“Stop doing what’s not working!” I saw one of the online “gurus” shared on FB. “If you try something and it doesn’t produce the results you are after, don’t do it”.
I instantly disagreed with that statement.
How do you master something? I immediately thought. When you try something for the first time, it never works.
How do you build resilience, when you stop after the first “no”?
How do you stretch and challenge yourself if everything comes easily to you?
What about the growth though difficulties? Wisdom from learned failure?
When I first started speaking in front of audiences, I was absolutely rubbish. There was no clarity in my message, no consistency or inner harmony that connects with people and challenges their thinking and offers a new perspective.
There was just blind passion, broken English and a rapid delivery ( because of nervousness).
Surely, one could say, “it wasn’t working.”
Despite the poor delivery and no tangible results ( like being hired as a speaker), I kept working on it. I kept experimenting with stories, transparency and vulnerability.
Initially, it was awkward and, at times, embarrassing. The response from the audience wasn’t always the way I expected.
But I kept going. I knew, that was deeply aligned with my values, my passion and purpose. It was one of the activities that made me feel alive, regardless I “bad” my speeches were.
I wanted to inspire people. That was my inner driver.
And sure enough, eventually because of my persistence I had the privilege to speak in front of huge audiences ( at times, up to 4000 people) in the USA and Europe.
If I had the mindset, “I should stop doing what’s not working”, I would have never developed my thinking, analytical and storytelling skills, which allowed me to speak internationally, author my book, and build a business, empowering women living their dreams.
Of course, there is a lot of room for growth, which I am actively doing each day, but I am quite happy with the results I have created so far doing what “wasn’t working” initially.
I believe, this statement “Stop doing what’s not working” promotes instant gratification mentality, which is a sure path to frustration and being stuck.
Nothing really works initially. Even when you are following the exact steps that have brought other people phenomenal results.
When it comes to an online marking, most of what you try doesn’t work. Thats why you have to tweak and change your approach, test and try.
Many people try Facebook advertising, and they loose money. So, they say, “Well, FB advertising doesn’t work for me” So, they quit. They try google advertising, which is more expensive and more complex..
Eventually, they get frustrated and quit altogether online advertising.
Just because FB advertising didn’t produce the results you hoped for, doesn’t mean, it doesn’t work. It made other people millions of dollars…
Another example of “what’s not working” is blogging. If it wasn’t working, there wouldn’t be blogs. Think about it.
Our problem is, we want the results here and now, or better yet, yesterday. We don’t want to grow and develop.
We don’t want to go within and change the messaging. Or change our thinking or beliefs that sponsor our behaviour. It is hard.
We’d rather change the systems ( which were never the problem in the first place), rather than look at ourselves in the mirror and directly asking, “Am I after just the rewards or the mastery and influence?”
If your intention is to gain true influence and master the art of whatever it is you are doing, you will always focus on yourself and how you show up.
And the rewards will eventually come. Life always meets you half-way.
The work you do needs to be meaningful enough for you, so you can do it not because you are getting the external rewards, but because doing that work is a reward in itself.
However, the statement “Stop doing what’s not working” does some truth to it.
Its truth is in the context, “stop sitting on a sofa and watching inspirational videos” It won’t take you further than fleeting moments of feeling good.
Stop jumping from one activity to another without following through, behaving like a rabbit in a headlight. Very often, obstacle is the way.
Stop looking for the latest, hottest “secret” that will solve all your problems. Meaningful things are usually not on the surface.
Stop looking for a perfect approach that will definitely work instead of taking multiple imperfect actions.
Just because it “doesn’t work” ( it always works, just not always according to our plans) it doesn’t mean we don’t grow.
The problem with most people is that they would rather take $10000 now, other than learn how to generate $10000 but in a while.
So, if you what you are doing brings meaning and makes you feel alive, you are on the right path, even if the results are not visible yet, keep doing it.
Remember, if you plant good seeds in the fertile soil and you water and nurture them, eventually they will grow. It just takes time.