Episode 21

Episode 21: Momentum Versus Urgency


What you’ll learn in this episode:

Have you ever felt pushed by something outside of you to do something? That’s urgency.

Have you ever felt like you get to do something rather than you have to do it? That’s momentum.

Today, I’m going to be sharing with you the difference between momentum and urgency and giving you ways to harness both in order to maximize your results, channel your energy into the right places, and make more money.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Urgency gets things done but comes from a place of scarcity. It’s not sustainable in the long run.
  • Momentum gets things done but the results are compounding and comes from a place of abundance.
  • It’s about balance. Sometimes you need both.
  • Tap into both with awareness and intention.

Mentioned in this episode:

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[01:00] Jessica: Well, hello, everyone, and welcome back to the practical mindset podcast. I’m Jess Miller and I’m so glad to have you here this week to talk to you about a very fun and important topic. Today’s episode is going to be short but powerful. I want to talk to you about the concept of momentum versus energy.

[01:20] As we move into this time of the year, right now as we’re recording the podcast, we’re in December of 2021. I cannot believe it. There’s been a lot of discussion in my 10K accelerator groups and with my one-on-one clients about finishing the year strong and moving forward with speed as we end this year and move into the new one. Along with this discussion, we’ve been exploring the experiences of taking action and creating results from momentum versus urgency, and knowing the difference between the two, how to tell which energy you’re in, and deciding which one, and when, you want to dial up. At the end of the day, the results you create from utilizing each of these energies, essentially these tools in your toolbox, for lack of a better thing to call it, will be very different. So, today I want to walk you through my thoughts around these two words, how they are different, even though sometimes we use them interchangeably, and how being able to tap into them and utilize them in your business could be the difference between moving forward in a way that feels like you’re moving with ease versus moving in a way that you feel pushed and resistance.

[02:21] I want to offer that if you want to take sustainable action and move yourself forward in a way that fills you up and builds on itself and builds results in your business in a way that feels amazing, you want to be tapping into and building momentum rather than living in a constant state of urgency. So, let’s dive in.

[02:41] For the sake of this podcast I wanted to find both urgency and momentum so we can distinguish one from the other, so before I got on here, I Googled both words, and this is what I came up with. The definition of urgency is: “the importance of requiring swift action. It’s an earnest and persistent quality; insistence.” The definition for momentum is: “the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.”

[03:10] As I thought this through and filtered it through my own experience, my experience of coaching a lot of different clients, I was first struck by how these two words are very, very different. Urgency, something that has an earnest or persistent quality and insistence, feels like, and sounds like, pushing to me. It feels like it’s something that implies that the pull or the push is coming from outside of you and is this force or urge to get you to do something. It’s also, to me, it has this feeling of a short timeline and something that is finite – you do it now, there’s an urgency around it, and then it’s gone. There’s a lot of force there, just like when you experience an urge, for instance, and then it’s gone. It’s really strong and then it fizzles out. It also seems to me that it’s wrapped up in a sense of lack, like you need to take advantage of something immediately or you will miss out on something.

[04:10] As I reflected on this, I noticed that, in business, I think this shows up often when we’re in a place or a headspace of scarcity or lack. We see this in sales messaging, “buy this now or it’s going to disappear” or “there are only five spots” or “there’s this short timeline to get this thing”, whatever it is, largely because of the psychology around the fear of missing out and scarcity that we use in a lot of sales language. I also see this show up with my clients when they’re in a headspace that something is not working and they need to fix it right now before something catastrophic happens, or the compare and despair of looking at their business compared to someone else’s and they have to come up with the new offer or the new campaign, or something immediately, right now, to fix it. All of these things are stemming from this place of scarcity or lack.

[05:04] Momentum, on the other hand, feels like something that is compounding and growing over time. An impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events, to me, feels like something that is building on itself, something that is created when we look into the future and we’re moving toward something and not away from it. It feels like a byproduct of abundant thought versus scarcity, and something that is much longer lasting. It also produces exponential results because, as it builds on itself, the end product is so much bigger than what you started with.

[05:42] In business, momentum, in my experience, is created out of the mindset and action that comes from possibility. When I witnessed my clients move into this place of possibility and they’re asking questions around “what if” versus “I have to”, this idea that they get to do something versus they need to do it, the energy they create is significantly different than when they’re in the feeling of urgency, and so are their results. I’ve also noticed that they seem to have a staying power and creativity in a much more powerful way than when they are stuck in the headspace of urgency and when they need to pull all of that energy into things in a one-and-done force to create or do something hard right now, to do it and then it dissipates.

[06:32] When I look at these and break them down, they’re really very different and they create very different results. They also feel completely different when you are experiencing them. Have you ever had this experience of when you have created momentum and you’re moving through it, versus when there’s this sense of urgency? Urgency can often feel strained and uncomfortable, especially when you’re trying to sustain it for a long period of time, versus momentum that feels somewhat effortless and fluid and complementary to what’s going on. In my experience, it’s also what we experience when we are in flow.

[07:14] I want to pause by saying that neither one of these is good or bad. They’re just different and they produce different results. Sometimes you need urgency, like when there is something catastrophic going on or time is really of the essence and you need to channel in all that force and all that energy into this thing in a very powerful way, and it needs to happen now. There’s a reason you’re channeling all that energy in a short powerful burst, and right now and not later. Sometimes you need to build momentum and sustain it over time to get the results you need and to make the impact you want. The key is knowing when and what you need in the moment and knowing which to tap into, and then finding the balance of both of them at different times in your business so you can use them accordingly, which brings me to a point of “how do you know which one you’re in and operating from, and whether it’s the right one, and, if it’s not, how do you dial one or the other up?”

[08:15] I think it’s twofold. First, you need to ask yourself, “what am I thinking in this moment as I’m trying to move into this action?” Are you trying to avoid something? Are you coming from a scarcity or lack mindset, like you don’t have something and you need to do something right now to make it happen? What is the mindset that’s propelling you? Very often, you can zero right into which energy you’re going to move into or which one you’re operating from, depending on what you’re thinking, and being aware of your thoughts, which is a common theme that runs through this entire podcast, is really important. So, knowing what you’re thinking and being able to zero in on that will allow you to know which energy you’re or which one you’re moving into.

[08:56] Second, notice how you’re feeling. Does it feel good? Are you in flow or are you stressing? Does it feel heavy and exhausting or light and airy? Chances are, if it feels good and energizing, you’re experiencing momentum. If it feels really powerful, that short, targeted energy, but somewhat heavy, you’re likely in a state of urgency, and, if you’re feeling exhausted, it’s probably because you’re trying to stay in urgency for too long of a time or get into that too often.

[09:27] I had a client that I worked with once that was so in a constant state of urgency, it would almost hit you in the face when you met her. There was no balance, just urgency. She wanted nothing more than to fix and tweak things in her business. Even the things that didn’t need to be fixed, she fixed. She came to me exhausted and wondering why her business wasn’t fun, and why she wasn’t getting the results that she wanted. She was doing the things and she was plenty busy but, at the end of the day, she didn’t have the clients and the revenue, or the schedule she was hoping for. Once we dug into the details and untangled the action from the mindset, we found that, under the surface, her thoughts were riddled with uncertainty and insecurity of not being good enough or not having what it took to be successful, which forced her into a constant state of comparing herself to others and trying to chase the next shiny object that she thought she needed to fix her business. Thus, she kept putting new things in place, throwing a ton of energy and resources at them in fits and spurts, but never giving them the time or the space to gain traction and momentum before she infused another dose of urgency and lots of energy into her business, and changed everything once again. Once we worked together, and I helped her clean up those thoughts and reworked them so she was coming from a more grounded and abundant, and future facing perspective, she was able to create an action plan that married her passion and her drive with the tactics in her business that would create sustained results and build the momentum she needed, her business took off, and not only is she having more fun and making a lot more money, but she also has more energy and peace of mind than ever before.

[11:12] It is not uncommon to be in a state of urgency more than we want to be, and I see it a lot with my clients in my accelerator program, which is why we spend so much time working through it and learning how to laser in on the thoughts and what we want to be producing so we can create more momentum in a sustainable and fluid way, and know when to sprinkle in urgency when needed to hit our goals or capitalize on opportunities. The important piece is to find the balance that keeps your business and your energy stable. The old way of thinking, and what we’ve been told, is to do, do, do, and to push or grind, and although that does get us results, it’s not sustainable over the long haul, which brings me to my last point of “how do you tap into and use momentum and urgency to your advantage?”

[12:04] The answer is: with awareness and intention. I believe the key to long-term growth and renewable energy in your business is to dial up the momentum you create and learn how to work with it, and to work through periods of urgency but to not stay in them for too long. Knowing how to do this is to first become aware of what it looks like for you to experience momentum and urgency, just like we talked about earlier – what are the thoughts and the feelings that you have that accompanied the experience of momentum and urgency? And then to intentionally move into it. The ability to pause and to be aware of how you’re showing up, what you’re thinking, how it feels and if it’s producing the results you actually want, are you generating the income you want to be generating, for instance? Are you producing the results that you actually want to be producing? Does your calendar look and feel the way you want to? Are you spending time on things that fill you up or that you want to be spending time on? These are all questions, and they are the key to knowing if you’re in momentum or urgency, and depending on your answers, you can dial what you’re doing or thinking up or down to create more flow, more results, more momentum, and more freedom in your day-to-day work.

[13:21] If you’re ready to change the way you think about, and show up, in your business, and are ready to take more time off this holiday season, while still making money, come join us in my private Facebook group for a special holiday bonus. Inside the group, we will be sharing what is one of my clients’ favorite topics: how to create, implement, and communicate a profitable holiday roadmap so you can take time off with ease and create a win-win situation for both you and your clients that they will be thanking you for. Click the link in the show notes to join us, or search Jessica Miller Breakthrough Coaching in the Facebook search.

Until next week, everyone. See you soon.