Building Mental Strength

Learning to Do Hard Things…

(Yes, it’s raining and seriously muddy)

Joe DeSena, founder of Spartan Races, writes in his book about doing the hard things. Finishing, not taking the shortcut, not giving up when the going gets tough.

It’s actually a brain skill we either learn or don’t learn in our early development years, writes Dr. Jim E. Wilder, in his book, Joy Starts Here. A skill we lose by age 12 if not properly fostered.

The Spartan Races were developed for those who didn’t necessarily get that brain skill in the first 12 years of life – or if they did, keeping it going. Building a new identity that is willing to keep going.

It’s no different in business. Starting a business is easy, keeping it going is hard.

Making it past the first year is a challenge, making it through the second, even more so. As businesses change and commoditize, reinventing can be even harder.

This race pushed me to my limits – 13+ miles of rugged terrain, 5 hours of constant rain and drizzle, in the 40s all day.  Many dropped out by the 8 mile marker…

What does it take to keep going when things aren’t going well? Part of our success was my team…My oldest son and I pushed through together. I couldn’t have done this alone.

Not that he physically carried me or anything – we encouraged each other to keep going, kept talking, sharing stories of past experiences, and kept our spirits high, focusing on joyful things, not the mud and rain.  Second, we had our coaches. We trained for this, consulted videos, practiced in earlier races, and trained to succeed before showing up on race day.

This is why I use a business coach, and it’s why I entered the business coaching business 16 years ago.  Like with the Spartan Races,  I believe in coaching – it takes more than sheer will power to push through hard things…it takes learning, learning the brain skills, the strategies that work, and getting the push to keep going.

© David Stelzl, CISSP – 2019

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


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