Not everyone will like what you do. Not everything you say will be received the way you intended it to. You will not get all the breaks – in fact, you may think you have been short-changed. Others get all the breaks – you get all the leftovers.
Success isn’t about what others think about you. It’s not about what you have or have not been given. It’s about what you do with what you have been given.
Too often, we blame everything or everyone, including ourselves for our perceived lack of success. When this becomes a solidified mindset, we become our own worst enemy.
The greatest roadblock to success in life is often ourselves.
When we play the blame game, we remain stuck. We dimish our capabilities to succeed. We focus on the reasons why we can’t, and then, give up as soon as the road gets tough.
History is full of roadblocks conquered
Looking back throughout history, we find example after example of people who have accomplished amazing things with little money, severe handicaps of poverty, education disadvantages, harsh childhoods, physical anomalies or difficult environments. They did not consider them unassailable or impregnable. They worked with the tools they were given or acquired them along the way.
For example, early settlers in America crossed enormous mountain ranges and roaring rivers with heavily loaded wagons and teams of horses. They did not have rich bank accounts or GPS’s. We romanticize their journeys and create exciting movies. But they were ordinary people who did extraordinary things.
But they were full of grit and determination. They experienced depressive setbacks and towering obstacles, seemingly impossible barriers, discouragement, death, losses of people and worldly possessions important enough to load on wagons and cart for thousands of miles. They endured extreme weather conditions. They had to think on their feet, be incredibly creative and ingenious. They had to fight for their lives, not only from the elements of nature but from inhabitants of the land. They were not Rhodes scholars, but ordinary men and women like us.
If they could accomplish such amazing feats why can’t we? Why do we give up so easily?
Although they had to make detours to bypass treacherous terrain to find that passage through the mountains or over rivers; while plans may have been altered to accommodate conditions, their goal remained the same: to cross the country to make a new life for ourselves.
What journey are you on – what’s your goal?
What are you doing with your natural abilities and talents? What do you want to accomplish but have been fearful to try? What holds you back from even making an attempt to set a target objective? What roadblocks do you see that are absolutely impossible to go over, around or under?
Focus on what you can do – not what you can’t
Instead of focusing on all the things that would make it difficult for you to reach your goals, stop and consider all the things that enable you to reach your goals.
Get a piece of paper and start making a list of all your skills and aptitudes. On this sheet, write down all the things you have already accomplished.
How did you achieve them? What were the first steps you took to get there? What skills or training were required? What would it take to begin making and working towards your goals today?
It might feel scary to focus only on positive possibilities. After all, we haven’t always been successful. You might find yourself saying, “Yes, but….”
We tend to blow out of proportion all the reasons why we can’t do something and give little credence to all the reasons why we can.
Consider people such as Stephen Hawking, physicist, Hellen Keller, blind and deaf, Tammi Grey-Thompson who had Spina Bifida but became a wheelchair racer and winner.
There are thousands of individuals who took what we might consider impossible disabilities and accomplished incredible things.
Is it easy? Of course not. Can we do it without the help, support, and encouragement of others? No. But we can do it.
Important Lessons from your past
On your list write about the things you have overcome in the past. What benefits still motivate and inspire you today? We all want a good education, but we also have natural born talents that can be developed. Maybe you are good at mechanics or fixing things. Maybe you are creative in cooking or entertaining. Perhaps you are good with children and enjoy being a stay at home Mom. They are all important even though we don’t hear people talk about them.
We tend to compare our gifts negatively with others, considering them insignificant or unimportant. Don’t discount any of your talents and abilities. We need everyone’s skills, gifts, and abilities. Nurture them and use them.
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