On the path to success, you are going to run into a few roadblocks. The key is not so much a matter of avoiding these roadblocks as it is continuing despite these roadblocks. One of the keys to persevering despite setback is to develop mental toughness. If you are looking to develop mental toughness, there are several things you should do.
Make it a Decision
In an Inc. article from last winter, extreme athletes and special forces soldiers were asked about mental toughness. One suggestion was that you have to make the decision to be mentally tough. This means pushing past the things you think are difficult or that you don’t want to do. Prove to yourself that you can do hard things. At times, this might mean passing on that night out with friends so you can get a difficult but important project completed on time. It might also mean not buying something you really want so that money can be invested in your company instead.
In the beginning, it might be difficult to resist the things you want now in favor of the things that will really matter later. As you make the decision to build mental toughness, though, it will become easier and easier to resist those diversions that were once enticing.
Of course, mental toughness is not going to come all at once. When you look at the big picture of what you want to accomplish, it can feel overwhelming and impossible. Amelia Boone, an extreme athlete who is a three-time World’s Toughest Mudder Champion and a Spartan Race World Champion, said:
I find that if you start looking at the overall picture, if you start to see how much further you have to go, that’s when you mentally want to check out, and that’s when you mentally quit, and so for me, breaking it down into smaller goals helps me through that process.
One of the keys to achieving a big goal is to break it into smaller parts. If your goal is to build a multi-million-dollar company, it might be discouraging if your company barely breaks even the first quarter. While building a highly successful company is a great goal, start out with something smaller. Maybe this month you are going to try to make three quality business connections. Perhaps, your big goal for the month is to get your website up and running or to have a certain number of visitors on your site. As you achieve these smaller goals, you are building toward your bigger goal while also gaining more confidence in yourself and your ideas.
Avoiding Limiting Yourself
Often, it becomes easy to set limits for ourselves. We may feel like we can reach a specific goal, but that if we are required to work even a little harder, we won’t be able to do it. The problem is that success is often somewhere just beyond what we perceive as our limit. In an Entrepreneur article from this summer, one lady talked about how climbing Mount Kilimanjaro taught her that she could keep going even when she felt like she could go no further. When you feel like you have reached your limit, push just a little harder. You might be surprised what you can achieve.
Believe in Yourself
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to achieve your dreams is to believe in yourself. There will likely be people who will try to tell you that what you want to achieve is impossible or that you aren’t smart enough, dedicated enough, good enough, or otherwise enough to achieve your dream. At times, the voice saying this might be the voice in your head. The key to achieving your goal is to not allow that voice, no matter how loud or strong, to discourage you. Keeping believing in yourself.