Shut Up and Push

Shut up and push. Oddly enough, these four words hold a great deal of significance for me and I hope they will help you overcome obstacles to your success as well in the future. Let me explain.

My wife, Laura, and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary this next month. As our special date approaches each year, a lot of cherished memories always come rushing to the surface. A couple of my fondest memories are the births of our children.

Shut Up and Push Image

Laura was in labor for more than 33 hours with each of our children, Melanie and Daniel. You might say that she liked to “savor the labor”. However, I would never repeat that within earshot of my wife, for fear of being whacked upside the head. Melanie was the more difficult of the two deliveries.

Throughout Melanie’s delivery, I tried to be a good coach and comforter. However, after more than 15 hours in a hospital room without food, water or sleep, I was ready to be done. My mind was screaming, “Where is the prime rib and wine you promised us when we signed up to have our baby delivered here?” Mercifully within minutes of having this thought, things finally began to change.

Both of us were completely exhausted at this point. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, rubbing Laura’s back and trying to encourage (scold) her to control her breathing. After a few more ‘honey you need to slow your breathing’ comments she just looked at me (not in an endearing way) and said “shut up and push”. Less than an hour later our baby girl was born.

So, what was the point of this rather long-winded personal story? I’m glad you asked.

That was in January of 1982, which proved to be one of the greatest break-out years of my life, both personally and professionally. In addition to celebrating the birth of our amazing daughter, I completed my MBA with distinction, and received numerous sales awards for finishing the year in the Top 10% of AT&T’s national sales force in quota performance.

Along with my wife’s love, encouragement and support, one of the things that helped fuel my success over the years when I have faced adversity or difficult challenges was those four words – shut up and push. The next time you encounter one of those seemingly insurmountable obstacles of your own, try this out and see if it will work for you as well.

  1. Don’t give up on yourself.
  2. Eliminate the negative self-talk.
  3. Replace “I can’t do it” with “shut up and push”.
  4. Keep moving forward.

You just might surprise yourself and give birth to a new you. Sorry, I just had to say it.

Enjoy the journey!



COPYRIGHT © 2013 John Carroll