Overcoming business obstacles can be a source of stress for a lot of new handmade business owners. So let me tell you the story of a personal obstacle I needed to overcome and how you can apply it to your business.
Obstacles and roadblocks
After failing my road test four times before finally passing, I took the long way to my high school job for months.The main roads scared me, and I was nervous about driving amongst so many drivers who (I assumed) knew better than I did, so I took the neighborhood roads instead.
Cruising at a steady 25 MPH made me feel safe. It also doubled the amount of time it took to get where I was going. The only place I was going to was work because I was afraid to drive anywhere else. (And yes, I was THAT friend who never offered to drive.)
I got where I had to be, eventually. Good enough, right?
“This is fine, this is safe,” – my inner dialogue.
“I’d rather spend the extra time than feel uncomfortable.” – my inner dialogue, continued.
Truthfully, I still felt uncomfortable. It was just a discomfort of a different variety. I was uncomfortable in my insecurity about driving, I was uncomfortable that I was missing out on things I couldn’t be doing.
I didn’t have to go above 25 MPH on my work route, but the only place I ever felt comfortable going was work…
This is no life for a teenager with a driver’s license.
Obstacles are keeping you from the life you want
The only thing standing between me and a Saturday afternoon excursion to Ralph’s (the most diverse Italian ice place on Long Island) with my BFF Erica before swinging by the basketball court at the church to catch a glimpse of Dreamy Ricky at practice was a fear of driving above 25 MPH.
Such a small obstacle was standing between me and such significant rewards. When you’re a teenager, catching a peek at your crush is a significant reward.
Was I really going to let this one small obstacle come between me and my dream teenaged life? I had to get honest with myself that the tiny cut out of Nick Carter in my closet wasn’t going to cut it anymore. We had to venture out to see real boys, playing real basketball (albeit poorly, but who knew? Not me. Not here for the game, if you know what I’m saying.)
Take small risks
This has come up so many times in my life, and I’m sure you’ve experienced it, too. If we just take the (ultimately, in the grand scheme of things) small risk, we can be rewarded with freedom and results on the other side.
I wasn’t putting my life at risk driving above 25 MPH on Main Street in Smithtown (I found that you rarely even had the opportunity because of traffic.)
The only thing I was really putting at risk was 10 minutes of comfort.
Finally, I sucked it up and took the “dangerous” route to work. Spoiler alert: I survived.
That one small step set the stage for more.
After a while, I mustered up the courage to drive to the mall.
From there, I built up the confidence to drive dozens of miles in different directions.
Pretty soon, I was going wherever $20 worth of gas would take me. I even started voluntarily driving after dark!
Now, I’ll drive anywhere.
Step outside of your comfort zone
I had to take that initial step outside my comfort zone and learn how to feel okay doing things I’d never done before.
Would I have lived a perfectly acceptable life, driving only around my neighborhood until I went to college? Would I still have enjoyed my tiny, closet Nick Carter magazine cut out? I’m sure I would have.
If I had chosen the comfort of my comfort zone (of course, the discomforts that existed there along with it) over discomfort, that would have been fine. It just meant that I would have had to accept the limitations of that choice, too.
We can choose whatever we want. Comfort or discomfort. Go out and get it or not.
There is no wrong choice! We just have to accept what comes with that choice.
Personal roadblocks or Business Obstacles
If you apply this to overcoming business obstacles, you can see the connection. You can choose to stay in your comfort zone or NOT.
You can choose to push yourself and break down the barriers you put up for yourself. Or, you can choose not to.
If you placed a hurdle and you’re unwilling to break it down, that’s okay! But you’ll have to accept that you won’t be able to reach what’s beyond that.
You get to decide, but it comes with owning the outcome of making that choice.
You get to decide what your experience looks like. You can go the way that feels safe right now or you can start overcoming business obstacles and take a risk for the way that feels intimidating but might mean excitement and growth later. Only you know what you value and what you want and what your goals are.
If something is scaring you – what is it? And why?
That’s what I want to leave you with today.