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Growth comes when you push the boundaries of what is possible within your existing skills and expertise. The challenge is that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to push themselves to the next level. Of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve coached, the most successful have perfected these six tactics.
1. Address your limiting mindset
Being able to push your limits often boils down to sanity. It’s easy to avoid pushing yourself to do things you think aren’t possible. Sometimes just believing you can’t achieve something limits your ability to push yourself to the max. These limiting beliefs might be holding you back. Athletes believed it was impossible to run a four-minute mile until 1954—until Roger Bannister broke the record. Since then, nearly 2,000 athletes have accomplished this feat.
In many cases, limiting beliefs are thoughts put into your head by those around you. This is common for entrepreneurs who feel discouraged or receive negative feedback from others who don’t understand their vision.
Ask yourself to address limiting beliefs and mindsets Why isn’t that possible? or Who told you you can’t do this? If you can’t find a legitimate reason why you can’t achieve your goal, you may need to rethink your mindset.
2. Set aggressive goals
Most goal setting experts recommend methods such as the SMART method. These approaches are great for regular goals. But if you want 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 an approach (e.g., 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 reconsider 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 are increasing repeat sales
3. Find out what motivates you
Motivation can play a big part in your ability to push yourself beyond your limits. Highly motivated professionals have higher satisfaction, increased performance and improved chances of success. Imagining what success will look like and feel like can help you find the motivation to keep pushing yourself.
Visual reminders such as 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 keep rethinking your motivational factor.
Related: How to regain work-life balance
4. Get used to feeling uncomfortable
Knowing your limits is key to knowing which limits you can push. Crossing your limits will make you uncomfortable. That’s okay! If you never feel uncomfortable, you can never grow. Challenge yourself to do new things that make you uncomfortable. Over time, you will become comfortable with your new boundaries.
Repeating this process over and over will allow you to stretch further. Remember that every expert was once a beginner.
5. Embrace failure
When asked about his work on the modern lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail. I’ve only found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” If you push the limits of your skills and experience, you are bound to fail. How you deal with failure can have a profound impact on your ability to continue growing. Failure offers 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. Strive for accountability
Some people have the discipline to push themselves to reach new heights. Others may need help from those around them. When you need support from others, find someone who can push and challenge you to do more or take risks. A good accountability partner can be a mentor, coach, or other person who can provide honest feedback and guidance. Better yet, join a peer advisory board.
With a dream, a passion and the ability to push yourself, anything is possible.
Related: 10 Reasons Leading Entrepreneurs Join a Peer Advisory Board