Obstacles Are Opportunities In Disguise

What amazing things would you do if you thought you could? 

I was going to write about branding this month, but I believe this is an essential first step.

I recently came across a book in my library, I read some time ago, “Unstoppable” by Cynthia Kersey, which contains 45 stories of people like you and me who, after being told their dream was impossible; they did it anyway.

Stories like these reinforce my belief that obstacles are opportunities in disguise.

A few fantastic stories from “Unstoppable:”

Ray Charles’s teachers said, “You can’t play the piano, and God knows you can’t sing. You’d better learn how to weave chairs so you can support yourself.” What would the world have missed if Ray had believed them?

It didn’t stop Oprah Winfrey knowing that Phil Donahue was number one in the daytime talk show market, and look what she has accomplished!

How many people become discouraged and drop ideas or miss opportunities because someone said they couldn’t possibly succeed?

If you didn’t ‘know’ it was impossible, what could you do?

Two more stunning stories from “Unstoppable.”

George Dantzig, a mathematics graduate student, was late for class.  He quickly copied two math problems from the blackboard he thought were homework assignments.  For several days he worked on the math problems continuously thinking they were harder than usual.  He finally solved them and turned them in.  Six weeks later, his professor was pounding on his door.  What George thought was a homework assignment was two well-known math problems that leading mathematicians up to that time had not been able to solve.  George did!  Why?  Because he didn’t know he couldn’t!

Pam Lontos was desperate for a job.  She applied at a small radio station and got a commission-only sales job.  She didn’t know large companies only bought advertising airtime from established stations with large audiences, so she called on them anyway.  She didn’t know that January was a slow sales month, but she earned the biggest January commission check ever written for radio sales in Dallas.  When she became the sales manager, she didn’t know it was unthinkable to leapfrog from that position to vice president of sales; but she did it in two years instead of the usual ten.  Why?  Because she didn’t know she couldn’t!

As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”

Suggested Actions to Take

Listen to your self-talk.  Is it whispering sweet nothings, such as “I could never do that!”? Redefine your version of impossible by redefining what could be possible starting with “I can,” and see what changes in what you think is possible.

Read “Unstoppable” by Cynthia Kersey or other books about people determined to follow their dreams regardless of what others said, which can inspire your can-do belief in yourself.

Reflect on those challenging goals you thought were not possible or difficult to attain, and decide to make them possible.  What resources do you need to make them happen? Do you need a coach, a mentor, certifications?  What do you need others to know about your quest?


Again, I ask you, “What amazing things would you accomplish in your life if you thought you could?”


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About Chris Sier

Over the course of her career, Chris Sier has been a leader, business development manager, process consultant, and corporate coach. Having been an executive/leadership/career coach with a Fortune 200 company; and since 2009, as a business owner, Chris has worked with VPs, directors, team leaders, and high potentials globally, working with clients to maintain their competitive edge, manage complexity, drive growth and operational efficiency, and inspire and engage multi-generational teams. She also works with clients on their brand and career management. She has authored numerous booklets and articles, and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development with a minor in Psychology from Central Michigan University.


Chris was there for me when I needed her help the most!

I called Chris when I was lost in life and needed help.   Chris helped me immensely through that phase of my life.  I am a better person today because of her. She guides you while allowing you to make your own decisions.  She helps you see yourself better. Chris will also be there for you if you have a crisis and need help immediately.   I am very fortunate that I had her guidance and wisdom to help me through situations. I can't recommend her enough.

Thank you, Chris, for being there for me and helping me.



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Sood Family Dental

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