History has taught us that top achievers and the top 10% of the most successful people in the world have had to act courageously from time to time. Sometimes that means taking risks to start a new business, challenge for a top position in their company, or attempt to have a career in show business.
Sometimes high performers need to take risks to turn their business around and get it on a profitable track again.
Dealing with the unknown is scary. We all want to be in control and be able to predetermine the outcome. Unfortunately, life does not always allow us to do that.
One of my best friends, Bill Storm, was working for a company with a boss that was arrogant, rude, and had unrealistic expectations. After a disagreement, Bill quit his job only to then find out his wife was pregnant with their first child.
Now more than 20 years later, Bill has become that ultra-successful entrepreneur. How did he do it? Because he had to! He had a baby on the way, and he had to make things happen.
How do the most successful people in the world act courageously when the fear of failure and defeat is very realistic?
Strategy #1: Honor the Struggle
When you have the opportunity to learn and serve, you don’t complain about the effort involved. High performers view struggle as necessary, important, and a positive part of their journey so that you can find true peace and personal power.
They never bemoan the inevitable hardships of self-improvement and chasing their dreams. They have reverence for the challenge! That is honoring the struggle!
Jay-Z knows first-hand the mindset of honoring the struggle. He came from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and had big dreams to make it big as a rapper.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world didn't agree with him at first. Not one record label would sign him. That didn't stop him from creating his own music label. His label would eventually turn into the insanely lucrative Roc-A-Fella Records. Forbes has estimated his net worth to be $500 million and, in 2013, TIME magazine called him one of the most influential people in the world.
“If things are not going well with you, begin your effort at correcting the situation by carefully examining the service you are rendering, and especially the spirit in which you are rendering it.”
Strategy #2: Share Your Truth and Ambitions
High performers know that the main motivation of humankind is to be free, to express our true selves and pursue our dreams without restriction – to experience what may be called personal freedom.
Follow this impulse by consistently sharing your true thoughts, feelings, needs, and dreams with other people. Do not play small to placate others.
Top performers are driven to live their truth!
McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, used this strategy after meeting the McDonald brothers in California. He had a grandiose vision of what the business could become – a worldwide powerhouse that would serve millions of people every day and would make everyone hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Where attention goes, energy flows, and results always show.”
Strategy #3: Find Someone to Fight For
We all need a noble cause to fight for. High performers tend to make that cause just one person. They want to fight for that person, so they can be safe, improve, and live a better quality of life.
You will always do more for others than you will for yourself. In doing something for others, you will find your reason for acting in a courageous manner, and your cause for focus and excellence!
Legendary actor and comedian, Jim Carrey, dropped out of high school at 15 years old to go to work and support his family. He also continued working on his dream of becoming a highly paid comedian and actor. In fact, Jim wrote a check to himself for $10 million, and in the memo section, he wrote “for acting services rendered”.
He fought and overcame incredible rejection, including being booed off stage the first time he attempted stand-up comedy. He wanted to give his family a better life, and more than 7 years later, he was offered the starring role in “Dumb & Dumber”.
What was he paid for that role? $10 million!
Sylvester Stallone demonstrated this mindset in his blockbuster movie, Rocky 4. In that movie, a menacing Russian fighter, Ivan Drago, killed Rocky’s best friend, Apollo Creed, in an exhibition fight. Rocky trained harder than ever and defeated Drago to uphold the legacy of his late friend.
Life can be tough, and there will be times when we need to step up and act boldly. Top performers step up and act confidently in the face of adversity. They are not afraid to fail because they know that failure is an event, not a person.
Take that step and be courageous! You can do it!