What potential hindrances might get in the way of accomplishing what matters the most to you?

It can feel very motivating and encouraging to clarify what you want the most, think through the most valued roles that you play during this season, and establish some meaningful, high-level goals or mission statements for each of these roles. But if you don’t pause long enough to fully consider what circumstances could potentially derail you, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and disillusionment.

It happens all the time: a person catches a vision of how to lose weight and build muscle tone, embraces an intensive program to do so, and goes gangbusters for a couple of weeks. Then comes an unexpected variable–an illness, an intensified work schedule, a family emergency–and they’re thrown off track and struggle to get back into the flow. Perhaps they give up, at least for now.

Substitute “how to lose weight and build muscle tone” with some other worthy accomplishment, such as “saving more for vacation,” “spending more time with friends,” “writing a book,” “painting a masterpiece,” “going back to school,” and so forth. The easy part is identifying what you truly desire. The far more difficult challenge is navigating through what has to be done, and retaining the emotional and physical energy to doggedly pursue what is worth getting done.

It won’t be the funnest activity you’ve ever completed, but consider this disciplined action step. After you write out your most valued roles and goals for each one, make a full effort to jot down potential hindrances to each of them. Think through every possible scenario regarding what could throw you off course.

Brainstorm, then, about how you might neutralize such hurdles ahead of time. What processes or systems could you enact now to minimize the chances of a hindrance? What relationships do you need to strengthen or pursue that could create powerful alliances to help you achieve your goals? What “de-cluttering” of distractions, unnecessary time-wasters, and even certain relationships needs to take place?

And the toughest question of all: What hindrances lie within you, woven into the fabric of your psychology; that self-talk and even self-condemnation that have been a thorn in your side for so many years?

Often the biggest obstacles to achieving what matters the most are internal, not external. You might be afraid to go after what you want because you’re afraid of failing. But you also might be afraid because you fear succeeding, and success necessitates change.

The latter fear is far worse. Change is scary. Change is inevitable for anything that grows and continues to live.

You’re a masterpiece, a work of art in the process of being continuously transformed, bearing elaborate hues and textured, layered subtleties of meaning and purpose. In the end, the only true hindrance to embracing your heart’s desires is you.

Growing Your Strengths

I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose examples of applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.

These characters face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.

Until, however, each of these individuals chooses to do something new: practicing mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling habits, and growing them into strengths…strengths that respond to change rather than just react.

Strengths that you can develop as well.

Don’t settle for the confusion, distraction, and stress. You’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.

Choose to do something new. Today. Start with this post, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive free, exclusive content via email each month with timely guidance on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling.