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6 Steps to Build the Emotional Fitness Necessary to Succeed More than talent, brains or luck, success is endurance.

By Sherrie Campbell Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you are serious about succeeding as an entrepreneur and person, expect to experience heart-wrenching moments that will test your faith, your endurance and patience. Keep in mind that success is a virtue. It is something you practice and cultivate. Success is something you do it is not something you have. To be successful you must be willing to endure the hardships which are a part of any entrepreneurial journey. Make sure that no trial you encounter is wasted. Let each hardship minister to your personal education, to the development of your patience, faith, fortitude and humility. Every hardship you suffer coupled with the ability to persevere builds your character, it purifies your perception and catapults you towards success. Just like any type of fitness, how great you become is a direct result of what you are willing to undergo.

1. Develop self-awareness.

When climbing towards success, if you desire the highest levels, growth requires to to never overlook or ignore what you have done or are doing to contribute to the challenges confronting you. You cannot grow in your success if you cannot see how you are a part of each failure. It is typical to overlook (or ignore) what you have done to contribute to your struggles. Develop the self-awareness that you are at the center of everything that happens to you. Therefore, you are the place to start to become stronger in the face of adversity.

Self-awareness is developed by asking yourself; what are your goals? Where are you headed? Why are you going there? You have to create the "why" to see the purpose of what you are enduring for.

Related: Why Being a Self-Aware Leader Is Not Enough

2. Take responsibility.

For the majority, the desire to avoid responsibility is overwhelmingly powerful. That desire is often so great that it feeds into horrible acts of cruelty, brutality and scapegoating. It is a desire so pervasive that many egomaniacs have been able to rely on it as a path to success. True responsibility is a heavy burden.

Be willing to take responsibility for yourself and your success. Accept the consequences, good or bad, for your actions and reactions. You are not responsible for everything that happens to you in business but you are responsible for how you deal with what happens to you. To be successful strive to be the master of yourself.

Ask yourself if you are willing to take responsibility without needing a "fall guy''? If not, your dream of living a rich and fulfilling life is a lost cause, but if so, you have the potential for a joyous and successful journey in your business.

3. Contemplate your choices.

You will develop an inner tenaciousness if you don't let hardships consume you. You must persevere in your desire to serve a purpose larger than yourself. You will be faced with choices on the front lines of your business. You can choose excuses and feed lower level behaviors such as blame, self-pity, whining or revenge that lead you into weakness and cowardice, or you can recognize that excuses are incompatible with success.

Make the choice to push on through the growing pains and adversity, fear and suffering, the tragedy and trauma of being an entrepreneur. Your reward for your effort is wisdom, strength and emotionally fitness.

Ask yourself if you are going to let hardships break you or make you stronger.

Related: 25 Business and Life Lessons I've Learned Since My Mother's Death

4. Practice makes perfect.

To be emotionally fit, view success as something you develop. It is not something you have and it is never fixed. Rather, success is something you practice. Through practice you become better at what you do. Any champion will tell you that without practice skills deteriorate. Practice builds enduring habits and these habits build your character.

With practice you get back on track sooner after facing challenges. With enough practice, success evolves from a thing to a way of being. Keep in mind that when you are successful you will not be successful all the time. No one can sustain greatness all the time. Practice greatness, practice courage. It makes you human on the days when things aren't perfect in your business.

Understand that you become what you do, if you do it enough.

5. Be patient.

To be emotionally fit turn tragedy into wisdom. Use every obstacle you face to develop the understanding that growing through adversity requires resilience. The fruits of real success grow slowly. Success is something you sculpt into perfection and that takes time.

You will learn the most about success, not when you focus on your more dramatic moments in business, but when you make the wholeness of your larger purpose your ultimate goal. You do not cultivate the virtue of success to perform well in a single moment. You cultivate success so you can run a full, flourishing and successful business.

6. Be an optimistic-realist.

When facing hardship maintain an objective focus on whatever your harsher realities are. It does you no good to dull the facts. It does you no good to fantasize about what might be. To be emotionally fit, maintain a clarity about the realities of where you are in your business while finding ways to maintain hope. Learn to differentiate between hoping and fantasizing about your future. Hope is a belief you maintain to trust in yourself to overcome all hurdles placed in your path.

When reality throws a wrench in your progress, choose to see that obstacle as real. Emotional fitness is developed by dealing with your calamities. Feel the burn and let it teach you. Face what pains you and shine a light on it. Pain doesn't like exposure. It prefers to haunt and destroy your success from the deeper recesses of your psyche. Pain doesn't like to be understood because then it has no power.

To be a standout success, you have to develop the emotional fitness to withstand the journey. Be willing to confront the brutal facts of your reality. When you are brave enough to acknowledge pain and stop running from it, you will see it for what it is. Face the facts. Confront each business and personal challenge with discipline and courage. Wallowing in pain is a trap, the quagmire that consumes achievement.

You must cultivate yourself to become emotionally fit for success. Watch, listen, read, learn, try. Practice diligently what is needed to live a full and successful life. Success is a journey of consistently striving to be better at what you do. It is about cultivating your character and making sure you have a sound, strong mind to endure the challenges you will undoubtedly face in your business. Make sure your life is rooted in purposeful work. Success isn't about searching for achievement as much as it is a way of being. Success is endurance.

Related: 7 Mind-Body Fitness Strategies That Crush Stress

Sherrie Campbell

Psychologist, Author, Speaker

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.

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