A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Dear Sue: In order to accomplish your goals and achieve success, have you overcome any physical or mental challenges, business setbacks or obstacles? What helped you to achieve your
Sue Says: Your question jumped out at me because most of the questions I receive are about the writer, not about me. And, I am seldom asked the questions you are asking. Most of us are
used to talking about our accomplishments, but how often do we address the challenges involved in achieving them?
Perhaps you are inquiring because you find yourself facing some challenges of your own. I am sure that most people have been faced with challenges and obstacles. However, it isn't always
apparent to others, and can be difficult to discuss.
Some people focus on and emphasize their challenges. Others make success look easy. I've had my share of challenges. At times the challenges have consumed me, but the majority of the time
I've chosen to focus on my strengths instead.
So, what have some of my challenges been? Being female in a male dominated industry, starting my own business and being on my own, growing my business and making it profitable, balancing
marriage, motherhood and a career, and finding time to "do and have it all" have been some of the challenges I've faced. There are other things could have been obstacles, but weren't
because I didn't allow myself to focus on them.
I realize the things I've mentioned are minor compared to some of the physical and mental challenges some people face, however, it hasn't always been easy for me. At times the challenges have
consumed me, but the majority of the time I've chosen to focus on my strengths instead.
Have I had business setbacks or obstacles? You bet I have! As trying as some of the difficult times have been, I can honestly say that I've learned more and changed more as a result of each
obstacle I've encountered. I believe that my determination, passion for what I do and my refusal to give up has enabled me to accomplish many of the things I have.
My work has been an important part of who I am and who I have become. I've been lucky enough to have the support of my husband, terrific friends and family. If I only made decisions based on
the bottom line, I would have quit long ago. My purpose for doing what I do has kept me going.
While I've had many goals throughout the years, I've had to be flexible and open to change. Some goals just haven't been worth pursing. Therefore I've changed my course a number of times and
I've changed my definition of success over the years.
In fact, for me, I've enjoyed the journey far more than reaching a destination. If you are realistic about what you can and cannot do and focus on your goals, then the challenges you face
won't stop you from continuing on and accomplishing your dreams.
Dear Sue: I recently ended an affair with a coworker. Although he told a few of his friends about our relationship, I never told anyone. Rumors circulated, but I always denied the
affair. I still hear comments and rumors and can't help but feel as though people are judging me.
How do I set the record straight and let people know that I wasn't the one who chased him and never opened my mouth about it? Do I bother, or do I ignore the comments and continue denying the
Sue Says: The affair is over, so why start talking now? You'll just be adding more gossip to the rumor mill.
Sometimes the less said, the better. Ignore the comments -- if you respond now, it will keep the talk going. You've got a better chance of stopping it with your silence.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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