Overcoming challenges is the key to success in business
I’ve had some obstacles crop up in my life, raped aged 15, becoming HIV+ and accumulating tens of thousands of pounds in personal debt in a fight to keep the business afloat after my diagnosis.
I won’t go into details about each of these events but the purpose of mentioning them is to demonstrate what I mean by life’s obstacles. Many people face adversity and challenges in business and life, the way we react and move on is much more important than the actual events.
We have three options whenever something pops up in our way. We can ignore the problem, waiting for it to go away, waiting for something to change. We can moan about the problem, letting us define our future. Or we can choose to accept the situation and do everything we can to move past it.
We’re all human and the last option is pretty difficult, though not impossible, but it’s definitely the best option of the three, for lots of different reasons.
The three most important skills required for overcoming challenges
These aren’t universal to everyone, but what I can say is that these three skills have helped me move beyond times in my life where I couldn’t think clearly or didn’t know the best way to move on:
Being open and honest to build resilience: A problem shared is a problem halved. A cliched phrase but one that holds a lot of weight. Talking about my challenges has helped me deal with them. Since I started posting about being HIV+ I get messages every week asking for support and an ear to listen to other people’s stories.
Determination and goals: Life is like a strong wind sometimes, it blows us about and batters us. A bit like a high sided lorry we could be knocked over or blown off course by it. It’s important to stay determined and focused on achieving your goals if you feel they’re still important to you after an obstacle pops up. Staying focused on long and short term goals can see us through tough times. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel even if sometimes it’s just a tiny pinprick.
Self care: I’m still working on this one and I’ve not yet mastered the art of taking regular breaks or making time for meditation but I can say that I’m getting better at recognising when it’s time to stop and take some time out. We’re all guilty of pushing too hard but business is a marathon, not a sprint, and we must look after ourselves to reach the finish lines we have set.
Everyone has struggles
When things happen in our lives that are out of our control, it can seem like someone is out to get us. They aren’t. Life happens and we must adapt and respond in a way that keeps us moving forward. It may seem like everyone else has the perfect life but everyone has their struggles, just some are more private about theirs. The only successful approach to overcoming challenges and to succeed in life and business is to learn how to deal with situations better as they arise.