How to Anticipate Problems and Better Overcome Obstacles

Candace Cox  |  June 7, 2020
last updated

The road to success will not always be smooth. In fact, it is often fraught with difficult situations and all sorts of potential problems. By learning how to anticipate problems and becoming a problem solver, you will be better prepared to overcome potential obstacles when they come your way.

Five Great Ways to Prepare for Potential Problems Are the Following:

Preparing for Potential Problems to Overcome Obstacles

  1. You need to understand that obstacles are a part of the process. If you know that you will face potential challenges along the way, you won’t be flustered when they occur.
  2. If you embrace change, you are better prepared for new challenges.
  3. By doing what you love, difficult challenges that you face will not be as aggravating as you work toward the big picture.
  4. Understand the difference between the need to change and the desire to change. Some changes are mandatory, others are brought about by choice.
  5. Having a Plan B will safeguard your future.

In Order to Overcome Obstacles, Learn How to Anticipate Problems—and Then Be OK With It

Yes, that’s right—obstacles are inevitable, and once you learn that they’re part of the process, you won’t be flustered when they occur.

I remember receiving advice prior to my wedding day. I was told to be prepared that something may go wrong and something probably will.

You may think that this is horrible guidance, especially before your big day. In actuality, those words of wisdom are spot-on. I have even passed along these same words of wisdom to other brides over the years.

Obstacles Are a Part of the ProcessThe mindset is that if you are aware that something may go awry, then you are not flustered when it happens. You won’t let that “thing,” ruin your happiness.

In my case, my sister, who was my maid of honor, left her beautiful custom flower bouquet back at the hotel where we had been getting ready. Once at the church, there wasn’t time for her to go back for the flowers. Instead, she was able to find some artificial flowers and ribbon in the Sunday school room of the church. She was able to create a make-shift bouquet on the spot.

It was actually very pretty and it remarkably even matched the colors of the other bridesmaid’s flowers. The wedding ceremony and reception went as planned and no one ever noticed the artificial bouquet.

The Bigger the Event, the More Likely Issues Will Arise

Similarly, if you are planning a social event or business gathering, be aware that something will likely go wrong. In fact, the bigger the event, the more likelihood for issues to arise. But if you’re able to seamlessly navigate through these problems, you’ll find that your leadership skills and project management abilities will grow. When you allow for the possibility of problems to occur, you ironically become better in your decision-making process and problem-solving skills.

The practical benefit of this advice has become extremely obvious throughout 2020. No one could have prepared for Covid-19 and mobs in the street. Companies and leaders who treat themselves as victims and sit back and wait for the world to get back to “normal” are making a big mistake. Imagine if, instead of finding a way to proceed with my wedding, I got angry with my sister and called off the wedding entirely! When you learn to bounce back from problems that inevitably arise, you’ll learn that there are unlimited ways to do things the “right way.”

If You Embrace Change, You Are Better Prepared for New Challenges

When it comes to learning how to anticipate problems, we all need to think improvisational.

Think about a time when something did not go as planned, but the solution ended up being a better choice. Perhaps you did not have a certain ingredient for a recipe, but your alternative option made that dish far more delicious.

Potential issues won’t bother you when you learn they can sometimes cause us to see issues from different perspectives.

Sometimes we are stuck in the tried and true, unable to envision any other alternatives. This can go for a recipe, an event, our jobs, our businesses, and even our personal lives. It is easy to stick with the same routine if all is well – and with work, if your income is comfortable.

Believe me, I certainly adhere to the statement that, “If something ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, something that “ain’t broke,” doesn’t mean that it can’t change or evolve.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the psychological and physical symptoms of burned-out employees in the US results in an estimated $190 Billion per year in healthcare costs. If our jobs and/or businesses can offer challenges and change, the negative patterns that lead to burnout could be decreased.

If you are in that burnout zone, or if you fear that it is time for a change of life path, how do you choose which path to take? The answer starts with, what makes you happy?

By Doing What You Love, the Obstacles that You Face Will Not Be as Aggravating to the Process

Do What You Love and Obstacles Will Not Frustrate the ProcessWe’re going to face problems no matter what, but here’s the good news: those problems won’t affect us nearly as much if we learn to do what we love.

Marsha Sinetar, an author and organizational psychologist wrote the book “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.” The title states it all. Too many people are creating an existence, not existing to create. Find your passion in life and it can lead you to a life of success. When you are working at something you love, all of your talent, focus, energy, and commitment shows through your work. Excitement is contagious. Others easily want to be a part of something that you show passion towards.

According to Sinetar’s book, America’s working population does not enjoy their work. Even though her words were written over 30 years ago, it is still a likely truth.

Sinetar is quoted as saying, “We are not born to struggle through life. We are meant to work in ways that suit us, drawing on our natural talents and abilities as a way to express ourselves and contribute to others. This work, when we find it and do it – even if it is just a hobby at first – is a key to our true happiness and self-expression.”

If you are looking to make personal change, a good idea is to make a list of the top ideas that excite and interest you. Brainstorm on your own, or with like-minded individuals on how these interests can possibly generate income. If you are looking to make changes to your business, find transformations that bring about excitement. If you love it, your clientele will likely love it too.

Understand the Difference Between the Need to Change and the Desire to Change. Some Changes Are Mandatory, Others Are Brought About by Choice

As we find ourselves with new protocols thrust upon us, we may have to now accept new ways of life. Social distancing is a new problem that may or may not become the new normal. It’s like after 9/11 in 2001, some things were changed forever. In airports, we now always have to remove our shoes at security. You can also no longer meet your loved one at the gate.

Most people don’t like change, especially changes that are thrust upon us without having a say in the matter. However, we usually all adapt and get used to the new way of doing things. If you learn how to anticipate problems, you an adapt much faster than others.

Casinos in Las Vegas Are Adapting

In Las Vegas, casinos are having to remodel gaming areas to distance patrons. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, once casinos open, they will have to limit a property’s occupancy to 50 percent of its limit. Monitoring of occupancy may include headcounts by security, the use of existing surveillance systems, as well as the utilization of a property’s slot accounting system to monitor the number of persons on the casino floor. At gaming tables, casinos will limit the number of gamblers and space them accordingly. Some slot areas will implement plexiglass partitions between the machines.

Restaurants are Also Adapting

Restaurants will also be modified or remodeled if necessary. Buffets are under much scrutiny and may possibly be a thing of the past. Food Critic John Curtas told News-3 Las Vegas that, “Buffets are dead.” Curtas’ opinion is that no one will want to share a serving spoon or deal with crowds.

However, the world-famous Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s Palace is the number one revenue-generating restaurant in North America. Therefore, the property is using its downtime to remodel the dining facility to meet safety protocols. The goal is to not have to cease operations in the future. Caesar’s has even gone so far as to hire an on-staff epidemiologist.

At Wynn Las Vegas, the company has announced that it will eliminate the need for guests to touch serving utensils. Wynn staff will be posted at each food station to serve guests.

In Vegas, the mode of operations will change, but the show will go on as they experiment with countless potential solutions.

The Entertainment Industry, However, Hasn’t Adapted as Well

The world’s largest producer of stage shows, Cirque du Soleil, has had to shutter over 40 shows around the globe. The company is flirting with bankruptcy.

Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre told “Fast Company” magazine, that after canceling shows in China and Italy, he then received a call from MGM entertainment in Las Vegas. All of the city’s attractions would be shut down. Cirque was facing the fact that for the first time in 35 years, the show would not go on.

Since the shut-downs started, Cirque has had to lay off over 46 hundred employees. However, Lamarre is optimistic. He feels that shows will be open in a year’s time. Reuters news service has reported that all options are on the table as Cirque explores plans to restructure its debt and repair its balance sheets.

In New York City, where Covid-19 hit the hardest, Broadway has had to close its curtains. The stages, once filled with music, talent, and energy, have come to an indefinite intermission. The question lies in what will the theatres, showrooms, and concert halls look like when the new opening night arrives? Hopefully, the lights and magic of live performances will not go dark.

Returning to the analogy of my wedding that almost became a disaster, you could say the entertainment industry has canceled their wedding. The casinos and restaurants, however, have found a way to make a new bouquet.

Having a “Plan B” Will Safeguard Your Future

Having a _Plan B_ Will Safeguard Your FutureDo you think that businesses such as Caesar’s or Cirque du Soleil ever had to have a “Plan B?” Wildly successful companies like these probably have not had to think about the idea of radical change. Of course, they are constantly reinventing themselves to keep current and relevant. But a complete shutdown and restructuring were unprecedented. Whether business is working as planned or not, it is always important to have a “Plan B” or backup measures if necessary. After all, plenty of time could pass, making it difficult to continue sustaining themselves when income dries up.

I was very involved in theatre in High School. When it came time to go to college, I wanted to major in theatre. However, I had to ask myself what kind of jobs would be available with a theatre degree? Perhaps, I could teach or get a job with a professional theatre company. I felt that my choices would be limited. So, I made the decision to major in broadcasting with an emphasis on production. Theatre became my minor. I figured that there may be a lot more job opportunities in the radio and television than live-theater.

When I graduated from college, I started doing freelance film/tv production work. I also landed a weekend gig on the radio. Some weeks, I went from coordinating a music video or commercial and then transitioning to working as a radio jock on the weekends. Sometimes it meant reinventing myself on a daily basis. I also never gave up my love for acting and would participate in community theatre productions or take acting jobs when the opportunity arose.

The “Plan B” actually helped me institute my “Plan A.” You can do the same.

Preparing for Potential Problems Makes You Better Able to Overcome Obstacles

Today, I treasure my acting and theatre training and experiences. As an Instructor with, “The Leader’s Institute ® I am regularly in front of large groups. My decades of business experience and ownership give me credibility when I speak. But my stage experience is what gave me the ease to address a big audience.

In acting, you learn to improvise when necessary. When a fellow actor forgets their lines, sometimes you have to create dialogue to get the scene back on track. In business and in life, improvisation and the willingness to change-up what you think and do on the spot can be a great tool.

So, don’t expect your journey to be perfect. Prepare in advance for potential problems. When you do, you will be better able to overcome these obstacles.

author Candace Cox
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Candace Cox has 15 years of on-air radio experience, mostly as a traffic and news reporter. Candace has also worked as an on-camera television host, emcee, actor and voice-over talent. Candace’s on-air experience makes her a favorite of audiences because of her humor and energy, and she has successfully transferred these talents to the business world to train other professionals. We are so happy to have her as one of our team building leaders.
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