‘The biggest obstacles in our lives are the barriers our mind creates’
We all daydream about our ideal life, but it can be a daunting task to figure out how to turn these dreams into reality. Instead we can find ourselves accepting our circumstances and trying to make the best of them.
It’s quite common to hear people discuss their hopes and aspirations, followed by a comprehensive list of reasons why they will never be realized. Multiple barriers can be created that ensure that your life’s desires remain a fantasy rather than something that can ever be achieved. This frustrates me.
We can drown in our own self pity, convinced that good things only happen to other people and never to us, or we can create our own luck and start making our dreams come true.
During my research I have noticed that the so called ‘lucky’ people, those who are successful and realizing their potential, don’t place barriers in their own way. They remove each real hurdle they face. The ‘unlucky’ people who believe that nothing good will ever happen to them, allow themselves to be controlled by the barriers that they perceive to be blocking their path.
One of the most valuable things I learned from the 3 years I spent living and working in South Africa is the Afrikaans saying ‘maak ‘n plan’ It literally means ‘make a plan’ and is the concept that anything is possible. If you think on your feet and approach something in a new way, no matter what obstacle is presented to you, you will be able to find a way to overcome it.
This powerful philosophy is something I now live my life by. If you truly believe anything is possible (which I do), it helps ensure that you always find a solution for any problem. Any time I am faced with a challenge, my first thought isn’t ‘can this be solved?’ it’s ‘how can I solve this?’
What is the difference between a barrier and an excuse?
We will constantly be faced with barriers as we journey through life. A barrier can be defined as ‘a circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress.’ It’s just an obstacle and obstacles can be removed. A barrier becomes an excuse when we make it into a reason not to achieve something, without even seeing if it is possible.
3 practical steps to overcome any barrier
STEP 1: Get your positive mindset on
You need to face barriers with the right attitude. If you ensure you’re looking at the situation from the point of view of how you can resolve it, rather than whether you can resolve it, you are much more likely to succeed. If you approach everything with the mindset that there is a resolution, you just need to figure out what it is, it makes the chance of overcoming the barrier much greater.
STEP 2: Gather the facts
This step is important to differentiate perception from reality. It is easy to create your own barriers based on thoughts and feelings and possibly fear, but not based on hard facts and evidence. If you document the reality of the situation, you can determine which issues are real and which your mind has invented and placed in the way of your success. Once you understand the difference, they are easier to overcome.
STEP 3: Make a plan
The last part of overcoming barriers is forming a plan to unblock your path. List all the blockers you are facing and for each one come up with as many solutions as you can think of to rectify the situation. You’ll find that each issue can be solved if you put your mind to it and apply the positive mindset previously mentioned. If you can’t find the answer yourself, ask advice from others. When you have the solutions clearly defined, detail out exactly what steps you need to take to implement them and then take immediate action.
Achieving our dreams takes courage. It can be easy to put barriers in place that let us avoid taking risks and prevent us from following our aspirations. By following the simple strategies above, I believe we can reach for the stars and implement our ideal life.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you overcome your barriers?
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.