Steady The Ship

Running your own business is not a peaceful process. You have sales and revenue to look after, staff to manage, and the needs and demands of your personal and home life still requiring attention. The life of an entrepreneur is not a simple one, and that difficulty is exponentially greater when you’re just starting out on your own. A certain degree of stress is par for the course, but thankfully, you can manage it with a bit of effort and a positive mindset. In fact, those so inclined can even channel that stress into a resource so crucial to the success of any venture – motivation. Mental fortitude is the key to making use of stress to achieve the latter. The ability to respond positively to multiple sources of pressure is vital, so check out these tips on how to enhance your mental fortitude.

All in the technique

Strength of mind doesn’t equal an aversion or immunity to stress. You can’t escape feelings of worry and anxiety; we all have to deal with those. What this means is that you learn to accept things that you are powerless to stop, making use of the resources that are at your disposal to then produce a counter-balance.

  • Change the way you think- It’s vital that you understand that you are in charge of how your mind works. Counting your chickens before they hatch, taking criticism personally, over-analysing and over-generalising the smallest of details, and refusing to accept advice are negative thought patterns. Once you address these, you can think more constructively.
  • Stress management is crucial- Like a lot of mental illnesses and disorders, stress is often not given the medical weight it merits. The truth is that it can sometimes manifest via physical symptoms and changes in behaviour, and these can be difficult to manage. Try some common techniques to ease your mind and body – a trip to the spa, visualisation of soothing images, mediation and exercise. At the same time, keep an eye on behavioural patterns reflective of your level of stress – sleeping poorly and eating sparingly are two of the more common ones.
  • Learn to let go of what you can’t control- No matter how good you are at your job, no matter how excellent a plan you may have, there will always be factors that are beyond your influence. Learning to accept this is the only way to control what affects you and how much stress is caused. Just be careful not to go down the other extreme, which would be interpreting every mistake and setback as something beyond your control.

Top priority to self-belief

Confidence is the most important element of success, making it crucial that you bring it into your arsenal. After all, it’s this trait that is inherent to the world’s best businessmen, athletes, politicians and scholars. With self-belief comes the ability to determine and achieve realistic goals, judge and take calculated risks, regulate fear and control mistakes. Without these abilities, your chances of achieving success with your business diminish considerably.

  • Play to your strengths- You are where you are because of who you are, and who you are is shaped in part by your experiences and in part by your talents. If you’ve achieved some degree of success, and all of us have to a certain extent, then it’s down to certain traits that serve you well. Perhaps you’re a good people person, or maybe you’re excellent with number. Whatever they may be, identify and use them to get what you want.
  • Believe in your targets without losing track of reality- Realistic goals foster better performances and enhance your desire to achieve, but lofty ones will end in disappointment nine times out of ten. Keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds, and focus on each step of the way. Looking straight at your destination can do more harm than good.

What matters that counts

Elite performers always manage to keep their eyes on the prize, even when distractions around them make this an impossible task for lesser competitors. As well as accepting that there are certain things that you cannot influence, you must also be able to maintain your focus.

  • Keep the spotlight on the process- Methodology is crucial to achieving and maintaining a high level of performance, no matter what your field of work. Train yourself to keep focus on the target while paying attention to the tasks at hand, all the while ignoring that which need not be considered.
  • Positivity is the key- Worrying about failures from the past and second-guessing your ability could affect the consequences of your actions. So too can overestimating the potential of future failure. Learn from your mistakes and accept the possibility of disappointment, but never dwell on any of these things.

– Ashwin