One of the most powerful figures in the world mythology was Achilles. He was a Greek hero of great power and very skillful in combats.
Legend says that, when Achilles was born, his mother, the nymph Thetis, brought him to the river Styx, the river of immortality. She wanted to make her son immortal and hence she had sunk him into the river, but made one mistake: she was holding the baby by his left ankle. This ankle remained dry and, therefore, unprotected and mortal.
Achilles’ destiny was to become the greatest hero of the Trojan war. He was really a great warrior and his moves in combat seemed supernatural, inspiring for the other warriors.
He continued to fight bravely until Paris, prince of Troy, wounded him with an arrow to his left heel, causing Achilles’ death.
Achilles’ heel and entrepreneurship
This legend created the expression “Achilles’ heel” to define a weakness, which can lead to failure, in spite of overall strength.
Regardless our courage to fight the challenges and our wish to improve ourselves, we all have an Achilles heel. And sometimes what looks like a strength can actually be a weakness.
Is your strength a weakness?
What are the weaknesses that have prevented you so far from being as successful as you wanted? Unless you overcome them, they are going to keep preventing you from being successful in the future.
If you want one day to achieve your goals and become a successful entrepreneur, you need to think about your weaknesses and be honest about them.
Strengths “in disguise”: fuel or barrier to success?
Most of us have been through a job interview at least once in our lives. Do you remember one of the recruiters’ favorite questions?
“Tell me your top three strengths and weaknesses”. Talking about weaknesses, the purpose of this exercise is to admit that you still have room for improvement. Even if you don’t talk about “real” weaknesses – no one will say “I’m lazy, I wake up late and I arrive late in the office” – these “fake” weaknesses, are still part of the mental blocks that can keep you from achieving your goals.
Major mental blocks preventing your success
Mental blocks can be very difficult to overcome. The first step is to detect them and be able to admit to yourself that you have a problem. Facing the facets of your own personality, that are keeping you from being successful, can be extremely hard to do. Very often, these mental blocks have their roots in the past events and in the education that you received in your childhood. If your mother tells you, as a child, that you are not good enough, you can develop yourself as a rebel or as a perfectionist.
In my case, for example, I am a perfectionist. This may sound like a cliché. But for me this is real: by nature, and by education, I am not happy unless I deliver something close to perfection.
But in your life, regardless if you are an employee or an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to be too much of a perfectionist. You have deadlines, you have budget restrictions and you often have to compromise. Even the accountants became nowadays open-minded: they don’t count the cents anymore! The same for an entrepreneur: if you wait for perfection you end up by starting nothing!
I’m still facing the problem of learning to say “no”. I remember, in my first job I was unable to say no to people asking me to do stuff. And I ended up spending my evenings and nights in the office! And the work was still not done! And people were disappointed, which was very tough for the perfectionist in me. So one day my manager told me: “If you cannot do it just say no, I can delegate the work differently!”.
If you are a procrastinator, which we all are to a certain degree, or you are terrible at managing your time, be honest about that.
The power of Goodbye
When it comes to handling these mental blocks, you have two possibilities. You can carry on with them, cultivating a failure mindset and blaming others for your misfortune. Or you can work every day on removing them, one by one.
One of Madonna’s songs, “The power of goodbye”, says: “Freedom comes when you learn to let go, creation comes when you learn to say no”. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn to let go of your fears, your mental blocks and mind your own business!