Even the most dedicated traveler will come across pitfalls on the journey. As you travel your path to success, here are some possible forms of resistance you may meet along the way. The crucial thing is not necessarily to avoid or resist them, but to be aware of them, to know that they may be there. Awareness is the most important step.


Pitfall 1: Obsessive Goal Orientation


Although it is great to set ambitious goals, the best way to reach them is to cultivate modest expectations along the way, and most importantly, to celebrate every small achievement. Remember, every step in this journey is its own destination.

For example, when you’re climbing a mountain, it’s vital that you are aware of where the peak is. But if you keep looking at the peak, it’s also easy to become overwhelmed and enter the state of judgment and analysis. This can even cause a reverse effect, making you go backwards.

Make sure you keep your eyes on the path, enjoying every step in this process, understanding that the peak is only a landmark. What’s more, this particular peak is only a step in the journey, a stopping point from which you may choose the next peak. Life is full of peaks for those who want to live their potential. We might as well enjoy the process of getting to each one!


Pitfall 2: No Goal-Setting


Sometimes we resist setting goals or even refuse to set them, simply because we are carrying the burden of having set them in the past but not accomplished them. It’s important to realize that if you do not accomplish a certain goal, it’s because you are human! As long as you learn from it and keep on setting healthy step-by-step goals, you will accomplish a majority of them in the long run.

Those who have succeeded have also failed. The only difference is that they succeeded more than they failed.

Setting healthy goals along the way can sharpen and empower us. Persistent, healthy goal-setting will end up being persistent goal-getting!


Pitfall 3: Lack of Competitiveness


A healthy level of competition is essential in business. It provides some spice. It sometimes brings about that extra level of willingness.

It is quite true that the most important type of competition should be competing with ourselves. However, it is also important not to resist competition with others, especially if we are resisting it because of not wanting to be disappointed. It’s okay to welcome a healthy level of competition, understanding that you can be on the right track, but if you don’t move, you might get run over!


Pitfall 4: Over-Competitiveness


Competition can provide the spice—but when the spice becomes the biggest ingredient in the meal, the eater gets sick. A person who thinks about nothing but winning will end up losing. The focus should be on one’s purpose and on enjoying the process.

A healthy level of competition is good. An obsession with winning and competing will take us out of the flow. After all, surely we know by now that the ego is never in the flow.


Pitfall 5: Inconsistency


Consistency is the only way to grow. Inconsistency takes energy and time. Being consistent, even on a part-time basis, is much more powerful than coming in and out of this flow.

Remember the example of the tortoise and the hare? Sometimes in business, it is better to have a tortoise mindset than that of a hare: one step at a time.

In my business, I like to create a tortoise-hare combination: having the persistent and consistent mindset of a tortoise, with the motor skills of a hare!



Pitfall 6: Perfectionism


For me, being a perfectionist brings about instant self-criticism. I am glad to say that I have learned to be kind to myself. I have realized that letting go of perfectionism means getting out of the way: it means performing to the best of my ability in each moment.

This also brings an understanding that the next level will be more effective and more efficient than this level. However, that next level will not occur unless I experience the current level fully, without judgment or attachment.

We need to understand that we cannot simply wait till we are good at what we do. We must first do, and then we will become good at it!


Pitfall 7: Plateaus


In business, we often resist plateaus, with the sense that a plateau means that something is not quite right with our business or our company. That can sometimes be true, but certainly not always, and seeing it with this fixed definition can be exhausting and draining. I have learned in my business not to resist the plateaus, but instead, to let them serve as an indication of internal modifications or adjustments that might be needed.

When experiencing a plateau, it’s helpful to look inside to see where you might improve or change something that could then allow you to grow further. One step in internal growth can lead to hundreds of steps in external growth. Knowing this, one realizes that a plateau is something to be embraced rather than resisted—and this shift makes building a business so much more fun!


DR. ELLIE DRAKE is on the faculty of Networking University.
www.networkingtimes.com/link/drake