People package perseverance a number of different ways: Never give up, Work your way through it, Don’t give in, Press on, When the going gets tough the tough get going. In my presentations I use a Mixed Martial Arts term and say “Don’t Tap”. In MMA when a fighter taps out he is indicating to the other fighter or the official that he is surrendering, giving up. There are times it is advisable to tap in MMA and maybe even in life, but when there is the smallest margin of hope I would encourage you to persevere, not Tap out.

There were times when I was setting up my speaking business that it seemed like the only believer in the opportunity was me. I get a lot of support from my family, but the support didn’t seem to extend much beyond the walls of my house. I was on the internet, blogging, tweeting and spending countless hours trying to track down illusive speaking opportunities. It seemed the niche I was trying to fill already had enough people providing what I was trying to sell.

In my business, it came to a point where I felt like packing it in, like tapping out.

A trusted adviser of mine encouraged me to set some goals, but also to revisit them to see if they were realistic. I think he sensed I was putting too much pressure on myself and re-evaluating would provide an awareness of how far I had already come and what was realistic. The difficult thing about being an entrepreneur is being aware when you lose your desire the dream will slowly fade away. I have honestly felt that my message of safety and emotional healing is so much bigger than me and that I am privileged to deliver it. I remember being completely at peace that night thinking that if this thing falls flat right here and this is the end of the road, I’m alright with that.

The next morning was a brand new day and one of my routines is a daily leadership devotional by John C Maxwell. Here’s an excerpt taken from his outstanding book “Failing Forward”

“One of the most common obstacles to success is the desire to cut corners. But short cuts never pay off in the long run.If you find that you continually give in to your moods or impulses, then you need to change your approach to doing things. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. But if you are willing to follow through, you can achieve a breakthrough. The best method is to set up standards for yourself that require accountability. Any time you suffer a consequence for not following through, it helps you stay on track.”

Wow, that hit me like a ton of bricks. What are the odds that any book I am reading would have the words “Cutting Corners” in it on the exact morning I had resolved to take a break from my speaking business which, at that time, was based solely on my “STOP Cutting Corners” presentation? Further to the actual term was an encouraging word about having patience and developing greater self-discipline.

Later that day I took a deeper look into my presentation and decided it wasn’t nearly time to pick up the stakes. What followed was a renewed resolve to spread my message and a brand new perspective that resulting in developing my second presentation “Injury Aftermath – Navigating the emotional impact of an injury”. I’d like to say that things turned around that day and the speaking requests began pouring in, but that wasn’t the case. I did learn that more self-discipline was required and eventually the breakthrough came.

Have you faced insurmountable odds? Are you feeling defeated? Have you considered ways to keep yourself accountable? Do you have someone you can talk to about your struggle? Have you considered praying for inspiration and revitalization? I did, and the relief from stress and the fresh new perspective was amazing!

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