What’s in the way of your success? This is a juicy question that comes up a LOT. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on who you are!) the answer is pretty simple. The obstacle that most often keeps you from your enjoyment, fulfillment, and success IS….. drumroll, please… You!

Yup, when it comes to overcoming obstacles, YOU are often the thing that keeps you from the positive aspects of life.

I can just hear the shouts and condemnation now. There is one exception to this so keep reading til the end to figure out what it is. 

In all honesty, you are the biggest obstacle in your own way. Sure, life can throw obstacles in your way, but it’s how you deal with them that matters. If I told you that the thing you wanted was right outside your door, and to get it all you had to do was fight me and break down a door, would you do it?  

Yeah, probably, because the goal is within reach. But it’s the goals that are out of your reach that are the issue. Those are the ones that take a while to achieve. That’s where the real stumbling blocks are. It’s these long-term goals that require you to dig deep, keep your focus, and stay in the game. Overcoming obstacles is the name of the game at this point. And, when you achieve them, it’s not because life “handed” you the success, it’s because you fought for and earned it.

If you sit down and quit because it’s hard, then it’s not life pulling the rug out from under you, it’s you.

Now, as I promised, there is one exception and that is when you are actively held back by cultural biases. Those are external forces that may work against you. Think about when judgments about your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or other qualities are used to make rules about how you are allowed to live your life. Things like wage gaps for women or discrimination of any kind mean that no matter how hard some people try, they may be held back. 

Cultural bias can make overcoming obstacles even harder.

Speaking of which ::clears throat and steps on soapbox:: I have one more thing to say:

Cultural bias can be something you experience, but it’s also something you may unintentionally do to other people. That’s why we all must learn to actively fight against discrimination! Or else, we become part of a barrier that continues practices that enable racism, sexism, ableism, and other “isms” that stop people. Not because of the content of their character or ability, but because of our own prejudice. So whether in your own life or in your treatment of others, don’t be the obstacle! Be part of the solution for overcoming obstacles.

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