No matter who you are or what you’re working to accomplish, you will face some sort of obstacle while moving toward your goal. Sometimes, these obstacles are small and seem insignificant. Yet, there are also times when the obstacle looks like an insurmountable wall, one hundred feet high.
The number one reason people don’t achieve greatness is a fear of failure. That’s why you must first define your obstacle before starting your journey. Your obstacle is the thing that will stand in your way, try to trip you up, and ruin your motivation. If you’re not intimately familiar with the challenges that lie between you and your objective, you’ll likely be crushed when you experience a setback or failure.
So, if you want success in your venture, start by asking yourself these three questions about the obstacle that stands in your way.
Who put it there?
Maybe the subtext for this question should be, “Does it even exist?” Many of us fear obstacles that aren’t really there. They exist only in our minds, or they exist because someone else convinced us they exist. Perspective is a powerful thing, and we can easily construct obstacles in front of our goals to justify a lack of action. So ask yourself, is this obstacle being placed in my path by reality, facts, research, and history, or is it simply a construct of my own mind? Have the haters caused me to self-doubt? Before calling something a true obstacle you need to validate it through wise counsel and good research.
How can I prepare for it?
If you don’t decide how you’ll overcome an obstacle before you face it, you’ll likely fail. As an example, consider the professional sports arena. It seems amazing that pro athletes can work around any obstacle they face on the court or field. But, in fact, it’s not really all that amazing. It’s amazing execution, for sure, but more than that it’s amazing preparation. They have watched hours of film, practiced every scenario, and even visualized the outcome to things that have yet to happen. That way, when they face an obstacle, they not only have the ability to overcome it, they are so prepared to face it that they already know HOW they will beat it. If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail.
Who has been over the wall?
Being well prepared and informed is only a part of the equation to success. The piece of the puzzle that most ignored is gathering wisdom and guidance from people who have already been over the wall, or the obstacle, that you are facing. Someone who has walked the path you are walking. Someone who knows the emotions and pressure you are facing. Someone who can give you the grounded encouragement and truth you will need to face your toughest obstacles. You can try to go it alone, and you might even succeed, but it will come at a cost. Standing on the shoulders of those who have been there before you is the best way to see what’s on the other side of adversity.
So, what’s really stopping you from setting goals and achieving them? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s lame. Get out there and do something great!