Underestimating Difficulty Will Derail Your Goals. Here’s a Fix…
Hey everybody, this is Dr. George Birnbach. Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Today we wanna talk about a big problem, and this is a problem that affects most people in practice, most people in business. And when we get motivated to do something, there are certain things that can break our motivation, right? We always talk about clarity, purpose, and attainment in that way, right? We need to be clear on what we want, why we want it, and we need to get a win for the effort that we’re doing. But there are a few things that just pull us off course subtly, and if we don’t understand them, they can create havoc. And Jeff Bezos had a famous statement on this, which was, “The unrealistic beliefs “on the scope of a project, “which are often hidden or undiscussed, “can kill high standards.” Let me say that again. “Unrealistic beliefs on the scope of a project, “which are often hidden or undiscussed, “can kill high standards.”
To achieve high standards in yourself or as part of a team or a practice, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is gonna be. Most people have the tendency to underestimate the amount of effort it will take to succeed. We see this when we launch associate doctors. We think it’s gonna be easier than it is. We see this when we try to get our finances under control. We think that it’s gonna be easier than it ends up being, and because of that fatigue factor that hard work brings, we can often get derailed. And that’s where the whole motivation versus losing motivation piece comes into this equation. This is why gyms will fill up in January but they’re empty in February or March, right? This is why many people buy books and they open up the book, but they never finish the book. In fact, if you look at the statistics from Kindle, very few people ever get through the second chapter of a book.
Imagine that. We buy a book because we wanna read this information, and they don’t get through the chapter two, you see? This is why many people start and they don’t finish things. Once they discover how much work is actually required, then they stop and they don’t move forward, you see? Here’s the truth, and I think you’ll agree with me on this. Anything worth doing is gonna be hard. Anything worth doing is gonna take some effort, and this isn’t good or bad, it just is, right? Anything that is gonna be worth it is gonna take real work to achieve, right? That’s marketing. That’s learning your scripts. That’s learning how to communicate and answer questions and handle objections. It’s gonna take real work, hard work, to achieve a level of competency, and even more work to achieve a level of expert or excellence.
So the real tendency that tends to derail projects when we’re doing our yearly planning or a 90-day planning is that we have unrealistic expectations of the amount of work that is gonna be involved to not just get started, but to actually finish. To avoid the plateaus that happen once we’re in motion, you see? It’s easy to open a practice and get profitable. We put in the work. But once we get to that profitable level, once we get to that good enough level, the changes that we’re making tend to have smaller and smaller life-altering, you know, responses. So, or life-altering measurements. And so what we end up doing is we plateau and we can kind of fall off of that model.
So how long will it take you to lose 30 pounds of weight? Well it’s longer than you think, it’s harder than you think. How long will it take you to finally crack the seven figures in a practice, you see? It’s gonna be more work than sometimes we start off thinking it will be. And that is the same for doing a handstand, getting through school, or getting a team that is completely committed to your vision. You have to educate and teach every day. It’s a non-stop process. Business doesn’t stop just because you hit a certain marker.
So these unrealistic expectations of how hard something is going to be massively decreases the chance that you’ll actually succeed. We have to go in believing that consistency in the process is gonna be key. And if you fall in love with the process, success is almost assured because one of the keys to success is consistency. Doing the right thing every day or doing the right thing in the right mindset every day. And we have to resist this tendency to think things will actually be easy. We don’t wanna be so pessimistic or fatalistic that we think everything’s too hard, so we never start. We just have to understand that if we think it’s gonna take six weeks, maybe let’s plan for it taking 12, right? If we think that we’re right now because of the world around us practicing is challenging, let’s not assume it’s gonna be better in four weeks.
Let’s just assume, hey, this is the world we’re living in. Let’s set up our systems and streamline our systems to survive now and thrive through this process. Anything worth doing we assume will be hard work, and we’re gonna get through it because it will make your life better. So how do you break this tendency? Well first we need to develop realistic expectations of how hard something is going to be. The key is to recognize how hard a task or a project will be because we have to realistically look at, hey, this is a good strategy, but who else is doing this successfully? Facebook ads, right? Google ads. Who else is doing this successfully. And by following a system that has a proven result, what was their timeframe, what were their outcomes? If we get realistic on how hard something’s going to be, then we can streamline it and make it easier. But we’re going in with realistic expectations. Don’t be afraid to aim high. You need big goals. You need big dreams. But it’s always, set the big targets, and then look at what is today’s action and consistently act with realistic expectations on how you’re gonna move forward towards that big goal.
So it’s big targets, small steps, and constant action and measurements. Sometimes hard means long. Sometimes it means we have to be prepared for a battle. But consistency is the real solution. People who move mountains always begin by carrying away the small stones, you see? So set up a structure that will allow you to be consistent over a long period of time. Teaching an associate the skills. Checking in on the systems. Making sure that everyone around you is accountable on the small steps. Your surrounding environment. Who, what, and where will always determine how far you can go. And then all we have to do is be consistent and vigilant. And you’re gonna have best-ever numbers each and every day, which will give you best-ever numbers each and every month, which will give you best-ever numbers each and every year. Consistency is the key, but go in understanding that nothing is gonna be easy.
But if it’s worth it and you can get consistent in the process, you’ll win every time. All right, my name’s Dr. George Birnbach. I’ll talk to you real soon, buh-bye.