Never Trying Means Never Succeeding
Life ain’t easy. If it was, it wouldn’t feel like life and you’d get extremely bored extremely quick. We’re not saying challenges are the best. But they do shape the experiences you have, lessons you learn and person you become. So while they appear unexpectedly and as threatening as they seem, your only option is to knock obstacles out of the park so you can keep on growing.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ”Henry Ford
Every successful person has had to tackle one or multiple obstacles to achieve their lifestyle. And they will continue tackling them to maintain their success in true exponential style.
Look On The Bright Side
In the moment, obstacles can bring a blow of devastation to your life as the unexpected turn takes an immediate toll with negative effects. Your primary emotions will dominate the situation with feelings of sadness, sorrow, hopelessness and pessimism. However, it’s not all bad. Now is the time to challenge those thoughts, because when you encounter an obstacle, you also encounter an opportunity to overcome it. And this itself will make you so much stronger.
Challenges produce resistance. With each obstacle you overcome, you’ll become stronger and stronger. Through this process, you will grow as a person, quickly developing inner fortitude and emotional and mental strength.
Your obstacles also serve as a reminder that you are human. Nobody knows everything, can do everything, gets away with everything or predicts the future. Everybody makes mistakes and has limitations and weaknesses. An obstacle keeps you in line before things get too easy and will protect you from becoming arrogant and entitled.
The more challenges you face, the more you appreciate your life. When you’ve worked hard to get somewhere, you’ll savour it much more and be grateful for everything you’ve achieved. The obstacles become amplifiers for your success. You’ll also receive more respect, admiration and recognition from others.
Think about the life story of an entrepreneur, or somebody you aspire to. How would you feel if they revealed everything was handed to them and they barely lifted a finger before the first million? You’d be much less impressed, and even consider aspiring to somebody else.
How To Get Through Your Mental Obstacles
Let’s start with the don’ts. Don’t throw your hands up in the air and walk away, or crawl under a table and stay there until the cleaner finds you. It’s an obstacle, not a dead end. Your life is not over, it’s just testing you. And now is the time to prove how much you want it.
Do, start thinking about how you’re going to tackle this problem with several accessible ways at your doorstep you can start working on today.
1. Stop Complaining
Your obstacle, your solution. People don’t want to hear you whinge about a problem, especially if you do nothing about it. The constant banter will make them frustrated as you appear weak and dependant, waiting for a miracle to appear and solve everything.
You can certainly ask for help and suggestions because you’re not the only person to come across an obstacle. Discussions where both parties are involved are different to one-sided whinging and sorrow. Have some ideas prepared for how you might handle the challenge, and bounce it off others to gauge their response. You’ll come out feeling positive and more motivated to commence challenging yourself and tackle the obstacle.
2. Don’t Play The Comparison Game
Comparing ourselves to others can be crippling when it comes to making progress. Millions of people do it and give up when they can’t reach such high standards they’re being exposed to, which are generally based on false pretences. People are rarely what they appear to be, on both the inside and outside. And while we’re all quick to announce our accomplishments, we rarely post the journey and obstacles we’ve overcome to get there. You don’t know what challenges have been faced, how many hours have been put in or how many years of hardship anyone’s tackled to reach their status.
When you compare yourself to others, you’ll also make unconquerable gaps in where you are, and where you think you should be. You’re much more likely to admit defeat and convince yourself the goal is just too great. You can’t get to the top of a mountain with one giant leap to the top. You have to climb it. One step at a time, you’ll get there. The top isn’t going anywhere and for every step you take you grow as a person with more resilience so when you’re finally at the top, you’ll stay there as the strongest human being you’ve ever been.
And let’s be honest, comparisons will also make you feel sorry for yourself and turn to others for empathy. It’s the last thing you and your loved ones need, when there is always an option to pick yourself back up and tackle the next challenge one day at a time.
3. Distance Yourself
Just run away from the obstacle and you’ll never have to worry about it, ever again!
Yes, we are joking. Take your sneakers off and come back to us. Please.
When we say distance yourself, we mean taking a step back so you can see the challenge from a greater perspective. The goal is to re-emerge with a new perspective and you can try this a couple of ways.
Remove yourself from the environment and continue to try to resolve the obstacle in different surroundings. Sometimes siting in an office all day maintains an uninspired attitude, as you are surrounded by the same things which you associate with the challenge you’ve been trying to resolve for a very long time. You might try going outdoors or your favourite café with some good tunes and your favourite snack on hand. Facing the obstacle from a new location might be all you need to conjure up some fresh ideas.
Another form of distance you can apply is to distract yourself completely for as long as you need, until you are ready to return to the situation with a fresh approach. When you stare at a problem for a long time, you become oblivious to anything else, and you end up with blinkers on. You could go see a movie, take a weekend away, visit family or binge on Netflix. Silmar to writer’s block, the break could see you return with renewed enthusiasm when the time is right, leading to your best ideas yet.
4. Develop a Growth Mindset
If you’ve already got one, you’d be out on your own finding out ways to take on the obstacle right now. If you’re here, perhaps you’re at your wits end with a fixed mindset telling you this challenge is just too large to handle. Trust us, it’s not.
The growth and fixed mindset concept was realised by Stanford professor Carol Dweck when she and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes surrounding failure. Some students were quick to rebound, while others became devastated by the smallest setbacks.
Through studying these behaviours, Dr Dweck came up with the fixed mindset and growth mindset which described the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. Those with a growth mindset who believed their abilities could be developed, consistently outperformed those with a fixed mindset who believed their abilities were fixed.
A growth mindset opens so many more opportunities and pathways towards success than a fixed mindset as you’re motivated by challenges and obstacles. A fixed mindset will limit your capabilities as you see each obstacle as a dead end which can’t be negotiated. When you develop a growth mindset, you become determined to stretch yourself and stick to everything regardless of how it’s going. You’ll thrive during the most challenging times of your life.
5. Seek Necessary Resources
What do you need to eliminate the obstacle? Take a seat and assess the limiting factors. Exactly why is the obstacle coming between you and your goal and why is it happening? Often you may lack provisions, finances, strategies or a key piece of knowledge to conquer your obstacle. The key is to acknowledge that it is ‘resource related’. It doesn’t stop at not having enough money, being too tired or not knowing how. These are just further obstacles you have the power to overcome when you put your mind to it.
If you can’t buy a house because you don’t have the money, why don’t you have the money? Maybe it’s time to go for that promotion at work or take in a roommate for a little while. If you want to start going to the gym, but don’t have the time, how can you source it? You may just need to rely on your partner a bit more, join a club closer to the office or exercise outdoors. Perhaps you’ve started a business but have no marketing skills. Educate yourself! Start with Google, books, networking and in no time, you’ll be your very own marketing guru.
Resources can also be sourced through people and services. You may need a key software program to automate a process, freeing you up to focus on more important work. Consult those who can help you overcome the hurdle. As they say, enlist a fresh pair of eyes to see what you may be missing.
There is always going to be a way. Don’t take no for an answer until you’ve tried to source your solution in every way possible.
6. Harness Your Imagination
Challenges force you to tap into your creativity to come up with ways to overcome them. Sometimes you just need confidence and courage to be imaginative, before you realise no obstacle is insurmountable. The best ideas come from limited resources and when you throw in the pains of a challenge, the result can be inspired creativity where you end up generating new and imaginative ideas. In other words, you can think in new ways, and come up with strategies that aren’t conventional yet just as functional.
An obstacle can just be an opportunity to come up with something new, unique to you and your situation. Your challenge could be a sign something else needs to happen before you progress. Consider a different approach and embrace change so your ideas can pave the way for future success and sustainable resolutions. By thinking outside the box, you’re using a valuable tactic for solving problems.
7. Track Your Progress
That which we measure improves. While you’re working towards one goal, break your process down so you’re able to assess whether the solution is working. By doing this, you will remain vigilant and focused on the target while gaining momentum to keep going.
As a human, you have the need to quantify results. By tracking progress, you are physically watching the challenge unfold each day, with increased motivation to persist which generates a more positive mindset too. This also means you can recognise smaller accomplishments as you progress through the challenge, from day one right through to the very end and celebrate them. You’re able to establish milestones and compensate yourself when you complete each milestone.
In some cases, measurement is very easy – tracking our debt or personal income, for instance. Others can be far more difficult to track, like successfully holding our tempers or being more present with loved ones.
If you can’t measure things quantitatively, try journaling to track how your day went, how you felt, and any progress you felt you made, as well as any obstacles or setbacks you encountered – especially if you overcame them! Few things are more rewarding than consciously recognizing personal growth, so it’s well worth the time.
8. Ask For Help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness so much a sign of strength, confidence and resourcefulness. Sometimes you just need a helping hand and when there are undoubtedly others around to lend them out, why not ask? Especially when in some cases you’ve exhausted all options and literally have nothing to lose.
When you turn to others, you can grow and learn in the process as well as become more relatable to well, everybody else in the world. By sharing your vulnerabilities, you’re demonstrating you don’t think better than everyone else. You’re also making others feel validated with an opportunity to shine and opening the door to future collaborations.
The most successful people are those who have managed to surround themselves with those they can reach out to and ask for help outside their own expertise.
9. Relax And Restart
You only fail when you stop trying. Not when you restart. If you’ve hit a wall there’s no harm in turning on the brakes, rewinding and going at it again. Sometimes an obstacle pops up when there’s been a rushed approach, or the environment is not quite right. These could include over-excitement at pursuing an idea, not having a grounded work base or tackling an unexpected health or personal issue.
There’s nothing wrong with starting again and changing the contributing factors whether they’re internal or external. Start with relaxing, through whichever means necessary. A little bit of self-care goes a long way and could be all you need to re-energise yourself to go at it again, properly.
Your setback then becomes motivation to start over with renewed energy and focus. Any guilt you’re feeling will be a healthy emotion as it creates the desire to take new actions in a positive direction. You’ll propel yourself back into the process with more persistence to keep moving through any obstacles which come your way.
You Can Handle ANYTHING
No obstacle can be bigger than the person you are able to be once you put your mind to something. You just have to want it so bad, you’ll try anything and everything to chase it. Prioritise your tasks so you are able to give everything you’ve got towards overcoming your challenge. Be prepared to try all these tactics so you become obstacle free.
Until the next one. Which will become easier to handle as you grow through your challenges and establish an unbreakable resilience with rock solid ambition.