All good business plans consist of a goal and steps to achieve that goal. When we reach the goal, we see it as a success. It sounds so easy, but we all know that the steps to reach the goal are usually not a straight path, but a rocky and uneven track of challenges, which makes it a daunting task. I have learned to feel uncomfortable – the challenge makes you grow taller.
That’s exactly the point of the hike – set a goal and navigate rocky, difficult terrain until you reach the top. On a recent trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I realized how my years of hiking have helped me overcome the challenges of starting a business and, without even thinking about it, I’m integrating the same techniques that I use to overcome the obstacles of mountain hiking to overcome the challenges of starting a business.
How does the correlation between hiking and business success work? I set the goal – a high elevation lake surrounded by fields of blooming wildflowers – and thought about how to reach the lake, two and a half miles and about 1,500 feet up to an elevation of 12,500 feet. It’s not easy – breathing while climbing to altitudes of 10,000 feet or more is a physical and mental challenge. The air is thin and dry, making it difficult to breathe and exercise energy. I knew I had to break the steps to reach my goal. I had to calculate how much I had to surpass myself in order not to exhaust myself, devising a strategy that would get me to the goal. It would have been a lot easier to turn around, however, I love a challenge and knew seeing and feeling the lake would be exhilarating. And it was!
My strategy was not to overwhelm myself by doing the hike all at once, but to break the hike into measurable and achievable stages. I used visualization and self-talk to do it.
Visualization creates a vivid mental image of your goal that keeps you motivated – in this case, the lake. As I visualized the lake and imagined myself there, I began to feel the fulfillment, gratification and pleasure that I would get from seeing the wild flowers, smelling the air and smelling the cool water. of the mountain. Visualizing made it all very real to me, making me want to go all the way.
The next part was to consider each action step to get there. I looked ahead and focused on something, only stopping when I reached that small goal. Even though it was 85 degrees outside, there was still an area covered in mountain snow. It was one of my micro-goals: to reach the snow.
Talking to myself
It wasn’t enough for me to just visualize. I also incorporated inner speech, or as I call it, mental conversations. Self-talk combines your logical and irrational thoughts. Who better than you to know the real you – not only your abilities but also your apologies?
If you’ve never tried autosuggestion as a method of motivating yourself and achieving your goal, you’re missing out. For this to work, you need to be able to talk to yourself honestly and question yourself. For example, when I climb and I tell myself that I cannot continue, I ask myself: “Me, why not? What’s stopping you? ”If there is a giant boulder in front of us,“ we ”discuss how to get around and cross it.
Decision-making, risk-taking, and following your gut are all part of self-talk. You can go right or left, take a risk or play it safe – we learn from both experiences. Isn’t it true that the more difficult the experience, the more powerful the feedback? I find the serenity of nature and the outdoors to provide more insightful visualization and inner discourse.
Much like hiking, business takes you on overwhelming twists and turns that require decision making, with difficult and risky choices. Using visualization and self-talk techniques helps you contemplate and determine what it is you really want. In my own experience, visualizing what my business looks like and what I look like in my business has been a worthy self-orientation technique. It shows me in my mind where I can be and how I can get there.
I warn you that viewing your business as one big picture can be overwhelming and overwhelming. Breaking down the big picture into smaller images and segments and adding some mental conversation will help you build a successful business. It has for me. And don’t forget to go for a hike and breathe – that’s good business practice too!