Running a Small Business & the Art of Overcoming Obstacles

Small Business Goals Overcoming ObstaclesSo far in this series, we’ve talked about Running a Small Business and the Art of BalanceDiscovering GoalsDefining Goals and Setting Goals.

In this installment of the series, we’re going to be talking about obstacles.

I know — unpleasant, right? At least at first glance.

I say at first glance because, when you think about it, isn’t it how we perceive an obstacle that colors whether it’s negative, neutral or even a positive?

When an obstacle arises, we always have a choice about how we’re going to deal with it. And although the initial action we want to take may be to REACT to the problem, we can also choose to RESPOND to it.

In essence, we have three choices:

  1. See the obstacle as a problem.
    If we perceive it on an emotional level as something that’s in our way, it’s going to be hard not to see it as a a big, fat negative.
  2. See the obstacle with a Buddhist mentality.
    Accepting that “it is what it is.” This allows us to view the obstacle neutrally, making it less frustrating.
  3. See the obstacle as an opportunity.
    You’re probably thinking, “this guy has had way too many cups of coffee! How can he think an obstacle could be an opportunity?” But what if the obstacle helps us look at the situation in a different way? Maybe it gives us a more efficient process in attaining a goal, or sheds light on something we hadn’t realized before.

Like anything else, if we look for the positive in something, there’s a good chance we’ll find it.

Many years ago, I almost died from a condition called Crohn’s disease. When I was sick, I had a decision to make. Was I going to listen to the doctors and continue to take 20 pills a day? Essentially putting a bandaid on my condition? Or, was I going to find a long-term solution to better health? This would mean self reflection to figure out why I got sick in the first place. I also knew this would most likely spark lots of change.

I chose the latter, and I have been feeling healthier — and pill free — for almost 20 years! The Crohn’s disease, a huge obstacle, wound up being one of the greatest gifts of my life because it put me on the path to being true to who I am.

An obstacle is like a hurdle …

The good news is that you’re most likely NOT an olympic hurdler. So, instead of trying to jump the hurdle, it might be just plain easier to walk around it! In other words, keep your eye on the finish line (your goal), but alter your path to get there.

Just remember that a positive outlook — even in the face of adversity or failure — plays a major role in overcoming an obstacle and moving closer to your goal. Keeping your plan of action to goal attainment bite-sized, and being open to making revisions, greatly increases your odds of success.

I also recommend frequent cups of coffee, too!

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Posted in How To, Inspiration
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