Here is a quote – Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.’
—Dr Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
You are smoothly navigating on the path of success at a rapid pace and everything is falling into place. Then, suddenly, without any warning, you hit a dreaded cul-de-sac. Circumstances beyond your control prevent you from making further forays and you cannot do much other than standing listlessly for no fault of your own. This may prove to be a nightmare, which you would certainly like to avoid. Unfortunately, problems like this are not illusory, as most of us have to face them consistently on our path to success.
Obstacles are an integral part of success
Obstacles and opportunities go hand in hand. The difference lies in the way we perceive them. In our pursuit of achieving our life purpose, we confront a bevy of personal as well as external obstacles. Personal obstacles may include – but are not limited to – attitude, fear of failure and the unknown, anxiety, procrastination, poor time management, low self-esteem, difficulty in communicating, no positive vision, lack of ambition, lack of education, lack of experience and skills. On the other hand, external obstacles, or more often referred to as social obstacles, include the economy, lack of information, cut-throat competition, lack of support from family, friends, and peers in addition to anything that obstructs you from achieving something.
Identifying these roadblocks is an integral part of deciding your life purpose. You and solely you are responsible for directing your own life and finding solutions to overcome the challenges that life throws at you. Acceptance is the buzzword here. It is only after you recognize and take responsibility for the obstacle, will you be able to tackle it. Often people give up for the wrong reasons – usually fear of failure or fear of the unknown. You have to come up with ways to counter negative emotions right at the outset before they assume menacing proportions and thwart your progress.
Obstacles are only as real as we make them
At times, even the most daunting obstacle is nothing more than misjudging and inappropriately generalizing a predicament, and this may largely blur our vision and thought process. Try to shift your perspective to the right direction since it is something that you cannot delay for long. If you find this difficult, try to see yourself from others’ perspective. When you shift your perspective, chances are that you will find that the circumstances are not that difficult handle.
Be practical, not emotional
While dealing with hindrances on the road to your success, never let your emotions control you and the situation you are facing. Reactions, such as emotional outbursts, in wake of the crisis, may not yield desired results. Moreover, at times, such reactions may complicate the situation, further increasing your woes. Therefore, develop the ability to master your emotions in such circumstances and employ reason and critical thinking in handling the state of affairs. Taking an intellectual perspective is vital here, as it is the only way we can identify and see the relevance of events that have unfolded or are unfolding.
Every problem has a solution
The biggest limiting factor to your own growth and potential is not embedded in external obstacles but in your imagination. All you have to do is find the right solution and pursue it with conviction and sincerity. The human brain has the ability to create an alternative route to crush obstacles on the way to success. Have faith in your abilities and proceed with determination to find an alternate route. To achieve this, convince yourself that you would find a way no matter what. It is more likely that your brain will stumble upon a perfect or near-perfect answer to your problem sooner than later.