In September 2009, Simon Sinek went viral with his TED Talk – How Great Leaders Inspire Action.
There is no doubt that he was onto something big, something grand and that finding your ‘why’ is incredibly important. Foundational even.
But sometimes your “WHY” is simply not enough.
When the ‘why’ stops working
Right now I’m in training for one of the toughest physical challenge of my life. A ‘Survival of the Fittest’ endurance event this December involving 50+ obstacles over a 10 kilometre (6.2 mile) course.
Even harder than the grueling training I underwent to join the Police Force. And I even have an amazing personal trainer, Mike Goncalves from the Wellness Bucket, by my side the entire way.
And before we started officially working together, Mike took the time to find out my WHY for this challenge. He told me I was going to need it for the times where it can get tough. We got clear together. So I am very clear on my ‘why’ and it is helpful to keep my motivation high in the times where it is tough but not too tough.
But it almost all came unstuck this week when, as part of my preparation, I was asked to do training that I found excruciatingly tough. I wanted to throw in the towel and say “F*CK IT, I am not doing it!!”
I remembered Mike telling me about remembering my Why in the tough times.
So I did that.
But still, I was struggling… I just didn’t want to do it! It wasn’t that I couldn’t… it was simply that I didn’t want to.
All the excuses under the sun kept flooding into my head.
“It’s the why… I have to connect with it. Surely it is the key,” I kept telling myself.
Again – NOTHING!
Just as I was about to turn for home, defeated, I did something else.
I told myself something way more powerful.
JUST F*CKING DO IT! No excuses, no complaining, no talking yourself out of it.
And I did.
I completed the training and I felt great.
How to ‘Just f*cking do it!’
And it is the same in the game of entrepreneurship.
When you are out in the world playing a big game, sometimes life gets tough. So tough that you don’t think you have what it takes to push through the next barrier that is standing in your way.
Maybe you are even willing to allow your WHY to become a way of procrastinating to prevent you from taking that next scary or tough step.
You could be asking yourself, “Well maybe it is just that my why isn’t strong enough, so I mustn’t really have my real ‘why’, and you go back to the drawing board to search out the ‘real’ one.
It is all just a big hullabaloo to keep you small and spinning your wheels.
But you might still be asking, how do I push through those tough times when the pull to giving up is so strong?
Right, are you ready? These steps are for when you are at the absolute crossroads of pushing through vs giving up. We are assuming you’ve already accepted that:
- All growth happens in these moments of pushing through; and
- You have told everyone about your goal or mission for accountability.
Step #1 – Stop giving a sh*t about your thoughts and feelings
I’ll never forget the day we were pushing to finish the Find Your Fire course. I was completely over it and had lost the passion for the ‘why’. I told Leah, “I am just not feeling it anymore,” and all she said was, “I don’t care about your thoughts and feelings right now. Just get the f*cking job done.”
Thoughts and feelings are going NOWHERE and they are getting you NOWHERE in this moment. They are NOT useful. Look at them like a parasite trying to attach themselves to you, and then tell them to f*ck off however you like. We suggest the firmer the better. Imagine yourself flicking them off you and stomping on you…whatever gruesome version floats your boat!
Step #2 – Quit over-analyzing
Similar to above, you don’t need coaching, you don’t need to look at what belief systems are holding you back, you don’t need to go ‘inside’, you just need to f*cking do it. This is not time to meditate on it. You are literally either going to DO IT or NOT DO IT. Choose.
Step #3 – Just f*cking do it
Ruthlessness is Rewarded
The only difference between those who make it and those who don’t is the amount of blood, sweat and tears you are willing to give up.
There are many days that go by that neither Leah nor I feel inspired, passionate or ready to sing from the rooftops.
Of course there are many of those days too.
But the sole difference is – we push on through those days and just do it!
Of course there are moments where you need rest and refuel and we can talk about that in a later post. But if you are looking to become successful in anything you do, there are moments where you are going to have to grit your teeth, suck it up and just do it anyway.
As Muhammad Ali famously said… “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”