4 Ways to Overcome Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles
Every career is trickled with obstacles to test your determination. Walt Disney once said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” How you react when you get kicked in the teeth may influence your career success. Do you conquer your fears and overcome the challenges or do you shy away and stick with what’s comfortable?

Here are four powerful ways you can overcome the obstacles in your career path:

  1. Remind Yourself of Your Awesomeness
  2. My good friend, Janet Callaway, shared the following video clip with me in her article on the power of self-talk. It speaks to the importance of self-image and positive affirmations.

    YouTube Preview Image

    You can bet that Jessica started that day with enough energy and enthusiasm to overcome any obstacles in her path! Dr. Walter E. Jacobson confirms that positive affirmations can be used to program our subconscious mind and empower ourselves to help us accomplish our goals and actualize our dreams.

    The positive attitude that’s generated from positive affirmations takes time and commitment to develop. Repeat your affirmations to yourself verbally or by writing them down every day. This kind of dedication will give you the strength you need to tackle the barriers in your path.

  3. Motivate Yourself
  4. Who motivates you? Do you have role models? Consider why you respect these people, how they conquered their fears and what other qualities you’d like to emulate or implement in your own life. Surround yourself with optimistic people who encourage and influence you to be the best version of yourself.

    Now, consider what motivates you. Meg Selig, the author of “Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success,” lists various types of motivators, such as pain motivators and meaningful motivators. A powerful motivator that you truly value will force you to get up in the morning and endure the hardships as you face your obstacles head-on.

  5. Take the First Step
  6. The more you avoid your fears and the obstacles in your path, the more likely you are to keep avoiding them. This type of negative reinforcement can make it difficult for you to break the habit of avoiding the uncomfortable. Negative reinforcement happens when you feel better because you’ve avoided a situation that makes you anxious and can turn into a cycle of avoidance behavior.

    So just take one step forward. Make it a small step. Focus on taking action and you’ll find yourself riding on the wave of accomplishments that will push you to do more and more. There is a high you’ll feel knowing that you’ve gotten past a fear to make a change happen in your life.

  7. Know That It’s Okay to Fail
  8. James Cameron’s directorial career is marked with outstanding highlights, including the two highest-grossing movies ever, “Titanic” and “Avatar.” Many aren’t aware that he’s also an inventor, having contributed to the development of underwater camera systems and remote vehicle technology. He credits his success to his unending curiosity and advises us to explore, reminding us that “in whatever you’re doing, failure is an option, but fear is not.”

    Remember that it’s not about perfection, the goal or the end result; it’s about all that you learn and how you grow along the way, during the process and the journey. Failing can be reframed as something positive, as an essential part of the life experience to build not only resilience, but also humility.

How do you react when you’re down and out?

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6 Comments

  1. Posted June 20, 2011 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Sam, aloha. Thx so much for sharing Jessica with more people. If we would each start our day as Jessica does hers in this clip, what marvelous days we would have.

    What works for me, Sam, is to remember Why I am doing what I doing–or attempting to do. If my Why is big enough, important enough to me, then I will persevere and overcome what seem to be obstacles yet in reality merely provide detours on the road to success.

    As Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

    “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

    Best wishes for a magnificent week. Aloha. Janet

  2. Posted June 21, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Absolutely, Janet! I was captivated by the energy of her video and hope to dance and fist pump my way through life too! =)

    Thank you so much for adding that important point, Janet! Having a reason is one of the most powerful motivators and that Martin Luther King, Jr. quote is so fitting!

    I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, friend! =) Happy week to you too!

  3. Posted June 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Another great article, Sam! When I face obstacles I realize I have a choice to adapt and thrive or wallow in disappointment. Every time I recognize I have that choice, I choose adapt and thrive and I live a happier life because of it.

    I wrote a blog entry about turning negative feedback into accomplishments. It’s so easy to get discouraged but any negative feedback is really an opportunity to regroup and knock their socks off! http://livelovework.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/turn-negative-feedback-into-accomplishments/

    • Posted June 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Chrysta, that is such a true comment and I completely relate! It’s easy to forget that we have a choice because our body just wants to react. That’s why we need to find that space and place of mind where we can be outside observers for a split second and stop ourselves from reacting negatively unnecessarily.

      Heading over to check out your negative feedback post now! Sounds inspiring already! =)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Chrysta!! =)

  4. vinny T
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    This is an excellent article that summarizes and encapsulates important keys to success.The crucial question, however, becomes: When should one recognize that, sometimes, force of will can’t overcome objective obstacles to success and it’s time to give up? How does one know when to “throw in the towel?

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      That’s a really delicate balance that you speak of, Vinny, but such an important point! Thanks for mentioning this! I try to avoid thinking of these situations as “giving up” though — it’s usually just branching off into something else that you may not have imagined so concretely. =)

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