Steps that may help you reach your dream
Let's say you stay on your current career path until you retire. Looking back on that life, how would you feel about it? What dream would cause the greatest regret if you had not pursued it?
Many of us make plans for our dreams and inevitably we encounter obstacles that discourage us from following through.
These dream barriers can be external factors -- like timing, money or people -- or internal barriers, such as fears, beliefs or needs. Potential roadblocks may seem to come out of nowhere, turning even the best career plans upside down. For example:
* You've been passed over for that critical promotion you were planning on.
* Demands from a new boss prevent you from completing your degree.
* Your company is struggling financially and reductions are imminent.
* You have nagging stress and pressure just thinking about making a change.
Here are some guidelines for overcoming potential roadblocks:
* Find the reason. Obstacles are situations that must be discovered and overcome. They can cause you to sabotage the achievement of your own goals. You must grow bigger than your obstacles. Write down your fears, stressors and roadblocks. Once you get these skeletons out of the closet, you'll discover they're not that intimidating.
* Get help. Someone in your professional network has probably experienced a similar situation. Seek advice from a mentor or someone whose opinions you value. The discussion might put a different perspective on your situation. Don't be afraid to let someone lighten the load. Lean on the people closest to you. They are your greatest support system.
* Be adaptable. Don't be married to a single approach or plan. You must constantly re-evaluate your goals and the timelines for achieving them. Use the roadblock to review and modify your plan, address specific issues and update appropriate segments of the plan. Resist the urge to discard your dream.
* Confront the roadblocks. Don't ignore the issue. Instead, consider the full impact. By not taking steps to work around the obstacle, you may fail to move forward in your preparations. Face them one by one. Obstacles are real life situations that need to be handled if you're going to qualify for success.
* Be committed. In the end, the only thing that can stop your success is you. You're the one with the vision, talent and drive to achieve your dream. Don't get discouraged. Trust yourself, your instincts and your ability to overcome obstacles. Dogged determination will pay off as you approach the realization of your career goals.
Make your career game plan a living document and be prepared for the unexpected.
Obstacles are necessary and the process of growing bigger than your obstacles prepares you for success.
If you knew you could overcome every dream barrier, what would you set out to do?
If you want it bad enough, and if you believe in it, you can achieve it. When you accomplish your dream, don't forget to both recognize your achievements and thank those who helped you get there. Now, dream on!
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org