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The #1 Obstacle To Success

Success is something that is obtainable to everyone. You don't have to be a superhero to experience extraordinary success in life. None of the successful men and women who we highly acclaim were superheroes; they were just ordinary people who learned how to do simple things well...and consistently. But each of these individuals had to overcome one particular hurdle on their way to crafting the life of their dreams: they had to overcome the opinions of others.

The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron, which means we develop into better people only when we get around people who can help us grow. Basically, our success in life is directly tied to the company that we keep. But it is also noteworthy to mention that the Bible repeatedly warns us of the danger of keeping the wrong company. In the 1st Psalm, David tells us that we're blessed when we avoid "sitting in the seat of the scorner" and "listening to the counsel of the wicked". Also, Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 not to allow bad company to "corrupt good moral habits". Other people can rub off on you in positive or negative ways and this can either benefit you or cripple you up the road.

All you need to do is be in the right company to change your life. When God is about to take your life to another level He will send people or a single person into your life. No one is self-made. We only accomplish amazing feats because we have amazing teams. This, of course, is where the real challenge is. It can be difficult finding the right mentors, the right teammates, the right advisors, the right employees, etc. Some people have been discouraged from pursuing their dreams because they listened to dream killers. Some people have been misled while in pursuit of their dreams by people they trusted and admired. Some people have had their dreams stolen from them by people they confided in and trusted. Perhaps the biggest obstacle we must face when setting out to follow our hearts in life is people.  How do we deal with this obstacle? Here are a few steps:

1. Forgive others and yourself for mistakes and wrongdoings. The more you hold on to un-forgiveness, the longer you stall your own progress in life. The mistake was made. It happened. The money was lost. Things didn't pan out. Let's move on. There are plenty of other opportunities up ahead. No need to keep looking at the one(s) you missed.

2. Always seek God. God is the one who can open doors and align you with the right people. He will give you the wisdom to discern the character of those around you and to deal with them properly.

3. Commit to your overall goal(s) in life while remaining open to advice concerning methodology. Some people will try to talk you out of your goals - those are the wrong people to keep around. Instead, find people who believe in your vision but can advise you on the specific steps to get there. Remember: there's a difference between criticism and instruction. A person who believes in your vision will seek to instruct you (provide methods on how you're going to achieve your goals) rather than criticize you for having a goal or goals.

4. Realize that God is the source of your success - He just uses people in the process. As long as you keep this perspective, you will never get hung up on the people around you, feeling as if you can't make it without them or as if they're the key to your survival; also, you'll never jeopardize your principles, values and morals just to gain the approval of individuals. You'll be able to move forward even when certain people abandon you because you knew they were never the key to your success to begin with - they were just a tool used by God. 

5. Be your own cheerleader. Maybe you don't have anyone around you to cheer you on, to tell you that they're proud of you, to express their confidence in your and in your abilities, and to stand by your side. That's fine. Just know that every world-shaker believed in their own dreams before others believed in them. This confidence must first develop in you. If your confidence rests on the approval and acceptance and endorsements of others, then all it would take to stop you is cause others to disapprove of your goal(s) and not support you. That's too much power to give others over your life. More importantly, that's too much power to give others over the dream God placed in your heart.

Step out! Do it! Ask God to guide you to the right mentors - you're going to need them. Work on the plan! Don't delay. Where you end up tomorrow is the result of the sacrifice(s) you make today.

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