We all encounter obstacles in our business; how we approach and handle them makes all the difference.
I recently attended a local horse show. These horses were huge, perfectly groomed and gorgeous. Each horse was different; in size, color, the way they waited and walked, and in how they carried their head. You could tell which ones had a certain attitude about what they were doing, even as they approached and entered the arena for a jumping competition.
There were those horses who seemed to sail through the obstacle course, as they appeared to be connected with their rider as one unit. They exuded a certain sure-footedness and confidence as they were steered through the jumps in the ring and consequently would be rewarded with the lower times on the clock. Then there were those horses who would appear to stumble as they came over each hurdle. I was never quite sure if these particular teams of horse and rider would go down, but each time, luckily, the horse would catch their step and carry on.
One horse, who appeared to me to be pretty high spirited with a mind of his own even as he approached and entered the arena with his rider, sprang over a couple of the lower obstacles, but then got right up to one of the higher hurdles and stopped.
The horse refused to leap over, even though he would have had to have practiced that maneuver many, many times in the past to even be in the ring that day.
The rider backed the horse up, and steered him away from the bars. He got him into a slow, easy gallop as the team settled into a groove in the ring by guiding him over a series of smaller jumps before approaching that higher one again. This time the horse and rider sailed right over.
The rider had built up the horse's confidence with something he knew the horse could do and then went right back to the seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The rider didn't give the situation a chance to fester and become inflated. He approached the hurdle with assurance and voila! Over they flew.
Identify your hurdles
What obstacles do we face in our businesses as we go through our week? Are there mundane tasks that we put off or don't take the time to find someone to help us with? Do we put off starting into a new project? Is there something that we have practiced and prepared for, and now we have to actually 'perform'?
If you are finding yourself stuck and avoiding doing something, perhaps taking a few steps back and looking at a new approach will help. Remind yourself that you had the confidence to start your business in the first place and that blocks to your success will pop up from time to time. Remember all of the moments when you reached a stumbling block, but then regained your footing and came out even stronger on the other side for having gone through the experience.
Perhaps all you need is to take a deep breath, believe in yourself, approach the hurdle with confidence and sail right over!
Photo courtesy of Ray Fowler