I’ve been reading Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way, and it got me thinking about obstacles, how we deal with them and tips to overcome them.
Chances are if you’ve set goals to accomplish something challenging, it could be anything, let’s say weight loss for example, that you have or will hit obstacles on your way.
Heck, life is full of them. If you’ve played sports, it comes up there too.
It’s never a straight line to success and things come up. If you’re trying to improve your health or lose weight, maybe it’s a business trip that your boss needs you to go on. Or maybe your schedule has changed or something has popped up that is making it harder to stay on track. Any of this sound familiar? What would you do? Make sure you still did what you had to do to move forward towards your goals. Or something else?
Maybe your son or daughter got sick and or couldn’t sleep. Maybe your boss slammed you with some extra work or another project. Usually when things come up our default response is to get frustrated, or complain or give up or make an excuse as to why we can’t do something. Guess what?? It’s not meant to be easy. It’s simple but no one said it would be easy. This is the part most people miss on their journey. I think secretly they hope it will be smooth, easy without bumps on the road.
If you’re thinking this is great, but man you have no idea what it’s like to stay up all night because you don’t have kids. You’re right, I might not know what that’s like yet but I can relate going through my own challenges and can at least empathize that the feelings might be similar.
After all, I’m working on overcoming obstacles myself. We all are.
So want to know the secret sauce?? Are you ready?? Reframe the problem. That’s right…change your perspective. This gives you a chance to see the opportunity to improve or move forward vs dwelling in the negative frustrated state. Have you ever given advice to a friend who was just mired or troubled by an obstacle and you could see the answer so clearly but they couldn’t. Well, it’s because you were seeing it from a different lens minus all the frustration and emotion. By the end of it much of all that stuff is out of your control but you can control how you choose to think about something and how you will respond.
Here are a few other tips to help you after you’ve reframed the obstacle.
- TAKE ACTION
- Learn from Failure
- Practice Persistence
Once you reframe your obstacle you need to do something about it. By taking action you are now moving forward towards your goal and taking the obstacle head on. This is empowering and it changes the game from being a victim of your feelings to tackling the obstacle.
When we take action sometimes our actions don’t always lead to the result we are looking for. This is when we need to listen and learn from our failure. If you aren’t making mistakes you can’t learn what you need to do to overcome what’s holding you back. In the case of losing weight or getting healthier, maybe you need to change up some foods or try intermittent fasting. Maybe you need to prep your meals so you make sure you don’t eat foods that will sabotage your goals.
Either way, taking action will lead to a result. Either it worked or it didn’t and that’s an opportunity to figure out what to change if it didn’t.
This leads to persistence. At this point you can either quit or be persistent and take action until you figure it out.
I like this quote from Ryan Holiday, “Genuis is really just persistence in disguise.”
Epictetus said, “Persist and Resist.” Persist in your efforts. Resist giving in to distraction, discouragement, or disorder. (Holiday, 2014)
If you find yourself feeling like the obstacle is too much. I’m here to tell you that there is another way. Make your choice. One will empower to find something positive out of the challenge and figure out a way to take it on. One will just lead to a lot of wasted energy. If you need to vent or let it out do it and then move forward.
The choice is yours.
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Have a great day!