When you take on a challenge it usually means doing something outside your comfort zone and with this always comes a number of emotional obstacles along the way. Unless you can manage your emotions during these times, it is likely you won't complete the challenge. How does one go about doing this?
I recently took on a challenge of my own and want to use this as an example to illustrate what you can do to help manage your emotional states next time you are faced with a similar situation.
My challenge was to write 100 articles in 100 days as part of a formal competition organized by Jeff Herring, What made this more of a challenge for me besides the obvious? I only found out about the competition ten days late so it meant I only had 90 days instead of 100. I was not an article marketer so I would have to 'learn the ropes' first and I was already quite busy with a number of other projects which meant I would have have a limited amount of time.
You have to focus on the possibility of success: You may be thinking that there was sufficient reason not to even start but this is what a challenge is all about, pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable. Right from the start I was faced with the possibility that I might not be able to do it but I couldn't focus on that. I needed to focus on how I could make it possible.
Find out if someone else has managed the challenge previously? The first thing I did was find out whether the competition or one like it had been done before and whether anybody else had managed to achieve the goal. There had been plenty of similar competitions and others had done it so I knew it was possible. I didn't know whether it was possible for me but it was enough to know that someone else had done it.
Break the challenge down into more manageable pieces: When I thought about the enormous task before me it seemed just about impossible but when I worked out exactly what it was I would need to to do for each article and how many of these I would need to write each week and then each day, it seemed far easier to manage and that's what I focused on.
Accept you won't always have all the information: Before I started I did not know what the editorial guidelines were nor did I have any past article marketing experience. More than this I had absolutely no idea where I was going to find 100 worthwhile topics to write about. I had about ten in mind. I had a look at some well established article authors and many had written in the thousands of articles so I knew that it must be possible to find 100 things to write about. I found out only what I needed to know in order to start writing, nothing more nothing less. I didn't worry about how I was going to find things to write about. I just trusted that I somehow I would be able to do it.
Make a start and believe you will receive the help when you need it: My first article took more than two days to write. Based on what I had calculated I knew that my speed would have to improve. I spent a bit of time on a writing forum inquiring how long it was taking other writers to write and what I could do to speed up the process. Within a short time I had been given some fantastic tips and it wasn't long before I had got my time down to an hour and then often down to 30 or 40 minutes per article.
Celebrate your achievements along the way: I told everybody I knew about the challenge so I was able to keep them all up to date with my milestones. When I finished the first article I celebrated, then after the first five, then ten and so on. When I had been working on a really challenging article or had a bad day and managed to get through it I celebrated. Whenever I could I celebrated something. I especially did this when I felt I had learned something useful that I could implement to make my contributions better. These celebrations encouraged me to keep going. When this article is accepted it will be my 100th and I will be celebrating this acceptance in true style.
Come up with some simple rules for yourself: I had two rules: I had to write every day for a minimum of an hour even if I only managed to write one paragraph. Secondly, "I don't feel like it" was not an acceptable excuse at any time. I kept to these rules and they helped me manage my efforts.
Keep your eyes focused on the goal: At various stages I encountered unexpected problems which could easily have caused me to opt out but I kept my focus on my goal. There is no huge prize involved for this challenge. Everybody who completes it will receive a special edition coffee mug from EzineArticles. What was more of an incentive for me was the way I would feel when I was successful. Focusing on this is what kept me going especially when at times I had serious doubts I could make it.
Hopefully the above points will help you to manage your emotions next time you are faced with a big challenge.