Do you have a method to overcome obstacles in your life? You might not have thought about this before, but consider how much this could help you in your life. You probably have a number of obstacles that you’d like to overcome, but you’ve never thought about a process that might help resolve them.
Is this even possible, you might wonder? Yes, writing is a tool that can help you reflect on your obstacles one at a time and find solutions from within. In fact, this is one of the best ways to overcome obstacles.
Obstacles show up lots of ways in life. It could be a health problem or a big financial debt. It could be a relationship challenge. You might feel challenged because you lack confidence to move forward because a parent, teacher or other influential person in your life criticized you. You might fear rejection or you might be challenged with a self-imposted obstacle such as perfectionism. Regardless of what it is, stay with me. I’m here to assure you that you can overcome obstacles.
Your greatest gift is something that you already hold within. Did you realize that you already have access to the answers of how to resolve your own obstacles? Who would know better than you? It can be helpful to seek advice on how to overcome obstacles from others who pushed through similar obstacles. You can surely learn from their story and what advice they have to offer, but ultimately, you have to take into consideration how their suggestion might fit into your own life situation.
Your life is like a puzzle where all the pieces affect the others. It all fits neatly together to form a big picture. Just because someone else used a drastic measure to remove an obstacle from their life, such as divorce, doesn’t mean you need to go to this extreme to overcome obstacles you’re having with your spouse. Divorce, in fact, can open up new obstacles especially if children are involved. You need to take into consideration the whole picture. Who could possibly know better than you all the factors that you might want to consider?
It can be helpful to seek some advice from supportive friends and loved ones who know you and might be able to give some friendly advice, but be sure to remember that when you ask for advice, some people might want to hit you back later with an “I told you so” whipping. If you choose to ask for advice, be sure to carefully consider the source and whether or not they’re able to overcome obstacles in their lives.
In Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, there’s a section in the book about overcoming obstacles. The majority of the stories are from successful writers who faced obstacles with their health, or with teachers who discouraged them about their writing. Each of them tells their story of how they chose to work through the obstacle rather than let it stop them from being the writers they wanted to be. Even if you don’t want to be a full-time writer, consider how helpful it might be to use the power of writing to overcome your own obstacles.
Chet Cunningham tells the story of how he failed the English entrance exam when he applied to college and he started college in a low level English class. He wanted to major in journalism and one of his professors called him aside to let him know that he didn’t think he’d be able to make it as a journalist.
Fortunately, Chet worked around this scholarly obstacle and submitted articles to the local newspaper which got published while he was still in college. Instead of being halted by the professor’s discouraging words, Chet decided he would work three times as hard as the other students and sure enough he published even more articles in the local papers. Eventually, the professor accepted him as a journalism major. Chet went on to write 300 books. Yes, that’s right. It’s not a typo. He wrote 300 books!
Consider one of the challenges you’re facing in your life now. It probably comes to mind often and troubles you, but then you find a way to calm down that voice and remind it to go away. What if, instead, you sat down to write about the challenge to see what comes of it? The solution might not come to you in a day, but if you continue to write to overcome obstacles day after day, you’ll be surprised at how you can really do some housecleaning in your life and in your mind. As you get more clear with your thinking and come up with strategies on how to overcome obstacles, you have the opportunity to enjoy more fun and rewards in your life.You might be thinking that you have bigger obstacles, ones that are too big to write your way through them. But you won’t know if you don’t try. You have to write to get to that inner voice and hear what it has to say. You will come up with answers.
But what if you’re facing a big personal challenge with a family member who is sick or recently passed away and you have unresolved issues? Sit down and write and you’ll find the lessons that were designed just for you. Whatever is happening in your life means that you’re the one who was meant to deal with it. It came your way for a reason. And it’s up to you to move through it or around it. As you set an example to others of how you overcome obstacles, you’ll gain respect from them and you’ll gain confidence to keep pushing through more obstacles in your life as well.
Just because you were rejected once doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try again. Just because someone said you were a failure doesn’t make them right unless you submit to their opinion. Just because you don’t have a college degree doesn’t mean you can’t write. You can write to overcome obstacles.
Just because you’re facing a health challenge doesn’t mean you can’t write. Stephen Hawking wrote more than a dozen books despite his physical challenges with motor neuron disease. And Ray Charles became one of the most famous songwriters of his time despite the fact that he was blind.
My parents discouraged me from pursuing writing as a career, while my teachers encouraged me to pursue my talent and passion for writing. Fortunately, I had enough confidence to stick to my dream and went on to pursue the education I needed to become an English professor. Later I changed the direction of my career to marketing and then corporate education and quality control, but the hub of my career has always evolved around writing.
I acquired the habit of writing morning pages after reading The The Artist’s Way at Work by Mark Bryan and Julia Cameron. When I write every morning, I inevitably end up writing about some of the challenges I’ve been facing, some of the projects I’ve been procrastinating, and some of the overwhelm I sometimes feel in trying to figure out how I can accomplish all I want to do.
As I write through each of my obstacles one at a time day after day, I inevitably find a ways to overcome obstacles. Sometimes it means that I figure out a way to remove a person or situation from my life. Other times it might be that I finally decide to start tackling a project and it gets done faster than I expect. Other times I might be dealing with a challenge with a relationship, and inevitably as I write about it, I find the best way to overcome the obstacle at least for now.
As you write about challenges, there comes a point when you realize that there’s no point in complaining about them day after day. It’s quite empowering instead to brainstorm ways you might overcome obstacles. This plants seeds and solutions that will lead you forward. And finally, after you overcome obstacles, remember to note how you became a better person through the experience.