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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 August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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