The FBI Academy engages their new agents by teaching them psychological readiness. At the root of all the mental training was the answer to this question: are you mentally tough enough to beat the opponent?
Complexity and turbulence in the business create opponents and tough competition. Entrepreneurs need to be psychologically prepared to do battle with their competitors. They need to deal with stress, recover from mistakes quickly, and adjust strategies with each new innovation. On top of that, they need to stay positive about their chances of success.
Yes, you do need to compete if you want to run a successful business. You also need to be mentally tough enough to make it happen.
1. CREATE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
Mentally tough entrepreneurs do not rely on knowledge, skills, ability, or past success to break through roadblocks. Instead, they draw on an attitude of toughness that allows them to push through hard situations and face adversity with confidence.
FBI agents are trained on how to conduct complex and sophisticated investigations, but they are also trained in mental toughness. This does not mean they bulldoze their way through people or problems. Instead, they are trained to be aware of their own emotions and reactions when they are being pushed into their discomfort zones.
You can only be game-ready when you can predict your response when confronted with the unknown.
- Be curious about the things you do not know.
- Let your grasp exceed your reach.
- Place yourself in situations where you are a beginner
2. STRETCH TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE
When mentally tough entrepreneurs move past their comfort zone, they learn how to absorb the unexpected. This makes them more self-aware and in the process, they become mentally stronger. They learn how to anticipate their responses and correct them if needed.
Stretch past your comfort zone and learn how to be flexible in your approach when something doesn’t turn out as expected. You can quickly decide to change course or look for new ways to solve the problem.
FBI arrests require flexibility because they rarely go according to plan. This is especially important in tense and dangerous situations. Constant training helps them uncover their go-to reflexes and evaluate whether they are helpful or harmful before they find themselves in an unexpected situation.
- Constantly re-educate yourself, even in the basics
- Resist the temptation to fall back on ideas simply because they are comfortable
- Always look for new ways to do business
3. MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS
Mentally tough entrepreneurs are emotionally competent enough to manage the relationships that affect them and their ability to be effective.
If they experience a setback, they know how to keep their emotions in check so they can set the tone for the rest of the organization. Mentally tough leaders do the right thing for the organization and suppress the temptation to cut corners. They know how to make the right decisions for their team.
Teamwork is essential for all law enforcement, and communication must be clear and concise. In addition, FBI agents use interviews more than any other investigative tool in their arsenal which requires them to respond appropriately and effectively to the emotional reactions of their audience.
- Work on communicating in ways that cultivate healthy, enduring, and valuable relationships
- Cut loose relationships that weigh you down or are negative
- Recognize that collaboration is actually a back-and-forth flow of ideas, words, and actions
4. DEVELOP A CHAMPION MINDSET
Mentally tough entrepreneurs have a champion mindset that remains engaged when they are under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats to their environment.
A champion mindset looks for new ways to think about adversity, and most importantly, looks for fresh ways to look at problems and roadblocks. Champions look at life with a sense of urgency and respond to the challenges of the changing face of business with innovation and curiosity.
FBI Cases are not given to agents with directions on how to solve them. Each one is a mystery to be explored, which means setbacks and false assumptions are encountered along the way. The champion mindset continues to chip away at a mystery, or problem until a solution can be found.
- Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you
- Jettison old assumptions about how business operates
- Assume holding onto yesterday’s trend, or solution is dangerous
In what other ways do entrepreneurs need to be mentally tough?
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