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Growth comes from pushing the limits of what’s possible within your existing skill set and expertise. The challenge is that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to identify their limits to push themselves to the next level. Of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I have coached, the most successful have perfected these six tactics.
1. Address your limiting mindset
Being able to push your limits often boils down to mind over matter. It’s easy to avoid pushing yourself to do things you believe are not possible. Sometimes simply believing you can’t accomplish something will limit your ability to push yourself to the max. 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 in 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 isn’t this possible? or Who told you that you couldn’t accomplish this? If you can’t come up with a legitimate reason why you can’t accomplish your objective, you might need to reevaluate your mindset.
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 might 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 clients this month, you might take one approach (such as cold calling potential leads). However, if you set the goal to close sales with 1,000 clients, cold calling would be impossible. This forces you to rethink your approach.
The objective here isn’t necessarily to work toward unattainable goals, but it can help you identify where smaller goals could be limiting your progress.
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 satisfaction levels, increased performance and improved chances of success. Visualizing how success will look and feel can help you find the motivation to keep pushing yourself.
Visual reminders such as photos and vision boards can help remind you frequently 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 consistently revisit your motivational factor.
Related: How to Regain Work/Life Balance
4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Identifying your limits is key to knowing what boundaries you can push. Pushing your limits will come with feelings of discomfort. That’s okay! If you are never uncomfortable, you can never grow. Challenge yourself to do new things that you feel are uncomfortable. Over time, you’ll begin feeling comfortable with your new limits.
Repeating this process over and over will help you continue to stretch yourself. Remember that every expert was once a beginner.
5. Embrace failure
When asked about his work on the modern light bulb, Thomas Edison stated “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” When pushing the boundaries of your skills and experience, you are bound to face failure. How you approach failure can greatly impact your ability to continue growing. Failing provides opportunities to learn valuable lessons that you can use and implement. Failure is a natural part of growth, so use it to your advantage.
6. Seek accountability
Some people have the discipline to push themselves to reach new heights. Others might need help from those around them. If you need support from others, find someone who can push you and challenge you to do more or take risks. A good accountability partner can be a mentor, coach or another person who can provide candid feedback and guide you. Better still, join a peer advisory board.
Anything is possible with a dream, a passion and the ability to push yourself.