Overcoming Obstacles to Success: Lessons I Learned on my Journey

Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.   Thomas Edison”

Can I be happy if I don’t feel successful?  Have I done everything I can to ensure success?  What are my short term goals? What are my long term goals?  Have I developed a plan to ensure commitment to my goals?  These were the questions I asked myself when I began my journey to become successful in Corporate America.  I didn’t want Thomas Edison’s words to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Looking back on my journey today I wished I had formed a strategy for success.  I knew what the end result should be but I didn’t plan for all the obstacles I would face.  As each obstacle occurred, my actions were reactive rather than proactive.  My first reactions were anger and bitterness.  It didn’t take me very long to determine that anger wasn’t a good strategy.  With the support of family and friends, I was able to push away the bitterness and anger and focus on achieving my goals.

Although I had grown up learning the sting of racism and expected to face obstacles as a woman and as a black woman even more obstacles, what I wasn’t prepared for was the religious discrimination I faced on my career path to success.  I wasn’t sure how to respond.  I didn’t want to betray my beliefs nor did I want to anger my college professor and risk failing the religious courses that were required to graduate.  I had always been an honor student so this posed quite a dilemma.  I decided to meet the professor halfway.  I would stick to my beliefs and receive a “B” instead of an “A” for the course.

Today I am happy with the end result of my struggle.  I was able to take advantage of the many opportunities presented to me.  Those opportunities allowed me to close one door and open many more doors of opportunities.  My new life is full of wonderful new challenges but I am armed with new skill sets to meet those challenges.

Lessons Learned

  • I am responsible for my success
  • I am responsible for the outcome of my decisions.
  • It’s hard to push forward if you are always looking back
  • It’s better to preserve and look for excellence rather than cling to anger
  • The decisions I make affect others so I must be careful with my choices
  • Keep striving to be the best I can be.  If It’s my best, it’s good enough

I invite you to share your experiences on your journey to success.  Feel free to comment below.