Success would be something easy to achieve, if it weren’t for success barriers. You see something, you go for it, and you get it.
The trouble is that, in reality, there are habitually walls in front of you that prevent you from reaching what you want. And in order to reach it, you need to find a way to go over, around, under, or through these walls.
Fortunately, most of these walls can be surmounted. It’s not always easy, but it’s almost always possible. I’d like to show the 5 most important strategies I know, drawing from my experience as a coach, to overcome success barriers.
1. Decide What Success Means For You
Everybody wants success. But success means different things for different people. For some, success means making a lot of money, for others it means having great relationships with great people, and for others it means enjoying a life of freedom.
If you’re not clear on what success means for you, you’re going to chase a vague, undefined version of success, which constitutes a major barrier in achieving it. It’s like chasing a ghost. You’re never going to catch it.
This is why, first and foremost, you want to seriously think what success signifies for you. Decide what your personal definition of success is. Only once you’ve decided this can you start seeking your version of success.
2. Detach Emotionally
When something prevents us from getting what we want, we typically become frustrated, fearful, or sad. And under the veil of these strong negative emotions, we try to decide how to overcome the obstacles in front of us.
The problem is that almost without exception, these negative emotions will prevent us from assessing the situation rationally, seeing the best solutions, and making wise decisions. So we are unlikely to surpass the obstacles.
For this reason, it’s critical to try and detach emotionally before trying to find a solution to your problem. Sometimes this can be as easy as taking a few deep breaths, other times it may require a little time out to let those negative emotions subside, and other times it may involve soothing yourself with positive self-talk. Options are always there.
3. Look at the Barrier as an Outsider
This is a great way to see your problem in a fresh way and find good solutions for solving it. Imagine that the goal you want to reach is not yours — it’s someone else’s. And the obstacle that prevents reaching it is theirs as well.
You’re just an outsider looking at another person’s issue. And as an outsider, you have a penchant for problem solving, so you analyze this person’s issue and try to see what would be, from your perspective, some good solutions for it.
Give this strategy a try in dealing with obstacles you face. It’s like seeing your situation with new eyes, and often you’ll be amazed at the resolutions you’ll see with these new eyes.
4. Inform Yourself
The people who are best at overcoming success obstacles are very well informed. They have a good comprehension of the situation and the obstacle, so it’s easy for them to see appropriate ways to surpass it.
For example, if a marketer runs into problems in promoting a product, provided that he has a lot of practical marketing knowledge, he’ll quickly realize why the product promotion is not going well and what he can do to fix this.
A marketer with little knowledge in this area, on the other hand, will have no clue why things don’t go the way he wants them to go or what to do about it.
Don’t be this second person. Be the first one. How? By constantly learning, especially in the areas where you want to achieve performance, and keeping yourself very well informed. Knowledge truly is power, as long as it’s practical knowledge.
5. Keep Trying
Persistence is not flashy or glamorous, but it’s an extremely valuable attitude. I find that many people don’t overcome obstacles because they only try one or two ways to overcome it, and if these don’t work, they give up.
Unfortunately, especially when dealing with new problems, it’s quite possible that the first solution you’ll try will not work very well. In order to overcome the obstacle, you’ll need to try several solutions, and move from one to another based on the results you get.
You’ll eventually find the optimal solution and you’ll also have learned a lot from the labor of getting to it. But you have to be persistent. You have to keep trying instead of giving up.
If a solution doesn’t solve your problem, look at the problem again, try to understand why that solution did not work, and find another one. Persistence is key to success.
It’s worth saying again that whatever barriers stand in front of you achieving success, it’s almost certain that you can overcome them. The trick is to apply a few smart and effective strategies. With clarity, detachment, learning, and persistence, you can go a very long way in a very short time.