How To...Overcome Obstacles
“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.” When I think about the obstacles I’ve been through in life, it honestly amazes me how I’m still able to smile…and I know I’m not the only person who feels that way. Obstacles are a natural part of life and unfortunately there isn’t a magic cure for removing all obstacles from your life, they’re practically inevitable. So since they’re a promised certainty in this life, I figured it would be worth discussing how to over the obstacles we’re all bound to face.
1. Have the Right Mindset
Just like every other self-development topic we’ve covered, having the right mindset is always the first step. You have to want to be present and you must want to overcome those obstacles before you are even able to overcome it. Sounds elementary right? But if we’re being very honest, how many times have we convinced ourselves of failure or doomed ourselves into defeat before we’ve even begun? Happens more than most of us care to recognize in all reality. When limiting beliefs begin to come into your mind, you must check them at the door and refuse to give it power. This is not simple and it requires intense work, but I promise you that it’s worth it!
Recently I heard Tony Robbins say something that quite literally dropped my jaw: “Whatever follows the words ‘I AM…’ begins to chase after you”. Think of that every time you say the phrase “I am”, are the statements you’re making about yourself something you want chasing after you. We begin to attract the things we say about ourselves with our words, so everytime you say “I’m tired” or “I don’t feel good” or “I’m lonely” or any of the like…those very things begin to chase after you in order to fulfill your “Self-fulfilling prophecy”. This is something I’m working on personally but being aware of the struggle helps me adjust my perspective.
2. Learn to FIND the Good
The more positive I become, the more I recognize how comfortable the world is with being negative. Just yesterday I got called “fake” because I choose to find the good in everything and it was so difficult for this person to believe my lunch was “amazing”, when in all actuality it was! I had a good meal, enjoyed my food, and had a heart to heart with a soror who was going through some things…that to me was amazing. And sure I could’ve found something wrong about my lunch, or found a reason to complain, or even chosen an adjective that was more neutral…but I make an intentional effort to find the good in just about everything.
I’m not even trying to say that everything is good, because there are still times when I’m very frustrated or upset, but in those moments I have to evaluate if the frustration is worth it. In those times, I remind myself “If it’s not going to matter in 5 years…don’t spend more than 5 minutes upset about it.” Seriously think about that, the very things that piss you off throughout the day, will they amount to anything in the next 5 years? Think back to 5 years ago, can you even remember the exact moments that made you angry? My guess is no. I know that in the moment you feel your anger is valid, and it probably is…but is the anger useful, worth it, or necessary? Most importantly, is your anger benefiting the given situation?
Did you know that unhappiness can give the same negative health effects as smoking? It’s for these reasons and more I seek every opportunity possible to find the good in every situation. Even in my darkest hours I have every reason to believe that there is some good that can come from it. And when you learn to find the good, you’ll begin to attract more good into your life.
3. Do the Work
There is nothing in this self-development journey that is going to be easy, because unfortunately that’s just not how things work. It would be nice to be able to say “I want to get through this obstacle” and magically you end up on the other side. When’s the last time that worked out for you? Everything we do requires intentional work and effort that will be worth it in the end. When it comes to overcoming your obstacles (even when that obstacle is you), it will take some intentional calculated efforts in the right direction. Sometimes that will come easily and naturally for you, but a majority of the time it will be challenging to say the least. In those moments remind yourself that “progress is a slow process” and take things one step at a time.
4. Find your Bounce Back
Resilience is a necessity when it comes to overcoming life’s challenges, especially when you’re aiming to make major changes in your life. For me, truly gaining the understanding that obstacles are inevitable make a huge difference but I understand for some it’ll take much more. Sometimes it will require a strong and uplifting support system, a strong religious belief, a genuine love for self, a bright encouraging image of your future, a commitment to your purpose, understanding your “why”, or it may take intense accountability. And if we’re being real…it may require all of the above! In order to truly understand how to find your bounce back you are going to dig deep in your soul in order to truly know what’s going to motivate you to overcome life’s obstacles.
5. Look at the big picture
What is the very thing that drives you most? What is your genuine idea of your big picture? What is your reason why you’re doing the things you’re doing? These are the very things that are going to give you the push to move forward and help you understand why you can’t possible give up. Regardless of how much you have to remind yourself, no matter how many times you have to repeat it to yourself, or if you have to write it on your mirror, regardless or what it takes…always look at the big picture. Life is going to be difficult, that’s pretty much a guarantee, but difficult doesn’t have to mean impossible.