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5 Ways to Overcome Success Barriers

5 Ways to Overcome Success Barriers

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Eduard Ezeanu

Eduard is a confidence and communication coach with 7+ years of experience.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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