Burning Q&A With Author Elizabeth Benton, Part I of III

Have you ever heard of Elizabeth Benton? If not, it’s time you did. EB is the author of Chasing Cupcakes, a mindset coach, founder of The Dagny Foundation, and host of the Primal Potential podcast.  Phew! I need a nap just writing all of that. I found EB several years ago when I was searching for a great health and wellness podcast, and I’ve been a fan ever since. As I was reflecting on 2020, I thought about how we could probably all benefit from a mindset upgrade, which immediately made me think of EB’s work. So what the heck- I took a chance and emailed her to ask for an interview…

Holy smokes, you guys, she said YES! It was unbelievably difficult to narrow down what to ask! I’m so grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to spend with our dance family. If you enjoy the wisdom she dispenses in this three-part series, make sure you wish yourself a Happy New Year by immediately picking up a copy of her book or listening to the Primal Potential podcast- she is so good! 

What was your goal when you started Primal Potential and how has that evolved to today? When Primal Potential first started in 2014, I wanted to help people with their chronic weight challenges. As I worked with more and more clients, it became increasingly obvious that weight issues weren’t food issues, they were thinking issues. Creating change, whether it’s related to health, weight, money, relationships, career or anything else, comes down to the way you think. If you continue to think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got. So, Primal Potential gradually became more and more (and then exclusively) about upgrading the way you think.

This is likely your first encounter with the families of Elevate Dance Center, and they might not be familiar with you or the important work you do. What is the core message or the one thing you want to share so they get to experience the essence of Primal Potential? If I had to pick one thing and generalize, I’d say none of us needs to remain behind the struggle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a struggle you’ve had for decades or it’s a struggle you believe you’ll always have. We can make progress and improvements. Our pasts are only patterns, they aren’t prisons. The key to creating change isn’t motivation, discipline, willpower or the perfect plan. The key to creating any and all change is the practice of thinking differently, and that’s the practice I take my listeners through day to day.

In one way or another we have all experienced loss and grief in 2020. You have experienced a unique kind of grief as you suffered the passing of your baby daughter, Dagny. It would be very easy for you to give up for a good long while, and everyone would understand. Instead, you keep working at your life and inspiring others to live better. What are some of the strategies you employ to continue developing the best version of yourself as you simultaneously experience extreme suffering and deep grief?  I remind myself that with every choice I make, I’m either contributing to my healing or I’m not. I constantly say to myself that the grief can ride with me, but it cannot drive. I am still Dagny’s mom, even though she isn’t here with us, and I want to be an amazing mom. I can be devastated, depressed and in despair and still make the choice to take care of myself, to take care of my clients and to take a step forward, even if that step is as small as brushing my teeth. This is something I’ll explore very deeply in my next book.

Can you share a favorite strategy or two, a “starter kit” if you will, for folks who are feeling down on themselves or stuck and are perhaps new to this whole self-reflection thing? It’s as simple as focusing on your next great choice. Sure, you can choose to focus on the problem, but that’s not where the solution is. I encourage people to ask themselves, “What’s the right thing, right now?” Focus on the moment you’re in and the next great choice you can make. We’re always a choice or two away from feeling better.