Being in business and politics can be akin to playing football with no protective gear – especially when things get nasty. But that hasn’t scared Carol Moseley Braun – not in the least. She is clearly a high achiever and has a goal – to be the Mayor of Chicago. And, while I am ‘GIRL POWER’ all the way, I wonder what her strategy for mental preparation is as she runs for Mayor of Chicago.
Now, Carol is clearly resilient and can bounce back from jabs and outright uppercuts with a smile on her face and a pleasant tone in her voice. Attacks on her competency and business acumen have not stopped her momentum and drive for the Mayor’s office. She is smart and can articulate her thoughts, ideas and desire in a clear and cohesive manner. And finally, there is that element of “huh?” a.k.a. something else, that can be interpreted either positively or negatively. But, if there is one thing that we know, it is that her struggles in the spotlight are similar to other high achievers determined to reach their goal – especially when it is a high profile goal.
So, the $20 question is, “How does someone prepare themselves mentally for the attacks, challenges, defeats and victories as they take on a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG)?” Well, there are several things that successful high achievers do to prepare themselves when they take on a high profile goal. Enjoy …
Preparing Yourself Mentally
Whether your goal is to become the mayor of Chicago, CEO of a fortune 500 company or a great spouse/partner, when you set out to achieve a goal, it is important to keep the following in mind:
Identify what you love to do and why. The more you love it, the less it feels like work. Then think about why you have selected this particular goal. Answering ‘Why?’ forces you to fully think about your motives and more effectively plan your strategy;
- Mind map your goal. This may require some research on your part to find out what has been done before and ‘map out’ the most effective way to reach your goal;
- Prepare for the inevitable. Plan A is necessary but plans B-Z are essential. Trust me, Murphy is even handed when he applies his law;
- Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. Having too many fans and not enough critics has often led to the demise of many leaders.
- Find a professional confidant (seasoned therapist or personal coach). They will provide you a private, safe, and confidential space to think aloud and talk about the things that worry you, get you excited, and cause you to pause. They will also make sure that you are aware of your blind spots and a therapist can help you maintain your mental health and emotional well-being. This last point is what gets most people in trouble. It is in the midst of frustration and lack of self-care that people say and do things that hurt them and their brand.
So, what do you do to mentally prepare yourself to take on a big goal or project? Remember, you never know who will read the comments and are in need of ideas and suggestions!