Success does not come easy. It takes guts, vision, and perseverance. If you want to build a successful business, it is important to know that up front, and to arm yourself with both mindsets and mental exercises that can keep you on the right track. Here are four mental exercises that can keep you motivated and emotionally stable while you go through the ups and downs of building a business.
1. Express Gratitude for the Struggle
Mental health gurus often preach the importance of gratitude. Humans are in the nasty habit of comparing themselves to one another, which breeds envy and discontent. It takes a conscious effort to focus on what we have rather than what we do not have, and when we can redirect our minds to the gratitude we are often much happier.
When it comes to establishing a mindset that leads to success, consciously expressing gratitude for the difficult journey is vital. Every person on the planet yearns for an easy path through life, but easy paths do not lead to success. If you can switch your thinking from “This is difficult, I am uncomfortable and I hate this,” to “I love how hard this is because easy roads will not get me to where I want to go,” it will help you persevere through the most challenging moments. Appreciating the struggle means that you recognize there is no easy way to the top. Appreciate the difficulty and appreciate yourself for committing to it.
2. Embrace Your Worst Case Scenario
Fear is incredibly limiting, and it is something that most people battle with every day. When it comes to achieving professional or entrepreneurial success, most people let their fear of failing stop them from even trying. People stay stuck where they are because they are too afraid to try.
So what can you do about fear? The best thing to do is to face it head-on. Think about the absolute worst-case scenario. Really, think about it. Consider what it looks like, how other people would perceive your failure, how it would feel personally, and what you would do about it. Meditate on the worst possible outcome and do not hold back.
The thing about facing your worst-case scenario head-on is that it often isn’t as scary as it seems when you let it flicker in your peripheral vision. When it comes to taking professional and entrepreneurial risks, it is incredibly unlikely that you will wind up dead. You may lose a lot of money, have to lay people off, experience embarrassment…all of those probably exist in your worst-case scenario, but what would happen if they came to pass? Would you lay down and give up? Or would you find a path forward? Once you realize that you can move through a failure, it is easier to take the next step.
“There will be lots of downs. Do your best to fight tooth and nail to survive. And if you don’t survive, if you have worked damned hard, don’t get down about it. There’s a lot of successful entrepreneurs who have picked themselves up and started again.” – Richard Branson
3. Treat Success Like An Inevitability
The other side of the worst-case-scenario coin is to conduct yourself with unabashed confidence. If you do not believe that you can achieve success, no one else will. You have to act like success is an inevitability in order to achieve it. This does not mean that you have to do everything right. You may be strong in some areas and weak in others, but it does mean that you trust yourself to find a solution to any problem that comes your way.
If you can look at an obstacle and think “How can I quickly get past this in order to keep moving toward success?” instead of thinking “Oh no! This is not what I anticipated. What if this is the beginning of the end? What if this leads me to fail?” then half of the battle has been won.
4. Audit The People Around You
The people you spend the most time with have a profound impact on the way you think and behave. Surrounding yourself with toxic and insecure people can lead to toxic and insecure beliefs within yourself. It is important for business leaders to keep the right people around them, as advisors play very important roles. Regularly take stock of the people around you. Ask yourself if these are the people that will help you to achieve your goals. If they are going to hold you back in any way, cut ties. It may seem ruthless, but toxic people can be an albatross.
It is important to do this regularly. Someone who helped you to grow your company from nothing into a scrappy start-up may not be the right person to bring you from a scrappy start-up to a mid-sized company. People can serve different functions at different times. Be honest with yourself about your positive and negative influences, and prioritize the positive ones.
Success is a game of inches, and a lot of the wins are mental. Get yourself into the right headspace to succeed, and you will be surprised by what you can accomplish.
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