How to Avoid Self-Sabotage: the 70% Solution
Although at times it seems like we’re wading through an endless deluge of marketing and branding mumbo jumbo, some things do tend to stick.
Three words: “Just Do It”
Instantly, you know what company that slogan refers to.
What other brand on earth has been able to create such a vivid, emotional branding message with three little words?
I think we like the message because it’s simple, yet powerful. The idea of just doing something seems easy enough. But it’s not.
I want you to close your eyes and think about your history of getting things done. Just take a second. No peeking.
If you’re like me, you’re probably cringing.
Because despite the fact that our culture is all about “getting the job done”, many of us have horrible records of actually accomplishing what we set out to do. Humans are complex, interesting creatures. We will actually self-sabotage by trading long term stability, happiness and accomplishment for short-term emotional gratification.
“Oh I’d never self sabotage. That’s silly. Only LOSERS do that!”
- Ever started working on a project that you were excited about and then when things got just slightly difficult, you magically found an even better project to jump on?
- Have ever spent more time figuring out why your idea won’t/can’t/shouldn’t work than why it will…then praised yourself for avoiding certain disaster?
- How about the embarrassment you felt when one of your friends asked you about that awesome idea that you were working on and you had to tell them it’s still in the pre-pre development stage because (insert excuse outside of your control here).
Yeah, those are all forms of self-sabotage. We do this to ourselves all the time.
It would be pretty amusing if it weren’t so alarming.
There are 3 primary reasons why even the smartest entrepreneur will self-sabotage:
1.) We want to save ourselves the pain and potential hardship that come with a truly challenging task.
2.) We want to save face in front of our peers and family in case we are not able to complete what we set out to do.
3.) We are afraid deep down in our souls that we are not good enough, smart enough, resourceful enough, etc to accomplish our goals.
These are deeply rooted emotional causes and they won’t go away overnight.
However, there is a way to get over them.
I call it the 70% solution
The 70% solution is pretty simple. Start your project, launch your project, flesh out your idea to 70% of what you think it should actually look like. Perfectionism has no place in your life. You might think that your idea sucks. Just do it anyway. Produce something. Productive people are not just efficient with their time; they have something to show for their efforts.
Become obsessed with seeing some sort of end result. It is no longer acceptable to put a project on the backburner.
I’ll let you in on a secret: you will never be happy with your work. Entrepreneurs are always looking for the next level and never appreciating how far they’ve come.
You will always run into roadblocks. There will be things that, even as you work on them, you know are not good.
As you progress, you can always improve your product. You can always become more skilled. You can always make the necessary changes. But you have to start somewhere.
In the beginning of your journey, always trade progress for perfection.
Take a page out of Nike’s brand book and suit up. It’s game time.