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Growth comes from pushing the limits of what is possible within your existing skill set and experience. The challenge is that many entrepreneurs do not know how to identify their limits to move to the next level. Of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve mentored, the most successful have perfected these six tactics.
1. Address your limiting mindset
Being able to push your limits often comes down to mind over matter. It’s easy to avoid forcing yourself to do things you think aren’t possible. Sometimes just believing that you can’t accomplish something will limit your ability to do your best. These limiting beliefs could be holding you back. Until 1954, athletes believed that running a four-minute mile was impossible, until Roger Bannister broke the record. Since then, nearly 2,000 athletes have accomplished this feat.
In many cases, limiting beliefs are thoughts that are put into your head by those around you. This is common for entrepreneurs who are discouraged or receive negative feedback from others who don’t understand their vision.
To address limiting beliefs and mindsets, ask yourself Why is this not possible? either Who told you that you couldn’t achieve this? If you can’t find a legitimate reason why you can’t achieve your goal, you may need to reevaluate your thinking.
2. Set aggressive goals
Most goal setting experts recommend using methodologies like the SMART method. These approaches are great for regular goals. But if you’re looking to push your limits, you may need to think outside the box. Setting aggressive goals can affect the actions you take. For example, if you want to sell products to 10 customers this month, you can take one approach (such as cold calling potential leads). However, if you set a goal of closing sales with 1,000 customers, cold calling would be impossible. This forces you to rethink your approach.
The goal here isn’t necessarily to work toward unattainable goals, but it can help you identify where smaller goals might be limiting your progress.
Related: 7 Ways Leading Companies Drive Repeat Sales
3. Find out what motivates you
Motivation can play a huge role in your ability to push yourself beyond your limits. Highly motivated professionals have higher levels of satisfaction, higher performance and better chances of success. Visualizing what success will look and feel like can help you find the motivation to keep pushing.
Visual reminders like photos and vision boards can help you frequently remind yourself of the things that motivate you (family, your dream sports car, becoming the top supplier in your market, etc.). Daily mantras can also be a great way to constantly check your motivation factor.
Related: How to regain balance between work and life
4. Be comfortable with discomfort
Identifying your limits is key to knowing what limits you can push. Pushing your limits will come with feelings of discomfort. Alright! If you never feel uncomfortable, you can never grow. Challenge yourself to do new things that you feel are uncomfortable. Over time, you will begin to feel comfortable with your new limits.
Repeating this process over and over will help you keep stretching. Remember that every expert was once a beginner.
5. Accept failure
When asked about his work on the modern light bulb, Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” By pushing the limits of his skills and experience, he is bound to face failure. How he deals with failure can have a huge impact on his ability to keep growing. Failure provides opportunities to learn valuable lessons that you can use and implement. Failure is a natural part of growing up, so use it to your advantage.
6. Seek responsibility
Some people have the discipline to push themselves to new heights. Others may need help from those around them. If you need the support of others, find someone who can push you and challenge you to do more or take risks. A good accountability partner might be a mentor, coach, or someone else who can give you honest feedback and guide you. Better yet, join a peer advisory board.
Anything is possible with a dream, a passion and the ability to work hard.
Related: 10 Reasons Leading Entrepreneurs Join a Peer Advisory Council