How many obstacles stand between you and true success?
One? Two? Twenty?
I want you to really think about this for a minute...
What's preventing you from reaching the levels of success that you want to attain?
Is your family situation making it difficult to put in the time and energy you need to grow your business or advance your career?
Maybe your financial obligations are standing in your way, preventing you from taking certain actions because you simply can't afford to.
Or perhaps your lack of success comes from something a little more internal rather than external. You aren't productive enough, you don't have a plan in place, or you're simply overwhelmed because you feel like you're facing obstacles the size of mountains...which are just too high to climb.
All of these things likely feel like they're stopping you from reaching your full potential. However, there's only one REAL enemy to success and it definitely isn't any of these things. It's something much closer to you...
In the words of best-selling author Steven Pressfield,
"Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it's not the difficulty of the project or the state of the market place or the emptiness of our bank account. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can't/shouldn't/won't do what we know we need to do."
Pressfield simply calls this 'Resistance' and says we're all at war with this subtle foe.
What the Heck is 'Resistance'?
It means that your brain is helping you drag your feet when it comes to your own personal and professional success. By giving you an unlimited amount of reasons as to why you're unable to do something, it's making it easier for you to justify all the obstacles you just listed that currently stand between where you are now and where you want to be.
As Pressfield says, these are just excuses, "transparent self-justifications." And although they're actually pretty common, they're essentially nothing more than made-up reasons that exist only in your mind.
How Can I Defeat My 'Resistance'?
Well, you certainly can't get rid of it (although it seems like some people have chosen that option, don't you think?). But there is something you can do that can help you achieve victory over this fierce adversary.
Pressfield suggests that you "...start before you're ready." Or as Dan Pedersen puts it, "...every minute you spend thinking about it is another minute you are not doing it."
Make's sense, right?
If you're not doing, if you're not taking the steps necessary to accomplish the things you want to accomplish, then you're going to stay right where you are.
Now, at this point you may be thinking, "That's great and all, Chris, but I can't start right now because (put your reason here)."
But guess what? There's never going to be the perfect time to do whatever it is you need to do to succeed.
In other words, you can't wait until the earth is in line with the moon and the stars because it will never happen.
And if you say you'll do it when "all your ducks are in a row" and all of the other areas of your life (your home, your family, your work) are in perfect condition and able to support you in your journey...well that's pretty darn unlikely too.
Waiting for these kinds of circumstances means that you'll never ever achieve what you want to achieve. All you'll do is wait. And wait. And wait.
Instead, you have to jump right in, whether you feel ready or not. You must begin because you can't finish something, if you don't first start.
How Can I Just "Start"?
Blogger Patti Johnson suggests that one way to start is by finding three people you consider to be fairly smart and tell them about whatever it is you want to do. Get their feedback. Pick their brain. See if they can help you come up with ways to get wherever it is you want to go.
There is tremendous value in having a mentor as sometimes just getting another person’s perspective can be enough to help you take that very first step. And if you pick the right people, they’ll be able to offer advice to make your journey easier. They can share what worked for them (and what didn’t), allowing you to skip a lot of the trial-and-error process.
Another option is to “get out of your own head.” This involves taking your obstacles--your excuses--and questioning their validity. Ask yourself: Are these things that are preventing you from moving forward really the mountains you’ve created in your mind? If you’re honest, the answer is probably not.
Subsequently, are there ways around them that, although it may take a little bit of work, make it possible to overcome them? Most likely the answer is yes.
Don’t let your mind convince you that success isn’t possible and stop you from even starting. To do this would be an absolute tragedy. Or, as Buddha once said, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
Now is your time to start. Defeat your enemy. Success will be your victory when you do.