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Have we been thinking about real toughness the wrong way? How can we reliably and practically build our resilience beyond “just pushing through” to overcome challenges? These are the questions Steve Hall explores in his latest book, Do Hard Things, and it’s what we talk about in this interview. 

This book is Steve’s attempt to help athletes, parents, business leaders, and everyone in between navigate life’s difficult moments. Gritting your teeth and pushing through the pain aren’t always the best approaches, and Steve has explored the science and psychology behind real resilience and shares it in this book. He provides a roadmap for dealing with life’s challenges and achieving high performance that makes us happier, more successful, and better people.

In case you’re not familiar with Steve, he’s a performance scientist and expert who coaches both Olympic athletes and executives. He’s also the author of many books, including Peak Performance (with Brad Stulberg), The Passion Paradox, and The Science of Running. All this is why he’s been on my podcast before, and why I was excited to have him back on.

In our discussion, we chat about . . .

  • Being creative, writing books, and boredom
  • Misattribution of physiological signals
  • How to change negative self talk and “create space”
  • Why you should do hard things to cultivate inner strength
  • Balancing doing hard things with recovery
  • And more . . .

So if you’re interested in flipping the script on what it means to be resilient, you don’t want to miss this interview!


0:00 – The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation:

4:35 – Do you like to work on one project at a time or several projects?

6:56 – What are your thoughts on doing creative work when you’re bored?

11:10 – What are some tips for getting into the creative mindset? 

16:47 – Why did you want to write a book on this topic?

20:30 – What are some of the tools to handle life’s challenges?

31:56 – Can you give us examples of how you can change negative self talk to positive?

40:42 – What are your thoughts on doing hard things and experiencing discomfort?

45:14 – What are your thoughts on balancing relaxation and doing hard things?

59:20 – Where can we find you and your work?  

Mentioned on the show: 

The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation is a bestselling fitness book that helps you overcome the mental blocks that are keeping you unmotivated, unhappy, and unhealthy:

Do Hard Things:

Steve’s Website:

Steve’s Twitter:

Steve’s Instagram:

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!