See Opportunity in Obstacles
How do you stay focused and driven when you hit obstacles in your professional path?
May Khoury developed her entire profession out of a crushing life obstacle. After her husband’s premature death, Khoury met difficulties head on and created a new path forward for herself by creating a market value to her passion for cultural arts and crafts. She now runs her own design business.
I’ve found that for women like May who work or build businesses in competitive workplaces, it can be hard to move past the dominant social narrative. This narrative describes the path to success as a path littered with potholes, or problems. The people around us, the news, bloggers, and even our families talk about problems so much that we begin to anticipate problems too. And, often, these perceived problems become unnecessarily magnified.
I believe that if we spend too much time studying problems we begin to understand what’s wrong, but not necessarily how to fix it. For that we have to study what’s working not what isn’t.
Many women feel they have attainable, exciting goals. But because of others’ public and private commentary, they second-guess their ambitions.
Although, I share how women around the world face real, daily challenges, that’s just the beginning of the story not the end. I’m obsessed with sharing how women have found creative ways to clear obstacles and find their own path to success. These women see OPPORTUNITY in obstacles. These women are not waiting for the stars to align on their behalf or for policies, practices, social norms and cultures to be more accepting of them. Rather than expecting others to improve work environments or to give them a start-up funding, they find ways to keep moving forward.
In my book, UNDETERRED, I describe how women treat obstacles like stepping stones to success. They are problem-solvers as much as they are dreamers. They find simple ways to clear obstacles by:
Removing the obstacle
Finding a workaround
Negotiating an exception
Yes, challenges and obstacles are real. But the stories of incredible determination and success – like May’s – are equally real. When I hear stories like May’s, I’m reenergized. Aren’t you?
Our community of thousands of women around the world want to hear more about how women like you are clearing the obstacles for themselves and others! Send us a note with how you or another woman have navigated challenges.
Let’s keep shifting the way society talks about women in the workplace. Let’s not talk about what’s standing in the way of women but how women are standing up for themselves. Let’s talk about the women who are seeing the opportunities in their obstacles, and succeeding no matter what stands in their way. I call that them the undeterred woman.
Looking for more inspiration and action? Read UNDETERRED, you’ll find stories of 91 relatable, entrepreneurs and professional women around the world like you who are clearing obstacles and creating their own definition of success.