How do successful people take on a difficult challenge and conquer it?

Here are 5 ways successful people approach difficult challenges and what you can do to learn from them.

ONE. They create a strong connection between the challenge and why it’s important to their goals. Knowing the why of anything you are working on keeps you focused on the big picture. You don’t just see the task in front of you; instead, you zoom out and find the reasons why you’re working on it so it becomes a step towards a bigger goal you set for yourself.

What you can do:

  • Ask yourself: Why is this challenge so important to me? What is at the core? What will I gain from solving it? What will this mean to my life in the long run?

TWO. They build a strategy. Once they’ve established why they’re working on conquering the challenge, they move on to the how: how should they approach the problem, which angle should they take, which resources will they need, how long will it take to conquer?

What you can do:

  • When you’re building out a strategy, take into consideration everything that is at your disposal to solve a problem: which skills do you have, which resources do you possess, which expert or experienced person do you know who could help you?
  • Identify any gaps and areas where you need more help: is it more time? better resources? a skill that you can build on or acquire?

THREE. They create a plan. When the strategy is in place, they find ways to make it come alive by mapping out what needs to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to reach their goal.

What you can do:

  • Use your time management skills to your advantage. Ask yourself: How can I break down my work into tasks that I can incorporate into my day and my week? How much time do I think this will take? What can I do to make sure I finish each section and stay focused?

FOUR. They break it down into the smallest pieces. This is the important part: thinking about how difficult the challenge is can be nerve-racking and even paralyzing. To solve a big problem, the key is to get started. But where?

What you can do:

  • Start with a very small task. Ask yourself: What is the smallest step I can take today that will go in the direction of overcoming this difficult challenge? Then take that step.
  • Focus on the small wins. When you chip away at any big challenge in front of you, it becomes smaller with every little thing you do. Over time, that will translate into getting you much closer to your goal than just sitting there contemplating what to do next.

FIVE. They surround themselves with positive and energetic people. Don’t ever underestimate the power of energy that emanates from people. It can either motivate you, energize you and boost you to do your best in solving any problem; or, it can demotivate you, zap your energy and slow you down to the point that you might feel you can’t possibly go on.

What you can do:

  • Surround yourself with friends and family members who encourage you, give you positive and constructive feedback, and tell you when it’s time to slow down and take a break.
  • Select team members that have a positive, can-do attitude and that aren’t afraid to attack a problem from different angles.
  • Get close to people who have a growth mindset and who understand the importance of learning new things in order to succeed, rather than stick to rigid ways of thinking and behaving. A positive attitude that you develop with those around you will make a world of difference and will enable you to succeed.
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