Here’s How to Overcome and Make the Most of Self Quarantine

10+ Ideas to Overcome the Career Curveball COVID Has Thrown and Make the Most of Self Quarantine

Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Marcus Aurelius

The greatest key to make massive performance gains in disruptive times like these is to look for trouble then confront it, to overcome obstacles, to navigate new mental terrain, accommodating and adapting to change, and then eliminating or at least limiting any behavior that stands between you and goal achievement.

Things like COVID represent a serious anti-success issue and yet give us time to improve areas of underperformance that warrant ruthless examination. Let’s get busy embracing this idea that what stands in the way, becomes the way.

  1. Obstacles come to instruct, not destruct. All great success in your life will come by facing vexing problems and overcoming them with a potent cocktail of creativity, focus, and courage. Challenges are the common threads woven through all great lives. They are present to teach us to get where we must go by carving a new path. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Things which hurt, instruct.”  Consider what you could do differently, right now, to expand your influence and garner the attention of important clients.
  2. Every obstacle is a lesson. In each, there is a test and an opportunity. They provide lessons to be learned, and problems are repeated or reoccur primarily because the lesson has not been learned. Every time you face a challenge, ask yourself, “What lesson am I to learn?”  
  3. Every obstacle asks important questions. Each obstacle is given to you to develop character, test your will and asks you to answer the call. Are you worthy of victory? How badly do you want it? Will you stand up and show us what you are really made of…? You will either rise and meet the demands and overcome the mental and physical rigors, or you will fall and succumb to weakness.
  4. Obstacles are exercise. For the mind, challenges are just like lifting is for muscles. They toughen and strengthen you. They demand you seize the chance given and deploy a better set of offensive skills, to get mentally stronger, and to improve the way you focus and how you prepare to execute.  Take time to train deeply.  Start using social to expand your brand.
  5. Obstacles require preparedness. Challenges demand you install unflappable virtues like patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, optimism, focus and self-discipline. They demand you hold onto resilience, perseverance and innovation. Each day, refresh and refocus yourself on the way ahead.
  6. Know most of our obstacles are self-created.  Indecision, self-doubt, lack of confidence, tardiness, apathy, procrastination, inconsistency, arrogance, greed, excuse making, blaming, negativity, jealousy, embarrassing photos, sloppy grammar, lousy self-teaching habits, poor eating, lack of focus, cowardly behavior, and self-loathing are just a few of the implants of your inner villain. Self-inflicted wounds, like unforced errors, are unfortunate, unnecessary and unacceptable. They will manifest themselves as problems with connectedness, finances, health, performance, communication and any other problem you experience. They will exacerbate one another; then, most of us will even amplify them through negative self-talk. Take this time to reframe it all and reset and discipline your thinking..
  7. Most obstacles are internal.  Our ancestors did the heavy lifting of moving us into very comfortable environs. Now, instead of external threats, we mostly have internal tensions, even with COVID. We have Personal and Professional frustrations, we have unmet Expectations, and we have learned or even forced helplessness. Without a doubt, we live in the most prosperous times in history, yet global crisis like this pandemic threaten that prosperity for many.

In reality, despite the fears of this crisis, we have fewer fatal diseases, fewer external threats, and far more safety nets. This serves as a blessing and a curse, as most of what threatens us comes from having too much – too many ideas without real focus on execution; too much relentless technological disruption; fast food without discipline; too much entertainment without measure of merit; ridiculous beliefs and traditions that tie us to fruitless living. As a result, we have become soft, entitled and frightened of conflict. This abundance creates internal weakness. Abundance becomes an obstacle.  Overcome it by being more creative and inventive.

Fortunately, you and I already have the answer to overcoming curves like COVID – knowledge that what stands in the way becomes the way. Whatever you face, you have a choice. Will you allow challenges to undermine you, to block you, to bring you to your knees and ultimately make you want to throw in the towel; or will your challenges be used to grow you, empower you, to strengthen your resolve, fortify your beliefs and spirit and ultimately create the path to greatness?  

Which do you choose?

Overcoming obstacles, solving problems and turning troubles, trials, inner turbulence and tribulation into triumph is your call, your birthright and your personal responsibility. How?

The solution consists of three interconnected and interdependent disciplines – perception, action and will.  

Obstacles, setbacks, rejections and failures are so important and so misunderstood. Each one serves as a building block in constructing success or might be the wrecking ball of destruction. Well used, obstacles are instructional, providing information and motivation to learn from and apply. They point toward progress, and that depends on your perception.

The strong tendency is to concentrate on the negative side of obstacles and ignore the positive contributions to growth, maturity, and success. The bright side of their existence must be acknowledged. Only then can obstacles and the path to overcoming them be properly measured and understood.

Let us focus on taking disciplined action. Rather than sticking your head in the sand, pretending performance issues do not exist and all that is stopping you now is COVID, or even worse, building only hope into your strategy for handling this economic slow down and other obstacles, heed these words: Pretending problems do not exist or running from them only increases the distance from the solution. Therefore, the easiest way to escape a problem or obstacle is to solve it, to conquer it, and to destroy anything that is committed to destroying you.  

Improve your how right now. Play a smart, strong, savvy offense, raise the bar, and step up your game.

Embrace the belief the size of your problems is nothing compared to your ability to solve them. Don’t overestimate your problems, and never underestimate yourself!

You were born to unleash your greatness and not be taken down by any obstacle that comes your way.

The final piece of this three-pronged attack is to enforce your will. Now, declare you will succeed. Let all threats know you will not be overcome. Without the ongoing enforcement of will, you are toast. Failure to face and overcome obstacles arises mostly from a lack of will. You must learn to give the full force of your will to every resistance you face.

Obstacles are not meant to be avoided. They are meant to be exploited. Applying the right antidotes, learning the lessons offered, passing the tests and seizing the opportunities they share allows us to practice behaviors and display virtues which prove, “What stands in the way, becomes the way.”


Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses. 

As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott os am intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, ever day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside. 


Cerca Talent+ is a full service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose to work with Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results. 

That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at srivers@cercatalent.com, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Allstars that help you set records..

Adapted from Gary Ryan Blair’s 100 Day Challenge