Let’s face it: Life is filled with obstacles, challenges, and disappointments. The way that we handle them makes all the difference in the outcome and how we move on. Any successful person will tell you that, at one time or another, they have been faced with some type of obstacle or challenge that seemed insurmountable. Maybe their failures even led to disappointment for them. But they were able to take these obstacles, challenges, disappointments, and even failures and turn them around into successes. Many of today’s great successes will tell you that it wasn’t easy and there were many times that it would have been very easy to give up. History shows many similar stories. Faced with the same situation, what makes one give up and another move on to accomplish great things?
Persistence. John Quincy Adams once said: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” The dictionary defines persistence as continuing to exist despite interference. Persistence is pressing on even when you feel like quitting. If you don’t run into some type of obstacle along the way, it may be that your goal is not challenging enough. Obstacles and challenges are to be expected on the road to success. Continuing to take action will eventually lead to results. Successful people will continue to move forward even with the interference of obstacles or challenges. They will address the challenges and never give up. Walt Disney was rejected more than 300 times before he was able to secure financing to build Disney World. Colonel Sanders was rejected more than 1,000 times but still persisted! Both men persevered until their dreams became realities.
Self-confidence. Jack Welch once said: “Confidence gives you courage and extends your reach. It lets you take greater risks and achieve far more than you ever thought possible.” People who lack self-confidence often find it hard to succeed. This creates a vicious cycle of lack of self-confidence and lack of success. However, a confident person inspires confidence in others and is able to create success for themselves. It’s the same cycle, only with a different name –self-confidence and success. The confident person doesn’t take rejection personally or let it affect their confidence. They keep moving on. We all have insecurities but the key is to not let them affect our self-confidence.
Learning. Learning from our obstacles, challenges, and disappointments is key to becoming successful. These situations often provide the information that we need to eventually become successful and to progress in our work. The truth is that we learn more from mistakes than from successes. Remember the story of Thomas Edison? He encountered many, many challenges and failures over his career. In his own words: “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”