Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

August 16, 2012

Why Silly Motivational Thinking is Crippling Your Ability to Achieve Success.

You aren’t going to find the finish line without a few bumps and bruises.  That much is true. But here is where we mess things up for ourselves.

We like to aggrandize the idea of “doing” something.  You’ll often hear people say, “Stop talking about it and just do it”.  You’ll hear experts and gurus and trainers tell you “Don’t try, just do…”

And while that makes a great wall mural, it’s not a healthy way to think about the obstacles that will be in your way.

You can’t do anything without trying.

You can’t try anything without stumbling.

Here are two quick observations:

  1. To try is to start doing.  Doing is just a bunch of trying that turns into done.
  2. It’s only natural to stumble once you start trying.  Trying means you do some of what works and lot of experimenting to figure that out.

This isn’t a philosophical debate.  This is all too real.  If you think that you can just go run out and do something amazing without facing any obstacles or putting in too much effort, you are sadly mistaken. You’ll fall flat on your face the first time you face a little negativity.

It’s a deep psychological blow.

One that is hard to recover from.  It’s crippling to entertain the idea that you might not have the guts to achieve the level of success that you want for yourself.

The truth is that you do.  You’ve just been psyching yourself out.

You’ve been pretending like it’s going to be easy.  Expecting that you can get it right the first time.

Which even you know isn’t likely.

You need to change how you think about things.

  • Instead of planning on starting something, think about what you need to finish.  You’ll get more done that way.
  • Instead of planning that you’ll get it right the first time, think about the worst that could happen.  You’ll be more creative that way.
  • Instead of planning on being successful right away, think about what you need to get back up on your feed. You’ll move around more obstacles that way.

You do need to “do” or you won’t get anywhere.  But “doing” is the goal line, not the effort and pain along the way.

It’s going to get tough.  If your goal is big enough, it’s going to get brutal.

Be prepared.  Think tough. Stop believing the silly “just do it” tag-lines.

Get good at getting back on your feet.

Get good at taking punishment.

You’ll “do it” — whatever that means to you. Because you’ll be planning for the worst.

Which you can handle if you’re honest with yourself.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.