In today’s fast paced and connected world, it has become easy for people to get distracted and give up on their dreams. We all face those moments. When was the last time you had a dream or a vision for something you wanted to accomplish? At the time, chances are you truly believed you had what it takes to make it happen. But maybe you met a bump in the road, someone questioned you, or, most likely, you began to question yourself. You realized reaching your goal was going to be twice as hard as you thought it would be. You retreat. You move on to the next thing without really accomplishing anything.
As a business owner and an endurance athlete, I’ve recognized throughout the course of my career (and my training) that there are some common things that hold us humans back. What I’ve learned is that it’s not about knowledge, strength, or ability. The obstacles we face typically fall into one of the following three categories:
- Lack of clarity. “I don’t know what I want.” This is the most common barrier I hear from others. They haven’t taken the time to reflect upon what they want, and why they want it. Slow down, disconnect, and find someone you can trust (whether it be a coach, mentor, or a good friend) to help you explore this. Make a list of what makes you happy. Create a vision for what it will look like when you get there. Develop a purpose behind what you’re doing. Then, and only then, can you craft an action plan to lead you down the path towards your accomplishment. The clarity around purpose and your goal will be your guiding force, and other things will become less of a distraction.
- Mental weakness. We’ve all heard the saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But it’s easier said than done, because it’s not about strength, it’s about what’s in your mind. You have to train your mind to become mentally tough. It is easy to be successful when you hit the easy stretches, but what happens when those stretches are harder, longer, and have more obstacles to overcome? Maybe you’re pushing hard, and you think you’re at your limit, but things aren’t working out. What do you do? First, you move on and LEARN from the experience. My friend Samantha Murphy reminds me all the time that your mind gives up before your body does. Therefore, in addition to strengthening your skills, you must train your mind every day to support and drive that strength. I’ve found that listening to inspiring podcasts, reading books and articles, and surrounding myself with others who challenge my mind have helped me to advance my mental strength.
- Other people – the naysayers. When you start pushing toward your goals, the reality is you will trigger something in others that will likely catch you off guard. Often times when you first start on your venture, people seem encouraging and congratulate you. But once you have a win or two under your belt, or when hit the first obstacle, you realize who your true allies are versus those who will criticize your every move. Our friend Kent Skornia taught us the value of “love every idea for five minutes.” We’ve embraced this not only as we operate in the office on marketing and PR campaigns, but also as we pursue our personal goals. The naysayer has killed more dreams and innovation than any misstep or physical challenge ever could. Tune out or redirect that negative energy because it doesn’t have anything to do with you or your goal.
So in conclusion, remind yourself of the goals you set forth and make sure you are on track. If you encounter a detour, that’s okay. Move forward. Be clear about what you want, be methodical about your plan to get there, surround yourself with people who are supportive, and train your mind.