Truth: Most people never become what they could be. Without a definite purpose or ambition, they cruise along in life, tackling what’s easy with great aplomb, saving what’s difficult for another day that never comes. When obstacles become too tough, too inconvenient or seemingly insurmountable, they give up, then resign themselves to the fact that success wasn’t meant for them.
Obstacles – nasty as they may be – are really nothing more than giants on the road to your goal. Giants pop up to test you, to strengthen you and – more often than not – to make you prove you’re ready for what you want in the first place. (Some people say that giants are a sign that you’re on the right path.)
No matter what you do in life, how you handle giants will ultimately determine how successful you become.
Be warned, however: Giants are clever. They come disguised as a lack of time, funds, education, contacts, resources…you name it. There’s a garden variety to choose from, all giants nonetheless. Perhaps the greatest giant of all is insecurity, i.e., who am I to do that? Don’t allow yourself to get intimated by big projects and paralyzed into inaction. Whenever feelings of doubt of insecurity creep in, recognize it for what it is – fear – and then get out of your own way. (Note: The more giants you tackle, the easier they become to defeat.)
The key to conquering fear is not to try and banish it completely (which is impossible), but to deal with it. Use it. Turn your fear into focus. No matter what the situation, if you take the spotlight off of yourself (how is this going to make me look?) and put it on the task at hand (what would really make this project outstanding?), you’ll have an easier time moving forward.
“Focus is bringing everything you have to what you want and cutting off everything else.”
~Advertising Legend Mary Wells Lawrence
Emily Bennington is the author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job. She hosts a popular blog for career newbies at www.professionalstudio365.com and can be found on Twitter @EmilyBennington or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.