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Published on July 31, 2020

7 Powerful Ways To Overcome Obstacles And Win In Life

7 Powerful Ways To Overcome Obstacles And Win In Life

Obstacles are the stumbling blocks that prevent you from reaching your goals. They are the limiting factors that hinder you from achieving your desired dreams, and you have to overcome these obstacles to move further in life.

It’s not enough to set goals; you need to actualize your goals. It is at the point of execution that life becomes unbearable as unexpected setbacks and obstacles set in.

It is not an understatement to say that every success comes with challenges. Those challenges often come as problems you need to solve. If you can solve them, you can then have the assurance that you can reach your goals.

7 Reasons Why Obstacles Are Important

So why is it important to overcome obstacles? Can you go through life without encountering any limitations?

Here are 7 reasons why obstacles are important in life.

1. Obstacles Reveal Your True Identity

Some life challenges will rip you apart. When this occurs, you get to know who you truly are. Sometimes, you don’t know your full capabilities and tendencies. Obstacles exist to test you and stretch you beyond limits.

The fact is once your limitations and inclinations have been revealed, you can begin to take steps to deal with them so you can win in life. You’ll be forced to overcome these obstacles, which will help reveal your true self.

2. Obstacles Direct Your Actions

Someone once said you could walk on water; you only need to know where the stones are placed. The stumbling blocks on your path create a new way to get to the next level or phase.

For instance, if someone continually hurts your feeling, the situation allows you to practice the art of forgiveness. Every problem comes with its solution. You only need to shift your perspective to uncover the lessons that challenges have to teach you.

No wonder Benjamin Franklin once affirmed that:

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The things which hurt, instruct.

Once you receive instructions, learn, and make progress in the directions of your goals.

3. Obstacles Make You Tougher

No one comes with the natural ability to withstand challenges; you have to develop your resilience through life. And don’t you ever think everything will come to you on a platter of gold. That only happens in the grave

As long as you are here, you’d have to overcome obstacles and surmount difficulties. The essence of obstacles is to toughen you so you can be courageous. It would be best if you dared to change your circumstances – to improve yourself and the world.

And if you discover you are losing courage, obstacles can toughen you more so you can move to the next phase.

4. Obstacles Enable You to Focus on What Counts

Not everything counts in life, so you need to focus on your goals and pursue your life missions. Once you are clear about your goals and tasks, every obstacle that comes your way looks smaller and manageable.

But when you lack clues and direction, this uncertainty magnifies every limitation and makes your pursuit a massive mountain that you need to climb.

The bottom line is that you need to be clear about your goals and focus like a laser so you can surmount the few mountains that deserve your attention.

5. Obstacles Unleash Your Creativity

You don’t know how far you can run until you meet a lion in the jungle. That’s the beauty of life!

Without impediments, you may not reach the untrodden territory. It takes persisting and resisting to learn where others fail because they were impatient. Obstacles are capable of stretching your creative muscles so you can go beyond the limits.

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6. Obstacles Help You Find Meaning to Your Life

Your perception of life determines your outcome. You might want to take a cue from the experience of President Abraham Lincoln. While he battled with depression all though, he led the United States through one of the most challenging times in history: The Civil War.

Lincoln discovered the art of fining meaning despite his inner turmoil by channeling his efforts outward by uniting the entire nation. He learned the art of endurance. He articulated this attitude and derived meaning from his obstacles.[1]

He discovered purpose and found succor in a more prominent cause higher than his obstacles.

7. Obstacles Can Help You Discover Meaning Beyond Your Inner Troubles

Just like Lincoln, you can find your purpose when you cease from peering at your troubles and begin to seek how you can make others happy. You can rise above your obstacles by lifting others.

This strategy is one of the best approaches to deal with depression. It is a way of starving your problems of time so you can focus on others suffering.

Here’s the added advantage!

Focusing outward will enable you to improve inward.

7 Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Life

Now that you know the significance of obstacles, here are 7 ways you can turn them into stepping stones.

1. Find Out What’s Limiting You

Sit down and assess your limiting factors. What are the obstacles standing between you and your goals?

Figure out why you are not meeting the deadline. Avoid dredging up your list of complaints as it will eventually culminate into excuses.

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For instance, if you said,’ I don’t have sufficient time,’ reflect on what you spend your time and energy on. Your limiting factors could be procrastination, complacency, or external events. If you said, ‘I don’t have enough funds,’ this is most times related to priorities.

Your immediate challenge may be a lack of motivation or time, or you need to commit to learning how to earn extra income and reduce your expenses.

2. Review the Obstacle’s Timeline

How long have you been dealing with the challenge? What attitude or habit is hindering you from overcoming the obstacles? Finding answers to these questions will enable you to make the right changes.

For instance, if you changed your job, there could be something about your new job or workplace that is challenging you. It could be the fact that you need to cope with a new environment.

Reflect on the different obstacles you have faced in life. Whether you work over them or not, take a cue from your experience and apply the lessons in dealing with new challenges.

3. Determine What’s Beyond You

Some challenges are beyond you. They are so daunting that you don’t have a clue on how to overcome them. Perhaps, you are even afraid or weak to the bone.

It shouldn’t be the end of the world. Just take a deep breath and list those things you can control, such as:

  • Your habits
  • How much energy you exert
  • Your decision when you are offered an opportunity
  • Your lifestyle-exercise, diet, and relaxation, all of which affect your mood and personal disposition

Focus on what you can control. Start by cultivating all the good habits to have in life.

4. Break Your Goals Down

Giant stride is not about taking one leap to the top of the highest mountain; it is about boldness to pursue your goals in the face of oppositions. It’s reasonable to break your goals into bits and develop a checklist to figure out the obstacles hindering you from actualizing the first box.

For instance, if you aspire to be the best copywriter in the world, one impending obstacle is to enroll and follow through an online course. Thus, your new goal can be to apply for an online class on copywriting. You can surmount this obstacle by opening your Google browser right now.

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5. Maintain an Active Plan

Always work with a to-do list. Begin your day with what you have to do and achieve your goal. Recognize that there will be obstacles and distractions. The lessons from facing obstacles will help you to adapt your plan in finding the best strategy to achieving your goals.

6. Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

If you tend to make decisions base on your instincts, you may try to be more analytic.

Here are some strategies you can adopt to making a decision:

Worst case scenario: If I enroll for the copywriting course and I fail, where would I end up? Design a backup plan for this eventuality.

Cost-benefit analysis: What would I gain if I complete the copywriting course. Assess if the benefits are worth the sacrifices.

7. Track Your Progress

As you pursue your goals, keep a journal of your successes and challenges. Establish milestones and compensate yourself when you complete each milestone. There are four steps you can take to track your progress.

Final Thoughts

Obstacles give life meaning. As long as you are on the face of the earth, you will keep facing challenges. It’s up to you to change your perspectives and deal with obstacles with the right mindset. It’s either they become your stepping stones or stumbling blocks.

Choose to live your life by design and apply the tips I have shared above to overcome whatever obstacle you are facing. Stay safe, and stay strong!

More Tips on How to Overcome Obstacles

Featured photo credit: Mike Throm via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] TheAtlantic: Lincoln’s Greatest Depression

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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