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Many of us, myself included, have faced numerous roadblocks in life.
For me I still struggle with a lot of mental roadblocks, particularly when it comes to blogging and it can be a struggle to overcome them.
A fellow physician blogger and friend, who runs the website, The Female Professional, wanted to share her tips on how to navigate these roadblocks and continue on your path to success.
No matter how well educated, smart, or driven you are, you will encounter roadblocks on your way to success. I’ve seen many people get caught in these roadblocks, unable to overcome them, or unaware of how to do so.
What I’d like to do is remind everyone that success is defined by how you feel, not by what society (or anyone) says you need to do. Everyone is capable of making it on their own terms; some situations may call for more challenges, and whether or not you can overcome them is the difference between “success” and failure.
So what does it take to overcome roadblocks and hurdles? Never giving up. How do you do that? You persist, and remember the following:
When In Doubt: Focus On What You Can Do
You will get knocked down, thrown under the bus, and made to feel like you don’t have value, or that you don’t know anything. And of course, you aren’t perfect, and no you don’t know everything; yes, you will make mistakes that you regret. However, dwelling on all of that is pointless. You should acknowledge your feelings and experiences, but don’t get weighed down by them. Rather, forgive yourself, learn the lessons, and then focus on what you know, and what you can control.
The best example I can give is my journey as a blogger. It started out as a jumbled mess of vague thoughts, and disorganized planning; but over time, by keeping at it (persistence) and continued learning, it’s evolved into what people see today (by the way, I’m on my second website).
On that journey, even when I had no idea how to grow or what to do next, I made sure that I remained persistent by focusing on what I knew: I loved to write, and I had a lot to say. Eventually, that paid off to bring me to where I am now, a site that has much more traction and is actually starting to make money!
With all the emphasis on learning and being open to new ideas, I think that people forget what they do know already. Don’t lose focus of that.
Once You Start, Maintain Some Momentum
We’ve all heard Newton’s law “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”. It seems that this doesn’t apply to only physical things but mental too. It’s a lot easier to keep momentum going than to start from a dead stop.
I love the snowball metaphor. Once you get a small amount of momentum, you start leaning in and figuring out other things to improve on. You keep gaining ground and eventually, your life is on a completely different trajectory from where it was a short while ago. One day, you look back and realize you’ve accomplished so much.
It’s almost like success is unavoidable once you start making some progress. I’ve heard countless people’s stories where they start out in a mountain of debt and in just a few years they’ve completely turned their lives around and are KILLING IT.
Jordan Peterson talks about this in his book – 12 Rules For Life. He says you start putting your life together by cleaning your room. Once you’ve got your room in order, you can move to another room in your house. Eventually, your whole house is neat and you start cleaning up other areas of your life. The process never ends and you keep moving towards putting your whole world in order. Someone who’s got their entire world in order is someone who’s going places.
In other words, it’s difficult to start, but once you do, try to keep going each day. You don’t need to go fast, you just need to go.
If You Fall, Get Back Up
We all fall. The sad thing is that no one talks about it, or if they do, I always see them spinning the story so it doesn’t sound so bad. It makes so that when you do fall, you think that you need to get over it quickly, or it needs to be clean and easy to deal with.
Life and its hurdles are never easy to deal with. The reality is that when you fail, fall, or stumble, it will be messy, and/or you’ll make a mess on your way down. It sucks, it hurts, it can be demoralizing and frustrating, not to mention embarrassing.
The beauty of it though? You don’t have to stay down. Falling, crashing, coming to a grinding halt on your journey, is all a part of the process. It has nothing to do with how good or talented you may or may not be. What DOES make a difference is whether or not you choose to get back up.
Fear of failure keeps so many people from their true potential. I’ve come to find that failure is inevitable no matter how little effort you put into life. You could be the least productive person on the planet and still fail at something. None of us are getting out of this thing alive anyway so you might as well take chances!
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” — Bruce Lee
Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go
Trying to keep up your lifestyle when pursuing something new gets extremely difficult. No one can do it all. You’re not superhuman. You need help, you need breaks, you need time to yourself, as we all do on occasion.
Don’t be afraid then to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that you don’t want to, or can’t, do anymore. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself from people who don’t support you, or worse drag you down. Don’t be afraid to make yourself a priority.
Be Kind To Yourself
One of the biggest roadblocks I deal with regularly, and I think people struggle with, is the mental roadblock that you put up yourself. The negative self-talk, the doubts, the lack of confidence or assuredness, can all hold you back and make you think that you can’t do it.
Overcoming this is a constant challenge; often you’ll get through one layer, and another issue will present itself. Alternatively, you may find yourself taking one step forward and two steps back.
You’re not alone. Nor do you need to be isolated. This is when you bust out your support system or find one. This is when you show yourself some compassion and understanding. This is when you cancel out that negative self-talk with some positive compliments to yourself.
This is when you acknowledge that you’re struggling because you’ve been brave enough to push your comfort zone to try something new and different.
No matter how many obstacles you encounter, your success is determined by how you react. The struggle is real and winning is hard, but it’s not impossible. Take it day by day and overtime you’ll see how much you’ve accomplished.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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This rings very true because you’ve indeed overcome tremendous challenges in your life. A lot of people think doctors have it made, they are super smart, have super high paying jobs and therefore can’t relate to regular folks. But watching my daughter in law and my son go through the rigors of medical school and clinicals and residency all while trying to live normal lives has given me a more informed perspective of what a long and arduous journey it is to get to where you are today. Not to mention the personal struggles you had to endure. I think… Read more »
Thanks Steveark for the kind words. Yeah it is incredible what medical students/residents put their minds and bodies through during 7-12 years of training after college. And you cannot use being tired as an excuse for not performing when treating a patient after hours and hours of call etc. Not too many professions have that kind of strain placed on them with such life or death matters on the line. And of course the worry in the background of being sued and losing it all if something does not happen optimally.
Wow. Great post. As a dad to two teenage daughters, I’ve always told them that there are a lot of obstacles in life and to be kind to yourself.
Great advice to pass along to the next generation VP. I honestly believe if everything went according to plan you never appreciate the triumphs as much.