What’s holding you back?

Whether in business or in life, we all face obstacles in our path towards our goals, or our vision for the future.  What do you do when you are faced with an obstacle?  Do you let it stop you from achieving what you want?  Or do you find a way over, under, around or through that obstacle?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the obstacles in MY life and business lately (though not dwelling on them!) and coming up with strategies to move beyond those obstacles.  I have learned that a lot of MY obstacles are limiting beliefs, so I’ve been working with a mindset coach to help me smash through.

What I’ve learned (and this became really clear to me on a recent Mountain Bike ride – you might have seen my Facebook Live about that metaphor), is that the important thing to remember is where we focus.  Ask yourself, Am I focussing on the obstacle, or where I actually want to go?  We need to remember to focus BEYOND the obstacle, focus on the OUTCOME and the feeling you will experience when you achieve the outcome.


I recalled this from when I was at a Tony Robbins event where we did a “Firewalk” literally walking over about 15 feet of hot coals – it’s still mind-boggling to me that I actually did that!!  Tony prepared us mentally for the firewalk by having us NOT look down at the fire, NOT think about the fire, and only focus on stepping onto the cool grass at the end, and the FEELING of exhilaration we would experience when we had completed the firewalk.  This experience is of course, a metaphor for life, and how that we can do ANYTHING we want to if we focus on the OUTCOME rather than the obstacle.

So what does all this Mountain Biking and Firewalking have to do with being a makeup artist?  My mountain bike coach always told me, don’t look right in front of your front wheel, look ahead, focus further down the trail, and trust that your bike will just roll over the obstacle.

Remember: Where focus goes, energy flows.  You don’t want to expend all your energy on the obstacle, you want your energy flowing further down the trail, and always towards your desired outcomes.

Well, I think it’s the same thing.  Just as there are logs and rocks on the mountain biking trail to navigate over, there are things in our path to success as a makeup artist.

The first step is to IDENTIFY what the obstacles are:  Now this can be relatively straight forward, the obstacle might be time constraints caused by your full-time job, or family commitments; it could be a lack of a particular skill (hairstyling perhaps?); not knowing the right people; or, it could be an “imagined” obstacle, a STORY you are telling yourself that might not necessarily be 100% accurate, but which is still stopping you from achieving all that you want.

An example of an “imagined” obstacle is I don’t know the right people, I don’t have a large social media following, I don’t know how to get where I want to go, or, the biggie, I’m not good enough.

Once you have identified the obstacle, then it becomes a lot easier to navigate.  Look at the obstacle with eyes that see beyond it.  Start to think about what ACTION STEPS you can take to get past the obstacle.

When you tackle the obstacle head on, often what we find is that it isn’t nearly as scary or bad as we have made it out to be in our own mind.  There is a particular obstacle on one of my favourite mountain biking trails, which we call the “nutcracker log” (or sometimes just “that f’ing log”) which actually took me THREE YEARS to work up the guts to ride over (It’s a drop on the other side, which makes it difficult, because you can’t see the landing). I will never forget the day I finally DID ride over it, and my initial feeling was “is that it?  is that what I’ve been too scared to ride over all this time?  Its not even hard!!!”

The most important key to getting through your obstacles is commitment.  If you are committed you will find a way. If you are committed you won’t give up when it gets tough.  Some people say they are committed until it gets hard, and then they give up.  What is it that keeps you going through the tough times?

I’ve been asking that question recently to a group of makeup artists, and the one thing that keeps coming up is their passion, and their love for what they do.  Again, think about your focus.  When times get tough, rather than focussing on that one difficult client, remember your WHY.  Why you love being a makeup artist and what got you started in the first place.

So remember, identify your obstacles, formulate an action plan for getting over, around or through them, be committed, and focus on what’s on the other side.

What is the biggest obstacle in your way now?  Come join the discussion on my Facebook page, and lets come up with an action plan…

2 thoughts on “What’s holding you back?”

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