When The Unthinkable Happens…
This was the critical moment Tom had been planning for. A pumped crowd was waiting for him just on the other side of the curtain. Despite his sweaty palms and the butterflies in his stomach he knew he was ready. Besides, it was too late to turn back now.
The announcer was saying his name and the crowd was already clapping. It was go time! With a quick breath he stepped past the curtain and into the bright lights on stage. This was his moment. But as he was stepping up to the podium the unthinkable happened.
He had been so focused on reaching the podium that he didn’t notice the bulging speaker wire that was in the direct path of his feet. Before he even knew what was happening he was flat on his face in front of thousands of people. There was a hushed silence as the audience waited as he awkwardly got back up.
Dust Yourself Off
He reached the mic and gripped it carefully. He began, “My business mentor once told me that overcoming obstacles to success is really as simple as learning how to survive your mistakes. Falling flat on your face will hurt your ego, but you have to get up, dust yourself off, and try again.” The room was silent enough to hear a pin drop.
The speaker continued, “That was good advice,” he let out a chuckle while symbolically dusting himself off, “but he didn’t tell me how much it would hurt my knees!” The crowd joined in with hearty laughter.
With his nerves settled now he continued, “Joking aside, he was right you know. Our success is not determined by what life throws our way, but rather, what we throw at life.” The room was intensely focused on every word he was saying now.
“If you want to overcome the obstacles to successful entrepreneurship you have to be willing to roll with the punches and defy the odds by holding on with sheer will power and tenacity that never stops. Throw everything you have at life and give it your best shot! That is ultimately why I have come today. Not only to share my story but to show you that if I can make it, you can too!” The room erupted in applause.
Keys For Overcoming Obstacles To Success
Just like Tom in the story above, we will face moments of failure in life and business. Our natural reaction is to give up. To quit. To throw in the towel. But as Vince Lombardi says, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Learning how to get good at overcoming obstacles to success in life is the key to achieving your dreams and fulfilling your purpose.
There are several key principles you can use to navigate the ups and downs that life throws at you. In this article, we will be covering several of them. If you learn and apply these principles you will find that every failure you experience can be turned into the building blocks of future success.
- Understand who you are… and be ok with it!
- Have a plan… but don’t count on it
- Push forward despite pressure to quit
- Celebrate incremental victories
Understand Who YOU Are… And Be Ok With It!
You are NOT what other people think you are. You have probably done what a lot of people do and spend enormous amounts of time carefully crafting a ‘persona’ to give others the impression that you have it all together. News flash… they are not falling for it!
Many people get caught up trying to be someone they are not simply to impress others. They fall into this trap thinking it will help them get ahead in life. While it may seem to work for a while, it actually becomes counterproductive. You can only play charades so long before people start to catch on.
On the flip side, there is no denying that people are magnetically drawn to those individuals who have mastered the art of being genuinely themselves. When you understand who God created you to be and are comfortable in your own skin, you have a rare superpower that others envy (in a good way). It keeps you grounded and focused on moving forward towards fulfilling your purpose, overcoming obstacles to success every step of the way.
“I was beginning to “return to myself”… [and] I actually liked the guy I saw in the mirror, flaws and all.”Michael Drake | The Bliss Journey
Have A Plan… But Don’t Count On It
This sounds like a depressing reality check at first glance. Be honest though, when have things gone exactly as you had planned? Rare to be certain! This isn’t the universe conspiring against you. Instead, it is part of the natural flow of life. Unfortunately, we can’t see all of the barriers that will hinder our success journey during the planning stage.
That said, you do need a plan! Otherwise, you will wander aimlessly through life and won’t progress toward your goals. But people who are bent on success intuitively know that even their most thought-out plans will probably get interrupted. So instead of getting flustered when things go awry, they learn to pivot.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”Mike Tyson
Push Forward Despite Pressure To Quit
Newton’s Third Law of Motion tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Don’t believe it? Try starting a new diet plan. You might do good the first hour or two but then your co-worker walks by with a box of fresh donuts. There is a 4-for-$1 special at the Taco stand. Your neighbor bakes you fresh cookies… you get the picture.
Often it feels like when we finally try to do something with purpose unforeseen pressure points pop up. The pressure can come from within due to the pain of positive change or it can come from others who feel challenged by your upward progress. Like floating in a current, the element of pressure is always there, but we don’t really feel the strength of it until we start to swim against it.
The key to pushing through pressure is to keep your head clear. Often when the pressure starts building, our mind gets muddied and we forget what we were aiming for and you cave and eat the neighbor’s fresh-baked cookies. You must keep a clear focus on the mission, the goal, your target.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”Galatians 6:9 ESV
Celebrate Incremental Victories
Take the time to look behind you. Reflect on the path that led you here in the first place. When we are submitted to God’s plan for our life, we know He directs our steps. So when you feel defeated it is incredibly uplifting to remember all the things God has brought you through to get here.
Imagine a toddler who is learning how to walk. He takes a few wobbly steps across the living room to his mother and father. When he finally makes it they burst out in celebration! Did the little fellow just complete a grueling marathon or win an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash? No, but his parents celebrated all the same and so should you. Success is built one block at a time so enjoy the process and it will build your inner momentum to keep pushing towards the mark!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
Overcoming obstacles to success isn’t easy. But the good news it isn’t complicated either. When you know who God has called you to be you can choose to walk by faith and not by sight. When you feel the pressure to quit and give up, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and before you know it you have passed the barriers that were in your way! Keep going! Don’t stop! You can do this!
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”Corrie Ten Boom
Thank you for investing your time to read this article! If you would like to explore more content like this check out our podcast for episodes like The Virtue of Business and Business As Mission. Feel free to check out our other blog posts as well. For book recommendations and other entrepreneurial resources check out our business resources page here.