Another great post from Jeff Goins. Thank you!
After seven months, we finally decided to sleep train our son. Last night, we gritted our teeth and put him to bed, ready to let him “cry it out.”
In the back of both our minds, we were both thinking, “This’ll never work.” We thought we’d tried everything; he just wasn’t one of those kids.
When we put him down, he did what we expected: he cried and screamed and threw a couple temper tantrums. After letting him cry for five minutes, we were ready to quit. But we kept at it, comforting him every few minutes but sticking to our guns.
And then — suddenly, he stopped. Just like that. After half an hour of screaming and shouting, the noise went away.
And we all slept like babies.
“This’ll never work”
This is the phrase I think every time I’m about to attempt something great. Something risky. Something that requires courage. It is neither easy nor safe, and as a result, I’m nervous.
It’s what I thought when I wrote a song for a girl on the first date (the same girl I married five years ago).
It’s what came to mind when I started a new blog, launched an online course, and wrote a book that was different from anything I’d ever written before.
“This’ll never work.”
There’s a certain energy to the statement, isn’t there? It’s like daring yourself to do something bold.
Stop saying “no” for other people.
I never thought my blog would take off the way it did, never expected to publish a book so soon or start a business that allowed my wife to stay home and raise our son.
But you know what? All those things happened. Not because I expected them or planned for them or set a bunch of goals that I never looked at.
They happened, because I didn’t give up.
For years, I believed the “this’ll never work” paradigm. As a result, I never acted, never put myself out there and took a risk.
But then one day, I stopped. Stopped believing the lies. Stopped saying “no” for other people. And I started believing I could be a writer. Not because people were reading my words or because I was any good (I wasn’t), but because I had to believe in myself before anyone else would.
So I started calling myself a writer and acting like it. And guess what? Other people began believing it, too.
Failure is inevitable.
What’s your “this’ll never work” scenario? Is it a book you’ve never told anyone about? A dream you’ve not given yourself permission to pursue? That marathon you’ve thought of running but keep talking yourself out of?
Whatever it is, it’s time you got in the game. Time you stopped sitting on the sidelines, telling yourself, “Some day…” and finally put yourself out there.
Does this mean you won’t fail? Of course not. In fact, if you’re really taking risks, failure is an inevitability. But you still have to try. Because this isn’t just about you.
The world needs your gift, whatever it is, and your work deserves more than your excuses. (You’re welcome to tweet that, if you like.)
Until you act, we all miss out. So whether you believe in the dream or not, there’s a lot at stake here — a lot more than your self-doubt and anxiety. And it all begins with you stepping out and saying (you guessed it):
“This’ll never work.”
Of course, that’s the easy part. Because once you say it, then you have to act. And that’s the really scary part. (If you want some accountability, join the discussion here.)
See you at the finish line,