Persistence – How to Keep a Positive Mindset When Things are Tough

There have been many times since starting my business in 2004 where I have come close to quitting from sheer exhaustion and frustration.  Each time, a little voice inside my head would tell me keep persisting, push-on and never give up!  This is because I am following my passion, a passion that is so entrenched into my soul I could never give up. This passion is actually for the professional speaking and recruitment industries.

In 2004 I was introduced to the speaking industry and started my first professional speaker bureau. Since then I have been extremely fortunate to be able to mix with some of the most inspirational people in this country who have inspired me and taught me many skills in sales, marketing, social media and a list too big to name here.

Persistence is the ability to keep going after rejections and setbacks, and the majority of people give up all too early. How many stories have you already heard of people never giving up? Take J. K. Rowling for example, rejected by 12 publishers before a small publishing house picked up Harry Potter. What if J.K. had given up? The publishers that knocked her back missed out on millions of dollars. Same in sales, rejection is just part of the process, not everyone wants or needs what you have to sell but sooner or later someone will.

Here are the mind tools that I used to keep myself going through some extremely tough times, times where I was about to push the eject button on my dream and by using the following methods below, was able to push on.

The first thing is to have the finish line in your mind. Whether that is increasing sales, becoming a top sports performer or whatever your goal is. Make it visual, see it and feel what it’s like to reach it. Live it! To give you an example, my finish line is to live in a tree house in a rainforest. That might surprise many readers, however in my mind, I know that when I’m living in that tree house, I have succeeded in building my business to where I envisage it to be. So how do you keep going when times are tough and you feel you have no energy left or the willpower to take the next step?

Have your goal in mind. Write it out in the now, i.e. “It is January 2015, my business is turning over $xxxx and I have employed XXX staff, etc. I’m a visual person, so I have always had pictures of what I am working towards printed on a board or put on my laptop desktop as a reminder why I am so driven.

You have to be passionate about what you do. If the passion isn’t there, you might need to consider doing something else. Remember that life has its ups and downs. In the downtimes keep focusing on what you want to achieve, not on the things going wrong in the moment. In my down times, I always used what I call “flip thought” I would actually change the negative thought (or worry) to the opposite.

Learn to leverage off other people, share resources and skill sets. It’s not expensive to hire people from Elance or Odesk.

Do not allow other people’s negativity get to you. It’s only their opinion and if they are telling you ‘you can’t do that’ or anything similar, they are actually saying that they couldn’t do it themselves.

If things are not going quite the way you planned, you might need to consider altering the course slightly. For example, when I was establishing my first speaker bureau, I wasn’t making enough money so I ended up getting a job as a recruiter, while building my business on the side. That was a blessing in disguise because these days I am freelance recruiting which fits in nicely with the speakers bureau.  The two are aligned together by offering a service to find the staff and having the resources to have them trained and motivated!

Sometimes you just have to walk away...for a day! Take a day to clear your head and give yourself permission to relax for the day. Whenever I have a bad day, I always know tomorrow will be better. I can’t stress enough about positive self talk, so be very mindful of what you are thinking and what you are saying. In other words...don’t complain!

Work to your strengths – for example, anything to do with administration work stresses me because it’s a weakness for me, so I hire other people to do that. Write a list of where you will be if you succeed in achieving your goal and the consequences if you don’t. That should keep you motivated!

What has kept me going through tough times is my unshakeable self belief in what I am doing, and the ability to switch off when the doomsayers offered their unwelcome advice. If you believe in yourself and see what you want to achieve in your mind, you will eventually get there.

I start my day by writing positive affirmations in my journal, visualizing what I want to achieve for the day, meditating on the finish line, praising myself for what I have achieved so far, and writing down thoughts of gratitude. This little exercise sets me up for a productive and happy day.  I know on the other hand, if I don’t entertain positive vibes my day usually isn’t productive or good. Also, whatever it takes, make time to go for a walk some time during the day and promise yourself that you will not think about anything when you are walking....unless it’s your finish line!

It’s really all in the mind and trusting, really trusting that you can do it.

By Deb Carr