Looking to achieve more and do it faster?

Sometimes you have to take your foot off the gas to go faster.

Last week I saw a client for a coaching session. Like many people in their 30s, he’s trying to juggle a large number of things at once. During our first conversation, he already mentioned what he wants to work on: becoming more effective and efficient. So he can handle more and experience less stress.


Foot off the gas

The reality is that the outcome of coaching often looks different for most people than initially expected. Questions resolve themselves or fade away. Or an insight emerges that makes a different question much more relevant.

In this context, a statement by Albert Einstein applies.
Freely translated, he said:

You don’t find the solution to a problem at the level where you perceive the problem.

In other words, someone trying to solve something at the level of behavior (effectiveness, efficiency) will find the solution at a different level. A level with more meaning and impact.

My client loves nice cars. It was the second coaching session. And halfway through our conversation, I compared his behavior to a car going 90 kilometers per hour in second gear. He looked at me surprised. He laughed. And I think he already understood what I meant. “But why?” he asked.

“The whole car shakes and makes noise. You feel like you’re going incredibly fast. But in reality, you’re not even using half of your potential,” I said.

I asked him if giving more gas would be the solution for him.
“Maybe I can just hit 100 kilometers per hour this way,” he said with a grin. “But I believe I understand your message. It’s not about pressing the gas pedal even more, but about finding a different gear.”

Yes. Sometimes you have to dare to take your foot off the gas first in order to go faster.