Embrace The Suck!
At one time or another we all end up feeling stuck in life - be this because of a plateau in the gym, because we can't get that promotion due to office politics at work, perhaps your online business is starting to taper off in terms of growth... it's inevitable, regardless of who you are and what you've accomplished in the past the future is never smooth sailing.
The winds of life can change and we can end up far from where we want to be, if you can't bring yourself to agree with this you're kidding yourself.
And here's the thing...
If you want to make it above, through or beyond those situations you have to learn to embrace the suck.
What Does Embrace The Suck Mean?
Embrace the suck is an old term, derived from the military used when it comes to doing shit you just don't want to do.
Drill after drill after drill while hungry and deprived of sleep, there's nothing enjoyable about that.
If you want to see the day, the course or the war through however all you can do is embrace the suck.
Grit your teeth and bare it, the more time you spend putting it off and complaining the less effective you are.
From the battlefield to the boardroom, if you want see your way through adversity and build character you've got to accept it, embrace it and then forge your path forward.
If you don't embrace the suck you either remain at that same plateau, you quit or you die.
5 Tips To Embrace The Suck & Get It Done
The more you deny or try to rationalise away your feelings of discontent, the stronger these feelings will actually become. So even though “the suck” sucks, the prolonging of it makes it even suckier. For longer. If you don’t square up and face your career discontent, you'll just prolong the agony.
Embracing the suck is easier said than done, when you're in that dead-end situation where the only way out is to do the thing you hate how do you go through with it? What techniques do you use to ignite the fire in your belly to continue on? Here are the 5 tips that I've used in the gym and in my online businesses to work through those bad and plain uncomfortable situations.
Ask Yourself 'Can I Just?'
The trick to embracing the suck is to actually start doing the thing you don't want to do.
As ridiculously basic as this sounds, the majority of the time we find ourselves in this stagnate situation we're stressing and debating over the thing we need to do that we know is going to suck without even starting it!
We blow out an unpleasant task into something we convince ourselves is unmanageable, which is rarely the case.
You don't need to tell yourself you're going to conquer the whole thing in one sitting or one day...
Start small, you'll build momentum with lots of little 'wins' enabling you to get through it by tricking yourself, doing bite size pieces at a time.
Identify the first step, regardless of what your endeavour is...
"Can I just perform 1 set of 315lb flat bench press?"
"Can I just call one more potential client?"
"Can I just endure 1 more day of Army Ranger training?"
The answer in all cases will be 'Yes!', but you won't stop there. You'll soon see the first step wasn't as unpleasant, difficult or life threatening as you first though, your mind blew it out to be worse than it was. The longer your fear remains unconscious the more it paralyzes you.
You use the momentum from the first step to keep going...
"Can I just do one MORE Set of 315lbs bench press?"
Next thing you know you've smashed through your plateau, you knew it would be difficult but you embraced the suck and broke it down into small, manageable pieces.
Visualize The End-State
Nothing worthwhile is given.
Be it the top mark in the class on your exam, a god-like shredded physique or a large monthly revenue stream, all these things are merely dreams among society.
They want it but they convince themselves there's no way they can have them.
Let me tell you, all three of these things is within your grasp.
But you've got to put the work in first.
It's hard, there's no cheat codes, no fooling anyone and no way to get someone else to do the work for you.
If you really want the thing you can embrace the suck and get it, anyone can. That's how I got here.
Instead of allowing yourself to get beat down by the day to day frustrations of studying, lifting weights or build your business, keep your eyes on the horizon.
Remind yourself of the end result - carry of photo of what you're going to look like around in your wallet - every time you have to eat your bland meals while your friends feast on fast food look at that photo and remind yourself of what you're going to be rewarded with for seeing it through.
Far too often we grind away and grind away without even thinking, remembering or acknowledging why we're doing it.
Understand That Things Must Get Worse Before They Get Better
Self improvement is a paradox, things always get worse before they get better.
It's like a construction site, you must remind yourself of that.
To build the landmark, the tower of epic stature and proportion you must first go through the construction phase... it's a mess, it's chaos, there's lots of false-starts, work, stress and sheer perseverance required to get it done.
Only the builder sees that, if you're coming to stay in the 7 star hotel after it's built you don't see all the bullshit that they had to go through to get that thing there, all you see is the fine interior decorations, the stone counter-tops and the complimentary mints at the receptionist's expansive desk in the jaw dropping lobby.
Things always get worse before they get better.
Remind yourself "If I want that I have to endure this"
And if the thing holds value to you you'll embrace the suck and see it through, if you don't you're probably not in the right place.
Put Your Struggle Into Perspective
This one is a technique I picked up from Tai Lopez, known as the 'Man on the moon contrast'.
It's just as it sounds, is the suck you're struggling to embrace really as hard as you or others make it out to be?
How about when it's compared to landing on the moon?
Struggling to call 10 new prospective clients each day before 3pm? Embrace the suck and do it. The planning and execution of man landing on the moon is an infinetely more complex task than connecting with those potential clients you've been dreading.
Everything falls into perspective...
Once it's in perspective you crush it.
Set Milestones & Deadlines
There are two types of motivation in this world, these are external motivation and internal motivation.
External motivation is a monetary reward or some other form of compensation for performing a task, like dangling a carrot in front of a horses mouth – It’ll go but only for so long.
Internal motivation is just that, motivation that comes from within YOU, it’s your mind driving you – it’s the thought process that you have to have to endure relentless amounts of work (that you know is going to pay off, perhaps not immediately).
External motivation is for those requiring some form of instant gratification, unfortunately if you want to achieve anything worthwhile you’re going to have to learn to live without the instant reward or payout.
So how do you keep yourself motivated and accountable when you’re chasing an audacious goal?
When you’re 80lbs overweight how can you see it through to see that you lose all that weight without giving up and quitting like the vast majority of others would?
In order to stay true to the course I have one method that I always implement and it works a treat.
Set a date.
A future event that’s 30 – 90 days away is the #1 way I have found to keep the fire alive and keep the accountability and motivation flowing through my veins.
The event could be anything, as long as it’s important to you and relevant to the goal you’re attempting to achieve.
Here’s some examples depending on what your end goal is:
- Getting into the best shape of your life for a fitness photoshoot that’s scheduled for 30 – 90 days away
- Losing weight for a family reunion
- Improving your squat or deadlift to compete in a local powerlifting competition
- Reaching single digit body fat for the first day of summer
- Getting 1,000 visitors to your website per day by July 1st (or a significant, yet realistic timeframe for you)
- Struggling to write that book of yours? Write 2,000 words per day because you’ve scheduled the draft to go to your editor on April 1st
At The End Of The Day
Like I said, it doesn’t even really matter WHAT the event is as long as it’s relevant – the harder it is to back out of the event the better (if there’s an option to prepay in full make sure you do it.)
You don’t want to lose your hard earned cash and you don’t want to show up like an idiot that hasn’t achieved the 1 goal they set out to.
That should be more than enough motivation to get you chasing your goal relentlessly at mach speed.