Many of you have big dreams. You might want to own your own business and be a successful entrepreneur; you may want to make partner at a law firm or go to medical school, or you may want to learn to love yourself or be a better parent. However, you’ve likely had these dreams for a long time – for a few months or even years.
Often, when you think about trying to achieve a goal, you’re automatically envisioning failure. You get paralyzed trying to figure out how to succeed.
This week, I want to teach you one of my favorite coaching tools for achieving tremendous results in any part of your life – taking massive action. Join me as I explain how this simple, yet powerful, tool can help you change your relationship with failure, eliminate doubt and fear, and allow you to get exactly what you want.
Welcome to Unfuck Your Brain, the only podcast that teaches you how to use psychology, feminism, and coaching, to rewire your brain and get what you want in life. And how here’s your host, Harvard law school grad, feminist rockstar, and master coach, Kara Loewentheil.
Alright, my flock of hens and maybe the occasional rooster or turkey, so today I’m going to teach you one of my favorite tools. And this podcast is going to be kind of short and sweet because I really don’t want to bog you down in too much information about this or make it seem more complicated than it is.
So the reason that I started thinking about this tool this week is that I came across this video on Facebook of a montage; these Canadian ice dancers, whose names I’ve already forgotten. It’s like Scott and Tessa or something. You’ve probably heard of them. They just won the gold medal in the Olympics, and they have been skating together for 20 years. And they had this amazing video montage of them, like age ten they started at, I think; she was eight and he was ten.
They’ve been skating together for 20 years and in the video, you just could see like how young they were when they started and, like, how much work and how many different outfits and routines and styles over the years – you just got this visceral sense of how long they’ve been working on this. Every day, probably, for 20 years they have been working on this.
And of course, that’s true of a lot of the Olympic athletes. It’s just when you see it visually it gives you more of a sense of it. And so it made me think about one of my favorite tools, and that’s the tool that I am going to teach you today. And it’s so powerful precisely because it is so simple.
So I’ve been doing some consultation calls for Unfuck Your Brain and one of the questions that I ask on the calls is, “What would be an amazing outcome for you in a year?” And people have great answers. They want to own their own business, they want to be a successful entrepreneur, they want to have a coaching practice, they want to make partner at a law firm, they want to go to medical school, they want to find love, they want to make six figures, they want to have great sex, they want to be better parents, they just want to learn to love themselves.
But they’ve had these dreams for a long time, mostly, for months, for years, sometimes for decades. And you have too. I bet you have dreams you have been thinking about for years but you’ve never achieved; and why not? Because you haven’t taken massive action – and that is the subject of the podcast today.
What is massive action? It’s incredibly simple. Massive action means taking action consistently until you get what you want. That is literally the whole thing; no matter what. Most of us are willing to take, like, minor action; occasionally major action. We’re willing to try one thing, or three things, or maybe five things.
But often, when we think about trying to achieve a goal, we’re already anticipating failure. One of my favorite coaching moments ever was when a client sent me her business plan with the question, “But how do I know when it’s time to give up on this?” She was completely serious. And I love this because it was such a pure reflection of how we often approach our hopes and dreams. We expect that they won’t work out and we just assume we’re going to fail.
Think about that question, “How do I know when it’s time to give up?” Even as we try a little bit, we’re assuming we will give up. We think the big question is when; when do I give up?
Massive action does not allow for giving up. It does not allow for failure. But it’s entirely different from saying to yourself, “Well failure is not an option.” Like of course fucking failure is an option; people fail all the time. Just telling yourself failure is not an option doesn’t take the pressure off because then you’re still thinking, “How will I succeed?”
A lot of the reason that people get paralyzed in trying to achieve their dreams, especially perfectionists listening, which is all of you, a lot of the reason that people get paralyzed is they’re trying to figure out how to succeed; what’s the right action I should take? What’s the right business plan? What’s the right dating platform I should be on? What’s the right way to do this?
We’re trying to figure out, “Okay, so if I’m not supposed to fail then what’s the right thing I should do to succeed?” And we get completely paralyzed and stuck there because we think that there is a right thing to do to succeed and that there’s a wrong thing to do that will lead to failure, and we don’t know how to choose.
What I love about massive action is that it removes all of the pressure of trying to figure out what is the best thing to do and if you’re doing the right or the wrong thing and what will you do if what you try doesn’t work. It takes away all of that pressure because you’re just going to keep taking action until you get the result you want.
So you don’t have to worry about whether you tried the right or the wrong thing because it doesn’t fucking matter. If you tried the right thing, you’re going to get the result right away. Most of the time, that won’t happen, you’ll have tried the wrong thing, quote end quote. That’s fine, just try the next thing.
If you don’t have the result you want, you’re not done taking action; that’s all. It doesn’t matter whether you try any given action first or 10th or 100th. All you have to do is keep taking action. You don’t have to start out knowing every single action you could take forever. You just need to know, what is the one next action you can take. And if that action doesn’t get you results then you come up with another one. You just keep taking action until you have the result you want.
That’s what it really means to make failure not an option. It’s not telling yourself, “Failure isn’t an option so you better figure out how to succeed.” That’s not how it works. What you do is just take failure off the table in the sense that you commit to just trying one thing after another until you get what you want. You get what you want or you die first; that’s it. It can go to infinity.
But for a perfectionist, like I used to be, massive action really takes the pressure off. It really helps because you don’t have to figure out the right thing. You’re just going to keep taking an action one after the other until you get what you want. It’s so immensely freeing. If you don’t get the result, you’re not done taking action; that’s all.
Honestly, if you commit to this principle, it will change your whole life; no matter what you want. Do you want a successful business? Massive action. Do you want to find a partner and start a family? Massive action. Do you want to be a Supreme Court Justice? Massive action.
Massive action removes all the doubt and fear. There’s no reason to be afraid or to be confused or to doubt if you can do it. You’re just going to keep taking action until you have what you want. Massive action is how I built a multiple six-figure business my first full year as a coach.
It’s easy to look from the outside and assume that everything just went really easily for me. That’s not what happened. It did not. I tried a bunch of things that did not work, but I didn’t stop. I just kept taking action.
When you commit to massive action, there is no room for self-pity. There is no room for sulking. There is no room for blaming the universe or feeling sorry for yourself or bargaining with yourself about how much effort you should have to put forward. The should doesn’t matter. Fair doesn’t matter. What other people do or don’t do doesn’t matter.
Do you want the result? Then you will have to keep taking action until you get it. That is the only way anyone has ever gotten anything, by the way; even if you didn’t know you were taking massive action at the time. The only way you’ve gotten anything in your life is by taking action until you get the result.
Most of us do that just occasionally subconsciously without realizing it and then we don’t commit to using that practice for a whole host of things that we then never get. Do you have what you want? No? Then take more action.
If you want a family, don’t go on five first dates and then throw up your hands. Don’t go on 50 first dates and throw up your hands. Go on 500 first dates if you have to; if you really want it. You might not want it, and that’s fine too. For lord’s sake, do not take massive action on something you don’t want. But if you want it, keep taking action until you get what you want.
If you want to build a business, don’t make two or three offers and then give up. Don’t try one Facebook Ad campaign that doesn’t work and then give up. Don’t send five emails to your list and then give up. Brainstorm more ways to reach out, do them, then brainstorm more again and do them again. You keep taking action until you have the result you want and you do not stop until you do; no matter what.
The beauty of massive action is that it shortcuts all the negotiation and all the mental drama you want to have with yourself about whether you’ve done enough or if it should be this hard or when you should give up. There’s no point to any of that. You’re just going to keep taking action until you get what you want.
All you have to figure out is, “What is the next action you’re going to take?” It’s like putting blinders on, but in this case, the blinders are what allow you to reach your goal.
Now listen, massive action is a commitment, so you should not be trying to apply it to every area of your life all at once. You can’t do everything. Massive action is a great way of filtering out what really matters to you. What do you want enough to commit to; to commit to keep taking action until you get it, no matter what? What goes in that small basket for you?
I will tell you, my chickens, when you commit to massive action and you keep taking action despite doubt, despite fear, despite your brain throwing a hissy-fit and you finally create what you want, you will feel fucking invincible because now you know the secret to the universe. You know how to get anything you want in life. You just have to commit to massive action and not stop until you get it.
It sounds so simple, and yet 99% of people will never do it. So be part of that 1% who does. I know you can do it because I did it. And the only difference between you and me is that I took massive action in myself coaching, in my business and in my life.
So that’s it for this week, my chickens – massive fucking action. Start taking action and don’t stop until you have what you want. I’ll talk to you guys next week.
Thanks for tuning in. If you want to turbo-charge the Unfuck Your Brain Process, you can download a free five-minute self-talk makeover at www.redesignyourmind.com/selftalksoundtrack.