If you’re at all familiar with the world of running, you may also be familiar with an experience known as “hitting the wall.”
It’s that moment when a runner’s legs suddenly give out. It’s usually accompanied by blurred vision and tingling arms. When runners hit the wall, they cannot maintain their pace, and often collapse.
In German, this experience is called “der Mann mit dem Hammer,” which translates to “the man with the hammer.” In this analogy, the man with the hammer chases runners, and when they hit the wall, it’s because he caught up to them.
Hitting the wall happens when glycogen stores in the body’s liver and muscles are depleted. Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods or reducing exercise intensity can prevent hitting the wall.
Those two strategies may work for runners, but when it comes to growing your business in our fast-paced world, reducing intensity isn’t always feasible. And if the pandemic, and now the economy, are the proverbial man with the hammer, carb loading sure isn’t going to help.
But here are four ways that will help you vault over the pandemic and economic “walls” instead of slam into them face-first.
1. Cheer for and appreciate others.
You already know how critical the support of your team is, but what’s easy to forget is how much your team needs your support. Cheer them on regularly, because not only does it motivate them to keep going, showing up as a positive force feels great and fills your tank, too. Take time this week to write quick yet sincere cards of appreciation to your team. It’ll boost your spirits as well as theirs.
2. Practice relaxing.
It’s a bit alarming that we have to “practice” relaxing, but even so, make it a priority. Stress snowballs, and if you don’t manage it as you go, it can easily drive you into behaviors like terrible sleep habits, unhealthy eating, and difficulty focusing (all of which add to the stress snowball).
Breaking up the stress snowball is as simple as mindfully taking time every day to decompress. It can be a 15-minute mid-afternoon stretch or reading a good book at night before bed. Whatever you choose to do, make it a top priority and do it consistently.
3. Focus On The Now.
Great runners manage exhaustion by trusting their pacing and refusing to worry about how far they have to go or how steep the next hill is. Instead, they focus on where they are now, and save dealing with the next hill until they actually start climbing it.
You can do the same. Focus on doing great now (which will do more for your tomorrow than tying yourself in knots over it today).
4. Celebrate Successes.
Our successes serve as proof that we can get through tough times and accomplish what we set out to accomplish. Past success is evidence for our brain to counteract the doubts, fears, and worries. Celebrate your successes and show your brain that yes, it is possible to get where you want to be, because you’ve done it before.
Another benefit of celebrating successes is that it inspires confidence in others and reminds them–and you–of what works. It also inspires you to pour energy into productive, useful behaviors that keep you going even as your competitors “hit the wall.”
In the world of long-distance running, the people who break ahead of the pack early are rarely the ones who win, because they deplete themselves too early. It’s the runners who conserve their energy and manage exhaustion that usually finish first.
In the working world, success comes from managing your own mental reserves with replenishment and rejuvenation, especially because, unlike running, the working world isn’t a race to one single clear finish. It’s more like an ongoing marathon with checkpoints.
That means it’s not enough to win your next checkpoint. True winning in this context means knowing you have enough in the tank to win tomorrow’s checkpoint, too.
Use the four tips in this article, consistently, and you’ll find yourself vaulting over walls instead of slamming into them.