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Why does it feel so hard to get ahead in life? Why am I struggling to do what I have to do to make my life better?

Are you asking yourself these questions all the time? You’re not alone! Most of us are struggling with the same problems these days!

The truth is that human beings are wired in a certain way. We need continual growth. And if we don’t challenge ourselves, we might get stuck in our comfort zone, and that isn’t good for our physical and mental health.

In this new Ted Talk episode, Ted Ryce shares his own struggles, how he learned to overcome his problems by challenging himself all the time.

So, if you feel like you are stuck in your comfort zone and unable to get ahead in life, you should listen to this episode!

You will find out that you are not the only one struggling and that there’s a smart way to get ahead in life. Tune in to discover the best-kept secrets to get ahead in life.


You’ll learn:

  • The two types of reactions to Ted’s skydiving experience
  • Why are we afraid to challenge ourselves, but we are not afraid to live an unhealthy life
  • How does our mindset hold us back?
  • What is the hedonic treadmill? How are we wired for continual growth?
  • Your problems never cease. They just change.
  • How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • How to make changes in your health, relationships, and career
  • Exposure Therapy: How does it work and who can benefit
  • And much more…


Links Mentioned:  

RTF 83: I Jumped Out Of A Plane This Weekend, And This Was All I Could Think …



Related Episodes:  

456: The Wedge: How Being Uncomfortable Builds Human Resilience with Scott Carney

RTF 85: Help! I Am Feeling On Edge! All The Time

RTF 80: Help! My Childhood Trauma Is Holding Me Back…


Episode Transcript: Why You Can't Just Get Ahead In Life

Ted Ryce: Why does it feel so hard to get ahead in life? Why is it that so many of us don’t have the health that we want? We don’t have the relationships that we want with our loved ones, with our parents, with our kids, with our spouses? Why do we not have the career, the business, the financial stability, the financial freedom—that’s the word, that’s the term I love—financial freedom that we want? Why is it so hard? 

Well, guess what? It’s not so hard. It isn’t. What’s hard is us, our psychology, dealing with our own bullshit. That’s hard. Getting ourselves to do the things that we know we should do, but we’re just, oh, every time we feel it, we just feel this discomfort. And that discomfort kills us. It kills us. It doesn’t kill our bodies…Well, actually, that’s an arguable point, but it kills our will to thrive, to be happy, to show up in life full of joy, full of excitement to be alive. 

And what’s interesting about this is there is no rest, right? For example, I went skydiving recently, I shared the story here, I put up a video on social media. And it was interesting the responses, I shared some of them before, but just to share some of the other things that people said, or another perspective on some of the things that people said.

The responses were like this: some people said, “Oh, my God, I would never do that. Oh.” It’s like, “You would never go skydiving. Why?” “Oh, it’s so dangerous. I’m afraid that I might die, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Listen, you get in your car every morning and you drive, it’s one of the most dangerous things that you can do and yet, you don’t care. 

How about, what’s your health like? You’re not exercising? Well, guess what? You’re heading towards a world of hurt with that, with not being able to get up out of a chair, being dependent on other people. You’re on your way to hell, just like my dad, just like you’re probably parents ended up, just like my dad did. But you don’t care. You’re not afraid of that, but you’re afraid to go skydiving. It’s crazy. 

And I’m not condescending to you here because I feel the same way about this stuff. I’ve got the same ridiculous human wiring. People are afraid of things that they shouldn’t be afraid of. Now, I’m not saying hey, that means you’ve got to go skydiving. What I’m saying is look at the things that you say that you’re afraid of, and go take action on those things. 

Stop with the bullshit on social media, having conversations so meaningless, just procrastination, go out there in the real world and do something that you’re afraid of, or shut the fuck up and eat the hot shit sandwich that is your life, okay? I love you, but it’s time that we have an honest conversation about what people are really struggling with. If you’re not willing to do those things, it’s okay, but that’s nobody else’s problem other than yours. 

And it’s the same thing for me. I say that to myself. I’m like, “Look, either you step up and go do what you’re afraid of, or shut up about it. If you’re tired of getting bad results in your life, because you’re afraid to go do something that will take your results to the next level in that area that you want, if you’re not willing to do it, then shut up about it. 

And so much of the arguing that happens online, we say it’s because of the patriarchy and all these other things. Listen, it’s because we are not doing the things that we know that we need to do in life. That is what it is. The world is unfair. It’s unfair everywhere. It doesn’t matter the demographic of people. Oh, my gosh, I’ve been all around the world, not just been around the world, folks. I’ve lived around the world. It’s fair, nowhere, okay? 

And if you’re living in the United States, you’ve got it better than, I don’t know, 95% of the world 98% of the world? Look, there’s a lot of countries out there and most of them are—the majority of them are a mess. You have it better than the vast majority of people. So, what is it then? Is it really that we’re living in such an unfair and unjust society relative to other places? No, it’s our psychology. It’s our psychology that holds us back. 

And then talk about the other people who gave their thoughts on my skydiving. So, we had one group that was like, “Oh my god, I would never do that. Oh, I’m so scared.” Then we had the other group that was, “Oh, I did that 10 years ago. I did that 20 years ago. I did that in college. I did that when I was a teenager. 

It’s like, great! What have you done lately, though? Because being a human being isn’t about doing something in the past and then you’re good. The truth about being a human being is you need to continually challenge yourself. I don’t know what it is about—I didn’t make us, God made us or the universe or whoever, evolution, whatever you want to believe in, it doesn’t matter to me. 

But the truth is we’re wired a certain way. We need growth. We need continual growth. There is no resting. There is no getting to the top of the mountain and now we can do nothing and we’re going to be happy. The idea here, by the way, is called the hedonic treadmill. We have to do things just to stay at the same level of happiness. And when we do something like buy a car, buy a house, buy some new clothes, like I talked about in the last episode, buy these other things, it gives us a little boost of happiness. 

Actually, usually the wanting, right? Have you ever noticed that it’s not actually buying the thing, it’s like looking for the thing, then trying out the thing, but then when you actually get it and you have it and you wear it, you know, you don’t care by that point. It was really the seeking, the looking online, the searching in clothing stores, and then you got so excited, but then you get home, you wear it and maybe it makes you happy for an hour, maybe for a day, maybe for a week, maybe for a month, maybe even for all year. But after a while, you just don’t care. 

And to break out of that cycle, we need to… and one more thing, there’s nothing wrong with buying new clothes, buying cars. I like all that stuff. Nice houses, nice apartments, nice furnitures, I love it. We just have to understand it’s not going to fill our soul; it’s not going to fulfill us. It’s like junk food. 

There’s nothing wrong with eating a little bit of ice cream, nothing wrong with eating some Oreo cookies, or some flowerless chocolate cake or Joe Stone Crab’s Key Lime Pie, from Miami Beach. By the way, I’m going to Miami, I’m going to have some of that. The issue is when we’re imbalanced, and we try to fill our needs from that thing, from those things that they just don’t work. It just doesn’t work, but we keep getting stuck in the cycle. 

So, what is the answer? The answer is we have to challenge ourselves. We’ve got to seek discomfort, we’ve got to look at the big three areas of our life: our health, our relationships, our finances/career, and we got to ask yourself, which one of these is lagging in my life? For me it’s relationships. Financially, I’m doing well. Career wise, doing well. Health, doing pretty well. If I want to take my health up a notch, it’s not going to be from exercising more, it’s going to be from focusing on relationships. 

Even if I want to make more money, it’s got to be from focusing on relationships. Why? Because it all comes down to the energy that we have, the energy that we show up in our life with. If we don’t have the right energy, we’re not operating in a way that attracts success to us. We’re operating in a way that kind of repels people. Even me right now, I’m struggling with some stuff. Maybe you’ve listened to a part of this or listened to some things recently and said, “Got a little turned off.”

Well, listen, I’m working on my energy, but I’ve got to get these episodes out and I’m doing my best, just like you are. And everyone is struggling, by the way. Anyone who gives you the impression that they’re not struggling, it’s a lie, okay? I’ve sat down with Richard Branson, he’s a billionaire. He’s struggling, okay? He’s struggling. 

We’re all struggling with something. Some of us are struggling because we can’t pay the bills every month. Some of us are struggling because we can afford anything we want, but except the things that we have to earn. Good health, you have to earn. Good relationships, you have to earn. You can buy a relationship, but it ain’t going to be good. And deep down in our hearts, we know it ain’t right, it’s not fulfilling. You’ve got to earn relationships. 

And then at the end of it, we can’t live forever, right? We can live as long as we can but think about that. Think about the people who are super wealthy, maybe you’re super wealthy, it doesn’t matter, your time is limited. You’re going to get old, you’re going to die. And part of that sucks, but the other part is it makes life so precious, so important. 

You know, when I transition from that: “Oh, I can’t pay my bills, can’t pay my bills. How am I going to pay my bills? What am I going to do to pay my bills? Oh, I wish I could go on vacation. Can’t afford that, can’t afford this.” Now I can afford a lot of things. Not everything, but I can afford a lot of things that I couldn’t afford before. 

Now it’s existential. The problems never go away, folks. And you know exactly what I’m talking about if you’ve been through that same journey, the problems never go away, they change. And the only way to rise above that human struggle, that existential human struggle that we all I feel sometimes is to go after those areas in our life and grow. Seek the discomfort. Step out of your comfort zone! How can I challenge myself?

Sometimes challenging ourselves isn’t about challenging ourselves, it’s challenging to care more about other people. It’s so interesting. Got to love being alive right now. And for most of our existence as human beings, we probably never had the luxury to even think about this stuff. It was a short, brutal life. But now we do, things are so comfortable, we’ve lived so long, it brings up other problems, other existential issues. 

So, as I’m talking, what is coming up for you right now? What’s something that you’re thinking about? Are you pissed off with me? That’s okay. Forgive me, though. Because it’s not about me, it’s about something inside you. I can’t make you feel anyway. I can say something that triggers something that’s already inside you, but I’ve got no power over you. 

So, what is it that you’re triggered about? What is it that you’re struggling with? Go a bit deeper, don’t blame me. Because I know for triggered people, there’s something that you’re going to see online…It’s not about whether I’m triggering you, it’s that you’re a triggerable person. So why are you a triggerable person? 

By the way, I used to be a very triggerable person, if that’s a word, it should be a word these days. I’m very triggerable. And for me, it was a…well, I know the answer. It’s, your nervous system’s on edge. That’s why. If you’re a sensitive person, it means your nervous system is sensitive. And I don’t know what you think about me. Some people think I come across as very cocky. But I’m a very sensitive person, my feelings get hurt easily, I get triggered.

I don’t want to say get triggered easily or my feelings get hurt easily, that was me in the past, but I still have that sensitivity, even though, like if someone says something nasty to me, I don’t like it, right? I get hung up on the negative reviews on the podcast, just like everybody else does. But I work to get past it. 

So, what makes your nervous system so sensitive? And again, how do we desensitize our nervous system? By stepping up and doing those things that we know we need to do but that we’re afraid to do. This is the answer for so many things, the answer for so many of our problems. And one thing I want to tell you is that this idea that I’m sharing with you, it actually is an idea from cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure Therapy. Something I’ve talked about a lot, both cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. 

What is exposure therapy? Well, it’s just like this. “Well, I’m really afraid of public speaking.” “Okay. Well, can you talk to one person?” “Yeah, I can talk to one person.” “How about 10 people?” “Oh, yeah. That gets my nerves going.” “Okay, but do you feel like you could do it?” “Yeah, yeah, okay, I could do that.” “Okay, well start by talking to 10 people, then start giving a speech to 20, then 50, then 100, then more.”

In other words, the more you expose yourself to public speaking, the less it triggers your anxiety, your feelings of fear, your feelings of self-worth, or not being worth enough, right? Lack of self-worth. We get used to the experiences. That’s the good side of the hedonic treadmill, the good and bad, right?

I’ll tell you, when I first started doing this podcast, I was super nervous. I was nervous all the time interviewing people. Now I don’t get nervous at all interviewing people. I can’t remember the last time I was nervous interviewing someone. Why? Because the exposure just made me comfortable with it. I got better at it. It became normal for me. 

And here’s the double-edged sword: after it becomes normal, it can start to get boring. Now, I don’t get bored with interviews. Well, I should say this: I haven’t done a lot of interviews so I’m not bored with them, but I’ve gotten in the past. Let me tell you a secret, okay, just between us. I’ve been on boring ass interviews that have been released on this podcast. And during the interview, I got on my phone and I was looking at social media because the person was boring, right? So, I’m not proud of it. I’m just saying it’s happened. And I don’t know maybe you’ve listened to some interviews and you’re like, “Ted’s probably on his phone right now checking social media because this is a bit boring.” 

I don’t know if you have any of those. I can’t remember any in recent times. But in the past couple years, you better believe that’s happened. That’s why I’m kind of going after only guests that I know I’m going to have a really great conversation with. I’ve set a new standard for myself. But I’m just saying that I’m giving an example that you can go from being like, “Oh my god, I’m interviewing someone and people are going to listen to this, oh my god!” To, “Oh my gosh, I’m bored with this interview. I wonder what’s going on. I wonder who’s saying something interesting on Twitter.” And that’s the double-edged sword. 

And now, to be honest, one of the things that I want to do is I want to do in-person interviews or video interviews, I want to continue to challenge myself because why? If not, you get comfortable. And if you’re too comfortable, you get bored, and boredom is poof. That is, well, your sun isn’t rising, it’s starting to set. And that is never a good thing, folks. Continual growth, it’s just something we need as human beings. 

So, after listening to this, what are you taking away? What’s an area of your life that you need to work on that needs some attention, that needs some courage from you? Is it your health? Have you been afraid to go into the gym, because you think everybody’s looking at you, when actually all the mirrors are so that people can look at themselves? Are you afraid of, you know, it’s interesting, when I used to do the group coaching, which I don’t do anymore, those people, they were afraid to sign up for the group coaching. And a lot of the people that I talked to you, they’re “Oh my gosh, I’m so nervous.” I’m like, “Well, listen, that nervousness is your opportunity to step up and do something for yourself. It’s the opportunity to become a different type of person.”

And all the people who joined my group coaching, they transformed as people. And it was so interesting, some of them never worked with coaches before, and then they had a taste of it. It’s like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m getting much easier results.” And they feel much better about the result because of the coaching. “Who else can I work with? What other areas can I get coaching?” I love seeing that, it was so cool to see in the group. 

Now, most of my one-on-one clients, they already work with coaches in the past for different areas. But it was so cool to see those people who, you know, stepping into the group, it was a big deal for them. Fantastic! 

And what about relationships? Do you need counseling but you’ve been afraid to do it? Do you need counseling, but you’ve been afraid to bring it up to your partner? Is there another conversation you’ve been afraid to have with your partner? Is there a conversation that you have been afraid of having with your parents, with your friends, with your children? Go and do that thing, take steps towards doing that thing.

What about with your career? So many people, they don’t make more money because they’re simply afraid to ask for more money, they’re afraid to ask for a raise. I’ve raised my prices in the coaching every year. And I’ll tell you, it’s not comfortable to do it, right? It’s not comfortable to do it. But I do it and I go through the discomfort. And as a result, I become a different person and the money makes my life more comfortable and gives me more confidence and actually, more opportunity to help other people. 

I had someone recently ask me, “Hey, well, I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you this much money if you take me right now.” I’m like, “No, I don’t need the money.” And I was deep down inside, it’s like I support a lot of charities, which I don’t talk about much but I do, and now taking money away from me is taking away money from helping other people.

So, I definitely ain’t going to let that happen. You know, not that I don’t take it personally when someone asks for discount, but there are no discount. So, if you’re listening now and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, I can’t wait to hop on a call with Ted, but I’m going to ask him for a discount.” Ain’t happening, okay? Ain’t happening. You’re not taking away money for the people that I’m helping, or from me either.

Do you need to ask for a raise in your job? Do you need to quit your job and go find another one? Or maybe start looking for a job because headhunters want someone who’s employed, they don’t want someone who’s unemployed. It’s kind of funny how that works, right? They want people who already have a job and want to steal you away. Maybe let them steal your way. You’ve got a toxic boss, toxic work environment? Get the hell out of there! There’s no reason to do that. 

I saw a job yesterday... It’s a little bit of a tangent, but it’s so crazy. I saw a job offer yesterday. You know what memes are, right? Those funny pictures that people share on social media. Well, there’s a job of a meme maker that this company was looking to hire $80,000 to $120,000 a year, okay? There’s no reason to be in a soul-sucking job. There is so much opportunity out there; opportunities that never existed before, but you’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to take the steps towards finding it. 

So, I’ve got to wrap up, I’ve got a client in five minutes, but really, really glad we had this time together. I love these Real Talk Fridays. And I want to say this, too. I know sometimes I can come across as a bit harsh; people have said that before. I do it out of love, and I try to not get too tough on you. But I believe a little bit of toughness can shake you out of that, “Oh, yeah, it’s another podcast” thing, right, where you’re just going from one podcast to the other. And it’s just, “Hey, I’m going to only tell you what you want to hear; never anything that you need to hear.”

I want to give you a little bit of what you need to hear. Maybe I’m not always on the mark. And if that’s so, well, forgive me, because I’m not perfect either. I’m just like you. I’m someone who’s struggling with things to try to work my way through the world and have the best impact possible. And most of the time, I think I’m good with that, I do a good job. But sometimes, I mean, I’m not going to do a good job. 

So anyway, I want you to enjoy your week. And I want you to think about what we talked about today. And please, take action! If there’s one thing I can tell you, take action. Don’t go listen to the next podcast without making some notes about what you are going to do today. What’s something that you can do today to bring you towards conquering that thing that you’re afraid of in your life? That is what is going to make you into the person that you truly want to be or the best version of yourself. 

Not a different person, but the best version of yourself. You don’t need to change your core, the core of who you are, you just need to work with what you’ve got and make that the best. 

That’s what I want to leave you with. Love you lots, have an amazing weekend, and I’ll speak to you on Monday! 



Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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