How to keep pushing through – and never give up
I watched this TED talk recently by Jim Kwik: 10 things that will change your life immediately and there are some really great advice in that 10 minutes talk that is definitely worth writing down.
One thing that stood out to me was subject number 6 out of the 10 things that Jim talked about. So this question came up: “What does it take to be a champion?” to which Arnold Schwarzenegger answered:
“The difference between an amateur and a champion is that a champion is willing to push past the pain period”.
Is there a pain period in a relationship? Is there a pain period in a health crisis? Is there a pain period in your business? Now, the ability to push past the pain period, the ability to keep pushing through and how to become a champion – THAT is the goal that we are discussing here today.
Getting past the discomfort
Many of us including myself, often wish that change could be an easy and pain-free process to go through, but often it is not. When we reach the point of discomfort, that is a sign that we are on the path of changing, we just need to push past that period of discomfort.
Generally, people don’t like change. To change a habit, to move houses or develop a new skill, it all requires the ability to push beyond the discomfort zone. The period of pain where we face negative emotions and negative thoughts, it’s a period that we need to push through in order for change to happen.
For example, learning how to play the guitar is not pain free..not in the beginning.
The first time I picked up a guitar it felt very unnatural. I was clumsy with my fingers, it felt like it was taking me ages to learn how to switch chords from C to D to G, my fingers were aching from pushing down the strings and still I wasn’t pushing the strings hard enough for the right sound to come out. I was bored with playing the same beginner songs over and over again..I just wanted to be able play Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven straight away!
At this point, it is easy to put the guitar away and say to yourself: “I will never be able to play guitar” or “I’m not gifted” or “I’m not meant to play guitar”. I tell you what, when you get through that pain period of disbelief and aching fingers, change will happen and you will be rewarded for your effort and hard work.
Challenge your beliefs
“Mum, I can’t go to school”, I said.
“Why not?”, mum answered.
“Because I can’t speak any English”.
This was a dialogue I had with my mum when I was 6 years old. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I was born and bred in Sweden so naturally, Swedish is my first language.
My limiting belief was that I couldn’t go to school because I thought that English was something that I had to master beforehand. My mum reassured me that English was something that I would learn at school, and not until I was 9 years old I would start learning the basics of the English language.
What are your limiting beliefs?
How can you challenge your beliefs in a way so that you can start living a more inspiring life?
For example, one limiting belief that I grew up with, is the belief that I have nothing to say that is of value or importance. Because of this belief system I would most often sit quietly in a group situation and wouldn’t say anything unless I knew exactly what to say that wouldn’t put me in an uncomfortable situation, as I was afraid of being laughed at or judged by other people.
So one way for me to change this belief, is from
I have nothing valuable or important to say
What I say is valuable and people around me like to hear what I have to say.
If we want to succeed in life, we need to challenge our negative beliefs by replacing them with something positive. We cannot fail if we believe that failure is one step closer to success.
Focus on the things that are within your control
Many of us tend to focus on the things that are beyond our control, such as the past. When we focus on situations that we cannot do anything about, we are wasting both energy and time that could be spent focusing on the things that we CAN do something about.
When faced with a challenging situation, we need to stop focusing on the barrier that holds us back, but rather how to overcome that barrier. You can’t move the mountain in front of you but you can find ways to get past it.
What are the things that you can control? Divert your focus to these things and let go of the things that you cannot control.
Get creative, step outside the box. Stop looking at the small stuff, but take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Perhaps you will discover things that you didn’t see before.
Look at the resources that you have, how you best make use of them. When negativity overwhelms you, the number one resource that you can make use of is your breath. What can you do when you’re stuck in traffic and you are late for a very important meeting? Start by taking four deep breaths, calm down and let go of the situation that is out of your control.
Forgive, let go, move on
The best way to move forward from anger and frustration, is to forgive.
When you’re blaming somebody for something that happened or for the situation that you find yourself in, you’re not letting yourself move on as you are stuck in a swirl of anger. Whether you are blaming yourself or somebody else, the key to letting go of negative feelings is the same: forgiveness.
Forgiveness will help you shift focus from negativity and self-doubt and instead give you the opportunity to move forward and past the pain period.
I’ve learned to snap out of the negative spiral much quicker than before.
In the past I used to hold on to anger and self-hatred for as long as possible, as a way to punish myself. But then I realised that the anger that I put out didn’t do good to anyone. It’s only draining to myself and others around me.
Get strength from the people around you who love you and support you, but don’t take their love for granted. It’s ok to share your worries and sorrow with others, but remember to not hold on to that negativity for too long. Rumination is a dangerous place to be in.
Becoming a champion
When we develop the skills to push past the pain periods, we can accomplish anything we set our mind to.
Becoming a champion is about mindset. It’s about shifting our focus to the things that will help us move forward, beyond the discomfort and towards prosperity and growth. It’s about learning to forgive and letting go of the anger that nails us to the floor.
When we find ourselves in a negative spiral we need to find a way to break the cycle.
Becoming a champion is to never give up on your vision, to have the courage and strength to stand back up again after hitting rock bottom, it is to use failure as a stepping stone to success.