By experience, starting something is difficult, it requires determination and perseverance. It might be exhilarating at the beginning, but there comes a point where self-doubt and fear win over. Launching a business, acting on an idea we believe is extremely motivating. We think that our life will change forever. Yet, our enthusiasm might fade away after only a few weeks. It’s even more difficult when we walk a lonely path. “Is it really for me?” we might ask ourselves. I even came across a new concept: the Impostor syndrome. “It is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. It is a well-known phenomenon whenever we start something”*.
On receiving positive feedbacks:
If perseverance is the key to success, handling feedbacks is crucial. Receiving positive feedbacks boosts our motivation. It can even boost our ego. People congratulate our work, they encourage us to continue and it feels great! Yet, the difficult part comes when we no longer receive those positive feedbacks. Worse, we became dependent on these external things. If our value depends on external factors (feedbacks, popularity, encouragement) we trust ourselves less. Our motivation “swings” considerably and so would our work.
Persistence and perseverance increase our self-esteem
It’s here that self-reliance plays a major role. We need to trust ourselves and gain more self-confidence. I suggest writing a plan, following it, evaluate and judge ourselves on their accomplishment or not. By working on what we promise to do, we gain integrity, we trust ourselves more. We raise our self-esteem and the good news is: “we are in control”. It also helps us base our value on key factors we directly control: what we do or what we don’t. It is indeed a long process, but with determination and patience, it’s possible.
Focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want
Should I use: never give up or always persevere? Can you see the difference? For a loss-weight, we could opt for two strategies: either avoid junk-foods or eat more veggies. The first leads to more junk foods, the second to green and healthy foods. This is also why people never quit smoking, they always say: “I will stop smoking now”. By saying this, they still think about smoking. Our subconscious mind barely makes the difference between a negative statement and a positive one. It cares only on what is pictured in our mind. If I suggest you to close your eyes, and start not to think about a parrot for a minute, chances are: you will still think about a parrot. It would help if you think instead about a cow or a penguin. By the same token, if what we want is to persevere, we better not use statements such as: “I’ll never give up” or “I’ll never fail”. Maybe “I always persevere” or “I’ll win this battle” would be more suitable.
A Mastermind group and a supportive environment
I mentioned earlier how difficult it is to start something alone. Unless we create a supportive environment, hang out with like-minded people or other entrepreneurs, our fate is sealed. Not only, would we fail rapidly than when we’re in group. But we’ll also be less motivated, victim of self-doubts. We’ll miss amazing support we could benefit from our peers. This why Toastmasters International is so successful: the system is based on providing a supportive environment, encouraging each other and give tap on the back for even the slightest progress.
Starting is already a big step. The second big step is to walk the path. We might have big dreams and big goals, but we can focus on every single step we make. Climbing a mountain doesn’t require us to always thinking about it. Sooner or later, we will arrive there, as long as we carry on and focus on each step: a journey of thousand miles always begins with a single step.
Until next time! 🙂