“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein
On the path to success, sometimes we look at our circumstances and let them decide what we can or cannot do or when we can or cannot do something. If you wait for the right time, you’re bound to wait forever, as the ideal moment might never come unless you choose to make it perfect.
At one time or another, we have all let our circumstances make the decision for us instead of making our decision and figuring out the circumstances while keeping our eyes on the goal. Looking at my life and the lives of everyone around me, it’s clear that when something was really important, when it was worth it to us, every negative circumstance crumbled to the ground on our path to achieving our purpose. Nothing stood in our way, when our faith was bigger than our fear.
It would be great if everything around us supported our exact goal of the moment, if we didn’t have to fight anything, but at the end of the day, isn’t it the fight that makes it worth it? Would we value everything the same if it was just handed to us on a silver platter, or do we learn to appreciate our accomplishments and the people around us when we are indeed faced with the possibility of losing them.
Things are somewhat easy in theory: keep your eyes on the goal, not on the circumstances, as they tend to change at every step. Now that doesn’t mean ignoring the circumstances, since they have this tendency to come back and haunt you when they are ignored, it merely means acknowledging their existence and accepting them for exactly what they are, no more, no less: a set of conditions that are valid just for the present moment, that can change in a second depending on random factors, but most importantly depending on your perspective.
What happens in theory, though, is most of the times very different than what happens in reality. So what can you do next time you’re faced with a set of circumstances that doesn’t quite support the ideal you have in your head? How do you deal with the challenge of having to prove that you actually deserve something or someone and how to fight and give it everything you got?
1. Acknowledge the circumstances. We don’t live in a vacuum. The worst thing you can do is ignore them. Be aware that sometimes those circumstances come in the form of people around you.
2. Look for the meaning behind the meaning. If the obstacle is a person, why are they choosing their position? Once you understand where they stand, you can actually find a positive way to remove the barrier whether that means removing the person from your life or interacting with them in a different way.
3. Change your perspective. What can you learn from those obstacles that will make you even stronger on the quest to your purpose? Instead of letting the circumstances take you down, make you doubt yourself, your faith, your power, look for what those circumstances can teach you. Sometimes they can reveal a real threat and other times, they are they for the simple reason of making you stronger. They can either be the wind that blows you away or the force that puts your engine in motion.
4. Stay true to your intention. We all get a rush of adrenaline when we set a new goal and then reality sets in. Some days we’re still excited, other days we don’t even want to think about it. Have the discipline to stay true to your original intention even when you don’t feel like it. Even if it’s hard, even if you’re angry, even if you think it’s unfair, fight anyway.
5. Look for support and empowerment. Ask for support in handling your circumstances. Chances are for every circumstance you have, there is at least one person who’s willing to help you, talk to you, or maybe just listen to you as you figure things out.
6. Don’t beat yourself up. So you let yourself be taken down by a barrier; you smashed right into it as you were trying to find ways to either go around it or lift it up altogether. Dust yourself off, get back up and find another way. Blaming yourself and beating yourself up will only keep you stuck in the failure. Instead put yourself back on the road to success.
7. Channel the winner in you. We all have things we’re proud of in our lives, moments when we worked hard, believed in ourselves, overcame obstacles, and had tremendous achievements. Be your own champion, remember that feeling, the feeling you had when you accomplished something that meant a lot to you, the rush of adrenaline, the smile on your face, the sparkle in your eyes, remember how you look and how your feel when you’re a winner.
It may not be easy, there may be a million times when you want to give up because it’s too hard, because someone doesn’t agree, because you don’t feel like it, but remember circumstances are just that, a set of conditions that are valid for this exact moment in time, yet can dramatically change the next day. They are not universal laws set in stone that can never be changed, bended, or removed. It’s a matter of circumstance or a matter of courage. Some days you may only need a little courage, other days you will need all the courage you can gather, yet at the end of each day, you will feel the gratitude of giving it all you had.
Do you have to courage to follow your dreams regardless of your circumstances?