Success comes to those who believe they will succeed with all their hearts. And they want it so badly, they will sweat and bleed for it.
Success has many attributes. While traits like intelligence, innovation, creativity and acumen are often credited for an entrepreneur’s success, little recognition is given to one of the most important traits for success – mental endurance. Any seasoned entrepreneur will confirm that that failure, rejection and negative outcomes are unavoidable in the adventure of getting your business moving in the right direction.
Mental endurance is the ability to overcome such negativity and establish an unwavering framework for success. Here are my top 5 tried and tested tips on how to fight those demons and mentally set yourself up for certain success.
1. Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions
Negative thoughts happen time to time. The key is to not shut them out, but to deal with and manage them. They’re generally caused by some form of fear – fear of failure, fear of being judged, fear of loss etc. So go ahead and let that negative thought show up. Play out that fearful situation in your mind so you know exactly what you’re afraid of.
Then deal with it. Determine the root cause of your fear and identify ways by which you would overcome this terrible situation if it occurs. You might even realize that this is a highly improbable situation that’s not likely to occur. Either way, you’ll feel much relieved and calmer.
2. Talk about it (with a friend or even a stranger)
Two things happen when you say your story out loud
- As you vocalize your woes, you’ll be forced to acknowledge your emotions, especially those negative ones. Understanding your feelings can help you find a way to deal with them.
- You won’t feel all alone. We’re social creatures and we need some form of social companionship, more so when we’re sad. As you talk about your distress with someone, you’ll feel comforted knowing that someone else is listening. Someone else knows what’s bothering you and can perhaps even help find solutions to your problem.
Share it with a friend who can empathize and provide words of comfort or advice. Or – share it with a stranger. Perhaps your friends or family are too close to the situation or you’re afraid of feeling judged or afraid of letting them know how vulnerable you really feel. At times like this, it can be strangely cathartic to share your story with a stranger that you might never really bump into again.
3. Let go of “what ifs” and “should haves”
It’s really easy to beat yourself up about that bad decision or that wrong turn in life. We all have regrets about paths we took or opportunities we missed. But remember – hindsight is 20/20. We make decisions based on circumstances and information available at the time. We know more now and our thoughts have evolved since then.
So realize that it truly wasn’t your fault and give yourself a break. It’s absolutely impossible to walk through life without a single misstep. Take it as a learning experience and make a note to yourself about what to watch out for the next time you’re faced with something similar.
4. Purge toxic people
Toxic people take you down. Some play victim all the time and pass that helpless attitude on to you. Some feel the need to give unsolicited advice that might leave you second guessing yourself. Some might constantly question your path and encourage you to change. There are many types. You know they’re toxic when you feel disheartened, doubtful, angry or despondent after interacting with them. It’s possible they’re unintentionally toxic. Yet, they leave you feeling self-doubt when you shouldn’t, feeling like a failure when you aren’t and feeling you’re doing the wrong thing when it might actually be the right thing for you. You don’t need that type of negative influence. So, let them go.
Disengage from that type of person quickly. It can be hard because some of them can be close friends or even close family. If it’s someone too close, then perhaps disconnect for a little while and re-engage after you’ve the built mental resilience that makes you immune to them. If not, just let them go. You’ll be glad you did. Replace that interaction with truly successful, supportive and positive people. You’re sure to notice a positive shift in your attitude and productivity within weeks.
5. Redefine and envision your success
Success means many things to many people and cultures. We are generally conditioned from a young age to understand what success is as it is defined by our cultures, society, teachers, friends and family. Measuring yourself against someone else’s yardstick of success can leave you feeling like a failure.
Identify what success means to you based on who you’ve grown up to be and not by what it means to everyone around you. There are many paths to success. And it’s never too late in life to be successful. Success can also be the journey instead of the destination.
Define your success by what you want. Then envision it – what does it feel like, what will you be doing when you get there. Work backwards to identify what you need to do today to get to that successful place tomorrow. You’ll begin to feel clarity and focus without distraction.
Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com