Finding Success - Personal Trainer

We’ve all been told we won’t get anywhere without ‘hard work.’ That you have to be willing to knuckle down and put your nose to the grindstone, work longer hours and out-hustle your competitors. The essence of the American rags-to-riches story is this: You can never quit.

Yet there are times when it makes complete sense to quit, like when a technological innovation provides a massive short cut;

or when what you’re doing is just not yielding the results you want. Then you’d be crazy to continue, right? Hard work is stupid if you’re not getting anywhere. Unless you’re just about to hit the jackpot. But how do you know?

The Dip by Seth Godin is a short little book about knowing when to quit and when to keep going. The main analogy he uses will be familiar to personal trainers: You’ve been going to the gym and your muscles are sore and you don’t yet feel stronger or more toned… This, unfortunately is when a lot of people decide that it’s just not working for them. Tragically, they are cheating themselves in the moment before they are about to realize the benefit of all the work they’ve put in.

What do you tell your clients in that pivotal moment when the rewards have not yet manifested, and they have to decide whether their commitment is worth it?

“Trust me, you’re getting stronger.” 

What about you? What do you tell yourself when you’re trying something new, but you haven’t yet turned the corner and achieved the success you were after?

Your self-talk will determine your next actions and your ultimate success or failure. So you must be careful about what you tell yourself. And here’s what’s changed: The parameters we humans all used to have, the limits to our networks and our access to knowledge – those have been blown away.

As long as you apply some effort, that is. ‘Not quitting’ doesn’t mean just keep going and doing what you’ve been doing. The opposite of not quitting is to become more proactive in your quest to achieve whatever you are after. It means looking at your objective from all angles – turning it around and upside down to see what you might have missed.

Here’s what this often looks like: Typing the right kinds of questions into the Google search box, and then following up on what you learn. Calling the right contact. Raising your hand for something new, and saying “Yes, I’d like to try that.”

Not quitting might mean attacking the challenge with renewed vigor; or hacking your way to a solution, doing things unconventionally, out-of-the-box, ugly even. It means doing whatever it takes, because it’s important to you. 

That’s really the key to persistence – the belief that you assign to the obstacle in front of you. Is it a meaningless chore that has been foisted upon you, the hapless victim? Or are you the master of your fate and this is just part of the journey?

Frame your journey as an adventure, think of the successes you have had already, and picture yourself as if you’ve already arrived at your ultimate destination – it’s done, I already did it – and you will be unstoppable.

As long as you never quit.


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