Jiu Jitsu for the Office: Don’t Think Try. Think Do.


One of the things that my Jiu Jitsu instructor Ryan Hall stresses repeatedly in classes is the importance of believing in what you are doing and expecting success. When he goes to execute a technique on someone, he knows it will work and therefore it does.

Beyond the martial arts this idea is alive and well. I took a class on Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales) in college and the instructor said in similar fashion that the key to reading Old English like a pro was selling that you knew what it should sound like. After all nobody else in class had been around long enough to tell you with any authority that you were saying it wrong.

The ideas above are mostly about confidence and how it can profoundly impact the outcomes we achieve from our efforts. You hear all the time that the first person you need to sell on an idea is yourself. I am a big believer in this. If you don’t believe why should anyone else?

Getting others to by into your idea of course starts with having a good idea. But once you get that part right you still need to convince others in most cases to get that idea into practice. This starts with believing in it enough that others can sense your confidence and feel comfortable buying in themselves.

The next time you are heading to a big meeting armed only with a powerpoint and a great idea…take the time to remind yourself of why the idea is great. Make sure you have yourself convinced before you try to convince others. Once you have that firmly in mind speak with confidence. It may not make your idea better, but it will make it a lot more likely to carry the day at the meeting.

*Please do not use the technique above to get your bad ideas approved. Only use these powers for good.

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Deborah Button

Interesting concept…believe in what you are doing and expect success. Unfortunately, sometimes the possibility of failure seems to be the louder voice in our head. I enjoyed the thought that no one would know if the pronunciation of Old English was right or wrong.

Corinne Stubbs

This makes me think of a quote that has been attributed to multiple important public figures: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Confident thoughts lead to your desired destiny.