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Trick Yourself Into Getting Better: the “Yes…oh Sh*t” Strategy


Improving yourself is tough.  If you think about, the only way to get better is to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  To be better than you were yesterday, even if its just in a small way. Do you want to get better shooting the basketball?  Practice shooting more shots, shooting faster, shooting with a hand in your face.  When you first start practicing with a hand in your face, it’s going to be super uncomfortable.  And you’re going to miss a lot more than when you practiced without the hand in your face.

But then, you’ll slowly get better, and after a while you won’t even notice the hand is there.  You’ll be so focused on the basket and your mechanics.

I want to share a strategy that has worked wonders for me in terms of forcing myself out of my comfort zone so that I can improve.  It’s called the “Yes…oh Sh*t Strategy”.  Here’s how it works.

Me: deathly afraid of speaking in front of groups, but knows it’s good for growing my business and breaking out of my shell.

Event Coordinator: Would you be willing to give a presentation on marketing to my audience?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

Event Coordinator: Great!  I’ll send over the details.

Me: Sounds good!

Me (behind the scenes): Oh Sh*t!

See what I did?  I just scraped up the courage to say “yes” first.  Once you’ve committed, you’re automatically forced to follow through.  Now, I’ll prepare like a mad-man to make sure I’m not embarrassed up on stage.  I’ll practice, practice, practice.  I’ll be a nervous wreck for a month before the event.  But, then I’ll give the presentation.

And, I’ll get better.  It may not be a lot better, but I’ll get better.  I’ll be a little bit more comfortable up on stage in front of people. I’ll stumble over my words or not make eye contact enough but I will learn from those things and do better next time.

I used this strategy early on in my career, and I’ve now given dozens of presentations in front of audiences.  I still get nervous, but I’m confident in my knowledge and my ability to deliver the presentation.  I’m not as shy, I’m more confident, and I’ve improved my skills.

I encourage you to take this and apply it to your situation.  What are you scared of?  What do you want to do that you think you can’t?  Find a situation that allows you to say “yes” and then figure out the details later.  Remember, once you commit, you just have to follow through on that commitment.

What are you trying to improve? Try this strategy and let me know how it goes!

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