Do A Shitty Job

It’s OK to do a shitty job. It’s even GREAT to not give your best. I would totally encourage you to do the worst job that you can expect from yourself and be happy about it. Sometimes this is exactly what you need to get ahead in life and here is why.

In my latest article I wrote about how you have to combine creativity with execution to become that great source of new ideas. But what if you have no clue on how to start that execution? What if you are frightened or clueless about the next step? Maybe you are just looking at this new idea of yours and you simply can’t wrap your head around where to start it. It just seems to big to tackle it and you feel overwhelmed! This happened to me A LOT and I am pretty sure you can relate to that too.

What happens next is that because the task at hand feels too big for you to handle that you will just not do it. You just won’t. And then you procrastinate. You might feel discouraged and powerless and this might spiral downwards into a pit where it is very difficult to come out again. Been there, done that. It’s just a deep hole of self-pity and self-doubt where you tend to sabotage yourself in any way or form. No good!:)

How do you avoid this in the first place?

It’s always best to avoid bad stuff before it even happened. Just saves you a lot of trouble in the long run. So to never experience anything like the stuff I described before you have to break the loop. Break the task down to smaller tasks. Do this until you find something small enough so that you feel comfortable doing it. If you still feel overwhelmed you might have not broken it down in small enough pieces.

Let’s do a little example here:

Imagine you want to do something cool and fancy like creating your own blog. You then have this grand vision for yourself. Maybe something like: “I want to build this huge blog and help thousands of people to improve their life, uncover their greatest potential and teach them how to live the life they REALLY enjoy living!” 

Sounds pretty cool and all fun and stuff, but now imagine you have no clue about any technical stuff. You know nothing about writing because you have never written before. You are clueless about how to talk to people to begin with. You don’t know how to set up a WordPress blog, heck, you don’t even know what WordPress is. Maybe English isn’t your first language? Can you imagine that having this goal might be a little bit of an overkill? Can you imagine that you might feel “some form of stress” thinking about taking the first step towards it?

I guess you can say that. But as I already told you, you can always break it down to smaller (more manageable) steps. You can do this as long as it is needed for you to feel comfortable doing the next step. Whatever you set out to do, take the next step. Do a shitty job if you have to. Do something “dirty” first. You can always learn and improve later. Let go of the idea of being perfect in your head and break your task down into smaller chunks, maybe this helps you to get started!

Let’s see:

“Creating this huge blog and help thousands of people” 

might turn into something like

“Learn how to create a blog”.

And if this still is too big of a step to take you can try something like

“Google some famous blogs and read them to get a feel for what they are doing”.

There is always something small that you can do that takes you a tiny bit closer to where you want to be. The problem is that this whole “baby stepping” might take “too much time” for some people. It’s just that people tend to love shortcuts!:)

Well, long story short: if you never ever want to fall into that pit full of self-pity, discouragement and doubt, you might have to follow through on your ideas and projects. You might have to take the first step towards it immediately after you made the decision to do so. Else your decision is no real decision yet.

  • Make decisions to improve your life situation step by step.
  • Take the first step towards it immediately after doing so.
  • If you feel overwhelmed break it down to smaller tasks until you feel comfortable and capable (!) of following through on them!
  • Become an executor and align your thoughts, words and actions to earn the benefits that come with being such a person.

Well, what if I am finding myself ALREADY in that “pit”?

To be honest: it sucks being stuck in this self-sabotaging mode. I have been there multiple times and it is really a challenge to fight your way out of it again. The problem here is that YOU are your worst enemy. You are the one who got you there in the first place and you are the one who is trying to hold you there as well. So you have to take responsibility.

Here is what I found helpful in this kind of challenging life-situations:

  • Look at your daily routines and replace toxic behaviours with better ones.
  • Stop complaining about your life situation. You are just making it worse by identifying yourself with the problem. You are not your life situation, neither is your life situation your life. Also: keep in mind that “whatever you resist will persist!”. When you learn to face challenging situations with acceptance first you will soon realise that this peaceful attitude will give you plenty of room to come up with great new solutions on how to change them. Resistance usually limits your capacity to do so.
  • When life gets out of control, focus on the stuff you can control, which is ultimately yourself. Do something that IS in your control. It can be anything. Go for a walk. Read a book. Meditate. Anything. Do anything that gives you back control over your life. You have to be the grounding source when everything around you turns into chaos. Don’t fight against the hurricane. Come back to center and realise that “in the eye of the storm” there is peace!

It is OK to do a shitty job!

My issues with all that stuff was that I always found myself being too perfectionistic (is this even a word?). I wanted to create something great ALL THE TIME! I wanted it to be something I can be proud of. Pretty fancy attitude, but the problem with that is, that you tend to think that whatever you accomplish is never good enough. With that attitude you tend to find yourself ALWAYS being unhappy with what you achieve in life. You will look at all the imperfections that are still in place instead of seeing the bigger picture and your general process.

Whatever time and effort you put into your goals, your results will never be ideal for your little self-image of yours in your head. You end up feeling depressed, unmotivated and discouraged. Pretty much on the opposite of “being an executor”. Procrastination sets in again and you will find yourself feeling unable to do anything productive.

Something that took me WAY TOO LONG to understand was that it was this attitude of trying to be perfect that was holding me back for such a long time. I had to learn to let go of that surreal image of mine in my head. As soon as you learn to let go of trying to be perfect and realise that you are ALREADY enough, you can unleash your real potential. You stop the self-doubt and cultivate an honest and deep connection to yourself.

  • Let go of the idea of trying to be perfect!
  • Always follow through on your ideas and visions.
  • Set big goals and take the smallest step towards it immediately after.
  • If you lack resources, do a shitty job first. But do something.
  • Improve later with the newly found knowledge and experience.
  • Rinse and repeat.


(Photo: Flickr)

Stay connected:
  • Glenn

    I definitely agree with this! I often overwhelmed myself with this
    “perfect” image and in the end I am forgetting the true meaning of my own
    actions. Now I realized that it is harder for me to achieve the perfection than
    to achieve the goals I have set in my life.

  • Thomas Mondel

    Yes, it is always better to get started immediately and autocorrect your actions along the way! This way you get some momentum and it is also easier to get into a “flow” state, which greatly boosts your productivity. Thanks for stopping by, Glenn!