EP 018 - Overcoming Obstacles
Over this last weekend I was able to get out in the mountains and explore some new land. Anytime I head out on a hunt, of course my main goal is to fill the tag and harvest an animal. This weekend though, didn't lead me to a filled tag, but instead to seeing success and failure through different eyes - a perspective that has really provoked some thought. We often see “success, obstacles, or failure” as black and white, but I realized this weekend that doing so negates the opportunity to find, and hold, onto other successes.
When we open ourselves up to letting hard situations or circumstances be used for all possible growth, we win. So learn how to not give up, or back down when challenges come your way -- become resilient.
It’s easy to get “overwhelmed” and fall into the pity portion of the obstacle which then spirals the hurdle you're facing into being “another personal attack”, or another bump in the road. But, I think you would be better served to learn how to navigate through them without the overwhelming sense of failure, or defeat. More often than not when we come across hurdles we subconsciously lump them into other negative, or unmanaged feelings we have stored creating a multitude of emotions. Even without meaningfully doing so, the "small" issue turns into total chaos, and conditions us for feeling more like giving up than the situations really deserves. Staying objective and not subjective on each independent battle you face, or bunching them all up together, is a huge part of moving through these times of trial. I believe we can all benefit from switching the mindset and looking at these trials through a problem solvers eyes, instead of falling flat and giving up!
Dive into my top tips for overcoming the obstacles.
#1 take emotion out of it - easier said than done, especially when things feel so close and so personal (this is especially true if you have faced many hurdles before this one). But give yourself a few minutes to process the problem, and then switch gears into looking at it from the outside in. How would you talk a friend through the problem? When you are less “emotionally tied” to something you increase your ability to think and act practically and rationally. #2 ask for help in finding a solution - asking for help isn’t a hot topic, and I think even more so when what we face is something we tie to a "struggle" or "inadequacy". Often times a third party, the advice of a friend, or talking to someone who may have faced the same issues can help us make a plan for dealing with the challenge we are facing, or even better understanding how we feel about the situation. Do you ever get worked up about something, and start venting to someone just to realize the "massive issues" really wasn't that big of a deal, or the solution comes out in the process of explaining it? Try talking it out, and see if you can gain some insight on how to approach it. #3 dissect the problem - look at it from all angles, what is the real problem? Figure out what's really going on, what the issues are, and what you are up against. Then after you're are more clear on what areas it is effecting you can figure out how to work backward to untangle the mess. Often, if we are only looking at the issues we fail to see the process of fixing it, or what areas we actually need to pay attention to and modify. #4 stay in tune with your feelings - walking through these steps can invite the emotional overwhelm to come back in and fog up our plan to navigate through the challenge. If you start being led by frustration, anger, overwhelm, or sadness, give yourself a time out until you can follow through with staying objective and keeping a level headed perspective. Journaling and self reflection time can be helpful in staying in tune with your emotional state, as can investing daily in things that "fill your cup." #5 commit yourself to finding a solution - facing challenges in life is all a part of growing and living. Although the easiest way to move around challenge is to give up, or change course, you ultimately miss opportunities to grow, learn, gain strength and build character. Become persistent in always giving your best, even if your "best" doesn’t feel like enough, all momentum becomes progress. Facing life's opposition is an inevitable part of the journey, and let’s be really honest, it will come crashing into you whether you are in a good place in life, running on all cylinders, or if you're on a continuous roller coaster. In fact, sometimes it seems like you may not even get out of one battle before you toe the line with another. I’ve adopted the philosophy that facing these hurdles are the ultimate test of character and will to succeed. #6 become the most patient person you know - so what if it seems like you are constantly facing a storm, or that your plans are yet again deviated by things not going right. Life is giving you the best possible chance at growth by learning how to maneuver through them. The next time something comes to stand in your way, step back and follow the steps above. The more you come face to face with these challenges the more you condition your mind to working through them, keeping an objective mindset and not letting them defeat you - that's your mission.
No matter what you are facing now, from the "daily struggle" to more extreme battles, become willing to work through the storm and know that every action you take to move through it builds you into a warrior capable of anything.