Getting discouraged and wanting to give up is a natural part of the achievement process. I think you’d be hardpressed to find a single high achiever that hasn’t wanted to quit along the road to success.
When you get to that point, when you want to quit and just stop working because you’re discouraged, that is the exact moment you must dig in and push a bit, because as a very good friend of mine once said fortune favors the bold.
Steven Pressfield talks about resistance in his book the War of Art - a book I highly recommend - as being the force that wants you to fail, that wants to keep you down where you are. Resistance is natural. It’s there to tell you that you’re going to have to stretch yourself to get to the next level.
Think of it as a bar.
Let’s say there's a barbell you’re trying to raise over your head. Have you ever raised a heavy bar over your head?
There is natural resistance, the most actually, at the very beginning of the lift because you’re starting from the bottom and your muscles are fully relaxed.
So you have to generate a lot of energy and momentum and power from your will to get the bar moving. Once the bar is moving you have the advantage of inertia. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more resistance along the way because there will be.
At approximately the midway point will be a bunch more resistance because as you’re pushing up and through the lift you naturally lose some of the momentum because you’re working against gravity. Your lift begins to slow down and you reach a point where your muscles are weakest.
That’s the moment in business or in life where you find yourself becoming frustrated and discouraged by where you are in the process and the progress you have or have not made.
That’s where you are weakest in will. You’re coming up against resistance and it isn’t comfortable. But take heart because that discouragement, frustration, and feeling uncomfortable is a sure sign that you’re moving through, pushing past previous limitations.
You’re expanding your comfort zone, raising your threshold, and getting smarter and stronger. You’re multiplying the force and power of your will to keep going through adversity and discouragement. Each time you push through, you get stronger and rise to higher levels as you expand your capacity for work and achievement.
But to get there you must push, you must train and condition yourself to automatically respond to resistance with an almost agressive move towards digging in, pushing harder, and driving through the pushback.
When you do this you will become more and more capable each time you lift. When I say lift, again, imagine raising that heavy barbell of success overhead, lifting yourself up to higher levels of achievement.
The extra benefit is that you get stronger and lifting things to higher levels should get easier and easier as you get stronger and stronger.
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Adam Dudley is an author, coach, mentor, and consultant. He writes. He mentors. He adventures. Explore, learn, grow, repeat.
Carrie Scherpelz says...
"I can't say enough good things about my colleague, Adam Dudley. He's a joy to work with--uniquely gifted and absolutely reliable. Out-of-the-box brainstorms and big successes have resulted from our collaboration. In fact, I consider Adam a rare master of the give-and-take communication that is essential to effective teamwork. Best of all, he's willing to share his secrets with others through his Mindful Business offerings."
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