The Secret to Not Trying So Hard

What's really holding you back.

Read Time: 2 min


What if you didn’t have to try so hard?

Many high-performing founders, execs, and investors increase internal pressure to achieve.

But sometimes, this pressure leads to feeling stuck.

Here are a few thoughts to help you increase productivity with less effort.

You Are Unworthy

Jumping straight into the heart of the matter, you struggle with a deep sense of unworthiness.

I know! I know! It’s a bold start. Push through the discomfort and keep reading 👀

You’re not alone in this struggle. Most people do not feel worthy of love, success, and happiness.

Most people cover up these wounds using camouflage. That camouflage comes in many forms, including financial success, political power, social status, or other forms of identity-related pride.

This wound is the root cause of pressure—you do not trust yourself.

Scale Back Effort, Amplify Presence

Your wound of unworthiness prompts compensation.

By pushing yourself to take action, whether it’s through calling yourself names or creating a false sense of urgency, you continue working even when exhausted. The problem is not that this mechanism exists—you are right in thinking it is required for successful outcomes.

The problem is using your ego’s willpower as a default setting instead of a strategic tool.

When you leverage negative fuel like your sense of unworthiness, it works against you during difficult moments requiring simplicity.

Situations in life—deaths, births, recovering from a significant mental or physical injury—demand unique responses, not a one-size-fits-all approach. Using your default setting in these contexts leads to diminishing returns and burnout, if you are unable to scale back.

As a high-performing individual, sustainable performance is the ultimate hack.

To increase your ability to execute no matter what life throws at you, focus on the quality of your presence.

Here are six signs to focus on presence:

  • High effort, diminishing results

  • Decreasing energy and focus

  • Consistent lack of flow state

  • Increased agitation

  • Complex life situations outside of work

  • Recurring unhelpful thoughts about your situation

There’s an old saying, “Simplicity is velocity,” and it’s true in many respects.

Often, these six symptoms are signs to simplify. Instead of continuing your default setting of adding pressure in a situation clearly demanding a different state of being, shift into amplifying your presence.

Deprioritize all low urgency tasks. Increase meditation, exercise, and sleep. Silence your phone. Go for walks, create a bit more space in your daily routine. You will be surprised how quickly these adjustments help you reset, find your flow, and 10x your productivity.

Finding the deeper current in life will re-contextualize your problems and help you re-connect with gratitude for the unique opportunities at your fingertips.

Trust is the antidote to unworthiness.


Dr. Matt