The Secret to Overcoming Obstacles

Josh jumping

We’ve all been there.  We encounter an obstacle which separates us from what we want or need.  How do we respond?  Do we become discouraged and give up?  Do we become frustrated and rail against the obstacle?  Or do we do something else?   What is the best approach when faced with an obstacle? Leo Babauta in his Zen Habits post “The Obstacle is the Path” shares the Zen proverb that “The Obstacle is the way.”  Let’s explore this a bit  with common obstacles many of us face.  The secret to overcoming each obstacle is the same.

  • You have been unable to lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.  Instead of pretending to ignore your weight and the associated embarrassment and frustration, acknowledge it fully to a trusted friend or loved one.  Confront the obstacle. What needs to change permanently?   Run toward rather than away from the obstacle. Obtain qualified help.  If at all financially possible, work with a nutritionist and a trainer for an extended period of time.  Commit to the long term. Your health is worth it.
  • You are burdened by debt. Again, the secret is to confront the obstacle rather than avoid it.  Do not let shame prevent you from seeking the help you need. Work with a qualified financial adviser.  Immerse yourself in good personal finance resources such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and Clark Howard’s podcast. Recognize that being burdened by debt, though common, is not the way to fully live.  Reduce expenses and begin the journey to recovery.
  • You struggle with implementing needed life changes.  Embrace the discomfort of change. If your objective is worthy, the discomfort is merely confirmation that you are on the right path.  Redefine your success as your daily re-commitment to and execution of that day’s incremental steps towards your goal.  If you back-track one day, re-start the next day.  Do not give up.  Celebrate your growing skill of confronting and overcoming obstacles.  Who knows,  at some point, you might even look forward to tackling the next obstacle!

[If you enjoyed this article,  please consider reading The Secret to Growth and How to Harness the Power of Stress.]


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