Today marks my 4-year anniversary of finishing a 100-mile run. I’ve done a lot of “crazy” stuff in my life and that run was, by far, the craziest.

I get asked all the time why I did it, how I did it, and what I learned from it. Today I’m going to focus on five lessons I learned and how they can help you Outperform:

1. Surround yourself with great people

I had two people, Missy and Diane, “crewing” me for that race. If you’ve ever heard the story, you know that I was inches from quitting the race at mile 63. I was tired, dehydrated and hangry. They encouraged me to press on and I’m glad they did.

No one Outperforms alone. We do it because we’re surrounded by great people.

2. Use vicarious experiences

Vicarious experiences is a sport psychology term that we use to build confidence. I remember walking around before the race doubting myself, questioning what the heck I had gotten myself into. Then, I started looking at other people doing the race and said, “there’s no way every one of these runners is fitter and more mentally tough than I am. If they can do it, I can do it too.”

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to accomplish, I promise there is someone else out there who is no fitter, faster, smarter, better educated or more experienced, than you who has accomplished the same thing. And when you use vicarious experiences, you’re not putting someone else down, you’re pulling yourself UP.

3. Set benchmarks

I talk about this a lot in my Goal Setting presentations. There were aid stations every 2.5-4 miles and one of the most powerful things I did in that race was to convince myself that all I had to do was make it to the next one. If I continued to do that, I knew I’d make it to the finish line.

This is how you stay motivated and empowered to achieve ANY lofty goal. Take whatever your “finish line” is and break it down. If you want to lose 20 pounds, when will you lose the first 5? If you want to grow a $100M company, when will you be at $25M? If you want to write a book, when will you write the first chapter?

4. Expect the unexpected

Running 100 miles is just like life–it’s a roller coaster, not a train ride. I knew the race wouldn’t be smooth sailing from start to finish. It never is. I went through periods of stomach problems, muscle spasms and serious self doubt.

I spoke for a company in downtown Minneapolis yesterday and I asked them the question, “What are you most proud of in your life?” Without having any of them volunteer their answers, I knew whatever they were thinking about contained adversity. There was some level of struggle and having to earn it, rather than having it given to you.

Because of this, you value it that much more.

Expecting that things will get hard but also EXPECTING that you have the goods to overcome it is a powerful, and necessary, strategy.

5. We are capable of more than we realize

Believe it or not, signing up for the race was one of the hardest things I had to do. I didn’t have anyone forcing me to do it and it would have been sooo easy to put off. But putting yourself out there and registering for your “race” is half the battle. You’ll step up and find that you’re capable of more than you realize.

Keep Outperforming,