I can see you’re putting in a lot of effort, but it’s not showing up in the result.
This is a paraphrase of the feedback from one of my flying trapeze coaches during practice.
A common theory of life is that how you do anything is how you do everything.
In this case it feels true.
My coach’s comment is an accurate depiction of my life.
Efforting. Working hard. Harder than anyone else around me.
This has always been the case. In school. At work. In my business. In the gym. At trapeze. In virtually any hobby or practice I take up.
I arrive earlier. I stay later. I do more things. I put in more effort.
And my results don’t show it.
I see this pattern playing out in my business and in the gym as well.
The harder I work, and the more effort I put in, the more I try to “muscle it,” the worse my results. I’m in a backward slide.
The worse my results, the more frustrated and angry I become.
Often, there’s physical pain involved. This only intensifies my frustration.
And then, in an attempt to overcome the issue, I work harder.
I double down on my effort because, at some point, the effort will pay off, right?
That’s the belief that fuels the drive.
How many times will I rinse and repeat this cycle before I capitulate to Einstein’s definition of insanity:
Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
Maybe more effort isn’t the solution.
Maybe working harder isn’t the path.
I’m tired of my body being in pain. I’m tired of my heart breaking in frustration.
I’m tired of believing that working harder is the path to better results, when time and again I don’t see those results.
I’m tired of looking around and seeing everyone else have an easier time.
If you’re looking for the magic bullet here, you’ll be disappointed. I don’t have one.
What I do know is that something needs to change. I need to implement a different approach.
Sometimes the change required is a change in support, like getting a different coach. Someone new might see something that others have missed. Other times it may be a new course to learn a new skill.
But when you know you’re working with the best and you know you have the skills, then there’s only one thing left to change: yourself.
Your mindset. Your beliefs. Your approach.
How many more times will I bump up against the same frustrations before I concede that working harder isn’t working?
Very little in life responds to brute force.
When results aren’t matching efforts, I must make a change.
One inquiry that’s been floating around for me lately is
Who would I be if I didn’t know who I am?
Some other ways to think about this:
Who would I be without the limits and constraints of my current identity?
What’s holding me back from being that person?
Am I frustrated enough by my results to make a significant change?