Business Women

How to Navigate Obstacles to Business Success

By Carol Pocklington

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Booker T Washington

I wonder how many of us capable, intelligent women get trapped in certain behavioral traits that then become obstacles to our success and more importantly, prevent us from fulfilling the great plan for our lives.

I know. I’ve been there.

Lack of confidence – when measured against a very successful parent, an equally successful friend, or taking to heart a supposedly well-meaning piece of advice that was actually crushing.

Surely, we women are not that precious! Or are we?

I’ve spoken at and connected with many successful business women over the years. It never ceases to amaze (or concern) me, just how fragile many are in the area of confidence.

If there were one piece of advice, I would give to all business women it’s this. Get to know yourself at a deep level. You are uniquely gifted. If you are not operating in this, you will be frustrated, you will lack confidence, you will compare yourself to others.

Using our inherent talents and abilities is more likely to bring success than struggling to find success in any other way. Leaving your gifts and talents unattended and unsharpened, like a muscle, will fall into disuse.

Some obstacles require immediate attention, if we are to be successful.

  1. We should be teachable. Even I with 45 years in business still have a mentor. In fact, I have two. One in business and my pastor. I pay as much attention to my business health as I do to my spiritual well-being.
  2. I question my relationships. Not just in a selective way, more in a….” what are our conversations like….” “is this relationships healthy” “what are my people skills like, do I invest with words of friendship, love and wisdom or do I tear down and fail to build them up….”
  3. What do I dwell on? Negative self-thinking about myself or others is destructive. Even something as supposedly innocent, said in a moment of frustration, such as……I hate this job….your brain hears this and stores it.

One of the most effective ways to check yourself before you wreck yourself, is to take time out. I don’t mean an island holiday, but that would be so nice. I mean a few moments each day to do a simple self-audit.

  • Are there any obstacles in my thinking today? Take them out, look at them, deal with them.
  • Are there any physical obstacles in the way today? Strategize how to remove them. Get a plan in your mind.
  • Are there any relationships that need my attention? Plan to rectify whatever is brought to mind.
  • Think and speak out your life vision. Keep it in focus in your mind. See your success. (this is why getting alone, walking, or just sitting somewhere quiet is useful. Speak out your vision)
  • You don’t have a vision both personal and business? Oh dear. That’s your starting point.

We women will wander aimlessly through life without a personal and business vision.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

We all need to define our business and life goals. We need to be able to speak them out. Only then can we identify obstacles getting in the way. Only then can we notice that our life compass is off course. Only then can we attend to the obstacles and truly achieve success.


Carol Pockington is a Human Performance Accelerator. She has worked with Hugh Massie since 2001 as the DNA Behavior concept was conceived. She works with people and businesses worldwide. Her real-world application of behavioural insights, gives her the capability to serve as a business strategist, coach, mentor, and trainer. She is also a prolific blogger, a public speaker and author, specializing in human behavioural insights.