Before we dig in to this topic, like any good meal, I need to set the table for you. We all have dreams and desires in our hearts. Some dreams and goals are more fleeting and some more constant than others. The goals and dreams that you now have in mind may change as you go through the different ages and stages of your life.
Right now, your goal may be to finish school, but in a few years one of your goals may be to start a business. While your ideas may change as you grow, one thing will always remain and that is your desire to do something. The reason? I am of the conviction that we have all been created with an innate desire to do. I also believe that those desires are different for everyone,
What interests and intrigues you is based on how you were created, your talents, your background, and your gifts. You may have a desire to conquer a challenge, design or manage, while someone else enjoys nurturing or instructing. Whatever the desire, it is in you to act on it.
Kids are a great example of this. Nobody has to teach children to have goals. How many times have you heard a kid say that they want to be a super hero, Disney princess or some other career professional? It’s just in us to want to achieve because that is the way we were created.
There is a verse that reminds me of this very thing. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” There it is, laid out for you in black and white. You were created by God, in Christ, to do good works which God prepared in advance.
So now that we have established that yes, there is some good work for you to do, I want to make you aware of five major obstacles that will keep you from fulfilling that good work. If you are aware of these five destiny killers, then you will recognize them when they arrive to stop you in your tracks.
Distractions can be a major obstacle standing between you and your destiny because distractions are everywhere. They come in every shape and form imaginable. I promise you, you will never get as many random phone calls, text messages, or email alerts as when you are trying to get something done.
When it’s time to work, study, or research, do your best to get ahead of any possible distractions. You may need to let your friends know that you will be out of pocket for a few hours or the rest of the day. It’s okay to let calls go through to voicemail and texts sit unread for some time. I do it occasionally and guess what? It’s okay. My friends and family understand that if I don’t respond, that there is a good reason for it. They also know that I will get back to them so there are no hard feelings.
Here is the hard truth that I want you to understand; you owning a phone is not for everyone else’s convenience. Owning a phone is for your convenience. It’s okay to set boundaries. It’s okay for people to understand that you may not always be able to answer their calls right away, but that you will get back to them. Actively guard the time that you use to work on your goals.
Apart from phone and text conversations, our time can be squandered on things that add absolutely no value to our lives. These things include Netflix, social media, and keeping up with other people’s lives. Yes sis, I am going there. Listen, I truly believe that what we allow to enter our mind through our senses, impacts what we output. Let me say it again because I need you to catch this. What you allow into your mind directly effects what you put out into the world.
What are your goals? What are your dreams? Find video content, podcast, articles and books that will lead you closer to where you want to be. Have someone that you admire for the way they do business or ministry? Follow them. If you have free time, spend it wisely in a way that is still leading you somewhere. This is important because what your eyes lay on will become thoughts that linger in your mind. If you put set your eyes and ears on information that is related to your destiny, then you will begin to think destiny thoughts, ideas and inspirations.
What you allow Into your mind Directly effects what you put out into the world.
Comparison is another obstacle that will knock you off the road to your destiny and fast. Christian or not, it is in our nature to compare. When I pour my kids a glass of their favorite drink, the first thing they do is look over at each others cups to see which one has the most. If they split a big cookie, you know that they are checking to see that their brother didn’t get a bigger half. It’s our sinful nature to want the biggest piece of the pie.
We all may find ourselves doing that even now, but instead of comparing juice and snacks, we’re comparing jobs, houses and relationships. Ladies, we have to stop this because it is so detrimental to our own destiny. When you see someone who you perceive is at an amazing place in their life, and you feel nowhere near that, it can make you feel like not even trying. Comparison can also have the opposite effect where we want to make changes in our life in order to measure up in some way.
It’s easy to see what someone else has or is doing and feel like we need to have or be doing the same thing or better.. It’s also easy to see someone and think that since they are doing it, we no longer can. But I want to get you to start seeing the complete picture. Don’t compare your today with someone else’s today. We are all on different timelines. Things will happen for you at a different time as they may happen for someone else. If everyone else has gone to school or is in a relationship, it’s not that you are behind, you are just on a different timeline. No one path is less than or better than other, they are all just different and unique in their own right.
Be careful, my friend. If you try to force moves based on what others are doing, you may end up in a place prematurely. If you let the thoughts of lagging behind dwell in your mind, you run the risk of never achieving your potential. In both scenarios, you can avoid hardship by choosing not to make decisions based on comparison.
Over- Analysis. If you are like me, you like to research, plan and prepare. I mean, I like to go deeeep. I honestly don’t know how my husband puts up with me. I sometimes get on my *own* nerves.
I find myself standing in front of the shampoo shelves thinking, “Do I need extra moisture? Is my hair wavy or frizzy? Do I need more volume or sleekness? How in the world is avocado good for my hair?” No joke, this has happened to me more than once. I will spend forty days and forty nights in the hair care section, reading the front of every bottle, going on Amazon to read reviews and then get so frustrated at the time that has passed that I just leave.
Does any of this sound familiar or am I the only crazy one here? If you are smiling to yourself, then this one’s for you too, sis! You and I just may be those types of people who don’t do well with too many options. (Have you see the BJ’s Restaurant menu!)
The same is true when it comes to fulfilling your dream. There are so many different ways to get to the same place, but we get tend to get stuck in the analysis and research mode. We analyze and research because we want to make the right move or the perfect decision. But, in the end, it all leads to indecision and inaction.
We take so long to make a decision that we lose interest, we lose heart and we stay stuck. It’s a phrase I call “analysis paralysis.” This is what I want for you to remember when it comes to making your decisions. It isn’t so much the process you use, but rather, your determination that gets you to your destination. There are so many different shampoos, but at the end of the day, they all do the same basic job of washing your hair.
Challenge yourself to move your focus from researching the best way to do things to actually doing them. Stop the analysis, Stop the research, and start moving to make your destiny a reality.
It isn’t so much the process you use, but rather, your determination that Gets you to your destination.
Fear of what people think is probably the number one reason people will never fulfill their potential in life. There is something so unnerving and unsettling about knowing that someone out there is being critical or unsupportive, The thought of you being the topic of someone else’s negative conversation tends to stick in your mind like hot gum on the bottom of a shoe. No one wants to be the topic of gossip.
I can tell you that it has certainly been true for me. In certain times of my life I feared that people would think of me as being prideful or boastful for putting my goals out in full view. I feared that people would make fun of me behind my back. But here is what I have come to fully understand and embrace and this is what I want you to catch in your mind and in your spirit: It doesn’t matter what other people think.
As a matter of fact, I have come to embrace the fact my fears may be completely true. Someone may see that I started a blog and sent a text along the lines of “Did you see that Araceli started a blog? *eye roll emoji*” This may have very well happened, but I no longer allow those thoughts, true or not, to bother me. If someone is criticizing something that I’m doing, that’s okay with me. Their criticism doesn’t move me forward and it won’t hold me back.
Getting to this place of peace didn’t happen overnight, but I can tell you the first step in breaking free from fear of what others think. Ask yourself, “At the end of my life what will hurt me more? The idea that people were criticizing me or the idea that I never stepped out of my comfort zone to accomplish a dream.” I promise you that the pain of regret will linger a lot longer than the sting of criticism. Now, right now, is the time to stop caring about what other people will think or say and start working towards your destiny.
The Pain of regret will linger a lot longer than the sting of criticism.
Quitting is the fifth and final obstacle I want to discuss. Many of you reading this may be looking to step into something new for the first time, but there may be some of you reading who have already been down this road.
Maybe, in the past, you tried to start something new, but it fizzled and now you feel like you failed. Think back to what was going on in your life when you gave up on that dream. Most of the time when things fall off, it’s during a hard time. Maybe you were working on a new project that you were excited about but then you ran into some financial trouble. Maybe you went through a breakup, a job loss or some other hard time. It is so easy to get derailed when times get tough, but that is no reason to not try again.
Ignore the lie that says that if you try again you will fail again. That is just not true. It is possible to be successful, you just have to purpose in your mind before you start that hard times will come. You have to go into it with the understanding that there will be days that your equipment fails or someone on your team leaves or you have a big issue that needs to be ironed out.
Don’t wait until you are hard pressed, stressed out and emotional about your circumstance to make the decision to carry on through the hard times. Resolve now, in your heart and mind, that whatever comes your way, you will not quit.
You can give yourself permission to kick a can, cry into your pillow, eat a pint of ice cream, get those extra pumps of syrup in your coffee, but the one thing you WON’T do is quit. It just cannot be an option. The idea of quitting will come to you. It happens to everyone. But it is simply a mental hurdle you have to jump over. (Often over and over again)
If you look at any inventor, author or entrepreneur that has done anything significant, you will find in their history many failures, rejections and things that did not work out in their favor. But what all these people have in common is that they did not quit.
Their determination to not give up is the only reason that their name, brand or product comes to your mind today. Because they never quit, they arrived at their intended destination and so can you.
I want to leave you with this final thought. Thirty to forty years from now, if you never follow through on your dream you may find yourself having a conversation with one of your children or grandchildren. Imagine that you tell them that you always wanted to write a book or own a business but never did.
When they ask why you never did those things that you wanted to do, what are you going to say? Are you going to say that you were too busy watching show and movies or too busy on Facebook and Instagram. Are you going to say that you were afraid of what other people would think or will you tell them that you felt that other people were already doing so well that you didn’t think you would measure up? Will you tell them that a you spent so much time researching how to do things but never actually did them? What will your answer be?
I hope and prayer for you is that you would be able to one day look back at your life not with regret but with appreciation for how far you advanced and what you accomplished.
It starts here, today. It starts now. What steps will you be taking in the near future to make your destiny come to life? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear what you have planned so I can cheer for you. You got this, Mamacita!