Overcome Obstacles to Grow Your Career

Dayana Sabatin

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“What’s the secret?”
“How did you do it?”
“Very cool, okay but like how did you really do it? Did you take something?”
“Where do I buy whatever course you took to become as good as you are now?”
“Thank you so much for doing this, I appreciate you for taking the time to tell me your background and sharing all of those setbacks you had and the advice on how you overcame it all… so what’s the secret though?”

That used to be me — as well as a lot of you when you’re trying to grow your career.

Every person you look up to — is a magical unicorn in your eyes; you just can’t fathom how they got to where they’re at. They must have done something to get there — it can’t be merely hard work and perseverance because that’s what you’ve been doing for the last two months straight.

No, absolutely not. They must be part of an elite group — or better yet, they’re all just naturally born with a scarlet letter. S for Successful.

When you see people doing what you want to do, and they’re doing it well, something shifts inside you, resulting in you doing 1 of 2 things.

a.) You’re inspired — you’re amped up and ready to get to work

b.) You think, “They just got lucky, I could never reach that level of success, it’s too hard.” And you don’t even bother trying.

Jim Rohn once said,

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

As you’re navigating through your career — the first few months, and even years — will be rough. You’re going to come face-to-face with obstacles that can either break you — or be the next step into your career blooming.

Here are a few essentials that will help you overcome those obstacles seamlessly.

Ask Yourself This Deeply Important Question.

According to psychologist Jennice Vilhauer, there are two types of obstacles people face.

Real obstacles are factual; they’re things like not having enough money to buy your dream home or dream car. Maybe you’ve been working on your side hustle for a few months, and you haven’t received a payout — the problem isn’t that you’re not putting in the work; the problem is that you simply haven’t been doing it for long enough.

The second type of obstacle that you experience is the subconscious ones.

These are beliefs about your ability to obtain what you want. They’re generally influenced by past experiences of times when you haven’t succeeded that you use as evidence proving you can’t do something different. Typically, these obstacles generate the emotion of fear and hold you back from pursuing your goal.

To get past any obstacle, you have to figure out if you’re dealing with a real obstacle or a subconscious one.

Vilhauer recommends a brainstorming exercise to identify your perceived obstacles towards reaching your goals. Write down everything you can think of that will get in the way, and don’t censor yourself.

After you’ve made your list, sort out what feels like real obstacles, and start with those. You’ll find that as you begin to view the real obstacles differently, your subconscious obstacles will start to shift as well. If it seems more doable because there are fewer real obstacles, it won’t feel as mentally overwhelming.

Remember, the majority of obstacles that make a goal seem impossible are really just self-imposed limitations.

How To Make Sacrifices.

You’re stuck working a 9–5; you have an idea for a side hustle that you really think can go somewhere, you’re excited, you’re passionate — the problem?

You think you don’t have the time.

So you go back to your dull 9–5 that you loathe, you bend over backward for your boss, you come home just in time for dinner and to watch the game. Your weekends consist of nothing remotely exciting — and then you groan as Monday comes around.

Here’s the thing — the problem isn’t that you lack time; in fact, you do have the time. You just don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices that you need to make to get your side hustle off the ground so you could quit your 9–5.

Nick Woodman, the founder of GoPro, says,

“To get GoPro started, I moved back in with my parents and went to work seven days a week, 20 hours a day. I wrote off my personal life to make headway on it.”

Ask yourself, how much are you really willing to give up for the sake of your goals, dreams, and success?

Are you willing to put certain things on the back burner for a while and cancel plans with friends?

Are you willing to honestly do what it takes to become successful? Or do you just like the idea of success?

Too many people “want things” but aren’t willing to take a step backward and pay the price associated with their ambition. They lack the humility and patience for happiness and success.” — Gary Vee

How To Keep Pushing Despite Setbacks.

James Dyson wasn’t born a great inventor. He didn’t have any specific talents or gifts. Due to frustrations with his own vacuum experience, he committed to creating a bag-less vacuum cleaner.

He created 5,127 prototypes, over the span of 15 years, to create the perfect vacuum.

This is what Dyson had to say about his journey to success,

“There are countless times an inventor can give up on an idea. By the time I made my 15th prototype, my third child was born. By 2,627, my wife and I were really counting our pennies. By 3,727, my wife was giving art lessons for some extra cash. These were tough times, but each failure brought me closer to solving the problem.”

Partially thanks to his supportive wife, coupled with his unrelenting drive regardless of failures, Dyson was going to succeed. Today James Dyson has a net worth of a booming $4.5 billion.

Whatever you choose to do in life, do it with passion and purpose. When you love what you do, you’re able to learn the power of consistency and determination, which are both traits you need to succeed.

There will always be setbacks, you might be going against the grain for years before you get your first big break, but the experiences you value the most in life are often the ones that were the most challenging because they push you out of your comfort zone and allow you to grow into the person you want to be.

How To Cease Self-Doubt.

The fear of failure is a universal human emotion, and it’s been explicitly experienced by some of the world’s most successful people.

Maya Angelou once said,

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

Maya Angelou isn’t the only one; leaders from various industries have spoken about feeling undeserving of success, including David Bowie, Mark Zuckerberg, and Arianna Huffington.

The secret is to approach self-doubt and uncertainty as a skill, and that it’s something that gets better with time and practice.

Out of the 60-70,000 thoughts you have daily, estimates suggest 98% of them are the same. This means your inner critic is really a thought pattern you can learn to control.

It’s okay to be afraid. Your inner critic will always try to speak up anytime you try to do big things, no matter how positive you’re trying to be. Nobody gets the luxury of living fear-free, not even confident people.

Philosopher Bertrand Russell said,

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

Bottom Line:

Every successful person has failed in their lives, and every single one of them will tell you that failure is part of the process. Overcoming obstacles and learning every aspect of your business is how you reach success.

As Sachin Prabhu says,

“Great success requires greater sacrifice.”

Embrace the setbacks you experience. The people that you’re looking up to right now did and still do even after achieving greatness.

When I first started writing, I launched a blog, applied to multiple freelance writing jobs, and sent my articles to several magazines. I was hoping to get my name out there.

My blog got little to no views, I couldn’t land a single interview, and every single article that I pitched to magazines got rejected for months.

Was I just a crappy writer? Was I not meant to do this?

I asked myself these questions daily, but I kept working — despite the rejections and failures. After almost two years of 12–14-hour workdays, I’ve managed to turn my blog into something that pays my bills, and instead of ripping my hair out and sending dozens of resumes out, I have people seeking me out and asking if I’ll write articles for them.

Certain setbacks are merely there to redirect you — or teach you that you’re capable of doing and giving more.

Psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen says that dealing with doubt and overcoming adversity isn’t a linear progression. You don’t get better by going in a straight line — Overcoming your struggles is an up-and-down battle.

And to grow and succeed — you need both the peaks and the valleys.

The ups will remind you where you want to go, and the downs push you to get there.

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Freelance writer sharing thoughts on self-improvement, productivity, and success.

Santa Monica, CA
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