How often are we in the middle of a struggle, trying to get an undertaking or objective achieved, when we just want to give up. “There is no way I can accomplish this,” we say to ourselves. “I’m just not going to be successful.”
Whether you are a sales professional banging away at an account, an individual in transition looking for that next opportunity, or an entrepreneur seeking to be funded, there are times (many times) when you want to throw in the towel. This happens to all of us. Nobody is immune from these feelings—feelings of discouragement when the odds seemed stacked against us. As Napoleon Hill says in his famous quote, “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
Last week, I was fortunate to speak to a group of individuals who are in transition, looking for their next professional opportunity. Oh, I remember what a helpless feeling that can be, not knowing when the search will end. There is nothing worse than the anxiety created by the uncertainty of a situation. Life then becomes that enormous roller coaster with its inherent highs and lows. We are often exhilarated by the ups, but that sudden drop will scare us to death.
Occasionally, it is important for us to be reminded that we should never give up. Success is the intersection of preparedness and opportunity. Opportunities are presented to us every day. We need to have our antenna up so we recognize them when they appear on the scene. If there are days when we do not feel up to making those calls, we need to back off and get some rest. We need to reboot our self-confidence, the engine that propels us ahead. Do something that you feel comfortable doing—something in which success is almost guaranteed. Go to the gym, see a movie, take the afternoon off and go for a ride. Any of these activities can help you clear your head and restore that self-confidence.
Often we are unable to achieve our objectives because we are not focused in the here and now. We need to empty our mind of all the distractions around us and give ourselves the opportunity to focus on what we are doing, just like a shaft of light carefully aimed. When we are in the moment, we are invincible and can achieve all we ever dreamed of and even more.
As leaders, whether we are leading others within an organization or ourselves, we are vulnerable to random feelings of inadequacy. After all, we are only human beings. But, under no circumstances can we give up. As Ross Perot has been known to say, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.” Remember this quotation when you feel like you want to throw in the towel.
Now ask yourself… “Am I a Leader?”