What would make things 5-10% better?

Lately I have noticed a theme.

The question: What could you do to make yourself 5-10% more <fill in the blank>.

My subconscious flagged this question when I heard it repeatedly in one week alone.

The yoga nidra practice I was doing asked: “How can you make yourself 5-10% more comfortable?”

The breathwork session I attended: “How can you lean into the breath 5-10% more?”

I find this question so lovely because it is:

  • Very do-able
  • Subtle but oh so powerful
  • A stretch but not too much of a stretch

The coaching, personal development, and online business space gets so hung up on the 10X mentality. It is a disservice to people. For those not familiar with the 10X thinking… it is the idea of How can you improve what you are currently doing by a factor of 10? The purpose of the question is to challenge your thinking in a revolutionary way vs. a more evolutionary and incremental way.

I find it to be useful as a thinking exercise and helping you expand perspective and dream bigger. In day-to-day practice it ends up being demoralizing and leads to burnout, disappointment, and depression.

If you’ve attended the big conference, hired the mega-coach, and worked your butt off to the point of despair and haven’t achieved even close to your dreams yet alone 10X them, then what does that say about you? What then? What is wrong with me? (That becomes the usual refrain. It sure was for me.)

The answer?

Nothing is wrong with you.

You’re not Google.

Most people I work with don’t have the time, money, or power resources at their disposal to burn everything down, go all-in, and pull some trigger that results in tsunami waves of success. (Which has a ridiculously small rate of success even if you can do this. Look at the rate of success for startups.)

At a time in history where most of us find ourselves depleted and a bit untethered after 2+ years of pandemic, domestic upheaval, and world war combined with home schooling, remote work, and economic instability, who the heck has the capacity to show up day after day on the top of their game? 

Not most of us.

Want to know the real revolutionary path to change?

If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.

James Clear

Who wouldn’t be thrilled, downright giddy, positively ecstatic to be thirty-seven times better (aka – more profitable, more well-rested, happier, healthier, etc.) this time next year?

Pretty freaking amazing, right?

It’s in the 1%, 5%, 10% that you and I can show up in every day.

Like the question presented in the middle of breathwork– how can you lean into these next few moments more fully?

Does it mean you make that extra follow-up call to a prospect?

Take 2 minutes to tweak a budget item?

Go for a 10-minute walk or nap?

Your power and your success lie in these small decisions made over and over. Day after day. Week after week.

Consistency over intensity wins every time.

You and I can do hard things.

One moment at a time. One step at a time. One decision at a time.


Need help making your business and life work together in a more relaxed, expansive way?

2 thoughts on “What would make things 5-10% better?”

  1. THIS is inspirational, Paula, because it is ACHIEVABLE! Incremental improvement leads to feeling s of success, which leads to improved self-esteem, which leads to…you guessed it…MORE SUCCESS! Yay, Paula!

    1. Thank you Margie! The momentum definitely builds and we get to achieve things without feeling like crap about ourselves or feeling like we are never enough. What a novel idea!

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