How prepared are you to face rocks in the road?

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On the road through the Karoo. Photo: Chesney Bradshaw
On the road through the Karoo. Photo: Chesney Bradshaw

On our return journey from holidaying at the coast in Cape Town we came across more than 10 stop-and-go sections on the national highway where we had to wait for a minimum of at least 10 minutes at a time. Our journey was supposed to last 10 hours of driving through the Karoo but ended up being over 12 hours.

The roads from Johannesburg to Cape Town were free of any stop-and-go sections because this was just after the Christmas period. There was little traffic on the road and driving flowed smoothly and easily without any obstacles.

The mistake I made was to think that the return journey would be as easy as driving down to Cape Town. Not only were there the stop-and-go sections but also a traffic officer stopped me to do a routine check, which involved further delay, and the commercial traffic of large trucks had increased considerably. Numerous road works also slowed us down with sharp curves off the main road requiring slow driving, especially as it became night. At one point, at Colesberg in the Northern Cape there was another frustrating stop-and-go section. I managed to avoid this one but only by taking a detour through the entire main street of Colesberg.

It’s interesting how when we set about on a journey whether it is a road trip, starting a new business or creating a new product that we often are over-optimistic and don’t anticipate rocks in the road. Then when we get on our journey we have to deal with unanticipated obstacles and need to make contingencies. In hindsight, all I needed to do was to find out something about the road back from other drivers that already returned to Johannesburg. The delay that I could not have avoided would have been the unexpected flooding at Laingsburg, which damaged large sections of the highway verges.

It’s not only physical obstacles that may slow us down. It can also be psychological issues that we haven’t yet dealt with. These may include our resistance to change, fear of moving into the unknown and unexpected or a self image that limits our growth and potential.

It could be that we are not ready to take our journey. Perhaps we need to take small steps before we venture forth, as Marsha Sinetar says. Rushing ourselves into new ventures can actually prevent us from achieving the change or growth that we actually want to see. “When choosing between growth and safety, people must select safety – they must secure the ground they stand on before they can take strides into the new ground,” says Sinetar.

When we leave the safety of what we know, it may be better to take small, inconsequential steps in the direction of what we want to do or need, she says.

This is why these crash-courses and weekend seminars are often useless. Maybe they can give you an awareness of the things you need to do to change but you aren’t going to miraculously transform overnight. Even when you have your own significant insights, it may take you months or years to change in small ways to become the person you want to become or do what you want in your life and business.

Using our own internal compass and insights as a guide, we may want to do something like the following:

– Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas or thoughts about how we want to move forward in the direction of our goals including coming up with a new product or doing the work that you want
– Plan out where you want to go using either a written process or visualisation where you see a clear mental picture of what you want to do and some of the roadblocks you may face
– Be guided more by your intuitive side such as feelings, emotions and dreams to understand what obstacles you may face or uneasiness with change that you may need to overcome first by taking small steps.

Rocks, roadblocks, obstacles and resistance can prevent you from achieving your vision and goals but by taking small experimental steps beforehand and gathering information at the start of your journey, you can increase your chances of success.

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