I recently met - and overcame - a challenge that, in the moment, seemed impossible to me. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions during the process. I was at first anxious about it. “Would I even be able to do it?” I thought.

I imagined the personal pride I would feel if I were successful, I doubted myself, often. I received gentle encouragement from my family, and also from strangers, throughout the process. I changed my mind several times about going through with it. I pushed myself beyond what I felt I was capable of doing. In the end, I achieved success!

Meeting and overcoming a challenge can bring out a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. In the legal marketing world, facing challenges is an everyday occurrence. But I’m not talking about the day-to-day grind of the never-ending to-do list; I mean a real challenge that takes an effort, planning and, yes, even sweat. (Mental sweat counts!) 

Face your challenges

Legal marketing challenges you face might include difficulty in managing the internal political minefield and pockets of senior-level resistance about the law firm’s marketing strategy, or focusing on consistent promotion of your law firm brand strategy in routine practice group or office news. Another challenge might be making each of the firm’s attorneys feel that they are getting marketing attention while you switch out among the dozen hats you wear.

It’s so easy to get mentally blocked and frustrated by the enormity of a challenge that results often get diluted, deferred or displaced. Professional coach and author Honoree Corder offers several inspirational strategies for dealing with challenges big and small by breaking them down and taking approaches that can help you overcome them and achieve success.

So what was my recent challenge? A hike. An ordinary mountain hike with my family, with a goal of reaching a particular cave at the summit. However, due to some health issues, this type of walk would have been downright impossible even a year ago. The fact that I could even dare consider agreeing to the challenge now, much less actually doing it, made this an even more-profound experience.

The point is, each person has uniquely individual challenges – my hike would have been just a walk in the park for others. I know that. But quite literally, the steps I took to reach that mountain cave required deliberate thought, perseverance and planning.

Reach your goals

As you deal with the added stress this month of holiday activities and approach the beginning of 2014 – a time of reflection and establishing personal and professional resolutions that invariably fail before Jan. 15 – consider instead a significant challenge or two that you currently face.

Drop the idea of a New Year’s resolution, and instead focus on reaching that goal. Write it down and list the obstacles and steps you need to take to reach that mountain cave. Lean on a walking stick if you need extra support. Listen to the suggestions and encouragement others can offer. You may get punctured by a cactus or fall and scrape a knee along the way, but keep moving forward and looking up.

I guarantee the view from the top is worth it.

What is a legal marketing challenge you face? Leave a comment to get input and support from the Jaffe PR team and our readers. Or contact me directly at vhood@jaffepr.com.