Here’s an interesting little challenge for you: say the phrase “Coca-Cola” three times without your lips touching. Make sure not to let them touch at all!

Did you do it?

Did it sound kind of absurd?

Did you make a silly face while you were doing it?

Okay, now do this: say the phrase “Coca-Cola” normally.


Okay, I wasn’t just playing a prank on you (although it would be pretty hilarious if I just used this platform to troll you every once in a while, I suppose). I also wanted to illustrate a point: sometimes we make things harder because we expect them to be hard.

Nothing in my initial instruction explicitly said that the task was going to be difficult, but the context and phrasing certainly implied that I was asking you to do something that would have a surprising challenge buried within. And so you automatically prepared yourself for that challenge, which included doing things inefficiently!

Some things, occasionally, will be easy – for you. They might be very difficult for other people and so the context of the task assumes difficulty. But be confident in your own abilities. Know what you can do well. And when you’re asked to do such a thing, just do it – don’t make it weird.

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