Accelerate Through Obstacles

Today’s blog is  a guest post by leadership experts Don Maruska and Jay Perry, co-authors of the new book, Take Charge of Your Talent”. This book is definitely worth the read and can be seen as a personal and professional investment for those looking to sharpen their career skills, thrive in the workplace, and find fulfillment in life. I will be posting a review of their work later this month, but for now, enjoy the guest post!

Do you avoid pursuing what you’d like to be doing because there are too many obstacles in your way? If you change your attitude and approach to those obstacles, they can actually help you accelerate your progress.

Approach obstacles as mysteries and an invitation to use your talent:

Sherlock Holmes did not view obstacles as something to avoid. For the famous detective, an obstacle was a sign that “The game’s afoot!” – There’s something worth engaging. If we get stuck in avoidance mode, our minds check out. On the other hand, if we think “How can I pursue what I want and solve this mystery before me?” our minds stay engaged. The situation shifts to an opportunity to use our talent and resources to accelerate through it. Be an obstacle detective, and let your mind work on a solution.

Obstacles provide opportunities:

More than invitations to use your talent, obstacles also provide positive opportunities. For example, a client faced severe scheduling challenges and couldn’t commit some team members to required training. OK, that’s an obstacle. The obstacle presented an opportunity, however, to train its own leaders so that they could lead the training for those employees in smaller groups with schedules that fit their needs.

Where are the opportunities in the obstacles you face? If you can’t see them, invite someone to listen to you and help you see the potential.

Use these accelerators:

Insights from neuroscience, psychology, and coaching best practices, identify proven steps you can take to accelerate through obstacles. The first step is to keep your hopes humming. When we keep focused on what we hope to realize, we engage the creative, productive parts of our brains. The second entails approaching our talent with a growth rather than a fixed mindset. As Stanford professor Carol Dweck highlights in her book “Mindset,” this keeps us open to trying new approaches, learning from what doesn’t work, and expanding our talent. Finally, try a healthy stretch. Like you would in Yoga or any sport, find the point where you are neither frazzled nor under challenged. This is your growth edge. If the obstacle is too big for what you can tackle, call upon other people and resources to help you.

We will outline each of these steps in subsequent blog posts. Detailed instructions and real-life examples appear in the book “Take Charge of Your Talent.”

To enjoy life more fully, embrace the obstacles you face.

Don Maruska and Jay Perry, co-authors of “Take Charge of Your Talent”, are Master Certified Coaches who help people take advantage of business and personal challenges in unique and powerful ways. To learn more about the Take Charge community, visit their website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook. “Take Charge of Your Talent” is available at Amazon and can be found in bookstores nationwide.

Take Charge of Your Talent (info graphic)

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