“Everybody thinks they’re a champion when they’re not tired.” This is what my track & field coach said during practice, and I know this saying will stick with me for the rest of my life. It’s so true; it’s easy to believe in yourself when everything is going your way, when you’re accomplishing goals in your area of expertise or giving a presentation that you’ve given 100 times prior. However, it’s not as easy to believe in yourself when you’re uncomfortable, when you’re doing something that doesn’t come naturally or when you’re put on the spot. Successful entrepreneurs, however, believe that they can overcome any obstacle they face.
Just like a top tier athlete, the most successful entrepreneurs believe in themselves undoubtedly. They know that everyone goes through different degrees of difficulty along their journey, and have undying self-confidence, the single top reason why they succeed when others don’t. Here are three tips that successful entrepreneurs live by. Apply these to your own life and watch your business and your confidence grow!
Believe in yourself, unrealistically.
Will Smith said, “Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.” In athletics you have to believe in yourself more than anyone else competing believes in themselves, otherwise you’ve lost before the competition has even started. Entrepreneurs should treat their craft in the same way. What use is there in being realistic? Being “real” will only result in something that already exists; being optimistically unrealistic will result in change. Believe in yourself when no one else does. If you don’t, no one else will.
Next time you doubt yourself, try calling yourself out on it. Think about the underlying reasons why you are self-doubting in the first place. Are you afraid? Did you fail in the past? Whatever the reasons may be, forget about it and decide to believe in yourself instead. That’s what will make you a successful entrepreneur. That’s what will make you a champion.
Don’t be afraid of a little pain.
Pain is our body’s way of communicating our current limits, but if we don’t push those limits we’ll never improve. I remember a couple days ago when my track and field coach had the team run ten repeat 800 meter dashes (which breaks down to two laps around the track, 10 times). We didn’t tire in our first lap or two, but when it came down to running our last couple 800s, our legs felt like cinder blocks, our lungs were burning and our stomachs were twisted. Still, we didn’t stop. We had to finish.
There will be times in your career when you have to get up at 3am to get ready for a presentation, or you have to go to an event that you’re not looking forward to attending. You’ll have to make hard decisions again and again. Take that leap of faith and don’t be afraid of pain. No pain means no change- if you don’t embrace pain, you’ll hit a plateau.
Next time you think you’ve reached your limits, push forward anyway. Maybe you’ll get hurt a little bit, but maybe you’ll accomplish something you never thought was possible.
Set small goals and set big goals.
What do you want to accomplish? What are your goals?
In high school I was an all-state triple jumper. When I first came to college and wasn’t performing in the way I thought I should, I gave up. Not only did I not believe in myself, but I failed to set any goals for myself. It’s now my senior year and I now know that it’s not enough to want to be as good as I was; that’s too realistic. I now set big goals that scare me, but these goals would make me go crazy with excitement if and when I accomplish them. Of course it’s important to have small goals, too. What’s more, successful entrepreneurs set smaller goals that act as stepping stones for the large stretch goals they’ve set.
Just like successful athletes, entrepreneurs should set goals that scare them. They should be optimistically unrealistic and embrace pain. There’s no point in chasing something that is easily attainable or realistic. Doing this will only result in mediocrity.
“It’s unrealistic to walk into a room and flick a switch and lights come on, fortunately Edison didn’t think so.” - Will Smith