The Mental Toughness Lessons of Oklahoma City

by Steve Siebold

On April 19, 1995, at 9:02 am, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time: Oklahoma City, just a few blocks from the Alfred P. Murrah building. War-zone-like chaos erupted minutes after the blast. People were bleeding in the streets, attempting to escape an enemy they couldn't see. The town went to sleep that night only to be awakened by a violent thunderstorm that sounded a lot like bombs exploding. It was terrifying. People were calling the radio stations and asking, "Are we under attack?" America's heartland had been emotionally shaken to the core. No one would take safety for granted ever again. The innocence of a city was lost.

I stayed in OKC until July of 1995, and what I witnessed was the emotional reconstruction of an entire city. I talked to hundreds of people about how the bombing had affected them. I thought it would harden them and change the mental landscape of the town. I was wrong. Somehow, without having to hold a town hall meeting, the people of this city collectively decided to get mentally tough. After surviving the worst terrorist attack to date in US history, Oklahoma City learned to accept the circumstances over which they had no control. They became laser focused on doing what could be done today and planning for the future. They decided that terrorists would not steal their sense of security or peace of mind. They chose to rise above their circumstances and play the cards they were dealt.

Here's my point: This is what champions do. This is what makes them champions. In Network Marketing, the most important presentation you will ever make is the one you make to yourself every day -- the self-talk that keeps you from quitting when money is low and rejection is high; the self-talk that keeps your dream alive.

Take a mental toughness lesson from the people of Oklahoma City. Don't let the rejections harden you. Refuse to buy into victim mentality. Accept the circumstances beyond your control and laser focus on your goals. Stop trying to convince people to take action, and learn to forgive the people in your group who are doing it wrong. More importantly, learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you've made in the business. Start every day with a fresh new perspective. Every great leader must go through the process of becoming mentally tough, and it all comes down to disciplining yourself to process information and events in a way that moves you to action. And keeps you in action. Let the people of Oklahoma City serve as your role model, and bigger results will be your reward.

The Gove-Siebold Group helps networkers develop world-class communication skills through their speeches, seminars, and audio-video programs.

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