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Springtime means new life. The gray winter landscape sheds away and turns green with smatterings of blooming flowers, adding vibrant color to dull scenes. It’s a perfect time to reflect on what you want in your life. Is it that new job? Starting your own business? Like the flowers, you need the proper nutrients to thrive – a plan, knowledge, coaching, and maybe some encouragement now and then. And just as the flowers face threats from bugs, gophers or plant diseases, you likely have some obstacles to overcome yourself. Studies find the same handful of obstacles tend to arise for most people. Let’s look at three of the most common things that hold us back:

  1. We don’t know our purpose.

Without clearly defined goals (and strategies for achieving those goals), we risk drifting through life, accepting whatever comes our way and hoping something good will happen for us. In short, we don’t have a plan. Flowers know their purpose, though. It comes from deep within their beings. They don’t waste any time deciding what color their petals will be or how sweet their scents might turn out. Their goals are simple and clear, freeing them to direct all their energy toward growing into their full potential. It’s one of our founding principles: leading from the heart. You’ll find your purpose there, and yes, you can take tangible steps to find it.

  1. We don’t have enough courage.

Flowers probably don’t think much about courage, but whether they realize it or not, they exhibit it every day. Despite the deadly risks of late frosts, invasive pests or that neighbor dog digging in the garden, they persist. They succeed by developing a little bit at a time. Each morning, we can see new growth, the steady progress of buds opening into blooms. By focusing on our goals and taking steady, secure steps, we can learn to be as courageous as the flowers.

  1. We fail to believe in ourselves.

If you’ve suffered some setbacks, and you don’t feel like you’re getting enough reinforcement in your life, it’s easy for self-doubts to creep in. But remember: this is one of the most universal obstacles there is. You’re not alone! Those coworkers of yours who seem so confident have no doubt experienced many of the same insecurities you might be feeling now. But you believe in them, don’t you? Odds are good that they believe in you, too. It’s important to keep your focus. Remind yourself of your past successes, realistically envision how you’ll achieve your next successes and keep pushing on. Don’t be a shrinking violet! Everyone faces obstacles -often the same ones we’re facing. But take heart: there are proven solutions!