No matter what our plans or goals in life are, we will always face challenges. We need to identify what those challenges will be if we hope to overcome them. Will they be environmental, personal or social obstacles? Are they controllable or out of your control?
Sometimes those obstacles in front of us are only there because we don’t believe in our own abilities. Fortunately, those obstacles can make you more determined to reach your goals. Although constantly being challenged is frustrating, that frustration will help you look at options and ways around what you face.
Determination will give you a sense of self-worth and help you become more focused, creative and disciplined. In the end, reaching your goal will feel like an accomplishment. This creativeness will help you alter our perception and behaviour and will help turn the obstacle into a solvable stepping stone.
A friend of mine Warren Macdonald taught me that ‘it’s not what you see, but how you see it’. Some look at the obstacles and hurdles they encounter as evidence of failure, but it’s better to see them as challenges that will make each accomplishment that much sweeter.
At times when facing obstacles you have to expect discomfort but you have to stay positive and not give up. Watch and learn from others, but also take responsibility for working through those obstacles yourself.
Here are 4 ways that you can help yourself overcome any challenges;
- List potential challenges. When setting a goal, it’s important to pre-empt hurdles by making a list of possible challenges and strategies to overcome them. Remember to think outside the box. The answer may be something that you would have never thought of. This list can change during the course of working towards your goal and, as you strive towards that goal, make sure you are constantly re-evaluating those possible hurdles so you can be ready for anything.
- Trust your own intuition and gut feelings. What may work for someone else may not work for you. If facing a challenge, take instruction from your team but also listen to your intuition. There will be times you’ll feel persuaded to take one course of action, but trust in yourself if you don’t feel it is the right direction to go in.
- Change your thinking patterns. Instead of asking why you can’t do something, ask yourself ‘How can I overcome this hurdle?’ Problems test our resolve, so it is important to use them as stepping stones to reach your goals, hopes and dreams. You will realise that most of those challenges will be very small compared to your final dream. As Muhammad Ali once said, ‘Often it isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the little pebble in your shoe.’
- Reflect on past successes. Sit quietly and think about the last obstacle you faced and how you got past it. You were able to get past it, so it is up to you to believe in yourself. Self-belief is an amazing thing; it will help you see possibilities and opportunities when trying to jump hurdles. Believing in yourself will stimulate you into action and help you persist in getting over those hurdles. If you need to do positive thinking exercises then do them. Write down the things that you have achieved and the hurdles you have cleared. Once you see them in black and white your self-belief will improve.
‘If you can’t believe in miracles, then believe in yourself. When you want something bad enough, let that drive push you to make it happen. Sometimes you’ll run into brick walls that are put there to test you. Find a way around them and stay focused on your dream. Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ ~ Unknown