Chances are you’ve had to overcome obstacles on your quest to live your passion. I know I have.
The next thing we need to cover has to do with all of those things (little or large) that get in our way and keep us from pursuing our passions even when we know our strengths.
What Holds You Back?
Learning to overcome obstacles can seem daunting. The things that hold us back can vary, but they’re commonly one of these 5 things:
3. fear of failure
5. emotional support
What has kept you from pursuing your dreams? Have you had to overcome obstacles along the way? For me, my obstacles have been a nice combination of all of the above but most specifically number four. I’ve never been confident in myself.
Only when I finally found security in the knowledge that I am a child of God and how much I am loved did I have the courage to pursue my own.
Learning to Overcome Obstacles
Being able to find time to follow our passion frequently holds us back. This is especially true when your financial situations requires you to work a ‘day’ job to pay the bills.
Caring for dependents such as children or senior parents can also take up much of your time. Of course, that care comes first, but there are still ways to fit in activities you’re passionate about.
I used to work on my blog in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends. I could get a lot done, but I often felt like my hours blurred together and I didn’t spend enough time with my husband and daughter (my boys are grown and on their own).
If finding time is an obstacle you need to overcome, you have to commit to carving out those minutes. Lately, I’ve been getting up at 4:20 in the morning to work. Sometimes, it’s hard, but I still make myself do it. I can get so much done in those quiet hours before work.
You may not want to get up early, but think about how you can begin fitting in work on your passion in the margins of your day. Before work, after, late at night… where will you find the time?
Not Enough Money
Not having enough money can keep you from living your passion and purpose, too. It’s definitely an obstacle to overcome.
Reasons you don’t have enough money can stem from not having a job, not having a well-paying job, or not managing your money well.
I have fallen under the ‘not managing my money well’ for many years. While my husband and I have never made a huge income as a teacher and a social worker, we definitely could have made smarter choices, had less debt, have more savings, and be able to retire on time or early.
No matter what income you have, it’s important to live below your means. It took me a very long time to figure that out which is why I’m still working my day job instead of blogging full time.
Even still, because I’ve buckled down in the last couple of years I will be able to retire from teaching sooner than I originally thought. While my pension will be small, my blog income will easily make up for missing income especially since we’ll FINALLY be debt free except for the mortgage.
Oh, how I wish I’d made smarter financial decisions throughout the years! I can’t dwell on that, though, right? We can only move forward making better choices as I go.
If you’re in the same boat, make a plan TODAY to start on path to creating a life you love!
Fear of Failure
My daughter has taught me a huge lesson in ‘going for’ what you want. She never lets fear of failure hold her back. Even when she feels it’s unlikely she’ll accomplish what she sets out to do, she goes for it anyway.
I believe that first began when she was in 5th grade. She ran for and failed to win class student council representative or alternate. Devastation could have held her back, but she didn’t let it.
Each year, she kept going for it and soon enough she was a student council officer. If you’re interested, you can read about that on my faith blog, 5 Verses to Teach Your Preteen Daughter.
It wasn’t until I started watching her continue to put herself out there no matter what that I realized I had lived my life so differently.
When I thought I wouldn’t succeed, I simply didn’t try.
I’ve seen that with others, too, especially when looking to start a blog or business.
We say things like ‘it’ll take too long,’ ‘it’ll be too hard,’ or ‘there are already too many people doing it’.
But there’s plenty of room in this world for every one of us to follow our passion and do exactly what we were meant to do.
Whether it’s a leadership position, a new job, or a new hobby, put yourself out there and go for it!
Lack of Confidence
Lack of confidence is a difficult obstacle to overcome. This ties closely to fear of failure.
From an early age, I felt I wasn’t good enough to do and to have the things I wanted to.
Sometimes, lack of confidence comes from having someone in our lives who makes us feel ‘less than.’
Other times, it’s based on our experiences. Perhaps we’ve failed to accomplish something we’ve set out to do and so we believe we won’t ever be able to do it.
Do you lack confidence? If so, consider ways to overcome this obstacle. One thing I like to do is try to think of the worst thing that could happen.
For example, if I write a blog post and people don’t find it helpful, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Any ‘worst’ thing really isn’t that bad in the grand scheme. And I usually know that my words can help at least one person. That matters!
Go ahead and try this strategy when you’re faced with low self-confidence! It really helps.
Readers have emailed before asking what to do when their family and friends don’t agree with their choices. One lady wrote, “I’d like to go back to school so I can change careers, but my husband thinks it’s a waste of time and money.”
What a hard situation to be in. She went on to say they could afford for her to attend college classes, but her family was afraid she wouldn’t be available for them if they needed her.
There’s a line in there between the reality of taking care of your family and still being able to pursue your own goals.
I’m lucky because my husband and children do support my dream to be a full-time blogger. They don’t always understand it, but they support it!
Of course, I couldn’t put my family’s financial health in jeopardy so there had to be some compromise. If you know, though, that you can still be there for your family and you aren’t putting them at any risk, you may have to follow passion without their full support.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to look for support somewhere. It’s too hard to keep focused and be courageous enough to keep going without support.
I’ve found that Facebook groups provide extra support when I need it. Whether it’s my golden retriever group, Stephen King group, or any one of my blogging groups, I know I can find like-minded people who can relate to me and who will encourage me when I need.
Sure, there are sometimes negative people in those groups, but for the most part you’ll find great support on Facebook. Find a group with more than 100 people, who require answers to specific questions before joining, and who have obvious moderators.
Learning to Overcome Obstacles Worksheet
Now that we’ve talked about Overcoming Obstacles, the 3rd of our 4 part series, Living a Life of Purpose, I want you to think about all that’s holding you back.
Get this FREE printable worksheet to brainstorm and write out not only your passion but what obstacles are holding you back.
We’ll use this again, along with the printables from the other posts in the series. Check them out below:
- Focus and Find Your Passion
- Identify Your Strengths
- What’s Holding You Back? | Learning to Overcome Obstacles
- Moving Forward