Some people are blessed with a “stick to it” attitude that allows them to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Think of Oprah Winfrey — she overcame poverty, abuse, and other hurdles to become the leading media light of the last 30 years, building an empire that has made her a billionaire many times over. Thankfully, most folks don’t face odds like that in life, but nonetheless there are still plenty of “ordinary” roadblocks everyone faces on their life’s journey. It’s easy to get demoralized sometimes when one bad thing after another occurs — the bank loan for your business didn’t come through, a parent dies a month later, and your spouse decides it’s time to move on.
Any one of these obstacles is tough to deal with, but if they happen in quick succession, it can deal a blow from which it’s almost impossible to recover. There are strategies, however, that can help you deal with even the biggest obstacle, and even turn it into an opportunity.
Keep these ideas in mind the next time life deals you a bad blow:
1) There will always be hurdles! It doesn’t matter how rich, famous or smart you are — the very nature of living means you’ll face obstacles. But remembering that everyone faces them, regardless of who they are, is comforting. And obstacles are, by definition, temporary, and you must remember that, too. Sooner or later the sting subsides, and you’re able to take action and move on.
2) They aren’t insurmountable: The only hurdle that is insurmountable is death, and you don’t want that, right? Everything else can be handled, one way or another. Use an obstacle to get creative: let’s say your retail business is suddenly experiencing a drop off in sales. Think of a new way to market yourself and your products, and target a whole new demographic. Increase your online profile and start selling to a younger clientele. What was a problem can compel you to think of fresh ideas for developing a new audience for your wares.
3) Are Your Goals Worth Fighting For? Yes, they are! That means finding new and inventive ways of overcoming obstacles and turning them into challenges, because what fun is there in life with no challenges? Keep your sense of humor, and look at problems from a fresh perspective. But don’t let those challenges overwhelm you; keep your focus sharp and your sense of humor intact, and soon you’ll be rising to every challenge you meet.
4) Remember Your Heroes: Whether it’s Oprah, or Steve Jobs, or some other business leader or star in the arts, remind yourself that they didn’t get where they are by giving in to obstacles. They just dug deeper and got on with the problem at hand.
5) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: If you are truly struggling to figure out turning obstacles into opportunities, go to your mentor and ask for help. Experience often offers fresh insights, and those people can give you counsel on how to approach a problem from a new angle. No one, and we mean no one, became successful on their own. Keep these strategies uppermost in your mind the next time a seemingly impossible obstacle comes your way. Attack the problem with energy, humor, and creativity, and soon you’ll discover that hurdles are little more than opportunities. They just come in a different package.