Have you ever taken on a task that you didn’t think you could handle?

  • Maybe you ran a marathon.
  • Maybe you started your own business.
  • Maybe you signed your first 30-year mortgage.

Remember the initial fear? How am I ever going to do this? How am I ever going to make it work? Remember all of the obstacles you faced? Remember all the questions you had?

And, of course, there were no answers to these questions. But, there you were, in the deep end of the pool, and all you can do is learn to swim or drown.

What does this have to do with Seinfeld? Do you remember the episode where George Castanza (Jason Alexander) and Jerry are sitting in Jerry’s apartment, and George says, “I think that ginger ale at the coffee shop is just Coke and Sprite mixed together. How can I prove it? (a few seconds pass) Ah! Can’t, dammit.”

So many of us do this. We have an idea, a thought, even a revelation. But, just as quickly, we stamp out that fire. We ask “how”. How am I going to do this? And the dream dies.

One of the most crucial mistakes people make is to give up on something before they’ve given themselves a chance to experience it. It takes time. Go easy on yourself. It’s a new process when you ask yourself new questions or try new things. Think about your favorite food. There was a time when you had never tried it. What if, the next time you go to eat something new and hear yourself say “no, I don’t want to try that”. what if that becomes your next favorite food?

Work thru the “how”. To have a dream is to have obstacles. And yet, so many people with a dream stop at the first sign of road blocks. They seem to think it’s a sign “NO! Don’t do this!” But maybe they are misinterpreting the signals. Maybe obstacles are here to show us how badly we want something. As Steve Pressfield writes in “The War of Art” – “the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it”.

Use your obstacles as signposts that you’re on the right track. If you want to know how something works, find out. If you want to know how it feels to follow your dreams, find out. Don’t be like George Castanza and simply say you can’t. Find a way to make it happen. You’ll be glad you did.

Is there anything you might be thinking about now that brings up obstacles? What are you doing (or not doing) about it? I’d love to hear from you.