Instead, RACHEL BRIDGE suggests TURNING THEM ON THEIR HEAD and using them to HELP YOU GET THERE …
When you are trying to achieve a big goal in life it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the potential hurdles standing in your way, both real and imagined. For example, you might think you are too old, too young, too inexperienced, too poor, too busy, too shy, too unfit or too disorganised to be a success in life. Instead of seeing all the advantages and assets you possess, all you can see are the drawbacks.
But obstacles – whether real or imagined – are only obstacles if you let them be. The secret is to turn every potential obstacle on its head, so that all those negatives become positives, and anything that you think is blocking your progress becomes an opportunity to help rather than hinder you.
Think you are too old? Good news: success is not age dependent. Your age means you have accumulated lots of experience, skills and knowledge about how the world works, all of which are going to come in very handy. Mary Wesley wrote her first novel at the age of 71 and Colonel Sander was in his sixties when he developed his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.
Think you lack knowledge and experience? That’s fine: you have no preconceived ideas about how to do things and so are free to create your own path, while at the same time being open-minded enough to listen to and heed sound advice from others when or if you need it. Fraser Doherty was just 14 when he started his jam business SuperJam and only 17 when he persuaded the supermarket chain Waitrose to stock his products, even though he initially had no idea how to go about it.
Think your family commitments will get in the way? Not only can raising children make you really good at using your time efficiently and productively, your kids can also fire up your imagination like nothing else can. Family life can provide you with all the motivation and inspiration you need. Jayne Hynes says she would never have started her successful children’s food business Kiddyums if it wasn’t for her kids, because she would never have known there was a gap in the market.
Think your personal circumstances will hold you back? Good news: you don’t have to let them define you, or even describe you, and they might ultimately prove to be a help not a hindrance. Richard Branson dropped out of school because he was dyslexic but now regards his dyslexia as an advantage because it has helped him to think creatively and to see solutions where others see problems.
Worried about a lack of money? Good news: lack of cash may initially feel like a drawback, but it could force you to think more creatively about how you tackle a project, which could eventually turn out to be an advantage.
Stop letting obstacles get in the way of your dreams. Turn them on their head and start using them to help you get there instead.
Rachel Bridge is the author of Already Brilliant: Play to your strengths in work and life, published by Piatkus.
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