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Three Steps to Conquering the Challenge

Warning: this is a mindset post. Yes, mindset. How are you approaching those goals you have set for yourself? You know, losing weight, climbing the big hill…writing the book…benching 225 pounds…whatever the challenge might be, there are multiple ways of viewing it and of conquering it. But it all begins with your mindset.

Here are three steps to overcoming obstacles and knocking down the wall that exists between you and your goal:

  1. Stop viewing failure as fatal: when we watch young children learning how to walk, they don’t simply fall down once and quit. No, they continue to work at it, finding things to help prop them up on the journey. The resilience of youth is lost somewhere along the way as we age, leaving many people with a feeling of helplessness or a closed mindset when it comes to taking on a challenge. When I first began this entrepreneur career, I struggled with my mindset by thinking I should be further along or more successful right from the beginning. The same might be true in a teaching or leadership role for the first time. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Instead, view each failure as an opportunity to learn, to further experiment, to grow. Maybe you aren’t being successful…yet – but you will be.
  2. Get the vision in your head: my friend Don Epps shared a video this week about conquering a hill on his bicycle for the first time. He talked about the view from the top and about how fast he’d be going back down that hill. When we have a big challenge staring us down, try to imagine what it will look like when you have completed the challenge. What will I look like when I’ve lost the weight? How will my clothes fit? What is the view from the top of this hike I’ve been aiming for? How will I look in that new car? If you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can attain it. Find the vision, and chase it relentlessly.
  3. 1% better every day: I think this is one of those simple steps that trips people up often. You don’t have to do it all in one day. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. (not sure who ‘they’ are, but you get it) I like to look at my goals and my progress from this lens: you are either getting better or going in the wrong direction..there is no stasis. If we get 1% better each day, this leads to dramatic improvement over time. Think of the long game, think about your vision from #2 in this post, and just focus on tiny improvements each and every day.

The summary is this: many people will shy away from a challenge, will refuse to take a risk. Those are the ones who don’t win, who don’t have that incredible opportunity and wonder why not them. People, we can only focus on the things we can control. Chief among them, how we choose to show up and face a challenge. Stop viewing failure as fatal, get that vision in your head of what it WILL be like, and work to get better every day. You got this!

Have a #RoadToAwesome week


Tune in this week to “Leaning into Leadership” where my guest is Lindsay Lyons. Lindsay is an educational justice coach who helps schools and districts co-create feminist, anti racist curricula that challenges, affirms, and inspires all students. She is host of the “Time for Teachership” podcast.

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