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Persevering Through Challenges: The Message in the Middle

Donna J. Spina PCC, CPC, ELI-MP

Remember the moment when you first conceived of your business. What was it like for you? A lightning bolt attached to the phrase “That’s it!” illuminating your mind while uplifting your heart and soul? The feeling of imminent fulfillment and purpose? Perhaps it was the birth of taking back control of your direction, financial security, and creativity in life.

Motivation is easy in the beginning. You are fueled by excitement and fun. Once the dream is realized, there is the satisfaction of crossing the finish line. The beginning and end of any project is simple.

But in the middle is where endurance and resilience to stay the course are tested. This is the toughest part. Discouragement creeps in from the impact of poor decisions, messy obstacles, or lost opportunities. Confidence wavers as more unforeseen or unexpected challenges arise. All are fodder for the building of self-doubt. Feeling lost and bewildered, you lack understanding for why something so sweet can now taste so sour.

But what if there was a message – a lesson to be learned?

Here are five tips on how to navigate the message in the middle:

  1. Meditate and Breathe. Find time every day to be completely quiet, free of all distractions, and savor a moment of peace. Get centered so you can single out your “higher voice” from all of the false chattering ones.
  2. BFFT. Birds of a Feather Flock Together. Gather a group of like-minded people who have been where you are: Stuck AND they’ve risen through it. Brainstorm and support each other on a regular basis – no excuses.
  3. Revisit and Re-validate your WHY. How did that lightning bolt at the beginning feel? Why did your heart joyfully cry out? Revisit the pure sense of relief and wholeness that followed from making the decision to start your business.
  4. Re-devote. Re-commit yourself to the process with nothing less than your personal best. Find the right people and resources to help hoist you out of this quicksand.
  5. Do the right thing. There is no simple shortcut to success. Stay in integrity. Be true to your word when persevering through challenges. Choose a direction. Make multiple small actions daily to stride toward one goal that will lead you through the challenges.

So instead of panicking or slipping into depression, consider what message this awkward middle is giving you. What small changes can you make to reinvigorate your business while staying true to your original goals?