Could you dare to let it be that simple?
How to get yourself to do something?
There’s a single question that hounds marketers, salespeople, coaches, gurus, teachers, and mentors alike and it's this: How on Earth do you get someone to do something?
It's harder than you'd think, especially if you're getting someone to do something to improve the quality of their own life.
Sometimes you can succeed in getting someone to do something if they’re employed and their job depends on doing it. Or if a friend needs them to do it. But if they need to do it for their own selves, that’s the hardest.
Why is this so?
When it comes time to do something that would seriously improve our lives – like going to the gym, for example – there will be something in us that fights back against the effort. This part does not want us to go. We can call it The Inner Child or the Inner Primate. This part of us doesn’t like to do anything new, because it takes us into the unknown. And we all carry a deep, profound fear of the unknown.
And yet The Unknown is where the growth is, that's why we must go there. It’s where success is. It’s where us becoming greater, healthier, more successful versions of ourselves takes place.
Not here – there.
So we need to go out there, in spite of that thing in us, the inner child, that will do whatever it takes to prevent us.
How would it prevent us? It says:
“I’m too tired”
“It doesn’t matter”
“It’s a waste of time” “I don’t know for sure if I should”
“I’ll look dumb if I fail”
“I’ll be terribly disappointed if I fail”
“I don’t have the time”
It says whatever it needs to say. It says whatever will succeed in convincing you to abandon your plan.
That's where thd principle "Just Show Up" becomes our saving grace:
Just show up.
When you show up, it means you got yourself to the gym, and now it's up to you if you want to work out or not. Showing up is incredibly significant for a few reasons:
1) You're demonstrating to yourself your intention - and ability - to change and grow.
You're getting off your ass. As a bare minimum, you did that for you. It's a symbol of great respect that you offer to yourself.
2) You're setting up the scaffolding of the habit that you can fill in later.
Imagine if you just showed up at the gym 5 days a week, even if you didn't lift a single weight. It would be so significant because you're training your body and mind to do it. In the next week it'll be that much easier to extend that minimum to, say, lift weights for just 10 minutes.
3) You are very likely to choose to do the thing - since you've now shown up.
We've set the bar so incredibly low - just show up - that once you do that, everything else is bonus. And if you're standing there in the gym with your gear on, there's a decent chance that you'll be happy to go right ahead and begin your workout. Even without the expectation there.
Don't be deceived by its simplicity. Put this powerful concept to work in your life!
Do not gloss over the profound simplicity of showing up. I'm obsessed with it. Just get in the doorway of whatever thing you struggle so much to get yourself to do. Keep showing up.
Ultimately the inner child - the part that resists the unknown - prefers to fall under your leadership as long as you don't push it too much. When this happens, what you're doing will stop feeling so scary and you'll start to like it.
PS - If you're truly ready to get into a place of great mastery of your habits, work and life, then you should definitely look into getting Productivity Coaching to see if it's up your alley. As of this time of writing you can get a private 1-1 session for just $5. Head over here to learn more.