Whether it's building a million-dollar company, rising the ranks to CEO, or becoming a world-class author--the amount of sweat equity required is astronomical. Many sacrifices must be made and the journey is often times lonely, with ample moments where quitting is a possibility.
However, if you last through those moments and finally reach the goal, it's a wonderful feeling. But imagine putting in the work, day after day for a number of years, and then having all of that work put in jeopardy in a matter of seconds.
This was NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's reality. On August 30, 2016, Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury to his left leg. This wasn't just a run-of-the-mill lower-body injury, as evident by the way teammates and coaches reacted to it.
In a recent ESPN column, Dan Cooper, who was Bridgewater's surgeon, described it as a "horribly grotesque injury." Cooper also mentioned in the column that Bridgewater's leg was "mangled and almost like a war wound." This injury has about a 20 to 25 percent chance of recovery.
However, Bridgewater recently defied the odds and returned to the playing field, where his play has been a pleasant surprise because not many expected him to look like his pre-injury self.
When they asked his doctor what was one of the key factors to this stunning comeback, he attributed it to Bridgewater's "inner resolve."
A strong inner resolve will get you through the toughest of times
As an entrepreneur and leader, your mind is your strongest asset, which most people conceptually understand.
But implementation and utilization of this powerful tool are an entirely different narrative. After a huge setback, especially one where the people around you have doubts about your return, it's easy to let your mind go dull and give in to the inevitable feelings.
But, just as Bridgewater maintained his strong inner resolve, you must maintain yours during your climb back upward. You must take control of your mind, or you will always feel a lack of control as it pertains to your life and circumstances.
When it comes to maintaining your inner resolve, a key aspect of that equation is managing and redefining potential emotions that may come up. As you're climbing back upward and looking to develop more tenacity, here is one big emotion to get a hold of:
You worked hard for something and then it was taken away from you, or you came up short on the goal. This could be hours spent on a proposal only to receive a "no." Hours spent over the course of the year to still fall short of the yearly goal. No matter the cause of your dejected spirits, this feeling is normal.
I was told years ago, when I was sending applications for grad school and experiencing a string of rejections, that feeling sad was normal because I cared about what I was pursuing.
This sounds like common sense--and quite frankly it is. But how many of us approach the situation from that logical standpoint? I'm willing to bet a low percentage.
Being dejected about something only becomes troublesome when you become incapable of pulling yourself out of that particular mental state. This is when your health and performance are greatly affected.
To help alleviate the feeling, don't deny it or judge yourself. Instead, move your mind back to the present moment by accepting and then searching for things in that particular situation that could be of benefit as you move forward.
At the end of the day, the way you think will construct your expectations and what you get out of life. Don't let your self-fulfilling prophecy become an undesirable one.