The shit shift
What happens when you push past your flight-or-fight response and acknowledge your achievements?
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One of my favorite Peloton instructors often talks about the concept of the shit shift.
It’s that moment when you’re in a run, or in a hard climb on the bike, or a testing yoga position, and you’re asking your body to do something it’s not used to.
For the first few minutes of it, it feels like torture. Your amygdala hijacks your inner voice. The fight-or-flight response is activated.
“I could just give up now… what if I slow down? Today’s not a race day…”.
And then something magical happens.
But of course, it’s not magical. It’s not supernatural, nor forced, nor a conscious decision. Your body just… happens.
It ‘does’. It acclimates. It’s still hard… but you can cope. You’re not in a state of flow, but your body knows to keep pushing. The fight-or-flight feeling dissipates.
There’s more space in your head for your consciousness to be heard. You realize that you are doing. You are doing something that you were going to give up on.
With each step, each push, each breath, you become more confident. More determined.
The determination comes from deep in your chest. It’s aching and heaving and moving you forward.
You have momentum, and you’re not stopping anytime soon.
I think the shit shift is an interesting analogy for the work we do in B2B SaaS, product marketing, sales… and why I talk about the need to build confidence in your positioning, messaging, go-to-market.
Without confidence - a belief you have faith in - it’s much easier to give up and give in. But there’s no ape brain sending fight-or-flight signals - it’s all conscious thought processing, which makes it feel 10x worse.
Confidence is not just sales or revenue. It’s positive reactions to marketing content. It’s the conversation where a prospect repeats your messaging back to you. It’s the CEO praising your team’s execution. It’s customer emails with happy quotes.
In early stage startups, confidence can be a hard thing to come across. The challenge of failing to find product/market fit, or a final ‘no’ to your biggest deal can kill confidence.
But… can you position the process as a shit shift?
Where the work is still hard and you may be teetering on the edge of success or failure, but the work is happening.
Where there is space for the conscience to be heard. This is the need for both definitions of focus: reduced priorities, maximum clarity.
Where each step, each push, builds confidence.
Focus plus confidence equals momentum.
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