10 Ways To Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things


How can you train your brain to do hard things?


To help you with getting the hard things done, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for their best insights. From setting aside time to mediating to visualizing the smaller goals, there are several strategies that may help you train your brain to do hard things whether it’s for growing your business or learning a new skill.


Here are ten ways to train your brain to do hard things:


  • Assess Cost of Inaction

  • Visualize The Smaller Goals

  • Allot Time for Practice

  • Take The Leap of Faith

  • Learn How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

  • Try Some Sudoku Puzzles

  • Schedule Time for Exercise

  • Do The Hard Thing

  • Set Aside Time to Meditate

  • Step Outside Your Comfort Zone


 

Assess Cost of Inaction

We all have those days. Days that we make up every excuse in the book to not check off the last items on our to-do list. To get through these times, you have to train your brain to push through the excuses. A well-known tip to do this starts with the cost of inaction. What is the cost of not doing what you know you are supposed to? Most people are motivated more by loss than by reward. For example, the thought of losing everything you own is a far greater fear than having something to gain. Think about what you could lose by not pushing through and accomplishing the tasks on your list and surprise yourself with how your brain reacts to these thoughts!


Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center


Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things

Visualize the Smaller Goals

Performing difficult tasks in business and your personal life is a skill that everyone should possess. I’ve found a strategy to do hard things when I don’t feel motivated to. I have trained my brain by practicing being focused. Focus can be hard to accomplish when you’re faced with a task that seems difficult or ‘too big’ to accomplish. I plan and visualize what it is I have to do and break the task into smaller tasks so my focus narrows. Creating this plan, I have trained my brain to be more focused and be able to take on hard things.


Henry Babicheknko, Stomadent



Allot Time for Practice

Training your brain to do the hard things comes with a lot of practice. One thing I like to do is called Time Boxing. Typically, it’s reserved for time management, but this pairs well with repetition too when you’re thinking about learning a hard skill or something you don’t really want to do. Set a timer, from anywhere between 20-40 minutes. For that time all you do is the task at hand. Doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not, you just have to do whatever it is for that allotted time. Once the timer goes off, you take a break or move onto something else. The trick to this is coming back the next day and set another timer for the exact amount of time. You keep doing that and before you know it, the hard thing may not be so hard anymore! Feel free to take pictures or journal about your experience so you’re able to go back and see all your progress.


Hunter Blackwell, Markitors



Take The Leap of Faith

Sometimes you just have to go for it. When our Co-Founder and I started building our business in hopes of being able to produce customized skincare using artificial intelligence, we didn't know what was going to happen, and that was my first time embarking upon entrepreneurship. Yet even if it seemed hard, we didn’t dwell too much in that and we just kept going. We were able to build our business successfully and years later our business is still operating to this day.


Ming Zhao, Proven Skincare


Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things

Learn How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

Try learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It may seem daunting if you've never done it before, but after a few days of practice, you may surprise yourself. Learning this trick will show you that you can, in fact, conquer something that seems difficult yet isn't impossible to overcome. Plus, this exercise improves muscle memory.


Matt Seaburn, Rent A Wheel



Try Some Sudoku Puzzles

Years ago I became obsessed with Sudoku puzzles. I found this format was a fun way to spend time in transit, and also helped develop focus and critical thinking skills. I would recommend the same practice for anyone that wants to train their brain in a similar way. And you don’t have to use Sudoku specifically -- you could do crosswords or math problems too!


Melissa Kelly, Virtual Team Building


Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things

Schedule Time for Exercise

A fun and healthy way to trick your brain into doing difficult tasks is through exercise. Exercise helps improve our fine motor skills and gives up a boost of dopamine. With all that increased activity pumping more blood to your brain you will be more alert and focused. This will allow you to easily tackle that difficult task.


John Levisay, The Pro's Closet



Do The Hard Thing

I'm a huge follower of David Goggins- famed Navy Seal and Endurance Athlete. This year, I did his 4x4x48 Challenge: 4 miles of running every 4 hours for 48 hours. It was a challenge, but once I was successfully on the other side I felt alive, in tune, and dangerous. There are no shortcuts. The only way to train your brain to do hard things is to do hard things.


Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel


Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things

Set Aside Time to Meditate

Meditation is one of the most effective methods of achieving wellness and it can certainly help with tackling challenges as well. One of the key elements of meditation is mindfulness, which is when you are aware of your own thoughts and feelings yet not overly attached to them. When your headspace is clear in this way, it is not as blocked with insecurities or emotions and you can approach hard things with more calmness and ease, no matter how many tries it takes.


Mary Berry, Cosmos Vita



Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Do things that allow you to step outside of your comfort zone. The more you stretch yourself to overcome the fear of new situations, the less fear you will feel every time another obstacle comes your way. The more you exercise your brain and open it up to as many different challenges as possible, the stronger it gets.


Ben Teicher, Healthy Directions


Train Your Brain To Do Hard Things

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.