Editors Note: This is a guest post from Ayo Olaniyan from Discovering Purpose
I am starting a series this month titled 6 obstacles, 6 things and 6 reasons. Several bloggers have written on various topics such as 10 reasons why you should blog, quit your job, fall in love… I am hoping to target areas such as 6 obstacles threatening your progress, 6 reasons why you should get a life, 6 things you should know about yourself, 6 reasons why you should be happy and 6 reasons why you should go to the toilet (laugh).
According to the elook online dictionary "˜progress means the gradual improvement, growth or development in a positive way. It's also the act of moving forward toward a desired goal, while obstacles are things standing in our way that must be removed, circumvented or surmounted.'
We often want to make progress in our jobs, personal development, finances, behaviour, business, eating habits, exercising, with families….. the list is endless. It's wonderful to have great ideas, pictures of the future, think positively e.t.c but we must realise that there are subtle obstacles that stand in the way of our progress.
What are these obstacles?
The Claim to Know Everything: This relates to people who think they know it all and refuse to accept advice or information that would enhance their productivity, from anyone. If you want to increase your chances of being successful or making a change for the better, you should be open to suggestions before disregarding any which may not be suitable for you. Those who claim to know everything make statements such as "˜I knew that already, I was going to do that, I agree with you but I am sure there's another way….
Their minds, hearts, level of reasoning are completely closed to new ideas or suggestions BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT READY OR WILLING TO BE TAUGHT. Of course we need to strike a balance before everyone starts listening to time wasters offering "˜random suggestions;' the focus here is to be open to "˜constructive contributions'.
The Fear of Change: This is a topic in its own right, but I would do my best to summarize it. In a positive context, change is the process or result of becoming different. It's a transformation or transition from one level of development to another. We desire to experience or make changes in various aspects of our lives but it requires drive, motivation and commitment. We are afraid to make changes for the following reasons:
- We don't want to be pushed out of our comfort zone into the unknown
- We lack the desire to experience change.
- We associate change with anxiety and nervousness.
- We've become conditioned due to an emotional/physical trauma we've experienced in the past.
- We feel we may lose our rights as individuals and possibly get exploited.
When we get to a crossroad and we sincerely want to make a change, it might be useful to think on the following tips:
- Think on the positive impacts that would be achieved from experiencing change
- Picture someone else in your shoes knowing if they handled change positively, you can.
- Think of the worst case scenarios which could occur and find alternative solutions to them.
Inconsistency: In order to attain the desired level of progress we have pictured, imagined or is striving towards, we need constant practice. Developing the qualities we desire, attaining a high level of personal growth/development requires a constant repetition of successful behaviours, skills, programs etc we've implemented to see such results. We get better and excel in certain projects by being consistent in our actions, methods and character. Footballers go through rigorous amounts of training before any game and a player found unfit on the training field or during the game is sidelined to the bench.
In order to develop good habits, it's compulsory we build them on a daily basis.
The Blame Game: There's a tendency to always trade blames on anything and everyone, wishing you never went down certain routes, made certain judgements, made decisions etc. Sometimes our egos have a way of interfering with us taking responsibilities for certain actions and our only way out, is to blame others. It's common to hear statements such as, I would have succeeded if only my ….. supported me, I would have passed my exams if you didn't…….., I would have been rich if I didn't get married to you(laugh, I've actually heard that). The list grows!!!! STOP IT TODAY!!!! REALISE OUR LIVES ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES.
Failing to take action: In the last 5-6years I have fallen in love with Nikes slogan, "˜Just Do It'. For us to be effective and yield results in our daily lives, we must make an effort to follow certain procedures. If we want to excel in any phase of our lives we need to be willing TO DO things differently. We mustn't be comfortable in acquiring knowledge only but also take that step to practice what we've learnt. We are afraid to take actions for the following reasons:
- We lack self confidence.
- We are afraid of failing.
- We don't want to get embarrassed.
- We are filled with negative thoughts, believing those steps may not turn out to be successful.
I have got three words for you: JUST DO IT
Negative Thinking: We would always experience tough challenges in life and the easiest obstacle that confronts us is getting drowned in negative thoughts and pessimism. There's a tendency to make bad decisions or judgements based on negative information fed into your mind. Dealing with negative thoughts when faced with stiff opposition requires perseverance, constant positive thoughts – looking at alternative solutions/suggestions to dealing with the present situation.
As you make progress there would come a time where the mind is unsettled and uncertain of the future. To stay on top of your game; you've GOT TO SHOW SOME OPTIMISM.
On a final note, do not expect everything to take a turn for progress overnight. These obstacles will be crossed as long as you remain diligent, hardworking and persistent in your quest for attaining progress.
**Remember DOING NOTHING, IS NOT DOING ANYTHING.
I look forward to various comments.