when I heard the story, which I just heard new dimensions of it, but it literally sounds like a movie, it's that rare movie where the person does like you literally talk, like you were like in a negotiation situation, which you could have been the FBI for real, that could have been your career path. 

But you made it through that situation and eventually attaching that meaning of— because, and that's another thing like you don't have to choose the proper meaning right now, even the one that is serving you. 

But there is going to come to a point for you to heal and I think this another thing that you talk about as well is that pain is a really good teacher actually, so can you talk a little about that? 

Because again, when people see you and the place that you're at now, they think that it's maybe easy street but you still go through these painful situations. So why is pain a good teacher and valuable in our lives?
Lori Harder: I think pain shows you what you're really attached to. It can show you some really unhealthy things you're attached to. I think pain can be a huge motivator. I think pain is such a beautiful teacher of acceptance.

I think, back to just what you just shared about your grandma, like pain is such a teacher of accepting what is. 

And we have so little control over a lot of the things in our life and I think when we are in resistance of pain, I think there are a lot of people including myself who have lived, who live and only live from a place of trying to resist pain, and pain that doesn't even exist yet, but technically it does exist right because we're like bringing it into our thoughts so it's fully there and it exists before the actual, real pain exists. 

So for me, I'm always questioning pain like, "Is this a real pain? Am I creating this pain? Why am I in such resistance of this pain, what am I actually afraid of?" 

And then something that I do with pain is I literally sit with it and I play out the worst-case scenario so whether it's a business decision that I want to make or right now I'm taking a huge leap in creating something new and creating a new company.

And I was in serious resistance of the pain around the possible failure or the possible money I could lose or other people's money that I could lose or not knowing or not being smart enough. 

And this pain world that I had created in my head that didn't even exist yet was already stopping me and I had to really be like, "Wow I am in resistance over the pain of what people will think about something that doesn't even exist." 

So I played out to worst-case scenario like, "Can I learn to accept me even if that happens?" Like, "Am I still valuable? Am I still lovable? Do I still offer value? Am I still—" who am I if I strip that all away or if that worst-case scenario, or if that pain comes, like am I going to be able to make it through it? 

And do I have the environment, this is huge for me, do I have the environment that will support me when and if this comes in? That's been one of the biggest things around the pain that I can tell you is like support yourself around the thing you're most afraid of. 

Because if there's something that I'm moving into whether it's like maybe I just got asked to do some huge speaking gig in front of an audience I normally never speak in front of and I don't feel smart enough and I don't feel like my message is valid or whatever that looks like, I always say, "Okay, well I'm saying yes to this opportunity because, of course, it's like room for expansion," but also what do I need right now to feel safe, that's what I always ask myself. 

What do I need right now to feel safe? And what do I need to feel supported? So for me, that usually comes in the form of, "Okay, well I need to talk to some friends. Okay, well I need to make sure that I feel prepared or maybe I hire a coach to help me feel this way or to help get me prepped," or whatever that is. 

Because it was like as soon as I'm done off that stage I'm setting up a call with so and so or this person because if it went great I want to celebrate with them, if it went terrible I want to cry and have them help me with my comeback rate, because it's all about how fast can you come back from the things that bring you pain as well. 

So I'm always trying to play off of or look at how I can support myself around any sort of pain or made up the pain. It's nice to know that you could handle it when it comes, so you have to actually go there and know that you have the ways to set yourself up to be able to handle it. 

Shawn Stevenson: You could insert fear into that pain, you know, a lot of it is just self-manufactured, because that's what's so crazy and amazing but also it can be debilitating about the human mind is that especially today, our survival needs are largely met especially if you're listening to this right now, you're probably doing, you've got your basic survival needs are met. 

And so that leaves a lot of time for expansive thinking and we have a tendency, because of the way that we're wired up is like a famine is coming, and so even though it might not be in the form of food, it might be in the form of relationship, being kicked out of the tribe or something like that. 

And so we have this time to really dream up how bad things can be. And you've got a, for the most of us, you've got to consciously start to change the message and think about how good things can be. 

And we all have that potential and that option. And so speaking of the tribe, your book is called, "A Tribe Called Bliss" and I think it's such an important word today which is so crazy because it's something we attribute to like our ancestors, is like having a tribe. 

Why are you focusing so much you've said it environment, you mean people. Why is that such a big focus for you and what you share with your community?
Lori Harder: Because without people, nothing, I feel and nothing is good until shared, number one, that's kind of a theory that I live by. If you were alone and you reached your dreams, you'd be like, "Yeah. Oh". 

And I've never gotten anywhere without people, the ideas of other people, the support of other people, the love of other people, or the coaching of other people. I can tell you any big leap I've taken in my life is because I said, "Who's done this before? Who's living this way and who can I learn from and who can I model from?" It's what your whole show is based on, how can we model who has done something that we want to do. 

And I mean going back to the beginning of the podcast, just when I shared my story like I fully learned that the people I was around are either going to reflect what I want to see or reinforce an old habit that I don't want in my life. 

So oftentimes we have to put ourselves around people that we don't yet feel we can offer value to, or that we feel that we are equipped to be in the rooms around and I think that's where a lot of us stop ourselves is because we're afraid to be in those rooms or afraid to put ourselves in those situations or we don't feel worthy yet or whatever that looks like. 

You're not going to feel that way when you are figuring out who your next environment is or who your next tribe is and I want to tell people whether you're in the beginning phases or whether you look at someone right now who has a successful business and you think they're doing everything they want to do, life pivot so when their life pivots, like I'm definitely pivoting into something new which means I'm actually creating a whole new tribe of people around me because the ones I have right now aren't going to help me get to where I want to go to the full extent that I need them to. 

They can give me support but they've never been to the arenas that I want to go step in now, so I'm going to whole new ball game of like square one of asking questions that I'm like, "Am I really asking these totally basic questions to these people," and yes, you have to literally put yourself in situations with people who know way more than you that you don't feel prepared for that you're going to feel like exactly how I feel right now and saying I feel like these people are thinking, "What the hell is this girl doing in this area, why is she pivoting into this now?" 

And I've done this already so I know this comes with it, so I want to say that to you guys like, I've done this once already, like, "How did this girl who is going door to door talking about the Bible now get into fitness and now this fitness girl is now talking about personal development," like totally different worlds of things and yes, people are going to think you're crazy. 

But as long as you put yourself in those environments and you stay in them and you keep going back and you keep asking all the questions, eventually that environment is going to give you all of the things that you need. 

So I think it's so important because I always say, "Try but will take you from transition to transcending," because there's that middle ground that is so like sensitive from where you are right now to where you want to go. 

There's like this desolate like, it's like the valley of death I've heard it called before where you have to pull your dream from like idea through the valley of death to reality. Will it survive? And you need to make sure you have all of the people and the equipment through that area or it's going to die.
Shawn Stevenson: I love this so much, the valley of death, oh my gosh.
Lori Harder: Isn't that what it feels like though, when you have an idea and you're like, "Oh dang, now I've got to pull this through like the desert."
Shawn Stevenson: This is like you got to be ready for that. And I think the thing is like we all are, we have the capability within us and sometimes the scenes in the desert are nicer than others. Maybe you're into cactuses, I don't know. 
Lori Harder: You find the nice aloe plants here and there.

Shawn Stevenson: Right you know, there's always and each time that we stretch ourselves like we always come out the other side with more experience, with more insight, it's a real gift. 

And I love that you shared that about leveling up, if you want to level up you've got to level up the people as well. I totally agree and I've said this many times in the show, I think this is a number one factor on our health, on our finances, on our happiness, our success overall in life is our relationships. 

I would have not thought that especially being somebody who kind of grew up just being a little bit more isolated to myself. I even had the idea early on like, "I'm going to change the world." 

No, I am absolutely not going to change the world. I am going to work with other people to change the world, that's how it works, you can't do anything with your little life even though we are infinitely powerful, we're also infinitely in a sense minuscule. If you zoom out and look at Earth from another perspective, how big are your problems and your talents? 

But then if you zoom in, even in this interaction with us, just one person, you could totally transform their life. So it's just being able to shift your perspective and know like you absolutely have value, but you need to collab that value with other people. 

I think it's Caroline Myss who talks about, because there's this whole idea of like, "You're already whole, you don't need other people to be whole," which I believe part of that is true but she talks about how you're whole but you have all let's just say like in your heart you have all of these different like keyholes, right, you need other people to unlock them. 

So it's whole and it's in you, but in order to unlock these ideas, you need other people in your life to unlock them. I thought that was such a beautiful way to look at it because how many times have you come across or had a conversation that you're like, "That was there but it would have never been unlocked without you saying it that way or showing me this or teaching me this or that." 

So it is a beautiful way to feel complete but also know we so desperately need people or you'll never unlock your full potential. 
Shawn Stevenson: Oh my gosh, sometimes I think in pictures and I just saw like the keys are like super long, and so like you can do it yourself like somebody else has to do it for you. 
Lori Harder: Oh that's so good. 
Shawn Stevenson: Right, I just can picture that, it's like I got to do the same thing for you. Wow, I love that. So one of the things that obviously you being in the fitness space initially and coming to that place of like, you were essentially, these are strong words but like hating yourself into being fit.
Lori Harder: Totally, totally. 

Shawn Stevenson: And making that pivot to appreciating yourself and loving yourself and knowing that you have value, what would you say to people listening who don't feel comfortable in their own skin, who are having that conversation with themselves and trying to aggressively push themselves into fitness?

Lori Harder: Something that I say to myself still if I feel that coming is, "That's not working." I need just a quick pattern interrupt before I can even replace the next mantra or the next thoughts, I have to be so honest with myself and be like, "That's not sustainable, and it's not working so why do I keep going back to that?" 

So that's the first thing that I would say is just the realization that it's not sustainable to hate yourself thin or to hate yourself into a goal or to hate yourself into staying in any relationship or business or job or whatever that looks like, like not sustainable for you. There's another way. 

So there's always another way as well and I think the other way we don't take it because it doesn't feel like it necessarily works right away, so you have to be patient. So there's another way and I always think what would be the most loving thing I could do for myself right now that would make me just feel better? 

Because a lot of times I can't jump from, so when I was really replacing it, in the beginning, it's like, I couldn't jump from doing my old style of coaching and hating myself to make myself go workout, it's like, "I love myself", just there's too big of a gap there. 

So for me, it was like, "What is something I could do to make myself feel better and like actually make myself feel better", not like oh I could go drink a bottle of wine, that would make me feel better right now. Yeah, but in 10 minutes you're going to be in the same spot again but worse. 

So I'd be like, "What's the last thing I probably want to do? Go for a walk. All right what's the last thing I probably want to do? Okay, go remove myself from this environment or go call a friend right now because I feel like internalizing this and being alone and I don't want to hear what other people have to say." 

So I'm like go do the thing that you don't want to do right now or go take that walk or go put on that podcast. I still speak to myself out loud because I need to interrupt whatever is going on inside of me, so sometimes I'll even be like, "That's not working", I'm not hitting myself right now, I'm literally just being like that's not working, I'm just like clapping my hands together because I need to stop because otherwise, you go down like the craziness that you're addicted to. 

And you have to know that, sitting here with you I know you know this works, so sometimes you just need to hear from other people like it doesn't feel like it's going to work, but eventually if this becomes your habit it will work.

And your comeback rate will be so much faster and you'll start speaking nice to yourself and you'll start wanting to make those better decisions in your environment, while you'll start doing things for yourself that all of a sudden you're not more likely to go into the sabotaging things or you'll have your day filled with things that you enjoy and people you enjoy. 

And it all starts with that one moment of like, "This is not working, so what could work?" 

Shawn Stevenson: I love that, oh my gosh, come back great, that's like one of the biggest pull aways for me today, like your comeback rate. And the same thing in the context of your relationship with other people too, there's a comeback rate. 

Because, of course, you're going to have some issues come up in relationships and that's another thing too, is like you said this earlier that we have this delusion of grandeur which whenever I say that I think about the Charlie Murphy on Dave Chappelle when he— which was he, because he had the Prince story it was Rick James, and he says something about delusions of grandeur or something, but we have these delusions of grandeur that at some point we're going to achieve this happiness and that's going to be our life, we are just going to coast it out, right. 

And we even have these ideas sent to us from people who are elevated according to our thought process, spiritually, right this nirvana. I was watching the Ninja Turtles movie with my son this week, the part 2, with Bebop and Rocksteady, just shout out to them doing the cartoon right. 

But the master Splinter who was their leader he was so close, he'd been meditating for 23 hours and like 50 seconds, he just had 10 more seconds to reach Nirvana and then his kids came running in, and like messed up his whole vibe. 

But that's what that mastery really is, and Nirvana is, is being able to recover and have that comeback rate when stuff doesn't go your way, and just taking that authority on managing your happiness. 

So earlier you mentioned that you're not waking up in the morning like, can you do it again?
Lori Harder: [long yawn sound] 
Shawn Stevenson: And so as you said, it takes you like an hour just to be like, "Oh there you are." So what does that hour look like, what does your morning routine look like?
Lori Harder: It's pretty much the same every day. So I wake up, say my mantra. Go downstairs, Chris is being really happy, I'm being really quiet. 

We will put on, one of our favorite things is like picking a station, what station do you want to hear today, so we'll put on some music so whether it's like, maybe it's something slow or meditation just something that's just on, bring in some energy that feels positive. 

And then we read so we have a thing where it's like pages before swipes basically the idea of like creation before consumption. 
Shawn Stevenson: I am taking notes.
Lori Harder: And this morning like we have to remind each other too, because Chris picked up his phone and I was like, "pages before swipes" and he was like, "I am reading an article." He was like, "I am reading."

Shawn Stevenson: I have to do the same thing because my wife will be like, "What are you doing on your phone?" I'm reading, it's a research."
Lori Harder: He shows me, he'll flip the phone and show me, I'm like, "Okay, fine." But that's how important it is, I'm like whose ideas are you putting in your head right now, because man, social can be a really crazy place, so you have to choose are you thinking your thoughts or are you thinking someone else's thoughts right now. 

So we do that, we read for a little, and I'm talking this is pretty fast, some mornings we get to read longer but we usually have about an hour before we head off to a workout. So I'll read for 10, 15 minutes. 

Sometimes I'm just quiet with my coffee for a bit then I'll read for 10, 15 minutes then I meditate for maybe 5 to 10 and then we go to a workout. That's my morning every morning, and I feel so different if I miss one of those, and don't get me wrong, I miss one or 3 of those every single week. 

So you're going to be okay, as long as you're pretty consistent, you're going to be okay. And that's going right back in a comeback rate, I used to beat myself up for it and it's like when I would beat myself up I'd miss it again, it's almost like the self-fulfilling prophecy. 

So now if it doesn't matter, if I miss it I'm just like, "Oh maybe I'll do it later or I'll do it again tomorrow." So I'm like, "Oh I remember that I felt better yesterday," so these are things I'm always trying to bring in just, "Oh I remember that it felt better", it's funny because I want to do this video right now. I'm working on it right now actually as we speak, like the 50 First Date video where you basically have you seen 50 First Dates? 
Shawn Stevenson: Adam Sandler?
Lori Harder: Yes, so she has amnesia, she doesn't know who she is so he makes her the VHS tape like every morning she has to watch who the hell she is and like what is her life and who are her children and what does she actually like. 

So I was like, "I want to make a video where it's like the tape where I'm like who am I, what do I like, what makes me happy," because that's truly how I wake up every day, I'm like, "Where's the VHS, because I need to remember who I am."
Shawn Stevenson: Oh, that's so good. That's so good, so awesome. Was it Drew Barrymore too, right?
Lori Harder: Yes. You got to watch it again it's so good. 
Shawn Stevenson: I used to just like, Adam Sandler movies I would watch his Back to Back over and over again. But then there were a couple of questionable ones more recently.
Lori Harder: But you have to do so many movies, I just whatever, there were some bad ones. 


Shawn Stevenson: What's so cool though, I watched a movie he made called "The Cobbler" which I'm pretty sure 99.9 percent of people have not watched.
Lori Harder: I think I started watching it and it just wasn't—
Shawn Stevenson: Because you're thinking like it's going to be like, but this is more like, it's very serious and like he kills a man and then, I think he kills Method Man or something but he's like a Cobler. 
Lori Harder: I can't watch Method Man die, especially from Adam Sandler. 
Shawn Stevenson: Right, it doesn't work, he must have wrote that because that's not going to happen. And then I realized later like, "Man, he's so talented," and the thing about him is that, why he's like he's

very, very, very successful, is because he's pushed the envelope, he's taken chances, he's taken the risk. 

He's done some movies that people will literally look and like, "This is the dumbest thing any human has ever conceived of." #Little Nicky. But then there's like if you watch it with different like a different point of view, you're like, "I see what you're doing like this is genius, this is hilarious or insightful, whatever." 

And so that's one of the things that I love about that, and so I will go back and watch 50 First Dates, seriously I'm going to watch it. But I love the fact that you brought up with our morning routine.

My friend Eric Thomas who's been on the show a few times said that the success is in the routine, but also he said later to not let your routine imprison you, and be able to flow and to adjust. You and I travel quite a bit, and so things are not always going to be perfect, but if it's something that is bringing you value, you can always refer back to it. 
Lori Harder: Oh my God, I'm like I don't know how much time we have but that's a whole different podcast. but I truly like what taught me so much about how your— the last couple of years I've learned more about your routine imprisoning new than I could possibly imagine. 

Because writing a book, doing a book tour, traveling for network marketing for speaking for different events for all this other stuff like especially if you are, I prided myself in living and dying by my routine. 

Well I was dying because I was out of my routine so I wasn't enjoying these dreams that were happening, I was getting to speak on the stages that I always dreamt of, I was getting to go on this amazing book tour and finally write a book and all these things I should be proud of and it was like I was living and dying by my routine because I was so rigid. 

And one of the things that totally broke me out of it was I went to Europe for literally like 30 days, like travelling around Europe last year and it was one of the most impactful, empowering things that I've ever done because I truly took it on as like, "You got to figure this out or you're going to be miserable for the rest your life, because all your dreams require breaking your routine." 

So those are the things we don't think of like as we're dreaming and as we're building like things that we think we want to be building, we're going, "Oh, this is actually taking me away from the thing that I thought made me happy." 

But could the thing that makes me happy actually be, is it supposed to be permanent or is this something that got me to the next routine or the next level. 

Shawn Stevenson: Oh, that's so good, so good. And so listen, I just want to thank you for, we've spoken I think maybe a couple of events together, the same stage but I didn't dive into your world until recently. It was so refreshing because you are so unexpected, your story in and of itself and also just your character with the way that you present yourself, the gifts that you give, the time and energy that you invest into the things that you do is really inspiring for me. And so I just want to thank you for that and for being awesome.
Lori Harder: Oh my God, well thank you and I just have to tell you real quick. I remember hearing him for the first time on Louis's podcast and I was running down Ocean Avenue so now you live here so now you know like right down the street and I just remember being like, "This human is so frickin amazing," and I started following you and you gave me so much life for such a great period of time through like a dream building phase for me, so it's so awesome to be here right now, like a mile away from my home. 


Shawn Stevenson: That's so powerful. I got the chills, thank you so much. So final question, what is the model that you are here to set for other people with how you live your life personally?
Lori Harder: What just came to me is just walking permission, like your permission is going to look so different than everybody else's and you've got to give it to yourself first and I have to give it to me first and hopefully by me giving it to me I give it to you and by you giving it to yourself you give it to the people around you. 

I think it's the most powerful thing we can do is just give yourself the permission to give yourself what you need and be fully you and just model what that would look like every day if you gave yourself permission to be the person that you knew you were. 
Shawn Stevenson: Permission slip, I love it. I got thrown off asking you the question I saw your ring, I was like, "Chris loves you, he loves you."
Lori Harder: This is our 10th anniversary like we traded in the first one for this one.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, I hope my wife's not listening. So let everybody know where they can find your awesome podcast, your book and where they can connect with you online?

Lori Harder: Yes, thank you so much for this, by the way, this has been amazing. The podcast is "Earn Your Happy" that's 

The book is "A Tribe Called Bliss" and you can just get that on Amazon. And everything, else social handles, all this stuff is just my name.  

Shawn Stevenson: Sweet. We'll put all that in the show notes, thank you for coming and hang out with me. 
Lori Harder: Thank you so much.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, awesome. Everybody thank you for tuning into the show today I hope you got a lot of value out of this. I took notes myself during this episode. I love this statement, "Motivations have an expiration date." 

And so just realizing that the thing that is motivating you right now might not be the thing that's going to get you to the next level. That just goes back and is kind of threaded throughout this episode is having the audacity to change and to pivot and to adjust and to get into that discomfort a little bit. 

However, whatever is motivating you and getting you going, whether it's listening to this podcast right now, stay with it, stick with it, if it's bringing you life. 

But also know that at some point you might need to pivot and to dive into something else, a new motivation, maybe it's a family member, maybe it's a work opportunity, maybe it's a project, maybe it's a charitable thing, I don't know what it might be that's motivating you but just understand motivations have an expiration date and keep on finding new pieces of motivation. And also, comeback rate.

I love this so much. How do we get there? Well, number one it's just a practice, it's being attentive to those moments when you do start to run off the rails and also understand, she says something really powerful, giving yourself permission, you have permission to have pissocity, and to be upset, and to cry, and to be frustrated, to be angry— all of those things are part of you because they're valuable, they're valuable feedback for us. 

None of our emotions are wrong, but when you can monitor those things that you don't enjoy the feeling and you can start to change the conversation, your comeback rate can become higher and faster by you practicing getting out of that, the out of your story and changing that story in the moment. 

It takes work, but I'm really a testament to say my comeback rate is pretty high now. Man, just thinking about when I was working on changing my own health and wellbeing is when I start to realize how impatient I was. 

I grew up in a very volatile environment and my mom would say something and then she would yell something, like you've got like .7 seconds to respond or she's yelling, it was constant upsetness taking place in that environment. 

And so I didn't know that I picked that up and I was employing that with my kids when they were younger and I didn't even realize it. And so now I'm definitely, most likely the most patient parent that they have, no disrespect baby.

And the ring, like we'll talk about it. But just understand that it's a practice and it's something that does bring me more peace, I have more of the kind of joyful, peaceful feelings that we all kind of strive for, but I'm also well aware that pain is ever-looming, things are going to happen in our lives and just working to be prepared is putting ourselves in the discomfort and getting stronger. 

Because that's what we're really here for, as Lori talked about. So definitely check her out, check out her book, "A Tribe Called Bliss" check out her podcast. And we've got some epic stuff coming your way, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon. 
And for more after the show make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. 

And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome and I appreciate that so much. 

And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life Thanks for tuning in.

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