Beat Inertia and break through the barriers
Load- shedding, strikes, Moody’s pending downgrade, the economy, the GDP dropping by a massive 3.2% – these problems are enough to make us feel powerless. This depressing list could go on and on and the resulting sense of futility can paralyse us into inaction. Our inspiration fades and productivity drops. But it is exactly in times like these that we need to apply more effort and take bigger actions.
So how do we overcome resistance and push our businesses through to success?
Be honest – own your situation
Stephen Pressfield refers to “Resistance” or inertia in his book “The War of Art” and defines it this way:
Have you ever bought a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment?
Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is. Look in your own heart. Right now a small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow.
You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.
Sometimes we use our energy to moan and feed the problem, but by admitting that we are in a state of inaction we can start to use that energy that made the problem look bigger, to find creative solutions to the challenge.
Redefine the roadmap
Many entrepreneurs and managers know where they need to go, but in tough times you need to re-valuate the terrain and create a defined and solid path through the apparent wilderness. Business action plans are effective tools to take you from where you are now, to your version of success. Tony Robbins suggests something even better. Instead of taking action, you need to take massive action. He invites leaders to complete your own Massive Action Plan by doing the following:
- Write down the results you want to achieve.
- Write down your purpose (compelling reasons why you want to accomplish your goals).
- Develop a sequence of priority actions.
The last action in Tony Robbins’ list above is essential. Often, when feeling overwhelmed by one’s circumstances and the rising pressures, it can be effective to take your to-do-list and bring it down to focused activities that will help meet your goals. This doesn’t mean you have to discard all the things you need to do but that you should have a closer look at what steps will get you out of the forest and into the sunlight of success. You will find that, with this clarity, comes motivation and a burst of energy to drive you forward.
Burnout – take a break
Burnout is not simply a result of long hours. The cynicism, depression and lethargy of burnout can occur when a person has been fighting situations over a prolonged period – like the impacts of a negative economy and factors that are beyond your control, no matter how hard you work. This can be countered by taking a break; even a weekend away. You will return feeling a bit rested with a fresh perspective. Motivation is not a feeling; it’s about having a direction to move in, meeting a fresh challenge and being ready to take “massive action.”
Few people can fire on all cylinders all the time but, as an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to let your low-productivity days drive your business into a downward spiral.
An article published by Inc. entitled Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship sheds light on the effects of the traumatic events entrepreneurs go through: “No one said building a company is easy.” And while this may be true, you need to get back into action – write your plan, be clear, prioritise, and apply force. Start pushing your business forward once again.