I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve told myself I’ve given 100%. It must be in quadruple figures by now and it wasn’t until starting my own business in January this year that I started to truly think about my preconceived ideas of what giving 100% looks like. You see, as obvious as it may sound - 100% is everything. It’s giving everything you have in your entirety to make something work. So, when I previously referred to me giving everything I had, I was wrong (100% wrong at that).
I went on an NLP course last year through my friend’s company, Dare2Succeed. We mastered many techniques on that day which helped build confidence, reduce worry and combat stress, but my one take away from the day was Cause vs Effect. The definition of being at Cause is to take responsibility for everything in your life, no exceptions or excuses. At the other end of the spectrum sits Effect; accepting no responsibility and making excuses or passing blame for every minor inconvenience, pitfall or challenge that comes your way. I quickly learned that I have been at effect for a considerably portion of my life.
I also learned that without taking responsibility for a problem/issue/pattern, that I would never be in a place to learn and grow from it. But how does taking responsibility relate to giving 100%? It’s this simple – If you don’t take responsibility for obstacles and hurdles that life throws at you, you just won’t be able to give 100%. I confess, I love making excuses. Why? It’s so easy and it takes the pressure off taking ownership (albeit momentarily). Why was I late? It was the traffic. Why didn’t I exercise? I was too tired. Urg - the list goes on. Anyway, back to that magical number. For anyone reading this right now thinking that they are giving 100%, stop for a moment and really visualise what YOUR 100% really looks like (and don’t compare yours to anyone’s else’s).
For me, my realisation of 100% came after working for myself for 9 months. I’d previously freelanced a few years ago and gave up. I gave every excuse under the sun (from juggling childcare to lack of income) and then I quit. Realistically and in hindsight, I think I gave it 30% (but I comforted myself for my failure by telling myself I gave 100). This time however quitting was not an option, and I knew that I HAD to give 100% because without it I would not succeed in achieving my goals. And so I began. I worked until midnight, I worked all throughout the weekend, I contacted people that I didn’t want to talk to and I went to meetings, networking events and seminars that terrified me because I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I took on office space before I could afford it to give me the right environment to work in, and I paid for memberships, associations and accreditation's before I’d made any money to. I had zero sick days, in fact, zero sick hours.
Did I complain about all of the above? Yes. But did I let any of it become an excuse or put me at effect? No. because that’s what giving 100% is. It’s making sacrifices and not letting them become excuses or reasons to quit.
The result? I’m still not there. I’m at 80%. I’ve visualised what my 100% is and I know that if I had to I could find another 20% to give. Another 20% of long hours, situations that take me way beyond my comfort zone and continuing to tell myself that everything I want is on the other side of fear (it is).
That’s my advice. Know what YOUR 100% looks like and don’t stop until you can say that you’ve justly given it, because getting everything you want in life takes everything you’ve got.