11 Tips to Remember Your Potential When Tough Times Knock You Down

The key is having strategies for getting back up.

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Everyone feels down from time to time, even entrepreneurs. Constantly surrounded by others who are seemingly experiencing success, business leaders can sometimes have a hard time reminding themselves of their own potential.

This mental hurdle can be a massive one to overcome, but the key to feeling knocked down is having plans and strategies for how to get back up. Below, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best tips and personal methods for dealing with this type of negative thinking.

1. Repeat Affirmations

Whenever I feel down or upset about something, I take my diary out and repeat my affirmations over and over to myself. This habit helps to interrupt all of the negative thoughts that are trying to take control of my  thinking and instead shift the focus on the goals. You are powerful, don’t ever lose sight of what you’re capable of achieving.

Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

2. Focus on Your Purpose

Feeling down is a part of life. It happens to everyone. I’ve found what elevates my spirit is having a sense of purpose or direction. It’s easy to get caught up in business and forget why you started this journey. Don’t think of the good old times or future obstacles. Focus on your purpose, whether it’s to help people, provide great products or to entertain. Let that direct you out of hard times.

Shaun Conrad, Guitar Repair Bench

3. Think of the Last Time You Were in a Rut

Your first thought might be to remember the times when you were feeling alive and 100%. Instead, focus on the last time you were in a rut. What did you do to reset? Did you take a nap? Read a book? Go for a run? Shop at Target? Breaking up the mundane and doing something different can help give your mind the small break it needs to rest and reset.

Chase Williams, Market My Market

4. Remember That Success Is a Process

When I’m feeling down, especially about my success or lack thereof, I remind myself that success is a process. It’s not a cookie-cutter solution and it looks different for everyone. It helps to adapt this mindset to remind myself that I still have time to reach my goals and become the person I want to be.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

5. Reflect on How Far You’ve Come

Reflect on how far you’ve come by looking back on what your biggest problems were five or ten years ago. Chances are they pale in comparison to whatever you’re experiencing now, but they probably once felt just as significant. The point is, you can overcome anything. You already have. What was once a major hurdle now feels distant, and what you’re going through today will one day feel the same.

Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

6. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Keep a cookie jar of experiences that you have overcome and thank yourself for pushing through. Be thankful for the things that you have accomplished that remind you that you can be faced with adversity and still come out a winner every time.

Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Read Something Inspirational

We all have our low moments. I feel that the best way to get out of it is to read something inspirational. It doesn’t always have to be a book. Even a powerful quote can be enough to lift you up and motivate you to get back on track. 

Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

8. Spend Time With Family and Friends

One of the best ways I bounce back from feeling down is to spend time with my family and friends because it helps reinforce my positive qualities. It’s a small thing that goes a long way. 

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Talk to Industry Peers

When I’m feeling down, I take some time to talk to peers from within the industry. Connecting with these individuals helps me remind myself of my knowledge and potential. Understand that one mistake doesn’t have to define your career if you have a close-knit team of friends and colleagues. 

John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

10. Focus on Your Next Small Step

The key to getting back up after being knocked down is to remember that success is the result of a series of small steps and some of those steps will have you going backward. There’s virtually no success story in which a person encounters nothing but positive experiences. Try to focus on the next small step you can take instead of taking a major action and you’ll soon be back on your feet.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

11. Picture Yourself as Who You Want to Be

I like to picture myself as the person I want to be. I may not be him yet, but your brains are created for imagination and can picture things that don’t yet exist. Why not picture the person you want to be? This is motivating if you let your brain go and don’t stop it or bring it back to reality. Once you’re done picturing who it is you want to be, then decide to take one step to get you closer.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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